A Little Something New from IP

Before heading off to the first of the winter's boat shows, CW's Mark Pillsbury takes note of Island Packet's new 36-foot Estero, a new English boat builder, Saturn Yachts, and a sweet little daysailer from Fairlie Yachts. "Past the Spindle" from our January 8, 2008, CW Reckonings

Island Packet Estero

The new Island Packet Estero looks a lot like its cream-colored sibling, only smaller.Courtesy Of The Manufacturer

As I sit down to write my first post of the new year, Newport, R.I., is covered in a nice fresh coating of ice and I'm packing my bags and heading off to a couple of Europe's better known boat shows. I believe the expression is: "It's a good time to get out of Dodge."

But first: While most builders these days are sticking to the credo "Bigger s better, Island Packet Yachts is headed in the other direction with the Estero, a 36-footer named after an island on the west coast of Florida.

According to the company's newsletter, the new design-and soon to be smallest of the fleet--is a response to potential owners looking for a smaller boat. The Estero will feature a sloop rig with a self-tending jib mounted on a Hoyt jib boom, full keel, and overall, it looks, well, like an Island Packet. It has the trademark molded bowsprit and anchor roller, swim platform aft, and one can reasonably guess that it will sport a cream-colored gelcoat.

Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |Entertaining will take place in the saloon, forward of the mast.|

Below decks, the Estero is something different. The saloon is forward of the mast, with U-shaped seating embracing a drop leaf table. Amidships, you'll find the nav station, head, and galley, with a quarter berth just aft of the nav station. To port, aft, is the owner's stateroom.

Be among the first to write a check and you'll save 10 percent off the
$298,950 base price. Look for hull number one to launch around about April
and for the new boat to turn up at boat shows in the fall and next winter.

In England, meantime, a former yacht importer has apparently decided the time is right to strike off on a new tack and has formed Saturn Yachts to do just that. A temporary web page announces 47-, 55-, and 70-foot bluewater cruisers will be available soon. Legend has it they were designed by Bill Dixon and are being built in Taiwan. Hopefully, there'll be more on these boats at the show in London.

Courtesy of the Manufacturer| |This is one sleek looking daysailer, but beauty comes at a price.|

Another boat I hope to see in between tea times is Fairlie Yacht's new Sundowner daysailer, designed by Paul Spooner. The boat's built with wood and epoxy laminates, with deck and cabin crafted from a range of hardwoods. The freestanding mast is carbon with a wood veneer. Below, there are four bunks and a head. You may feel your upper lip stiffen when cough up $370,000 for this little beauty. But as they say, "it's only money."