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Old 01-27-2003
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Morgan 27

I assume that you are referring to the 1970''s era Morgan 27 which was an early IOR race boat. I raced these when I lived in Savannah in the late 1970''s. Depending on where in S. Florida you are living, at 4''6" draft these may have a little too deep draft to be convenient.

In a general sense these were good sailing raceboats for their day. They were reasonably fast upwind. Their day was short lived. By the mid-1970''s small boats like the J-24, Kirby 25, Capri 25 was pointing race boats in a different direction and the Morgan 27''s became pretty obsolete as race boats.

As cruisers there were two models, one very stripped out and the other with a decent interior for a race boat of that era. They had a number of options which included a deep and shallow keel option (most were shallow), outboard or inboard, and a tall rig and standard rig. The standard rig would not be the best option for S Florida as they are undercanvassed in the lighter winds that are so common down there. Neither would the outboard which was hard to keep in the water in the short chop found on the Atlantic Coastal inlets.

Because of the large genoas and spinackers they required a larger crew than you would normally expect on a boat this size. We typicially raced with 7 or 8 on board, partially to keep the boat on its feet in a breeze but partially to have enough people to run the boat. That is a very big racing crew for a boat this size (compared to a Laser 28, for example, which we normally raced with 5 or 6) These were boats that were at their best in a narrow wind range between 10 and 14 knots or so. After 15 knots they tended to get over-powered and became a real handful. Typicial of boats that depend on large headsails and small mainsails, these boats were sailed with a huge sail inventory for a boat this size carrying 5 or 6 headsails but due to the primitive sail handling gear we typcically sailed with whatever we started the race with. Perhaps with modern sails and sail handling gear you can make more frequent sail changes to reduce the amount that you are being over- or under- powered.

The 27''s were not all that well built. The ones that I raced would flex terribly at the shroud attachment points when beating in heavy air. There was a later factory fix, and the early boats were often retro fitted with knees to brace the topsides and deck. There were also keel attachment problems. The heavily swept back keel was a real pain in the butt when these boats ran aground because they had a lot of leverage against the keel bolts and the keel attachment was not all that well engineered. Some of the raceboat 27''s that I was on, had also beefed up the keel connection structure either before or after needing to do so.

It is really hard to say what I would recommend on these boats today. I enjoyed sailing on them when they were new and competitive. They had begun life as racers and there is nothing more obsolete than an obsolete racer. BUT still and all, some had nice interiors and offered a lot of boat for the money. They had a lot of build quality issues but these should either have been corrected or be very obvious in a survey.

Good luck,
Jeff
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