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Irwin 52 Suitability for bluewater cruising - your thoughts?

JKimbu

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Aug 12, 2017
3
Irwin 52 Mk II 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!
 

SG

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Feb 11, 2017
1,670
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
For how many people? How many able bodied adults? With what experience level?
 

JKimbu

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Aug 12, 2017
3
Irwin 52 Mk II 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.
 

SG

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Feb 11, 2017
1,670
J/Boat J/160 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.
 

JKimbu

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Aug 12, 2017
3
Irwin 52 Mk II 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!
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,268
Alden 50 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.
 
Sep 16, 2013
11
Wauquiez 43 Amphitrite 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!