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larsfis 01-26-2003 05:01 PM

Morgan 27
Any opinions on the Morgan 27 for coastal sailing in S. Florida?

Jeff_H 01-27-2003 03:18 AM

Morgan 27
I assume that you are referring to the 1970''s era Morgan 27 which was an early IOR race boat. I raced these when I lived in Savannah in the late 1970''s. Depending on where in S. Florida you are living, at 4''6" draft these may have a little too deep draft to be convenient.

In a general sense these were good sailing raceboats for their day. They were reasonably fast upwind. Their day was short lived. By the mid-1970''s small boats like the J-24, Kirby 25, Capri 25 was pointing race boats in a different direction and the Morgan 27''s became pretty obsolete as race boats.

As cruisers there were two models, one very stripped out and the other with a decent interior for a race boat of that era. They had a number of options which included a deep and shallow keel option (most were shallow), outboard or inboard, and a tall rig and standard rig. The standard rig would not be the best option for S Florida as they are undercanvassed in the lighter winds that are so common down there. Neither would the outboard which was hard to keep in the water in the short chop found on the Atlantic Coastal inlets.

Because of the large genoas and spinackers they required a larger crew than you would normally expect on a boat this size. We typicially raced with 7 or 8 on board, partially to keep the boat on its feet in a breeze but partially to have enough people to run the boat. That is a very big racing crew for a boat this size (compared to a Laser 28, for example, which we normally raced with 5 or 6) These were boats that were at their best in a narrow wind range between 10 and 14 knots or so. After 15 knots they tended to get over-powered and became a real handful. Typicial of boats that depend on large headsails and small mainsails, these boats were sailed with a huge sail inventory for a boat this size carrying 5 or 6 headsails but due to the primitive sail handling gear we typcically sailed with whatever we started the race with. Perhaps with modern sails and sail handling gear you can make more frequent sail changes to reduce the amount that you are being over- or under- powered.

The 27''s were not all that well built. The ones that I raced would flex terribly at the shroud attachment points when beating in heavy air. There was a later factory fix, and the early boats were often retro fitted with knees to brace the topsides and deck. There were also keel attachment problems. The heavily swept back keel was a real pain in the butt when these boats ran aground because they had a lot of leverage against the keel bolts and the keel attachment was not all that well engineered. Some of the raceboat 27''s that I was on, had also beefed up the keel connection structure either before or after needing to do so.

It is really hard to say what I would recommend on these boats today. I enjoyed sailing on them when they were new and competitive. They had begun life as racers and there is nothing more obsolete than an obsolete racer. BUT still and all, some had nice interiors and offered a lot of boat for the money. They had a lot of build quality issues but these should either have been corrected or be very obvious in a survey.

Good luck,

larsfis 01-28-2003 03:46 AM

Morgan 27
Thanks for your insight, Jeff.

I had hoped the M27 was an answer to my prayers. Fast, standing headroom in the 26''- 29'' range. But alas, any boat that needs so many to sail is questionable, not to mention your many other exceptions - especially build quality.

The last thought on my waning interest in the M27 is cockpit size. It''s tiny! Short and narrow, I guess everyone was meant to be sitting on the rail all day long. No thanks.

Jeff, about your comment on the outboard engine and Atlantic Coastal inlets; would not not recommend an outboard motor at all on a sailboat in S. Florida?

Thanks again,

Jeff_H 01-28-2003 06:08 PM

Morgan 27
To some extent it depends on where you are sailing in Florida and what you want to do with the boat. I had Outboard powered boats in the Miami area and they were OK. Further north or out in the Gulfstream things get very bumpy and I was not pleased with how outboards worked in the short chop. St. Augustine inlet in particular can be tough to get into and trying to slip in can really require an engine you can count on.

But while I personally do not like outboards for that area, there are many people who do and get by with them.


BigApple 04-18-2010 09:15 PM

Morgan 27
I currently race a Morgan 27 in Galveston Bay and have some very good results. In 20-25 knots we do even better.
With a little tender care and new sales the boat goes to weather in 12-18 knots as well as any boat in the fleet. I think that you were a little premature in writting the boat off. A month ago we raced against a 28 boast fleet and with 109's, 105's, J-80's and J-24's the winning boat in the spin class was a J-24. Over a 22 mile course and her giving me 24 seconds a mile we finished 10 seconds behind them on elapsed time. You do the math.

Sanduskysailor 04-18-2010 10:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
There was a later 27 designed by Morgan. Built by Chrysler then TMI- Nice boat if fixed up. Here is a picture of one currently for sale.

BigApple 04-19-2010 07:50 AM

Morgan 27
Nice boat! I almost purchased one several years ago out of Tampa. Do you know what they are asking for the boat?

Sanduskysailor 04-19-2010 08:20 AM

The Morgan designed Chrysler 27 owner is asking $23,500. Boat is a one owner 1981 sailed exclusively in freshwater. Engineer owner is fastidious. He completely rebuilt the boat about 10 years ago and has improved various systems. Boat has a perfect white Awlgrip finish. Boat was originally designed to race MORC and still is a brilliant performer rating 159 in PHRF. Interior is fitted out for cruising and is spotless and very nicely done.

I would have bought the boat last year if it had been for sale. Basically, this boat is like new. Boat is used for double handed Wednesday night racing and not much else.

Morgan27 01-14-2011 10:15 PM

I have a '72 model Morgan 27 and like it very much. My outboard bracket is an OMC model and allows me to lower the engine (longshaft) which keeps it in the water very well. In fact, with the bracket in the up position during a Noreaster in VA I only had the prop come out twice, then only after the boat had rolled quite a lot in the 70mph gusts.
All in all, it may not be the newest or fastest boat out there but for 4k with a great running outboard, new interior and a bunch of new sails I'm not one to complain.
M Trimmier
Port Royal SC

souljour2000 01-14-2011 10:47 PM

If the price is right and is it well-equpped and in good might be a good boat...the Morgan 27 is a wider and heavier boat than the popular Catalina 27 (standard rig). It is also about 4 knots faster. It's not quite as safe from a stabilty point of view..buts it's numbers are close to the catalina in that dept. and also it motion comfort rating is close to the more narrow and easier motion of the Catalina. Sail calc pro or other performance comparison websites can help you compare important ratio numbers for things like speed,sail area, displacement, motion comfort,etc and I highly recommend taking a look at a site like this and comparing the boats you know already against one's you may not know about...these sites usually have stats on 1000's of boats...old and new. Good luck...Morgan is my first name so I might be biased but those boats have a good reputation for a reason...Charlie Morgan was probably no fool and made many decent boats that were usually very roomy and fairly fast....though not always the most stable.... though certainly no less so than most of that era.

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