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Old 01-17-2011
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Remodeling an older Sailboat

I'm new to the site and thankful that I've found it. I seek expertise in remodeling a sailboat both in the cabin and the rigging. Any aquaitances that I can make in achieving my ends would be appreciated.

The boat that I have:

1974 Morgan OI 28 and it leaks from several unknown places above the water line. The boat, to my knowledge, has never seen blue water and has resided on a lake in central Texas since new. The boat has been in my family since 1978 and is due some major rework. As my father likes to say," I have many happy hours of work ahead of me". Finally, I currently live-aboard and do enjoy the space that it offers but would like a better cruising lay-out of the space that is available. The obvious is to buy a different boat that would suit my needs but I'm stubborn in that fact and don't like to get rid of something that has been sturdy and faithful. It has survived my adventures for now, so it must be close to indestructable.

After reading several threads concerning the Out Islander series from Morgan, both Pro and Con, is this a good blue water boat? I've sailed this boat in many differnt conditions on a lake and know that it's a pig in light air and she doesn't point to weather as many sleeker designs do. I'm looking to use this vessel to gain experience in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy the surrounding ports of call. Information concerning how other's have used the OI28 would be appreciated, as well as any tips concerning specific flaws and correction of these flaws will be helpful as I begin those Many happy hours to improve an old faithful hull to a vintage sailing vessel.

This being my first posting, I'll hold on any significant questions until I get what ever feedback can be obtained concerning this model of Morgan. Thank you for your input and knowledge base.

Sincerly,

Steve Bigham
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Old 01-17-2011
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Where to begin, the current layout of the interior hasn’t changed since production. The location of the galley is amid ship on the starboard side with dining area opposite on port. The head is forward on the port side separated by a bulkhead that spans the beam of the boat. Opposite of the head is a hanging locker and the V-berth remains. The remainders are two side berths that are on either side of the companionway. There length is generous but wasted on me, used mostly for stowage of assorted crap and spare sails.
Port lights are none opening oval shape located just above the rub rail which is approximately 3’ above the water line. (4 per side) I believe they are one source of my current water leaks when it rains.
A 40 Gallon freshwater tank is under the V-berth, but is currently empty due to mice eating through the water lines. Hand pumps at the two basins, one in the galley the other in the head, provided water. They have been removed at this time with a water pump and pressure tank to be installed to provide adequate pressure to use hands free. In the Head I’d like to install a shower so that it can be a more useful live aboard. The grey water drain still has to be determined as any water from it currently goes to the bilge.
The electrical is primarily DC with Shore power AC outlets located sporadically around the interior. Currently I have six 950 amp/hr AGM’s for extended power supply setup in two banks at the battery selector switch. My goal is to make it an electric boat with little or no internal combustion engine and recharge from solar and wind turbine. I plan a completely rewire and add new switch panel. Converting all illumination to LED and whatever amenities that will not cause an undue drain on the system while under sail.
The atomic 4 that was in the engine compartment was a very reliable power plant for many years until an irresponsible boat yard didn’t drain the water jacket when the boat was out of the water for a bottom repair during a very cold Texas winter. Repairs were attempted on the engine but were not successful. I’m currently researching alternate propulsion options to utilize the existing prop shaft to generate similar prop rpm that the atomic 4 provided.
Currently, the first major repair will be at the foot of the main bulkhead. This bulkhead is used as the thrust block for the mast step. At the foot of the bulkhead leaking water from above has caused the thrust block in the bilge to rot and deteriorate. The bulk head is slowly sinking and causing the bulkhead to crack from the mast rig. The mast step has also dimpled the deck from the deterioration from below.
There are many more things to discuss and I think that I’ve exhausted my brain for now and fear that I may bore. If there is anyone out that there that has the original specification drawings for this model, I.e. internal dimensions or even external, that would be appreciated. My concern is moving a fixture and reducing the hulls integrity. Pretty much all of the counters and bulkheads are glassed in plywood with laminate cover.
Thanks again for any comments and information.
Steve
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Old 01-17-2011
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First, remodeling an older boat can be a very expensive proposition, especially compared to buying a 30' sailable boat in decent shape. What is your budget for refurbishing/remodeling this boat?

Given that your boat has some serious issues—a non-working Atomic 4 engine, a dated electrical system due for overhaul, no working fresh water system, serious leaks in the cabintop and deck, a rotten main bulkhead, etc.—I personally think you'd be better off using a different boat.

BTW, The OutIsland series of boats were not designed as bluewater boats IIRC, but more as a coastal cruiser.

I'd also mention that for a cruising sailboat, electrical propulsion is probably not a wise idea. This is for several reasons. First, an all electric propulsion system is fairly complex and expensive, and not all that reliable on a small sailboat. Second, the inability to quickly recharge the batteries makes the all electric propulsion a liability in heavy weather, since the engine could easily quit and leave you without propulsion at a critical moment. Third, an all-electric propulsion system is very difficult to keep charged without a very massive solar/wind passive electrical generation system—which is why some cruising sailboats have gone with a hybrid, diesel-electric solution instead.

I also doubt you have six 950 amp-hour AGM batteries aboard. An 8D AGM battery supplies 230 amp-hours and weighs 170 lbs. One that supplies 950 amp-hours would weigh close to 700 lbs, and you claim to have SIX of them aboard or 3500 lbs. of batteries... I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT IS THE CASE.

As you are fairly new to sailnet, I would highly recommend you take a moment and write down as much accurate information about your boat as possible and give as much information about your plans and goals as well as the resources you have to accomplish them before continuing any further. For instance, providing the make/model of battery would be far better than just making wild-assed guesses as to what you have. AFAIK, there isn't a 950 amp-hour battery made for the marine market.

Also, what skills in terms of boat repair, fiberglassing, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and such do you personally have to bring to your remodeling project?
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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-17-2011 at 12:51 PM.
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My appologies on the rating of the batteries. I miss stated they are 950 Cold Cranking amp batteries. I appreciate your input.
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Old 01-17-2011
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Thinking that staying afloat in a lake for 30+ years makes for a sturdy boat is a mistake. The Gulf of Mexico is not a lake. Consider what has happened to Galveston and New Orleans, and consider how your boat would have behaved under those circumstances. While perhaps still fine for exploring the lake, finding out how she responds to actual ocean conditions might be a fatal mistake. Sorry to be such a downer, but I've had a friend die at sea.
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Old 01-18-2011
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A major modification of the structural parts of a sailboat is to be avoided. The bulkheads are there for a good reason. Internal/external dimensions are not to be easily found or used to reconstruct the bulkhead. Common sense, by one used to boat repair, should solve the bulkhead dimensions.
I agree with dog that electric propulsion is really a no go for anything but coastal use ( plug in to charge overnight). A diesel is the best option for reliability and ease of use. The largest battery bank you can easily fit will give you only a few hours of motoring. Charging will take many hours afterwards.
If you decide to keep this boat the best plan is to stick with the standard layout and only modify the non-structural parts of the boat.
An Out Island 28 will be ok for coastal and limited offshore use, watching your weather window carefully.
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Old 01-18-2011
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srbigham,
Post some specks of your boat. As to making her deep water ready; Lets talk about it after we see what you have. I agree, one should do all the work. If you have others do it, and things break at sea...who will be there to help?
As to the cost; Given time, it can be done over one, or two years.
Again, lets see the spec's first.


I found these spec's.

Sailboat Aft Cockpit YEAR:1974 BUILDER: Morgan MODEL: Out Island ENGINE(S): 12 HP Volvo Penta Diesel. SAIL AREA:364 sq ft HULL SPEED (Max): 6.54 Knots LOA:28' LWL: 23' 10" BEAM: 9' 3" DRAFT: 3' 6" HEADROOM: 6' 2" RIG: Sloop HULL MATERIAL: Fiberglass. DECK MATERIAL: Fiberglass HULL CONFIGURATION: Displacement Keel DISPLACEMENT: 8,000 lbs BALLAST: 3,200 lbs

Domenic...The sloop Geronimo

Last edited by Domenic; 01-18-2011 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 01-18-2011
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here are some more specs
MORGAN 28 O/I Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 01-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srbigham View Post
My appologies on the rating of the batteries. I miss stated they are 950 Cold Cranking amp batteries. I appreciate your input.
950 cold cranking amps doesn't mean much in the way of usable info when it comes to house batteries. The rating you need to look at is the 20-hour amp-hour rating.

Providing accurate and correct information makes getting good answers back a lot more likely.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 01-18-2011 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 01-18-2011
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As someone who has restored a few boats in my day and uprgaded and reconditioned many more, I will give you the same advice that I would give anyone thinking of restoring a boat. Restoring a boat that is a good design, and well built originally costs no more than restoring a mediocre or worse design or a poorly built boat. (In fact the quality boat may be cheaper to restore) But when you are done, the quality boat will be a joy to sail and own, and will be worth something when you are done.

I know the OI 28's pretty well. These were poor sailing boats with a questionable build quality. They were intended to be cheap and roomy and little more. They reach moderately well, but they were miserable upwind and dead downwind. They were not good in light air and they were worse in heavy air.

So, if you have a desire to restore a boat, I will suggest that an OI 28 would be a very poor platform to invest your efforts.

Beyond that, restoring a boat takes a lot of time and money. The effort involved is not to be ignored and the chances of success are proportionate to the discipline with which the restoration is tackled. A major restoration is only worth while if you really like to work on boats and have a very specific goal for the boat that cannot be achieved any other way.

Lastly, if you are a knowledgable sailor then you might have strong opinions about what might work for you personally, and whether there are suitable choices out there to achieve your goals. You would know what has been tried and what has worked, and what has not worked. If you are new to the sport, I would say spend a lot of time sailing different boats. Learn what appeals to you, and what doesn't. And only then you can start to reinvent the wheel.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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