Following are my thoughts on s/v SeaScape as of January 2016.
s/v SeaScape is a mid-70s, 41′ Morgan “Out Island” ketch. She’s got two cabins, with the aft cabin being a roomy double and the forward v-berth cabin containing two single beds (at different levels above the floor, so they don’t connect at all). The main dining table and the port-side couch can also be converted into a double and a single, respectively, though I’m not sure I’d want to make two people sleep on that double, it was more suitable for one person.
She’s seaworthy, doesn’t leak, and is overall a well-maintained boat for her age, but does have a number of smaller issues. The trouble with smaller issues is that they really become an issue until there are lots of them. In my opinion, she’d benefit from a pretty big overhaul greatly. I do like the center cockpit position, and being a ketch, it’s quite easy to balance the boat out so that the lack of autopilot isn’t as tiresome as would be expected, but the steering just numb. There’s no feedback between the wheel and the rudder at all and the boat is not nimble in the least, so it can be difficult to do any precise steering at all.
- The jib cover is torn in several places, and it looks like a tear is developing in the jib itself. The jib should be completely replaced.
- The mainsail is showing its age and is clearly getting pretty stretched out, and should also be completely replaced. The sailbag is in rough condition as well–again, it needs to be replaced.
- The mizzen seems to be in better shape than the other two sails, but is still clearly fairly old.
Lines & Rigging
- Most of the lines were in good shape. Some have started fading from age, and many have frayed ends. They should probably replace or maintain the lines a bit more frequently.
- The rigging seemed like it was in good shape. I ran my hand over the lower parts of most of the rigging on the boat and didn’t feel any snags, and the boat is set up with a lot of anti-chafing mechanisms to help the rigging and lines from wearing on each other.
Engine & Electronics
- The engine worked well and kept the boat moving when we needed it, though if the key isn’t turned quite enough the tachometer and temperature gauges don’t do anything! It’s also hooked up to an alternator on a 4:1 ratio, so at 1500rpm it can produce 100A through the alternator.
- The electronic wind meter wasn’t installed yet on the boat, and the only chart plotter is an Android tablet provided by the charter company, but it works just fine. Note that there is also no radar or AIS system. You won’t be doing any night sailing on this vessel!
- A generator is present as well, which can provide direct AC power for some of the kitchen gadgets (such as microwave and blender) as well as charge the battery banks. The generator provides about 30A.
- The battery banks are nice and large, around 1000Ah if I remember correctly. We didn’t have any issues with running out of power as long as we ran the engine or generator for a little while each day.
- Most of the lights in the boat are LED, which is great for energy savings.
- There’s some fishing gear aboard, but it’s old. We messed around with it a bit (we’d bought temporary fishing licenses in La Paz) but didn’t end up using it more than once.
- The kitchen utensils could use an update, with a few spoons and forks showing rust spots. The “sharp” knives work but aren’t particularly sharp. Otherwise, there are plenty of pans, plates, bowls, and cutting boards to get the cooking done, and we didn’t have too many problems.
- The icebox in the kitchen is insulated really well and worked great. The refrigerator worked fine, but it was just a dorm fridge re-purposed for the boat. A better insulated refrigerator with a more reliable latch would be a pretty big improvement!
- The dinghy was an old (but indestructible) Boston Whaler. The only issue here was the engine on the boat, which had a finicky choke, very long warm-up times, and seemed incapable of going in reverse without immediately dying.
- The grill actually works pretty well, even in light/moderate winds.
- Most of the interior was in good shape. The couches were comfortable, the beds were decently comfortable, and the pillows were ok. The floors were in good shape as well.
- The stairs down into the salon had their attaching brackets in bad condition, and fell out of position several times. These need a bit of re-drilling screw holes to be back in good shape.
- One of the wooden steps onto the swim platform at the stern is broken in half.
- A few handles on drawers throughout the boat are broken and need to be replaced.
- Both heads work just fine.
- It should be expected in a 40-year-old boat, but there’s lots of creaking and even a bit of banging when the boat is rocking back and forth at night on anchor.
Overall, the boat was fine. As long as you know what you’re getting when you charter it, you won’t have any issues. The charter company is friendly and Jim, their guy in La Paz, is just great.