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Old 10-06-2024, 12:12   #31
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Location: Idaho, Seasonally in FL or cruising.
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

NoviceSailor,

Starting your saiing life on a bigger boat is biting off a lot, but it has been successfully done.

One example--the YouTube channel for Sailing One Life. Their passage from Florida to the Bahamas was the 6th time they had sailed their boat, or something like that. You might watch those first several episodes.

My story is somewhat similar.

Wife and I bought a Hunter 41 in Jan 2022, in Central Florida. The 6th time we sailed her, we crossed to the Bahamas.

Now, each of us had a lot of experience in smaller sailboats, so we know the basics of sailing. And we had good buddy boats.

We still learned a lot of things the hard way. (We drug anchor at night on a lee shore in high winds. Fortunately, we had discussed the situation and implemented our plan flawlessly, and re-anchored successfully. Kept an anchor watch the rest of the night. )

Two seasons later, everything is a lot more comfortable. But I still cringe about how novice we were that first season, and how lucky we were, occasionally.

One thing we did right--we sailed conservatively.

Also, I have a good DIY background, with basic knowledge of plumbing, electric and the use of power tools. That keeps repair costs at 1/4 what it would cost to hire the work done.

We like our Hunter. We've never raced it, but we have no problem keeping up with buddy boats. And the liveability is great.
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Old 10-06-2024, 15:35   #32
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Become a sailing couple first. Then become a live aboard couple. Buy a Catalina 30 while living on land. Sail as much as possible first in good conditions. When you master that, sail the C30 in tougher conditions. Then later when you think you can handle anything take het out in a storm near shore where you can motor back. Then you will have educated yourselves.

After a mere 12 months you will have met other sailors. Seen many boats and will be better prepared to choose your liveaboard Bahama capable cruiser.

You can thank me for saving your life later.
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Old 10-06-2024, 17:11   #33
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Buy the boat you love, not the most “practical” one.

Boats are too much work if you don’t love it.

Docking is where the learning curve is... Honestly big boats are easy to sail. Everything is way less sensitive than in your dinghy.
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Old 10-06-2024, 19:12   #34
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Buy a boat that sails - size is fine, especially if you take a few years primarily living aboard at dock. You’ll be learning that a big boat takes maintenance, even sitting still…..and best if you’re putting that time/effort/$$ into a vessel you going to keep & travel upon.
Nothing wrong with a Hunter 42
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Old 11-06-2024, 09:50   #35
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

You are little bit ahead of game - any particular sailboat model is not your concern on this phase. "Safety and comfort" is too generic. Build the list what boat must have, should have and should not have. And I am not talking about how many head or how many estate rooms you want. Design is important. Sloop vs cutter, full keel vs partial or fin keel etc.. Then you get some idea what kind of boat you both want. "Comfort" cost a lot at sea. Floating condo is fine if you have enough funds to buy and maintain it. I spent one full year 4 hours daily just researching what kind of boat I want. For me it was simple I am single sailor.
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Old 13-06-2024, 10:30   #36
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

The thing about this forum is that most everyone thinks they’re an expert when in reality they mostly repeat second hand or third hand unverified information. My educated guess about most of the above folks who bash the Irwin have never sailed one and maybe even never set foot on one.
The Irwin probably won’t win the race, but when we get there we’ll be a hell of a lot happier than most the other cruisers. The living space is the best I’ve ever seen. Yeah, they’re a bit on the heavy side ( my 65 is 80,000 lbs) but she is solid. And, I’ve seen 10.5 knots with wind on the beam.
Buy the Hunter of you like her. Buy the Irwin of you like her. Both boats will be fine live-a boards-and yes, I’ve sailed the Hunter. Above all though take all you hear on this or any forum with a grain of salt.
Lastly, make sure your significant other gets to help choose.
Chris on SV Blue Pearl
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Old 13-06-2024, 10:58   #37
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

What CMH said.

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Old 13-06-2024, 19:47   #38
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceSailor1 View Post
Hello,

My girlfriend & I have decided to get out of the rat race and live on a sailboat full time. Looking to buy a boat arounds September 2025.

I have been looking at the 1987 Irwin 44 CC. I like the space in the cabin, the space on the sides of the bed in the main cabin, and mostly the center cockpit.

We both have never sailed a boat this big (or really any sailboat at all). My experience is very minimal with being crews on 420's, J24's, & Hobies, but never skippering.

We plan on just cruising up and down the east coast and jumping around islands in the Bahamas.
I have heard that the Irwin 44 CC is a slow boat and not recommended for offshore.

BUT as my main concerns are SAFETY & COMFORT, would this be a good starter boat for just going from Jacksonville to the Bahamas?
Hello Novice,
I have experience refitting a freinds Irwin 44CC, a bit older than the one your contemplating. PM me your phone number and I'll give you my 3 cents worth. I've taken it to the Bahamas twice no real issues.
Chain Plates are glassed in which is a real real pain
Nice size engine room but most likley an older engine
Cheers
Neil
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Old 13-06-2024, 22:28   #39
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Being stateside I would suggest you test sail with the help of experienced friends as any as possible the type of vsls you are looking at ,in the range you may consider the Catalina 42 mk 2 not the mk 1 these are good all round boats and for production boats quite well build .⛵️⚓️
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Old 14-06-2024, 07:52   #40
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Hello Novice,
I have experience refitting a freinds Irwin 44CC, a bit older than the one your contemplating. PM me your phone number and I'll give you my 3 cents worth. I've taken it to the Bahamas twice no real issues.
Chain Plates are glassed in which is a real real pain
Nice size engine room but most likley an older engine
Cheers
Neil
I appreciate the offer.
I have switched to the Hunter Passage 42 though because of the stairs on the transom.
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Old 14-06-2024, 08:02   #41
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Re: Irwin 44 Center Cockpit as First Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceSailor1 View Post
I appreciate the offer.
I have switched to the Hunter Passage 42 though because of the stairs on the transom.
Just bought a 42 Passage myself. She is stored in a yard and Florida right now. My last day of work is next Friday June 21st. She gets splashed June 26 and then my wife and I set out on our new adventure. Happy to answer any questions you might have on my decision to purchase this boat but basically it came down to it is the biggest boat I feel my wife and I can comfortably manage, the layout with CC, shoal draft for the shallow waters of the Keys and Bahamas, air draft of 60' for ICW bridge clearance, price, etc. We aren't going around the world and this boat checks all the right boxes for East Coast and Bahamas cruising
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