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Irwin 38 Citation - potential purchase

Mar 9, 2016
28
Irwin Citation 38 Madeira Beach
Hi all,
We are considering purchasing an Irwin 38 Citation and would be very interested to hear general views - negative or positive......

General build quality? Standard of cabin interior fit out? Points to watch etc?


Best regards


Mike and Christina Auton
 

SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,929
West Marine kayak Tampa Bay
That's quite a step up from the previous target. What changed your mind as to size?
 
Mar 9, 2016
28
Irwin Citation 38 Madeira Beach
That's quite a step up from the previous target. What changed your mind as to size?
Trying to buy as much as we can for our limited budget + realised that we will need a bigger boat for what we are going to end up doing with it.
 

SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,929
West Marine kayak Tampa Bay
Remember that the larger the boat, the larger all of your ongoing expenses are going to be. That will affect a limited budget AFTER the purchase. Good luck.
 
Aug 27, 2014
6
Irwin Citation 38' Port Charlotte
Hi Guys,

So you are looking at a I-Citation 38. I have loved our 1989 Citation 38 “Seawings” for the last number of years. Are there things I don’t like about her...of course, are there things I do like….absolutely. First off she is one of the sexiest , seductive boats of her era and demands a second look by anyone who catches a glimpse of her. She “Calls” to you, It’s hard to look away or leave her. While pulling into marinas the locals let me know with “NICE BOAT!” then followed by “What is She?”

Her galley layout is spacious and more than adequate. Aft cabin…. A bit claustrophobic so don’t sleep with your head at the stern. Settee is ok however a bit awkward due to the mast position...but HEY..it’s a sailboat not a Winabago. V berth is a V berth, unless you are bringing kids onboard you will probably use it for storage. I certainly like the swing down transom steps for dinghy boarding and egress.

Fiberglass build: Solid fiberglass Hull no Coring...I like that, Deck has Klegcell core which apparently doesn’t absorb water or rot, this would be a good thing.

Cabin layout is reasonable, functional, big
Cockpit layout, Max people comfortably– 4 underway, 6-dockside

OK, you know why you like it, here’s what your asking

Things I don’t like: Interior build quality. Just kind of cheap, no real precision in the millwork craftsmanship. A lot like an 80’s era travel trailer. I would expect that mostly non skilled labor was used in the interior construction. It’s functional but no wow factor. For me...I am slowly turning the interior into a fine woodworking project, a nice hobby for me, a little here and a little there.
Chain-plate to Deck connections: I have seen other 38 Citations and they differ from ours, Most have a solid bar stock of stainless connecting the underside of the deck to a stringer type wall which also served as the backrest of the settee. Seawings uses a turnbuckle the size of my for arm in place of the bar stock. Apparently to be able to adjust the shroud tension above and below the deck. The factory also did away with the fiberglass crossbar that runs along the ceiling of the cabin from chainplate to chainplate that I would imagine prevents the port and starboard sides from being distorted by rig pressure. We just tuned the rig last week and it was a lot of “in and out” of the cabin. I need to think about this and understand why the change was made from the former configuration.

Wiring: SUCKS! But so does the wiring on just about all boats of this vintage. The Yanmar factory used all non tinned wire in the harness (I think the guy who makes the harnesses changed from Farm to Marine without changing the wire and parts). If the engine harness hasn't already been replaced you will more than likely find many corrosion problems. Just take a weekend and build a new harness with tinned wire and Duetch connectors.
Anchor locker: Not much room, I’m still trying to figure out how to install a windlass. A previous owner had a windlass installed but removed it and patched up the holes.
Stantion connections: As with most boats the stantions had never been serviced, We have pulled them, rebbed and added backing plates. Until this was done we always had leaks.
Factory Roller Furler. When purchased it took 3 men and a boy to unfurl and furl, after removing the head sail. I dismantled the drum, cleaned parts, refitted a few improperly installed screws and now it works like a dream.

I could go on and on but I know why you are considering the Citation 38, Understand that it’s an older production boat, Irwin cut corners where it didn’t make a difference and did a nice jog where it does. You will be working many hours to get your boat up to snuff regardless of what make its.

Would I buy her again? Sure...she “Calls” to me
 
Mar 9, 2016
28
Irwin Citation 38 Madeira Beach
Hi,

Many thanks for such a detailed response, it is really hard to find any information on these boats. We saw yours on the blog which is still out there from 2012, was useful to see the transom gate folded down as this is big plus for us.

Do you know of any other Citation 38's here in the US? I am wondering how many they made originally...

We are buying the boat because we love the look of it, that always has to be the right starting point I feel.

I am a keen woodworker and have a workshop in my garage, so also intend to make the interior a little more inviting. Would be really interested to hear/see what modifications you have made? Would like to give it a more 'quality' feel.

Windlass - one of the first things on my list, cannot imagine that anchor is easy to haul out!

What about space in cockpit lockers? They look a little small?

LOVE your blue hull and considering painting ours, but most everyone is telling me this is a bad idea!?! Excess heat, harder to maintain - also an expensive paint job. My last boat had a blue hull and it looked fabulous.

We are driving up to AL on Monday, sea trial and survey on Tuesday. Made a note of the points you have raised here - many thanks.
 
Aug 27, 2014
6
Irwin Citation 38' Port Charlotte
Dear Mike and Christina,

Good luck to you on Tuesday! I think I’ve seen the Citation you are considering and if not mistaken she came from Muskegon, Michigan. If that’s true your corrosion issues may be held to a minimum but have the surveyor take a look.

I will keep you up to date on the windlass progress , maybe shoot you some pics .

Cockpit Lazerettes…. Oh baby, starboard is small enough for some emergency gear, Port is huge and awkward, probably where a generator option was intended. We have a Honda E2000 on board. Solar coming as soon as I figure out how to install it without messing up the looks. You may want to consider a folding wheel at some point.

Other Citations 38‘s? You probably know all the ones I know, I see them every now and again online being sold but it is rare and usually it’s the same ads for the same boats. Saw one once that was a derelict on the hard… couldn’t be saved…..broke my heart…..

This is a difficult but exciting time for you. On one hand your looking at a boat to find the things that are wrong and how she acts. On the other hand you realize (as I did) You aren’t buying a Hinckley for 300K. So somewhere in there you need to find some ground where it all makes sense.

The way I look at it is ...Seawings will never be the the superboat that sits at the marina in the back of my mind. But she IS real, she IS here and she looks good doing it. She fits the mission of having fun without breaking the bank. If we want to go out for a weekend... we go, If we want to go to the Keys... we go.

On the Blue Hull, yeah… kind of a PIA but natural beauty takes both time and money. To hot? No! hard to keep clean? A little if you consider washing it hard.

One last thought…..Insurance, many companies rate policies different for boats over 35’, When I mean “different” I mean quadruple the cost, check yours out.

With you already having experience in a Catalina you have the knowledge needed to make a wise decision. I think what you are paying for it probably makes it a “No brainer” but just don’t let the looks and the size cause you to overlook any deal breakers.

I wish you the best on Tuesday

Dar
 
Last edited:
Mar 9, 2016
28
Irwin Citation 38 Madeira Beach
Hi Dar,

Here is the listing for the boat. We managed to negotiate what I felt was a fair price. I had a Surveyor do a 1 hour walk round and he is confident the boat is right and well looked after at first sight - we will see when we start digging. She did indeed come from Muskegon, was brought down the ICW in 2015 and had a lot done to her before and during 2015.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1987/Irwin-Citation-38-2925799/Mobile/AL/United-States#.VxPN6OIrJD8

Delighted to hear there is actually some good space in the port locker, it looked small on the pictures.

Already thought about a folding wheel, but I know that would be VERY pricey so will not be high on the list. We are on a budget and not expecting a Rolls Royce.

We are setting off tomorrow morning for the drive up (oh joy!!), want to get a good look ahead of the sear trial.

Also wondering if we can install an A/C unit at some stage, curious to see if there is enough space for the AC and a Genset....


Best regards


Mike
 

SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,929
West Marine kayak Tampa Bay
Well, congrats on the purchase. If you need crew for the trip, I'd be interested.
 
Mar 9, 2016
28
Irwin Citation 38 Madeira Beach
Well, congrats on the purchase. If you need crew for the trip, I'd be interested.
Hi, We could well be interested in some experienced crew. Please PM me your email address and I will keep you posted on dates and potential passage plan - appreciate the offer :)


Mike
 
Jul 11, 2016
6
Pacific Olson 30 Carlyle,IL
Hi Mike,
Just found this thread. I am going to take a look at a couple of boats this weekend, been one a Catalina 34 and one an Irwin Citation 38.
I would like to hear your thoughts about it, since you just went from a Catalina to a Citation, can you help my family decide?
Thank you