Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Wilson, NY
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Jeff: I may be wrong again......
This is re: Which Iriwn. I am thinking the problems with this boat are not as severe when one realizes how it may have been constructed. I base this on my own Irwin 32, which bears many similarities to the boat in question.
At the heart of this discusion is the method by which the keel was formed and attached to the boat. On the 32, the keel section began life as fiberglass molding into which lead was poured and then this unit was bolted to the hull. It is actually an encapsulated keel with the lower section of the hull, including the ballast, getting bolted to the upper hull. The result is that one cannot actually finds a defined hull/keel joint.
On the boat in question: It looks to me like someone grinded away the encapulation down to lead. Then they decided to reduce the draft by cutting the lead keel as was highlighted in a Cruising World aricle a few years ago. The cut off section, in this article was remolded and attached as wings.
If I am right, the problem with this boat is not disasterous. The cut in the keel will have to be filled with something very strong that will support the weight of the boat when on the hard. The exposed lead will need to be re-encapsulated and faired into the hull making sure integrity is not compromised.
This is not what I want to do to get my boat ready for this season, but it is a doable project for someone with a long distance goal and a great price on a fixer upper.