The Island Packet 38 Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Island Packet 38, a long-keeled aft-cockpit cutter, was designed by Bob Johnson and built in the USA by Island Packet Yachts.

'Blue Pearl', an Island Packet 38 sailboat at anchor in Five Islands Bay, AntiguaAn Island Packet 38 cutter. Note the club-footed furling staysail and the four dorade vents providing good ventilation below.
Island Packet 38 sailboat, accommodation planThe accommodation plan provides for a spacious Pullman berth forward of the main salon along with another double berth below the cockpit

Published Specification for the Island Packet 38

Hull Type: Long keel

Hull Material: GRP (Fiberglass)

Length Overall: 38'0" (11.6m)

Waterline Length: 33'0" (10.1m)

Beam: 12'8" (3.9m)

Draft: 5'0" (1.5m)*

Rig Type: Cutter

Displacement: 21,500lb (9,752kg)

Designer: Bob Johnson

Builder: Island Packet Yachts (USA)

Year First Built: 1986

Year Last Built: 1993

Number Built: 188

Owners Association: Island Packet Yacht Owners Association

* A centreboard version was also offered with a board-down draught of 7'7" and 4'0" with it up.


'Ermelind', IP38, sailing'Ermelind' sailing under headsail only

An Island Packet 38 for sale

Location: New Bern, North Carolina USA

Asking Price: $124,000

Published Design Ratios for the Island Packet 38

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 18.1

  • Less than 16 would be considered under-powered;
  • 16 to 20 would indicate reasonably good performance;
  • Over 20 suggests relatively high performance.

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 46.5

  • Under 40: less stiff, less powerful
  • Over 40: stiffer, more powerful

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 267

  • Under 100: Ultralight
  • 100 to 200: Light
  • 200 to 275: Moderate
  • 275 to 350: Heavy
  • Over 350: Ultraheavy

4. Comfort Ratio: 32.7

  • Under 20 indicates a lightweight racing boat
  • 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser
  • 30 to 40 indicates a moderate offshore cruising boat
  • 40 to 50 indicates a heavy offshore boat
  • Over 50 indicates an extremely heavy offshore boat

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.8

  • Under 2.0 (the lower the better): Better suited for ocean passages
  • Over 2.0: Less suited for ocean passages

read more about these all-revealing numbers...


Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Island Packet 38

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 18.1 suggests that the Island Packet 38 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 46.5 means that the Island Packet 38 will stand up well to her canvas in a blow, helping her to power through the waves.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 267, tells us the Island Packet 38 is a moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. Most of today's sailboats intended for offshore cruising fall into this displacement category.

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 32.7 suggests that crew comfort of an Island Packet 38 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.8 tells us that an Island Packet 38 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Other sailboats in the Island Packet range include:


Recent Articles

  1. Used Sailing Equipment For Sale

    Feb 02, 23 04:07 AM

    Here's where people with sailing equipment for sale advertise their stuff entirely free of charge. If you're looking for used sailing gear or other used boating accessories, here's where to find it!

    Read More

  2. 'Sea Wraith', a Hustler 35 Sailboat for Sale

    Jan 21, 23 08:28 AM

    The Hustler 35 sailboat is a hugely capable classic offshore cruiser. My 'Sea Wraith' has recently had an extensive mechanical and equipment refurbishment to ensure she is absolutely ready to take on…

    Read More

  3. Popular Cruising Yachts from 50-55ft (15.2m to 16.8m) Length Overall

    Jan 11, 23 09:07 AM

    Large, well-equipped cruising yachts of this size can cross oceans in relative comfort and speed, but you'll need deep pockets to operate and maintain them.

    Read More