How an Island Packet and Seaward Yacht Sailboat is Built

HH Over Motu

How an Island Packet and Seaward Yacht Sailboat is Built

If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know that we sailed across the Pacific Ocean to French Polynesia (The Marquesas, The Tuamotu’s & the Society Islands) then Hawaii, and back to San Diego, CA in our 1996, Island Packet 37 cutter rig sailboat.

When we returned home, we sold our sailboat and purchased an RV.  After traveling across the United States, Canada, and Alaska, we wanted to find out more about our Island Packet Yacht and decided to travel to the factory in Largo, Florida. We initially purchased our sailboat from Suncoast Yachts in San Diego, CA and we were impressed and thankful we decided on the safety of an Island Packet.

This mini-documentary How an Island Packet and Seaward Yacht Sailboat is Built explains our experiences at the factory which includes interviews with employees from engineering, gelcoat, parts, and metal fabrication, the plant manager, and the Island Packet Yachts owner, Darrell Allen. During the tour, there were several yachts being constructed including a Seaward 26RK, the Island Packet 349 and others were on deck.

First, we experienced the gelcoat application followed by the fiberglass layers. We also met the metal fabrication expert and lead engineer. Many employees have worked at Island Packet for 10 to 35 years and some even worked with their own family members for 3 generations.

The steps to build an Island Packet Yacht include:

Design and Engineering


Gel Coat



Tankage and Chainplates

Rudder installation

Structural floor grid

Wood mill and materials

Interior assembly

Deck assembly

Decking Detail and

Quality control

Ready for transport

The TOP TEN Safety Features of an Island Packet Yacht:

1. Full Foil Keel/ Integrated hull and keel (one piece)

2. Protected propeller and rudder

3. Hand steering in the seat in case of emergency

4. Hole in engine compartment for fire suppression

5. Rudder with hole for emergency lines to pull rudder back and forth

6. Cockpit size enables safety underway

7. All lines and halyards got to the cockpit

8. easy to reef mainsail due to in mast furling system

9. Anchor windless can be controlled from the helm or forward

10. Hand pump at helm for the bilge

More: Resistance to capsize

Direct Steering system: geared rack and pinion steering

Cream color gelcoat for ease on the eyes

Sturdy hand holds throughout

Immediate anchor access; tangle free ground tackle storage

Two anchor bow rollers

Made in America

Salpeda wood is standard with Cherry and Teak options


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The following is a list of the safety features we review in this video:

Rack and pinion steering

Emergency tiller steering

Safe, tight cockpit

Continuous cockpit seating/lounging

Stainless steel, safety “D” rings in the cockpit and galley

Locking hatch boards Sea Safe® anchor rollers

Foot controlled windlass at the bow

Cockpit controlled windlass

Glassed in, stainless steel chain plates

Up to 14 stays on the mast, including twin back stays

Emergency rudder steering

Full Foil Keel ® with skeg rudder

Triaxial knitted laminate integration

All controls leading to the cockpit

Stainless steel, in-house fabricated hand rails throughout (interior and exterior)

Slip resistant, diamond shaped deck floor

Safety glass

Fuel and water tanks at mid ship

Easy access to the engine

Oxygen deprivation hole to the engine

Bronze flange sea cocks that are thru bolted, double clamped and labeled

Made in America

High stanchions and lifelines

Low center of gravity

High quality ports and hatches

Oversized mast and boom

Closed in transom with molded in swim step

Abundant storage to safely put away gear and provisions

Solid wood grooved cabin sole for grip

Exterior lighting at gates and cockpit

Fiddles on countertops in galley and head

Island Packet ivory deck color, which is easiest on the eyes when at sea.

Check out our the beginning of our sailing journey to Baja, Mexico.

Looking to purchase an Island Packet Yacht?

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2 thoughts on “How an Island Packet and Seaward Yacht Sailboat is Built

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