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Old 02-07-2009, 07:46 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25

I've spotted a decent looking Irwin 37 GRP currently for sale. American designed. I've read one report on a 38 that said it wasn't particularly good for blue water cruising but I can't seem to find anything on a 37. Could the report be about one and the same boat? Does anyone have any first hand opinion on a 37? Seems a pretty good boat to me but then I'm certainly no expert.

The other question I have is can anyone tell me what the 'Duty' would be on the boat as it's US registered and I'm in Australia. I've heard both 5% and 15% mentioned. Then I suppose there's GST on top plus registration in Oz and I've got no idea what else.

Any information or opinions would be appreciated as I can't wait to get 'out there' with you all.



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Old 02-07-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,067

Hello There,

Here's a review on the 37 :- CLICK HERE

Presume that you are in Australia, if so - suggest contact the customs for estimate on the duty that may be payable - they will need to know the year (might even need to see builder's certificate) not sure if they levy on what they believe to be market value.

good luck


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Old 02-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Thanks Richard for your assistance.

The review doesn't really positively speak of the Irwin 37 being a good blue water cruiser but does speak highly of it's internal features. It appears that boats, in my price range anyway, are truely a compromise in one way or another. Still, I have a little more time to think about it and do some more research as I've only recently come across this boat. I'll contact Customs this week as per your suggestion. Thanks again for your response.

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Old 02-10-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25

G'day Richard,

Thanks for your advice. I contacted Customs and was informed that Duty is 5% of purchase price and there is a 10% GST on top of purchase price including Duty plus insurance and transport costs. There may be an exemption on American boats as the result of a trade agreement. There is also something about the age of the boat. Getting the info was a little bit like pulling teeth but in the end I think I managed to get the most important parts.


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Old 02-05-2013, 11:34 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2013
Home Port: Luperon
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This is a late reply but might save some people in the future. We had the cutter ketch version (1979). It was roomy and we had heard that these boats were strong. Going over a wave outside Miami we heard a strange noise and later found out that we had oil-canned the hull. This was jacked out and strengthened. Talking to other 37 owners we found that this was a common occurrence.
Trying to sail to wind is almost impossible and we found possibly dangerous. We were glad that we had a stay sail and could get a better heading albeit slow headway.
Mizzen good for mounting wind generator and stuff.
If it capsized I doubt that it would right itself but with all the openings and fragile fittings would go down pretty quickly.
We had fun on the boat for ten years but it is not a sail boat unless you are on a beam or broad reach.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:19 AM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 25

G'day Birdman,

I thought my original post had died a quiet death. Unfortunately the Irwin 37 I was interested in was an integral part of a MLM scam used by the owner simply to get e-mail addresses in order to later (much later) hit up the poor unsuspecting victims to join his MLM 'business'. Pity because the Irwin 37 looked like a nice cruising boat. (Unfortunately for the said owner I remembered his name and replied with some comments about his boat, business and him in general. I really would like to meet him one day face to face to really tell him what I think of him and thank him for wasting my time). I've since purchased a 36' steel sloop. Maybe one day I'll go seriously cruising.

Thanks for getting back to me and letting others know about the Irwin 37.


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Old 04-30-2013, 09:19 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2010
Home Port: the boat
Vessel Name: Skipping Stone
Posts: 79

Basically, Irwins were built in mass production and are not considered to be high quality boats. I had a friend who delivered a new 65 from Newport south to St Thomas, and his description of seeing the forward half of the boat twisting in front of him in moderate trades was pretty scary. I have two other friends who will not take their 52's to sea, just inter-island, choosing the weather carefully.
All that said, there are folks out there taking Hunters on circumnavigations! With no backstays! To each his (or her) own.
"Any a**hole can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one"
Spike Africa, aboard the Schooner Wanderer, Sausalito, Ca. 1964
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:49 PM   #8
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Home Port: Oxford, MD
Vessel Name: Boomerang!
Posts: 112

Just a few thoughts..... In reality....Teddy built good boats until Jimmy Carter became president when the costs of anything containing any type of oil product became so exorbitant, most of the boat manufacturers, i.e., Soveral, Morgan, Irwin, Watkins, Jensen, and even Island Packet along with many others, mostly went out of business. To try to stay alive, many of them starting building boats for the charter trade. Teddy Irwin was in that situation, again, as were many others.

I knew most all of these guys personally, in particular Teddy Irwin and Charley Morgan. It was a sad time in American history, and we are on our way there again, to the chagrin of those of us, that lived through that era and were actually paying attention.

Charley, and in particular Teddy tried desperately to survive....the charter trade also suffered greatly, and ultimately many manufacturers met their demise.

The Irwin Boats were good boats in their day, mostly built to CCA standards, heavily built and sound. His charter boats, the 37, 43, 52,and 65 were desperation boats that mostly survived the charter business even today....but I would not purchase one for real offshore work, although I know of several that have completed circumnavigations....

S/V Boomerang!

1980 Cal 39 Mark II

St Michaels, MD
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:14 AM   #9
Join Date: May 2013
Home Port: Burnett Heads
Posts: 1

We bought an Irwin 37 in pretty poor shape in Florida in 2011 and sailed it to Australia. It took us six weeks of hard work before we could sail away. First up to Jacksonville, then around to Tampa Bay before heading to Australia via the Panama Canal. East to West across the Pacific is nearly all reaching and running and there were no problems. Only two lots of wind above 40 knots, hove to for two days in one of them as it was hard on the nose and sailed with the other as it was a reach. Sailed conservatively as did not want any breakdowns. Best days were 150 nm.

Boats are built for a purpose and I believe that this design was built primarily for live-a-board cruising in Florida/Bahama waters where the seas are generally flat and the waters are generally shallow. It suits this design criteria perfectly. There are, of course, many other areas in the world like this where this boat is perfectly suited as well. Huge internal volume for a 37 footer and well laid out although storage space could be improved on. It could also have been built stronger but it was not designed for high latitude waters and it amply strong enough for milder climates as our trip across from Florida proved. (Florida, Mexico, Cayman's, Panama, Costa Rica, Galapagos, Marquises, Cook Island, Fiji, Australia)

We also met another Australian that was returning home to Tasmania with his Irwin 38. Between us we had sailed over 300,000 nm so had some experience with a variety of boats and both felt that the Irwin represented good value for money.

I cannot comment on windward performance because even after over 11, 000 nm in her we have only sailed to windward twice and both times in perfect conditions. I would imagine that her windward performance in rough conditions would be less than average. There are a number of different version of the 37 (our's was a Mark 5, centerboard, low aspect sloop rigged version) and there would be differences in the windward sailing performances of the different versions.

As long as you allow for the cost, importing a boat into Australia is a simple matter. Hope this helps.

To sum up:
Plus's are huge volume, safe, comfortable and easy to handle.
Minus's are not built for high latitude sailing and also, I think, if you want to do a lot of windward sailing.

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