1985 Island Packet 31

Kemah, Texas, United States
$46,000 USD
Condition: Excellent

I am putting my Island Packet 31 Cara Mia up for sale…

Location: Kemah TX

HIN NUMBER: TDL31073C585 YEAR BUILT / MODEL: 1985 / 1985 HULL NUMBER: 31230 OFFICIAL NUMBER: 685107 (coast guard documented)

Recent survey July 2019

Extensive amount of work has been done to get her as close to factory as possible. She has just had all of her teak redone and has been buffed and waxed 8/25/20

Not a ton left to do other than the chain plates eventually…as a maintenance item. Recent survey mentioned this should be looked into eventually…as anyone who knows IP knows.

All amenities of home!

Brand new handrail and cockpit combing covers.

Brand new mast anchor & stern light both with led bulb

All LED bulbs throughout inside the boat

Brand new mast wind indicator

Teak and holly floors just sanded and varnished in satin 4 coats total

Stairs just completely redone, sanded/varnished in satin

New lid on the starboard side water tank (port side is in excellent condition, starboard side was leaking a little bit, so we replaced)

The entire toe rail was resealed when the sanding/varnish was done 6mo ago. Stainless rubrail removed…all screw holes filled, any deterioration of the wood was cleaned, dried & filled with west system six10 epoxy

Brand new Island Packet logo placards on the port and starboard cabintop, purchased from IP direct

Too many projects done to list here…

Equipment: 16000 BTU cruisair (2 ducts…1 in the v-berth and 1 in the main salon)

Marine refrigeration…cold plate, set to 30 always, works fantastically

Pressurized hot and cold water throughout

Brand new 25GAL holding tank, installed…unused

All new cockpit drain hoses

Brand new Yanmar 27hp 3YM30E with only 53hrs on the engine (previous owner professionally repowered)

Garmin speed, wind and autopilot

70 GAL fresh water tanks

25 GAL fuel tank

4 Fenders 1 50 Ft. 125V 30A Shore Tie Cable 1 Swim Ladder 1 Aft Pulpit Mounted Magma Stainless Steel Cooker 1 Aft Pulpit Mounted Edson Outboard Mount 1 Aft Toe Rail Mounted Stainless Steel Outboard Davit 1 2003 Mercury 8M Outboard, S/N 0T752782 1 Set Cockpit Cushions 1 Ritchie Powerdamp Compass 1 Raymarine ST60 Speed 1 Raymarine ST60 Wind (Speed inop) 1 Raymarine Depth 1 Raymarine ST6002 SmartPilot 1 Standard Horizon VHF 1 Sony AM/FM/CD Stereo (Speakers bad or inop) 3 Aluminum Telescoping Boat Hooks 1 Integral Bow Sprit w/ Anchor Roller Assembly 1 Mid Mast Mounted Deck Light (Inop) 1 Spare Econo-Fluke Anchor, @ 10 Lb. 1 Cockpit Mounted Fresh Water Sprayer (Leaking fitting in locker) 1 Xantrex True Charge 10 Amp Battery Charger (Unwired/Spare) 1 CruisAir 16,000 Btu A/C Unit w/Reverse Heat 3 Bulkhead Mounted Weems & Plath Lantern 1 Mastervolt ChargeMaster 12/25-3 Battery Charger 1 Xantrex Digital Echo Charge, 12/24V 15A


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Robert K. Johnson
Island Packet Yachts
Island Packet Yacht Owners
# Built
Also Known As


Length Overall
34 3 / 10.5 m
Length On Deck
31 0 / 9.5 m
Waterline Length
31 0 / 9.5 m
10 11 / 3.4 m
2 11 / 0.9 m 4 0 / 1.2 m
11,000 lb / 4,990 kg
4,500 lb / 2,041 kg

Rig and Sails

Reported Sail Area
530′² / 49.2 m²
Total Sail Area
530′² / 49.3 m²
Sail Area
238′² / 22.1 m²
33 11 / 10.4 m
14 0 / 4.3 m
Mast Height
43 6 / 13.3 m
Sail Area
292′² / 27.2 m²
39 6 / 12 m
14 9 / 4.5 m
Forestay Length
42 2 / 12.9 m

Auxilary Power

Fuel Type
Fuel Capacity
25 gal / 95 l
Engine Hours


Water Capacity
70 gal / 265 l
Holding Tank Capacity
6 3 / 1.9 m


Hull Speed
7.06 knots
Sail Area/Displacement
good performance
stiffer, more powerful
Comfort Ratio
coastal cruiser
Capsize Screening
better suited for coastal cruising


From BlueWaterBoats.org:

The Island Packet 31, designed by Bob Johnson, founder of Island Packet Yachts, was the most risky and the most successful of the Island Packet lineage. Styled as a traditional cruiser but with more than a hint of broad hulled ‘catboat’ in her appearance, around 262 were produced between 1983 and 1989. She has the simplicity, roomy interior and shallow draft of the catboats, used for transport and fishing around the waters of the New England coast, as well as the wide ‘codhead’  hull.

The Island Packet 31 doesn’t come cheap for a 31 footer. Her huge interior and solid construction are a big part of her allure, notwithstanding the good name that the Island Packet Yachts brand has built. Not everyone is a fan of her unusual design but she’s considered to be a comfortable classic liveaboard yacht, particularly in shoal waters. Opinion is divided on whether she’s truly an offshore cruiser.


In 1979 in Largo, Florida, naval architect Bob Johnson, having designed boats for a number of years for other outfits such as Irwin and Endeavour, decided to set up on his own and began building small boats under the company name Traditional Watercraft Inc. In 1980, modifying old molds from an out-of-business Bombay Yachts, he created the Island Packet 26. The boat was marketed as the Mark I, Mark II and eventually the Island Packet 27 and was quite a success. In 1983 Bob took a leap of faith and put the company on the line essentially, in a time when many yacht builders were struggling to stay in business by designing the Island Packet 31 from scratch. His leap ended gracefully in 14 orders for the IP31 at the U.S. Sailboat show in Annapolis and saw the beginning of a seven year production run which only ended in 1989 with the advent of the Island Packet 32.

The excellent resale value of the Island Packet 31 on the used boat market reflects not only the popularity of the boat but also that of Island Packet Yachts. Over the years Island Packet have earned their place amongst the top producers of cruising yachts, not only for their proven designs but for the apparently outstanding level of customer service and support which they provide. It appears that no man with an Island Packet yacht is an island.

Configuration and Layout

Most Island Packet 31’s come with a double-headed sloop rig but 10% have the plain sloop rig that apparently works well with a 150% genoa. The quirky looks are bestowed by an almost perpendicular stern, short overhangs, sweeping sheer and a stubby bowsprit as well as the broad beam she carries almost throughout, with her maximum 11′ 6″ beam forward of amidships. On deck the flat expanse of cabin roof, full length hand rails and wide side decks make working safe and easy. The cockpit is generously sized at over 7ft but really too big for serious offshore sailing.

Inside, she’s light and airy and has the accommodation of a much bigger boat. There are some clever features such as the folding door/fold down chart table combo which can be used to close off the double quarter berth aft. Plenty of headroom above, a generous sized head, several hanging lockers and a full size wrap around galley fill out the plentiful available space.

Design and Construction

Island Packet market traditional designs married with modern construction techniques and although not a heavy boat, time has proven the IP31 solidly built. Island Packet use their own unique product, Polycore, for coring the deck and it appears to have stood the test of time with no reports of delamination. Although liners are used for the interior opinion has it that they are sensibly installed, leaving access to the bilges and other critical areas.

Below the water she carries Bob Johnson’s full foiled keel, a hallmark of Island Packets. It’s essentially a fin keel but stretched lengthways fore and aft into a long keel in a nod to enhancing performance while preserving a shallow draft. As a result draft is only 4′ and around 10% of 31’s were built with centerboards, reducing the draft to 3′ feet. The keel is not fastened to the hull but an integral part of it and according to Bob Johnson is something that’s at the heart of an Island Packet.

Under Sail

Like the catboat, the Island Packet 31 is not renowned for her windward performance. Not unexpected with her unusual volume distribution and large wetted surface area. However, thanks to her short bowsprit she can carry a decent amount of sail and with her long waterline she’s apparently capable of reaching at 6 knots. She’s well balanced with good directional stability but not very responsive. Owner’s report that she’s easy to single hand and is stiff enough to carry maximum sail in up to 20 knots. Light air performance is disappointing. Other owners report an unpleasant slow rolling motion under sail, particularly in chop, thanks to her large roll angles.

Buyer’s Notes

Island Packet 31’s are not cheap and their excellent resale value on the used boat market means they usually sell fairly quickly. A current search of the used boat market reveals prices from 45,500 to 67,800 US dollars depending on age and condition. Buyers should note that the Island Packet 31 is challenging to manoeuvre under power, particularly in reverse. A few incidents of blistering have arisen but there are no major problems with this boat.

Links, References and Further Reading



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