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post #1 of 3 Old 12-22-2014 Thread Starter
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37 ft Irwin ketch

Hi,
New owner of a 1976 37 Irwin Ketch.
I am looking for hatch latches, a bathroom door, and other interior parts.
Also I am reading comments about blue water capable boats, and do not understand some of the comments. My boat weighs 20,000 or 22,000 lbs depending on which data you care to believe. Doesn't the weight of this boat denote stability/strength?
Be kind I am just trying to learn
Thanks
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-22-2014
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Re: 37 ft Irwin ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyaird View Post
Hi,
New owner of a 1976 37 Irwin Ketch.
I am looking for hatch latches, a bathroom door, and other interior parts.
Also I am reading comments about blue water capable boats, and do not understand some of the comments. My boat weighs 20,000 or 22,000 lbs depending on which data you care to believe. Doesn't the weight of this boat denote stability/strength?
Be kind I am just trying to learn
Thanks

We all started learning somewhere, and your question is a good one. In a broad general sense, simply knowing the weight (displacement) of the boat tells you almost nothing about either the stability or the strength of the boat. What counts towards stability is a broad range of factors such as the shape of the hull (distribution of buoyancy), how that distribution of buoyancy changes as the boat heels, and the weight distribution.

You can have a heavy boat that carries its weight up high, and which does not transfer its buoyancy to leeward very quickly as it heels and it will not have a huge amount of stability relative to its displacement or drag. To a great extent that is the case with your boat. The Irwin 37s started life as budget oriented charter boats. (Think of them as the Hunters of their day.)

Similarly, strength of dependent on the choice of materials, quality of construction, engineering details, and so on. Its easy to have a heavy boat that is has poor glass work, meaning resin rich laminates with a larger amount of non-directional fabric than ideal, and end up with a comparatively fragile but heavy hull. Similarly, even if the hull layup is adequate there can be engineering compromises in the hull to deck connection, hardware and rigging connections, rig design, and items like inadequate internal framing and bonding, and so on. Lastly it takes time and money to carefully produce a strong and stiff boat, and those will usually turn out to be lighter rather than heavier. Heavier is usually a sign of less exacting workmanship and engineering, which in turn usually translates to less strength, especially over time.

To a great extent the laminate on the Irwins was nothing to write home about, and their hull to deck joints, and rigging connections are generally reputed to be problematic. So while they make great live aboards, decent coastal cruisers and mediocre island hoppers, I would never consider them to be particularly ideal or reliable for Blue Water passage making.

Respectfully,
Jeff


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post #3 of 3 Old 12-22-2014
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Re: 37 ft Irwin ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyaird View Post
Hi,
New owner of a 1976 37 Irwin Ketch.
I am looking for hatch latches, a bathroom door, and other interior parts.
Also I am reading comments about blue water capable boats, and do not understand some of the comments. My boat weighs 20,000 or 22,000 lbs depending on which data you care to believe. Doesn't the weight of this boat denote stability/strength?
Be kind I am just trying to learn
Thanks
Irwin used a lot of there own (or built to there own specs) hardware. So finding exact replacements may be hard. If you have a large used boating equipment suppler near you, that is where I woudl head first. There are lots of the Irwins out there so it should not be hard to find the parts. Otherwise just see if something current will work. I think Jamestown Distributors seems to have a lot of nice hardware. You may find it easier to replace a bunch of hinges to matching hinges than to find a few that match what exits.

Yes they are heavy boats, but they were an economy production boat, so to meet that price point they had some corners cut. Things like embedded chainplates that compromise long term durability and inspection. As Jeff said they are fine for coastal cruising, but most would not consider them ideal for blue water use. There has been at least one that has circumnavigated.
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