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Old 05-08-2014, 06:18   #1
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S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

Hi there.
Younger sailer here. Currently in a Columbia T23. Well, we are bitten with the sailing bug, bad. Daily sailing is fun, but cruising is TOO FUN. T23 just wont cut it. Wife needs to be able to stand up, etc... I know you all know the drill.

I'm looking at an S2 and a Morgan. Both 30 ft. Without going into so many specifics about either, can someone give me a general idea of which I should go for?

Both are beautiful. The Morgan is a 69 but replaced the tiller/rudder with a wheel.... so many add on features, and totally upgraded over the years, plus a volvo engine. Its sick. For sure.

I dig the S2 because its an 81, and so the layout is more modern... which we dig. Not quite as pretty as the Morgan, but nice for sure.

Sails etc, for both. At this point I dig the Morgan for some of the amenities, plus I know the past owners. I know nothing about the S2 other than we dig the layout, its very nice, and comes with many extras.

That said.... Which would you buy? Morgan I think we could get for 12,000 THe S2 might be more in the 17-20,000 range.

ready set GO.

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:32   #2
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

Not sure exactly which S29 model you are looking at but the build quality is heads and shoulders better than a Morgan. They produced both racers as well as cruisers and did a very good job compared to many other production builders. Sailed one back in the 80's and it sailed very well...

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Old 05-08-2014, 07:10   #3
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30


One thing we know for sure.... You're going to love either one for the room over the current 23! I know next to nothing about the S2, so this is one sided info...

I'm not as critical as others in regard to build quality of the Morgan having owned a 33OI for yeeeeeeears, and absolutely loving it... Personally I think there's quite a few "Monday Morgans" ie slapped together, and got the basic job done... but many more that had a little more care put into them... QC was all over the map... er... chart.... The one thing you can definitely say is they made up any deficiencies with... TONS of GLASS... Heavy little buggers...

Only the major points given here... (for an OI)
Easy motion
Track well
Nod from the salts at the islands "solid boat son"...

Slow to spin
Back like crap
Windward compromised... better than myth-e-sized here, but definitely not a J boat either!

Good luck with your upsize!
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:28   #4
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

Is the Morgan the centerboard ? Quality of construction in a Morgan of that year will be pretty good and heavy layup , bullet-proof . Volvo parts are pricey . I am partial to older Morgans as I spent twenty years on one sailing thousands, thousands off miles thru the Carib on a 67 thirty four footer .
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:39   #5
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

I like S2 over Morgan but I am biased. A friend had a Morgan and comparing the two is easy for me. The fit and finish of the S2 is much better IMHO. The S2s were built toward a high end market of the time.

My 81 is a tank. If it's an old Volvo in either boat look it up and look at prices. I have personal experience here. It's painful.

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Old 05-08-2014, 07:53   #6
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

When I was looking last year, an S2 was high on my list. I would not even consider a Morgan unless it was one of the OI series, and then only in a larger boat.

Depending on which model of the 9.2, you will have a different layout. One nice thing for me is that at 6'4", the 9.2 had decent headroom.

As in all used boats, condition mean a significant amount versus make or design. You are better off paying more money for a well maintained boat then a larger or fancier one that requires a lot of maintenance.

As far as equipment is concerned, don't put to much value into most older electronics.

Also remember, all boats are negotiable
If your attitude resembles the south end of a bull heading north, it's time to turn around.
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:13   #7
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

I'd also check if the s2 is a 9.1 or 9.2. The 9.1 was built to race. I've never seen one personally but I would d expect them to be a little more beat up.

The 9.2 is a nice boat. Also a question I'd ask is does the S2 have a saildrive or shaft.

Good luck!

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Old 05-08-2014, 08:38   #8
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Re: S2 9.0 or Morgan 30

From what I've seen in recent years of the S2's, you should be able to do a lot better price wise. of course it depends on the particular boat, upkeep and equiptment too. I thought the old Morgans had a really good rep for being solid...?
Both boats are pretty old, boats built in the 60's are nearing being giveaways. In fact, many are giveaways.. so keep that in mind. It may come down to which boat is the best condition.
Big ticket items on old boats:
Keel: does it have a bolted on keel? Expensive to reseal and bolt.
Tanks: are the tanks accessible for removal? have they been replaced? + if they have been replaced in the last 10 years. many don't last more than 10 years. Especially if under the floor.
Sails: You need a good main and headsail. $$$
Rigging: Standing rigging/chainplates.
Engine: $$$
Rudder: If it's not been rebuilt it needs to be.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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