Irwin Citation 34
I am considering a 1985 Citation 34 Shoal draft (4-ft 3-in) model.
One boat review in particular is causing me problems and has me questioning if its even worthwhile going ahead with the expense of survey & haul out is the review by Jack Hornor in the November 2000 issue of Spinsheets - Chesapeake Bay Sailing
"...the decks, on the other hand, are a different story. The deck and hull are joined on an inward flange with sheet metal screws through an extruded aluminum toe rail. There have been more than a few problems with the fit of the deck-to-hull joint, and leaks are a common problem that are difficult and expensive to repair due to inaccessibility.
Although some of the deck hardware is attached with nuts, bolts and washers, the lifeline stanchions, bow and stern rails are fastened with screws. This is not only unsafe, but loosening fittings allow water to penetrate the balsa core decks leading to very expensive repairs. Leaks around poorly fit windows and ports are also common but are more easily remedied."
The boat looks generally clean with no obvious signs of water or water damage.
However, this review is causing considerable angst.
What is the conventional wisdom on the Citation --- and the article by Jack Hornor?
A few years ago I was looking for a 33 - 36 boat and looked at a few Citation 34's. Every one I looked at had water staining around the ports. After 3 boats I gave up on the Irwin. If the one you are looking at doesn't have leaks then perhaps the owner did a good job of keeping things sealed.
Welcome to the forum. The Irwin 34 is supposed to be a quick and spirited boat. That said, I am restoring a '79 and haven't seen the water yet. I don't care as I enjoy working on them as much as sailing them. There are all kind of reviews out there. After 24 years, there is a huge difference in the value and quality of boats made side by side at the factory. I think a well taken care of example could be an excellent value. Yeah, there are some design flaws. Every boat has them. After 24 years you will find they all have issues.
Most of the things you have mentioned are issues on every boat. Granted, the screws are bad news, but they all can be dealt with. check out where the keel attaches to the hull. Other than that, after all this time, the boat choice is kind of a crap shoot. If you like it, get the survey. It will give you some wiggle room for negotiating.
Barry & TomandKaren,
Thanks to both of you for your replies.
As I continue to weigh the pros and cons of this particular boat, and after a couple of conversations with some old sailing buddies, I think I'm going to continue my search in other areas.
Again, many thanks for your input.
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