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Irwin 52 Suitability for bluewater cruising - your thoughts?

Discussion in 'Irwin' started by JKimbu, Aug 12, 2017 at 12:38 PM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. JKimbu

    JKimbu

    Joined Saturday
    3 posts, 0 likes
    Irwin 52 Mk II
    US Maryland Annapolis
    Interested in hearing personal experiences with owners taking their 52's on passages - Atlantic, Pacific, etc. Interested in doing more than just the Caribbean, and wonder if the old girls are up to it??

    Thanks!
     


  2. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,733 posts, 105 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
  3. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    356 posts, 37 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    For how many people? How many able bodied adults? With what experience level?
     


  4. JKimbu

    JKimbu

    Joined Saturday
    3 posts, 0 likes
    Irwin 52 Mk II
    US Maryland Annapolis
    Two (moderatly able-bodied - not Navy SEALS but not flabby couch potatoes either) people in liveaboard mode, minimal experience but wouldn't be doing crossings until we had lots of coastal time and Caribbean time under our belts. The question is whether the opinion is whether the boat is worthy... not much we can do about the paltry crew no matter what boat. :) We'd augment on find-a-crew for longer passages.
     


  5. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    356 posts, 37 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    I've only been one a long time time ago; however, my impressions:
    • It's big and commodious.
    • The handholds below seemed less well throughout for an offshore boat. It's not as "open" as larger boats with very broad beams (including Beneteaus)
    • As for sailing ability, it wasn't able to be going to weather or moving in light air very well.
    • As for construction, I have heard that there was a variety of variations in the levels of quality. I really don't have any knowledge about the big Irwin -- but I'd have it intensely surveyed before I took any boat out across the Pacific, if I were so inclined.
     


  6. JKimbu

    JKimbu

    Joined Saturday
    3 posts, 0 likes
    Irwin 52 Mk II
    US Maryland Annapolis
    Clarification: We've been on her several times, although not sailing. So we know all about the spaces, storage, handholds, etc. I guess really I'm looking for general information about the brand and potential suitability for bluewater cruising. For sure any specific boat would need to be well sorted, just looking for red flags out there. Thanks!
     


  7. Don S/V ILLusion

    Don S/V ILLusion

    Joined Sep 25, 2008
    4,733 posts, 105 likes
    Alden 50
    US Sarasota, Florida
    My only experience with the 52 is in thinking of buying one many years ago - probably in the 1990s. So my knowledge is very limited.
    The only issues I recall from the survey are:
    1. The painted mast needed refinishing which was very expensive if done properly.
    2. All windows had wooden frames, many of which leaked at some point and were rotted.
    3. There were steel frame supports for the A/c units, gen set, lockers, tanks, etc... all of which were rusted, some completely.
    4. There was an issue with some of the chain plates but I don't recall if that was the show-stopper.
     


  8. SG

    SG

    Joined Feb 11, 2017
    356 posts, 37 likes
    J/Boat J/160
    US Annapolis
    I guess that answered the question, ;^)))

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 1:42 PM
  9. David in Sandusky

    David in Sandusky

    Joined Nov 8, 2007
    907 posts, 45 likes
    Hunter 27_75-84
    US Sandusky Harbor Marina, Lake Erie


  10. Bkrisko1

    Bkrisko1

    Joined Sep 16, 2013
    11 posts, 0 likes
    Wauquiez 43 Amphitrite
    US Stuart
    Back in the late 70's, I delivered one from Ft. Lauderdale to Saint Thomas, and then I skippered another Irwin 52 for 4 races at Antigua Race Week (cruising class), and then delivered her up to Chesapeake City, MD. She is a slow but comfortable boat. However, on the delivery north, we encounted 40 knots of wind, and 8 foot seas for 48 hours. The bow section was oil canning so bad that all of the screws backed out of the interior panels in the v-birth and the panels fell off. We also lost 2 hatches on the cabin top forward.
    I wouldn't want to be caught out in a gale in one, but for fair weather cruising, she can't be beat!
     



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