$1 Irwin 30 - project photos

dfw_sailor

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Y'all may remember i bought an Irwin 30 in March 2019. Here is a collection of photos and comments. Feel free to admire / diss / wtf etc :)

All I ask is you keep in mind the aims of this project:

- accept the challenge to be a cheap ass while turning this lady into a lake cruiser / day sailor for lake ray hubbard in Dallas Texas - its only 3 miles x 5 miles!

- preferred source of materials is from scrapping off boats about to be demolished, or DIY.

- functional systems first (including any critical structural), then comfort items, then aesthetics. 

- our overall look and feel is to modernize the look while keeping with the smooth curved lines of cabin, deck and hull.

This is the bought as bought...

as bought.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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Lets start with electrical.

Basically an inspection of existing wire (grrrr some of it was labelled, but a PO decided to spray lots of white paint around and covered up labels.

Replace where necessary (new main GFCI, new 110v outlets, remove 1970's fuse / breaker, new breaker). Install additional 5v supply, dedicated 5v ground, 5v data cable for beopixel based interior led lighting.

The panel needs professional labels, but painters tape is fine for now ;)

- I put in a 110v  AC -> 12v DC 50 amp transformer so when in slip all 12v can run off mains rather than put load on the batteries (preserve battery life - 3 x AGMs of unknown age)  $30)

- 2 Bank 110v  Pro charger ($110 on sale)

- Solar charger, single solar panel (100w), solar isolation switch for when using 110v supply instead (about $150 ALL UP). Will upgrade to 200w soonish.

- Volt Meter / Current Meter, which is current draw from batteries.  If running on solar, current draw is only > 0 when solar is insufficient

- Switch charging between 110v and Solar.

electrical.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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np

Bimini.... This took a long time to measure up and work out what would fit. Went with 90" wide, 4' long. This provides enough shade for very hot summer days, but still allows room to step up and out of the cockpit to side decks or down into the cabin. $135 + 15 in shipping. Some trimming was required. I call it close enough to a perfect fit.

Should have done this before summer started this year. About the only 4' bimini left int he country - and the right color. Very short supply / hard to get.

bimini.jpg

 
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dfw_sailor

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BTW, in the bimini photo, you can see the new style of grab rails we are using (instead of the old wood). Next to starboard clutches. 3 rails on each side. We mainly use them for foot rests when the boat is powered up. More photos of that another time. yes we know the paint looks crap. Soft spots will be done this winter - covid got in the way, then summer, blah blah blah. boat was good to isolate on.

 

dfw_sailor

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It's a bit hard to see the new bow roller in this photo, you have to look under the anchor. Was able to grab a no longer needed roller set from a dead hunter 540. I know it seems massive overkill, but the bottom of lake ray hubbard varies from sand to mud, mostly just silt. We also have unexpected storms up to 60 mph winds or more, and we want to overnight a lot on the lake. Peace of mind.

practically, I had to remove the existing stem fitting and plate, surgically adjust the hunter bow roller with a grinder to make a fit, and also put a camber into the roller assembly. Added a deck chain fitting. Wife now complains about not having a anchor storage access cover in the v berth.

About $35 for the deck pipe fitting and $5 in extra bolts. Key, as always, is not what you know but who you know. 

Anchor, chain, rope, the big roller, all free.

ps. the anchor has a buoy & 40' retrieval line attached to the head of the blade, so it can be pulled out backwards if it drags into an old submerged fence.

bow roller.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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Here is the roller from the other boat. Some surgery done, lots more before it looked as though it was always designed to be there!

old roller.jpg

 

IStream

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Congrats on the progress! 

I had an Irwin Citation 31. Some gotchas with that boat that you may want to look out for:

1. No backing plates or solid core under any deck gear. Seal those deck penetrations!

2. The only cockpit drain was a cute little hole about 1" ID leading to a hose and through the transom. Problem was, besides being far too small, was that the 1" entry was just big enough to pass a bottle cap but the hose fittings downstream weren't. I found out the hard way. Make sure the hose is clear of debris and isn't the narrowest part of the drain chain. 

3. The propane locker drain went to a hose before going overboard. That hose had a low spot and waterlocked any time there was water nearby. 

All the above notwithstanding, we really used the hell out of that boat and enjoyed it thoroughly sailing in the PNW. Enjoy!

 

dfw_sailor

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AC!

Eventually we will have enough Solar to actually run it on battery while anchored, but for now it's used while at the slip.

As always it is a challenge to find a location for a non marine AC unit. And we are being cheap bastards. But there is a problem on the Irwin 30 for oldies like the wife and I. It has a deep cockpit. It HURTS to step up out of it, and I am only 54 and reasonably fit.

The solution was to cut into the front of the cockpit bulkhead, and put the AC there. Then a slim step (reinforced with Al angle) over the top, bolted to sides of cockpit. A wire frame swings up and down (normally left down but good to access the cockpit drains) to stop kicking the AC fins while sailing.

The duct tape is covering the old motor controls - it will be encouraged into being a cuddy.

ac cockpit.jpg

ac inside 3.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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I should add, this is the Irwin Competition Model, predating the Citation by about a year. There are 2 cockpit drains, port and starboard, at the front of the cockpit. They each have their own through hull. They can still block of course, and if that happens, and if a storm dumps 4" or more, then cockpit water rises up over the rudder (tiller) floor bearing / bracket, and then drains into the bilge.

Having the AC here breaks all the rules for ocean sailing of course - although washboards can be added, but remember this is for a lake, where the waves never get any higher than 3'.

 

dfw_sailor

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Congrats on the progress! 

I had an Irwin Citation 31. Some gotchas with that boat that you may want to look out for:

1. No backing plates or solid core under any deck gear. Seal those deck penetrations!

2. The only cockpit drain was a cute little hole about 1" ID leading to a hose and through the transom. Problem was, besides being far too small, was that the 1" entry was just big enough to pass a bottle cap but the hose fittings downstream weren't. I found out the hard way. Make sure the hose is clear of debris and isn't the narrowest part of the drain chain. 

3. The propane locker drain went to a hose before going overboard. That hose had a low spot and waterlocked any time there was water nearby. 

All the above notwithstanding, we really used the hell out of that boat and enjoyed it thoroughly sailing in the PNW. Enjoy!
1. Almost everything has been removed, rebedded, butyl etc. The scary part is now the AC has been running non stop for about 2 months, the boat is sitting about 1 1/2 inches higher. How much water was really in the deck core????????   Oh well. 

2. The competition model had independent cockpit drains at the front of the cockpit. . But still only a 1 1/2" opening that can block with trash easily!

3. The competition model doesnt have a lazarette or propane locker :(  Good and Bad. Wife and I are naughty smokers so we quite like not having gas or propane on the boat (other than gas for outboard).

Thanks for the great input!

 

dfw_sailor

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Uh oh - ran out of space for uploading photos today. 

More on Saturday!

Comments about the AC... On a cloudy day, with 50% humidity and say 100f air temp, we maintain a 15f cooler temp, with very low humidity. If it is sunny and we keep the cabin portlights covered we can maintain 10f cooler than outside. All bets are off if any of the  portlights or hatches are missing their sun covers.

gets the boat down to about 68f at night in the middle of summer. 

Purchase price = $130 (5,000 btu), plus about $30 in Al / bolts etc)

Apart from the cooling, wife and I both like the white noise at night - takes away almost any marina noise - even the neighbors 

 

dfw_sailor

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1. No backing plates or solid core under any deck gear. Seal those deck penetrations!
Just to expand on this, almost all hardware had good backing plates,  but there are 3 substantial soft deck issues - 1 each for the primary sidestays, and another area where the cockpit traveller had been moved to a cabin arch, and the old holes not sealed correctly..

However the biggest problem was the coach roof. The Competition model has a full internal gelcoated liner, with about a 1/4 to 1/2" gap between the liner and the cored roof. Sometime between construction and now various winches, organizers and the arch were added, and in a fit of brilliance the installers decided to drill straight through, use silicon on the fitting bases, but no other core protection. They also used stainless steel washers as packing items between the roof and liner, so the liner wasnt crushed up into the roof.

This didnt work out as they intended, of course. Movement, compression etc over time resulted in somewhat loose hardware, and plenty of water ingress. Plus each one of those bolt ends (which had been hammered over to remove burs which also meant the threads had to be cut using a dremel) were perfect scalp cutting bastards.

I removed the hardware, rebedded, but also cut holes into the liner so the nuts could be tightened directly against the inner roof fiberglass layer. Bolt ends cut so they were above the line, and then 3d printed various 'band aid' covers, attached with small stainless steel screws. Looks ok. Will look much better when re paint inside.

As mentioned in one of the posts above, a lot of water has come out of the deck because of the AC, so in addition to the major soft spot issues, I also have a few more areas where slight cracking can be heard when walking over (240 lbs). Im not sure what to do with those areas yet. I think it is some upper layer delamination effect from shrinking core, but I will wait and see how the major repair areas go first. 

 

dfw_sailor

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Yay the SA gods are letting me post more photos again.

We have a standard ice box setup, although I will improve the insulation. Did put in a half size wire shelf to keep food containers out of the slush though. Fine for parties, but didnt want to keep buying / carrying ice.

Had a lot of discussions whether to get a fridge or freezer. Decided on the freezer because we can keep gatorade / water frozen all the time, which keeps the inside cold when not shore powered - and eventually we will have sufficient solar to run this during the day while anchored anyway. 

Just fits. Has a temporary support structure until a finish the inside forward cockpit wall / cuddy remodel. This is also waiting on a decision to be made about opening up the sub cockpit space for additional storage because the A4 is long removed from the boat. Eventually we will shift to electric drive on the existing prop shaft - we only do a max of 4 nm in and out because hte lake is so small, so we can do it the cheap way. 

one of the best mods we have done, cost was about $240 via Amazon.

Also to explain why we are making this livable on a small lake - we want the ability to escape to the middle of the lake for a week or more, just on the off chance the world around Dallas goes to crap in the next 6 months. We started thinking in this manner back in February . We only live 2 mins drive from the Marina, which is great, but its also not in the best part of Dallas, so just being overly cautious.

boat freezer 2.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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This is a quirky change that has also made a big difference for us. The bulkheads are solid, but the laminate had rotted and has been removed. My current though is they will be covered in a laminate (almond color) prior to cabin repaint, so we can color match the paint properly.

The starboard bulkhead passageway edge originally ran all the way up vertically to the liner roof. There was no structural need to do this. So we cut it wider to provide full shoulder width access. (I'm 6' x 240lbs) so need the space. We also removed the original side liner material which was white panel with stained horizontal strips, and replaced with ply, end sealed, stained and urethaned. Also put foil bubble insulation between the hull side and the ply. You can sort of see the effect in the starboard v berth wall. 

Used plastic U shaped material (from plastic shade mesh end cap material) as vertical stringers, glued in, to provide spacing as well as strong adhesion to hull and a firm attachment point for the inner walls.

There is a lot of white (gell coat) on the inside of the boat, so we are going for the ikea block color approach - slabs of color for upper walls and cupboards to offset the mass of almond colored gelcoat.

starboard bulkhead 2.jpg

 

dfw_sailor

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V berth, looking back to main cabin. The bulkhead cut out makes a huge difference to usability and openness.

The main cabin lighting can be seen in this image as well. The bright white lighting strips are actually Neopixel Led strips cut to length, but each individual led can be changed for color and intensity.

So, if you look carefully on the rear bulkhead access cover (which is actually liner), you can see a keypad with some knobs.

One knob changes the color of all led lighting, whether on or off. We have found off white / cream is the most pleasant for lighting up as if you were in an office. Consumes about 3 amps / 12v  with all zones on, full intensity / full width. Bright white uses 8 amps. A single primary color (red, green, or blue) uses the same 3 amps as the cream color. Green, or Blue work best if needing to keep mosquitos out. We like red for night time sailing.

Next knob changes intensity, 0 to 255 levels of brightness.

Final knob changes how many lights are lit. Imagine you have a strip with 50 pixels. At the lowest setting only the middle 2 pixels are turned on. As you increase the width, the strip pixels fill out from the center of the strip to the ends.

The key pad has a few functions:

- A through D are light zone controls. A = V berth, B = Cabin, C = quarter berths, D = small strip illuminating the original electrical switch panel. We also have individual led circle sets (also neopixel) which serve as directional reading lights. They have their own zones as well. Sometime over winter I will add remote control for the lighting - its just an arduino controller - easy to do. 

- Party modes. Using the # button and a number, can select different lighting effects for ambience of fun. E.g. we have a freezing mode - like a fire flickering but is a mix of whites and blues - weirdly satisfying. We also have a christmas mode, flickering greens, reds, oranges etc. The funniest one is used when people are drunk or other. A light chaser that is a single pixel that runs around the cabin in a nonstop loop - strangely addictive to watch!

For those that want some details, the most important aspect is running a 12v relay off the cabin lights switch, which enables the 5v 8amp step down 12v - 5v transformer.  Theoretical maximum current draw is 8 amp x 5v (40 watts) but we have driven it to 60 watts to see if we would blow a fuse - was fine. But we like to keep our consumption down to about 30w or less.

Just in case, we retained 2 x 12v cabin lights on a separate circuit, in case the electronics blow up at some point. 

An enjoyable project - wife is very happy because although it might seem complicated it is actually very easy to use.

Cost, about $200 for led components, wire, arduino, transformer etc. From memory we have about 600 individually controlled pixels inside the boat.

Oh, and the keypad mounting panel is 3d printed petg with wood fiber. Have used this for other external uses (e.g. compass panel) in full sun for 18 months - no aging or sun degradation at all. Strong as. Almost unsandable.

Also, if you look closely at the main cabin roof liner, you can see the 'band aid' covers hiding the cabin roof hardware bolts / nuts. Printed witht he same petg / wood material. We also use this material at work for small servo motor gears for self cleaning filters in continuously moist corrosive environments - no issues.

cabin 2.jpg

 
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dfw_sailor

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Just to see the blue effect - and also the old v berth panelling. - long gone :)

Storage hatches are a future mini project. Not urgent. Laminates rotted off - may just make some new, but in the same fashion as the old (laminate, with solid edge strips).

And no, we don't use full blue much, but you get the idea. 

blue cabin.jpg

 




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