(This was a message Eben wrote to a reader who was interested in more “first hand” info on Morgans when it comes to size and speed for a family, since he’s looking into getting one.)
Hey. Eben here. Well I can say, critics are very critical. It obviously depends on your use of the boat. If your racing then a Morgan is for sure the way to go cuz your handicap will likely entail that you need only finish the race and you will win. Haha. Kidding. However I think it is critical to say that our boat is a 1988 CATALINA/Morgan. You see somewhere around 1984 I believe, Catalina bought Charlie Morgan’s name and design and then made a few alteration. One very specific was the keel shape. The Morgan we are on ( sloop rigged center cockpit) is a 3/4 keel and from what I have heard and now seen it sails a fair bit better than the older design. Inside and out (while it is in the water) there are very few design differences, but the joke we have all heard is that you have to start the engine to tack a Morgan and this is definitely not the case with ours. To put in perspective, on our maiden voyage with her back from Bahamas to Florida, there was no engine, period. Halfway to cat island, the mainsail blew out and our friend Joaquin and his brother who were sailing her at the time were able to bring her in to cat under nothing but the jib power. And tacking all over the place. So as for sailability she can hold her own. That being said, given that you are looking at Morgan’s in the first place I can assume that you do not intend to race anywhere and on that note I give the Morgan 4 thumbs up for the comfort she provides. Our perspective on boating is that it is our floating home that we occasionally move from one beautiful spot to another under sail. So realistically the majority of our time is at anchor in paradise so we chose the Morgan to give us the max amount of comfort during the majority of our time aboard, which is not while under sail. Heck I would have bought a catamaran right of the hop for the same reasons if I hadn’t been discouraged from it at the beginning when I didn’t know any better, and when going downwind we would have been going 2wice as fast. Ha.
I'm so tired of the "what is the best boat for me" question. Boats are like wives, the best one is;
1. The one you have.
2. The one you can afford and more importantly the one you can afford to maintain.
3. The one that feels right and treats you well.
4. The one you spend a lot of time with.
If you can tick off all four you have hit the jackpot.
I have helped move three boats to the Bahamas in the last month, a Whitby 42, a Hylas 46 and a Hunter 30. Each one is beloved by their owners, used extensively and ticks the boxes.
Just my 2Cents. Happy Independence Day
Gerry you have been busy in the last month!
We are finally able to tick off all four of those boxes on your list. It took us a while to get this boat into live able shape but every day with every project we are getting closer. The reader that was inquiring about our boat is also looking into a Morgan of about the same size, another fixer upper, and was looking for our two cents. We love our Morgan.
Happy Independence Day to you too (and belated Canada day!)
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It was very helpful indeed. As for ticking off the boxes as Gerry puts it, that showcases the reason for my interest in the OI 41.
-I will be spending alot of time on it, Im a firefighter/paramedic and a Military reservist so my schedule affords me plenty of time.
-So far as feeling right and treating well.. I guess Ill have to wait and see, but Im not in a hurry to get anywhere, and the HUGE amount of living space will surly make for a nice comfy place to call home away from home.
-Gerry its it right on the spot with the affordability note. Scott and Brittany's "Asante" is a truly gorgeous boat, with a gorgeous price tag lol. But afterall, that IS their primary residence and WELL worth the cost. My future vessel will be used as a floating vacation home for my family and I. We live in Florida, near a spot called Dragon Point in Brevard County, there are several OI 41's here in the marinas along a waterway that's nearly the length of the state, they are an affordable boat for my budget, and I will have no need to hire anyone to do any repairs. We even have a yard or two around the area that are willing to let owners do their own bottom jobs, as long as its after hours of course.
I've been sailing since the late 90's, mostly on smaller boats (22-27 footers), and I've got my little O'Day 25 in pretty good shape, and we have alot of fun with it, but its time for something bigger.
Again, thanks for your input Eben, the first hand info is much appreciated, and thank you Gerry for your two cents. I'll keep my eye out for a catalina morgan, but Ill be happy with whatever I get my hands on, the wife only demands a walk-thru model and I tend to agree.
Yes the walk thru is ideal, especially with a family