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Old 01-11-2007, 08:56   #1
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Comments on Irwin 44?

The search continues-
OK, I've heard a lot of bad stuff about Irwin's (and they are always classified as a 'coastal cruiser', which is not exactly what we want)- but have also met a few adventurous people who were very happy with theirs. It is because of the information I HAVE found on the INTERNET that I have been avoiding them - but my wife came across one and fell in love...

I have not heard many particulars on the Irwin 44' or Irwin's built around this time (1989). I found one design review on line, touting it as a cruiser for two couples - but not much information that helped persuade me one way or the other. Anyone heard anything about this particular model, or this model year? Numbers seem pretty good for a general cruiser, hull seems sound , draft seems kind of shallow for the offshore cruiser that the broker claims her to be, she has an electric swim platform that I am not too keen on, seems well kept, very little gel coat crazing...and,of course, the price is right.

Any information would be helpful - and yes, before our final decision we will consult a surveyor.


Thanks,
Ed
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Old 02-11-2007, 21:13   #2
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Just had a Irwin 52 surveyed in Houston/Clearlake area, and was beyond overjoyed with the boat and surveyor. If you need a referral to an outstanding surveyor, drop me a private note, more than willing to recommend him.

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Old 03-11-2007, 06:27   #3
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Irwins are considered coastal cruisers because that is the standards they were built for and the price point they wanted to hit. Most sailors are coastal sailors. The only serious problem with them is the age. Age takes it's toll on every boat and requires extra budget to fix things along the way.
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Old 03-11-2007, 10:25   #4
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We sailed from Thailand to Israel in the company of an Irwin 40. It successfully made the voyage, but it did have some structural problems from time to time along the way. That being said, they made it up the Red Sea, and that's saying a lot. The last 750 miles are to windward and are a severe test for any yacht.

An Irwin wouldn't be my first choice because of its construction, but it all comes down to what the yacht is going to be used for. If you are going to be sailing in mostly sheltered waters, it could be an adequate yacht for those purposes.
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Old 03-11-2007, 21:46   #5
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I owned an Irwin 44 and cruised the East Coast and Bahamas for several years of full time living aboard. She is a great coastal cruising boat and space for living and storage and guests is great. Sails well (but not a race boat) and shoal draft is great for a boat this size in the islands and keys.
She is NOT an offshore capable boat. Don't even think about it.
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:20   #6
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Sailed and lived aboard a 42 center-cockpit on and off for about 8-9 years… fiberglass work was as good as most, few blisters compared to many pricier boats and rather genteel, if ponderous upwind, sailing qualities… Ultimately, I never took her on an extended voyage, but the rigging seemed more designed to the bottom line than force 10 – inshore I popped mizzen jumper stays and one shroud – no harm done, but port was nearby. Over time I replaced almost every electro/mechanical system on the boat (by then the boat was nearing twenty years old, so this isn’t totally unexpected…).

The 42 has some large unprotected Plexiglas that would need some sort of a shutter arrangement – don’t think the 44 is as vulnerable there and there were few cabin handholds or seaberths… However, overall, I rather liked the boat – just not its size -- despite some nagging negatives. The rigging is easy enough to upgrade if one is so inclined, but the fact that the interior is a series of seemingly impenetrable liners was a constant frustration to me… Could a 42 (and by implication, others of this ilk) be used for offshore work – yes, so long as one is inclined to thoroughly upgrade the rigging and the like… straight out of the box, I’d be quite reluctant – and I thought about it quite a lot when I had her…
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Old 08-11-2007, 14:00   #7
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I appreciate all of your responses - this Irwin seems very nice, but it has been marked off the list. We are looking at a 46' Bristol right now - not the roomiest, but seems very capable . TampaBayFireman - I still may get that surveyor's info from you, if that is OK.
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Old 08-11-2007, 19:46   #8
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Done, in your mailbox. I will say, after talking to the owner of the boat I am buying, and seeing the response to a good survey, I am a firm believer in a good surveyor. The prior owner stated his survey was 2 hrs long a few yrs ago, and the one I had done took 14 hrs. Not surprising the difference...
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Old 08-11-2007, 20:44   #9
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texward, In the long run you will probably be much happier not to mention safer in the Bristol if that works out.
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