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Discussion Starter #1
I read that the righting moment on the Morgan 41 OI is 105 degrees. Can anyone tell me how bad that can be for offshore. We were really considering the Morgan 41 OI for coastal cruising and occasional offshore passage, but now we don''t know anymore because of the righting moment and how unsafe it can be... thanks, Ernie
 
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In general, there is not a universal agreement on the range of positive stability for offshore vessels. That said you most frequently see recommendations that the minimum acceptable range of positive stability for an offshore boat is between 125 to 135 degrees of positive stability for an offshore boat. 105 degrees is a very small number and would not suggest a boat intended for offshore work. That is consistent with the structure and construction of the Morgan 41 OI series which I would also say is not consistent with a boat designed for extensive offshore.

Jeff
 

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Jeff,
I have read many of your commentaries on different boats (including the ones on Morgans)and it is clear that you have quite a bit of experience. You may need to rethink some of the things you have said though about Morgan Out Island 41''s. Please read the 4/01 issue of Cruising World on Earl Hinz and his wife. They are highly respected offshore sailors. Earl also was a renouned author of many sailing books. The vast majority of their sailing was done on a Morgan OI 41. Let me know what you think after reading about him and the boat that he sailed offshore. I hate to see someone turned off from a specific boat such as the OI41 based on only your opinion. This boat has a lot of things going for it!!
Rob
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Discussion Starter #4
Despite the numbers...and numbers do not always tell the tale...the Morgan OI-41 is an outstanding vessel..both for coastal as well as offshore passages. Far to many passages have been made in these boats and most Morgan owners are fanatically proud and attached to their Morgans. Yes, I own one - an OI-33, and while I have just made coastal sailings with it I have every intention of make offshore passages with it.

While these boats may not be the "glitziest" they are stalwart and solid. They may not always sail to windward as we want them to, but that alone is not enough to make me change my mind.

Consider this....if the OI-41''s righting moment is at 105 degrees, how much force does is required to put it at that attitude? I would venture a guess that it would take more energy than it might take to get another boat to 125 or even 135 degrees. Why? The weight factors. I''m not sure of the displacement of the OI-41, but my OI-33 weighs in right at 15,000 lbs "dry". If you compare that to alot of other boats of the same size you will find the Morgans are heavier. And to me that weight translates to stability.

If you are looking to race a boat, or want a real fast cruiser....Morgan Out Islander''s are not the right boat. They are slow but steady...and reliable. I don''t think you can go wrong with the OI-41.

As a question of curiosity: Was it a "Broker" or an owner trying to sell his boat that made the point about the righting moment?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rob,
Neither owner or broker. We have come up with this figure of 105 degrees in our research of Morgan 41 OI. We also came up with a CCA capsize value of 1.8 which means that it would be very difficult to get this boat to 105 degrees. Still we''re looking for the best of both worlds in a boat. Thanks for your reply to our question. Ernie
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jeff,
You have made a lot of comments on the Morgan 41 OI''s about being slow and not constructed very well. I understand that it''s not one of your favorite choice of boat, but how bad could it really be for us. We are just looking for a roomy coastal cruiser and just an occasional offshore passage. There are a lot of people out there that love their Morgans just because of that. Oh, and it is one boat that is within our budget and not have to spend our life savings on. How bad can this boat be, Jeff?
 
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First of all, for the record I think that it is fair to say that I do have a prejudice towards boats that sail well in a wide range of conditions. I find boats that do not sail well to windward, or are not very good sailors in moderate to light conditions, or that are not especially stiff in a breeze and do not have a sail paln that can be finessed to make up for the lack of stability very frustrating to sail and my view really pretty dangerous when things get ugly.

I have actually spent a fair amount of time earlier in my life sailing on a OI36. I spent a fair amount of time earlier in my life making repairs on OI36''s and 33''s. I have spent a lot of my life sailing past these boats like they were standing still in a wide range of boats. I was part of a crew sent out to rescue one that could not beat clear of the mouth of the channel at the Wilmington River in a good breeze, when their engine packed in and had ended up blown down and hard aground on the spoils of the channel.

I genuinely believe that were varying degrees of quality of assembly of these boats over the manufacturing life span of these boats. I know how poorly the hull deck was assembled on the boat I helped to repair and I know that there are owners of later boats who swear they were better built than that one I knew. I know how much more these boats flex when driving one hard into a seaway than a boat intended for that purpose and I know that fiberglass fatigues when it is repetatively flexed. I know that boats that are built to take that kind of abuse have a system of frames, bulkheads and longitudinals that are glassed in to provide the necessary rigidity that thick glass alone cannot achieve and on the boats that I sailed that level of structure was not present. I have watched an Out Island 41 take a knock down to something approaching 70 degrees in conditions that were not that extreme (25 knot winds and 7 to 8 foot seas).

I firmly believe that the early boats were intended to be inexpensively built for a short life in the charter trade and I aonly suspect that later boats were marketed differently.

You are new to the sport. You are buying a boat that you hope to learn to sail on. The sailing characterics of these boats are such that there is a small likelihood that you will learn to sail well. You might get from place to place using sails and engine as the conditions permit but there is a lot more to good seamanship and highly developed sailing skills and it is in the clutches that those skills can mean life and death.

While I see Morgan Out Island owners on the internet swear vociferously about how much they love thier boats, in my experience talking to the experienced sailors who own these boats, I don''t hear such claims of sterling virtues. It drives me crazy when I hear some one say things like weight translates to stability. As someone who has actually designed boats and has spent a near life time studying the behaivor of boats underway, that kind of poppycock drives me crazy. When weight is in ballast held low in the boat, it translates to stability. When weight is in heavy sloppy glasswork and telephone pole spars, it translates to a 105 degree righting angle of positive stability and that is not my idea or any regulating bodies idea of an offshore boat, especially for a newcomer to the sport.

I do not think that the OI 41''s are total junk. I do not think that their naval architecture is as bad as many a bot being sold as blue water capable. But I also think that there are better boats out there for the money and that has nothing to do with snobishness.

Now that is only my opinion and the nice thing about the internet is that there are a lot of diversity of opinions. You can sort through them and if one does not work for you, it is easy enough to move on to one that does.

Good luck in what ever you do.
Jeff
 

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Jeff,
Let me say it one more time. I find it difficult when you make a blanket statement about a boat like the Morgan OI41 "not consistent with a boat designed for extensive offshore." Please read the 4/01 issue of Cruising World on Earl Hinz and his wife. I think you will find out some very useful info about this boat. I know you don''t like their sailing characteristics. I don''t either. I had a OI33 and sold it. But it was a well built boat that could really take a beating. It was slow, and I''m primarily a daysailor and like moving faster. But for someone that wants to cruise you can''t tell them it is "not a boat designed for extensive offshore." That''s simply not true. Look at the record. Instead tell them the facts and what you personally don''t like about the boat, and your experiences with other boats from this manufacturer. Research these things before you cause people to make potentially life-altering decisions.
 
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You are right that perhaps I should talk more specifically about my experiences. Here''s the deal, I actually know a small sampling of these boats pretty well. I also know what I look for in a boat and understand that obviously there are a lot of people that would look at my idea of a distance cruiser and question the logic of my choices as well.

But in an objective way there are agencies that set safety standards and rate boats on their stability and construction methods. I do not know of an agency that rates 105 degrees of positive stability as acceptable for offshore work. I do know that I personally found the motion of these boats uncomfortably rolly. I know that the small sample that I came in contact with had undersized hardware and key gear poorly fastened to the boat. For example on the OI36 the cleat for the jib sheets pulled out of the deck when we used it to belay a spring line that we were using to slow the boat when the engine failed as she entered the slip. This cleat went whizzing by me. It was held in place by a couple big self-tapping screws into the fiberglass. That other OI''s may not have been built that way has been said many times on this and other BB''s where I have mentioned this incident, but on the boat that I knew, this was the case.

That you had a IO33 that was solid and seemed to take a beating says that you probably had an IO33 built during a time when they were put together well. But in contrast, I helped analyze the damage and make repairs to a couple IO''s one of which had a failed hull deck joint, that were not that well built.

That an experienced sailor such as Earl Hinz and his wife liked his boat and made extensive passages in the boat has some significance but to me that does not represent evidence that these are "a boat designed for extensive offshore use".

When I was in Miami in the early 1970''s I met a fellow that had sailed from New Zealand or Australia west around the world to the Med and then on across the Atlantic to Miami. In the days before this was common and there was not the kind of high tech electroncs that we take for granted, this was a very big deal. He did this in what was essentially a beamy plywood dory with a cast concrete keel and bad sails that he built for a song and a dance.

I went daysailing with him and the boat would not reliably tack through irons. We took repetative knockdowns on almost every tack because in a breeze and chop you would get stuck in irons, start to fall back, and then come off on the other tack with no steerage. The boat was built with constuction grade plywood and galvanized fastenings. When he hauled out near my Folkboat big delaminated sections of the outer plys were simply pealed off and then a new layer of 1/4" plywood nailed over the original ply. Sections of the hull had delaminated at sea and been patched by simply nailing another piece of plywood over the hull while under way. The boats had not sat on her lines and so concrete was poured in the bilge under the cockpit. This concrete had actually rotted out the hull in this area. The boat pounded under way terribly and the keel bolts which were galvanised ''all thread'' bent in a ''U'' and cast in the concrete. They noticeably leaked and moved around in the floor timbers as the boat beat into the small head sea we were sailing in.

When you talked to this guy about his boat he waxed poetic about what a great seaboat she was and what a brilliant design he had come up with, and how solid she was built compared to production fiberglass boats. Even as a kid of 23 I knew better.

In reality, I believed then and I believe now this was a good seaman who was also very lucky to have made it that far. To me the lessons learned from boats that have successfully made a far voyage is that the owners were either lucky and/or skilled and they either had a good boat or one that somehow fortunately they were able to keep afloat. It does not prove the suitability of the design for "extensive offshore use".

What ever my opinion I understand that it represents my personal view point and experience. I know that my opinions are not always right and certainly do not always reflect universally held views. I try not to be frivilous in my comments on these boards but that does not always mean that I am as acurate or rigorous as I would wish. In this case I am calling this as acurately as I can based on my point of view and experience. In the long run I think that these boats offer a lot of liveability for the dollar. I know they have covered a lot of sea miles and made significant passages. I know there are a lot of folks who really like the OI''s. I am just not one of them. I offer my opinion for what it is worth and hope that in the end my comments at the very least will help with an informed decision what ever that decision may be.

Respectfully
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jeff, I can understand where you are probably coming from and your reaction to certain types of statements, eg: weight equals stablity....but as you yourself said if its in the keel its good, and in the case of the OI-33, and mine is hull number 162 built in ''75, most of her weight is in her full keel. And her spar is no more "telephone pole" like than any of the more "expensive" boats around us here. Maybe the instances of problems were caused by inexperienced or foolish skippers. And were that the case....if wouldn''t matter what make of boat it was, the same thing would happen. Just because a boat is newer and has a biger pricetag doesn''''t necessarily make it better.

I have sailed her and motored in good and bad weather and have always been pleased with her handling. I have been on other boats that rocked and rolled and pitched....more expensive boats "supposedly" better built. The biggest difference I could detect was that the builder skimped on ballast weight, put the boat together with thinner FRP and tried to overcompensate for these shortcomings by putting in what I call a "Sea Ray" interior, you know....all glitzy and shiny..with fluffy cushions, etc.

One of my neighbors in another marina had a "
Catalina" a 34, I think, and whenever she got on the boat it would roll quite a bit ...suprisingly so because I doubt she weighed more than 120 lbs.

I have no intention of turning this into a spitting contest, but I daresay that you sound as though you are more attuned to lightweight racing boats and such. And I did find your analogy of the "plywood" boat a cute attempt at "association" with Morgans. However, I might suggest that you not attempt to be an amatuer psychologist since the average duck is brighter than that, and your limited number of poor experiences with Morgans is more than "outshadowed" by the myriad of pleasant and successful experiences of the many many current and past Morgan owners.

So I can only tell any prospective buyer of a Morgan Out Islander: If you are looking for the "perfect fast sailing racing boat", keep looking. Out Islanders were not built to be fast. They are a slower boat, but they are a steady boat. They are heavy and pretty stoutly built. No, they do not have the latest and most expensive technology hung on them. Most of them are 20 to 30 years old, and that in and of itself says alot about the boats. I would also like to point out that back in 1973 when I was going to buy a Morgan 41 OI fully outfitted....the price was $44,000.00. That same boat now carries a price tag of $59,000.00. Not many boats came make the claim that they are worth more 30 year later than the day they came out of the mold.

Just my opinion, mind you.
 
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Just to clarify my point about the Plywood Dory. I was not intending in any way to equate the Plywood dory to a Morgan at all. With regard to your quote ("However, I might suggest that you not attempt to be an amatuer psychologist since the average duck is brighter than that") There was and is no psychology or trickery at play here. My point is telling that story was to talk about a phenomina I have been running into a lot lately, especially on the internet, where there will be a discussion of some boat and its offshore capability. As the conversation proceeds inevitably, no matter what the boat (be it a Folkboat, Flicka,Gemini Catamaran, Hunter, Island Packet, Laser 28, Macgregor, Morgan OI, steel frameless boat, Rhodes Swiftsure, or what ever) some one cites the example of one of these boats that has successfully made a safe offshore voyage, or some owner tells us how seaworthy and well built his particular example of that breed seems to him. And because of that, we are expected to automatically think that the boats are designed for extended offshore use.

I just plain don''t buy that arguement. While these boats may or may not be truely offshore capable the fact that some have gone offshore does not prove their capabilities. That was the point of my citing of the Plywood boat story.

Today we know a whole lot more about safety and comfort at sea than we did even a couple decades ago. Its not that hard to quantify many of the factors that suggest that a boat is indeed offshore capable. The original question asked if a Morgan 41 with angle of positive stability less than 105 degrees (less than a J-24 for example) is considered safe for offshore work. By any objective standard by the agencies that rate these things, it is not. That was and still is my basic point in my original quote.

I think that the point and counter point in this is a healthy discussion and should help the original poster sort out his decision or at least understand the implications of his decision.

Respectfully
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have to chime in here and let you know that the point/counter point conversation here may not solve the original question, but it certainly is helping in my knowledge base. One thing I have found consistant with most potential buyers, as least the ones I know and have spoken with, are that they all want something different from their boats. Really though, all boats are a compromise as I am finding out through my search for my first sailboat.

Although I would really like a bluewater boat with all the capabilities and features to keep me safe on long passages, I will probably never use that...or will I? 90% of the time I will use the boat inshore in the ICW or on day sails along the coast, so a coastal cruiser would be good, shallow water....a shoal draft for centerboard.But Bimini is only an inch away on my map, But what if I get in a storm? I need a Big heavy offshore boat. I will pretty much sail myself or with minimal experienced crew so I need a simple rig capable of that. I also need a big interior to sleep 3 couples, because....I don''t really know why, but I want it!

You know what they call a camel don''t you? it''s a horse designed by a committee!

Anyway, my point is this. We all make compromises. I am certainly going to. I just hope I make the right ones. Your conversations in this discussion as well as others has been valuable towards educating me and helping me make the right choice. For that I thank you.

Eau
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Eau

I think the gentleman above have been most helpful and generous in their advice.

My own meeger advice is that if you are concerned with storms vs bluewater, the things to look at are: a strong hull to deck joint, small strong portlights as opposed to large windows, companionway entrance raised well off the cockpit sole, higher ballast to displ ratio, thicker hull, beefy rigging and chainplates. Some of the above are independent of the design and can be modified.

Righting moment is important if you are concerned with being offshore and in big waves. And of course there are factors affecting righting moment like the weight of anything stowed below the waterline, the amount of canvas you are carrying and more importantly the weight of anything fitted above the center of gravity (lets say the waterline) (radar, rigging etc etc) (remember lessons from fishing boats that were modified added weight to their superstructures). Thus if you are looking at a boat that already has a low RM, with a lot of mods above the WL, perhaps you may think twice about it.

There is much more, but I hope this helps focus your thinking. In addition, a good survey that tells you the boat is solid is of course needed. An OI in perfect condition will likely be safer than a Hinckley with problems.

And there are A LOT of boats out there. If you like, use the OI as your baseline and proceed further in your thinking. The logic being that that makes it easier to compare a boat you are looking at and see if it does or does not beat your baseline in attributes, quality etc. Then either proceed further or return to your baseline (whichever you have the will and the $ for).

All the best

John
 

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Jeff,
Before you make analogies make sure they are pertinent to the discusion. In one of your previous comments you make an analogy of an offshore voyage in a plywood boat to Earl Hinz''s offshore voyages on his Morgan OI 41. I guess you have not read the Cruising World article from 4/01. Earl and his wife sailed their Morgan OI41 offshore for 20 years (30,000 miles) in the Pacific Ocean. This is not a fluke. Its not a one time voyage that was lucky. They did it for 20 years!!! Again this is not a fluke. The OI 41 is a boat that can be confidently sailed offshore!! Read the article and then make the analogies!! Please!! Do your research before making definitive statements. You make not like the design and sailing characteristics (it would also not be the boat for me), but try to make better informed decisons.
Respectively,
Rob
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I think that you have missed my point. I don''t doubt that the Earl and his wife spent 20 years cruising the Pacific and I don''t doubt that they like their boat. Again, I am not equating the Morgan OI series to the plywood boat in my example. The plywood boat example says to me that any individual testimony about a design does not prove anything to {B}me {/B}. So my point is that their experience does not prove to me that Morgan OI''s were ever intended as offshore sailing craft nor that they are my idea of a proper offshore yacht.

As to doing my research, I had the chance to do some this weekend. This weekend I was in a raft up that included two marine surveyors, three current or prior yacht brokers, one yacht repair yard owner, several active and former) yacht delivery skippers and a former IO-36 owner. I was surprised by how many sea miles these folks had spent on IO''s as owners, in charter or in deliveries.

In a number of conversations I asked what was the general ''take'' on the boats. Universally there was not one of these people who classified these as ''offshore boats''. The Surveyors both said that the "fleet of OI''s had not held up well and if they were originally OK for limited offshore work, most of the OI''s that see lately are no longer in a condition to go offshore." They said that these boats have typically been sold cheaply to comparatively inexperienced people trying to save a buck and that as a result deferred basic maintenance have resulted in more serious problems. They descibed the same phenomina that I have speculated that there seemed to be a wide range of build quality over the life of the boat.

I heard the description of a hull/deck joint that had ''unzipped'' in a storm similar to the example that I knew of and a near random and wide spaced bolting pattern similar to the one I knew of.

There was near agreement that the IO41 was pretty much a ''motor sailer'' in terms of sailing ability. There was a general agreement that the boats were miserable in any kind of rough weather. (This from a group that had literally spent 1000''s of miles on these boats.) The prior owner said that he sold his OI and bought a trawler because he "was motoring such a large percent of the time that although he now covers more ground he spends less time motoring than he did in his OI."

But all of that aside, I still come back to the original point of this question, no matter what this august group or the Hinz''s say about the boat, if the boat only has a 105 degrees of positive stability then I know of no classifying agency that would consider this to be and an adequate range of positive stability to be considered a proper offshore boat. Research that! I am open to suggestions here.

Jeff
 

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Jeff,
I also did my research. I wrote to the Morgan email group to find out what the opinion of actual OI owners was. Here is one of the responses:

"I worked for Morgan Yachts from 1972-79. This was before the choppergun. I now own an O/I 30. I would take this vessel to hell and back. The O/I 41 was what made the charter business in the 70''s and 80''s. If you understand that the tumblehome deck which many consider unattractive is derived from Dutch and Scandavian work boats and provides a cruiser friendly interior you will discount the ignorant who have no experience with this true classic cruising vessel. Be of good cheer. The Morgan O/I''s, 28 , 30, 33, 38 are, considering the large number produced, not that readily avialable. This is why Catalina, after buying out Morgan continued to produce the O/I as the "Morgan Classic." I have crusied worldwide and encounter more O/I 41''s than any other single vessel. I have never heard an owner not extoll the seaworthyness of the O/I. The 30, 33 and 36 are excellent for ocean passage of 1,000 miles or less. It''s not the vessel, but the length which limits the time at sea. A shorter vessel is tougher on the crew."

Pretty impressive. Sounds like OI41''s are cruising offshore in great numbers. Fancy that.
Rob
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Discussion Starter #17
You know, I have sat here reading all of this about the righting moment of 105 degrees that the Morgan OI-41....and I am ever amazed at the absolute reliance some people have at hanging on to "numbers". While often times numbers can be highly reliable, I cannot help but reflect on the number of times in my life when I have seen numbers and facts manipulated either by the vindictive or jealous for their own means.

I am not trying to imply that Jeff is doing that....I don''t necessarily think he is doing that...I think he is relying probably too heavily on those numbers though.

At any rate, I by my nature am sleptical of any set of numbers generated by engineers or any "group"....because more often than not studies and such have results far more affected by personal preferences and politics. Not that the sailing organizations, manufacturers or venders would stoop so low......(!?!?)

Any, all of that being regurgitated, I was sitting here on my boat during a windy rain storm...and my boat was moving in the slip alittle....and I looked over at my neighbors
boat... a Tai Shing that is about 42'' long with a fair beam...and what was interestng about it was this: This larger much more expensive and fancy boat was bouncing around in the slip and its mast was rocking back and
forth far more than mine. Hmmmmm, looks like this "rich boys toy" would be a seasickness machine on open water....

I have two points here.... Engineers are not always right... otherwise we wouldn''t have the product problems that we have, ie, SUV''s with crappy tires killing people, and I cannot help but wonder if when the omnipotent self appointed authorities came up with their "official" righting moment scales.... did they also actually take the boats in question and measure the amount of force or energy that it would take to push each vessel over to that point? I would venture to bet NOT!
Failing to do that, in my minds eye, does somewhat negate the validity of said data to a point.

So, the bottom line is this....each to his own....and as long as a buyer does "due dilligence" prior to the purchase they should be happy campers, right?
 

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The previous comment makes a good point and ties in with another comment from the Morgan email group:
"Everything is relative. If you read Marchaj and others yes they refer to 120d as the accepted minimum these days. But that is also dealing mainly with IOR type boats, and he notes the deep fin keel on this type of hull may be inherently usafe, in that it leads to the type of motion that can roll the boat into a broach off the top of a wave.
Since you have a full keel, not an IOR fin, the same situation doesn''t apply to you--you are inherently safer against the roll being *started* than a fin keel boat.
Ideally you would have the traditional full keel *and* a higher stability angle, but in life we compromise. I would suggest that "due diligence" accounts for a lot of the safety factor. If you take the boat across the Pacific and out of range of weathercasts, you have more risk. In the Atlantic and Caribbean, it is easier to monitor and avoid extreme weather.
I don''t think anyone would call the OI41 a dangerous boat."
Its always helpful to know the details and assumptions behind mathematical formulas!!! Without the knowledge of these background parameters its just a bunch of meaningless numbers!! My research is finished.
Respectively
Rob
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Discussion Starter #20
forget the numbers

Look if you are doing coastal and occasional passages. Go ahead. Don't be stupid and try to challenge God. Look and pay attention to the weather. If it doesn't look good CHANGE YOUR Plans. Have fun It is a boat It belongs in the water.
Capn Ken
 
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