I can testify firsthand that the center cockpit
Irwin 44 is a piece of junk and has no business ever going more than 30 miles offshore
I had to be rescued by Coast Guard helicopter 160 miles offshore
in the dead of night when the Irwin 44 I was helping to deliver started to fall apart in a storm in the Gulf Stream
I knew the minute I stepped foot on the boat that I had no business going offshore in it, but in an almost deadly lapse of judgement, I went anyway. And everything we said could go wrong with this boat offshore did.
The standing rigging
is extremely inferior and totally incapable of withstanding the stresses of offshore sailing. When a shroud
parted, we jury rigged a line down the broken shroud
to a track and car on the deck
, back to a winch
. After a few hours, the un-backed track started pulling out of the deck
, so now we had a gaping 18 inch tear in the deck that was pulling open every time the rig flexed in a wave.
There were no hand holds below deck in a 14' beam boat, no hand holds on the companion way steps, no positive latches
on any of the cupboard doors, no lee cloths or boards on any bunk or berth on the boat, a front loading fridge mounted fore and aft with no fiddles so that when you needed to open it while on port tack, everything fell out. OK, so we can only eat while on starboard tack - it's a new diet fad! Lazarette covers on deck were just drop-in with no latches
or hinges of any kind attaching them to the boat. They had to be duct taped shut to go offshore. Propane
locker cover had a hinge on one side, but no latch , no weatherstripping and no drain, so it filled with water
the minute the seas kicked up (and the tanks
were not secured, just set in, so they floated free and banged around when the locker filled with water).
I could go on and on, but you probably get the picture. These boats were made to sit in a boat slip or calm harbor on a mooring
, and be used as an island hopping floating condo. If you need to move it, put it on a ship! You would have to put so much money
into one of these boats to make it viable offshore that it becomes cost prohibitive. There are too many affordable, well-built offshore boats out there to even consider buying
one of these and trying to shore it up.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!