Bellerophon (to be formal) has a good point about build quality being a factor. Though they do seem primarily to be a design firm, VandeStadt does offer production boats on their website. A series-built steel boat from them might offer better quality construction than an amateur build, or at least a known quality level. Find out who built the steel boat. With Australia known for its coral reefs, eventually finding one with your boat makes steel a good candidate. While VandeStadt's designs are not now famous for racing speed, they do have a reputation for sailing well. Irwins, on the other hand, are not generally known for fantastic build quality or sailing ability. They do offer a lot of living space below if that is what you need. If you stay tied to the dock, finding a coral reef with your boat will take much longer and fiberglass would not be a disadvantage. The choice depends a lot on what you really want to do with the boat and it's current condition. One final caveat that Billyruffin also mentioned: rust never sleeps.
As I have said in the replies above, the VDS is a beauty, following is the text from the sellers sales page.
Professionally built. Van De Stadt design. Brand New Beta Marine Diesel 30HP, 2012. Less than 70 Hrs. 100Amp alternator. Dripless stern gland (PPS) S/Steel deck/cockpit drains/all skin fittings, rudder stern tube. In 2000 sandblasted inside and out, completely replaced any rust spots with new BHP steel (not patched - replated). Electric toilet, freshwater/seawater taps. All sails in good condition, Depth sounder/fish finder/autopilot. Good size V-berth, head, 6'6'' headroom, two full length lounges and one quarter berth, can sleep 5. Great ocean sailing boat, set up for single handed sailing. Steel hull in excellent condition. Decks/cockpit due to be painted..... Draft 6'', round bilge steel hull with a full length keel. 150 Ltrs water, 100Ltrs fuel. Practical galley (rebuilt 2000). Genuine buyers only and sea trials only after payment of a deposit. This vessel is a genuine sea-going, round-the-world vessel. Apart from being a proud fifty-year-old classic, she was built by a master craftsman. I have sailed her numerous times from Cape York to Southport. Under previous owners, she circumnavigated New Guinea, Australia, and went out to Tahiti and back. Price reduced for quick sale. Would consider swap for campervan/land/fishing boat of same value
By the look of the pictures, I believe the boat "was" built by a master craftsman.
Here is the text from the sales-page for the Irwin 37.
Near new 56 Hp Yanmar diesel for this boat plus 5 kva genset, new 37 lt/hr water-maker and new Raymarine C97 Plotter. The rigging was new in 2006. For the price this boat has a lot to offer.
Designer: Ted Irwin
Builder: Irwin Yachts, St Petersburg, Fl, USA
Dimensions: LOA: 12.5 m (41')
LOD: 11.2 m (37')
Beam: 3.50 m (11.5')
Draft: 1.21 m (4')
Weights: 9,000 kg
Keel: 3/4 cruising keel with skeg hung rudder
Construction: Hull: Solid GRP (fibreglass)
Engine: 56 Hp Yanmar 4JH5E 4-cylinder diesel (factory new in 2010)
Cooling System: Heat exchanger
Propeller: Bronze 17" 3-blade fixed
Fuel Consumption: 2.3 lt/hr @ 2100 rpm
Cruising Speed: 6 kn
Full Speed: 7.75 kn
Generator: 5 kva Northern Lights
Fuel Tanks: 370 lt in GRP tanks
Water Tanks: 560 lt in GRP tanks
Electrics: 12v, 110v
Batteries: 2x 265 a/h service (new 2012) and 1 start
Charger/Inverter: Xantrex 2000
Electronics: Radios: Icom M504 VHF
GPS Plotter: Raymarine C97 (new 2012)
Radar: Raymarine 24 nm
Autopilot: Raymarine Autohelm series
Rigging: Stainless steel (new 2006)
Sail Inventory: Mainsail, genoa, mizzen main, storm jib
Deck Hardware: Barlow & Lewmar winches
Ground Tackle : Anchor Winch: Lofrans Project 1000 up/down with controls in cockpit
Anchors: Delta & Danforth
Chain: 60 m galvanised
Safety Gear: 4-person Plastimo Cruiser liferaft
Epirb, life-jackets, flares, life-sling, fire-extinguishers
Bilge Pumps: 1 automatic, 1 electric, 2 manual
Interior: Moulded with timber trim
Headroom: 1.93 m
Cabins: Saloon, forward, aft
Berths: Queen aft, Double forward, convertible settee in saloon
Head: 2 manual
Holding Tank: 95 lt
Shower: In aft head
Galley: Stove: Attwood Wedgewood 3-burner gas
Fridge: 12v Frigoboat
Sink: 1 stainless steel
Dinghy/Aux: 8'9" Inflatable
15 Hp Yamaha outboard
Extras: 37 lt/hr water-maker (new 2012)
Remarks: This boat is equipped for cruising.
Listing No: sb371 End Quote.
I plan on getting up to QLD to look over the VDS this week, perhaps I can look over both while I'm there, if I have the time, we'll see how things work-out.
Like I said, I plan on cruising the Australian East Coast, the Top-End and perhaps SE Asia
Thanks for your views