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Prospective new member, old question 382 v. 384?

Lou K

New Member
Hello all-
As retirement (& the islands) is almost in sight we're starting to shop for a slightly larger boat than our O'Day 34 and have a few questions I'm sure have been addressed here but I don't seem to find them. Is there a noticeable difference in handling between the 382, 383 & 384 series? If so, what would you say it would be worth. Question also applies to the cabin top vs cockpit travelers. I've also noted a number of mylar sails on some of the pics, which I was surprised to see on a cruising boat and wonder how much difference they have made?

any and all assistance much appreciated.


James M. Cleary
As a long time owner of a 382 with the shorter mast and the traveller in the cockpit, I am rather bias to those qualities. Having made the journey from Long Island Sound to the Bahamas and the Keys via the ICW a couple of times the shorter mast enabled us to pass under the two 55' fixed bridges on the ICW. One on the Cape May Canal and the other just above Miami. There is also a 55' bridge at Fort Lauderdale but it is an opening bridge.

For many years my wife worked as a nurse and had to work weekends. Because of that I did a lot of single handing. the cockpit traveller made sail handling very easy from the helm. The jib sheets and the mainsheet are directly in front of the helmsman without having to move from the position. With the mainsheet at the cabin top, you have to go forward, away from the helm, to adjust the sail.

Just over 10 years ago I replaced my 382 rudder with a 384 rudder. In all that time I have not been able to discern any difference in the performance of the boat. The 383 & 384 mast is taller with the boom shorter (a higher aspect ratio) then the 382. I don't think there is much difference in performance. The quality of the sails will have a more pronounced effect on speed and balance then the different rig.

The Morgan 382, 383, and 384's are very good cruising boats for the money. I'm sure all the owners on tis board will agree that it really doesn't matter which model you have. These boats have travelled all over the world with minimum problems and fuss.

I agree regarding trimming the main. I don't have much experience on the rest because I have a 383 and have not sailed on any others. I have found I don't trim the main as much as on my Moore 24 of course. But I am not racing the Morgan. But having it on the cabin top is out of the way in the cockpit. But getting around the giant wheel on Sonata is still a process. I will buy a fixture to mount the wheel on the stern rail when we are in port. The other issue with having the cabin top traveler is that it takes space there of course, which might be easier to stow a dinghy or life in that area, I don't know. All in All, we absolutely love Sonata our Morgan 383. And yes, a LOT of boat for the money, capable of going just about anywhere on this planet.
Fair winds,


Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Lou & all -
We have a 384 & I have a strong preference for the traveller up on the cabin top. I think the cockpits in our boats are relatively small & I wouldn’t want more space taken up by the traveller in the cockpit.

I strongly value Jim’s opinion & experience though, and reasonable people can have different opinions.

These are indeed great boats & good luck on your search.



James M. Cleary

Because of the amount of single handing that I did earlier, I came to enjoy the traveller in front of the helm. Now with a good powerful below decks autopilot we spend most of our time up under the dodger while sailing. Of course the mainsheet flopping back and forth across the cockpit is now an issue. If it ain't one thing, it's another.


As it happens my wife and I did the exact same upgrade as you are considering, moving from an O'day 34 to our current 382. Our 382 had already had the traveller moved to the cabin top when we bought her. I was open to either arrangement, but my wife was pretty adamant that she wanted it out of the way of small fingers and toes (our kids are now 8 and 6). We are normally all together on the boat, so for us there is usually someone to trim sails while the other is at the helm. That said, we went ahead and added a nice hefty below deck autopilot this winter similar to Jim's. Will be nice to be able to use that to single hand if/when needed.



Rene Marin
I am the odd man out.
I have a 1979 382 with a 384 mast traveler mounted above . That happend before I got the boat. .My buddy has the 382 std configuration.
The taller mast and sail aspect is faster but a bit more work... that's a damn tall mast.
I wish mine had the shorter with the 384 rudder.
The 384 rudder seems to be the best under .motor power.
To me anyway