We also took out the centerboard
. Frankly the boat goes to weather
so badly any gain from the centerboard was just a joke. The jib
lead angles are so open that on any other boat it would be jib
reaching not beating. So any extra gain from the centerboard was minimal since the boat doesn't point anyway.
The big Irwin's frankly are not upwind boats. Up to around 20kn the boat tacked thru 100-110 degrees. But with the big engine
and massive fuel
we typically just put up the main to steady the boat and powered upwind. On a reach in over 15kn the boat was well behaved.
Basically the Irwin
54' is a pretty bad sailing boat, but offers a lot in exchange. The boat is very well behaved, never rounds up, and because it's so heavy sails
pretty flat. On a reach the waterline allows for decent speeds, but it won't go upwind, and for a dead run there isn't enough sail area (an asymetric off the bowsprit
would be a wonder however).
The upside however is that the boat is very livable. Lots of space, lots of storage
, plenty of room for even large gear
like scuba tanks
(we carried 8), dive compressors, water
surfers, paddle boards, water
ski's, sailing dingy, 14' boston whaler... The boat was named Stuff for a reason.
So long as you can live with the marginal sailing ability of the boat the Irwin is fantastic.