2004 Island Packet 370: During most of the year 2004, we had discussed
the purchase of a new boat and while on the annual cruise to Mexico with the
Island Packet 350, a decision was made to place the deposit.  However, when
we flew back from Mazatlan, the boat in mind and previously inspected had
been sold. "But we have others" quoted the dealer. Therefore, a deposit was
placed on the above depicted boat which was a year old and had been in the
custody of a dealer in Texas and unsold. This was done since there was a
long waiting list for the IP370 and when the boat arrived in late January of
2005, it was in reasonably good condition and was detailed out well by the
dealer.  When the fuel water separator was removed, we were startled to note
that it was a solid lump of black goo due to algae in the fuel tank apparently
due to the warm weather in Texas and lack of a suitable diesel additive.
Otherwise, we have no real complaints in regards to the condition of the boat.
Prior to the final agreement, the author had proceeded to Mazatlan and
delivered the IP350 to the dealer for survey and afterwards, was given an
offer  within the parameters of the Buc which was accepted.

Since the writer has been quite busy installing the equipment, we have not had
a chance to compare the performance of the IP370 versus the IP 350
however, the 370 appears to be about a knot faster under sail and somewhat
faster under power using the same percentage of horsepower.  There is
considerably more room in the IP370 with the exception of hanging lockers,
the IP350 had three, the IP370 only two but the shelves in the aft cabin locker
can be removed for three  hanging lockers.
The boat in question is equipped with the Yanmar 56HP 4JH3 BE  which is
more modern and more fuel efficient than the 38 HP Yanmar 3JH installed in
the IP350 thus giving it a longer range using the same amount of fuel.  One
problem is that the engine is tightly compartmented obviously because design
engineers do not maintain boats, this function is for others. Changing the oil is
a tedious business, the filter is located in such a position that only one hand
can reach it, the left hand with the arm fully extended.  So far, the author has
been struggling manfully with a filter wrench to remove said filter and has
been entirely unsuccessful to date.

After some thought, a screwdriver with a 15" shaft was broken out and with
a sharp rap with a hammer, the filter was loosened and on examination it was
noted that it had been rusted onto the engine and as a matter of fact the face
plate of the filter contained a considerable amount of rust.  On subsequent oil
changes, the inside of the wrench and out side of the filter  were lined with
masking tape making removal much easier and as a matter of fact, hand
tightening of the filter was sufficient for leak stoppage. The algae in the fuel
tank was removed with some fuel additive.

We have now completed our first cruise in our new Island Packet 370 and
found the vessel to be an outstanding sea-boat as demonstrated in our upwind
passage of Baja outside during March of 2006. The boat has ample power,
fuel and storage capacity for such a cruise and as a matter of fact storage is a
shining star, we have empty lockers even though we keep the dinghy stored in
the cockpit locker.  We are second Island Packet owners so have been able to
now compare this vessel with our first IP, an IP 350, owned for seven years.  
The IP  370 is somewhat faster both under power and under sail as compared
to the IP 350, however, its forte is bashing and crashing to windward in 25
kts of wind and eight foot swells.  These same conditions on a reach
necessitated reefing several times as the boat accelerated to hull speed.  
Further, we have received excellent service and support from the dealer
Suncoast Yacht and Charter.
EQUIPMENT
Counter
S/V Marie at anchor Turtle Bay, Baja, Mexico.
November 2005
S/V Marie on rack for bottom paint, Baja Naval October, 2009
S/V Marie departing CYM Marina Chula Vista for Mexico 10-1-09.