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Old 02-02-2013, 23:21   #1
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Want to Sail

I have been on this cruisers & sailing forums on and off, trying to figure out how to post on the right subject...I work for NOAA, engineer..since 05,up in seattle,,now down in newport,or.well anyway I bought an 63 Irwin 28 ft. fixer upper...about 3 years ago..been sailing and trying to put her back together and I want to sail her down to mexico....everyone in my family thinks I am nuts...The boat is in good condition..except I took the engine out because it was toast...I will get my chance to do full time work on her once I get off in april...I have her on the hard so I can do it right.I will not replace engine. I have an 15hp motor on back to get in and out of I nuts to do this...

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:11   #2
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Re: Want to Sail

Good luck on your project. Hope all goes as planned.

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Old 03-02-2013, 08:15   #3
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Re: Want to Sail

A 15 hp outboard on the back of a 28 foot boat should be more than adequate.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:39   #4
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Re: Want to Sail

It aint NUTZ...hell dude, just get out there and give it a shot! Whats the worst that could happen? You die, but we all do that eventually. At least ya didnt die in a marina from a heartattack, while sipping a cocktail, and regreting ya never sailed anywhere far and away from your home port.

You get ONE life, either live it as you want, or go lay down somewhere and cover yourself up with dirt
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:13   #5
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Re: Want to Sail

You will save yourself much cost and maintenance by leaving the old inboard out. The trade off is that you will have times when life will be more difficult because an outboard hanging off of the back will submerge in rough conditions. You will need a windvane or if you decide to go with an auto pilot you will need a good way to charge batteries. I took out a dead diesel from a 26 footer and tried a British Seagull on the back, and after about the 40th time it submerged, I gave it a decent burial and carried on. Make sure you have a good light air headsail in your inventory. Look up the thread in seamanship and boat handling about anchoring with a dead engine and you will learn a lot. You asked about being crazy? Not going and wishing you had is crazy. Be sensible, but go for it.____Best of luck to you._____Grant.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:40   #6
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If money is not an issue I would put a new diesel in. The only way I would forgo it is if you really need the space for storage of you tender or some such.

You plan sound good, I would take he on some long weekends and live aboard for at least a week or two before going on the trip. That way you can work out some of the kinks.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:54   #7
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Re: Want to Sail

I'm guessing the engine you took out was an Atomic 4 if it was the original 1963 engine. If that's the case, it would be easy to replace it with a Universal diesel using the same mounts, and they can be had without a huge cash outlay. You'll find that a small diesel will be a far more versatile engine than a transom-hung 15 hp. Is the 15 hp engine a long shaft? Some folks have found that sailboat transoms are not sufficiently reinforced for a 15. That's a lot of weight in a place that wasn't designed for a lot of weight.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:43   #8
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Re: Want to Sail

I would probably put a reliable 4 stroke 10hp. with alternator on the back. Likely the transom on a 1963 boat is way over-built. that said, it would not be a bad idea to reinforce the inside of the transom with 3/4" ply perpendicular to the transom in the outboard area.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:32   #9
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Re: Want to Sail

Yes if you go outboard, definitely add some reinforcing for the outboard mount. The motor, in use, pushes forward at the bottom of the outboard mount, and pulls back at the top. It isn't jsut a straight ahead push. Use really wide backing plates inside the transom to spread the load.

Your outboard will sometimes get submerged, but other times it will be coming completely out of the water when you are pitching in choppy seas, so you have very little power and very little control. Also there is the issue with gasoline. With an outboard you either have a very very small alternator, or none at all. No power takeoff, either. But it does free up a lot of space down below. Most engineless boats have a fairly nice aft cabin or at least a low overhead double berth that you can crawl back into.

A new diesel like the Beta (kubota tractor engine) or Universal, installed, will cost you around $8k. If the boat is work $2k, give it a miss. If the boat is worth $12k, it might be a worthwhile upgrade. A used diesel you might find for a few hundred bucks, and install yourself with a lot of time, sweat, and knuckle-busting. A really nice small used diesel can be had for a couple grand.

Then, there is electric. Don't laugh. It is a good option when all you need a motor for is getting in and out of the marina. 4 D4 type batts in series and a 6kw motor and controller ought to give you an hour or so at 3/4 hull speed. Just remember each battery is approx the weight of one more adult on board. Downgrade to group 29 if weight is an issue, and you don't mind about half the batt capacity. See the Thunderstruck website and also the Cloud Electric site. And FWIW kw/hrs are cheaper than gallons of fuel.

If you go with an outboard, I suggest making provisions for storing it below while in a passage. Use a halyard or topping lift to support the weight while you jockey it around, and tie a safety leash so if stuff breaks and motor drops, iot doesn't taka a voyage to the bottom of the sea. Happened to me once. I felt like an idiot, plus I had no motor.
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Now with clean, dependable electric propulsion!
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Old 04-02-2013, 18:45   #10
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Re: Want to Sail

The family who think you are nuts, are they parents, siblings, or wife and kids? Different consequences. Just remember that landlubbers have no concept of the pull of the sea for those of us who spend their lives on the water. Parents fear for their children, Grandparents, for the grandkids.

IMO, the size of the vessel is not the problem at all. My concerns would be with the structural fitness of the Irwin for going to sea. For example, if you can, compare the layup of your both with a Yankee 30 or Newport 30. Pick up some texts on naval architecture, where you can read more about the forces involved. Where you're talking about going is past some well-respected capes--Flattery, Mendocino, where the 45 knot gale lives, and even Conception. Two Union 36es were lost in different years off Cape Mendocino, probably before you became interested in sailing.

The ocean is sometimes kind to dreamers, but those dreamers who do their homework fare better, IMO. It can be scary. When the waves are higher than your spreaders, if the boat's flexing a lot, not nice at all, even if you survive it.

Good luck with it. But strengthen the boat's weak bits first!

Ann Cate, asv Insatiable II, lying Little Sandy Bay, Hobart, TAS, Australia
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Old 24-02-2013, 19:17   #11
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Re: Want to Sail

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Many folks convert to an outboard as the less expensive alternative and the ease of removal for any hardcore repairs. I had a friend who took out his Atomic 4 and installed a 7.5 Honda on the stern of his Columbia 28 that did everything just as well and used less gas. He did need to install solar panels to produce electricity though.
kind regards,

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