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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for pointers to any previous threads that might shed info on the desirable and undesirable characteristics/performance/history of the Morgan 41 Classic. Didn't see this model in the sailnet boat reviews. Anything in particular (besides the survey) I ought to especially watch out for?

Dave
 

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It's only my opinion but I believe the out islander version sails better because it's better balanced with more sail area. The nice part is that it's a simple sail plan and easy to use. You didn't mention what year it is, makes a difference in the keel area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For now we're just shopping. We currently sail an OMEGA 36 up here but when I retire, we'll probably be looking for something a little more "comfortable" to cruise on a live aboard for a while. Budget will be an issue and the Morgan 41s (OI & Classics) seem to fit the bill.

Other than the basic hull/keel difference, what are the differences/pros and cons between the Out Island models and the Classic? What particular pitfalls ought I be on the look-out for?
 

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Some of the differences are in the keel such as some are bolt on and others are made in the mold. Another is in the ports,some have aluminum ports while others have just lexan screwed on for ports. the biggest difference is in chain plates. The newer ones are built lighter. Lastly there is a walk thru for the rear cabin and a walk over for the rear cabin depending on year. Hope this helps.
 

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Dave, My wife and I have been living on Morgan Out Islands since 1973. We're currently in Florida, but cruise the East Coast from Maine to the Bahamas with the seasons. I think the two biggest structural changes over the years have been the cut away foot with the keel on the "Classics" built by Catalina and the change in the mid-seventies when the hull-deck joint was moved from the rub-rail to the less vulnerable area of the toe rail. I haven't had the problems, but I've heard of some with some separation at the stem fitting hull-deck area,- failed back up plate or headstay problem....? I also know of a few that had some severe mast corrosion at the mast step. The portlights mentioned above do vary, but they are mounted at a location where the fiberglass is one inch thick on the older models,-lots of options, many have been refit. Charlie Morgan described the purpose of the design as, "a boat that would motor well for the charter trade". It's a heavy cruising "truck" that doesn't have the performance of those "featherdusters", but it excels in 15 to 20 Knots of wind. The full keel shoal draft sacrifices some point to windward and the ketches don't perform well with the wind directly astern. Living space is hard to match in a similar size vessel. Our Morgan OI has done us well & we would not be looking for anything else. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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I have never sailed on them but I have talked to people who have sailed the Morgan OI Classic. It is NOT the same boat at all as the traditional Morgan OI. The biggest difference is that the old OI's had a full keel while the Classic has a more modern fin (elongated but still not a full keel) and a skeg hung rudder.

In other words, the OI Classic can actually sail to weather. The old ones could only "sail" to weather with the motor on. (I exaggerate, but not very much). Hey if you are looking at OI Classics, check out the Brewer 41 (I think it was a 41). They are nice boats, about the same size.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The two Brewers out there on boats.com were a little out of my intended price range, but thanks. In terms of stability and comfort in heavy seas, how would the two hull configurations compare? How would I know whether the keel was encaplulated lead or a bolt-on? Was it by hull number or year of manufacture?
 

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I may be wrong, but I thought all the Morgan built Out Islands had the fully encapsulated keels. As for the inability of the Morgan OI to sail to weather, let's be specific for that is a general description. As I posted earlier the Out Island sacrifices performance to weather for the shoal draft, but it sails well to 45 degrees of true wind over ten knots or more. Many vessels do better, but this is definitely "to weather". It's an absolute myth that any weather performance would require the engine. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all for your VERY informative responses! I'll have to say, you all have left me very encouaraged.

One more question (and try not to laugh): a lot of the Morgans listed are Ketches - will I have trouble transitioning from a sloop to a ketch?
 

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Dave, You'll have no trouble when it comes to the skills of sailing. Most Out Islands are sloops. There is a "tall rig" that was produced in the later seventies. More of the earlier 413's, like mine, are ketches. The ketch does allow for clearing the 55' fixed bridges. "everything is a compromise" 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again. I'll keep the Morgan on my 'watch list'.

V/R

Dave
 

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This is the kind of question that is bound to result in a lot of discussion and strong disagreement. As I see it this is the kind of discussion where almost any opinion is bound to have truth in it and to one be degree or another be misleading as well. The reason that I say this is that the reality seems to be that almost any boat in the right highly skillfull hands, with a lot of luck, and with a bit of care can sail around the world. But very few production boats are ideal or even reasonably well suited for a circumnavigation, almost no matter what you do to the boat.

So, as soon as someone says, this model is ill-suited to a circumnavigation, there is bound to be someone else will give an example of a sistership that did one.

In my mind when you ask about the suitability of a boat to make a circumnavigation, it is about managing risks, having a boat that is adequately robust to not only withstand extremely harsh conditions but the wear and tear of a vast amount of time under sail. It is about carrying capacities and the ability to sail well in an extreme range of conditions. It is about an interior and deck layout that is comfortable and safe at sea, while being comfortable at anchor or dock in all kinds of weather. It is about the kinds of storage, ground tackle, and deck gear that lends itself to safely handle whatever you encounter. And that brings us back to your question.

Morgan Out Island 41's varied quite widely thoughout their production run in terms of fit out, and construction standards. In a general sense these boats were intended for the charter trade, and so were built cheaply, moderately robust for the short haul, were optimized for the wind range they were likely to be sailed in 10-20 knots and were equipped and rigged with gear that was anything but optimized for the wide range of conditions that one would expect offshore.

When you think of a circumnavigation as compared to a typical coastal cruiser or even a charter boat, they are exposed to enormous use. A heavily used coastal cruiser might sail 500 to a 1000 miles in a season. A charter boat that was used hard might sail 1500-2000 miles in a year. But a circumnavigation is well over 40,000 miles. In other words, you are talking about doing the equivillent of 40 years of coastal cruising on a boat that is already 25 years old. If nothing else that should give you pause.

But when you look at the specifics of your boat the equation gets a little worse. The Morgan 416's were constructed with minimal internal framing, pretty widely spaced bulkheads, and a turned out flange hull-to-deck joint adherred with 3M 5200 and widely spaced bolts (depending on the year and order option). At least on the one that I knew, the bulkheads were skip tabbed to the hull and were not attached to the over head. These boats are known for the way that the flex when they are in heavy going. With their comparatively heavy hulls on these boats, that may still be adequate for coastal use or even the 5 to 7 years of charter that these boats were designed for. Given the sheer amount of wear and tear of a circumnavigation, the flexing will take a toll on the strength of the boat, potentially weakening the hull and the H to D joint.

Then there is the hull form, and draft. These boats have a miserable motion in a blow; Real rollers with a sharpish snap at the end of the roll. Again, it is possible to circimnavigate no matter how poor the motion that the boat may have, but if you ask me if any boat is suitable for a circumnav, then I would want to know that its motion comfort is well above average. No one who has spent much time on these boats and has also spent time on other boats that actually do have a good motion would ever say these boats have an above average motion.

But beyond all of that, even if the boat was robust enough, and had adequate sail and anchor handling gear, and had a great motion, the interior layout is ill suited for prolonged offshore work.

So before someone jumps all over me for saying the Morgan OI 41 is ill suited as a circumnavigator, because sister ships have circumnavigated, I will admit that I have heard it said that people have taken them around the world and therefore at least in some one's mind (just not mine) this proves that they are suitable circumnavigators.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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I dont think the OP was planning a circumnavigation. At least he didnt say that. He was asking about liveaboard qualities and cruising. He was also asking about the Morgan OI Classic which is a substantially different boat in terms of sailing qualities than the OI 416
 

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jeff h, have you sailed on a morgan or using op opinions. My guess is you own or sail a specific use boat, racer performance related. You previous posts have all been negative regarding the morgans All boats are a compromise but you seem stuck on one style.
 

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Jeff, I agree, as a long term Morgan OI owner, that it's best suited as a coastal cruiser and a roomy live-aboard. That is the topic. Circumnavigation was not mentioned brfore your post. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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jeff with all do respect have you ever had anything positive to say about a boat other than your own? obviously there is no perfectly designed sailboat, ive spent some time aboard an old oi/41 and they are a solid decent cruiser far from a racer, but roomy as all hell. anywhere you go in the carribean you will see them cruising.
 

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First of I want to apologize for pasting an old post from an earlier discussion in which the question was largely about a circumnavigation. The O.P, had asked about earlier threads and I quickly pulled what I had in my files that I had written.

As to my experience with these boats, as I have said in earlier posts, I have sailed on OI 41's a fair amount but have spent more time on OI 36's. I have also sailed around them a lot, where I could observe thier sailing characteristics, and I was involved in the repair of a hull to deck joint that failed on one and the repairs to various structural components and systems that were collaterally damaged, which gave me an up-close-and-personal view of how these boats were built. My comments were based on my own direct experience with these boats and not hearsay.

As to whether there are boats that I like besides my own, yes there are. I believe that all boats are compromises and as I sit and try to write fair comments for these types of discussions, I typically have good and bad to say about most boats that I have sailed or worked on, including my own. There are some boats for which the compromises are so extreme that they make little sense for most purposes, and this happens to be one of those.

I also tend to look at boats in a relative sense, and yes, I understand that I filter my view through my personal biases; biases which strongly favors boats which are well built, intellegently designed, and offer good sailing capablies across a wide range of wind speeds.

Perhaps, I can put my negative comments on the Out Island 41 into further perspective by pointing to a similar size Morgan, and similar sized boats that I think are good boats. Personally, I think that the Nelson-Merek designed Morgan 43 is an excellent design. If you contrast the N/M 43 with the OI 41, the 43 offers a much higher standard in terms of build quality and sailing ability on all points. I also think that the Brewer designed Whitby 42's (and even more so, the later variant the cutter rigged Brewer 12.8) and the S&S designed Hughes Northstar 80/20 (and espcecially one with the cutter rigged- modified full keel with skeg hung rudder options) these boats represent similar concepts to the Out Island 41's but with far superior build quality and sailing abilities. It is from that relativist perspective, (meaning that there are far better built and sailing boats for the same or less money out there) that I pan the Out Island 41's.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Having no particular interest in the Morgan 41 series, as soon as I saw JeffH had responded to this thread, I read it. Jeff's messages are usually carefully crafted and comprised of either real experience or practical knowledge. I don't think he is ever unduly critical - at least in terms of boats. People (aka Dunderheads) on the other hand, can be a different story... :hammer
 

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Moonfish,
Thanks for the kind words of support...
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #20
WOW! I didn't mean to touch off a fire storm.

I DO understand that everything concerning buying boat is a comprimise (unless you have a gazillion dollars). Budget will be a limiting factor and, at this point, I have no interest in circumnavigating. Shoot, I may just puttz around in the Puget Sound when I retire, but what ever I do, I want to be comfortable while I'm doing it.

All usefull info...

Thanks
 
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