Sunday, October 11, 2009


A new boat from Island Packet! So what if it costs 3 times what we can spend, that didn't keep us from window shopping.

The new Estero is a departure for Island Packet in many ways. At 36' feet it's dwarfed by their previous boat, the 460 (46'), which won Cruising World's Boat of the Year last year. The Estero is a sloop rig unlike most of IP's boats, which are cutters. The cabin layout is a huge departure from typical IP interiors. They went to the Gozzard-like layout with a settee in the V and the stateroom aft.

In my little opinion, here are the pros and cons:
--It's got almost NO TEAK on the outside -- including the eyebrow. (Have they been reading my blog?)
--The finally quit using those light fixtues I hate!
--They made it look sleek and elegant on deck without teak.
--It's self-tending (sloop instead of cutter, with self-tending jib).
--A nice little swim platform off the stern.

--It's got an unattractive snub nose and sheer line. In the first photo, the first two boats are Esteros. Look at its bow compared to the others on down the line. It just looks clunky in the water, especially in underway photos.
--The cabin layout is awkward and feels cramped.
--The galley and head are straight across from each other.
--I've always disliked drop-leaf tables that won't fold completely away. It has one smack in the middle of the V.
--The galley takes up too much central space and has almost no counter space.

My rating on a five-star scale: 2 stars. But what do I know? The Estero's nominated for Cruising World's Boat of the Year.

There are photos and layout drawings on their website. Judge for yourself.

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