Motorsailors as a family are the consummate hybrid class, the manifestation of a deep-seated desire from boaters to have it all; sail and power. Many designers and builders have taken on the great motorsailor challenge with varying degrees of success.
Some have been so heavily skewed on the spectrum toward the trawler that the sail rig feels more like a token effort, while others are simply sailboats with a boxy trawler-esque cabin. Not so with the Bob Johnson-designed Island Packet SP Cruiser, winner of the National Marine Manufacturers Award for Innovation an Sail magazine’s best Boat’s Award for Innovation years back when it broke onto the scene.
An example of the 41’ Island Packet SP Cruiser is the 2007 model Abby Normal. With a certified Category A – Ocean rating and a simple, cruiser-friendly sloop rig, she’s has much of the sailing good sense that come with the Island Packet family.
Unlike purebred sailboats, the SP Cruiser has that large raised pilothouse for a real trawler experience when under power (110 horsepower on Abby Normal). The cockpit and stern feel more trawler-esque as well. A great feature is the horseshoe-shaped lounge forward of the pilothouse, the place to be when it’s nice out.
Abby Normal is ultimately an endorsement of the build, thanks to what her previous owners have accomplished. The retired duo punched out of work for the last time and lived the boating dream with two cruising summers in Alaska.
Reportedly when the wind wasn’t blowing, they lived happily as a trawlers at 8 knots, sipping fuel at less than 1.5 gallons per hour.
After spending some time back on the homefront in Elliott Bay, they cruised down to Mexico just the two of them. When it was time, they looped back home via Hawaii. What better testament to a boat is there than a story like that? Abby Normal is ready to do it all again, listed at $299,000 with Marine Servicenter.