Island Packet Yachts

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Island Packet Yachts is a United States-based builder of sailing and motor yachts. They are based in Largo, Florida. The incorporated name for the company is Traditional Watercraft, Inc. Production facilities are located on nine acres of ground with 125,000 square feet (11,600 m2) of covered manufacturing space in central Pinellas County.[1]

According to the company's website, the name Island Packet Yachts is a subsidiary of Traditional Watercraft, Inc., founded by naval architect Bob Johnson. Johnson is currently CEO and owner of the company.[2]


After earning his master's degree in naval architecture from MIT in 1967, Johnson did a brief stint with McDonnell-Douglas in California working in their missile design department before heading to Florida where he joined Irwin Yachts as a plant supervisor. He also worked on several cruising and racing designs for Irwin before leaving to join Endeavour Yachts as head designer. In 1978 he left Endeavour to build yachts of his own design, beginning with a sharpie sailboat known as the "Lightfoot 21".[citation needed]

When the Bombay Trading Company, another Florida boatbuilder, went bankrupt in 1979, Johnson bought the molds for the Bombay Express, a 26-foot (7.9 m) cruising sailboat. Modifying the yacht's interior, sailplan and underbody, Johnson produced his first yacht and called it, very simply, the "Island Packet". The name stuck and soon every model was known as an Island Packet. In most cases, the size designation followed "Island Packet".[citation needed]

Today, over 2,200 Island Packets have been built and can be found sailing throughout the world. Known for Johnson's modern interpretation of a traditional full keel (he calls it the Full Foil Keel) the range of models is recognized by their shallow draft, spacious accommodations and rugged build.[citation needed]

Island Packet models have won several industry awards over the years, including seven Cruising World magazine "Boat of the Year" awards and three SAIL magazine "Best Boats" awards. Johnson is also the recipient of the 1999 "Industry Award for Leadership" presented by SAIL magazine.[citation needed]

In mid April 2016 Traditional Watercraft was acquired by Hake Yachts who will build Island Packet, Blue Jacket, and Seaward yachts in the Largo Florida facilities.[3]


  • Sailboats (chronological order of introduction)[citation needed]
    • Island Packet (26 Mark I) -1980
    • Island Packet 26 (Mark II) -1982
    • Island Packet 31 -1983 - 1989
    • Island Packet 27 -1984 - 1995
    • Island Packet 38 -1986 - 1995
    • Island Packet 35 -1988 - 1995
    • Island Packet 32 -1989 - 1995
    • Island Packet 29 -1990 - 1995
    • Island Packet 44 -1991 - 1995
    • Packet Cat (35) -1992
    • Island Packet 40 -1993 - 1995
    • Island Packet 37 -1994 - 1995
    • Island Packet 45 -1995 - 1995
    • Island Packet 350 -1996–present
    • Island Packet 320 -1997–present
    • Island Packet 380 -1998–present
    • Island Packet 420 -1999–present
    • Island Packet 485 -2002–present
    • Island Packet 370 -2003–present
    • Island Packet 445 -2004–present
    • Island Packet 440 -2005–present
    • SP Cruiser -2006–present
    • Island Packet 465 -2007–present
    • Island Packet 460 -2008–present
    • Island Packet Estero -2009–present
    • Island Packet 360 -2011–present
  • Powerboats
    • Packet Craft (36) -2001–present
    • PY Cruiser -2006–present

See also[edit]



  • Sail Magazine July 2006 Pgs 64 - 67
  • Heart of GLASS, Fiberglass Boats And The Men Who Made Them by Daniel Spurr pages 244 - 250
  • PHRF of Southern California
  • "Full Keels and High Tech", Sailing Magazine, September 1992, John Kretschmer
  • The Island Packet 31", Practical Sailor, September 1991, pages 28–32
  • "Bob Johnson: a love affair with boat design", Florida Business/Tampa Bay, June 1987

External links[edit]