Redesign/rebuilding Nelson-Merek Morgan 43

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by mxsailor, Sep 14, 2007.

  1. mxsailor
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: San Carlos, Mexico

    mxsailor Junior Member

    I recently purchased a 43' Nelson-Merek designed Morgan sloop, 1987 with a gutted interior. No motor, most bulkheads gone, but a complete rig, dbl spreader mast, winches, sails and a terrific hull... I paid $1K for the boat and $11K to move it to Mexico where I live. Labor is cheap here, though most of the work I will do myself, and because of climate, can work year-round. The PO (previous owner) rebuilt decks and cabin, but they're rotting away so will need to replace anyway. I would like to redesign this boat to a pilothouse, single couple cruiser and open up the interior some. Any ideas where to start? Do I hire an architect? Should I just start posting my drawings, concepts, ideas, photos on this forum for consideration?
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    To develop a layout, this is the place. Once you have established where everything goes including all of the interior accomodations, tankage, pilot house layout, etc., it would be wise to seek out the services of a marine architect who specializes in the type of construction required (likely epoxy/glass on plywood, for the most part). He can specify and advise appropriately.
    Definitely post your drawings so that you can avoid prematurely advancing in a direction you might later back away from. The right decisions early on, like choosing the main roads on a trip, save the most time.
    Is your boat like an Out Island?

    Alan
     
  3. mxsailor
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: San Carlos, Mexico

    mxsailor Junior Member

    No, Alan. I still own a 1973 33 OI I bought in '94. The N/M 43 went on to become the hull for the Catalina/Morgan 44. This has a fin keel and skeg hung semi-balanced rudder.
    Thanks for the encouragement to bring my ideas here. This will be the biggest boat project I've tackled so far. I believe the N/M 43 is an ideal foundation for the performance cruiser I want to end up with.
     
  4. GMP
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    Location: Azores

    GMP New Member

    43 Nelson Marek Morgan 1987

    just saw mxsailor´s 2007 post on rebuilding an 87 NM 43 Morgan somewhere in Mexico.
    wondering if work is completed as I´ve been sailing a 43 Morgan for the last 17 years.
     
  5. BATAAN
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: USA

    BATAAN Senior Member

    One approach is, try building the interior out of pine boards with S/S screws after your proper structural bulkheads are bonded in. It goes very quickly, is cheap and above all, is very easily changed. Plywood interiors tend to become permanent, are more hassle to fit the pieces and if you get something like a door or a counter height an inch off, you're stuck with it. Ergonomics of boat interiors are complex and really only revealed upon use. I have changed quite a bit about the insides of my 40' yawl over the last 30 years and am very glad I did it this way, instead of the cast-in-ply-and-epoxy usual modern approach. What seems fine on paper or upon the first few uses can grow more and more annoying as time goes on, wishing what you'd done differently. With cheap pine 'farmhouse' interiors, all can be altered, so will. And varnished pine looks very nice.
     
  6. mxsailor
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: San Carlos, Mexico

    mxsailor Junior Member

    I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything about this project, but life has a way of throwing my priorities off. Cars that break down, floods from hurricanes and tropical storms, purchase of a new home, friends that up and die, economic impacts from the lunatics in the US, and more. I'm now working with a member of this forum who has a degree in NA and my designs are changing. I've purchased a 15kw diesel genset and plan to go diesel electric propulsion and would also like to embed solar cells in much of the deck. Does anyone have experience with semi-flexible solar cells than can be custom fitted?
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    A 15KW diesel genset, electric drive and a deck of embedded solars cells?? Sounds like your "economic impact" created by the US wasn't that bad...

    The semi flexible cells have a lower output than rigid. That's about the only difference of concern.
     
  8. mxsailor
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: San Carlos, Mexico

    mxsailor Junior Member

    CatBuilder- Nothing is too costly if you spread it over decades...
     

  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    True. I do have more to add, then.

    You can't spread this project out over a decade. It is important that all of your systems work together in a technical system like the one you are considering. You will need batteries, charge controllers, interfaces to activate the generator, motor controllers, motors, etc...

    If you don't buy all of these at one time, ensuring their compatibility, you stand to spend a fortune and have 10 year old technology mixed with new technology (in 10 years when you are done).

    My advice would be to forget about buying anything right now and just throw the money aside for 10 years in something safe or high return if you have the ability to manage risk. That way, you can have all new stuff (instead of some 10 year old rusting stuff) to work with when the time comes. Fit it out all in the last year. Solar prices (especially flexible) will continue to drop and who knows... you might find that some manufacturer makes an entire working system that you can buy and drop in for less than the sum of the parts now.

    Definitely do not buy a system like this over 10 years. You'll be in the land of broken dreams if you go that path on a high tech project.
     
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