New Owners - Bermuda live aboard

Discussion in 'The Pub (Social Morgan 38 related chat) Forum' started by Jay Gholami, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Hello all,

    Me and my partner (Lauren) have recently purchased a Morgan 38-2 hull number 28 called Vixen. We are currently living on her in Bermuda - on a swing mooring. We’ve got a long list of improvements that we’d love to take on over the coming years and a quick read of the forums has already provided us with lots of great advice! So thank you all for your contributions!

    We are both fairly new to sailing and have never lived on a boat so any advice / suggestions, especially from others living on their Morgan, would be appreciated. For example, any suggestions for improvements / modifications we may not have considered to make life a little more comfortable.

    Thanks all
    Jay and Lauren
     

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  2. mpearson

    mpearson Mark Pearson Staff Member

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    Hi Jay & Lauren - welcome aboard & welcome to being a Morganeer!
    We also lived on our 384 (Zia) when we bought her and we were looking for our home on dirt. We found her plenty comfortable. In the Pacific NW, in the fall/winter our problem was mold and keeping things dry. I rains plenty here that time of year.
    Be sure to say if there are any particular things you are having problems with ... there are many knowledgeable people here who are helpful.
    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  3. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Hello
    Did you purchase Dick & Judy Kilroy's Vixen? If so you have done well with your purchase. We have known the Kilroy's for many years and know that Vixen was always maintained and cared for with much love. She has numerous voyages to Bermuda under her belt and should feel right at home on the Island. As Mark has said, there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this board who can and will help with your questions. Good luck with your new home.

    Jim & Bonnie Cleary
     
  4. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Hi Mark,
    Thank you - I’m very excited to join the Morganeer family! I think Vixen will have the same problem with mould / moisture. It gets very humid here and last night was our first experience of wet weather (25+ knots and lots of rain). In terms of issues, we noticed a slight drip opposite the bathroom door (just above the tall cabinet) as well as a slight drip above the navigation desk. Do you know if there’s any posts that might help? I’ll have read of some existing posts as I’m sure everyone’s had to deal with the odd leak! If I can’t find one, I guess I just start one?

    Hey Jim & Bonnie,
    The previous owner was called David and he’d owned her for about 4 years. Maybe the Kilroy’s were the previous owners? It would be amazing to know a little history about our Vixen. It’s hull number 28 and originally purchased in Florida 1979, I’ll try dig out some more information in case anyone is familiar with its previous life!

    Thank you both for the introductions.
    Jay and Lauren
     
  5. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Hello and welcome!
    I am about to tackle some minor deck leaks as well. I hope completely before we get much rain this winter in San Francisco Bay. Mine seem to be near the mast and dripping on the starboard side as well as seals in the opening ports.
    Mitchell
     
  6. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay
    I have emailed Dick Kilroy to ask if your Vixen was in fact his Vixen. I'll let you know when I hear from him.

    Jim
     
  7. captpete

    captpete Member

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    Here's a good article about the Kilroy Vixen from good old boat (if it loads properly). They sure used their boat right! Good luck with yours!
     

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  8. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay & Lauren
    I have been in contact with Dick & Judy Kilroy whose Vixen is still in their family. They have owned her for 41 years now. Your Vixen comes from a different pedigree.

    Two things to look at concerning the leak near the chart table: the large fixed window on the stbd side have been known to leak and the slides for the main hatch under the "turtle" cover have also been sources of concern. Good luck.

    Jim
     
  9. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Hey Jim, thanks for looking into it - hopefully we’ll learn about her history one day. I felt some dampness around the sliding hatch so i will check that out first.

    Hi Mitchell, I think ours maybe be coming from the same port. Let me know how all goes! Interested to hear about how you resolve it. Good Iuck.

    Jay
     
  10. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Jay,
    I will post here when I can get started on this project. I hope to be back with Sonata very soon.
    The only time I have had leaks so far was in a pretty strong storm the weekend after purchasing our boat. I have not had the boat out in much heavy weather yet. So, I plan on flooding the deck to try to ascertain the source(s). We'll see. I also had water dripping from the Dorade vents, which seems really strange considering. I may just start sealing everything! Hopefully no core issues too.
    Another project for "down the road" is the cabin teak paneling on the interior house sides. There is some bad de-lamination at several opening ports. I am not sure, but think they are the New Found Metals ports. Also not really sure if the problem is from someone leaving ports open in the past or from leaks when ports were closed. Anyway, lots to do!
    Mitchell
     
  11. stnick

    stnick lee nicholas

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    if you have opening ports you should own a roll of butyl tape . Any RV store 8 dollars for a lifetime supply ! In fla I keep mine in the frig it hates heat ! New found metals ports are the best made !
    I also have a leak above the chart table from the doraid . I have tried a larger drain, nope ! wood barrier afixed to the opening top so water coming in the vent cant travel across the under side of the top and drip down, DID NOT WORK ! I have tried a full barrier of wood before the vent hole , NOPE ! I have resealed around the PVC vent pipe, NOPE ! if i take a old butter container and place it upside down over the vent Problem solved? ! I just dont understand wind and water i guess? !!!
     
  12. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Yep, I have plenty of Butyl tape, I use it a lot on both boats.
    Mitchell
     
  13. rickdowe2

    rickdowe2 Richard Dowe

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    Jay and Lauren welcome!
    Did you buy the boat in Bermuda?
    What kind of cost is it to rent a swinging mooring?
    Thanks and again there is a lot wisdom on this website.
    Rick and Mary
     
  14. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay & Lauren
    Are you living year round in Bermuda on the boat?

    Jim
     
  15. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Hey Rick and Mary, yes - we purchased the boat out here in Bermuda. I relocated from London / Brighton for work and decided to try something different (got bored of City life). We knew a friend of a friend leaving the Island who was already living on Vixen, so purchased her with water catcher, solar panels and house battery. You can rent a swing mooring for around $200-300 a month depending on how well protected, we purchased ours with the boat so currently just pay for it to be inspected / maintained which is a $40 per month payment plan.

    Yes Jim - we live on her all year round. Our mooring is nice and protected with nobody around and Lauren isn't working which helps. She's able to focus on keeping Vixen livable (catching rain, catching fish, prepping dinner, airing her out). So far we've not had much heavy weather, the most we've experienced is 50 knot gusts and luckily we were very protected from that wind direction - anything more / gusts from an exposed direction we'd probably stay on land at a friends place or hotel!

    Jay and Lauren
     
  16. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    A picture of Vixen on the mooring whilst we check the chain for anyone interested, taken yesterday after a semi-successful first day cruise.
     

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  17. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Also, if anyone has any advice...

    As you can see from our route, we were struggling to tack and a few times we had to gybe around instead. We noticed it was especially difficult as the wind picked up which seems strange - in about 15 knots, we were actually getting stuck in irons and going backwards! Reading some other forums, it looks like we should try keeping the jib sheet set longer which allows the jib to push the bow across the wind "backwinding the jib". This is a different method to how I have tacked on a J-24 / J-80 where we release the jib and let it flog through our tack. Anyone experienced difficulty tacking their Morgan / prefer to use the backwinding method?
     

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  18. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Lee / Mitchell,

    How would you suggest that we apply the Butyl tape? Is it just over the top of the join between port and boat? Or should we unscrew, remove the port slightly, tape it up underneath and then screw back on? Cheers
     
  19. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay
    The Morgan is not as nimble as a J-boat. You need to have a bit of boat speed to tack thru the eye of the wind. Without that boat speed you may need to back the jib to get the bow around. But in 15 kts of wind she should come about without backwinding. That's my guess.

    If you are going to seal a port with butyl tape, it needs to be completely removed and the tape installed on the inside of the flanges. When removing the ports be very careful with the inside woodwork. It can delaminate quickly if you pull too hard.

    Jim
     
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  20. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Thanks Jim. I’m hoping to give the port some attention as soon as the weather settles. Good point on the wood inside, looks like mine is already delaminated in many places so it’s now on the long list of things to tackle.

    It did feel strange that she wasn’t coming around easily, the boat speed felt good... I haven’t cleaned the bottom for a good few months and I was towing a tender, so maybe not as good as I’m imagining! Another thing is that Vixen’s headsail has been really trimmed down by the previous owner and still on the outside tracks. A friend noted that these, in an ideal world, should be closer to the mast for a relatively small headsail. I’ve noticed some discussion on here around moving them so will check that out - I wonder if there’s any cheap and cheerful ways to pull the headsail in close!

    Cheers
    Jay
     
  21. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay
    I am assuming that your boat does not have the inside tracks near the cabin top. When the boats were purchased from the factory, those tracks were an option to the basic boat. They would be a worthwhile investment sometime down the road. But I feel that it sounds like the biggest impediment to your ability to tack cleanly in 15kts is the condition of your bottom. Try again after a cleaning and you will most defiantly feel and see a difference in those conditions.

    Jim
     
  22. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    You’re correct - I have the basic model, just outside tracks. I’ll update you once I’ve cleaned her in the new year, hopefully that’ll do the trick.

    Our engine is the original and very unreliable so unfortunately we always need to tow the tender in case it fails - I’m sure that adds a fair bit of drag too. Will be reading all the posts on Beta engines over the next few days.

    Thanks again for the advice, have a great Christmas.

    Jay
     
  23. struell

    struell Stephen Ruell

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    We have had the same problem with tacking. It was worst the first season we had her. We use the inside genoa tracks. We tow a dinghy and I haven't tried it without it. Our bottom is generally clean since we are hauled out every winter.

    I read a lot on this site about the rudder size of the original 382. Many posts seemed to talk about it, so I enlarged it as others had done by adding to the trailing edge. It wasn't too bad of a project. The following season was better but what helped a lot also was to buy a new 120% genoa to replace the old 150% genoa. That sail was quite old and bagged out. Also seemed to help to tighten the back stay more than the rigger had done, so that there is not as much sag in the forestay. I think I still have some issues but the boat tacks a lot better with those changes.

    Our boat still takes some care to keep up speed as you come around. Many of my friends that I let try it seem to have a problem with it, especially in light wind. You have to have good boat speed before making the turn, then turn sharply and firmly, and center the wheel quickly once around. The new sail has much more power and flies better which is an aid to keep up boat speed. I also back wind the jib by not letting it come across the bow until the bow has turned the corner.

    Some of the more knowledgeable sailors may know whether there are other things to check or tricks to improve the rigging.

    Steve
     
  24. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Steve
    I think you might have hit the nail on the head. The move from a blown out 150% to a new 120% may be the best improvement for boat speed and tacking ability. I wonder what headsail Jay is carrying on Vixen? But of course sailing in light air as opposed to 15kts makes a difference also. In 15kts, unless there in a substantial sea running, you should be able to generate enough boat speed to make a tack cleanly. With a blown out 150% genny you are getting a lot more leeway and are not pointing very high so the distance is greater to get around.

    We replaced our 382 rudder with a 384 rudder from Foss Foam many years ago. We found very little difference in the boats handling with the change. Of course we are cruisers and are loaded up with tons of stuff labeled "just in case". That also makes a difference.

    Jim
     
  25. struell

    struell Stephen Ruell

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    Hi Jim:
    Yes you are right the sail made more difference than the rudder. Tacking issues are also mostly just when the boat speed is low.

    This spring before launch I also plan to remove the 300 lbs of lead from the bow that folks have talked about on this site. Last year we shed about 300 lbs in the stern when we changed out the engine. My intuition would be that she is now heavy in the bow and that would make it harder to tack. I've looked and found out that the lead is there but haven't tackled it yet.
    Steve
     
  26. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Steve
    There are two trains of thought as to why the 300lb of lead was put in the bow. One is that the engine (both Yanmar and Perkins) was much heavier then originally considered. The second is that Ted Brewer envisioned a windlass and heavy ground tackle in the bow and Morgan didn't supply that and owners didn't either. I'm sure the replacement engine that you installed is very much lighter then the original so getting rid of the lead makes good sense. In our case, we installed a big windlass and an anchor with all chain rode on the bow that all came to a total of just about 300lbs. So the lead had to go. What I will say, and this is not to discourage you, is that removing the lead was, by far, the hardest job I ever tackled on the boat. That job taught me the meaning of "sweat equity". Good luck.

    Jim
     
  27. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Jim,

    Vixen came with some fairly old sails, the headsail was previously large but the previous owner had cut it down to approx. 100%, so I'm not sure it's the most efficient in terms of shape.

    We struggled most when the wind picked up and the sea got choppier - I was hoping the wind would help us gain speed, but it just didn't seem to happen. As you can see from the picture above, we were sailing upwind through a small channel surrounded by reef.

    On a separate note, I've been in contact with a Beta dealer and planning to order a Beta 38 towards the end of the month. I've done some reading on here w.r.t re-powering, but does anyone know of a post outlining what modifications were required for this specific engine. The mechanic is quoting a /hour rate so it would be good to try gauge the scale of the task and cost of installation! To be honest, any advice on the Beta 38 would be greatly appreciated.

    Jay
     
  28. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay
    When we first purchased Dana, she came with a 150% genoa which was old and out of shape. Needless to say we sailed sideways quite a bit. That sail was replaced by a 130% genoa which made her feel like a new boat. I think the condition of the sail is the most important aspect. If you are going to stay in Bermuda with the boat, I would recommend talking to a local sailmaker, one with a good reputation, to see how he feels about the right size and material for the local conditions. A sail for Bermuda may be different then a sail for Long Island Sound.

    I personally only know one M38 owner who has repowered with the Beta 38. His name is Jay Green, his email is: skadi808@gmail.com. He went to the Beta two years ago and I know he has had good success with it. I will email him to let him know that you may be getting in touch.

    Jim
     
  29. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Good morning Jay,
    First, I am no sail maker.
    But I think you need something a little more for a headsail. Both in shape and size. I can't imagine the shape is any good on an old sail that has been cut down. These boats need and rely on headsails for their power. I agree with Jim's idea of getting some advice from a local sail maker. Just from what you have mentioned in this thread, I think you will see a marked difference in the boats performance too.
    Mitchell
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  30. struell

    struell Stephen Ruell

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    This post should be with a new subject on the main forum if you want to talk about a new subject like engines, and you are currently posting in the Pub forum.

    We repowered last year with a Beta 38, and it worked out well.

    There were very few modifications required. The engine beds are fine as they are but our mechanic added 1" GR40 fiberglass bars to raise them a bit for strength and alignment of the stock mounts. I think you could buy other engine mounts when the engine is ordered but the GR40 seemed like a good way to go. The exhaust is unchanged. The prop and shaft were sent out for checking at a machine shop but nothing was changed, we reused the old 16RH12 prop. Beta recommended 17RH11 as being a somewhat better match though. The control panel can be installed in the same place as the old one with a piece of GR40 to cover the old hole. We did a lot of other repairs while the engine was out, including replacing the cutlass and stern tube, cleaning and painting, removing and rerouting old wiring, some work on the fuel lines, replaced the port locker plywood, etc. We increased the size and moved the engine cooling water intake through hull to a more accessible location inside the engine compartment.

    I think they estimate 60 man-hours for a typical repower at this yard, but they said afterward that it went much quicker than that for our project. I did only the cleaning/painting myself. But we spent a lot of hours on other peripheral repairs, so it I don't know for sure how much the engine itself actually took.

    You won't be able to live on the boat while this is going on, though I suspect you can do it at a dock without a haulout if you don't need to do any cutlass or stuffing box work. I think it is a good time to address that though. The rubber hose on our stuffing box was looking pretty tired so we renewed everything.

    If you search the main forum for Beta 38 you can find a lot of discussion on the various engines. (This current post is under the Pub forum) Mark Pearson replaced his recently with a Yanmar and sounded like he paid about the same. Look at https://www.morgan38.org/morgan38/i...kins-4-108-to-yanmar-4jh45.15530/#post-130648

    Steve
     

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  31. Jay Gholami

    Jay Gholami New Member

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    Mitchell,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I completely agree, I think the next thing to improve (after the engine) will be that headsail, hopefully in time for summer...

    Thanks for the advice Steve, i'll be sure to post future queries in the main forum. I've been discussing with Jay Green and both of your experiences sound very similar - thanks both for your input, it's given me the confidence to go ahead with the project and I'm planning on paying the deposit for the Beta 38 today. 60 hours is the high end of my estimate / budget, so fingers crossed it comes in lower. I agree that I wont be able to live on her whilst the work is getting completed, I've made arrangements to be living elsewhere for a couple of weeks.

    I'll start a thread on the main forum once I've got started.

    Thanks all,
    Jay
     
  32. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Jay

    Good luck!

    Jim
     
  33. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    I am sure you're very excited for your new addition! Good luck.
    Mitchell
     

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