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Old 29-11-2021, 19:28   #1
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Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

I have a chance to buy a Morgan 28 Out Islander, about 50 years old. I'm prepared to spend money over the next year or so on rigging and other repairs to make sure it's in good shape but I'm wondering if that boat is suitable for blue water cruising. I don't want to cross the Atlantic, but I would like to visit Sable Island, about 160 km from Nova Scotia. Does anybody have experience with things like that? I've had several boats but I'm not an experienced sailor. I'll take lessons and may even recruit and experienced sailor to travel with, but I'm wondering if that kind of boat can do that kind of passage.


Memories and tales from old salts with experience in that kind of boat are most welcome.
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Old 29-11-2021, 19:37   #2
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Re: Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

Welcome to the forum, graphicsgeezer.

One answer is that seaworthiness is more dependent on the sailor than on the boat. That said, and having no experience farther north than the English Channel, I'd be inclined to go a bit bigger. By the time you get to the mid 30s in length, there are lots of bluewater boats.
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Old 30-11-2021, 18:28   #3
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Re: Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

With your goals, spending money on a better boat in the first place will end up saving you money (and maybe more) in the long run.
We had nice weather on a Marblehead-Halifax Race once, roaring down 15' swells at better than 12 knots on a 42' sloop. More breeze or a different tide might have made them breaking waves. Not something you'd want to deal with in a 28' boat 100 miles off shore en route to Sable Island. Figuring a generous hull speed of 6.5 knots for a Morgan 28, it would take about 15 hours to sail the 100+ miles from New Harbor to Sable Island. Perhaps possible if you could stay on a broad reach all the way, and the wind didn't die, change direction, or mood. Any of those things happening could ruin your adventure, turning it harrowing, worrisome, or dangerous, depending on the weather and your skills. As tkeith suggests, seaworthiness depends a lot on the sailor knowing what his or her boat can handle, and how to handle it. A bigger, better boat would make knowing how to handle such a trip easier. If I made such a trip on my boat, my liferaft would be on board.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:15   #4
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Re: Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

The out island 28 is at best a coastal sailboat. It does not point well as it is a shallow draft boat. Great for Bahamas but not sure you want to be out there in a gale
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:52   #5
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Re: Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

While I am sure that there will be plenty of folks who will chime in that a Morgan OutIsland is a fine blue water boat, I will say this. Its a 50 year old boat that I would not take offshore without knowledge of many of its systems beforehand. Who maintained it and how well? are the seacocks and thru-hull fittings in good shape and when was the last replacement. Rigging? engine? many many other parts.
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:16   #6
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Re: Morgan 28 Out Island-- good for blue water

You're gonna need a bigger boat. -Roy Scheider in "Jaws."
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