I lived aboard a 1973 Morgan
OI 33' for 13 years and a 1973 Morgan
OI 41' for the past 25 years. I have a friend who has lived aboard his 1973 Morgan OI 28 for about thirty years. Despite their different lengths they share most all qualities. Certainly they are a capable coastal cruiser that offer good liveaboard
qualities. Take note of the following when evaluating the 1973 Morgan Out Island
1. Later models raised the hull-deck joint to the toe rail instead of the more vulnerable rub rail. Be wary of possible damage here.
2. Inspect the mast
step by raising the inspection panels
at the bilge
ceiling at the base of the mast
. Minor corrosion
here can be acceptable, but some have the mast seriously degrading.
3. Inspect the aluminum back up plate under the forestay at the bow with a good light looking from the V-berth into the chain locker. Some of these plates have severely corroded and the hull deck
joint here should have no separation.
4. A number of 1973 Morgan OI's have had rudder
separation. Look for a hairline crack that is a prelude to the separation and loss of the starboard or port half of the rudder
. This can be prevented by running a fiberglass
cloth tabbing along this seam. If a crack is already present, you may need to remove the rudder, split it open and rebuild
with structural foam.
5. You make have a history
of rain leaks
with a Morgan OI if it still has the original black rubber gaskets around the portlights
. These have often been altered with bolted polycarbide or lexan
plates as portlights
or the original rubber extrusion can still be purchased.
6. Rain leaks
have also been common with the rub rail that many have rebult as custom rails or sealed by various means.
7. Few of the original Atomic Fours that were raw water
cooled still survive in these boats;if still present, they probably have little life.
8. These vessels were made with a winch
handle turned rotating boom for furling
the main. Most are frozen in place, but the boom can still be sound and operable. The roller boom never produced a good reefed sail shape anyway.
9. The wood core
in the deck
will probably have some soft spots. This is a cosmetic and not a structural problem. I have replaced about 6 square feet of deck core on my '73 without much hassle and a good final look.
If you end up with this vessel send me a PM and I'll be glad to support you with fuirther information. Take care and joy, Aythya crew