September 2012 Issue
PS Boat Review: Island Packet Estero
Island Packets new shoal-draft cruising sailboat keeps it simple.
Florida-based Island Packet targets a relatively narrow niche, so the toughest competitors to its new boats are often older Island Packets. Introduced in 2010, the 36-foot, shoal-draft Estero is the companys latest attempt to introduce a distinctive model that doesnt stray too far from the companys proven formula for success: moderate displacement, full-keel cruisers designed to be lived on, sailed far and in comfort, and endure the bumps, scrapes, and storms that cruising boats inevitably encounter. After sailing the Estero on Floridas Sarasota Bay and inspecting its interior, construction, and systems, Practical Sailor testers noted that the shoal-water cruiser will appeal strongest to Island Packet fans whove been waiting for a shoal-draft, easy-to-sail boat that compares to the IP37 in terms of interior space. These strengths will be most apparent on intracoastal or riverine adventures like the Great Loop.
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