Irwin - Bluewater Capable??? - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 82 Old 05-20-2007 Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Irwin - Bluewater Capable???

Looking to pick up a boat for upcoming "retirement" (term used loosely). Would like to get a boat in the 32'-37' range, capable of being handled by crew of 2 and one in a pinch. Looking at coastal shake-out cruises over the new few years with some multiple week trips south. Ultimately, will be taking on more offshore sails. Many boat manufacturers "claim" offshore capability. Have looked at Alberg 37, Allied Princess 36, and S2 11. Each has nice open layout but obviously there is a difference in bluewater capability.

Question - are Irwin's built to handle these goals? If so, what models within the length constraints would you recommend?

Thanx in advance for any advice you can provide - directed at Irwins or others.

SailingWY is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 82 Old 05-23-2007
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 49
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
As the proud owner of an Irwin 37, I would say it just depends on what type of blue water you are thinking about. If you are thinking about within a couple of hundred miles of the coast, or around the Gulf of Mexico or Carribean, an Irwin should do fine.
If your goal is to cross oceans or sail around the world, I would probably look for something more heavy duty. The Irwin might do it, but would need some work to strengthen it up a bit.
In the size you are looking at, either the Irwin 37 or 38 are good choices.
essman is offline  
post #3 of 82 Old 05-23-2007
camaraderie's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,875
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 20
NO. A "couple of hundred miles off the coast" is not coastal sailing. It is blue water and no place for an Irwin 37-38. (I owned a 44).
They are fine affordable boats for COASTAL cruising and Bahamas etc.//// Took ours from Maine to Bahamas and was well satisfied. Much more liveable space than some of the others you are looking it is all about what you really need.
camaraderie is offline  
post #4 of 82 Old 05-26-2007 Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Thanx for the reply, folks. You've confirmed what I perceived of the Irwins - designed essentially for comfortable Caribbean coastal cruising.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and be safe.
SailingWY is offline  
post #5 of 82 Old 05-31-2007
dougshipl's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: S FL
Posts: 83
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
I strongly agree with camaraderie as we owned an Irwin 34 (now own a Hylas). We loved the Irwin and warmth of the teak cabin. Bought it in NJ so sailed the coast of NJ, NY then moved it to Lake Mead Las Vegas (which has gusts of over 50mph) then moved it to San Francisco and sailed all over the bay and Coastal Pacific when calm. But make no mistake, like same size hunters, cata, and beni its not blue water as the 34 gets weather helm real bad (with reduced sail) over 18knots and its simply not designed for
for serious offshore. Take a close look at the hull, fittings etc. especially since the boats will be at least 20 years old now. Excellent boat for coastal & bay cruisng and best value for $ when all considered for weekend cruising.
Dtheodorerx likes this.
dougshipl is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to dougshipl For This Useful Post:
Dtheodorerx (03-17-2014)
post #6 of 82 Old 07-18-2007
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I've owned an 87 Irwin 38 Center Cockpit and now own an 82 Irwin 34. Both can been seen at A WebsiteBuilder Website - Home. I've had the 38 in some very rough water of the NJ coast and the Delaware Bay. Her pervious owner took her to the bahamas often. The 34 will be tested offshore in the next few weeks but I expect her to be 'capable' for offshore but I dont expect to push her. I'll be paying much more attention to the weather, etc. Both boats have lots of room and are well laid out.

Good Luck
mpulaski is offline  
post #7 of 82 Old 09-18-2007
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
We have an Irwin 32, 1988, and have owned her for 12 years. We sailed her mostly on Lake Ontario and she did great. She had some leaks we have fixed but she is fast and capable for what we are doing now which is Florida and the Bahamas, eventually. Wish she were larger but she is paid for and that makes her even more beautiful!!
pmesmer is offline  
post #8 of 82 Old 10-02-2007
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 53
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
Ihave a 80 irwin 37' and camaraderie could not be more right. I had the unpleasant experience of getting caught in wind in excess of 25-30 mph and unless you have the wind in your back, forget about it. It's next to impossible to hold the boat up against strong winds without having the iron genny running on full strottle.
Eleanna is offline  
post #9 of 82 Old 10-24-2007
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Cobbs Creek, VA
Posts: 969
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 19
I have a 76 Irwin 37CC, I've had it for about three years and I haven't had the luck to take it out into the big blue, but I've been out on the Chesapeake by the Rappahanic River and my wife & I love her. She's got a full keel and is a ketch rig. The one major problem I've had is when there are light wind's, she doesn't want to go to windward at all, in fact after a couple of hours of trying to tack back & forth I found to my amazement that I had lost ground. We really like the boat overall though. Look at our pictures on the Irwin owners web site. Under mike & Glinda.

Mike & Glinda McKee
s/v Blue Bayou
MIKEMCKEE is offline  
post #10 of 82 Old 11-16-2007
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 25
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Irwin 37 - Blue Water Capable

I have an Irwin 37' CC that I am currently strengthening for blue water capability. Yes, it is true the Irwin was not designed for blue water. However, the Irwin 37 has several features that make it adaptable for reasonable blue water cruising. The fiberglass hull is plenty strong - at least thick or greater. The boat is a good size, provides space - a little additional weight is ok - yet small enough that strengthening it is a reasonable endeavor based on strength of common materials. So far the areas that I have strengthened or plan on strengthening include:

(1) The rigging. This depends on what you currently have. A rigger can give you recommendations.
(2) The compression post. Both above and below the sole on my boat.
(3) The bulkheads. Many of the bulkheads butt up against the headliner. The liner is only about 1/8" thick and there is a gap between the liner and deck. Adding support to the bulk head, either to fill the gap and/or adding additional materials alongside the existing bulkhead to extend to the deck.
(4) The flooring and/or sole. The floor pan in the Irwin 37 is an important part of the structure. I'm adding reinforcement below the sole, and to the sole itself, to ensure the pan does not rack extensively. I think the original fuel tanks contributed to structure. So if you modified the tanks, consider their role in strengthening the boat. I would not recommend adding fiberglass to the connection points of the pan to the hull. The originally designed fiberglass hull has proven to be plenty strong over years of use.
(5) The main salon is large for heavy weather sailing. Add extra hand holds and perhaps reinforcement to wall (roof).
(6) Another weak spot, although not related to blue water capability, is the stern tube aft of the dead wood. I'd recommend adding fiberglass around the aft end of the stern tube from the outside.

If any of you have additional engineering suggestions on where to strengthen and Irwin 37, I would appreciate the suggestions.

If you want to criticize the idea of strengthening the Irwin 37, please give me specifics based on experience or measurements. I know the boat was not originally designed for blue water and may not be comfortable in heavy weather. All boats are a compromise.
mcollins07 is offline  

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 3 (0 members and 3 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
C&C Landfall 39CC: Bluewater Capable? kwaltersmi Boat Review and Purchase Forum 10 01-01-2013 11:58 AM
Advice needed on bluewater capable boats Hmm Boat Review and Purchase Forum 17 03-24-2010 12:07 AM
Bristol - Bluewater Capable??? SailingWY Bristol 20 04-18-2009 05:56 PM
Morgan 416 Bluewater capable boat? tausap Boat Review and Purchase Forum 8 01-16-2009 03:55 PM
Island Packet - Bluewater Capable??? SailingWY Island Packet 6 06-12-2007 09:40 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome