Prep for Island Packet Yachts Refit Program

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We have decided to send our yacht back the Island Packet Yachts Factory in Largo, Florida, where she was built 20 years ago! We will have the factory upgrade her and refit her with newer fittings and better systems. But first, how we got here…

Our last days on anchor for this second year of full time cruising were in Sarasota Bay and then at De Soto National Memorial. While in Sarasota, we spent another great night with good friends, Debbie and Craig.

Then we moved on, as scheduled, to Palmetto where we planned to prep for trucking to the factory. That is right, we will be hauling out our boat onto a tractor trailer which will then drive it over the highway 34 miles to the factory. This is no small feat, but first we need to prep it for trucking. That will be another blog post…

So, off we went from Sarasota Bay to ….HELLO TAMPA BAY with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge off in the distance.
We then anchored in the Manatee River off De Soto National Memorial site and explored the visitors center and trails. De Soto was CRAZY as his quest to find GOLD had him land here and walk to GA, SC, NC, AK, then to TX and eventually bail out down the Mississippi to the Gulf and then to Mexico. Along the way, he and his men were killing anyone and everyone that got in their way searching for Gold. This beach is where some historians think he first landed in Florida. 

That is Island Spirit right off the beach, enjoying our last night at anchor. Moving off your boat…IN MAY….seems odd, but that is what we are doing…
While here, we popped our last bottle of Champagne to celebrate our wonderful year aboard. We went from Rock Hall, MD to Long Island, Exumas, to Abacos to Florida to Lake Okeechobee to here on the Manatee River. What a great year it has been!
Yes, we may have gotten a little HAPPY that night, as champagne hits us hard 🙂
The next day, the work began. We moved to the docks at SNEAD ISLAND BOAT WORKS where we began to tear down the boat. Notice all the sails and canvas and dinghy, etc., are in place. 
It all has to GO!
We boxed all the lockers: Tools, Spare Parts, Safety Locker, etc…This took about 6 boxes.
This is the van loaded for trip #1, boxes and cushions and seats. Off to storage.

We always flake our sails on the deck, just like you would have to do if you were at sea. This is a good skill to learn, plus the sails do not get grass or dirt on them as when done on shore.

All boxes were hoisted to the deck then offloaded to the ground then loaded into the van and driven to the storage unit, a climate controlled unit that is!
This is what your boat looks like when you empty the SAIL LOCKER into the cock pit. WOW, that locker really holds a lot of stuff. All empty, since the factory guys will need to work in this locker.

This is the van with all the dock lines, 10 life jackets, water jugs, fuel jugs, etc! This is load #2 to the storage unit. We rented a 4 x 5 space for all this gear.
We knocked it out on Day One and busted our tails. Look, all sails, and the canvas enclosure are off. All sheets, lines and the stack pack are also off!

Tomorrow, we have a surveyor arriving at 0900 to give us a condition and value survey and to point out any and all items that should be addressed by the factory refit team. This also was needed as we will be picking up a Florida Insurance policy since we will, this year, be in Florida DURING hurricane season which is June to November.
After this, we have the dinghy to derig and the mast to pull, then the yacht will be hauled and power washed and placed onto the truck. We truck out on May 22. Wish us continued good luck!
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0 Replies to “Prep for Island Packet Yachts Refit Program”

  1. Nothing, absolutely nothing short of totally amazing!!! Perhaps you two should be running this country! Hope all goes well, and I'm sure it will based upon your thorough preparation.

  2. Hayden and Radeen,

    I guess this says it all: there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats….

    Good luck and hope to see you on the water sometime this year.

    Pat & Deb

  3. Island Spirt returns to its birthplace.

    I'm sure you'll be amazed at all the stuff that eventually comes off of the boat. Hope the weather is not too hot yet for this type of work.

    See ya soon.

  4. Excellent journey.

    We sailed vicariously through Island Spirit this year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    See you on the water in the future.


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