About Us


     Orion is no longer the same as a production Irwin 10/4. We now know that her second owner made modifications after consulting with *Walter Scott, one of her designers. We do have some drawings for the changes along with manuals and papers. She would probably now be classified as a heavy cruiser. Her modifications include the following:

  1. Keel, skeg, rudder and hull

    1. The keel was lengthened, creating a cut away full keel with 3.8 ft draft

    2. Increased keel weight 1,000 lbs+/- (Approximately 300 lbs in lead ingots and some cement)

    3. A large, thick, metallic wing was added to the keel's base

    4. Skeg lengthened

    5. Rudder lengthened

    6. Wheel and steering machinery replaced by tiller

    7. The hull reinforced in places

  2. Cockpit

    1. Widened seating area is 360 degrees of the reduced cockpit well

    2. The only thing passing through the cockpit well are the engine controls and drains

    3. Weather boards are now solid (not vented)

    4. Cockpit well drains have been enlarged

    5. Lazarettes are all gone except at the stern

    6. Coaming has been raised along with winches by glassing and large marine lumber

    7. Stainless steel stern railing has been installed

  3. Interior

    1. Original galley replaced with a stainless sink with electric and manual pumps

    2. Galley equipped with a sea stove that can be used in the cockpit or in the cabin

    3. Interior access to space formerly occupied by the lazarettes

    4. Diesel fuel tank added under the cockpit well behind the engine

  4. Rigging

    1. Two additional winches were added

    2. Mast and boom replaced with heavier version

    3. An inner fore stay was removed at some point

    4. Fore stay to end of bowsprit is doubled

    5. Mast support reinforced

  5. Miscellaneous

    1. Upgraded head to the Air Head composting toilet

    2. Opening port-lights added

Layout when purchased

Current Layout


     Orion has had three owners before us. The first couple, apparently knew little about sailing and decided to sell her almost immediately.

     The second owner lived on board off and on for some years. During that period, he consulted with *Walter Scott on the design modifications, and met his wife to be. They then lived aboard together, and took off cruising for 3 years. They went to the Keys, took the boat up the Intercoastal Waterway to Washington, DC and back, and spent 6 months in the Exumas. She is the one that contacted us via this website. Another interesting detail that she related was that Orion had been struck by lightning twice, once in the Keys at anchor and once at a dock in Gulfport, Florida. The first instance was quite scary, but with no damage. The second took out the depth finder and VHF.

     The owner previous to us has stayed in touch, and has shared with us some of his cruising experiences. One of these was a storm experience in the Gulf Stream. Through him we learned that Orion has sailed extensively in the Florida Keys, both sides of the Florida peninsula, to the Bahamas and the Dry Tortugas, and made one solo voyage to Bermuda and back. He also installed Orion's current running lights, having salvaged them from a much larger South African boat named Tina. This was accomplished on the very day Tina was to be towed out and sunk off the coast of Cape Canaveral to help form an artificial reef. Tina was sailed from South Africa to Florida, and the owner wrote a book about it, Tina, by Bruce Whiteley, Copyright © 1973.

     We have made some short trips with Orion around the Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay, and Sanibel Island to Cayo Costa. It takes time to get to know your boat when you sail several hundred miles from where you live and work.

*Walter Scott worked with Ted Irwin during Orion's major modifications. He is probably responsible for the 10/4 being based on a catboat design. He and Ted Irwin produced the production model together.

Email the Webmaster: slooporion-webmaster@yahoo.com