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  #1  
Old 02-17-2008
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Morgan 323

I also posted this is the Morgan thread but I thought it also may be relevant for here as well since this thread gets much more exposure.

I am looking to sell the 25' fractional rig I have now and move into a larger
30'-33' boat for weekend and some weeklong cruises for two or three people. I have been looking at some older Pearsons and Tartans, an Endeavour, some Odays and playing around the idea of a mid 80's Catalina 30. All the Pearsons and Tartans I like seem to be out of my price range of around $25k-35K, but I do like these boats the best for their build quality, looks and layout. I did come across a Morgan 323 that looks to be in good shape and kind of reminds me of an older Pearson. The Morgan seems to be in excellent condition and has much more updated gear than other boats I am looking at, yet it seems to be priced $5k-10k lower than a Tartan of Pearson of the same condition and equipment. From the limited research I have done, it seems Morgans in general tend to be priced lower, yet I have only heard people say good things about them. In terms of buld quality are they compareable to a mid 80's Pearson or Tartan? Also why do the prices tend to be lower? Is it because they are not as well known or is that they are not as good boats? Also any other info or advice any one has about these boats would be appreciated. I will be sailing on the Long Island sound and plan top live aboard during the weekend while making the ocassional trip out to Block Island and also many weekend trips to CT.

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Old 12-29-2008
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Bump. I could use answers to everything he asked as well. Looking at some morgans. Particularly a Charley Morgan 381 and a 323.
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Old 12-30-2008
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Hi I actually posted the original questions but since I bought the Morgan 323 pictured in my avatar I can actually now answer these and any other questions you have! Funny too because I havn't been on sailnet for about 3 months (busy with new job) and the one day I come on I see my old thread bumped. Meanwhile back when I asked it I checked for answers every day.

I’ll start off with an apology for such a long response but when I was looking to buy I couldn’t find any info on the Brewer Morgans (hence my original post just being responded to now a year later) so I am going to give you a lot of info. Hope it helps.

Anyway...I love the boat. I don't want to sound biased and say its all great but for the most part I have had no problems and realized how good of a decision I made to buy this one. To start off on Morgans in general and from what I have discussed with other Morgan owners is that the Ted Brewer designed 321, 322 and 323 as well as the 382,383 and 384 are the more preferred designs. They are very heavily and well built, have more classic lines, and perform better than the Morgan Out Island models that are much more abundant.

The 323 is very heavily and in my opinion well constructed. It has a displacement length ratio of around 316 if I'm not mistaken and is built with a solid fiberglass hull. The same can be said for the 383's as they are very very similar but some of the 38 foot models were said to be constructed with cored balsa hulls. The 323 has 4 foot draft with lead internal ballast so no keel bolts to worry about. The hull also has no flat portions on the underside so the boat never pounds – just gracefully splits the water when it comes off a big wave. (love this as my last boat pounded badly) The rudder is skeg hung and well protected as is the prop so it makes snagging a lobster pot a little less likely.

The 323 has excellent sailing characteristics but does take a little wind to get moving especially off the wind which isn't surprising with the 316 D/L ratio. But when it is blowing more than 10knts she sails great and handles more weather gracefully. Once I got used to the boat I actually preferred to take her out when there were small craft advisories. Mine is also equipped with a 20hp Yanmar 3GMD and this is one area where I can say something negative. The boat really should have come with a 30hp as it is slightly underpowered especially for such a heavy boat. It won't be winning many races but I use it mostly for cruising.

As for the interior, there is 6'3 standing headroom which is great for me because I am 6'2. The cabin sole is constructed of teak and holly and there is plenty of teak to give you that "shippy" feel throughout the whole cabin.

One other negative is that the forward V birth is very tight to get into. Once you are in it, it is not that bad but overall is very tight compared to other similar sized boats. My girlfriend hates it and refuses to sleep up there but one of the settees in the saloon converts to a double so we sleep there.

The boat I purchased was a 1983 that was completely cared for and refitted by the two previous owners. The exterior teak was shinny and re-finished, the cabin wood was flawless, and the engine 100% rebuilt and runs perfect, all decks refinished and painted with non skid algrip, hull and decks moisture free. Also in the past 5 years the owners added brand new, Lofrans project 1500 windlass, new Furano rader, Garmin GPS, 4 new Gel Cell batteries and charger system, Dickson diesel heater, Origo stainless alcohol stove and oven, new head and holding tank, new water heater, cabin and cockpit speakers, dingy outboard motor mount and lifting arm, new radios, etc.

So......long story short, the boat I bought was 1 out of 1000 in my opinion. I spent months and months looking at hundreds of boats and none were as clean, well maintained and extensively upgraded as this one and especially for the price I got it at. I thought that there had to be something as it sounded too good to be true but myself and 2 surveyors found nothing. Now after a solid season spent sailing and cruising LI sound, Block Island and Newport and being in a wide range of weather conditions I can say the boat is an absolute dream. My girlfriend actually keeps making fun of me because I am the type of person to buy something whether it is a car, motorcycle, boat and 2 months later I want something bigger and better. This is the first thing I am completely satisfied with and would sell everything else I owned before letting go of this boat.

Now however all the listings I have seen online for other Morgan 323s look no where as clean, well maintained or well equipped, yet they are still just as expensive if not more. So what I am trying to say is I truly believe I got a gem and is part of the reason why I love the Morgan 323. I don't know if I would be as impressed if I stepped on the average one that looks like a 25 year old boat. I do however think they are well designed, built very strong, and looks beautiful on the water. If you are looking for a sturdy midsize cruiser (not looking to win races) that can handle a blow, get you around safely and comfortably and you find a Morgan 323 for a decent price, I doubt you will regret it.

Here are some pics of mine. Also sorry for the really long reply but as you can tell I am very passionate about my boat and also know from my own experiences that there is very little info out there about the Ted Brewer Morgans so if you are serious about them this should help you. Feel free to ask more questions. I'll be on sailnet a lot now.
Thanks
-Nick
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2008
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Nk235—

That stove exhaust pipe is a disaster waiting to happen... I can see someone accidentally grabbing it in a heavy seaway... and it isn't strong enough to take that kind of abuse... and if the stove is operating at the time, the person is going to get burned rather badly.

I'd highly recommend putting a vertical post next to the partition there, that the stove is mounted on, so as to help prevent someone from accidentally grabbing the exhaust, as well as helping protect the stove and exhaust from any accidental damage.
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Old 12-30-2008
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SD - It's already in the works. I never use the stove while underway so I'm not worried about anyone getting burnt but I am worried about someone accidently grabbing it and ripping it off. Its on the winter To Do list.
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Old 12-30-2008
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Nice ride. I nearly bought the Morgan 38 it may have been a 382 made in 1978. very well built but a bit light on storage, given the tanks were under the seats.
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Old 12-31-2008
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Good to hear... and just checking...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nk235 View Post
SD - It's already in the works. I never use the stove while underway so I'm not worried about anyone getting burnt but I am worried about someone accidently grabbing it and ripping it off. Its on the winter To Do list.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 12-31-2008
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Thank you so much for the response! The long response was what I wanted and you pointed out a lot of the things I had questions on.

Currently there is a 1984 Morgan 323 for sale for a VERY reasonable price. I am currently looking for a sea-worthy boat to do tropical cruising on. Not looking for something to take the abuse of the higher latitudes, just tropical cruising mainly in the Caribbean and Central America. But I am looking for something that will be suitable for longer passages. Would you consider the 323 off-shore capable with the correct equipment?
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Old 12-31-2008
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Unfortunatly I don't have the experience to properly answer that question as I have never been far off shore with the boat nor do I have experience in overnight blue water passages. With that being said I do think you would have no problem as long as the boat and sailor is properly prepared and you pay close attention the weather. The 323 is very comfortable in rougher conditions. It never pounds and because it is so heavy it does't seem to be thrown around as much as my last boat which was a light displacement racer/cruiser type. The mast is also shorter than most other 32' boats so it doesn't carry as much canvas and is easier to handle. So I guess what I am trying to say is I think the boat is more than adequete enough to handle the type of cruising you are talking about but take it for what its worth since I don't actually have the experience myself.
However, 3 months ago my girlfriend and I were planning a year long trip down the ICW to cruise the Bahamas and I thought this would be the perfect boat for that as its plenty big for just a couple, has the shallow 4' draft and is built very well and very heavy so it easily stand up to some weather so long as it is properly sailed and handled.
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Old 12-31-2008
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Nk235 - I tried sending you a private message but I don't have enough posts to do that apparently. Would you mind looking at this boat advertisement?

manaute.com/morgan323forsale/

I can't post links until I have 10 posts so you may need to copy/paste that

It seems to be in great condition and the price is very much in my range. There are videos on the page that give a tour.
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