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Old 05-04-2002
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Irwin 31 Citation Custom

I am aout to a 31''Irwin. I know about the leaking portholes,but the chainplates have been moved to the outside of the hull. I do coastal and some offshore crusing. Can anyone tell me if I''m makeing a mistake? All opinions are most welcome!
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Old 05-08-2002
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Irwin 31 Citation Custom

I can only speak for my own boat, which the original owner ordered with beefed up stern and bow as well as oversized chain plates. Having been aboard lots of boats, I find mine to be feel quite solid except for an area on the cabin top aft of the mast which I am going to beef up this summer.

The interior is marginal in construction quality. I have a pan which flexes a bit on the floor. Locker interiors are crude at best. Windows suck. Hatches are marginal. Seacock were all gate valves, etc. etc.

Deck hardware was not back plated including cabin top handrails. I can find other shortcuts like print through on gel coat.

I am the butt of jokes at my yacht club about the strength of my mast - my sailmaker refers to it as a telephone pole. It is really too heavy for it''s length and its rigging.

But: The hull is solid glass and does not flex at the bow sections. I have seen Pearsons that do. Deck fittings go through solid glass - not a coring matierial.

Offshore: What do you mean by this. I sail L Michigan and don''t hesitate to make the 80 mile trip across. I would not be afraid to go from Florida to the Bahamas. I would be concerned about an Atlantic crossing and maybe a trip to Bermuda.

My plans are to do the single handed Mac race (333 mi.) within the next couple of years. Lake Michigan is tougher on boats than many ocean sailors realize and one must use caution on this inland sea.

Cruising World had an article about a couple who sailed their Citation to Austrailia. this appeared within the last five years. I wrote the couple through the magazine, but received no answer.

I plan to take this boat to Bermuda and the Carribean within the next 5 years. I do plan to do some modifications.
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Old 05-19-2002
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Irwin 31 Citation Custom

Irwin 32:Thanks for the response!I havn''t heard of anyone else owning a 31,but if I am looking at the serial number right there were at least 200 made.I picked her up for 11K and do have to put some more$ into her.Like you say,the portholes suck and the interor is cheap.The chain plates leaked and destroyed the bulkheads they were attatched to.And there isn''t much storage.>By off shore I mean 15-20 miles.I just motorsailed her up from Orange Park FL.and she did pretty good,but we came up the ditch.While in Fl.,had the rudder completely rebiult,new cutlass bearing,bottom paint,etc.. Thanks for the input.Any other info will be helpful!
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Old 06-08-2002
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Irwin 31 Citation Custom

i have owned a 1980 citation 34 for 5 years and have invested some money in getting it back to shape but i differ in some thoughts mentioned. 1) true, the plastic ports suck and leaked water behind the teak ply rotting it out over time. i ordered new ones (6) direct from pompennet (sp?) - new owners of original molds from grey mfg on-line saving 30% over West Marine pricing. new teak ply is about $100 a 4x8 sheet and it will take a blend of 3 to 5 stains to match current tone (a lot of orange). next recommendation is to use 3M (101?)soft caulk product when bedding them in - not the stuff that dries like a rock. 2) true and very good point on chain plates - on 34 they are thru deck and mounted on 3/4" bulk head and do leak if not caulked every season with good brand caulk, and rot bulkhead. thats my current problem i am looking for ideas on. 3) they say to keep an eye on the rudder post and bushings and look for very fine stress cracks in the back stay chain plates - in fact - just replace them to be safe next time you step he mast. 4) a lot of spider cracks on deck gelcoat. 5) and biggest design blunder in my book so far - they only put a 15hp yanmar motor in. Aside from that, i bought the boat in new jersey where it sailed in salt water most of its life, then moved it to Lake mead las vegas for 2 years and now i sail it in the san fransisco bay. i''ve out ran a hurricane off cape may new jersey (not by choice), weathered winds in the 50 knott area in lake mead (again not by choice)and sail the hell out it in the SF bay (which avg 15-25) and have a blast. it dips over quickly in a puff but digs in and moves (6-8 knots).i stipped the bottom down to the gel coat last summer and found 1 blister, after years of salt water and 2 years of 90 degree water in vegas. amazed everyone at the yard - including me. the interior however, i am very pleased with (1980 34) as it is loaded with teak, and laid out better then 36 - 40'' i have looked at. also very happy with level of wood work - this may have changed in later years. currently looking at 42 - 47'' boats bene 41.1 and 47 in addition to smaller Sabre line and the level of interior in the 1980 Irwin 34 blows bene. out the door and rivals the 2002 sabre - sure not 100% the same level of sabre but a hell of a lot better then the rest of the production boats 10 to 20 times the price new. dont get me wrong, i wouldnt sail it to hawaii or hang a right after clearing golden gate for a month long cruise to washington state coastal waters, but wouldnt hesitate to cruise coastal atlantic and coastal california south of monteray. In closing very happy with boat considering price value
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