I would like to touch on a couple points raised in the original post and correct one minor point which I will do first. The Morgan 45 was designed under the CCA rule, not the IOR rule. By the time the boat actually hit production the CCA was about to die. Even under the CCA rule the boats were not successful, but they became totally useless as race boats under the original IOR rule which initially was written with the intention of curbing the excesses of the CCA rule that limited the seaworthiness of boats like these. Given that the Morgan version was not seen as being particularly useful as a cruising design, after sitting around taking up space for a few years the tooling was sold cheaply to S-J rather than being trashed out right.
While good sailor could probably justify one of the Morgan built boats for use offshore, the Starratt Jenks versions of these boats would never make ideal or even decent offshore cruisers. In its original form, these boats were well built, deep draft, and had cast lead ballast. When Starratt Jenks took over building these boats, they cheapened the boat greatly and in the process of trying to change a grand prix rule beating race boat to some kind of cruising boat, made some very big changes (shallower draft, less ballast, in most later boats lead or steel in concrete which was a lower density ballast, cruder/heavier glass work, heavier cruising oriented interior and so on), all of which reduced the seaworthiness and motion comfort of the design, a design, which was known for having pitch and roll issues as compared to the better designs that followed it.
Most of the S-J boats were owner finished and the workmanship and corner cutting that I have seen were dismal and which would require a whole lot of time and money to rectify. At least in the case of the S-J boats, you are dealing with an outdated design, poorly constructed, typically poorly equipped in terms of deck hardware and sail handling gear. You may be able to make one into a mediocre island hopper, but with its long ends, deep canoe body, round bilges, low ballast ratio, low density ballasting, crammed accomodations. it would never be a particularly good offshore cruiser.
It is on that basis that I completely disagree with the statement above that claims that the The Starratt Jenks 45 is the most undervalued blue water ocean cruiser on the market. A knowledgable blue water cruiser would never classify the Starratt Jenks version of these boats as blue water cruisers by any stetch of the imagination, and given the really great blue water cruising designs out there that can be bought at similar prices to a those of an S-J, I would never classify the S-J as a bargain.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-08-2010 at 08:49 AM.