To qualify as a long-distance cruiser, a sailboat needs certain attributes: rugged construction, pleasing looks, ample storage, seakindly accommodations, an easily managed sail plan, and the ability to tick off the miles, no matter the wind or seas. After sailing the Island Packet 460 in a slowly building breeze off Annapolis last fall, our panel of judges concluded that this is a boat well suited to long-haul sailors who intend to move aboard. It’s so well suited in fact, that in addition to earning the title of Best Long-Distance Cruiser, the judges also named it for an overall award as the Domestic Boat of the Year.
Island Packet’s Bob Johnson knows his customers well, the judges noted, and he had them clearly in mind when he sat down to design the next-generation model to replace the popular Island Packet 44. He drew the boat for a long-range cruising couple who’ll have occasional friends aboard but will also enjoy long passages on their own. For the owners, there’s a spacious forward cabin with an island queen and a head with a separate shower that judge Tim Murphy deemed best in show.
In the saloon, settees on either side double as seats for the fold-down bulkhead-mounted table and as sea berths when under way or as spare bunks in port. A well-organized galley sits to starboard of the companionway, with racks for dishes and storage cabinets galore. Just forward is a full-size nav station with a swivel office chair. To port, a second head and shower sit just forward of the entrance to the athwartships aft cabin.
The extended transom of the 460 provides a large, deep locker that earned praise from judge Stacey Collins. All necessary sail-control lines lead to the aft cockpit, where an amidships helm seat offers a comfortable perch for the helmsman. Handholds run well forward of the mast, where mast pulpits on either side provide sailors with a work area for hauling halyards. On the bow, an all-business Muir windlass and rollers await far-off anchorages.
As the breeze built toward double digits, so did the 460’s boat speed, hinting that day after day, this workhorse of a cruising boat would deliver solid 24-hour runs.
- The 460’s versatile sail plan includes an in-mast furling main, a staysail on a Hoyt Jib Boom, and a roller-furled genoa.
- This Island Packet carries encapsulated lead ballast in a full keel.
- With tankage for 260 gallons of water and 160 gallons of fuel, the 460 is ready for long-range voyaging.
To access CW’s complete 2009 Sailboat Show and Boat of the Year contest coverage, click here.