Need Help In Deciding Irwin, Newport, Pearson - SailNet Community

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Old 01-19-2010
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Need Help In Deciding Irwin, Newport, Pearson

Dear fellow sailors I know I'm probably opening a can of worms, but I'm getting back into sailing (after a 15 year motor yacht hiatus) with a friend of mine. Lake Michigan sailing from nice weather to wild weather.
We narrowed it down to some early 1970's comfortable cruisers as follows; 1969 Irwin 31 (mint condition), 1973 and 1972 Irwin 32, 1970 Newport 30, and a 1970 Pearson 33 & 35 and a Morgan 30/2 & 323 all are in OK shape for their age and of course need some TLC. Prices from 10K to 15K.
The "sailcalculator" puts them all about even. I like a >7kn hull speed but my never having sailed partner and our wives like a stable easy sailor, hence the 6.5kn range.
Have seen the boats but no sea trials yet here in Michigan, SO WHICH ONE SHOULD WE PICK (with explanation of why)
If I'm missing a boat/brand 30' to 35' that we absolutely should look at let me know.

Last edited by EJO; 01-19-2010 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010
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Hmm...

I shopped a similar selection of boat brands with a similar budget recently and came away with a 1978 Irwin 28 MkIV. We also looked at Newport 27's, Pearson 30's, and a c/b Morgan 30.

Of the 4, we felt the Irwin and the Pearson showed the best and had the best quality, considering the vintage. The Newport seemed the most flimsy of the 4, with details such as wiring, cabinetry and rigging all showing a bit suspect. The Pearson (30) probably has the best reputation, but we didn't care for the laminated interior on every surface. The Irwin showed showed decent build quality, decent materials and had a lot of room for the size. The Irwin also had the most modern hull shape, though this may differ since you are looking at older/larger models. The Morgan was initially appealing, but the details seemed cobled together and I didn't want another centerboard to deal with (leaks, cables, etc.).

Not sure if any of that helps, but best of luck and enjoy the shopping!

P.S. We've been very happy with our Irwin and have found the community (here and on Yahoo) supportive. Gene Gammons, a former Irwin employee and friend of Ted Irwin, hosts an Irwin site with a lot of information (brochures, manuals, parts, etc.) here: Irwin Yachts
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 01-19-2010 at 01:14 PM. Reason: additional info added.
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Old 01-19-2010
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EJO
The sail calc uses waterline length only for a speed calc. The only way to get a bigger number on sail calc is to have a longer waterline length.
1.34 x square root of waterline length in feet.
I other words a 25' waterline has a speed of 1.34 x 5 = 6.7
Sail calc doesn't take performance differences into account for this number.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 01-19-2010 at 02:42 PM. Reason: add
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Old 01-19-2010
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I understand, what I'm saying a lighter boat in the LWL we are looking at would be more prone to motion and not liked by the novice sailors I have as Admiral(s) and deckhands. Therefore a less performance boat in the 25' to 26' LWL range will get me only around 7 and not the 7.5 or more I might want from the same overall length boat.
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Old 01-25-2010
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I just wanted to chime in about the Morgan 323 - I have owned a 1983 Morgan 323 for the past 2 years and did A LOT of sailing and living aboard on her for the past 2 seasons and I absolutely love the boat. Mine was very well taken care of before I bought her (and I maintain her to the highest standards now as well) so aesthetically mine is a lot nicer looking than 99% of the other Morgan's out there due to added equipment, new decks, finished wood work which biases me a little bit but just for the boat itself I can say it is a dream to sail. You do need a bit of a breeze to get her going or you really need to know your sail trim in light air - BUT in moderate to heavy air this boat is a blast to sail. It is very heavy with a 314 D/L ratio and I feel confident taking the boat anywhere. It blasts through any chop or waves and won't get over powered easily.

It also has a modified semi full keel with a deep V hull so it never pounds but just slices the water when in rough seas. The rudder and prop are completely protected by a full skeg and prop aperture. Down below you have nice teak all around and plenty of room and storage space for a couple long term cruising or for a weekend with 4 people.

The only thing I can say bad about her is I wish her light air performance was better. If you really know your sail trim and make constant adjustments you can get her going pretty good in a 5knt breeze but you really have to work to make that happen. However what she lacks in light air performance she more than makes up in moderate to heavy air and provides a very safe and steady sailing platform which makes for a great cruiser and is the reason why I bought the boat.

So long story short I cannot tell you what boat to buy and for all I know the Morgan 323 you are looking at could be in poor condition but I just wanted to give you a first hand account of how happy I am with my own Morgan 323 and the reasons why.

I wish you the best of luck in your search!
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Old 01-25-2010
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I narrowed it down to a Irwin, 32, Irwin 31 and a Chris-Craft Cherokee 32, the Morgan was not up to par as was the Pearson.
Thanks for your input.
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