27' Morgan Classic 1975?? Questions.
I have an opportunity to get a 1975 Morgan classic. I am learning a bit about the boat but wondered if any of you have some insight into this particular boat. I would be getting it as a project boat and so would be doing some extensive work to it. I know it was built by Catalina using the old Morgan plans but that is about it. Had some of the following questions any answers would be helpful.
1. Is it able to be set up for single handed sailing?
2. Stability and speed?
3. Any pitfalls of this boat (bad weather helm, poor light wind performance or other tendencies that would make it an undesirable boat?
4. Is it suitable for great lakes (L. Michigan)?
Anything you can offer would be great.
To answer your question, and with all due respect, I must say that your post is a font of misinformation. The Morgan 27 was an IOR era race boat that was built by Morgan years before Catalina got involved in the company and long before Catalina started applying the term 'Classic' to the Out Island series. I raced these boats back in the 1970's and early 80's. They were definitely a mixed bag.
In their day these were pretty fast little boats. They were designed around the earliest IOR rule and have some of the quirkiness of early IOR boats.
These boats were reasonably fast upwind, and compared to boats of that era were pretty quick downwind as well. They were prematurely made obsolete by boats like the J-24, Kirby 25, and Capri 25, which were all so much more versatile and so were able to beat the Morgan 27 on all points of sail and in all conditions.
These boats took a very large crew to race competatively. With their small mainsail/ large jib sail plan they took a very large sail inventory as well. Performance was extremely related to having exactly the right sail up for the conditions. They were extremely difficult to control downwind in a seaway.
Build quality on these boats was miserable. They were known for keel attachment problems, rudder problems, bulkheads shifting etc. The shroud configuration on the boat that I raced on was such that in a heavy breeze the topsides with oil can in on the weather side and would pop out as you tacked with a very audible boom. As I understand it many of these boats have been modified to eliminate this problem and that some of the last boats had some kind of factory fix. The electrical systems on these boats were always a problem although some of that may have been related to the owner wired instruments on the boat that I raced on and racing out in the Atlantic we took a lot of water down below.
These were not great light air boats. Neither did they do as well in a chop as the boats like the 1970's MORC types like the J-24, Kirby 25, and Capri 25 mentioned above.
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I race against one of these frequently. Locally the boat is a 198 PHRF. She can be tough to beat in a breeze, as I recall the owner saying she is 7000 lbs with 3500 in the keel. vs my Jeanneau 30, an early 80's post fastnet ior half ton at 6100 lbs with 2500 in the keel. Light winds, local boat is pretty easy to keep up or beat. But she is also well sailed, so usually in the hunt at the end.
Other than this, not sure I can tell you much more about the boat.
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