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marc9889 05-22-2013 09:42 AM

What are all these ropes and stuff for?
Hello, forum members. My wife and I just bought our first sailboat, a 1970 Irwin 27, and I am going to needs some advice from time to time from the experienced people. I have owned a few power boats, but this sailboat stuff is all new to me, so thanks in advance for the information.

Without further adieu, my Irwin has a "drop keel". I assume that the boat was designed with a drop keel so that it could be hauled on a trailer. Are there other advantages, and how are drop keels typically operated?

Next, is a 30 amp shore power inlet and cable adequate? I just want to run an LCD television and some other light duty electronics, like a battery charger and such.

Faster 05-22-2013 10:40 AM

Re: What are all these ropes and stuff for?
Drop keels offer the advantage of reduced draft for access to shallow areas, while preserving upwind performance when they are dropped in deep water; sort of a 'best of both worlds' in a way but with the added complication of the raising/lowering mechanism.

30 amps will be plenty; most boats' shore power receptacles are 30A whether you have those loads or not. Most dockside power sources are 30A plugs too, though that's not universal either. A selection of adaptors from 30A to 20A to 15A plugs is handy to have. Keep in mind your on-board circuit breaker is likely to be 15 amps so that will trip before you load your 30A supply - unless you have multiple AC outlet circuits. Also remember that if you've got a 120VAC HW heater coil that's on its own and adds to your usage.

Oh - and welcome to the 'bright side' and to Sailnet!

marc9889 05-22-2013 10:47 AM

Re: What are all these ropes and stuff for?
On raising and lowering the keel, where can I find information on how to do that on my specific boat? Is raising/lowering the keel easy, or should I have my wife do it? : ]

DonScribner 05-22-2013 02:06 PM

Re: What are all these ropes and stuff for?
Marc (spelled properly I might add),

Look for an Irwin forum. Plenty of folks there, I'm sure and everyone of them willing to share.

CalebD 05-22-2013 03:00 PM

Re: What are all these ropes and stuff for?
Welcome to the wonderful world of sailboat ownership!
Here is the general spec of your Irwin 27'

Notice in the above link that they describe your boat as "keel/ctrbd", so your boat has a center board, not a drop keel (swing keel) or dagger board.
These terms get misused a bit so I'll say what I think each one really means.

1) Swing keel - this set up is really a very heavy center board. Swing keels can weigh around 1000#s and thus need very robust lifting mechanism. A swing keel provides ballast at the lowest point and helps the boat stay upright.
2) dagger board - in this case the board is quite light weight and is inserted vertically into the hull by hand. Many dinghy sail boats use this arrangement.
3) Center board - center boards pivot (as do swing keels) into a slot in the hull but their weight is nominal (< 200 #s) providing little or no ballast or righting moment.

All 3 types of board allow a boat to head upwind but only a swing keel provides a heavy ballast below the water line.

As to your specific center board's operation I can't say. Look for a line that disappears into the bottom of the boat near the engine compartment. On my boat the center board pennant is routed into the cockpit and, yes, even my wife could lift it or lower it. There is some mechanical advantage built into our lowering/raising mechanism.

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