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Old 11-12-2013, 18:08   #1
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Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

I'm looking at several boats at the moment but this one caught my eye. Not sure of the year (broker didn't have all the info at the moment) but likely a 1980 or 81'. It has a new Harken Furler, new standing rigging, turnbuckles, spreader light, mast head light, mast wiring, VHF antenna and wire and new VHF radio. Also featured on the boat is an Autohelm AP, depth, knot meters and radar. The boat comes with just the two sails and dodger.

The downside, it apparently needs two new motor mounts, new front hatch, a new stanchion, the dodger needs some repair and probably new running rigging. The ports might need reseating and the bottom needs new paint. There is likely more than needs done to the boat (including revarnishing the brightwork) and a good overall cleaning. The motor is original.

I can likely purchase the boat for $13-15k. It will require at least another $3k investment to get her ready for some cruising. My other concern is that I will likely be doing a lot of single handed sailing in this boat. My gut tells me that I should stick to a smaller 28 footer but I can't help but wonder is bigger is better.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this boat. I've attached a few images I snapped.









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Old 12-12-2013, 16:05   #2
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

If you possess the skill set to perform most of the work yourself this could be a diamond in the rough. Can't go wrong for that price. The hulls are beautiful. Make sure a surveyor declares the hull is sound and go for it.
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Old 13-12-2013, 11:24   #3
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

I bought a 323 a couple of years ago in MD for 15K. She only needed a bottom job but of course since then I added my own upgrades. It seem like you are about in the ball park with the price. Most of my sailing is done single handed and she has not given me any problems. As a matter of fact, this past summer I took my 30 year old nephew on a 36 hrs offshore trip. It was only his second time on a sailboat and he handled her without any problems while I was napping (I think the next time out with him I will allow myself to sleep a little...) If she's in good condition over all, enjoy her!
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Old 13-12-2013, 11:33   #4
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

Thanks guys. About the only thing I would feel comfortable tackling is refinishing the brightwork and maybe reseating the ports. All the motor work I would leave to a qualified mechanic.

I'm still considering other boats but if I could pick this one up for $10k......hmmmm
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Old 13-12-2013, 11:38   #5
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

Don't know the 321 specifically but in general old Morgans are pretty good boats. The list of stuff todo is pretty typical for any boat of that age. In fact, I would be suspicious of any 20-30 year old boat that the seller claimed didn't need any of that stuff.

Like Jim said, if you can do the work yourself (and have the time) then this could be a deal. But a couple of caveats.

1. Rule of thumb, any boat project costs twice as much and takes twice as long as you think.

2. 90% of the boats of that era had plywood or balsa core in the decks. With leaky stanchions there will be some leakage into the core. Check that very carefully and make sure it has not created a large area of delamination, rot, etc. If it has you need to drop the price dramatically or walk away.

3. The size of the boat is not a problem for single handing. Up to a certain point solo handling a boat is all about how it is set up, not how big it is and it's pretty straight forward to set up the lines, winches and such for easy solo.
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:06   #6
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

One small comment re single handing this boat: it appears that one can not reach the mainsheet from the helm position, and that is not a great situation. And for that matter, I don't like travelers on the bridge deck... the chance for injury whilst entering or leaving the companionway is significant.

Both of those things can be changed with some thought and some money.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:14   #7
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

Quote:
any boat project costs twice as much and takes twice as long as you think
you can probably do better than this for the money.
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:53   #8
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

I like those boats. Sounds like there are some pluses. Every old boat needs some stuff as you mention. You dont say what engine though? At the asking price I would want the engine to be a diesel and be in pretty good shape. Those large portlights look like they will be pretty easy to do. If an atomic 4 then I would say about half price. BTW, it's highly likey you can get that boat for less than asking....
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Old 14-12-2013, 10:16   #9
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcolman View Post
Thanks guys. About the only thing I would feel comfortable tackling is refinishing the brightwork and maybe reseating the ports. All the motor work I would leave to a qualified mechanic.

I'm still considering other boats but if I could pick this one up for $10k......hmmmm
I have a couple of comments on this...
1) I would wonder why it has 2 bad motor mounts. Did something wrap around the prop and suddenly stop the engine? If so, is the shaft bent?
2) In another post, someone bought a similar boat for a few thousand more that just needed a bottom job.
3) Is bigger, better? Yes, to a point. Just for me, a minimal cruiser is 32 ft. long. If you're single handing, 38ft. might be topped out.
4) Boats do not maintain themselves. If you plan to do any voyaging, you are going to need more skills than just doing bright-work. You need basic plumbing, diesel and electrical background. Sorry...it's just the way it is.
5) I've noticed that quality varies on different Morgans. I've see at least 2 with hull deflections at the chain-plate areas where there was either inadequate lay-up or poor reinforcement.
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Old 14-12-2013, 10:26   #10
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

You just have to assess the pluses and minus's. The expensive or difficult things on old boats are:
1) Standing Rigging (new on this boat)
2) engine.?
3) tanks (all fail eventually... how hard to get at?)
4) Sails (two is fine ... condition?)
5) Bottom work (blisters) a basic bottom job is normal maintenance
6) Bolt on keels (bolt condition and resealing) Some boats dont have bolt on keels eliminating this issue entirely..
7) Wet deck core or delamination. Alot of boats just sail with this conditon.
Of course there are a multitude of other things, but those are most the big ones.
If you end up wanting that boat, a survey may be worth it.. if he finds wet deck core you can like halve the price (or even more) and the seller may go for it.
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Old 14-12-2013, 10:41   #11
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

check out the bulkhead condition where it meets the hull low.My 33 OI had significant rot and soft wood and required major time and expense to repair. The water had traveled around between the tabbing where it couldnt be seen.
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Old 14-12-2013, 11:10   #12
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Re: Your thoughts on this Morgan 321

I owned a Morgan 32 for about 7 years and she did well by me. I did lots of bay and coastal sailing with her, and even one cruise to Hawaii and back from San Francisco. Good strong hull and rigging. Never had any real concerns about the structural integrity.

The one poor design on my boat (hull #1) was with the steering system. It used steering wires going through conduits - which increased steering fiction considerably. There was really no reason that I could see for using conduit, other than it was cheaper and a bit easier to install. I ended up pulling it out and replacing with proper Edson sheaves. After that I had finger tip control at the wheel. My Sailomat windvane also definitely appreciated the reduction in steering friction.

At the time I purchased her there was also a fair amount of core delamination at the mast. I just figured the cost of that repair into the final purchase price and had it immediately taken care of.

No problem with single handing this boat. When sailing I would often sit on the coaming athwartship of the wheel. This would give me a good view of the jib telltails and access to the mainsheet. While the mainsheet coming down in front of the companionway does present some minor problems, I much prefer controlling the boom from the end rather than a mid-boom sheeting arrangement. The tall bridgedeck also gives confidence that you will keep water out of the cabin when sailing in big wind and waves.

The keel (with internal ballast - no keel bolts) came in a deep and shallow draft version. Mine was shallow (4'), though I would have preferred deeper to make her a bit more stiff and ability to point a tad higher.

Greg
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