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Old 25-01-2013, 11:28   #16
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I have owned my Irwin 43 for the last 12 years and have traveled the length and breadth of the Great Lakes. My wife and I travel about 1200 miles each summer and have many adventures in seas as tall as 8 feet on a regular basis. The boat has a 7ft keel which makes port navigation in the Great Lakes a challenge but the boat goes to weather in style. The accomidations are fabulous with the 2 state rooms at opposite ends of the vessel and the arrangement makes traveling with other couples very desireable. Kathy often cooks a turkey while sailing between Sanilac and Bayfield Ontario. My daughter and niece along with my wife are my predominate crew and they have enjoyed many hours under sail as well as in ports along Michigan, Ohio and Canadian Shores. The vessel sails easily on auto pilot and with the large sail plan is fabulous the breeze aft of beam. The biggest plus is that the entire deck is walkable without obstruction.

We have replaced the main with a doyle stack pack and replaced the 25 year old head sail last year with a roller furrled 30% head sail. My bride and I sail alone often and for baby boomers we are still able to watch the weather and handel the canvas.

If your on one of the Great Lakes and see FreeBird comming into port, feel free to stop over and visit.

Randy and Kathy Fryfogle

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Old 03-02-2013, 07:30   #17
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
I am a surveyor and Irwin owner. It is true Irwin's were price point boats but I have compared them to Pearson's, Bristol's, Morgan's, Endeavor's, Ect. They are not bad boats like most boats of this age they have some problems. Irwin's joiner work is not great and there are some issues with different models. The glass work is heavy so that is a good point. they cut corners in some places such as not always bolting hull deck joints but rather used a lot of screws. Most things can be fixed without too much trouble. Any production boat should be gone over and improvements made if you are planning a world type cruise. This will be true for any boat not purpose built. So you get what you pay for if you want to spend big bucks you can get a ready to go boat or you buy a production boat and do the modifications needed to make her ready. It has to be remembered that few builders build for world cruising as 99% of their customers were coastal cruising. This is still true today. Learn, look and ask questions but you will surely get mixed opinions here. I will point out I sailed my Irwin to Bermuda this summer, had some hull deck leaks but she is a 30 year old boat nothing that cannot be fixed. I would take this boat around the world what more can I say.
Wayne, I can;t send you a Private Message. Can you contact me re: Surveying?

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Old 04-02-2013, 19:57   #18
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I owned an Irwin 42 center cockpit in the late 70's and had trouble with the hull oilcanning below the waterline, the bulkheads not being properly fastened to the hull, the sheet tracks not being thru-bolted, the fuel and water tanks not being properly fastened, and several other issues. I also heard of some Irwins transoms coming apart in the Carribean, and heard about many lawsuits. From my experience I wouldn't recommend an Irwin for anything but coastal cruising and living aboard (which I did very comfortably)
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Old 04-02-2013, 22:23   #19
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Boat: I have been from 8' sabot to a 65' Ketch. I am over the Norsea 27 and looking for 50'+
Posts: 49
Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I have seen more than a few and some out of the water....the interesting thing were the ones out of the water. Where the stands were place the hull indented and not a little. The larger 52's and 65's were ok before 1984, after that I wouldn't touch one. I had a business partner who picked up a 39' cheap, when he took the ceiling down to replace the chain plated his arm stuck to the hull....the resin never cured! I wouldn't take one around the world, but hell Cal 25's have made it and I would take that either. Although an old Cal 25 is 3x the boat any Irwin is.
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Old 13-12-2016, 09:00   #20
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Thanks SailVayu, this info really helps!
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Old 26-12-2016, 16:00   #21
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Boat: Irwin 43
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Over 5 years we went about 5,000 miles, traveling from Los Angeles to Bocas Del Torro in our 1985 Irwin 43. So this would be coastal cruising.......and our irwin has served us well. We had no structural, or mechanical problems during our trip.

If you want to sail in the sea of japan, or down around the cape, don't buy an Irwin. But if you want a good sturdy boat that is comfortable to live on, buy an Irwin.

This is what I learned during our 5 years:

1) Your success and enjoyment while cruising will depend more on your sailing, and maintenance skills than the boat.

2) Buy a boat that is comfortable to live on, especially if your boat is your home.

3) Don't listen to the windbags on these forums that pretend to be boat experts, Go to the marinas and talk with real boat owners and cruiser.

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Old 21-01-2017, 16:10   #22
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Boat: '87 Irwin 43
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Bought my 1987 Irwin 43 (frankly on the recommendation of TugTubPaul during a phone call spring of 2015) and couldn't be happier after 18 months ownership. Anyone considering buying an Irwin should talk with actual Irwin owners, you know - the folks that actually know what they're talking about - from experience. You can find a better built boat than an Irwin 43...maybe...but plan to spend well over a quarter million$$$.
Check out Irwin Owners on Facebook. Get the real answers.

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