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joshrosenthal1 29-06-2016 22:09

Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Hi, We are close to buying our dream home afloat. We have invested heavily (our hearts) on a very large Irwin 65. Does anyone have real world experience cruising one of these big old bad boys around the world? IF so what suggestions can you make in order to maker her as manageable as possible? Bow thruster needs to be added and she doesn't draw very deep. We are planning to take her across the Pacific. Any solid advise is welcomed. We are a family of 4 with 1 possibly 2 mates. Cheers

DDabs 30-06-2016 05:35

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
There is an Irwin 68 at my marina that has a hot tub molded into the deck. pretty sweeeeeet!

joshrosenthal1 30-06-2016 08:11

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
You have a pic?


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DDabs 30-06-2016 08:21

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
standby

joshrosenthal1 30-06-2016 08:43

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Awesome

joshrosenthal1 30-06-2016 09:07

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Any thoughts on its blue water capabilities, possibilities or things to consider?

Stumble 30-06-2016 09:31

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
No real experience with the 68' we looked at one seriously before settling on the 54'. I spent 10 years on and off growing up on the boat, and cut my teeth helping to maintain her.

The major issue with the Irwin construction we found was a lot of small things were sourced from RV parts not marine. So things like light switches and door handles weren't as reliable as we would have liked, and it was almost impossible to source matching parts. On the upside is that this long past construction most of those things will have either been replaced or will probably last forever.

On the ships systems stuff Irwin did use high quality marine parts. The only real issue we ever had was when we got hit by lightning some of the parts were very hard to source because they went for very high end suppliers instead of standard ones.

Stumble 30-06-2016 09:34

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joshrosenthal1 (Post 2156300)
Any thoughts on its blue water capabilities, possibilities or things to consider?

You posted while I was writing my other reply...

Off shore she is going to be big, heavy, take waves very well, and point poorly. It's just a trade off for the shallow draft and very heavy construction.

How heavy is the construction? We accidentally ran into a concrete pier once with the dolphin striker. I don't have them anymore, but the concrete cracked the striker was fine except for a few scratches.

One thing I might suggest is to have a fuel polisher installed. The massive fuel tanks mean you will have pretty slow turn over of diesel. Polishing regularly can help prevent bigger issues.

DDabs 30-06-2016 09:41

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
https://www.cruisersforum.com/attachm...7/img_3949.jpg

"Lady Rebel"

I believe this boat was actually owned by Ted at one point. The hot tub is molded in behind the cockpit, just aft of the mizzen.

joshrosenthal1 07-07-2016 21:39

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Oh she is nice! See if she is for sale!:) ha! Takes waves well? Weather and storms? How would she run before the weather if she had to? I'm happy with heavy and strong / draft might be good for the pacific islands. Safe if the key.


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DDabs 08-07-2016 10:37

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Dude it's a 68 ft. boat. It can handle any ocean

Tingum 08-07-2016 10:46

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Not to rain on anyone's parade but there have been several instances of these boats de laminating bulkheads in heavier weather. Size does not necessarily equate to strength. Get a good survey!

Jim Cate 08-07-2016 16:37

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DDabs (Post 2162114)
Dude it's a 68 ft. boat. It can handle any ocean

A ludicrous statement! Surely you don't really believe it... or do you?

Jim

Dulcesuenos 08-07-2016 23:05

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
We looked at 2 smaller and one larger irwin, all had structural issues. The issues we found were, delaminated bulk heads, severe leaking from cheap fixtures causing a lot of core problems, weak hull to deak joint seam allowing water intrusion. Coring on coachroof upper deck structure gone from poor port light bedding, and the later 43s hull we looked at was one huge blister. Maybe a Good coastal / marina boat. Unless the 50+ size versions were built completely different.

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neilpride 09-07-2016 02:44

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
They flex a lot, lifting one in the travelift with the slings in the proper position and we found a large airline crack running from the starboard side of the cockpit to the port side,
with good weather they are fine boats , in bad weather who know....

FSMike 09-07-2016 07:53

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Years ago I was told a couple of horror stories about these boats. I have no idea as to the truthfulness of these anecdotes.

1) When hull #1 was taken to a boat show (Miami?) the delivery crew ran into some bad weather and one side of the hull had some oil canning in a bulkhead area. They made sure to tie the boat alongside with the oil canning on the side away from the dock.

2) There were two reports of 65'ers losing their keels while being delivered to the Caribbean. At least one apparently got there anyway.

As I said, I have no knowledge as to the veracity of these stories. I remember at the time that I trusted the people who told them to me. I would not normally post something like this, but some of the previous posts indicated that there might be something to all this.

If I were thinking about purchasing one I'd like to know about this stuff.

Jim Cate 09-07-2016 17:23

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
More anecdotal stuff:

We met one irwin 65 when in the Marquesas, years ago. We spent some time aboard her, having a good look around. My general impression was negative, especially with regard to the rig and sailing hardware which was WAY undersized for the displacement of the boat.

Obviously, it had reached French Polynesia from Florida somehow, but we observed that the owner hardly ever raised a sail, preferring to motor everywhere. He was a terrible jerk in lots of ways, so this didn't really surprise us!! At any rate, I would view at least that specific Irwin with great suspicion as a serious cruising platform. It was a good party platform, though, and that is what it was largely used for.

Jim

joshrosenthal1 11-07-2016 13:22

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos (Post 2162508)
We looked at 2 smaller and one larger irwin, all had structural issues. The issues we found were, delaminated bulk heads, severe leaking from cheap fixtures causing a lot of core problems, weak hull to deak joint seam allowing water intrusion. Coring on coachroof upper deck structure gone from poor port light bedding, and the later 43s hull we looked at was one huge blister. Maybe a Good coastal / marina boat. Unless the 50+ size versions were built completely different.

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Thanks - interesting concerns. Im assuming a survey will pick up waterlogged core (bolster I'm sure was the type of wood)... delaminating bulkheads and separation of deck from hull is a huge liability. I'm wondering how you would check that?

sailorboy1 11-07-2016 13:40

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Seems to be that if an old Irwin 65 appears to be in good condition (it's been taken care of) and surveys well, then it is by definition is a good boat!!!!!!

Everything else may be "interesting", but really are just stories and rumors.

joshrosenthal1 11-07-2016 13:52

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailorboy1 (Post 2164145)
Seems to be that if an old Irwin 65 appears to be in good condition (it's been taken care of) and surveys well, then it is by definition is a good boat!!!!!!

Everything else may be "interesting", but really are just stories and rumors.

Sailor boy 1 - thanks. Very hard to cut threw and find the truth. We like these boats because of their size and 'livability'. Kind of like a big Winnebago. sounds like the building process may have been both flawed and successful / perhaps hand made and inconsistent. Perhaps its a matter of identifying the good one or one with extensive retrofit and work. Ive seen a few about the world so some must be ok. Will keep searching... Cheers

sailorboy1 11-07-2016 14:28

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by joshrosenthal1 (Post 2164155)
Kind of like a big Winnebago. sounds like the building process may have been both flawed and successful / perhaps hand made and inconsistent. Perhaps its a matter of identifying the good one or one with extensive retrofit and work. Ive seen a few about the world so some must be ok. Will keep searching... Cheers

In the old boat world all that matter is the condition the boat is in NOW! A 30+ year old boat in good condition is a good boat. How could someone say otherwise in the face of the fact of the boat being old and still in good condition?

That's my opinion and position.

joshrosenthal1 11-07-2016 14:42

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Good to here.. I was thinking the same thing.... thanks for re-afirrming. It then comes down to nuts and bolts and good quality inquisitive surveys!.

Dulcesuenos 11-07-2016 21:52

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Good boat is a pretty broad statement. Good world cruiser and good coastal cruiser are more specific. There are enough substantial differences to be pretty clear what is and isn't. Having said that, I've seen some floating hulks handle some lengthy crossings.

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Jim Cate 12-07-2016 01:25

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sailorboy1 (Post 2164180)
In the old boat world all that matter is the condition the boat is in NOW! A 30+ year old boat in good condition is a good boat. How could someone say otherwise in the face of the fact of the boat being old and still in good condition?

That's my opinion and position.

A 30 year old xxx in good condition is a good example of an xxx. It says nothing about how good a boat for some specific application it may be.

How can it be in good condition and not be a good boat??? Well, perhaps it never left the dock except to do bi annual bottom jobs. Who knows?

There seem to be some reasonable criticisms of the Irwin designs in terms of strength and rig, and these have been voiced. Ignore them at your peril... even if the boat is REALLY shiny and has a lot of room below.

"That's my opinion and position"

Jim

savagebee 12-07-2016 04:57

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Cate (Post 2164512)
There seem to be some reasonable criticisms of the Irwin designs in terms of strength and rig, and these have been voiced. Ignore them at your peril... even if the boat is REALLY shiny and has a lot of room below.

"That's my opinion and position"

Jim

JoshRosenthal, you would do well to heed the wise advice of someone of Jim's experience, as well as other posters on this thread. I actually spent a season as first mate on an Irwin 65 charter yacht in the Caribbean many years ago when I was a young man. My memory is fuzzy, but I certainly remember that even back then they did not have a good reputation. We never had any major structural issues, but this was a limited time and we also had no particularly rough conditions.
My opinion is that there are plenty of other makes of older boats out there that will satisfy your needs, are much stronger built and far safer blue water cruisers.

ColdEH 12-07-2016 06:52

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
These boats had mast step problems . They were built out of welded mild steel , mix that with salt water and you have problems . Take a good look at that area. It can be fixed if it has not already been done but it is a large nasty job.

This is a mast step out of an Irwin 65

https://www.irwinyachts.com/Refurb/ri...ast%20step.jpg

I personal think they are a nice looking boats with a sweat shear , some were loved and some were forgotten, spend the money and get a complete and competent survey done .

Been plenty of Irwins crossing oceans and you still see the big ones being used in crewed charters.

Loads of great information here

Irwin Yachts - Irwin Sailboats Parts & Manuals

matauwhi 14-07-2016 11:27

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
G'day, Mate. I have a nice Mason 53 down here in New Zealand that has a great layout for our family. The Mason's are known for their solid construction and can handle most conditions. Let me know if you want any specific details and I can send you a private message. If not, all the best and be safe out there. Cheers.

Stillwaterboat 22-08-2016 15:01

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FSMike (Post 2162643)
Years ago I was told a couple of horror stories about these boats. I have no idea as to the truthfulness of these anecdotes.

1) When hull #1 was taken to a boat show (Miami?) the delivery crew ran into some bad weather and one side of the hull had some oil canning in a bulkhead area. They made sure to tie the boat alongside with the oil canning on the side away from the dock.

2) There were two reports of 65'ers losing their keels while being delivered to the Caribbean. At least one apparently got there anyway.

As I said, I have no knowledge as to the veracity of these stories. I remember at the time that I trusted the people who told them to me. I would not normally post something like this, but some of the previous posts indicated that there might be something to all this.

If I were thinking about purchasing one I'd like to know about this stuff.


Let me debunk this,: the above is completely false. The delivery of hull #1 went off with much fan fare and there was no canning of the hull.

No large Irwin has ever lost its keel. The keels are integral to the hull, the lead ballist is completely encapclated with a double hull effect. Removing a keel on a large Irwin would sink the boat in seconds. The glass thickness at the leading edge of the keel on an Irwin 65 is as much as 3 inches thick, yes seriously three (3) inches. The keel has a concrete layer against the glass mixed with shot into which the lead ballast is placed.

joshrosenthal1 13-10-2016 21:44

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
So keel bolts?


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Painted Skies 17-10-2016 17:29

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
In the 1980's when I was just getting started learning to sail larger sailboats, I often heard tales of Irwins that sank. If I recall correctly, the problem was not with the keel but rather with how the hull was constructed - in two separate halves and then fiberglassed together. Whether or not that is correct - here's a true tale of one that did sink....

I attended my sister's wedding in Arizona in 1986 where I met their best man. This guy and his father lived on, cruised, and crew-chartered their 65' Irwin in the Caribbean. I asked him about the Irwin's reputation for sinking and he just laughed it off. Well, less than six months later they were sailing on passage between the islands when they had a breach in the hull - the two halves were separating... before they could get to shallow enough water, the boat sunk. It wasn't insured; they lost everything.

AiniA 17-10-2016 18:29

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Can't imagine why you would want any boat this large. Ignoring quality issues, which of course should not be ignored, such a large boat just complicates the cruising lifestyle unnecessarily in my opinion. Sails, and ground tackle are heavy and harder to deal with. Repair and maintenance costs are high. I found in the Caribbean that our 45' was about average. Once we got to obscure parts of the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic the average was about 40. I think I would stay below 50' with a family. Even for this size make sure that winches, curlers, and windlass are powerful.

Stillwaterboat 20-10-2016 21:02

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Painted Skies (Post 2237458)
In the 1980's when I was just getting started learning to sail larger sailboats, I often heard tales of Irwins that sank. If I recall correctly, the problem was not with the keel but rather with how the hull was constructed - in two separate halves and then fiberglassed together. Whether or not that is correct - here's a true tale of one that did sink....

I attended my sister's wedding in Arizona in 1986 where I met their best man. This guy and his father lived on, cruised, and crew-chartered their 65' Irwin in the Caribbean. I asked him about the Irwin's reputation for sinking and he just laughed it off. Well, less than six months later they were sailing on passage between the islands when they had a breach in the hull - the two halves were separating... before they could get to shallow enough water, the boat sunk. It wasn't insured; they lost everything.


I would love to hear more about what actually happened, if in fact anything happened at all. First nearly all sailboats are constructed in two molds, the hull and the deck are separate laminations and are joined by various means. Irwin did not glass the hull to deck joint, which in fact is the strongest of all methods, instead they used an overlapping joint with a polyester bonding compound screwed together,, both in the glass below the cap rail and through the cap rail and joint. As a new construction this joint was fabulously strong. It was not until much later that concerns about crevis corrosion and the polyester compound becoming brittle began to arise. Just FYI there is no record of such an incident with any Irwin 65/68, not recorded anywhere, Gene Gammon of Irwin Yachts, the head of the 65/68 platform at the time attests to no such loss. Again this is another bs rumor thrown out by someone who knows nothing about boat construction. Fact is there was one Irwin 65 lost in the Carribean and to a hurricane while tied up to a concrete dock. Yes the dock sustained lots of damage from the behemoth of fiberglass and resin pounding into it. Lol.

Irwin yachts suffers some bad knocks for producing a great and affordable boat in the early 80's that could be had by other than "yachtsman" and that pissed a whole lot of blue bloods off at the time. Irwin is responsible for the modern raised deck saloon among many other fanstadtic innovations. (This pissed off a lot of the crowd as well..imagine the gall of putting big salon windows in a sailboat) Fact is that Irwin manufactured more 65/68' boats than any other manufacturer from that time forward COMBINED!! These big boats have sailed all over the world for more than 30 years. We can get into the specifics on what should be upgraded on an Irwin 65, but for those who've only just heard rumors let's add a little:

The big old Irwin 65 is smoking fast with a powerful ketch rig. Sail area is over 2000sq feet in primary sails alone.
The construction consists of a laminated grid, fully tabbed bulkheads, glassed in hull stiffeners the entire length, all furniture and interior components glassesed into the hull structure, a double hull above the fully encaposated virgin lead ballast keel, her motion comfort ratio is extremely high, livable space is still unparalleled on brand new boats, ventilation Is excellent, ammentities abound. Tankage is unbeleivable with approximated 1000 gallons of water and 620 gallons of desiel. The Perkins engines are reliable workhorses and many came in the 200hp turbo version- nearly indestructible. Storage space is vast, and well thought out and the interior layouts are fabulous for living aboard or intertaining. I could go on...

No question that a 30 plus year old boat needs to be gone through from stem to stern by a knowlegable surveyor and there are areas specific to these boats like the mast steps that need to be given extra attention. In all though the 65 is a very cable world cruiser, strong and fast, albeit a larger boat than most would really "need".

Stumble 21-10-2016 13:57

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
We had an Irwin 54, a good friend of ours had the 52. In both cases the boats weathered hurricanes, spent years in the carribean, and had families living aboard. In bo cases there is no question the 54/68 is far preferred over the 52/65. The larger are better built and the aft lazarrette on the boats really make a difference in livability.

But all four options are great at what they are. Relatively slow heavy cruisers with a premium on space and comfort. Speed demons they are not.

Linesledaft 28-04-2021 20:45

Re: Irwin 65 / 68 for world cruising
 
This is an old thread(sorry mods), but still one of the top when searching.

These boats are now getting old, and having just viewed one I would stay away. Unless you want 65 headaches. I have looked at a few Irwins. They are what they are. Coastal


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