Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The Island Packet 350, which is the Island Packet 32' with a "sugar scoop" or swimming platform built into the transom. Some amenities on the 350 are alluring and the swim platform is definitely one of them. Otherwise getting on and off the boat is pain in your ass, not the boat's.

It's a happening little boat, same size as our Isabella with a different layout and about 20 years newer. We were skeptical about the pullman bed in the v-berth. The pullman is a rectangular bed canted to fit in a triangular-shaped room. One of the reasons we're boat shopping is that Isabella's v-berth is a bit too cozy for us, so we were anxious to see a boat the same size with a different design. We tried it out -- briefly. Not bad at all. No twangling feet. An acceptable width.

Overall we gave the 350 a 92. It helped that the one we saw was immaculate. You wouldn't think there could be hellholes in the water until you start boat shopping. We've seen some hideous creaking, filthy, molding, rusting heaps over the years. Those of us with good boats on the market should send those rat-trap owners a couple of bucks for making our boats seem like the QE2. That's how we felt when we boarded that 350. You just wanted to plop it in the water and go.

The aft cabin has a clever arrangement with leg room under the cockpit.

We hated the in-mast furling (there's electronic man again), but that's just specific to the one we saw.

The only negatives specific to the 350:
--Size. Not significantly bigger or better layout than Isabella.
--Stepping down from the cabin roof to the deck is a long way. It didn't seem comfortable or safe.
--Price. Because they are newer and still being made, they're expensive. The cheapest start at about $130K.

On to the 35' tomorrow...

--Sorted through 20 years of photos and threw away 90% of them. Whew! Only 28 more years to go...
--Laundry. Sigh. That doesn't count, does it.
--Cleared the store floor for a strip and rewax. That sort of counts. It's a facelift for selling the business.
--Exchanged email with someone interested in buying Isabella!!!

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