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Hello: Considering moving forward on a 1966 Morgan 34 and am wondering if the Morgan community on Sailnet could give me their thoughts on this boat...

According to the owner, this was Charley Morgan's boat and he had designed it for himself for cruising (don't know if that's true or not). It has a split galley (to both port/starboard), no quarterberths in the stern (it's all storage in the stern and has stern locker), but two pilot berths in the main cabin along with a v-berth.

Atomic 4, been sitting on the hard for 3 years, tiller, hank-on sails, few if any electronics, and 20 gallons each for fuel and water.

My vision would be to get a survey to see if it's worth sinking money into..

questions are please:

1.) would this be a good cruising sailboat (at least coastal) for a family of four (son- age 8 and daughter and 10)?

2.) Anyone have any experience with Morgan 34s in terms of their sailing performance?

2.) Any big issues that I should be aware of, i.e. Atomic 4, centerboard, peculiarities of this make and model?

what are folks thoughts?

thanks in advance....
I hope this thread is still current. I lived aboard my Morgan 34 for almost a year, 93-94.
Speaking to your first question; this is a great boat for a family of four. The V birth is very spacious, and with the sliding pocket door gives privacy from the bulkhead forward.
The one I had was with the galley aft (superior use of space in my opinion). The pull out birth on the port side was very wide, and had a pilot birth on the same side, above it.
This boat is ideal for coastal cruising, and anywhere the water is thin: Bahamas especially.
To the second question:
This boat sails like a champ. With any point of sail off the wind and she takes off, and will leave many more modern boats in her wake. With judicious use of the center board you will also sail very close and fast.
Third question: peculiarities.
The original atomic 4 is prone to salt water precipitation. ie, salt water starts to cake up inside it, clog it, and eventually lead to over heating. The cure is to spend $400 dollars for a fresh water heat exchanger (no big deal: easy to install. Spares for the engine are plentiful, and on the plus side, bacteria will not grow in gasoline. It can in diesel. On the down side; no oil filter. Install one, or change the oil every 50 hours. I have heard of specialty filters that can go for a year. We use them on fire trucks. I have no personal knowledge of them having been used on boats.
I would sail with nothing less than propane bbq and stove. Forget about alcohol. Refrigeration is easy to install. Adler Barbour makes a great 12volt dc unit. Get a wind generator. We had a Windbugger. It was awesome.Use a 3 battery system with two deep cycle batteries for house use, and one regular one for engine use only. Use neoprene bladders for storing water, to augment the built in monel tank. The boat should have a sewage holding tank, but for offshore use a Y valve will keep things smelling sweet.
The center board takes about 65 turns of the winch for a full range of motion. Word has it that the 1/2" x 24" SS pipe through which the stainless pendant is epoxied can corrode at the swage. Mine was fine after almost 30 years.
The hull had some blistering in about 30 individual spots (detected with a moisture meter) By the way anything less than 10 percent is nothing to panic about, but when its up around 15 to 25 its time to get out the grinder.
This is an uncored hull. It is easy to repair. (Follow the West System procedures. They have a great, and usually free booklet.
The rudder was slightly delaminating on the lead edge, so I dropped it and rebuilt the forward 6 inches. Not a big deal.
The boat, all in all, for the 15 to 25 thousand you can get them for, is a helluva good boat that actually won a lot of races before the racing rules handicapped them too much.
She is a classic.
My only regret is having sold my Shalimar, and now I am looking for another one.
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