Newbie with a 25' Irwin in Tampa Bay - SailNet Community

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Old 04-06-2012
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Newbie with a 25' Irwin in Tampa Bay

So my boyfriend and I decided we would buy a sailboat and learn to sail it. We have a good friend who has a 150 ton master license; he put us out in a hobie cat and laughed when we got caught in irons trying to go through a pass. Learning experience number 1...

So we still bought the boat. He helped us to be sure we were getting a good deal.

1974 25' Irwin with great sails and a good outboard. He said the sails and outboard were nearly worth the $2000 we bargained down to, and we did a good deed by giving an old man with heart problems the money he needed to drive to Alaska to see his daughter. Happy!

We quickly made arrangements to get her hauled out at a nearby boatyard and bottom painted. Not lookin too good...

They did a great job and fed us fresh-caught raw tuna to boot (oh man was that gooooood!). They also spruced up the swing keel mechanics... he said something about kinks in the cable, etc. It's hard to follow when you're only just learning everything...

That's one sexy bottom! (Also, the guy on the left [ahem... port beam] has a nice butt too... just sayin')

We had to motor her to the boatyard and our friend was unavailable to help so we did it ourselves... wait for it, wait for it...

Yes, there were some near disasters. The engine stalled a few times (partly user stupidity [double neutral to start back up!], partly mechanical [we think the outboard got clogged at one point]). We found it rather easy to push off of objects that appear ready to split the boat in half... what a relief. Thank you, buoyancy! Those big light-up channel markers are especially scary...

We also ran aground. The first time we got her loose by moving two bodies forward, shifting the weight. Cool! Second time we got her off by... well, actually, we didn't. After trying everything we could think of, we decided to break out some fresh cold ones and take a break instead. After an hour my girlfriend who had come along jumped into the water (slimy marsh, yum) and I threw a line on the forward cleat and joined her with it... 20 minutes of heave-ho later she finally came off, and the rest of the trip went easy! Whew.

To-do list:

-Learn how to service the outboard!!
-Replace the headstay halyard... fraying, thus we can't run the sails.
-Re-upholster... everything. Girl's gotta have nice cushy stuff...
-Install new stereo and speakers (already bought... priority)
-Refinish all wood
-Paint topside. We were thinking of going 1974 with the colors...
-The wall between the salon and v-berth is yucky and warped... I want to just pull it out. But then there's nowhere private for the porta potty. But do we really need a porta potty? hmmmm
-New portlights. I like the DIY floating portlights.

Okay, I need to go back to my 'How to Sail' book now... Nice to meet you! Love the forums so far


Last edited by AuroreNatasha; 04-06-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012
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Re: Newbie with a 25' Irwin in Tampa Bay

Congrats on your new Irwin 25'. Having a center board model is actually a great idea for where the water is quite 'skinny' like parts of Tampa Bay.

That wall (bulkhead) between the salon and V-berth may be structural (as in load bearing) so I'd investigate this thoroughly before removing it. If the mast is deck stepped then the wall (bulkhead) may distribute some of the load to the keel. You can simply replace the wall (bulkhead) with a good grade of plywood.

Hope you 2 have a great time with your new toy.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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Old 04-06-2012
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Re: Newbie with a 25' Irwin in Tampa Bay

Congrats on your new boat!

Happy learning!

Don't forget to stop in often; no question is too stupid for this crew!

(ummm... wait. that didn't come out right)
Zen Again

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Testing a mother's love since 1962
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Old 04-07-2012
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Re: Newbie with a 25' Irwin in Tampa Bay

Welcome aboard!
Well written, good pics and she's a chick. I like this newbie.

Ask lots of questions. We have lots of advice. some of it is even good.
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