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Old 20-04-2010, 03:47   #1
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Would You Cross the Pacific to Australia in a Morgan North American 40 ?

I love these boats. There are a few for sale and I think they look great below deck and look to be a great performer under sail or power. I wonder why I can find so many for sale yet there were not that many produced?

http://au.yachtworld.com/core/listin..._id=75970&url=

I would have to add some sort of dodger and canopy and obviously things like auto helm and wind gen. Would this design be a sea worthy vessel in a storm? What about the cockpit. It doesn't seem to be all that great to be sitting in when there are 60K winds and 30 foot waves. I would be sailing with one other crew.

My friend and I will be sailing it (whatever we end up getting) back and we will be partners in the a yacht. I may intend to live aboard her in Australia for a while and it will not be a harbor queen. You may have seen the threads on the Roberts Spray. Thats is my mates and we are fixing it up a bit to sell so we can buy a yacht with a good sailing ability. The trip is not only to save money on a purchase, but to do an exiting voyage. Any mods we need to do would be something we would want our yacht to have anyway. We would also intend to race her in some cruising classes in races like Sydney to Hobart and Brisbane to Gladstone.

We both have minimal ocean experience but both grew up doing coastal cruising on the east coast of Australia in small boats. Last Christmas we sailed an aging Piver trimaran from Lake Macquarie to Yamba which is the longest passage we have done, around 300 miles of ocean. This included being caught in one gale through the night.

Our navigation skills are basic including reading charts and plotting from GPS. But we have a sextant which we plan on learning to use. I also want to do a course/read the right books on navigation and meteorology relating to yachting. I probably spend over 2 hours a day reading up on what I can on the net regarding these matters. But I would love some suggestions of good books.

I would certainly want storm sails aboard and the correct life-raft. We would also be using harness and personal EPIRB jackets etc. Safety would be a high priority and I would not leave unless the boat is well equipped.

As for engineering qualifications. I am a qualified electrician and competent mechanic (not qualified), and my mate works repairing power boats for a living. I am excellent at repairing things and coming up with innovative solutions to problems. I designed and built my own street drag car on the cheap with no experience which was recently on the cover of a magazine so together we would have the skills to fix most probs. I would also want a good range of tools and materials aboard to perform makeshift repairs if need be.

I would not go anywhere without radar, depth, autohelm, radios, and enough power production to support it. This boat has radar which is the most expensive of all these things. I also intend to make a thread regarding power generation for an ocean going yacht. My mate and I can install most of this gear ourselves given our skills. But given the cost of a lot of these items it would appear that getting a yacht with them already installed would be wise.

Any comments are welcome, good or bad. I realize we should probably have a lot more ocean experience, but I won't go until I am happy that we understand as much as possible about the safe completion of such a trip.

Thoughts?
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Old 20-04-2010, 05:36   #2
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No...

These are very old racing boats.

For not much more than asking price you could be looking at a 10 year old Beneteau or Jeaneau out of charter and expect that it would be in good condition.

It's along way across the Pacific and the conditions will test all yachts, even those in good condition.

If you really want to buy an old racing boat make sure you get a very good survey and have lots of money in the kitty for repairs/upgrades/refurbishment.

Don't look at old cheap boats with rose coloured glasses.
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Old 20-04-2010, 08:00   #3
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I would argue the opposite. Get an old boat, with character not some fancy new thing. When you get to Tahiti, see how many 10yr old boats there are compared to home-made or 30yr old boats. Plastic fantastics are fine for cruising through the Caribbean on a charter. Pick the right old boat and its far more solid and that's why far more people choose them for long ocean passages.
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Old 20-04-2010, 08:09   #4
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Originally Posted by YourOldNemesis View Post
When you get to Tahiti, see how many 10yr old boats there are compared to home-made or 30yr old boats. .


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I must go back. Things must have changed.
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Old 20-04-2010, 09:05   #5
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You need an excuse?!!
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Old 20-04-2010, 09:26   #6
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you can cross the Pacific in anything, just read BUMFUZZLE's cruising logs. go for it!
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Old 20-04-2010, 13:29   #7
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Thanks guys. Sorry here is the link 1979 Morgan North American Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -
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Old 20-04-2010, 18:00   #8
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G'Day Dennis,

You'll get lots of opinions on this one!

All I can add is that Ann and I had a fairly similar boat -- a Standfast 36, which was a 1974 built One-Tonner by Palmer Johnson -- and we did 86,000 miles in her, leaving from San Francisco (1986) and finally selling her in Oz in 2004.

The old IOR hull shape isn't ideal, but they do sail well to windward, and if the boat has survivied hard racing (as evidenced by the sail inventory) without self destruction she'll surely get you back to Oz just fine. Of course, a good survey is required on any boat sale...

The layout below is very similar to ours, and we found it quite useful at sea. The interior looks well maintained in the pix. The sail inventory is extensive... probably more sails than you would want to carry on a passage. They may also be trashed (this is often the case in ex-race boats). You would want to have a sailmaker check that you have at least your working sails in very good nick before leaving. The ancillary gear is dated but should work ok...maybe! The one essential thing is that you have RELIABLE self steering of some sort. Windvanes get our first vote, but redundant autopilots have steered lots of boats long distances. Your choice...

As an aside, one can hardly imagine the comparison in sailing abilities (especially to windward) between this boat and a Spray! I think that you'll like it!

Finally, she looks a pretty boat, and that is always a help! If you have any specific queries, ask away... and good luck with it all.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Lake Macquarie, NSW, Oz

PS Do get advice as to the price... actually seems a bit high for the current market, but I'm way out of touch with the US scene these days.
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Old 20-04-2010, 19:01   #9
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I think you two could do it in a big variety of boats. Whatever blows your skirts up. A cheaper one is just up the road a ways with new sails for comparison. Good luck and fair winds.

1978 Morgan North American 40 Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 20-04-2010, 19:08   #10
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Thanks Jim! How did your Standfast cope with gale force winds? There are 3 or 4 NA40s for sale at the moment. This one is average price. But I have already seen another add for this one on craigs list for a reduced price. I guess you could lowball many of the sellers in the US at the moment. I am not 100 keen on his boat. Its just something that stood out in this price range. There are some hunters there too but I guess they wont sail as well or be as strong.

Speakeasy. The one you linked is the one we like. Mainly because it looks better and has great interior. I saw the other one too.

This one looks to have some good gear too.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1704&url=
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Old 20-04-2010, 19:09   #11
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Do it! Jim's right. You'll be going upwind more than you plan to and it will be nice to do it well.
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Old 20-04-2010, 19:13   #12
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Love the boat! Very pretty girl. The tankage would be a big concern, but other than that she looks very capable.
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Old 20-04-2010, 20:39   #13
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Some Chinese guy built a 16' boat out of plywood and sailed it around the world. You can make almost anything work, just some things have better odds and will be more forgiving.
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Old 20-04-2010, 20:46   #14
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Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
Thanks Jim! How did your Standfast cope with gale force winds?
1978 Morgan North American 40 Sloop Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
G'Day again,

The Standfast (Insatiable I) did jsut fine in the many gales, several storms and one cyclone we were out in. We used two or three deep reefs in the (rather small) mains'l and/or a storm jib until we added an inner forestay. After that we used a storm stays'l and it balanced better. Surprisingly, she would heave to fairly well, although not with the stability that a longer keel might have added. She'd also fore-reach very well, scalloping along at around two knots.

That design had a totally flush deck, unlike the NA40 which has a low coachroof. This coupled with initially fairly low freeboard and then gross overloading (fancy that!), made her a wet boat, especially to weather in a blow. After a few years we commissioned a hard dodger while in NZ. It changed our lives! The cockpit became a much safer, more comfortable haven. Best thing we ever added to a boat, and because we were willing to NOT have standing headroom under it, it looked great as well!

In general, offshore race boats of that era were built pretty heavily, and were meant to stand up to being driven hard by a bunch of testosterone driven fanatics... it is hard to believe that a cruiser could break one! And what Panaseaya says is true: it may be that gentlemen never sail to windward, but sometimes where you want to be IS upwind. For instance, in 1987 we were in Bora Bora when the French finished extracting the last of our cruising kitty. With tears in our eyes we set out for SF and our old jobs, some 6300 miles to windward. Wasn't a fun trip, but we were able to lay the course the whole way and maintain our usual 140 mpd speeds. It wouldn't have been so in a typical cruising boat.

Again, good luck with it!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Lake Macquarie, NSW, Oz

PS The tankage is a bit low... I-one had 50 USG water, 45 USG fuel (after we turfed out the original 18 gallon tank). That served us well for years. Eventually added a Survivor 35 RO unit, but hardly ever used it.
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Old 20-04-2010, 23:09   #15
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we will be partners in the a yacht. I may intend to live aboard her in Australia for a while ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
Thoughts?
"A while"... then if you intend selling it in Australia you need to look at its resale value.
Also include GST + Duty for the import.
Resale value is important as some racers want a Mumm 30 today. Cruisers.. will it be strongly desirable to them to get you a premium price?
It does look nice....... but they use the SAME camera that Real Estate agents use. Its a very special camera that makes dog boxes look like mansions.

As a cruising boat the cockpit is too small for me, can you bonk in the forrard cabin or is it too small? Coffin berths, aft. No storage. Is the shiny varnish just slapped on to sell? Most cruising is downwind. How does it go downwind? IOR boats need a kite to stop the squirreling. The only upwind work we have done is about 3,000nms out of 25,000.

If I was looking for another boat in the USA I would buy a small (electricians) van, chuck a mattress in it and go visit every one of their states that is next to the water (rivers included!).

The way to a good deal/good boat is not looking at one boat via the internet, its tyre kicking 100 boats in the flesh.

Plus you need a woman to look at it too. Damn them all, but they do have some excellent uses! And all women have a built in Boat Comfort Meter! They will tell you if they can nest in it, or fly away.

Have you had a at a Beneteau 361. Same price but 20-25 years newer, and much much much larger down below and in the cockpit. Resale value in Aus is good.

This looks like a beautiful boat. But I am too cynical about the old clunkers except for people who are shipwrights.

Can you imaging what wiring looks like after being in an oily, stinky bilge for 30 years? Yes, it might not look like a lot of work.... but....


Mark
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