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Morgan 382 to 384 Ocean Crossing

sonnylange

New Member
Hi All

I am looking at purchasing a Morgan 382 to 384 as an Ocean Crossing long distance cruiser. I am looking for feedback as to how suited these boats are for that purpose. I believe the hulls are airex cored to the keel or is it just the waterline? I have researched a bit and understand there is or was a bulkhead issue at the head, is that a cause for a defect in the design?

I have seen a 383 out of the water and it seems like a beautiful hull shape with a protected rudder. Some were negative on the downwind abilities of this boat. Any feedback with someone that have used a windvane downwind with this boat?

Thanks for any comments
Sonny
 
While I haven't ventured that far by any stretch of the imagination, I wouldn't hesitate the trip on my 383. Look up Warren Holybee on the forum. Warren has made it back to the USA after nearly circumnavigating the globe. And there are numerous others that cruise afar.
Check his most recent post...
Time for major steering overhaul.

Good luck, you'll love the Morgan
Mitchell
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Sonny - I'm moving this thread over to the main forum - fewer folks view the "Pub".

There are lots of folks who have crossed major oceans in their Morgan 38s. Some recent ones include Warren, Terry, Ken. Hopefully they will chime in.

We have put about 10k miles on our 384 and I would for sure cross an ocean in her. Like any 30-40 year old boat, you'd want to be sure all the systems are functional and reliable. I'm pretty sure our Zia would have been a death trap if we would have tried crossing oceans before the refitting we have done. We've never had downwind problems, but we have the bigger rudder of the 384.

Cheers,
-Mark
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
The bulkhead issue was in the early 382s. They were repaired and the 383/384 have no such issues. Neither does my 382 #163. The aft head bulkhead on my boat was properly tabbed to the hull. The airex core goes to the waterline; solid glass below that. The boats are not massively built and I would hate to run one hard into a coral reef, but few boats not built of steel or aluminum will withstand hard groundings without significant damage. But Morgan's are better than Hunters or Beneteaus, in my view, with their internal glass liners and bolt on keels. At least one Beneteau lost its keel in mid-ocean. The issue is, each Morgan is different, despite the same design and manufacturer. Depends on who was working on the boat and how the work was scheduled, I think. For instance, I have used my boat pretty hard and all my bulkhead tabbing is solid. Another owner, who sailed both ways across the Atlantic had some bulkhead tabbing give way--a bad situation. For what you have to pay, they are generally a good value, but there are other boats I might buy if I were going offshore and I had somewhat more money. And as Mark says, it is often about upkeep and maintenance. I bought my Adavida 23 years ago for $57K for inland cruising, and then went offshore. Before I went seriously offshore, I cruised up and down the Washington Coast is some pretty nasty conditions,
Then, before we took our 10 month tropical journeym I replaced all standing rigging, installed offshore equipment like AIS, water maker, Monitor windvane, Satphone, storm jib and main trysail. She is probably worth less now than when I bought her, although I got a surveyor to value her at $55K a couple of years ago and she now has a fresh coat of paint. But no one owns a boat as an investment. It is about the love of sailing.
 

sonnylange

New Member
All. Thanks for the feedback so far. I hope to get more feedback as to what people have modified on their boats to make them long distance capable. I had a NIC 35 (Kept me safe) built in 86, became ocean yachtmaster and sailed it across the Atlantic before GPS and AIS were available. Sextant, DR and good watch keeping kept me on track. My 2 daughters are now grown and on their own. Time for me to complete my circumnavigation (Tradewind belt) when I retire. I feel a bit bigger boat than a 35 would be a bit more comfortable but I will go in what I can afford.
 
The bulkhead issue was in the early 382s. They were repaired and the 383/384 have no such issues. Neither does my 382 #163. The aft head bulkhead on my boat was properly tabbed to the hull. The airex core goes to the waterline; solid glass below that. The boats are not massively built and I would hate to run one hard into a coral reef, but few boats not built of steel or aluminum will withstand hard groundings without significant damage. But Morgan's are better than Hunters or Beneteaus, in my view, with their internal glass liners and bolt on keels. At least one Beneteau lost its keel in mid-ocean. The issue is, each Morgan is different, despite the same design and manufacturer. Depends on who was working on the boat and how the work was scheduled, I think. For instance, I have used my boat pretty hard and all my bulkhead tabbing is solid. Another owner, who sailed both ways across the Atlantic had some bulkhead tabbing give way--a bad situation. For what you have to pay, they are generally a good value, but there are other boats I might buy if I were going offshore and I had somewhat more money. And as Mark says, it is often about upkeep and maintenance. I bought my Adavida 23 years ago for $57K for inland cruising, and then went offshore. Before I went seriously offshore, I cruised up and down the Washington Coast is some pretty nasty conditions,
Then, before we took our 10 month tropical journeym I replaced all standing rigging, installed offshore equipment like AIS, water maker, Monitor windvane, Satphone, storm jib and main trysail. She is probably worth less now than when I bought her, although I got a surveyor to value her at $55K a couple of years ago and she now has a fresh coat of paint. But no one owns a boat as an investment. It is about the love of sailing.
FWIW, I hit a reef in Fiji at over 5 kts. Brought the boat to a dead stop, and the bow dipped into the water. Scared the hell out of me, but only cosmetic damage on the leading edge of the keel. If it hit the hull it would not have survived. If anyone is venturing that way, the charts (even "up to date Navionics charts" ) are wrong, and so are the waypoints you can get locally that have been sailed "hundreds of times."

The hull is solid below the waterline, airex above, and the deck is plywood core. The plywood is cut into squares, so if water gets in there there is a break and it won't spread.

The boat can be uncomfortable downwind, especially if there is a swell on the beam. The Indian ocean sucked, but many will say that is true regardless of what monohull you sail there. The south Atlantic crossing was a pure dream, with 2 weeks of not touching sail trim or steering trim. The Pacific was hit or miss, but mostly comfortable, other than the many gales I hit due to my late start (Left Hawaii in August).

The cockpit mounted traveler is a serious hazard on the ocean. Some like it for single handing, but as a single hander I'm very scared of it. Accidental jibes happen, and I have had my GPS ripped off the pedestal by the main sheet, had the sheet grab gear and throw it over(lost both a radio and a winch handle), and once had it catch me and slam me into the cockpit combing. So if I did it again I would get a later model with the traveler on the deck. If I can get it in the budget, I will add a staysail stay before I head out again. The designer (Ted Brewer) drew plans for this, and he is still with us and those places are readily available. It is a straight forward upgrade. Also, the 382 doesn't have dorades. It gets miserable on hot humid days in the rain. So again I'd go for the later model.

Work with your sailmaker on sheeting angles for the genoa. Let him know you will be in the ocean, and fulling it very small. I run out of track and so as I furl the top twists off and I lose the ability to point. It's fine downwind, but in 30 kts, I can't sail higher than a beam reach. A properly sized staysail would negate the need for this compromise on the genoa shape, which is why I am looking at that upgrade.

The rigging is pretty stout. I see many boats of similar displacement with 1/4" stays sailing in the Ocean. Also, the chain plates and turnbuckles are sized for 3/8". The turnbuckles on my Morgan are much larger than those on other boats with 5/16" wire.

I have some serious steering repairs to make after 30,000 miles. But, 40 year old parts made it 30,000 miles. Much of this damage is the result of opting for a monitor windvane over an autopilot or hydrovane. So you could probably avoid it.

Overall, the question is going to be the condition of the boat you are looking at, and your budget for the boat and refit. All of the standard stuff for fitting a boat for the ocean applies.
 

sonnylange

New Member
Warren that was great feedback! I also had the mainsheet in the cockpit on my NIC and the same thing happened to me where it hit me as I was crossing the cockpit. Light airs and strange swell caused it. How was you boat setup for single handing?
 
Warren that was great feedback! I also had the mainsheet in the cockpit on my NIC and the same thing happened to me where it hit me as I was crossing the cockpit. Light airs and strange swell caused it. How was you boat setup for single handing?
It isn't set up in any special way for single handing. I have to go to the mast to raise the sail/reef etc. Not a big deal with the windvane steering.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
While I respecft Warren's voyaging credentials, I disagree about the main sheet. Having it in the cockpit is convenient and allows one to trim with multi-sheave blocks rather than a winch. For single handing or short handed sailing I would not want it any other way. Also, it avoids the danger of boom damage/ bending from having a sheet in the middle of the boom. I avoid crash jibes but always carrying a preventer from the boom end to the bow and back to the cockpit offshore. Easy to rig and have it available whenever you need it.
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Warren, there is any thing i should look in stearing,? I have 384 with Monitor.
I replaced stearing cables, rudder shaft looks good (no play). I'm replacing standing rigging and will launch after 5 years refit, and I'm planing living there for while.
 
Warren, there is any thing i should look in stearing,? I have 384 with Monitor.
I replaced stearing cables, rudder shaft looks good (no play). I'm replacing standing rigging and will launch after 5 years refit, and I'm planing living there for while.
Check that the sheaves under the pedestal are in very good shape. They should not wobble. The plate they mount on is steel, and rusts with age. They are under a huge load, and you do not want them or the plate to fail.

The monitor control lines side load the needle bearings in the pedestal. In my case, after 30,000 miles, the housing is damaged due to the side load, and I am trying to work out a fix. After an initial positive call with Edson, they are no saying that they will not sell me the SS liners that the 402 pedestal uses, and want me to buy a new 402 pedestal. They insist that the 335 pedestal is for coastal use and not appropriate for a windvane or oceans. The 402 has SS liners/inserts for the bearings to accommodate the side loading. Total cost would be about $3k, so not going to happen for me.

You should at least change the needle bearings before you go, and make sure to pay attention to that area. It should be good for 15-20k miles before you notice any wear, and I went another 10k miles after that due to my remote location.

Fabricate an emergency tiller, and consider the emergency rudder option for the Monitor. I didn't need either of them, but a prudent sailor would be prepared for a rudder failure while offshore. I know several sailors that needed an emergency tiller while offshore. One was due to failure of the idler sheaves.

Unrelated to steering, make sure you have a plan for a failed stay. Either a piece of wire and sta-lock fittings so you can make a stay of whatever length you need. Or dyneema and tools and knowledge to rig a stay with that. I was shocked at the rate of failure of rigging, even new rigging. I had a lower break a strand at 2 years old from new. And I met several sailors that had rigging failures their first year out. So be prepared, and inspect, inspect, inspect. If you inspect weekly, you should catch a broken strand before the stay parts and you lose the whole rig.
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Warren, did Edson give you any reason/excuse why they would not sell the liners? That is pretty outrageous. They didn't make the bigger one in 1979, I believe. Perhaps a good machine shop could take thin walled stainless pipe and ream it out to make some. I, too, don't want to buy a new pedestal. Are the bearing races on you pedestal now misshaped so the needle bearings are sloppy?
 
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They said "We do not Sell Liners only. The machining and tolerance has to be carefully controlled, which is what we do here." A month ago they were willing.

Basically, they are saying that the whole thing needs replaced, including the idler assembly, and the recommend the expensive bronze one. I think it is partly they want to sell me a new system, and partly that if they green light my used parts and they fail they don't want any responsibility. I am taking it to a machine shop for their opinion on repair. I am now working full time and have no car, so not sure when that will be, but as soon as I can.

The bore is worn to the point that no only is it sloppy, but the plastic part of the needle bearings is in contact with the bore and showing wear. Much longer and that will fail and likely leave me with no steering.

I am also looking at used pedestals. Most will have much less mileage than me and a couple hundred dollar pedestal for parts might be an economical fix.

Thinking the Hydrovane might have been a better option :(
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Another option: You might also be able to fabricate sleeves from very thin UMHW, which is very good bearing material. Very strong plastic you can get from McMster Carr. Would still have to drill out the holes, but not by much. Or of you could ream out the holes more, use delrin pipe/tube, also from McMaster Carr. I may check out one of these options
 
Another option: You might also be able to fabricate sleeves from very thin UMHW, which is very good bearing material. Very strong plastic you can get from McMster Carr. Would still have to drill out the holes, but not by much. Or of you could ream out the holes more, use delrin pipe/tube, also from McMaster Carr. I may check out one of these options
I am not sure that UMHW or delrin wouldn't work well. Whatever is used should be as hard or harder than the SS bearings. That is why the Aluminum didn't work well. But I think a SS sleeve would only need to be 1/32" thick or so. Just enough to give a hard surface instead of the aluminum. I think that much material is already gone on mine, just needs to be bored. Anyway, I am going to get the opinion of the machinist.
 

yurek

Jerzy Borzym
Warren, Thanks for information.
I Check bearings and sheaves when I replaced cables, I did not replace chain. Should I ?
I have Monitor emergency rudder.
I'm replacing all rigging.

You can use reaming tool to make holes bigger and press fabricated sleeve. I think this is cheaper solution.

I live close Newport RI.
In my area there are four consignment shops and I have seen old style pedestals there in good shape. (few of them In Fall River)
Used pedestal from them can cost you around 200 bucks.
My monitor emergency rudder cost me 125 there.
Yurek
 

Travis

Member
Warren, Thanks for information.
I Check bearings and sheaves when I replaced cables, I did not replace chain. Should I ?
I have Monitor emergency rudder.
I'm replacing all rigging.

You can use reaming tool to make holes bigger and press fabricated sleeve. I think this is cheaper solution.

I live close Newport RI.
In my area there are four consignment shops and I have seen old style pedestals there in good shape. (few of them In Fall River)
Used pedestal from them can cost you around 200 bucks.
My monitor emergency rudder cost me 125 there.
Yurek
Sounds like the overall lesson here is to buy a couple of those cheap used pedestals and strip the parts out! :cool:

I stumbled across an orphaned Edson pedestal in the “free stuff” area of a remote anchorage last year. Thought to myself “man that looks just like mine!” After a couple of hours of fussing, I now have a decent understanding of how to rebuild the pedestal, and a nearly-complete set of spares bagged up for a day I hope never comes.

I’ll have to look again for these sleeves warren mentions though! I photographed it all but I don’t recall these sleeves specifically...probaly because they were chowdered to hell already. Speaking of which, I wholeheartedly agree with Warren; The material selection on these sleeves will be the most critical choice you make.
 
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The 335 pedestal the morgan uses doesn't have sleeves. That's the problem, the aluminum housing wears out instead. The heavy duty 402 pedestal does use sleeves, and is thus much stronger.
 

Travis

Member
The 335 pedestal the morgan uses doesn't have sleeves. That's the problem, the aluminum housing wears out instead. The heavy duty 402 pedestal does use sleeves, and is thus much stronger.
Warren,
You got me curious so I went back and found the photo. Lo and behold, the issue you describe seems to be exactly the reason the pedestal I found was thrown away to begin with.

I almost forgot about what a bear it was to get that one set of needle bearings and their disintegrated cage out of the bearing race. As far as I can tell, it was left to sit a long time. Bearings got dry, and accumulated lots of galvanic buildup. It looked like it was filled with chalk if memory serves. Thanks for clarifying.FC67412E-2A5B-4BF3-8D06-729187C5A2AD.jpeg
 

sonnylange

New Member
This is really good info. I stepped foot on my first Morgan 382/383 today. Positives about the boat is the solid feel, the bulwarks for good footing, The large cockpit and access to the steering quadrant. This boat had mechanical fittings on all the rigging which is easy to repair. Negatives.. The bilge seemed a bit crowded and hard to access. Has anyone had to pull the fuel tank for repair, seems like almost impossible. I do like all the storage throughout the cabin, but they seemed to have used a very dark stain when the boat was built. Something would be needed to brighten things up. But I believe this is a very solid boat capable of being a live aboard and sailing long distance. She is also Any other feedback about things you all have run into would be appreciated.
 

Travis

Member
This is really good info. I stepped foot on my first Morgan 382/383 today. Positives about the boat is the solid feel, the bulwarks for good footing, The large cockpit and access to the steering quadrant. This boat had mechanical fittings on all the rigging which is easy to repair. Negatives.. The bilge seemed a bit crowded and hard to access. Has anyone had to pull the fuel tank for repair, seems like almost impossible. I do like all the storage throughout the cabin, but they seemed to have used a very dark stain when the boat was built. Something would be needed to brighten things up. But I believe this is a very solid boat capable of being a live aboard and sailing long distance. She is also Any other feedback about things you all have run into would be appreciated.
The fuel tank is built in. It is fiberglass and integral to the boat. It is part of a stiffening structure inside the boat called the Internal Glass Unit or IGU. You would have to cut the floor open and the top off the tank, it would be a nightmare.

The bilge you could look at two ways. It is “small“, or it “quickly activates the bilge pump“. These are great boats, good luck
 
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