Island Packet SP Cruiser: Builder's Response

Bill Bolin, VP of Island Packet Yachts, responds to Alvah Simon's review of the SP Cruiser in Cruising World's March 2007 issue.

SPCruiserBuilderSt

New Lewmar electric sheeting StoWinches, mounted belowdecks on the Island Packet SP Cruiser, make it easy to trim sails from the helm station.

True to the article's note that our engineers have refined other Island Packets to the smallest detail, the SP Cruiser benefits from the same approach. The model sailed by the CW BOTY judges last fall was hull number one, delivered with little lead time to the Annapolis Show. While all new Island Packet models usually require some minor tweaks, the dramatic departure in design of the new SP Cruiser has generated a few more than usual and a number of changes and improvements have since been added to every hull. Among the items commented on in the boat review, we have:

1. Extended the life rails aft to the stern and added a gate on each side;
2. Improved windward performance with a better jib-sheeting system and a new boom; the yacht is now quite impressive to weather, sailing at just less than half wind speed-in up to 12 knots of wind or so-and self tacking in under 90 degrees;
3. Added Dorade guards to both Dorade vents

On current production we've also:

1. Added a bin in the aft cockpit beneath the single electric winch to better organize lines;
2. Added an additional hand/grab rail at the companionway/helm area;
3. Relocated cabintop handrails for easier access
4. Confirmed motoring range and speeds to be in excess of earlier estimates-at 8 knots the yacht should have enough fuel to travel over 850 nautical miles, and at 6 knots, over 1100 nautical miles.

I should also add that the new Lewmar electric sheeting StoWinches®, developed specifically for this project (as shown in the photo) have now been sea-trialed and proven. The winches make this yacht that much more user-friendly not only to older sailors looking to stay in the sport longer, but also highly accessible to new sailors wishing for simplified sail controls and increased enjoyment of sailing in general.

Bill Bolin, Vice President
Island Packet Yachts