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11-10-2013 11:29 AM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

Every boat has it limitations. It seems a bit unfair to assume that a Morgan 33 could not go out in 30-40 know winds and come out ok. I believe if you prepare for those occasions, reefing or stom jib would suffice and keep you relatively safe and secure. Smaller sailboats have done so and wet or dry you all know you'll be in for a ride. I am thinking of buying a M33 and doing long distance cruising. I believe if I prepare the boat and do a complete shakedown and stock it for the long haul, I will have more interesting things to talk about afterwards. Live, love, and learn.
01-14-2013 07:48 AM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33


Thanks you so much for your input and comments! That is exactly the sort of advice that I have been seeking. I think that the general concensus, from a number of persepctives is that the SC28 is more suitable than the M33 for cruising. People feel that the M33 is a more elegant boat, but that she is not quite as seaworthy as the SC28. I have had two experienced comments over the years (comments of any sort are somewhat difficult to drum up.) that address the possible undesireable behavior in following seas, and so your voice added to the voice does sort of put the clincher on the whole affair

I guess for me it has been difficult to turn my head away from the beauty of the M33 and all the new stuff that mine has come with!

So thanks again for takign the time to comment - Anders
01-13-2013 09:07 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

Thought I would chime in to let you know I went through the same dilemma. Years ago, my wife and I searched and tried every boat under 36 feet for a good pocket cruiser that could take us anywhere. We chartered many and sailed with friends but we kept looking the smaller because once friends shared their cost of a refit, smaller makes sense.

We sailed a Morgan for a weekend but was unimpressed. Guess I really didn’t like getting shoved around SF Bay by big following waves so that turned me towards a double ender and the Southern Cross series. We watched a sailboat 100 yards away get shoved towards the rocks and another wave put the spreaders in the water. From that day, we started the double ender search . . .

I read the Donna Lange and Pat Henry stories and was impressed so we started looking for a Southern Cross. It took us a year to find a SC28 on the west coast but for what we wanted and it required a lot of work. We started by removing the 12hp Universal diesel and replacing with a Beta 16. We added a new transmission, prop shaft, prop, control panel and all the wiring. After that, a new charging system, inverter, rigging (still cutter rigged), windlass, all lines aft, new sails, etc . . . it took us four years but we finished last year.

It was well worth the effort! She sails very well and turns heads everywhere. We took her out once in 35 knot winds with 18 foot seas and it was rough but she was balanced and handled great. We posted a picture headed south from SF Bay - look in the Cruising photos for “Monterey Bay Bound”.

Anyway, in short, we made the correct decision. We wanted a double ender and a smaller pocket cruiser that kept the budget down. Good luck . . .
12-13-2012 11:50 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

You are cracking me up! You have rocks in your head! More power to you if you can afford a fleet of 4 boats.

Actually I think that you have an eye for boats. I also really like the look of the CD Typhoon. We had an informal race with one this past summer on the Hudson River. The Typhoon kept pace with us until we peeled off to head to our mooring after a race. I got a good look at it's lines and those cute round ports on the cabin. If I had to have a smaller boat the CD Typhoon would be near the top of my list but I'm on the east coast so I can't help you with finding a buyer.
The Pearson Ariel is also a boat I'd also consider owning. Both of these models are from the time when fiberglass boats were starting to make big inroads in the market. My Tartan 27' is like a distant cousin to both of them in some ways.

Good luck selling the CD Typhoon. Once she is sold you can fix up the SC 28' for your trip to Scandinavia and bring it around to the east coast. Once the SC 28' makes it to Norway you will have 3 boats in 3 different ports. Much more respectable!!!

I guess there is some money on metamorphic rocks, eh?
12-13-2012 05:21 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

Hey Caleb,
Well, really you have it wrong, I have 4 sailboats :-) I don't really talk about the Cape Dory Typhoon - what a beautiful boat, but it is a bit small. I am planning to sell the Cape dory (reducing my ship stable to 3) and then I have this quandary about which I should unload next. The Ariel is in Maine, and the M33 and SC28 are in CA... But I would much rather they were on this coast (yes, eventually to sail one of them to Norway). Life IS so difficult! :-) As far as thinking goes... I guess I try not to :-(
Do you know of anyone on the West Coast that might want to buy a CD Typhoon?
12-13-2012 02:42 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

Hello, my name is Anders and I'm a boataholic!

Do you need to update your SailBoats page to add the Morgan 33'? That would bring your fleet of keel sailboats up to a total of 3: a Pearson Ariel (26'), Southern Cross 28' and now Morgan 33'. Since you seem to split your time between the left and right coasts one extra boat can be forgiven, but now you have 3! What were you thinking?

It seems that one of your goals is to sail to Norway, presumably from Maine or thereabouts. Given this information I think you know which boat I'd choose for such a trip, given your choices. You would likely be going through the Irish Sea and North Sea, or perhaps the English Channel on the way to Norway. Those waters have quite a reputation. Even commercial shipping takes the North Atlantic seriously, especially in winter:
12-13-2012 07:29 AM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

David, Thanks for that very good perspective!

In this particular case (M33) the boat came with new larger stays, and a better mast/boom setup, so some of the structural/operational aspects of the M33 have been addressed, however the manner of handling the seas is of some concern to me. I am also a little concerned about the unsupported spade rudder, having heard rumors of such rudders been torn off in less pleasant seas and wind.

I have also been having some good interchanges via email with Jerry, the guy who sold me the M33. (We consider it "our" boat since he clearly has his heart still in the boat as well, and somehow I see myself helping fulfill his dream of getting this beauty going.) In any case, I think he also has an interesting point (in deciding between the two boats), that being that I should simply go out there and "do it" irrespective of the boat and then figure out the right way forward once I get a better idea of what I want, and even if the cruising life is really for me! He relates stories of friends who have done it and hated the life and others who went the other way. He also mentioned that he has never found a boat that was perfect, and that rather it is a process of refinement.

Of course the chosen boat needs to be configured appropriately, so as not to fail at the first sign of a strong gust and large waves.

I have sailed the SC28 in some pretty strong winds in "The Slot" in the SF Bay, although I should have shortened sail (25-30 kn winds is my guess? Only one other boat was out), she was well balanced and did quite nicely (albeit a bit slow due to having not shortened sail - a good learning experience) And I had a blast sailing her out the Gate (SF Bay) in storm swells that were 10-15' high (maybe more? The bowsprit tapped the tops of the waves as I would drive into them, and the waves were so high that they totally hid the Golden Gate Bridge! This was the bad day - or maybe the day after? -that one of the race boats smashed up on the Farallons in which some folks died, a very sobering event.), and it was exhilarating though! But the SC handled it very well, and it took me an hour or so so start feeling comfortable with the manner in which she eased over the large swells, totally dry! (For those interested, I have a short description of this trip on my web site: geotestunlimited dot com under the drop down section"Fun Stuff". It was a blast!)
12-12-2012 08:48 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

I think you will find that most success long term ocean sailors did a full re-rig before setting out. This included all new wire and often upgrading to a larger size. Also includes new chain plates again upgrading to larger. I have never heard of any successful multi-year ocean sailors who just jumped on an older boat with original rig and sailed for years. I have heard of folks who have tried and lost their rig or rudder etc.
The loading and unloading happens thousands of times per day. Stuff breaks. A typical New England sailor may sail 100 hours a year (20 days at 4 hours per day plus a trip to block island). A one month passage would equal seven years of that kind of usage. It could be argued that the wear could dramatically exceed that wear however. If you do mostly 4 to 6 hour day sails how often are you going to sail in 30 plus knots. On a passage you may have to spend a few days in 35 to 40. Not big deal the boat an you will do fine, you will even make some good time but the stress on the rig will be higher.

So one year of full time sailing can for some boat equal 10 years coastal day sailing.
So from your point of view if you are serious about this just what kind of condition is going to be your minimum?
12-12-2012 08:07 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

I think that the biggest difference between these two boats is that the M 33' was designed more for coastal cruising, "weekend club racing and over-nighters " whereas the SC line of boats was built to be blue water capable from the get go.
Here is a review of the SC 31' but I imagine that the same build quality went into the 28'. The double-ender design is used for all (or most) of the SC line and is supposed to be helpful in following seas.
Southern Cross 31 Review :

Interestingly you will not find a review of any Morgan sailboats on the website but builders like Pacific Seacraft are well represented with their smallest, the Nor'sea 27' (also a double ender design) included in the list.

As is often said on this forum, with older boats it becomes more about how well a boat was maintained than the initial build quality. The "blue water" corollary might be that ocean going boats need re-fitting more frequently and should be more heavily rigged than their inshore counterparts. Simply adding heavier rigging to a coastal cruiser may not be enough to make it suitable for ocean cruising if the hull and chain plates can not take the extra strain. Everything about a "blue water" boat is supposed to be overbuilt and designed to be that way which is why I am still hoping that one of the heavyweight design people who are on this forum chime in.

Sounds to me as though you already own the Morgan 33' but are eyeing the SC 28'. If you own both right now then you have been badly bitten by the bug.

None of this is to say that you could not take a M 33' to Hawaii or down to the Panama Canal etc. but if I had to be caught out on the ocean in horrible weather I'd (ideally prefer to be on shore) prefer to be in a boat designed to handle the abuse the ocean can throw at it - and that would be the SC.
12-12-2012 05:28 PM
Re: Southern Cross 28 seaworthiness vs Morgan 33

I recently got a very helpful response from Rob (a rigger in Florida who owns an outfit called True North) who owned one for about 18 years. I hope he does not mind if I copy his comments here:
I have sold my Morgan after sailing her for 18 years. She's on the light side for her length. Her standing rigging is sufficient (7/32 and 3/16" D shrouds and stays) for her lower aspect mainsail and masthead rig. She was designed with weekend club racing and over-nighters in mind.
I have sailed her thru 30 knots and 8 foot seas. Because she is( by her then standards) light displacement and narrow beam she is a bit more tender. The roller boom was horrible, a single line reefing system would do well to improve handling. Running rigging for main and vang along with the job furler into the cockpit makes her easier up handle because decks are relatively narrow. Her motion in a seaway is often less comfortable (magnified by her light displacement) than similar sized boats with more beam.
She sails beautifully.
She would not be my first choice for lives board or lengthy cruises...but I loved her and would sail her just about anywhere...probably not to Bermuda...although she did sail there and back.
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