28.5 1973 Irwin, my first sailboat! - SailNet Community

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Old 09-30-2010
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28.5 1973 Irwin, my first sailboat!

I just purchased a 28.5 1973 Irwin.
I am new to sailing and this is my first boat. It has an Atomic4 gas motor that seems to run well.
What are my major concerns with the boat?
The owner has removed the centerboard as he said it sails fine without one. Thoughts?

I would like to use this for cruising the Florida coast and Bahamas. Should I be worried in the boat?
I have a lot to learn as the only sailing I have done is on a sunfish.

Also, there is a wind vane installed. I would like to put davits on but not sure if I should remove the wind vane. Thoughts on this?
I also want a dinghy. Would like to have a 4 person I flatable but not sure what size is practical for my size boat.
Thanks to anyone that responds for helping a newbie
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Old 09-30-2010
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That's a pretty small boat for davits, IMO. There are 8 foot inflatables that can handle 4 people... look for a "larger tube diameter" model.. big difference in carrying capacity and dryness. An 8 footer could be stowed upside down on the foredeck during passages (esp if you have jib furling)

If you're going to be sailing shorthanded the wind vane could be helpful.. I'd keep it esp if you're heading off the coast.

By the time you get that dinghy and a small outboard for it, your stern rail will be busy enough without davits!

Congrats and good luck!

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Old 09-30-2010
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Don't really know much about the smaller Irwin's so don't take this as a direct cross over...but we have been out in 47 knots with our board up...no issues at all...the board would help a bit with pointing and leeway..might stiffen it up a tad as well..but proportionately most of the weight is not in the center board anyway.

As long as she is sound I wouldn't think there would be an issue with your planed cruising area as outlined....I second Fasters comment on probably being to small for effective davit usage..getting the dink high enough off the water on a small boat with davits just from lack of free board is an issue as well defeating the purpose.

Mine are almost to low due to the fact that Im a Ketch so they have to extend straight out so as not interfere with the mizzen boom and im 41'
"Go Simple...Go Large"

Relationships are everything to me..everything else in life are just tools to enhance them.

The purchase price of a boat is just the admittance fee to the dance...you still have to spend money on the girl...so court one with something going for her with pleasing and desirable character traits others desire as well... or you could find yourself in a disillusioned relationship contemplating an expensive divorce.

Last edited by Stillraining; 09-30-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010
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Ok. So no davits then. I will measure the space on the deck for an inflatable.

Several people have mentioned the centerboard not being needed. I'll leave it off for now.

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Old 01-03-2011
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28.5 1973 Irwin, my first sailboat!

I'm thinking about looking at a 28 it's in Datona anyway it also has no centerboard. I sailed a 24 morgan (CB) and there was a difference when pointing or running with a 1/4 beam sea, down was better! Now, do you still have your old centerboard? I think this is the same boat his name is Bill W_____. You've got my email address.


Last edited by ggehmann; 01-03-2011 at 11:38 PM. Reason: I've been emailing he same person
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Old 06-06-2011
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I know this was an old thread but hey guys Ted designed these boats with a CB so there is a use for them, I have a 32 with regular keel and Ted also designed a 32 SD (Shoal Draft) with centerboard each has its advantages and dis-advantages. Older boats with CB could run into mechanical problems with the smooth operation of these CB's, hence some PO said forget fixing it i can sail without.
With CB down you will have a much better Motion Comfort (higher) and Capsize Ratio (lower) number which I would think are better especially when sailing "the ocean" off shore. Your close hauled performance is also a lot better. You can always pull it up when sailing for the wind and wanting less drag. It was designed for one keep it/or replace it.
Skipper E-J
S/V "Sailmates" 1973 IRWIN 32 Classic

I want to live and sail forever, so far so good[/SIGPIC]
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