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Old 09-17-2011
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I would be very wary of the Irwins. The build quality was a crap shoot with no real rhmye or reason to it. Some were built well while others were simply crap. The Tartan 34-2 is a nice boat with a 4'6" scheel keel that will meet a lot of your criteria but will be a compromise in others. This is my personal favorite for the cruising grounds that you have mentioned. Naturally what I like or what anybody else likes is totally irrelavent, its what you like that matters. For example: The traveler on the Tartan is located directly in front of the wheel with the primary winches in close proximity to the helm, for me this is great yet there are others who simply hate this configuration. The hardest part of choosing a boat seems to be defining the way that you will ultimately use it. Sometimes the romantic ideas we have don't match the reality of our real usage. There a lot of " Blue Water " boats out there that don't ever see any blue water.
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