When naval architect Bob Johnson built his sailboat, a 27-footer, in 1979, he fashioned it after the island-hopping packet vessels, or canal boats, from the 1800s that delivered mail, freight – and sometimes passengers – to coastal residents.
Forty years later, Island Packet Yachts has built more than 2,500 sailboats, ranging from 34 to 52 feet.
“These safe, comfortable mid-size sailers have won dozens of awards, including Best Midsize Cruiser, Best Long Distance Cruiser, Domestic Boat of the Year, Best Accommodations and Innovation. Their yachts is also singled out as one of the world’s top 20 builders in Ferenc Mate’s World’s Best Sailboats.”
When you find a used Island Packet Yacht for sale, grab it.
That’s because the shipyard is more invested in quality and customizing features than mass production. Owners purchase these yachts for their proprietary technologies (Full Foil Keel®), solid construction, versatility, ease of maintaining, use of premium materials, such as Harken deck hardware, and warranties. They keep them for the cruising pleasure they deliver and how, unlike other brands, they retain their value.
What was it that made these yachts the international standard to which other cruising yachts had to measure up?
Primarily, it was Bob Johnson’s insistence that every company yacht for sale be constructed to maximize safety, comfort and easy handling.
“To accomplish that, he developed exacting, proven designs and construction methods based on decades of shipbuilding experience; and he regularly solicited feedback from yacht owners. Now you might think that with all the emphasis on safety and comfort, performance might suffer. To the contrary. The technology, quality materials and strict attention to detail put into the design-build of every model actually resulted in a high level of performance – proven time and again as the yacht builder crossed the finish line first in regattas and races all over the U.S. and Europe.”
In 2017, Darrell and Leslie Allen took ownership of the company. They were an official company dealer for 25+ years so they know the brand fore and aft.
Since then, they have grown the company from 13 employees to more than 50 – many of whom have over two decades’ experience building the well-known brand’s yachts.
“Their commitment is to honor the brand’s legacy by continuing to use innovation, customization and value to create new generations of cruising legends.”
Current Company Yacht Models
Island Packet Yacht 349
This two-cabin, 34-footer has enough safety features and storage to take you across an ocean or around the world. There’s LED lighting throughout, well-placed handholds everywhere you reach, tons of teak and a full foil keel not found in any other yacht in its range.
Truly a sailer’s sailboat, the Island Packet 349 offers the latest in design-build technology and was recently named “Boat of the Year” in two categories by Cruising World Magazine.
Island Packet Yacht 379
Whether you’re a weekend sailer or a couple cruising the world, the IP 379 has exclusive features (geared steering, self-tending staysail, Full Foil Keel) that improve the sailing experience; convenience crowd-pleasers (large U-shaped galley, spacious cockpit, strategically placed hand rails, wide side decks); and versatile, multi-use accommodations (sleeping, dining, entertaining).
Island Packet Yacht 439
The IP 439 is every bit as well built and innovative as the immensely popular IP 349 it’s descended from – except it’s bigger. In fact, if you’re looking for a live-aboard or planning an extended voyage, the Island Packet 439 may be the ideal yacht for you.
Island Packet Yacht 525
The IP 525 is the company’s flagship cruiser. Its CE Category A-Ocean means you can circumnavigate the world safely – even in seas up to 23 feet and winds up to 47 knots.
But what transforms the Island Packet Yacht 525 from just another cruiser into a navigator’s dream are all the features and amenities that make lengthy odysseys pure pleasure: huge living and storage spaces; gourmet galley, deluxe heads with separate shower stalls and three staterooms with opening ports and big overhead hatches; a navigation center that according to SAIL magazine is “the best equipped nav station we saw this year”; spacious aft deck with plenty of room for sunbathing, dining/entertaining and a 10-foot tender; wide, clutter-free side decks, recessed foredeck and lots of handrails for added security.
Island Packet Blue Jacket 40 (BJ40)
After three decades of building long-keeled, heavy-displacement yachts, Island Packet Yachts teamed up with designer Tim Jackett to launch a performance-oriented cruiser that’s easily run singlehandedly or by a couple. Without sacrificing comfort to gain a performance edge, the BJ40 team went from long keel to fin and bulb, and lightened hull and deck weight by a couple of tons switching to foam core and resin-infused construction.
The interior design is intelligent as well. Unlike many production sailboats, the Island Packet Blue Jacket yacht firmly fits its joinery and trim to stiffen the internal structure, helping link it to the hull and deck. As with the Island Packet Yacht 525, the BJ40 meets CE Category A-Ocean standards.
Two or three cabin versions, gourmet galley with modern appliances and ample storage make living aboard or extended voyages not only possible, but pleasurable.
“The result of the Johnson-Jackett collaboration: An efficient, comfortable, well-built combination of classic displacement sailing yacht and race boat. Switching the shipyard’s traditional hull color from beige to dark blue and naming the new line after its talented designer was the finishing touch.”
Island Packet SP Cruiser
Launched in 2007, the 41-foot Island Packet SP Cruiser was designed to cater to extended cruisers looking for a solidly constructed motor-sailer from an established company that provided trawler-like comfort.
The Island Packet SP cruiser checks all three boxes. With 25+ years under its belt and dozens of awards to its name, the yacht builder has a stellar reputation for building stable, versatile boats that retain their value.
As for comfort, the broad transom provides a wonderful swim platform and the galley has yards of countertops and ample storage. The deckhouse’s L-shaped dinette offers a panoramic view. Master and guest cabins have a double berth and twin berths respectively and plenty of drawers and hanging lockers. Up to six can enjoy the sunset from the large outside area. With a cruising range of 1,000 miles and a shoal draft, the SP Cruiser is at home offshore and in blue water.
- Founder: Bob Johnson
- Size: 34 to 52 feet
- Type: Mid-size, long-distance sailing yachts and motor yachts
- Models: IP 349, IP 379, IP 439, IP 525, BJ 40, 42 Motor Sailer (SP Cruiser)
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Largo, Florida, USA
Fiberglass; Coosa Composites
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