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Old 17-07-2012, 12:30   #1
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Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

Hoping to get some thoughts from people who have done this. My boat, a 36 foot Morgan OI draws about 4ft. The keel is lead encapsulated fibreglass and integral to the boat, the rudder is protected behind the keel.

I have recently moved to a new location where the only affordable mooring is a pole mooring up a river, in our part of the world that means tied fore and aft between two poles. The mean low tide of this particular mooring is about 3 ft and is soft mud. The mooring is very sheltered being some way up a river.

So by my calculation my boat will spend a few hours every day sitting in the mud leaning over as the bottom is sloping. My question, given boat construction,-is this an acceptable situation or should I avoid it? Moorings in the place I am looking at have a a looooong waiting list and this one is only available due to it being previously occupied by a catamaran and no cats on the waiting list.

For those in the know, the mooring is up the Weiti river.
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Old 17-07-2012, 12:39   #2
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My wife and I live aboard a Morgan 452 on the James River in Virginia. For the first three years, we were in a slip that was three foot deep at lower low tide. We draw about five and a half, so we tended to settle into the mud occasionally. When I had her pulled for some work, the only damage was a dirty brown patch on the bottom foot or so of the keel.

It did limit my ability to use the air conditioning, since the mud didn't pump well
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Old 17-07-2012, 14:45   #3
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

I owned a morgan o/i 41 for many years. And living the "Star Trek" philosophy of "boldly going where no man has gone before with a 4.5 ft. draft", have spent a fair amount of time sitting on the bottom.

The problem is when (if) the boat careens onto its side. My boat had a lot of thru hull fittings just above the waterline. As the boat careened, those openings went under water. Small wave action could then pump water into the hoses past anti-siphon loops. If the hoses and pumps are not properly attached, you could have problems. Two of those thru hulls on my boat were cockpit drains which on one occasion turned the low side of the center cockpit into a spring fed swimming pool. Wooden plugs solved the problem but you have to be there to install the plugs. And remember that automatic bilge pumps won't work until the boat is nearly upright so that the water can flow into the bilge.

I would only take that mooring if I was sure that the boat was going to be nearly upright even if unusually strong winds blow more water out of the river than is usual. Good luck!
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Old 17-07-2012, 17:10   #4
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

Thats a good point, being a Morgan it does have some water ingress during heavy rains, normally the bilge pump takes care of it. My above water through hulls are all on one side, so I guess it would be best if parked with that side on the deeper side. I assume it would always lean towards the shallows that being the side where buoyancy would diminish first. I'm hoping that seeing its only lacking about a foot, that it would dig into the mud and with time should make the berth deeper, am I being overly optimistic?
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Old 17-07-2012, 20:32   #5
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

I would also look very carefully at the potential for wakes from passing power boats. Sitting in the mud would probably be OK but bouncing on the bottom would be a different matter altogether.

I lived on an OI36 for two years and managed to run aground at mid to high tide a couple of times and spend a few hours balanced on the keel. No damage at all but was always in a protected, calm location. It did make me very nervous wondering if the boat was going to tip over and smash the topsides so we walked about very, very carefully until the tide came back in.
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Old 18-07-2012, 00:54   #6
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

Thanks Skipmac, my best bet would probably be to try it out and see what happens. The mooring is up a river and its pretty narrow, no wake zone, -so that shouldnt be a problem. If the mud's soft enough it should be OK, - Walking about is not an issue as I dont live aboard--how does the Pearson compare to the OI36? I am in the market for a walkthrough.
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Old 18-07-2012, 02:15   #7
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

I had my 6 foot draft steel boat on a drying pile mooring for 6 months. The mud was so soft she happily settled into a boat shaped hole, (like a pig in...).

It used to make a funny noise when she slurped out of the hole as the tide rose. kept the antifouling clean of weed, but it was slightly stained by the mud.

Might be a good idea to have a few heavy weights on the upslope side of the boat, to make sure she always leans that way or a line ashore with a weight on it. When I was on a drying wharf I had a line from the spreaders to a block on the shed eaves abeam running down to a 10 kg weight hanging in midair at all states of tide. This made sure she always leaned into the wharf. She sat there happily for 3 months. It sure helps to remember to remove the line before you leave... *cringe*
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Old 18-07-2012, 05:59   #8
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Okros View Post
Thanks Skipmac, my best bet would probably be to try it out and see what happens. The mooring is up a river and its pretty narrow, no wake zone, -so that shouldnt be a problem. If the mud's soft enough it should be OK, - Walking about is not an issue as I dont live aboard--how does the Pearson compare to the OI36? I am in the market for a walkthrough.
If the dock is in soft mud the boat will probably settle down into the bottom and be fairly stable. When I ran aground in the Bahamas it was on a flat, hard sand bottom and the boat balance on the long, flat-bottomed keel. It was in the middle of the large, shallow banks where high and low tides are a few hours later than around the edge of the banks. There are no reliable tide reporting station in the area (well at least not 35 years ago) so we extimated low tide and anchored in faily shallow water. Took the dinghy to shore to explore and came back to see at over a foot of bottom paint showing but the boat sitting flat and level. Seemed quite stable but since the draft is just a bit over 3' we were a bit nervous about what might happen if the boat tipped over.

Regarding the Morgan compared to the Pearson, very different boats. I put a lot of miles on the Morgan including a fairly rough crossing of the Caribbean in winter trades and felt like it was a very solid boat. I also think the OI36 may be the roomiest 36' sailboat ever built. I have been on 40' boats with half the living space of the 36. The biggest negative, with the very shallow draft the boat did not point well at all. It has been many years but if I recall, tacking angle after allowing for leeway was something like 120 degrees. And as you note, the OI36 does not have a walk through. After living on the Morgan for over 2 years and later a Lohi 34 with the same basic layout I didn't miss the walk through. In a hard, blowing rain you might get a bit wet crossing the cockpit but with a good Bimini that was rarely a problem.

The Pearson I have now, the 422 is in some ways just a larger version of the OI36 layout but with a walkthrough down the port side. As well built if not better than the Morgan and will point a lot better with the modified fin keel. Of course with the penalty of 2' deeper draft. The Pearson is also quite roomy but I think devotes more of the boat volume to living space at the expense of storarge. There are no cockpit lockers which I miss a lot but overall I love the boat.

If you are looking for a center cockpit walkthrough there are also the OI41s and some of the CSY 44s, Whitby 42, Petersons, and a bunch more. If you like the Pearson 422 there were only 39 built but in the last few years it seems 1 or 2 come on the market every year or so, often listed on the 422 web site Pearson 422 Owners

If you want to hear more about the Pearson just let me know. As you can see I'm not shy about sharing my opinions.
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Old 04-08-2012, 16:08   #9
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Re: Morgan Out Island on a shallow pole mooring

I've kept my Morgan OI 41 at a few marina locations that had me in some mud at mean low tide during the first weeks of my presence. With time and wallowing about I found that my boat had formed a clearance. Each rock and roll fanned my keel against the near mud and moved it out with the current.
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