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Old 23-01-2009, 09:57   #1
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pirate Morgan Out Island 33 - Is it the One?


I am looking to buy my first sailboat and I would also like to live aboard... I have a VERY limited budget but have been finding 1976-78 Morgan Out Island's for around 10- 15k. Most of the online reviews i have read indicate it is slightly slow but perfect for cruising Florida and the Caribbean. I really like the large layout of the boats living space. Any Advice would be helpful!

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Old 23-01-2009, 10:04   #2
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My first sailing job was living aboard and maintaining a Morgain OI 36 for a stockbroker in Atlanta. Spent almost 3 years on the boat, mostly S FL and the Bahamas but made one trip to USVI and one to Jamaica.

I thought the boat was a great liveaboard, great island boat (very shallow draft so could go places most others could not), but not a rocket ship. On a reach or downwind not bad but terrible upwind. After a couple of tries I gave up ever trying to sail upwind and would run under the M&M rig (main for comfort/stability and motor for go).

Not sure if Morgans are the ultimate blue water boat but we hit some pretty nasty stuff on the trip to St Thomas and the boat handled it perfectly.
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Old 23-01-2009, 10:35   #3
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what other boats would you reccomend?

Do you have any other suggestions for 28-30 ft bluewwater live aboards? Could you estimate (roughly) what the costs to maintain, insure, etc.? If i anchor out in the islands it's free right?

Thanks

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Old 23-01-2009, 14:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanksBaker View Post
Do you have any other suggestions for 28-30 ft bluewwater live aboards? Could you estimate (roughly) what the costs to maintain, insure, etc.? If i anchor out in the islands it's free right?

Thanks

Banks
Hi Banks,

You are asking some really open ended questions. Also you might want to search the archives on this forum as many of these issues have been discussed in great length.

Regarding blue water cruisers. Ask ten sailors and you will get twelve different opinions, not only on the boat but what is meant by blue water cruising. A lake sailor may call a trip to Bimini water sailing">blue water sailing where someone else may see that as a short day sail.

An interesting list that is not definitive but at least gives you some fodder for daydreaming can be found here.

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

Regarding costs, again an issue that has been covered extensively on this forum. The short answer is it can be what you make it. When I was living on the Morgan 36 the owner was in a serious cash flow crunch. I spent several months anchored out in Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas and lived on an average of $40-$50/month. I did have a pretty good supply of stapes on hand (plenty of canned and dried food, etc) but also took the boat out frequently to catch dinner.

There were times when I was so broke I could not afford to run the engine to charge the batteries so when the sun went down I had no lights and just went to bed. Water was $0.10/gallon at the local marina and several times I had to row (no outboard) over the the docks in the evening with a jug to "borrow" a gallon to drink the next day (not my proudest moment but in my defense when money came in I gave that same marina all my business).

Obviously one could not live that cheaply forever. Sooner or later you will have repair or replace a sail/halyards/sheet/winches/alternator/anchor rode/starter.......... and then that low monthly cost is out the window. Some things you can plan for; sails only last so long for example, but how do you plan for the the exact day your starter dies?

So how much does it cost to cruise or live aboard a boat. If you stay in a marina take that amount and add it to the same amount you currently spend every month for food, gas, car payments, etc. Then depending on the age and condition of your boat and all the systems figure that at random times you can get hit with the big charge that is calculated in boat units or boat bucks (one boat buck is equal to 1000 US dollars).

Insurance, extremely variable. Like car insurance more coverage costs more money. If you keep the boat in a marina in Maine and sail 3 months a year and haul it every winter the insurance is not bad. Was quoted $1600/year for a $80k boat. South of the Carolinas in the summer-fall hurricane season it is about double. If you sail offshore it is double.

Hope this at least gives you a starting point..
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Old 23-01-2009, 14:42   #5
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Banks,
A boat the size you are looking for in your budget (10-15K) can certainly be got, the question is how much you will need to put into it
in order to make it seaworthy.. If you stay small and simple you should have no problems, for that sort of money in the USA right now you should be able to pick up a Rawson 30, an Alberg 30, Offshore 30 Cat Ketch, any of which will probably sail better than the morgan, but none of which will give you the comfort. Thats a decision you have to make, personally i would go for something that sails very well rather than something that has all the comforts, if you are on a longish voyage, speed also equals comfort
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Old 23-01-2009, 15:49   #6
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The Out Island has one thing it should have had when it was made and according to Charlie that is more ballast. Our Morgan when commisioned weight around 14,500lbs, since speaking with Charlie about this we have brought her weight up to 20,000lbs, and must say a much different boat for speed and other handling issues, our cruising speed is an average of 5.5 knots which we feel very good. We have found too that the better the wind the more she sits up and takes off into her sweet zone.
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Old 23-01-2009, 16:27   #7
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Banks, We lived on our MorganOI 33 from 1973 to 1985 before moving to our OI 41 because our kids kept growing bigger. The windward performance is less of a problem if you're willing to not push for more than 45 degrees off the wind & of course, that is the "lowered performance". We cruised at that time from North Florida to the Bahamas and Keys. In the words of the sign at Vernon's gropcery in Hopetown, "Nothing goes to windward like a 747",- for cruising in comfort at that size the boat is great. You'll probably have some soft spots in the deck,-it's a cosmetic problem and can be fixed with some DIY labor. Watch the rudders on the early Morgan OI's. Look for port/starboard delamination. The rudder can be tabed with fiberglass cloth at the edges to prevent this from being a further problem. Also carefully check the aluminim back up plate for the forestay. Some of these have corroded badly and failed. Not an expensive job it caught in time,- same goes for corrosion of the mast step,-check it carefully on an old boat.'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 23-01-2009, 17:01   #8
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Haven't sailed one myself but I've heard lots of people recommend an Albin Vega 27 as a capable offshore, affordable boat.
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Old 25-01-2009, 16:52   #9
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Hi banks, I lived on an OI 33 for about 8 years. It was is all that is listed above. It would be a great 1st liveaboard for you. It's easy to sail and very forgiving. Spend a little and drop a new diesel in it and Go. Learn and live. Then sell it and move up.


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Old 27-01-2009, 22:48   #10
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Going to Look

A short update... I will be traveling to Cape Coral tomorrow to check out a 76 O/I. Asking 14 and I am a long way off but, I think the more boats i am able to view the more I will learn. I have been finding alot of theese old Morgans down in South Florida... this one only has 300 hours on the engine. I will post my findings tomorow

IF ANY ONE HAS ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY ABOUT THIS BOAT - POST!!!!

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Old 28-01-2009, 05:38   #11
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One comment about Morgans in general. When I started boat shopping I asked my surveyor who I have known for 30 years and trust implicitly about several well known makes and his opinion. Since he has looked closely at a lot more boats than 99% of the average boaters I feel like he is a great resource.

Morgans were one of the brands he liked. In general no major weak points in design or construction. Overall his opinion was about the same as expressed in this thread; well enough made, not the ultimate but will do the job.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:57   #12
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Its a buyers market. I don't think I would restrict myself to one manufacturer only.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:45   #13
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If you end up looking at Fancy Lady, the OI 30 in Merrit Island, contact me first. I had a survey done on her with a negotiated price of 11,500 down from 16,000. I believe the owner is now asking 14. I'd be happy to share the survey with you.

The appeal to me of the OIs in addition to the living space is the relatively shallow draft which is nice for Florida and the Bahamas. I also liked there is usually a number on the market at affordable prices. One thing I really didn't like about the 30 is the traveler in the middle of the cockpit. I had that on a previous boat and found it a real safety issue in bigger seas. It also limits the bimini size. Of course, with a bit of work, and money, that can be changed. In the end I also decided I liked the ergonomic advantages of some of the more modern style boats.

Some other boats on my list included the Irwin, Endeavour and shoal draft Catalina and Hunter. I considered the last two because my sailing will be limited to the Bahamas. Personally, I would have crossed those off the list for sailing off shore to the Caribbean. I'd have purchased a Westerly Berwick in a second if I could have found one. The Westerly Konsort is another boat that appeals to me, that sometimes sells for under 20K, but is usually priced notably higher than the Berwick. Unfortunately, there were only two on the market (in U.S.) and I was previously aware of the issues with one, and the other was priced way too high.

Best of luck with your boat search.
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Old 07-02-2009, 19:32   #14
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We have a 33 OI and are very pleased with it. It has the interior space of a 42' boat. If you are living aboard you will do more living than sailing, pay attention to the living aspects.
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Old 07-02-2009, 19:48   #15
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Check out this Albin Vega 1972 Albin Vega
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