OK, Since David was so kind in showing an interest in how we got our Morgan, here's the story.
I still can't believe how this all fell into place. It started out with a cruise to Casco Bay last year on our Paceship PY23. It's a fantastic sailboat and I have nothing but good things to say about it, except for one thing. I said this the day I bought it. It is a very modern style boat and I'm really into the more classic looking boats, having grown up on my dad's many wooden lobsterboats as well as five of my own. Later in life I was lucky enough to own a wooden 21' Indian day sailor. A classic beauty designed by John Alden. I'm just not a "high tech" guy. Still, the PY23 got me into cruising and I loved the boat and grew to appreciate it's modern design and performance.
As we were returning from Casco Bay my wife made the big mistake of suggesting we get a bigger boat, as she has a bad back and wasn't having an easy time dealing with the galley arrangement. That got the gears in motion. I started out thinking in terms of a larger Paceship as we were really impressed with the PY23. So, I looked into getting a PY26. Unfortunately, we aren't allowed a boat that size on our slip (thanks to it's length and draft), so that was quickly ruled out. So, (I'm thinking) what else does Paceship make? That led me to a Westwind 24. A traditional design with an outboard well and inboard tiller, giving me the nice clean stern I've always loved. One very strange feature of the Westwind is, it doesn't have a keel as one would expect, but instead has a "whale belly", requiring a lot more weight then the PY23, but not drawing as much water. Perfect for Wells' shallow harbor! Then found one for free that needed fixing up. I was very up for it, unfortunately it was in Long Island with no trailer and a ton of red tape attached to it. So much so, that I finally gave up on that idea.
So I sat down and rethought my plan. If I could have any boat, what would be the best for my situation? Kind of like on-line dating, I made up the list of what I would like, inboard motor, inboard tiller, headroom for my wife, shallow draft, 24 foot length, not too far away, not too expensive, classic looks and bingo, ruled out just about every boat I could find anywhere! Ya, I'm thinking "time to lower my standards". Then out of nowhere I found the ad. This Morgan 24 fit exactly what I was looking, for except for one thing. It was a little more than I could come up with at that time of year. We're talking Christmas time. My wife said, no problem, sell the Paceship and buy it with that. Except, as you all I'm sure know, I would take a big loss selling it at that time of year and the Morgan would most likely not be available come spring, at least not for the same money. So I decided to sell some other things.
Being Christmas time I found was a bad time to sell some things. In the meantime, I had been e-mailing the owner of the Morgan with a lot of questions. He was the nicest guy and sent pictures and put up with all of my questions. On the other hand, he WAS trying to sell a boat at the wrong time of year and from a place far away from the ocean, without a trailer. All of these things, I believe worked to my advantage. I didn't want to drive a few hours to look at something I probably wasn't able to buy and I was very up front with him about that. But finally he told me he was about to winterize it and I should really come and look at it. So, I broke down and made the trip. I loved it, as I knew I would and I got to hear the Atomic 4 for the first time. But, I still didn't think it was going to happen. The drive home was long and depressing.
As a result of my visit, I must have made a good impression, because the owner wrote and told me that he was taking it off the market and when I was able to come up with the money, it was mine. I couldn't believe he was willing to do that. So I wrote him constantly, to let him know how things were going in the sales department.
One of the things I was selling was a 1957 farm tractor. It hadn't been run in awhile, but with my dad's help we got her running, fixed a flat and touched up the paint. Then out of nowhere I got a bite from two guys and one of them offered me more than I was asking for it. That gave me almost all I needed to buy the Morgan.
In the meantime, I'm trying to figure how I was going to get it to my house. I tried to find a large enough trailer, but was having no luck. Then I found a reasonably priced mover and was planning to go that route, when my wife said, "if you're going to spend that, you might as well put it towards a trailer." I was just in the process of trying to convince her that the trailer thing wasn't looking very likely when once again, out of nowhere I found a fantastic dual axle trailer at a great price. It needed tires, wheel bearings, fenders and lights, but that was all do able.
Eventually, I got all the ducks in a row and along with my dad (in his late 70s), we headed off to pick her up. It took the two of us as well as the owner all day to get her onto the trailer. It involved building a sliding cradle, (my idea) to keep her five tons upright while using the jack stands, a floor jack and come along to very slowly get her trailered. Finally, just before dark, we were ready to haul. The ride home was slow and nerve racking, but everything went very well and in the dark my wife got to see her for the first time, remarking that she couldn't believe how big she was. Thanks to her shoal draft keel, she sits much higher on a trailer than our PY23. In the water it's not all that much bigger, but the space is made much better use of. Charlie Morgan is a genius! She sails so beautifully and takes a sea incredibly well. And she's very well balanced with any of her three head sails. I can't wait for the right day to try her beautiful spinnaker! That will involve light wind and the right person with me. My wife tells me it won't be her.
Come spring time, (after a very short time listed) I was able to sell the PY23 for what I was asking to a wonderful younger couple.