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ward to include the area between the aft-head door and the nav station, the sole is fiberglass. This trades off a little of the cozy teak glow below for an utterly practical easy-dry, easy-clean zone so crew descending the companionway needn't bring their salty, wet clothing into the living quarters.

The arrangement caters to the predominant American cruising complement—roomy accommodations for two couples in a pair of sumptuous and private staterooms, each with an offset island double berth.The saloon settees could easily be commandeered if needed for sea berths, and the starboard one converts to a double in the event of a large tribal gathering.

The master stateroom is forward, and it offers a splendid retreat for a couple bent on spending extended periods aboard. The "bathroom," for such it is, is laid out for ease of use, and the shower stall, set across the full width of the boat forward of the berth, dispels any thought ofhaving to traipse to the marina facility in search of elbow room. Amid the copious stowage space, a hanging l ocker—cedar lined, of course—accommodates shore clothes of different lengths on "front-and-back" rails, while boat clothes can go in drawers, also cedar lined. Linens and blankets stow under the bunk.

Aft, guests are only slightly less spoiled—they just don't have as much rumble room over the foot of the bunk, and they might ask for a little more to hold on to when using the aft head on port tack.

The sometimes overlooked f actor of stow age can b e a crimp on cruising in style, but not aboard the IP 440. Voluminous lockers and bins abound, especially in the sa-

loon, where they beckon from behind and beneath the saloon settees and under the floorboards, in the spaces in the massive structural fiberglass liner pan that underpins the furniture. Even if some of these are requi s itioned f o r add-ons like air-conditioning or a watermaker—the optional generator has a designated spot under the nav station's bench seat—plenty will remain for food, spares, and

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Storage is also a big feature in the galley, which is a focal point of the boat. It occupies a high proportion of the interior, every inch of it is practical and functional, and seagoing contingencies have been addressed. The large, four-burner Force 10 stove has lots of swinging room, and so too does the cook; the top-loading fridge/freezer's Corian-clad hatch latches closed, and gas struts support it when it's opened so it can't fall onto the cook's fingers; the double stainless-steel sinks are inboard to encourage them to drain on either tack.

Island Packet makes no concession to the styling opportunities other builders exploit through the use of artfully shape d deadlights in the coachroof sides, instead choosing the safety quotient o ffe re d by stai n l ess-steel -

framed opening ports. These provide both daylight and ventilation and are supplemented by overhead hatches fitted with OceanAir screens and privacy shades. When these all have to be battened down, three dorade vents allow air to circulate, and they too can be sealed in extremis.

Comfort is also a companion in the cockpit, whe re deep coamings support backs and lend a sense of security. They also accommodate large, lidded bins to store and conceal the numerous line tails, of which the staysail alone contributes three, with its outhaul, sheet, and furling line. A helmsman's throne houses the top end of the rudderstock, and access to the Lewmar Cobra steering linkage is gained through the storage lockers in the cockpit seats. These are so deep and spacious, however, that the less nimble would appreciate the aid of a ladder to plumb their depths.

Because Island Packet expects its boats to go to sea, security on deck is a priority. A broad teak caprail covers the raised deck perimeter and is an integral part of the hull/ d eck j o i nt. Hi g h life lines guard the perimeter, and stainless-steel handrails run the length of the cabin top, complemented by the guardrails on the dorades and pulpits on either side of the mast. Th ough th ese we re a littl e close to the mast for working the winches in comfort, they're a welcome sight, the more so for being standard issue even when all the sail controls have been led to the cockpit. In the cockpit itself, four folding padeyes provide anchor points for harnesses.

For many cruisers, the sailing part is all the more enjoy able when the adrenal gland isn't on a hair trigger. The attraction is the romance of the gypsy life, and the boat is a means of living it while experiencing different places from an otherwise unattainable perspective. Island Packet has for 26 years delivered cruising boats that inspire confidence offshore with their solid construction, provide a relaxing sanctuary in their well-appointed interiors, and offer sailing p e rfo r mance commensurate with meeting these other objectives. Adherents and aspirants, take comfort: From its integrally molded anchor platform to t h e swim platf o r m i n th e transom, the 440 fulfills that set of cruising requirements with typical Island Packet thoroughness.

Jeremy McGeary is a Cruising World contributing editor.

Jeremy McGeary is a Cruising World contributing editor.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.

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