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Old 28-04-2010, 16:11   #1
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38' Irwin MKll

Anyone know anything about these boats? Late 80's vintage.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:35   #2
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Originally Posted by Bluefuss View Post
Anyone know anything about these boats? Late 80's vintage.

Surprised no one had posted... Not exactly on point, but FWIW here were comments on an older 42/43 that is similar (interior) to the 38:

Should be no shortage if information on the Irwin 43’ for the purposes you intend – I believe those were exactly what she was designed to do… I lived aboard a 42’ for some years – no raised poop-deck, smaller aft cabin than a 43’ but a huge lazaretto and the more or less standard Irwin underbody and sailing qualities…

Pluses of the type: Generally very forgiving under sail and power; like a freight train on a beam-reach (but then so are most boats) roomy and spacious below decks for its length; fiberglass generally average or above average for the era; luxurious head/shower availability for a boat this size; galley reasonably useful underway, but sink under side-deck on the 42’s only drained well on one tack; accommodates dinghy davits very nicely; good separation between owner and guests; overall a decent quality vessel if it has received a modicum of care.

Minuses: The hull liner is a bear to work around for almost anything one wants to do; the engine “room” (at least on the 42’ was more like a dungeon – reasonable access with the panels off, but not a place you’d want to inhabit indefinitely while in a seaway; no genuine sea-berths, although the settees could serve the purpose with weatherboards; anything electrical is suspect – on my 42’ eventually replace the entire 110volt and 90% of the 12volt items (see hull-liner comment); thru-hulls (at least on the 42’) seemed to have been purchased from the lowest bidder, check carefully; not all deck hardware inspires confidence – for instance the use of snap-shackle snatch-block for turning blocks on the heavily loaded 5/8”+ jib sheets; overall the manufacture, hardware and assembly seemed not quite at the level of the design.

Overall: A pretty good boat for what I used it for; coastal/Bay sailing and liveaboard… was never cramped below with a couple and two dogs, as well as occasional long-term live-aboard guests… the ketch rig is entirely manageable short handed without furling gear, although most will have it. Even the shoal draft model (mine was a centerboard, but I rarely dropped the board) pointed well, and could pinch up remarkably when I needed to -- and it has to be one of the easiest boats of that size to dock… bow sprit makes anchor handling a breeze, wide decks are confidence inspiring… the amount of Plexiglas and (seemingly) undersized standing rigging would keep me out of the high-latitudes (but of course the mere thought of it suffices, so not a big deal). Overall, a secure and comfortable vessel, worthy to contemplate for what you have in mind …

Worry: misuse of imagination…
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