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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Irwin > Irwin - Bluewater Capable???
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Thread: Irwin - Bluewater Capable??? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-15-2014 08:13 PM
Total Chaos
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

I think that there are certainly many boats that are better equipped for blue water sailing right after they are built. However IMHO many of these shortcomings can be addressed, with slight modification, reinforcements, grab rails etc. Not saying that this will necessarily be cheap to do on some boats. There are some hull designs and rigs that provide for better upwind sailing etc. and some that provide much better livability. So yes, I'd agree that there are "better blue water boats" from one to the next. I think that just about any good sized sailboat can be fit out to cross oceans, is it cost effective? well I can't say that...

As to the Irwin... the 65 was built as a world cruiser, not a charter boat, contrary to popular opinion.. The first charter version was not designed until a year after mine was built. The hull and deck joint are massively constructed. The Irwin could point better than she does, and she won't win any races I think.. unless its beam seas all the way, but overall a go anywhere boat.

As to the smaller Irwins, most I've seen appear to be sound vessels that with some upgrading and some minor modification would take you anywhere you want to go. To be fair I don't have a lot of experience with the smaller Irwins, but I haven't seen a lot of difference between an Irwin and a comparable Swan of the same age. Maybe on the fit and finish, more a lack of maintenance than poor design. Irwin's were very well designed.
03-15-2014 07:29 AM
jzk
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

I disagree. There are a wide variety of boats out there, some much better suited for bluewater than others. But your points about the skipper are certainly valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
This is exactly right. The whole "bluewater boat" debate is crap for the most part.
03-14-2014 10:23 AM
Group9
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
This is exactly right. The whole "bluewater boat" debate is crap for the most part.
Much more important question, "Is the Captain a bluewater Captain?"

I know it's flying, but I loved reading an account of when the US capture it's first Russian MIG and had test pilot Chuck Yeager fly against it and totally whip the pilots flying it and had the generals feeling pretty good.

Until they put Yeager in the MIG and had him fly that, at which point he whipped all of the pilots flying the US fighters.

The moral that the USAF learned, experienced and properly trained pilots were often a much more important component that which plane was actually better on paper.

Hence the fighter weapons schools the USAF and Navy put on to train pilots to do that.

If Lin and Larry Pardey had never existed, and a young couple came here and stated that they were about to do, what the Pardeys did, how badly would they be mauled by some people here (or any other sailing site)?
03-14-2014 09:36 AM
chucklesR
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

That's a 65 - mine is a 38 center cockpit (not Citation).

I removed my entire push pit and re-bedded the stanchions last summer when doing the toe rail and the old 'Irwin' davit removal. Every one of them was a 2.5 inch SS screw coming out.
The rest of the stanchions will be getting pulled and refastened this summer. Most are just two screws only the pulpit and push pit areas have three screws. I'm pretty darn sure it's all original as the previous owners kept meticulous records on everything they did.
I don't anticipate any more than a three day trip offshore; it'll do.
03-14-2014 04:16 AM
Total Chaos
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

Here is a better view, courtesy of the Irwin yachts website. Yes as far as I know Ted is still alive.
03-14-2014 03:45 AM
irwin37
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

Just a note on this, Ted Irwin is still alive last I checked, at lease he was when he got in a boating accident back in Oct of 2010. He stopped building the last of his boats in the 90,s if my thinking is correct.
03-14-2014 03:37 AM
Total Chaos
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

This is page four from the original Irwin 65 brochure, it shows the hull deck joint very nicely. Note the joint is polyester bonded. This is one heck of a joint, minus the potential issues I mentioned earlier with using screws.
03-14-2014 02:26 AM
gtfyre
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Total Chaos View Post
I can't speek to any of the small Irwins, as we are a 65, but our stantions go compeletely through the toe rail, and the flange and into a wood block which is incapsulated in glass, each stantion was orignally beddd in something that resembels 4200, there was resin in every wood block as evidenced by our drilling each one out slightly oversize and then sealing with thickened epoxy and dowling and re-boring each and then sealing again with expoy, then setting the stantion in 4200. The stantions are very, very strong...
Same on my 1984 38... Chuckles, All I can think of is either a repair was done incorrectly in the past on your boat to the stanchions -or- things toward the end there at Irwin got a bit unpredictable and you may have been a victim of a design change. Also is it a regular Irwin 38 or a Citation 38? Bizarre. I can quite clearly see the block areas that my stanchions go into. I have not taken them apart to verify the pass through, but the conversations with Gene that I have had indicated the 38's had the same design as the others in this regard. I specifically talked to him on the phone about getting the stanchions re-bedded down at the "Irwin" marina as the last thing I get done to her before heading out for good...

My overall understanding is that the whole point of the 38s was to be a more "bluewater" version of the popular 37. Stronger designs and options like the switchblade keel etc. were all toward that end. Mine is built like a tank. Every mechanic that has touched her here in the Annapolis area has remarked on her construction. The surveyor also fell in love with her. I'm sorry your boat isn't the same experience as mine... Really, I am. I have read though that at the end the factory was throwing things together pretty willy-nilly after Irwin died and things were falling apart. All of this is conjecture of course, but I don't know what else could explain these glaring differences other than what I put forth above.
03-12-2014 05:38 PM
Total Chaos
Re: Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

I can't speek to any of the small Irwins, as we are a 65, but our stantions go compeletely through the toe rail, and the flange and into a wood block which is incapsulated in glass, each stantion was orignally beddd in something that resembels 4200, there was resin in every wood block as evidenced by our drilling each one out slightly oversize and then sealing with thickened epoxy and dowling and re-boring each and then sealing again with expoy, then setting the stantion in 4200. The stantions are very, very strong...
03-12-2014 01:31 PM
jzk My 1971 irwin 38 was through bolted with a teak toe rail.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Total Chaos:1617498
Just a note on the hull deck joint. I really think the deck joint is where Irwin gets its bad wrap. Irwin used screws (yes screws) instead of bolts to mechanicaly fasten the the joint and the screws come into the joint from the side as well as the top. When these boats were newer the joint was actually fantastically strong, in fact Irwin was very proud of their hull deck joint, even diagraming it in the sales brochure. The fact is after 30 years these screws have likely suffered crevice corrsosion and could be dangerous. Through bolting the flange all the way through the block is the best idea, but will require a significant refit, as much of the joint is not accessable and requires replacing interior wood work.

The hull deck joint uses an overlaping flange that is chemically bonded, the flange on the bottom wraps and compelely incapsulates a solid ash block the full length of the joint. (Very strong) Holes are drilled through the flange and into the ash block to support the stantions and the ash was epoxy sealed and then adhesive was used to secure the stantion in the block. The whole joint was excellent when these boats were newer, but with water intrusion from lack of maitenance, the ash block around the stantions begins rotting and then the stantion is no longer strong. These are not difficult fixes, but will require some effort. The hull next to the joint is solid glass and there is no core, which means even with water intrusion from the joint, or the stantions, there should be NO core rot in the cored area, as there is no way for the water to get there.
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