The hull of the Island Packet is moulded as a single unit of fibreglass laminates consisting of alternating layers of hand laid mat & triaxial roving saturated with vinylester & polyester resin. Triaxial roving is a fibreglass reinforcement that provides certain structural benefits compared to conventional woven roving materials. A solid fibreglass (vs. cored) laminate is used for all Island Packet hulls because of its superior impact strength & resistance to puncture, factors of vital importance to the cruising sailor.
The exterior finish of the moulded fibreglass hull is made up of PolyClad;a gelcoat & laminate process above & below the waterline which has resistance to osmotic blistering & which exhibits superior gloss & colour retention qualities.
The deck utilizes a cored laminate construction for the advantages of lighter weight, increased stiffness & improved insulation. The entire deck, cabin top & cockpit are moulded as a single unit with hand laid fibreglass laminate. The contrasting tan colour coarse diamond slip resistance areas are integrally moulded with the deck in a two step gelcoat application process.
The interior construction method should not be confused with 'full liner' systems in popular use. Major structural interior assemblies in the Island Packet are bonded directly to the interior hull surface, whereas a 'full liner' typically has substantially less direct structural bonding. It is more labour & material intensive to build an interior using the structure grid, as in the Island Packet, but it produces one of the strongest, most reliable assemblies available.
The deck to hull assembly is one of the most important steps in the construction of a yacht. The method applied by Island Packet is simple, strong & reliable. The hull is moulded with an integral flange turned inward around the entire perimeter of the hull. The deck is first fastened to this flange with 3M's 5200, a resilient urethane adhesive sealant that, when cured, provides a strong bond. Stainless steel bolts, washers & lock nuts are also used every six inches to assure a secure hull to deck fitting. The joined area is then covered with a teak cap and side rail bedded in the same sealant. The cap is screwed in place through both deck & hull adding further to the strength of the joint.
The rudder is made of two fibreglass half 'shells' & a solid stainless steel shaft with a welded blade interlocking with a core of high density, structural grade urethane foam. The rudder is supported by three bearings. The middle bearing is built into the hull immediately above the rudder, is a combination packing box & bearing. The upper bearing is bolted to the cockpit sole & is visible inside the helm seat base. A bronze locking collar supports the rudder vertically just above this bearing with low friction plastic thrust washers minimizing friction. The bottom of the rudder has a welded stainless steel heel strap engaging the bottom of the rudder & running to the lower aft end of the keel. This strap serves well as a deflector for lines & debris as well as the bottom bearing, adding additional strength to the entire rudder assembly. The Island Packet 460 is equipped with a console mounted rack & pinion steering system. This direct drive system has been engineered to provide exceptional feel & reliability.