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07-09-2016 09:02 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Hi all...many thanks for the replies to this thread.

I'm heading back to the West Coast (SF Bay area) after an extended stay in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. I've been a liveaboard since 2008 on my Soverel 36 sloop (c/b), and have just sold her back to the original owner's daughter. I work from a "virtual office" and can do my SEO from anywhere, so it's back to SF Bay for me (Alameda, likely) since my brother and his family are there, as are lots of family and friends.

In researching "affordable" boats in the 40-50 foot range, I've found a few Mk. IIIs for sale in SoCal and WA, and from what I've seen and read, they seem ideal. Since my Soverel is a 1978 model and came with all the usual issues and older, previously neglected sailboat has, I'm open-minded about the potential for "work" needing to be done, large and small.

The mention above of rust stains on the rudder and other issues is very helpful!

Any further input on their ability to sail in Bay Area conditions would be helpful. While I don't plan on sailing every weekend, I get 8 weeks of vacation with my current job, and plan on using that time for coastal cruising down to SoCal/Baja, and up the coast to NorCal and Oregon.

Many thanks!

S/V Meridian, Skull Creek Marina
Hilton Head Island, SC
04-07-2016 12:40 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS : Thank you for the info I have been to look at a Irwin 41 Ketch with a view to buy (but backed out ) there is a lot of work needed on the boat .AS ALWAYS GO SAFE
04-05-2016 06:10 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

I'd like to say thank you as well! My husband and I are very close to purchasing an Irwin 43 MKIII -- right now it's down to that and a Gulfstar 45 Hirsch - - I know that both boat were designed for essentially the same type of sailing -- we plan to spend some time in Florida, the Bahamas, and hopefully a few months in the BVI -- I think this boat will work perfectly for what we want.....leaning towards the Irwin.....
01-08-2016 10:43 AM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Thanks for the information and perspective on the Irwin 43 & 46 boats. My wife and I are considering very brands and models with the intent of sailing as live aboards iin the Caribbean. We find the information beneficial in our decision making.
12-08-2014 11:17 AM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Most of the Irwin boats in this range were designed and built for the island charter fleet with lots of motoring and hot comfortable showers and bunks in mind at anchor. The 43 MK I and 46 are comparable boats. The 43 MK II+ is vastly different and far more catered to the comfort below and day sailing ability than the 46, with less storage and more comfortable aft stateroom. The 46 had larger tankage and could motor at least 800 miles on a tank at hull speed. Pay careful attention to the mast step, chainplates (xray is the only way to know) and signs of bulkhead movement and hull shape. Even though there is a defined layup schedule, I would venture to say it may not have been adhered to from boat to boat.

Even though most of the Florida West coast boats got a bad rap, they made it possible for the average person to cruise and liveaboard today. Ted Irwin designs are still pleasing to the eye and sail well for their designed purpose long past their design range. Cruisers today are far more conservative and informed than we were back in the 70's with technology. 80% of the time, the boat is in port, or at anchor. Staying longer in a nice comfortable boat waiting for a weather window and now having the ability to track even the smallest of squalls on board is much nicer than putting to sea in even the most capable of boats.

Both boats are ICW friendly with maximum mast height of 58. The deep draft 46 requires far more attention to depths and tides.

Resale is predicated on two things. Primarily what a bank will loan. As it is harder to get a loan on a boat, values have dropped considerably. Most banks loan to 20 year old boats and few loan up to 30 year old boats. Past that point, it is cash or creative financing only, which depletes the potential buyer pool considerably. So, an 83 in Bristol condition has less value than an 85 in average condition most of the time.

Buying a boat for cruising the islands is more about the overall costs as the original reply indicated and the rule of thumb should always be to buy the smallest boat you are comfortable on.

Neither is a blue water built boat. Both are comfortable motorsailers well at home in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.
11-02-2014 01:50 AM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Originally Posted by TomandKarens34 View Post
Another guy who posts one post, never to return. I got to stop taking the bait.
But your answer is very welcomed by readers.
So don't feel too bad about it.

I for example read your reply and made up my mind based upon it, so Thank you... and thanks to the guy-whe-never-returned for the question.

09-27-2013 10:30 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Probably so, Jim. When I see rust stains on the rudder, I know just what that means. It isn't a cleaning issue ! Well, maybe I did some good, if not for this fellow, perhaps the next guy.
09-27-2013 06:11 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Originally Posted by TomandKarens34 View Post
Another guy who posts one post, never to return. I got to stop taking the bait.
Maybe you saved his life.

Many of the posters come here seeking reaffirmation. When you reframe their question in the larger context, in an attempt to provide the wisdom they lack, they bail. They must realize that they will not get the reaffirmation they are seeking and will go elsewhere.
09-27-2013 05:21 PM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Another guy who posts one post, never to return. I got to stop taking the bait.
09-26-2013 12:57 AM
Re: 43' Irwin MKIII vs. Irwin 46' Ketch

Hi Nick. I'm not sure where to start without knowing a little bit about your expectations as well as your sailing skill level. Your questions are framed in a fashion that suggests you are new to this sailing thing. The boats you are looking are older cruising stock. Boats like these, unless unusually lightly used, need a ton of maintenance. Most of the systems, ( like the engine ) are nearing the end of their service life. If you are concerned about "parking" costs, this is only a minor factor in ownership of boats like these. Everything on a big boat and these are big boats, is enormously expensive. For example, a piece of standing rigging on my old 25 O'Day was $89. A new forestay on my Irwin 34 was $495. For these boats, it would be even more. Even if you get a survey on these boats you are looking at, there will be plenty of things that are missed. You could easily spend $15,000 to $50,000 after the sale price. Where do you want to sail ? Irwins are generally not considered blue water boats. That said, many have traveled far. Sailing is about developing a skill set. It is just as much about your judgment and preparation as it is about the capability of the boat. As another example, there are extraordinary street motorcycles for sale in dealerships across the country. An ordinary person can buy a motorcycle that has power and performance beyond what a formula 1 race bike had 35 years ago. Not one rider in 50 has the skills to exploit even one half of the potential of these machines. Of them, not one in 100 has access to a road where this might be done in safety. In this, one impediment is the skill set, the other is good judgment. Do you see how both are necessary to successful use of the bike's potential ? If you can't see what I mean, please view the " Creditcard Captains" on you tube. This is, indirectly, the answer to the single-handing question. Lastly, resale value. The boats you are looking at have lost their original value. They are close to worthless except for the careful maintenance that has been done to them. Some are Gems, who have been cared for without hesitation. The day that this devotion to their care lapses, is the start of their decline. Only you can define their residual value. It can be quite a bit but it will only be a fraction of what it has cost to maintain them. To translate that into English, they won't hold their resale value at all. In addition, the money you put in them will be a poor return, 50% or less, unless it's like a new motor. In that case it will help sell the boat and you might get 60% of the cost back. Hope this frames things up a bit for you.
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