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post #1 of 7 Old 10-02-2015 Thread Starter
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Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

I've been lake sailing at Catalina 22 for about 6 years now and I'm ready to move up in size and location. I'm about to pull the trigger on a Morgan 321 as it seems to have just about everything my wife and I are looking for in a ICW cruiser with a hopeful trip to the Bahamas after we gain more experience in salt water.

So I'm seeking opinions from other Morgan 321 owners or anyone who might be familiar with the boat or company from that time period.

It's a shoal keel so I'm vaguely aware if the lack of performance windward and lack of speed due to the wide beam but I'm rally more interested in what people the think of the build quality, common faults, problems, reliability etc... I've got a survey scheduled next week but would love to hear from real owners past or present. What do you think of this boat? What boat would you consider it comparable to? Hunter, Erickson! Catalina?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-03-2015
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Re: Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

I shared a dock with one that was owned by a fellow who was not all that knowledgeable, and so I often ended up helping him with his boat. I thought the general build quality was pretty good. This boat had a strong and distinct odor, which I have also noticed on sister ships, and which would have been a deal killer for me.

The other deal killer would have been motion comfort which is awful. These boats tend to pitch and roll miserably, enough to eliminate them as an option if you plan to spend time on the Bahama Banks or cross the Gulfstream which you plan to do.

I should note that I am a big fan of Brewer's work.. So much so that I encouraged my Dad to buy a Brewer 12.8 when he started looking at them. But all designers have better and worse designs and in my experience this was not one of his better works.

A similar concept but better sailor with better motion is the Bristol 31.1.

Jeff
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-03-2015
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Re: Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

Looking at the numbers I am at a loss to explain the pitching and rooling.
The keel isn't as deep as some and the widest part of the beam is pretty far
forward. What am I missing?

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Thanks for the Input. No odor I've noticed so far but I've only spent about 20 mins onboard thus far. I'll be interested to hear other opinions.
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Re: Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

Quote:
Originally Posted by desert rat View Post
Looking at the numbers I am at a loss to explain the pitching and rooling.
The keel isn't as deep as some and the widest part of the beam is pretty far
forward. What am I missing?
I don't know what numbers you are looking at, but boats behave as a system such that simple numbers rarely tell much of the story. When you talk about motion, there are no simple numbers that are meaningful. The reality is that how a boat moves is a product of its hull form in terms buoyancy distribution and weight distribution throughout range of roll and pitch. It is a product of damping and the way a particular design absorbs the types of force that create roll and pitch.

Careful computer analysis could model the roll and pitch motion of a boat, but short of that, the best way to understand how a boat moves is to spend time on a lot of different boats in a variety of conditions, and then to compare the motion of the boat in question to similar sized boats in similar conditions. While these impressions are subjective at best, over time, it becomes easier to get a relative sense of the bahavior from boat to another. Near the middle of the broad range of behaviors, it's comparatively difficult to say one boat behaves better than another, but at the extremes of good or bad behavior such as the case with this design, the relative behavior of the boat becomes pretty obvious.

In some cases I have little to go on, and so hold back my comments, but in this case I spent time on the boat, and have also purposefully made observations of them underway relative to other boats around them, and that is the basis of my comments on the Morgan 321.

Jeff


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Re: Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

I've heard others comment on the Morgan 321's inability to point high as well as its tendency to need reeling early but hadn't heard much else. Again thanks for the input. I'll be sailing mostly on the Pamlico around Oriental, NC where chop can get rough really quick from what I've heard. Speed is not a major factor for us but stability and comfort are high on the list. We will be taking her out next week for the first time for sea trials during her survey so I'll have a better feel then. In the meantime, all input is more than welcome. Thanks again for your input Jeff.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-04-2015
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Re: Seeing opinions on 1980 Morgan 321

Jeff I am certain you are right, but I am a technician and i keep looking for a short cut
to understand motion comfort. I am too old to spend thirty + years studying boat design.
I will just have to try out all kinds of boats. As always thank you for all the insight you lend to my growing (but limited) understanding of sailboats.

Zen is a matter of recognizing reality.
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