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Old 20-07-2004, 11:46   #1
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opinions on Irwin

Im in the market for a boat for a family of four to liveaboard and sail to Europe, Carribean, Alaska etc for an undetermined length of time. We have a low budget (who does't) and are looking to spend wisely. I see a lot of Irwin center cockpit boats in the 40- 50 ft range at a decent price. Any opinions on this boat?
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Old 20-07-2004, 14:59   #2
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Talking Yo Orca !

Give a holler abut Irwins to Irwinsailor and JeffH. Both sides of the spectrum there. Myself-I am prejudiced. Cascade all the way ! Give a Google or two to Cascade Yachts. I think you'll be surprised.
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Old 21-07-2004, 05:21   #3
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Depending on the specific year and model, as a rule the bigger clipper bowed series of Irwins were poorly built and have mediocre sailing ability. They were generally optimized for reaching in moderate conditions and really do not sail well at the lighter or heavier ends of the wind range.

During the discussion with Irwinsailor, I had a chance to talk to a number of people who owned, managed, or captained these boats. These were not terribly robustly engineered or constructed boat and the one theme that I kept hearing was that they seemed to require multiple multi-$100K refits which occur with a fair degree of regularity throughout the boat's history.

Most of these boats are well over 20 years old and so starting out poorly engineered, need a lot of very expensive reworking. Probably the biggest issue that would concern me is fatigue. These were very flexible boats and over time that creates a lot of fatique in the fiberglass. Irwin tended to use a lot of non-directional laminates to build up thickness quickly, and these are especially prone to fatigue and point load issues.

So my conclusion is that big Irwins are a cheap way to get a liveaboard boat with a lot of room but are not the kind of offshore boat that you seem to be looking for. I would suggest that you look at boats like the Kelly-Peterson 44-46 cutters for a contrast.

Jeff
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Old 21-07-2004, 08:12   #4
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Im in the market for a boat for a family of four to liveaboard and sail to Europe,
Try a CSY 44, they were built much better than the Irwins.

In fact the #1 CSY hull was built by Irwing, but the quality was so poor that CSY spent millinos of $ to get out of the contract with Ted Irwing, then set up their own yard in Tampa and started builidng the boats themselfs to higher standards.

An old and tired CSY 44 center-cockpit can be had for as low as $60K, and well maintained one for twice that.

For more info check this link http://www.turtlebones.com/forum/

For any questions on CSY boats, sign up for the csy "list" on www.topica.com
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Old 21-07-2004, 13:09   #5
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I love my boat and would buy it again in a heartbeat. But my boat is a very custom Irwin. It will go anywhere and it has been many places and proved itself. I know little about the factory built Irwins. However I have seen many Irwin boats for sale all over the world. How did they get there?
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Old 21-07-2004, 14:26   #6
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However I have seen many Irwin boats for sale all over the world. How did they get there?
Why are so many Irwing boats for sale all over the world..?..
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Old 22-07-2004, 05:22   #7
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That is because Irwin built over 6000 boats. If I were to want to buy a CSY I'm sure that I would not have a problem finfing one for sale.
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Old 22-07-2004, 05:27   #8
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"Irwin boats are for sale all over the world. How did they get there?"

Pick one;

A) As deck cargo
B) In pieces
C) As a heavily modified version of the original
D) Thru luck and good seamanship dispite the boat's problems
E) They didn't, it was an optical dillusion
F) No answer, it is considered rude to answer rhetorical questions
G) All of the above



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Old 22-07-2004, 06:26   #9
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This will be my last post on his because it will go down hill from here. Jeff has made up his mind on my boat and never seen it. I love my boat and would not trade for Jeff's or CSY'S boats. If Irwin made only junk boats why are there so many around? Some of the Irwins are getting close to 40 years old. And can be found everywhere. Good luck with whatever you buy.
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Old 22-07-2004, 07:01   #10
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Just for the record, I have not made up my mind on Irwinsailor's particular boat. As he notes I have not seen it and it is extremely modified from a stock Irwin. So much so, that Irwinsailor says that it no longer is an Irwin. (But if it is not an Irwin, then why does he call himself 'Irwinsailor'? Just curious.....)

(That said, I am of the opinion that it is impossible to repair a fiberglass boat that has had a fire of the type described by Irwinsailor as happening to his boat without adding weight. The heat reduces the strength of the resin, fiberglass and the bond between them. While a similar strength can be achieved by adding more glass, that strength comes at the expense of additional weight which robs carrying capacity, performance or both.)

I have made up my mind about stock Irwins after discussing them with owners, marine surveyors, and people who have skippered or managed them. My conclusion pretty much matches Irwinsailor's opinion expressed in an earlier post of his after he was aboard a stock Irwin. They were poorly engineered and constructed.

"If Irwin made only junk boats why are there so many around?"

A lot of them were sold for precisely the same reason that Hunter and Catalina sells so many more boats than the quality builders of the world. Irwins offered a lot of room for not a lot of money.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 22-07-2004, 11:20   #11
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Jeff just to clear something up here, I have never been on another large Irwin. But I will say that a stock Irwin is not built as well as mine. I said nothing about "poorly engineered and constructed" I would look at buying a stock Irwin I do not think they are as bad as people say. Why are they holding thier value as well as they are while they are aging? Well I'm done now I just wanted to make sure that I was not miss quoted.
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Old 22-07-2004, 12:24   #12
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Well Mr. Irwinsailor, maybe ya feel better after reading this article:
Under "Best Offshore Cruising Boats", an Irwin was listed in the 30' to 40' category and another Irwin in the 50' to 60'' cat.
The author is a boat designer, or is it called naval architect?

http://www.johnsboatstuff.com/Articles/best.htm

Around the waterfront however the Irwins have a horrible reputation for lack of build quality...The issue of no backing plates/thru-bolts on hardware, inferior grade materials, including metals etc keep coming out. (Black Iron bolts and tanks...?.)

However, quite a few Irwins have been "upgraded" to higher standards by owners, so many of the factory shortcomings have been fixed. Hence a higer price could be requested than a stock "Production" Irwin.

I see quite a few Irwins here in Ft. Lauderdale, and have been on 'em many times, local deliveries, haul-outs and all that...Never sailed one or manitained one, so I have no personal experience in that regard, but for all the rumors and talk about Irwins: No smoke without fire...
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Old 22-07-2004, 12:41   #13
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The Catalina 27 is a popular boat, it sails well in light and medium air. They resell well. One has sailed around the world. The rudder is a disaster, the hatch is too large and slopes forward, the hull flexes when supported by stands, the deck is too narrow to walk forward and the keel is not that good. Sometimes the better product sells more units, sometimes there are other reasons. The Prindle 16 is a better boat than the Hobie 16, the units sold would prove otherwise. BC Mike C
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Old 22-07-2004, 15:38   #14
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Talking Hey Orc !

Didn't I tell ya ! Am I psychic or what ? Never mind the " or what". I figgered something like this would " go down " !As ya can see, everyone has an opinion on different boats and quality there-of. Personally, nothing REALLY exists except Cascades. They be the " TRUTH". I thumb my nose at alla these guys.
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Old 23-07-2004, 02:39   #15
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I really think I got the best deal here. She's solid oak and it only cost be a buck at the local landfill. Just had to install a motor.






Over and standing by............................._/)
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