Island Trader 41: Shapely and Seaworthy
Beneath this ketch's classic styling, comforts aplenty appease the cruising sailor. "Classic Plastic" from our April 2008 issue.
Les Everett, my cruising partner, and I found Enchantress, an Island Trader 41 built in China in 1973 to a much-borrowed William Garden design, in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. She was sliding into disrepair, but eventually we sailed her across the Pacific, spending several years in New Zealand and Fiji before a final sail through Vanuatu to Australia, where we sold her.
Island Trader 41s sports a clipper bow and a wineglass transom, a full keel, heavy displacement, and enough storage to carry a year's provisions. Layouts vary on Island Traders, but Enchantress had a large fo'c'sle with two bunks, which we converted to a workshop. Aft of it was the master cabin, with a large pullout double, a hanging locker, storage in lockers above and below the bunk, and room for extra anchors and rode under the sole. Painted bulkheads accented by teak locker doors and deck beams gave the cabin an airy feeling, enhanced by cross ventilation from a large opening hatch and many brass portholes. The head, which could be entered from the master cabin or the saloon, boasted a large separate shower stall and ample locker space for linens.
Going aft and down a step was the roomy and comfortable saloon. The starboard settee pulled out to a double bunk for guests, and louvered lockers and drawers provided storage. A butterfly hatch above and numerous bronze portholes allowed plenty of fresh air below.
Up a step from the saloon, in an area well lit by large ports, the compact and functional galley was to starboard, while to port was a table with seating for six.
A huge dodger protected the companionway. While tethered to the mizzenmast and sitting under that dodger, we'd be shielded from the elements and feel quite secure.
The large cockpit holds a central steering station, instruments mounted on the binnacle, and a helmsman's chair; the latter can be removed and replaced with a low table when at anchor. The deck layout is functional, with the mainsheet winch under the dodger and winches on the mainmast for halyards and reefing lines.
Under sail, Enchantress was seakindly and never gave us a moment's worry. Her split rig permitted many sail combinations, making her easy to balance, so the Aries windvane we connected to the steering had an easy time of it.
While the Island Trader's hull is solid fiberglass, everything else is solid wood; after 25 years, we found that Enchantress needed some repair work. We replaced the bowsprit and the rigging and pulled up sections of the teak deck that were beyond repair, replacing them with marine ply that we glassed over. A scarf in the mizzen boom-all the spars were wooden-took care of some rot. We repowered with an 85-horsepower Yanmar; easy access made maintenance free of hassles. The breaker panel needed to be relocated to an area less prone to leaks.
Prices for the Island Trader 41 and its various iterations begin at about $50,000.
Val Doan, a.k.a. "Mustang Val," has spent her life on boats. She navigated the winning boat in Class 13 in the 2006 Newport-Bermuda Race.
Island Trader 41
LOA 40' 3" (12.27 m.)
LWL 32' 0" (9.75 m.)
Beam 12' 0" (3.67 m.)
Draft 6' 0" (1.83 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 810 sq. ft. (75.2 sq. m.)
Ballast 9,000 lb. (4,082 kg.)
Displacement 29,000 lb. (13,152 kg.)
Water 100 gal. (379 l.)
Fuel 80 gal. (303 l.)
Engine 40-hp. Yanmar diesel
Designer William Garden