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Old 27-04-2012, 11:03   #1
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RE: Irwin 43 Mk II

Anyone here have opinions and/or experience with an Irwin 43 Mk II ? Would she make a good world cruiser ? Is her overall construction and systems up to the task of such a voyage ? How does she handle in the open ocean when the weather turns bad ? And so on ...
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Old 27-04-2012, 12:10   #2
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I know a man that had a center cockpit model,(are they all center cock pit ?) and I thought it was a great boat from my limited time on board ...It had a flared and high bow and free board that made for a dry ride ..It has a very large interior for a 43 footer and was pretty beamy..It had sailed most way round the world when I met her in the carribean and the capt. said she was designed for world crusing..had a lot of storge space and was very comfortable and didnt pound or hobbyhorse to bad ...this boat was made in the 80s but I saw on the net that they also made a model in the 70s.... good luck and I think they look good even if it is a center cockpit...LOL.....DVC
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Old 27-04-2012, 17:50   #3
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

We purchased an Irwin 43 in 2009 for our adventure. So far we've gone about 2,000 miles from Los Angeles to Cabo, into the Sea of Cortez, we are now in Zihuatenejo.

We purchased the boat for the same reason that many people buy Irwin 43's. The layout is great, the boat is built like a tank, it sails well, and they tend to cost less than other boats of their size. When we purchased our Irwin we updated all the systems, reset all the ports, and added modern electronics.

It always comes down to what you really plan on doing........if you want to take off at any time and sail anywhere in the world....north pole, south pole I would not suggest an Irwin. If you are planning on sailing around the world and want a comfortable ride, buy an Irwin.
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Old 16-12-2012, 22:30   #4
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

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Originally Posted by TugTubPaul View Post
We purchased an Irwin 43 in 2009 for our adventure. So far we've gone about 2,000 miles from Los Angeles to Cabo, into the Sea of Cortez, we are now in Zihuatenejo.

We purchased the boat for the same reason that many people buy Irwin 43's. The layout is great, the boat is built like a tank, it sails well, and they tend to cost less than other boats of their size. When we purchased our Irwin we updated all the systems, reset all the ports, and added modern electronics.

It always comes down to what you really plan on doing........if you want to take off at any time and sail anywhere in the world....north pole, south pole I would not suggest an Irwin. If you are planning on sailing around the world and want a comfortable ride, buy an Irwin.
Why would you say its perfect for sailing around the world, but not for sailing anywhere in the world?

(PS...newbe here)
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Old 16-12-2012, 23:27   #5
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

The Irwins were built on the cheap, and are well known for construction defects. That is why they are lower priced than boats of a similar size. That is not to say that they won't make it around the world--it just means that you will spend more time and money in boatyards as you go.
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Old 16-12-2012, 23:47   #6
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The Irwins were built on the cheap, and are well known for construction defects. That is why they are lower priced than boats of a similar size. That is not to say that they won't make it around the world--it just means that you will spend more time and money in boatyards as you go.
So far I've learned that this can be said about every production boat produced since 1970 as I hear this about Hunter's, Morgan's, Irwin's...

Am I close?
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Old 17-12-2012, 00:14   #7
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I sailed halfway round the world in company with an Irwin--you could see daylight under the cap rail (which leaked copiously) and the entire bow peeled back coming up the Red Sea. Those weren't maintenance issues, they were builder's defects. Not to mention they were good for about 4-5 knots when we were doing 7.
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Old 17-12-2012, 07:17   #8
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

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I sailed halfway round the world in company with an Irwin--you could see daylight under the cap rail (which leaked copiously) and the entire bow peeled back coming up the Red Sea. Those weren't maintenance issues, they were builder's defects. Not to mention they were good for about 4-5 knots when we were doing 7.

OK, that's better.

Do you remember which Irwin and year? How old was the boat when she sailed?
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Old 17-12-2012, 08:39   #9
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The Irwins were built on the cheap, and are well known for construction defects. That is why they are lower priced than boats of a similar size. That is not to say that they won't make it around the world--it just means that you will spend more time and money in boatyards as you go.
I almost bought an Irwin 43 once. Didn't know how it sailed but the price was "right". What stopped me was my surveyor who refused to even look at it. He would not be party to me considering that boat.

Having said that, I've seen I43s in some pretty remote places in the S Pacific and they suffered with problems, leaks, broken stuff, etc.. no more or less than what the internet experts consider to be "the best".
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Old 17-12-2012, 09:38   #10
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Thanks, and what a shame, as I have seen some very nice Irwins offered. Wonder if this is just going to be "how it is" with any boat in this price range.

Any feedback on boats that I should be looking at?

Anyone have opinions on a Bayfield?
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Old 22-01-2013, 04:20   #11
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

We've been cruising now for just over two years in our Irwin 43, the comments that Irwins are not seaworthy and are poor boats is just plain wrong. You will find Irwins in ports all around the world. As with any boat, find one that is/was well maintained and it will serve you well.

When we purchased our boat, I read a lot of the negative posts on this site, I was a bit worried. After owning the boat for two years, I now realize the negative posts are by people that have no idea what they are talking about.
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Old 22-01-2013, 06:58   #12
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

Or your boat was built in the middle of the week...

Here's the deal: Irwins are, like many Pearsons of similar vintage, the Chevrolets of the boating range. If you sail conservatively, or you are a liveaboard, or you daysail or weekend cruise, you might not notice the problems. You might be the beneficiary of a good week, a new supervisor in the factory, or a decent crew who built "the good one". But reputations are built on aggregate reports, and I have never heard that Irwins were, in terms of build quality, any better than average. An '89 Irwin 38 that had been south in charter came loose in a ship channel here a couple of years back. Despite hitting a wall lined with tires and other "informal" gear you'd expect to see in a big ship slip, it was bashed to hell along the stern quarters and the hull/deck joint after clipping a bow of a tour boat. It didn't look good, or even properly impregnated. The story and more pictures are here:

The world encompassed: Remember, it's November: a late haulout and a near miss




While it would be foolish to paint all of them with the same brush, I have not heard much to alter my general impressions. As with Tartans, which used to be well-regarded and now seem to have slipped, reputations are pretty dynamic concepts sourced by crowds.
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Old 22-01-2013, 16:32   #13
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

I don't think anyone would put an Irwin 43 in the class of a Hylass 44 or Outbound 44 with regard to build quality and structural integrity. Irwin's were built for fair weather, low latitude sailing, which is what most cruisers end up doing. We plan to do a trade winds circumnavigation in ours.

With regard to the pictures of a beat up Irwin.........you can find pictures and stories of the best boats having problems.....when a J boat drops a rudder or keel the comments are, must have been some really nasty weather. When this happens to a Morgan, Irwin, Endeavor....etc. ... the comments are,,,,,what a piece of crap boat. I've seen an Island packet where one of the bulkheads was connected to the hull with a few screws.
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Old 22-01-2013, 17:14   #14
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

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.
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Old 22-01-2013, 18:30   #15
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Re: Irwin 43 Mk II

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