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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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Morgan 27''''?

I raced on Morgan 27''s back in the late 1970''s. They were early IOR designs and bear no connection to the Morgan Out Islands of the era except that Morgan''s of that era were not all that well engineered or built (more on that later. These were pretty fast boats in their day but were somewhat made obsolete as racing boats by the generation of raceboats that included the J-24 and Kirby 25.

I raced them in and around Savannah. They were at their best in 10 to 12 knots of air and flat water. They were a real handfull in a breeze. They have a rig that I think is pretty obsolete as a racing platform and one that I really do not like for cruising either. The rig on the 27''s had a very small mainsail and releyed on large foresails. When I raced these boats we had a huge inventory of headsails (heavy #1 genoa. light #1 genoa, #2, #3, blade, drifter, lt downwind and hvy reaching Spinackers, we may even have had a blooper but I can''t recall ever flying it) and it was important to have the right sail up to be competitive because most of the drive on these boats was in the foresails. Needless to say the boats were sailed with very big crews for a pretty small 27 footer. I think we typically had 6 to 8 aboard if there was any breeze. It was a real ''chinese firedrill'' every time we tacked. They were pretty rolly downwind.

Like many raceboats of this era the Morgan 27''s were not all that well built. It was a time when manufacturers were trying to reduce weight but were doing the kind of careful enginneering that is possible and routine today.

The ones I sailed on tended to flex a lot and had crazing forming around high stress areas. In heavy air the topsides would suck in fron the shroud loads and would pop out with an audible pop when we tacked. I understand that the factory did something about that problem on the last boats and that some owners developed their own remedial measures.

Another problem area was the keel connection. The Morgan 27 had an unusual swept back keel. Its design placed a lot of tension load on the forward bolts and concentrated a lot of compression on the trailing edge of the keel in a grounding. The boat that I was on most had damaged the hull at the forward keelbolts and had done a lot of glass work to beef up this area.

Unless the boat has been upgraded over the years I would expect the deck hardware and instruments to be pretty dated and to have a lot of use. As in any twenty plus year old boat, a survey is a good idea no matter how cheaply the boat is priced. It is very easy to have significant problems or postponed long term maintenance items that could add up to more than the highest posible value of the boat.

They had strange engines options. I think the standard engine was an Atomic 4. The boats I raced on had a variety of engines from small outboards to a Renault single cylinder with was hard to get parts for even when new.

I really do not remember much about the interiors of these boats except for the bright plaid upholstery.

Reading back over my comments I don''t mean to be as negative as they sound. I actually enjoyed sailing these boats. They were good boats for their day. Well maintained they would still be a fun boat to own and seem to be available at pretty cheap prices. They seem to sell for between $5k and $10k these days. I imagine in the right venue they could still be PHRF club racers.

Good luck
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