bluewater cruising in Morgan 321?
Iím considering buying a 1984 Morgan 321 thatís just come available. I would love to know your thoughts about the boat itself, its suitability, value, eventual resale valueÖthe whole gamut. Iím an experienced sailor (mostly tall ships, not little boats) but this would be the first boat Iíd own.
Iím looking for a boat for cruising -- initially coastal but wanting to go offshore. Ideally, Iíd like a boat that I could singlehand comfortably, although Iíd usual sail with crew. Iím considering the Morgan not because itís the ideal boat for me but because Iím in India and itís about the only cruising sailboat for sale in the country. Iíd have to go to Europe or Thailand to find another.
I have a few concerns about the boat. First, itís shoal draft -- nice for getting into lagoons in the Maldives, but not nice for crossing that big patch of water beyond. Iíve never sailed a shoal draft boat in open waters and the prospect doesnít fill me with joy. Second, the tankage seems small: 270 liters (70 gal) fuel, 250 liters (65 gal) water. Third, the cabintop is apparently a custom job, not factory-built, so I have concerns about its integrity to the hull, etc. For that matter, I donít know the builder -- Ellington Shipyards in Miami -- apparently it was a Morgan design but not Morgan build. Last but not least, Iím not sure I can find a good surveyor with GRP experience here to give the boat a thorough survey. It got a survey in October, in Turkey, but a lot can happen in one year and a few thousand miles.
The owners did sail it here from Europe and it apparently handled the Arabian Sea crossing OK. Itís pretty well loaded for cruising (watermaker, instruments, solar panel, wind generator, ground tackle, liferaft, etc.).
Cruising on a Morgan 32
I owned a 1980 Morgan 32 for about 7 years. This was actually hull number 1 of that model. During that period I lived aboard and did a lot of sailing on the San Francisco Bay, California coast and one round trip between SF and Hawaii.
It was a fairly strong boat that I would have no big concerns about making a crossing with in non-hurricane season. The two detractions with the shoal keel are upwind pointing ability and stiffness to the wind. You will find that you need to reef this boat a bit before deeper keel boats have to, and they will sail higher than you when close hauled. For any sailing off the wind these two issues go away of course. I do believe Morgan also made a 5' deep version, but I had the 4' version.
Before making the big crossing I did have a true storm jib made. I only needed it on two occasions - but it was great to have. I also had a third reef put in the main. I also had a Sailomat windvane which did a fantastic job steering the boat. In fact, at the time of the sale I removed it from the Morgan and put it on our new boat (Ericson 39).
A few weeks ago we were sailing on the Bay and noticed our old boat and snapped the following pictures.
Feel free to ask me any specific questions.
buying this boat
it seems that you didn't buy it, 'cause now it has reach Mayotte (one of the comorus island, still french) and we (I and a few friends) are thinking of buying it.
why didn't you buy it at the end?
we checked it as completely as we could and sail with it during a day (with no much wind thoughts): everything sounded OK. your impressions please, it could be useful before signing.
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