Here, for Morgan Yacht Club viewers, is the story of how my family bought and has owned for nearly forty years “Bufflehead” our 1968, Morgan 30.
I was 10 years old in 1967, Dad had sailed the “Jab”, as we called her, for nine seasons. About this time, he became briefly interested in a used Morgan 34’ which had been around for a few seasons. Then he heard you were working on the M- 30. Dad followed the process, had the line drawings; intrigued by a small, affordable boat with standing headroom, shoal draft, ample accommodations, and the ability to sail in light air.
Indeed our M - 30’, “Bufflehead”, hums in anything from 5-15 knots of breeze, yet she is manageable up to 20 knots. Above and below, “Bufflehead” truly is more than a mere yacht; she is comfortable and familiar, well provisioned and snug. With the board up, she can squeeze into the most intimate of spaces with boats half her size. Privacy and quiet are often difficult to find on the water, especially in New England.
Fast forward two months and Dad is in Finland being wined and dined by MARIMEKKO’S gregarious, well connected, lady owner Armi Ratja. The party moves to Armi’s country estate, inside the Arctic Circle. The men are sent to Sauna, anonymously. Dad and his fellow guest, an older gent, begin to compare notes. Both like to sail. Both mention they have new boats. Both have Morgans! “You have my boat”, bellows Buckminster Fuller, a hero, of sorts, to my Dad, - Very Modern fellow. Dad states quite clearly that no, “Bufflehead” is his boat. Fuller counters that #3 had been headed to his yard in Maine when you, Charley, called him personally to recommend he upsize to the new M-41’ (Keel CB) as theM-30 was “a little too lively” for a man his age - True or False? (Well almost Ed.)
Dad met Buckminster Fuller again, for the second and last time, later that same summer, and “gammed” up to Bucky’s M -41’ “Intuition”, in front of his house somewhere in Penobscot Bay on the first of many cruises East for old “Bufflehead; She has more than a few forays West of Marblehead under her belt too.
“Bufflehead” is indeed lively. Three generations of my family have enjoyed her. Five generations have stepped aboard, and little has changed. She is still almost completely original. A section of spar from the schooner “Mohawk” comprises the main post under the deck-stepped mast, a teak sole circa 1972, a Universal Diesel replacement for the Atomic 4, circa 1989, roller furling rig #2, toe rails, new gel-coat, sails, and that’s it for capital improvements. She has been winter- stored for the last 27 years, all but two outdoors, at Dion’s Yacht Yard in Salem, Ma., where “Bufflehead” has been a stable mate of your 12 meter “Heritage” for the last twenty years - I rooted for her all the way, back in 1970.
Morgan 30’ #3, “Bufflehead,” hailing port “Rotten Dock”, Ma, now heads into her fortieth season, all from the same mooring in Marblehead Harbor. Jud Smith, 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, spent many a salad day on her, and your friend Dave Curtis made her first suit of sails. In 2004, I became the sole stakeholder in “Bufflehead.” Before long, with influence from “Jabberwock,” I tried out David’s original working jib as a way of improving visibility, and increased maneuverability, while sailing solo. The dividends have been marked: better handling, better visibility, better angle to the wind, and little loss in straight- line speed. Although not on my roller furler, Dave’s working jib is still my favorite headsail. His spinnaker, circa 1968, is still on board.
I have included attachments with photos of the old girl. The action shots are from the Dion’s annual “Friends Regatta”, 2005, in Salem Harbor. There is also a timeless shot in some nameless anchorage, an interior shot or two, and a picture of her predecessor, “Jabberwock,” still in local waters circa 1991.
“Bufflehead” is a great cruising boat, and daysailer and I do not see myself parting with her in the near future.
I love it when she hums.
February 15th, the day after Saint Valentine's, day marks the sixth year since our "Sweet Sally" Morgan passed on leaving her family, husband her puppy "Sable" and a host of lifelong friends and especially so many Morgan folks with whom she had been in contact over the years;
It was a collaborative effort between Charley Morgan and Charlie Hunt that the two dreamer, shipmate, sailing buddies conjured up and built their design of BRISOTE, ... the 32', plywood, "mix & match", yawl that won her way into history and offshore racing during 1957, ... winning silver in the famous ocean race from St. Petersburg, Fl to the finish line at El MORO Castle at Havana, Cuba.
Here, BRISOTE is shown stretching her legs on her very first
The first Morgan "production" model was the M-34 being launched in late August, 1965.
Earlier we visited with my skipper from years ago, Dick Dungan, for whom I designed the 38' sloop SABREthat later became the prototype for the Columbia 40. Awhile back Dick reacquired the old girl that had fallen on hard times, abuse and ownership that could not undertake the cost and her restoration and rehabilitation. Since then she has survived two hurricane damage events but is up and floating again with Dick diligently working on her interior and all systems. We are scanning some of the photos to show SABRE before Dick began his rescue mission and other interesting pictures together with a story of the work progress. The first part of this report is posted under the following link, Morgan Rescue, Resurrect, and Restore.