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sully75 18-10-2014 07:26

How are pre-out island Morgans?
I got passed a couple of weeks ago by a Morgan 41 (I think that's what it was). Maybe one of the prettiest fiberglass boats I've ever seen. The transom was really a work of art.

I don't know or hear much about the earlier Morgans. I hear plenty about Albergs, Westsails, BCC, etc (both good and bad). I'm on a Pearson Triton now but pondering moving up to something bigger in the next couple of years. Always attracted to somewhat traditional, heavy duty cruising designs.

Googling morgan seems mostly to be about the out islands which don't really interest me. Anyone have any info or opinions on the older Morgans as far as cruising goes?

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waywardsuun 18-10-2014 09:31

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
I like the 37's. 1978 thru I think 82 or 83, good boats. I looked at a couple but wound up with a Hans Christian.

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boatman61 18-10-2014 09:44

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
Shame you did not/could not take a photo..

Cheechako 18-10-2014 09:52

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
are the pre "condo" OI Morgans what's known as the Charlie Morgan's? Those have a great rep.

gjordan 18-10-2014 10:06

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
I crewed Antigua Race Week on a Morgan 40 ( maybe 41?). We were in the Cruising class. The boat sailed great, seemed solid, and certainly was pretty. I like the idea of a good sailing boat with reasonable draft (centerboard), and have drooled over a few Morgan 35s, but they are old, with all of the problems of an old boat. The early Morgan 45s are beautiful, but many were home finished and poorly done. An early factory finished Morgan that has been maintained would be a good consideration for a cruising boat (with a good survey). My 2 cents worth. ______Grant.

gonesail 18-10-2014 10:30

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
i wish somebody could find the molds to the original 34 and 38 (maybe they still exist somewhere in the bushes at the old morgan site in clearwater) but i'm sure the cost for the new boat would be outrageous. such handsome looking boats but now they are 45 years old.

Cheechako 18-10-2014 10:41

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
this one? Pretty boat... only a 30 ft waterline on a 41 though. I imagine a modern 32-34 would be as fast! Love those wide sidedecks!

sully75 18-10-2014 11:09

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
2 Attachment(s)
Attachment 89939Attachment 89940

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zeehag 18-10-2014 11:39

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
there is a gorgeous 38 right behind me on the next dock over.
beautiful, sleek SAILboats. solid.

ps...nothing wrong with an old SOLID 45 yr old boat....they are fixable adn cruise-able.

colemj 18-10-2014 11:49

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
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Morgan drew some very pretty boats in the 60's. He designed our old Columbia 40 then went into business himself with a very similar 38' design. I have been on the M38 and it appeared well-built to me.

Here is a picture of our C40:


roverhi 18-10-2014 16:16

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
Charlie's boats before he sold out to raise funds to cover his America's Cup Challenge 1971 or so and before were great boats. His company made affordable boats for the masses that were strong, good looking and sailed well. Way better boats than the current run of production boats Don't think anyone designed better looking boats than Charlie. His earlier stuff for Columbia are stunners as Colemj's photo shows. His later 42 for his own company is another beauty. My favorite Morgan design is the Morgan 54 but it's always been too much boat for me. IIRC, Charlie designed a 34, 38 and 40 for Columbia. Heard the 38 and 40 were the same boat only one was a center boarder and the other a deep keel. The boats suffer from the influences of the CCA rule which encouraged overhangs but moderate shapes without the extreme beam and pinched ends of the IOR rule. They will sail faster than their stated waterline with decent but will be much smaller inside than a boat of equal overall length. For one thing, the boats typically had huge cockpits which ate into cabin space.

In the early days of the IOR rule raced on a Chance 30/30 which was a state of the art IOR rule beater. Had a hell of a time saving our time against the Morgan 34 which had a nearly identical water line length and no hope if the race had a lot of reaching conditions.

AKMark 18-10-2014 16:56

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
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Are you sure it wasn't a Morgan 38? We've got a beautiful Morgan 38, and people always compliment her butt (er, transom). I think they are used to seeing the Morgan Out Islands which have a lot more freeboard.

Our boat was actually designed by Ted Brewer and built by Morgan Yachts, although Charlie Morgan designed & built the original boats from the 1970s.

Here's a picture of Zia in a very light breeze, Mt Hood in the background.

There is an excellent Morgan 38 forum at

sully75 19-10-2014 08:42

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
Pretty sure it was a 41 or 42. They seem to be holding their prices pretty well. Aka I won't be able to afford one anytime soon. That transom though. Holy crap.

On a side note, regarding the short waterline length/cca thing, I thought they'd still be competitive cruising speed wise because in light wind they'd be shorts with less wetted surface and in heavier winds they'd heal and then be able to go faster based on longer waterline length. Is that how it goes in real life? I could see that wouldn't happen if you were motoring.

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roverhi 19-10-2014 09:58

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
You are pretty much restricted to water line length for speed while motoring. For me, that's not a problem at all as 5k has been my motoring cruise speed no matter what boat I've owned. Don't like the iron bastard banging away at high rpm's trying to go faster than that. Suppose if you wanted to push it, you could get 6k without hitting redline on any boat with a waterline length over 25'.

Sailing DDW, you are in similar conditions to motoring but that hasn't hurt the speed of my 25' waterline CCA boat all that much. Averaged 140 mpd on the sail to Hawaii with relative winds seldom above 8k. That was running wing and wing with the 135% genoa polled out.

Anytime you can get a bit of heel to the boat, the water line length increases quite a bit which should give you more speed if the wind cooperates. The 25' waterline length of my boat would indicate a theoretical max speed of 6.7k. Have held a steady speed of 7.2 knots on the calibrated log for over a 1/2 hour. Conditions were perfect with virtually flat seas and a 20k plus wind.

The biggest issue with these old boats for living aboard more than cruising is their small interiors compared to newer designs. Most new 30' boats will equal the interior volume of the Pearson 35. That's not all bad as these old boats have a lot of storage space that is virtually non existent in the opened up interiors of the latest plastic fantastics. When I left SF Bay for Kona had the boat loaded with the detritus of 4 years commuting to the boat in Alameda. Left with two spinnakers, four headsails, Bike Friday in its suitcase, spare Sailomat self steering vane, 14 gallon fuel tank for the heater, Edson diaphragm bilge pump and mount board, a load of tools accumulated working on the boat far from home, etc that have filled up 1/2 a garage bay when off loaded in Kona. Most of this stuff went into the two cavernous cockpit lockers stored out of the way. So if you want interior space, you are going to have go up in overall length to get it. Not a big thing given the price differential between a newer boat and boats of CCA vintage. Of course the marinas will get you for every nickel those extra feet can generate. Wasn't a big thing for me as the marina I was in had slip classifications in 5' increments so I paid the same price as a 30' boat for my 35' boat. That is until they measured the boat and found it was actually pushing 38' with the self steering vane and anchor platform and forced a move to a 35'-40' slip.

Another issue with boats with long overhangs is hobby horsing beating into a head sea. Personally haven't found this to be a problem though it may effect maximum speed. The boat doesn't hobby horse like our old W32 which would virtually cease all forward speed in a chop in light air hard on the wind. The Pearson soldiers on with the bow rising to each wave. But hell, I'm a cruiser and try and not go hard on the wind if there is any way to avoid it. A benefit is reserve buoyancy that will keep the bow or stern from burying itself in a wave making for a drier ride and possibly safer in survival conditions running before the wind.

Biggest complaint is the galley area in the old CCA designs. Because of the huge cockpits, mine is nearly 7', not counting the lazarette, which limits the cabin length. The typical galleys are L shaped affairs with the limited counter space that that engenders. Miss the U shaped galley of our Westsail that allowed for an overhead cabinet and was nearly ideal.

Jim Grimshaw 19-10-2014 10:33

Re: How are pre-out island Morgans?
Have a sturdy 1978 45' Morgan Classic CC ketch, modified fin keel, 30,000 lb displacement that has served me well. Love sailing it when winds are up over 10 knots, smooth cruiser. Backing it into a slip often leaves my friends on the dock laughing for hours, especially with any wind or current. Lone Ranger is currently located in Key West. Photo taken 2008 on cruise from Morehead City, NC to Brunswick, GA.

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