Just bought my first sailboat..a 1973 Irwen28

Jan 13, 2015
Irwen 28 Charleston
I have recently purchased a 1973 Irwen28. This boat was abandoned. Its hatch was left open for a period of time, so it was flooded with about 12-16 inches of rain water. I pumped all this water out. Cleaned it all up with bleach and Dawn. Some plywood was saturated. I also cleaned the deck. I was surprised that all the grime came off fairly easy. She cleaned up very well. I have no sails, and there are a few other pieces missing. I removed a rather overbuilt doorway/bulkhead that was not original to the design. This is a deck stepped mast setup. I set up a temporary 4x4 and jack to support the mast. I am going to rebuild this support much better..seeing that everything was soaking wet and swelled. The Atomic4 has been discarded, so I will have to rely on a Sail master 4 HP I had found a few months ago. All in all I know I will have a lot of work to do...and I look toward to it. If anyone can help me with some pointers and good sound advice..I'm all ears. Thank you very much.
Dec 7, 2012
Kittiwake 23, Irwin 43 .. Indianapolis / indianatown, fl

congrats to your new family member.... welcome to the family.... you will have much fun with your boat.... the irwins are really good boats....

there is a lot of good projects and advice on this forum and also in the archives.... ask all the question you want... there is a ton of helpful people here who can help you... I have received loads of helpful information when I was rebuilding my last couple of boats....

remember this, the only dumb question is the one you didn't ask, and later get yourself into trouble over....

again, welcome to the family of sails

Sep 23, 2009
O'Day 34-At Last Rock Hall, Md
A few good resources for your long winter nights reading. "Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" by Nigel Calder, ""Fiberglass Boat Repairs Illustrated" by Roger Marshall and maybe "Sailboat Hull and Deck Repair" by Don Casey.
When faced with a repair, you will find lots of help doing searches here and on you tube.
I find "Good Old Boat" magazine" inspirational, great reading when you boat seems like it will never be finished. Reminds me no boat every is.
Jul 22, 2011
Mariner Yacht Co.(NH) Mariner 28 Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Welcome and Good Luck. I would try and find a diagram of the original interior. Frequently the bulkheads are structural. You may find the deck and topsides "squishing" when you tune the standing rigging with only a compression post.My 28, not Irwin< has two bulkheads forward, 3/4 in ply which define the head and one surrounding the companion way. I've seen boats with the rigging so tight that the hull deforms. Make sure the bulkhead doesn't act as a stretcher. On sailboat data, the diagram looks like your boat is simlar to mine with 2 bulkheads forming the head. In the winter on the hard, I drill a hole in the bilge, which keeps the boat from filling up. In the spring, 20 minutes with some epoxy fills the hole. Easier than worrying about bilge pumps and solar panels all winter.
Jan 13, 2015
Irwen 28 Charleston
I have been studying the situation with Tue bulkhead support. I've determined that there is not a compression post to be found, unless its contained within the sort return wall I see in diagrams. I'm going to proceed with a doorway/support. I want ease of movement thru the cabin, and I feel I can build it very strong. When I first pumped out the boat and started gutting her..I took out a similar idea some previous owner had installed, but it had soaked in water way to long and was way over built and bulky. My plan is for a construction that is less bulky and engineered much stronger. There had to have been at least 200-250 lbs of 2x4 and soaked plywood that was demoed, and I believe that would have effected the boats handling. If anyone has any ideas, please voice your opinions. Thank you..