BOATOWNER’S BOAT REVIEW
The Morgan 27 The best boat I ever sailed By Rick Mannoia
y dad says that a boat should be pretty to look at. Our 1971 Morgan 27 has all those classic, traditional sailboat lines, making her one of the best-looking boats in the harbor. She is a very pretty boat. We sold our house in Sayville, NY; sold, gave away or threw out most of our belongings; we even sold our sailboat, a North American 23, Paradise, and moved to Fleming Island, FL. I felt like Jed Clampett. We are waiting for our new house to be built on the St. Johns River in Rivertown. I figured while we waited, we’d buy a new sailboat. I could explore my way along the beautiful St. Johns River. If nothing else it was a good way to spend a winter. The best deals are those that come along when you least expect them. I found a beautiful 1971 Morgan 27, Dulcinea, for sale. I bought it right on the spot. I am used to sailing a 2,800-pound, swing-keel sloop, but the Morgan with her fixed fin keel, displaces 7,000 pounds. That’s three-and-a-half tons of sailboat. What a difference! She is big and strong, yet very responsive and incredibly well-made. Her 3,300 pounds of ballast alone weighed more than my North American 23! There is a learning curve to be certain, but each time I go out on her, I feel a little more like she’s my own boat. It will take a while to
earn her respect, but she’s mine. The Morgan is as strong as a tank and is built to take almost anything the sea can throw against her. Since their inception in the 1960s, Morgan Yachts have been held in high esteem by racers and cruisers alike. Their reputation precedes them. She’s 27.5 feet overall (LOA) with 24.5 feet (LWL) on the water. Her swept-back fin keel needs 4.5 feet of water. At 9’ 10”, she’s plenty beamy. She’s called a racing yacht, and if nothing else, is designed to sail fast. If you look at her body, her topside and the inside of the cabin, everything is perfectly streamlined. Even at rest, just looking at her gives you the impression of speed. The masthead sits 40.5 feet off the water. Good news for me; we can clear the Shands Bridge for the Mug Race with plenty of room. The main is listed at 155 square feet. The headsail dimension changes naturally, depending on which sail you fly. She can handle a lot of canvas. The traveler sits on a stainless steel bracket over the cabin entrance. It looks as if it’s been repositioned over the course of 45 years. A 15-gallon freshwater tank is easily accessible through the lazarette in the cockpit. The optional Bimini top allows you to sit comfortably in the cockpit without having that
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