Get to Know the Island Packet 349
The new Island Packet 349 has just been named "Boat of the Year" in two categories by Cruising World Magazine! The new sailboat bows to the traditions of a great boatbuilder while offering new boat buyers the latest in design-build technology. The new model represents 40 years of continual innovation and evolution in cruising yachts. Perhaps, the biggest key to this design is the full foil keel which you won't find in any other brand this size. What it affords is safety and stability when making passages. Unlike other yachts in this range, the integral keel and hull structure provides a worry free platform for sailors. Throughout, instead of plywood, the builder has used Coosa board which is a foam-fiberglass composite that is stronger and lighter!
The standard sail plan is called a "solent" style sloop rig. The 90 percent jib is fitted with a Hoyt boom that acts like a vang for the jib as well as making it very easy to handle from the cockpit. This design also allows for a reacher type sail forward of the jib that enhances the performanc in lighter winds and off wind sailing.
The interior of the 349 features two staterooms at either end of the boat. The forward stateroom is considered the master as it has private access to the head. You will also find a dressing seat and hanging locker plus a pullman berth with storage underneath. The stern stateroom is a double berth with ample space and storage for a boat of this size. The saloon really makes great use of the available space with fold up tables that opens the entire interior up. The galley is well thought out and purpose built for a cruising couple. With room for 6 people to sit down to eat, owners are sure to hear, "what is the length of this boat?" As it feels much larger than a 35 foot cruising yacht; more like a 40 than a 35 footer. Headroom in the cabin is 6'5'.
Do you like custom boats instead of cookie cutter designs? If you order before a build begins you can specify gelcoat color, interior wood and a choice of colors for corian countertops. Throughout the boat, you will find upgrades; like, stainless steel ports, dove-tail drawer construction, fiberglass water and waste tanks, choice of woood or synthetic wood for exterior, bow thruster and 110 amp alternator. The design does not scrimp on tankage either, with a 55 gallon fuel tank and a 100 gallon water tank.
Cruising World first named the 349, the 2019 Domestic Boat of the Year. One of the most signifcant nods to the boat by the editors was the quality of the glasswork which reflects the level of professionalism the brand has continued to represent throughout the years. "One of the most well-built boats we inspected in 2019," related one of the reviewers. Cruising World did not stop there though. They also awarded the boat, "Best Mid-Sized Cruiser under 38 Feet," even though it competed against all the big name brands in this category.