Hello all I'm new here

Discussion in 'Main Morgan 38 Sailboat Forum' started by Dave Lane, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. Dave Lane

    Dave Lane New Member

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    Crowley Lake
    Hey crew. I'm new here and not currently a Morgan owner but could be. I looked at a Morgan 383 last weekend and have a question or 2. I've been busily researching various boats the last few years and of course my likes and my bank account to often do not agree with one another. I've found this Morgan that really checks most boxes that I'm after, even including my wife and son. The boat is bare bones, no safety equipment, no dingy, no life raft, epirb, no electronics what so ever but it is super clean, deck seems solid, interior teak looks good, has a new dodger, has new interior cushions and upholstery, doesn't appear to have water damage etc. Not much to complain about or draw extra attention too upon the first visual inspection, my wife was a 1000x more thorough than I, and she was happy with what she saw. (another plus for me) Question is what is a reasonable offer for a 1982 Morgan 383 in what appears to be really good condition, (of course that is with my limited experience) I realize this boat is close to 40 y/o and that a survey, could prove otherwise. Guidance, suggestions, and comments welcome. Thank you.

    https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/19...e=enhanced listing&refSource=enhanced listing
     
  2. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    Marina Del Rey
    My wife and I bought a 382 a year and a month ago, and I haven’t regretted choosing Morgan for an instant. It has been a lovely experience thus far, with no ugly surprises. The guys at the boat yards like them, they look good in the water, and they are built like a tank.

    I looked closely at the ad - here is my two cents.
    Regarding this boat in particular, I suppose “reasonable” comes down to what you want to do with it. As you said, it is a clean looking boat that seems to have been lovingly cared for, but I probably wouldn’t offer more than 25-30k, considering it comes without the extras you mentioned (assuming you actually need all of those extras to do whatever it is you want to do with it). For local cruising, it seems like it has everything it needs right now. For blue water cruising, you should probably budget an extra 20k minimum (I’m not exaggerating) for all of the gear and maintenance you’ll need to add. To give you an idea, my wife and I are preparing for a crossing next summer. With these ultimate plans in mind, we offered under 18k for a boat that was asking 25k, fitted out very similarly to the one you are looking at. Outfitting has cost about 10-12k so far, and we will easily spend another 8-12k by the time we shove off next year. Again, this is for a ready-to-sail boat that is in the same condition as the one you are looking at. We viewed the bare nature of the boat as an asset and a reasonable trade-off given the cost. We liked the idea of spending a year or two fitting it out with new nav and electrical system, and getting each piece of safety equipment exactly how we want.

    I’ll admit we got a good deal, but the fact is, there is a surplus of “classic plastic” out there right now, creating a pretty awesome market for the first time buyer. Ultimately we chose this boat because 1) all the hard stuff was done and she was ready to sail, 2) the user community(this site!) was strong and active, 3) our surveyor and the guys at the yard we surveyed her at had nothing but good things to say about Morgan, and 4) she was a roomy blank slate for starting a fun open-ended project with my wife.

    One thing I did notice was this wiring mess above your engine. That is no good, and needs to be addressed.
    27F5ADB2-AF98-433A-9251-E937DD191A83.jpeg

    Ultimately, it comes down to what you want out of this. If you want to take it slow and learn how to sail and maintain your own boat, you probably couldn’t do much better than what you’ve got there, but that asking price does seem a bit high to me...
     
  3. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Home Port:
    Point Richmond, CA
    Hi Dave,
    Welcome. I agree with Travis.
    We have owned our boat Sonata for almost 2 years now and paid somewhat less than the asking price on your next boat. I think perhaps we actually paid "top dollar", but at the time there weren't many Morgans available on the West Coast. The attractive thing to me was "Sonata" was outfitted for Blue water sailing and had done the Pacific Cup race to Hawaii in the past. That being said, we also paid for a lot of Offshore gear, liferaft, epirb, etc separately for about $9500.
    Had I to do it again, I think I would look for a boat like the one you are considering too. Then outfitting properly for us.

    I looked at a Cal 39 that would be comparable to the boat you're looking at, but it was about 10K more with no gear at all. No dodger, nada.
    I was impressed at the condition of the Morgan and the build quality. I know people will argue that statement, but I will stand by it. These boats are stout. I would go in with an offer like Travis said. You can always come up a little. 33-35k Max. Looks like a really nice Morgan!
    A big part of my decision to buy the Morgan was this Forum and all the knowledge and help available here.
    AND, the huge positive attitude of the owners here!

    Fair Winds and good luck,
    Mitchell
     
  4. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

    Joined:
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    Whatever you offer, make it contingent on a competent survey with the boat hauled. Don't let the seller or a broker provide a surveyor. Ask around yards, yacht clubs, etc. A really good survey might cost $5K, I suppose, but here in Portland we have a very thorough surveyor who will do it for $1500 or so. At a minimum, the surveyor must be willing to take some things apart to check structure. He or she should look at every secondary bond, where the bulkheads attach to the hull. He or she should tap every inch of the hull and deck and cabin. Looking for moisture or punky core. Morgan's were cored above the water line, which is smart, but if water gets in there, it can cause delamination. And not all deck fittings were properly installed: I had to replace 2 square feet of deck for that reason. I have always liked the strip panelling in the 383s, up in the bow, but also feared Morgan scrimped on cost and screwed all the wood into the core. That is a disaster waiting to happen. Find out how old the standing rigging is. Hailing port is Hawaii. If it is more than 10 years old, you will need to replace it. There is more, but I will stop.Good luck.
     
  5. Dave Lane

    Dave Lane New Member

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    Thanks everyone. My wife and I are considering an offer. Can anyone here recommend a good/ reputable surveyor in the Long Beach area? Also a few questions for you. Since I'm new to a purchase of this scale with a boat maybe you can fill me in a bit on the process as it pertains to the survey and haul out and sea trials. When I schedule a survey is the sea trial part of that process? Is the haul out for the below water line portion of the survey usually included in the price of the survey? Is a thorough engine inspection separate from that as well? If the age of the rigging is unknown should I just replace it or is it worth it to have it inspected first? Anything else you would advise both for or against? Thank you.
     
  6. tfrere

    tfrere Thomas McNulty

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    Home Port:
    Mandeville, LA
    I am in the process of selling my M382 now. The surveyor came about 10 days ago and spent about 7 hours at the boat inspecting and testing all systems, opening and inspecting every cabinet, taking the boat for a sea trial, running the engine as well as deploying the sails, and inspecting the bottom, rudder, cutlass bearing, and through-hulls during a haul out. He did everything but go up the mast.
    He did a visual inspection of the standing rigging but only at deck and below deck levels.
     
  7. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    Marina Del Rey
    I’m going to run through the process as best as I can recall. Someone feel free to chime in if I am missing anything.

    Surveyor search: I pinged our surveyor to see if he’s going to be in the area any time soon. He was a strange dude but he was properly licensed and within our price range - if memory serves it was something like $18/ft for the survey. If he doesn’t get back to me, just cold call a bunch of licensed surveyors. (Update: he isn't available until January) Many will say they are too busy but ask if they recommend anyone. This is how we found our guy. I think we talked to ~20 surveyors before it panned out. Once you commit to one, the discussion begins. This guy needs all the info about the boat you can muster, so that the three of you can come to some consensus about what to offer, and on what terms. And also so the three of you can be as prepared as possible for the survey day. If you do this right, your surveyor will know what to look for ahead of time, instead of going in cold and arriving at the boat with no info or context.

    Formal offer: You’ll need to submit a proper offer and probably give a deposit(Ours was around $1000) to the broker before they’ll let you survey the boat. This would be a good time to ask for previous surveys or any other maintenance paperwork. The deposit goes toward the purchase of the boat but is not refunded if you decide not to proceed with the purchase. If they accept the offer, the real fun starts.

    Scheduling the survey, sea trials, and haulout: Once your offer is accepted, you can start scheduling. Sea trials can happen on the same day as the survey/haulout if you do this right. It saves everyone a lot of hassle and will make the current owner feel better about the deal he is giving you. It’s not a huge deal if it isn’t possible, but it will be way more bang for your buck to get all parties on the boat together for the survey, trials, and haulout portion all at once. To make this happen with the least back-and-forth, do as follows. First check the weather forecast for reasonably calm weather days without too much or too little wind, and then call the boatyard to see if they have time on any of those days. Then see if any of those times work for the current owner, surveyor, and broker, in that order. This is the hardest part if you ask me. The haulout comes to something around $500. We used Gambol Industries in Wilmington (Choosing a boat yard merits its own discussion, call around and choose very carefully)

    The big day: We spent a couple hours goofing off and sailing around the harbor complex before heading inland toward Gambol. Boat gets lifted out by a big crane and you can spend a few hours out of the water going over everything thoroughly. It is in your interest to drag this part out as much as possible. The surveyor will be busy with his own checks but don’t be afraid to get involved and ask lots of questions. The yard guys will be palpably anxious to get you back in the water sooner than later since you will be tying up their crane, but don’t worry about that. Spend time knocking on the hull looking for soft spots, looking in through-hull holes, asking even more questions, seeking additional advice from the yard supervisors, etc. There were a few things that my surveyor wasn’t sure about and the yard supers were willing to share their opinions to help me figure out what was going on. Oh, and TAKE AN INSANE AMOUNT OF PHOTOGRAPHS - you won’t regret it. Once they put you back in the water, the ball is in your court to either buy it or pass and lose your deposit.

    Next steps: You commit to the offer you made or negotiate a different amount based on the findings from the haulout/surveyor recommendations. There will be a “recommendations” section at the end of the survey that will help structure that conversation if it is needed. This boils down to “ok we will pay the original offer minus the cost of fixing ‘X’”. Then you basically enter the boat version of escrow for a couple days, get checks made up by your bank, deliver them to the broker, decide whether to register with the state or the coast guard(look in to this carefully, it too merits its own discussion)....and then you wait for everything to shake itself out! If all goes well, the broker will schedule a time to hand over the keys, and you will get the title in the mail in a couple weeks.

    You own a boat!: Hopefully in the midst of the above exercises, you have sorted out a place to keep it! If you are lucky, the owner will have enjoyed this process and will agree to come sailing with you again. We went sailing (or at least hung out at the dock) with the previous owner several times over the next few weeks/months to learn various things we hadn’t thought to ask about earlier. Absolutely invaluable!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  8. Travis

    Travis New Member

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    I forgot to address your last questions. No the haulout isn’t included in the survey price. Most surveyors are not going to do a detailed engine survey - that takes an engine surveyor. And most surveyors will not do a detailed rigging survey - they’ll just say if it’s >10years old, replace the rigging. I would say don’t think about the rigging for now. Morgan significantly overdesigned it, and no amount of beginner-type sailing is going to bother the rig. If you are going far offshore, that is a different story. If you just plan to stay local for now, be patient. Wait until you have owned the boat for a few months before committing to any big money changes. You’ll regret doing unnecessary work if bigger issues or higher-priority problems come up later on. Don’t do anything to the boat that takes away your ability to take it out and practice sailing.
     
  9. royaltern

    royaltern Bert Willett

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    Aug 27, 2002
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    Your offer should be subject to survey. If the boat does not pass the survey ie (there are things you don't like or want to fix), than the deposit should be returned. I would make that clear in the contract. When I both bought my boat and sold it the broker in each case kept me away from the other party. Seller, then later buyer. I some what understood, but do not like it. I think you should be able to meet seller and learn about the boat from them. There area number of thigs that I think would have helped the buyer,but we never got together.
     
  10. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

    Joined:
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    279
    I have a 383, 1982 vintage. I think this boat looks very good, at least from the pictures. Assuming that the items a surveyor will assess are in 'serviceable condition', this is what I would look for:
    1. Sail inventory; age, condition, any repairs/tears, fraying, etc. (sails are expensive)
    2. Engine/Transmission: I see it has about 1100 hours on it; if you average that out over it's life of almost 40 years, that is not much usage; is engine rebuilt? Request and insist upon reviewing all engine repair work/receipts, who did it (perhaps even check with them), etc.... mine had about 4,800 hours on it when I bought it, I've put about 550 hours on it in the 7 1/2 years I've owned it to give you an idea of 'average' usage (I live just over 2 hours from my boat the entire time I've owned it so I am not constantly using it).... an unused boat is almost as bad as a heavily used boat... especially one it comes to Diesel engines! Check the fluid in the transmission and wipe it off on a rag or your finger and smell it, look at its color. Is it reddish/pink? Or is it gray and dirty? Does it smell burnt? Has it ever been replaced? Also, take a look at the shifter and throttle cables... those are prone to snap off and can be a hassle to replace... (ask me how I know that last one!)
    3. stock holding tank on these boats was built into the keel; require the holding tank to be filled with fresh water from the deck fill and then check for leaks.... that was a nasty surprise on many an owner who has bought one of these to realize the tank tabbing is leaking and it's virtually impossible tor repair.... (I posted pics of my tank relocation job on this site)
    4. Port lights.... check for leaks.... and the condition of the hardware on the existing ports. Mine weren't leaking at the time I bought it but the hardware was about to go south on them and did.... a costly replacement (I wound up going with NFM Stainless steel port lights, which I love and have had them about 4 years now). I see from the photos that the fixed port lights have been replaced with dark tinted ones (same as I had done).... be sure they are bedded well and are not leaking!
    5. forward anchor locker.... check that bulkhead for rotten wood on the bulkhead AND the upper floor in it.... anchor mud can tend to clock the drain holes on each side and can allow water to stand in the aft end of the locker against the bulkhead separating your v-berth and anchor locker.... take an awl or screwdriver and gently poke at it to be sure it's not saturated/rotten!
    6. inspect the bulkheads where the standing rigging chainplates are mounted.... be sure that they are not rotted from leaks, etc.. The Morgans are somewhat unique in that the chainplates reside under the deck and what you see on the top side is actually bolted thru to the chainplates and then the stand rig pins and shackles to what you see on the deck... also, look at all stanchions and topside standing rigging for rust bleeding, etc. that might indicate a compromised fitting.
    7. Mast: stand on deck and look straight up the forward side of the mast to the top.... is it straight or does it have a bend to it? If it's not pretty well straight, the rig is out of balance and you need to have the rigging inspected beyond deck level to be sure it's in good shape topsides.
    8. Water tanks: are the forward and salon tanks full of water and not showing signs of leaks? These can be a booger to repair or replace if they leak.... so be sure they are full and holding water.
    9. Exhaust, raw water pickup, engine rubber boots for cooling system, head hoses and piping along with the fuel tank fill hose.... be sure they are all clean and not showing signs of wicking (permeated) with the contents of the hose. On exhaust hose, a sign might be that the external shows some cracking and if you see a white chalk look to spots on the hose (salt).... on head hoses, wipe a damp paper towel or rag over the hoses and see if they smell like waste at all... if so, they'll need to be replaced. Is Fuel Tank full of diesel (check gauge under the teak lift out plate just aft of the salon table).... sniff for a heavy diesel smell....
    10. lastly, pull the teak salon dust bin cover and lift out the plastic pan.... shine a flashlight down in the bilge and see if its dry or does it have stranding water in it and just how clean is that bilge?? Look for oily water, or if it smells like it could have diesel or a waste odor to it (that's the top of the holding tank and you'll see the vent line and the gauge fitting in that portion of the bilge. if you lift out the long thin deck plate (next to sink cabinetry) and look down in there, you will see the fill and pump out PVC/hose going into the top of the holding tank....

    Okay, I'm not a marine inspection expert, but those are some of the things I would check out.... based upon what I've seen on this site and from my own experiences.

    I hope this helps.

    John Harrison
    S/Y Tranquility
    Palmetto, FL
     
  11. Mitchell S Allen

    Mitchell S Allen Member

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    Point Richmond, CA
    Great write ups! So much really relevant information I wish I had asked about prior to buying Sonata. Still, I think I did ok with buying our boat. But, here once more this reflects the depth of knowledge on this forum.
    Mitchell
     
  12. schlepper

    schlepper John m. Harrison

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    with respect to the info on 'what to look for' prior to making an offer, I think it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway.... there aren't many issues you or the surveyor will find that cannot be replaced or repaired and then have a fully functional and seaworthy sailing vessel. It really becomes a matter of what you want to do once you buy the boat..... the spectrum is from 1.) having it hauled and doing a complete refit/restoration before you can use it to 2.) buying a boat that all the systems are in decent to great shape and all you then do is implement a schedule of maintenance of everything. Decide what end of the spectrum you wish to lean towards (I'm betting #2!) and then review those items you know you'll have to deal with as discovered by you or the surveyor, and then use the estimates of repair/replacement costs, including labor, and adjust your offer accordingly.... And a thought I'd share about surveyors: my experience was that the surveyor is there to give you an idea of the hull and provide a report that your insurance company will use to determine the insurability and/or type of coverage of the boat. Surveyors are people, and like people, there are good ones and bad ones; and unless you have personal experience with the surveyor in the past or know that surveyor via referral from friends that can vouch for his reliability, competence and propensity to reasonably look out for the prospective purchaser, I would not place a huge amount of reliance on the surveyor. Educate yourself, talk to other boaters from their purchase experiences, utilize this board (don't waffle or be reluctant to ask questions!) and become self-reliant..... It's you and your crew and passenger's safety at stake, it's your investment at stake... That's my $.02 worth on the whole boat buying/surveyor dynamic!!
     

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