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Old 10-07-2018, 06:07   #1
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Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

A morgan 34 that we are looking at has the CB glassed over. No plans other than Fl keys, west coast for next two or three years. Anyone sailed on one of these much ? I see so many that folks glass over the board to not deal with maintaining them however how much are you sacrificing to not have the board functional? Should I even consider it.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:39   #2
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Quote:
A morgan 34 that we are looking at has the CB glassed over. No plans other than Fl keys, west coast for next two or three years.
Personally, I would pass. With the board up - or in this case glassed over - you're going to sacrifice upwind performance and with the frequency of north winds in the keys/Florida Gulf Coast region in high season that will probably make a difference in the "west coast" part of that equation.

Unless you mean the west coast of the US/Pacific, in which case this boat shouldn't really be on your list at all.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:20   #3
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

I have a Morgan 25. Similar design with a keel plus centerboard, same mechanism as the 34. My board is functional. I think. I haven't dived the boat with the board down.


People do sail them upwind without the board. I don't.


The mechanism is trouble prone but not difficult to rebuild when the boat is hauled and in slings. You may have to purchase a centerboard, but they come up for sale from time to time as old Morgans are broken up for parts. There's a winch in the cockpit (you're probably missing the handle for it), a stainless steel line that goes through a couple of turning blocks, and then a piece of prop shaft at the end of the line that goes through an ordinary prop shaft seal below the waterline, from whence a very short piece of stainless steel cable attaches it to the centerboard.


Typically the short piece of stainless steel corrodes, the prop seal sticks to the shaft, and the shaft breaks. Original shafts were plastic.


Good luck
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:06   #4
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Have owned two center board boats, a Morgan 35 and Pearson 35. Sailed both almost always with the board up. The board has little if any need to use on most points of sail. Hard on the wind the board does cut down leeway so if you anticipate doing a lot of hard on the wind work, the board would be nice. For most cruisers not having the board would be no big thing. In fact know of one boat that had the board removed and the aperture glassed before commencing a successful round the world cruise. Would I like the option of having the board, yes. Would lack of it given a suitable boat and attractive price kill a deal, no. FWIW, don't buy the boat expecting to reinstall a board. Unless you can get a used board cheap, the cost of resurrecting would be cost prohibitive on an M34.

Used to race against an M34 many years ago. Boat was really fast on a reach, of course with board up, and would leave our IOR boat boat in its wake until we were far enough off the wind to use the spinnaker or hard on the wind. Made it tough to make up the time we had to give the M34,
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Old 11-07-2018, 18:28   #5
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Thanks all for the comments. Just so hard finding a boat.
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Old 11-07-2018, 19:26   #6
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

...if you like the Morgan 34 C/B you might consider the Tartan 34 C/B.

Here's an example of that type:

http://www.rcryachts.com/used/tartan-34-keelcenterboard

(No relation to the seller, never seen the boat, just posted as an example).
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Old 11-07-2018, 19:53   #7
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

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Originally Posted by Cloroxbottle View Post
...if you like the Morgan 34 C/B you might consider the Tartan 34 C/B.

Here's an example of that type:

Tartan 34 Keel/Centerboard | Used Boats | RCR Yachts

(No relation to the seller, never seen the boat, just posted as an example).

Good advice.
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Old 11-07-2018, 19:59   #8
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

So, the guy who designed the boat (Charley Morgan, no slouch for sure) and presumably had more knowledge and experience designing sailboats than pretty much anybody on this forum, thought that the centerboard was necessary, even with the added cost and complexity it entailed. But some owner thinks it's no big deal to remove the board and glass over the slot. I absolutely do not get it. "My car runs fine most of the time with two of the spark plug wires pulled off, just not so good up a hill. Do I really need them?"
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:04   #9
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

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Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
So, the guy who designed the boat (Charley Morgan, no slouch for sure) and presumably had more knowledge and experience designing sailboats than pretty much anybody on this forum, thought that the centerboard was necessary, even with the added cost and complexity it entailed. But some owner thinks it's no big deal to remove the board and glass over the slot. I absolutely do not get it. "My car runs fine most of the time with two of the spark plug wires pulled off, just not so good up a hill. Do I really need them?"

I don't hear anyone criticizing the design.

Sounds like the OP has found a boat that has been modified and is asking about the reality of what to expect for his Intended use i.e. living in a flat terrain with no hills in sight.
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:42   #10
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Flat terrain wih no hills in sight? You mean the wind never blows from the direction he wants to go?
Ok, I used to own a keel-centerboard boat - a Paceship PY23, almost identical to an O'Day 23. I would occasionally sail it upwind with the board up, either because of shoal water or just sheer laziness. The boat would point up to the same wind angle, and go through the water just about as fast, so what's the problem? Well, the boat is making at least 10 degrees leeway, and probably more. This is not readily apparent unless you're looking for it, say by watching an upwind mark slide steadily to windward against the shoreline behind it. You are essentially cutting your upwind VMG in half. The question boils down to whether you want a boat you can sail upwind, or if you're satisfied with a boat you can pretend to sail upwind.
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:46   #11
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Not saying that at all.


I am saying that the OP has stated that pointing ability is not as important to him as it might be to others.
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:35   #12
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy stone View Post
So, the guy who designed the boat (Charley Morgan, no slouch for sure) and presumably had more knowledge and experience designing sailboats than pretty much anybody on this forum, thought that the centerboard was necessary, even with the added cost and complexity it entailed. But some owner thinks it's no big deal to remove the board and glass over the slot. I absolutely do not get it.

Charley Morgan designed his boats to be cruiser/racers suitable for the needs of the day and the expectations of boat buyers of the 1960s and 1970s.


Most of these boats are around 40 years old. In the intervening years, much has changed, and there are a number of shallow-draft keel designs now in widespread use that are widely regarded as superior to the keel-plus-centerboard design in vogue in Morgan's heyday.


The trouble and expense involved in maintaining a centerboard system on a large cruising boat is considerable. For Morgans in salt water, it is recommended to replace the centerboard pennant annually. If it fails, the board cannot be retracted, and these large boards draw enough when down to make it impossible to return to a slip. A failure also can cause the centerboard shaft to pull out of the seal housing leaving a 1" hole that can sink the boat, unless the crew is attentive or the shaft has replaced with a modified one with a shoulder to prevent it (rare).



The pennant has to be replaced while the boat is in the slings. It cannot be done on the hard because there has to be enough clearance below the boat to allow the centerboard to be lowered. It cannot be done by a diver because the centerboard has a steel core and weighs around 200 pounds, and has to be suspended just below the boat while the pennant is disconnected.


Then there's the problem of turning blocks that are not accessible after the boat is built, without cutting a hole in the cabin sole.


I maintain my centerboard mechanism and put up with it because I want a boat that can be trailer launched on remote lakes and will still sail well.


But I understand completely the reasons why someone with a larger Morgan, perhaps a fair-weather sailor who motors more then cruisersforum members ever admit that they motor, might glass over the keel.


On the internet, people are too quick to spend other people's money
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:51   #13
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

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Charley Morgan designed his boats to be cruiser/racers suitable for the needs of the day and the expectations of boat buyers of the 1960s and 1970s.


Most of these boats are around 40 years old. In the intervening years, much has changed, and there are a number of shallow-draft keel designs now in widespread use that are widely regarded as superior to the keel-plus-centerboard design in vogue in Morgan's heyday.


The trouble and expense involved in maintaining a centerboard system on a large cruising boat is considerable. For Morgans in salt water, it is recommended to replace the centerboard pennant annually. If it fails, the board cannot be retracted, and these large boards draw enough when down to make it impossible to return to a slip. A failure also can cause the centerboard shaft to pull out of the seal housing leaving a 1" hole that can sink the boat, unless the crew is attentive or the shaft has replaced with a modified one with a shoulder to prevent it (rare).



The pennant has to be replaced while the boat is in the slings. It cannot be done on the hard because there has to be enough clearance below the boat to allow the centerboard to be lowered. It cannot be done by a diver because the centerboard has a steel core and weighs around 200 pounds, and has to be suspended just below the boat while the pennant is disconnected.


Then there's the problem of turning blocks that are not accessible after the boat is built, without cutting a hole in the cabin sole.


I maintain my centerboard mechanism and put up with it because I want a boat that can be trailer launched on remote lakes and will still sail well.


But I understand completely the reasons why someone with a larger Morgan, perhaps a fair-weather sailor who motors more then cruisersforum members ever admit that they motor, might glass over the keel.


On the internet, people are too quick to spend other people's money

I appreciate your personal opinion re centerboards but consider that:


1. A 34' is not a particularly large boat except maybe compared to your 25'.


2. There are thousands of centerboatd boats sailing today, many over 40', that do not replace their lifting components annually.


3. Charlie Morgan, Ted Hood, Bristol, etc have all specialized in centerboard boats for a long time.


FWIW I personally would not have a CB boat not because of maintenance but because I don't like the board banging around. I was on a Bristol 41.1 sailing to Bermuda and it got annoying quickly.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:00   #14
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

There isn't much maintenance for a CB other than making sure the pennant or lifting mechanism works and the pin is sound. I replaced mine (Pearson 35) on the hard, jsut dug a hole for the board to drop. Plenty of people jsut remove them or let the barnacles hold them up permanently. Not sure if CB even help point higher much on a beamy boat like a Morgan Out Island
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:22   #15
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Re: Morgan 34 board glassed over thoughts

The Morgan 34 has a very shallow (3 feet and change draft ?) full length keel with attached rudder and will make a ton of leeway upwind without the board, especially at the angles of heel it will sail at. Iíd pass.

As an aside my T40 has doublebraid line as the pendant and itís replaceable through a port in the bilge when boat is hauled. And even with a nicely foil shaped keel that draws nearly 5 feet, lowering the board when going upwind makes a noticeable difference in pointing.

I would replace any metal pendant with dyneema and it would prob last indefinitely
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