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Old 05-13-2014
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cruising
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Total Chaos is on a distinguished road
Re: Irwin 54 - Liveaboard/Cruiser

Originally Posted by joshrosenthal1 View Post
Hey I am seriously considering the 54 or the 65 Irwin. I would love any assistance you can give in making the decision. I am attracted to the bigger Irwin BUT one issue is that the draw is shallow and the displacement high. so i fear the bigger boat will roll and heel and not track well. All the 65s and 68s Im looking at don't have the center board anymore.. in fact most IRwins I look at don't have the centerboard option. SO if I take on the big boy, what do I need to do to make her blue water friendly? what did you do to yours?
First thing to know is that the 65 was built as a blue water world cruiser... NOT as a charter boat. Early models were only available as an owners version, the charter version was not built until later. Just to repeat; the 65 was designed to cruise and make passages, she is built very strong. We were concerned about crevice corrosion of the screws at the hull deck joint so we through bolted the flange. We had a support fabricated for the deck stepped mizzen and few support pieces added to the steering system. Really we did a lot of upgrades, but we refit the whole boat so....
Don't have the centerboard... as in removed it? There were 65s built with and without the centerboard. With the centerboard down we point quite a bit higher, it is significant. Centerboard down the draft is 14'... The 65 is very stable, very comfortable and sails fairly well. The 65 tracks just fine, she doesn't point any better, or any worse than most any ketch I've ever sailed. Don't expect her to be a race winner though. From what I've read there sure is a lot of second hand info out there on these boats, it's mostly nonsense. In light air she sails decently, and in heavy air she's outstanding. As for livability I'd challenge anyone to find a more spacious, comfortable, and well laid out mono hull in her size. The 65's were built to cross oceans... Period. The 52's were not, even though many, many 52s have been all over the world. I don't know to much about the 54 and have never been aboard one.
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Old 05-15-2014
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Cruising
Posts: 44
Thanks: 4
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Total Chaos is on a distinguished road
Re: Irwin 54 - Liveaboard/Cruiser

Something I forgot to mention, the 65 as originally designed needs no modification to circle the globe safely, but as these are all fairly old boats now, I think there are things that should be done and that we did. On ours... The mast step was replaced, all rigging was replaced, the mizzen mast deck stepped was reinforced with an additional cross member, the hull deck joint was reinforced (not necessary when new, but could be and issue with a 30 plus year old boat, Salon windows were replaced and reinforced, all deck hatches replaced, and all ports where replaced with stainless ports. The originals all leaked after years use... the old plastic is not safe for blue water use. Feel free to PM me and I can email you an extensive and detailed list of the refit. We need to replace all our chain plates, with any luck this year...
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