I thought it would be fun to take a critical look at one of Morris's current products, the M29. This boat was designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 2008 and is the smallest of Morris's M line, which includes 36, 42 and 52 foot models. I have to say I'm partial to this baby sister of the bunch because in my opinion, it comes closest to delivering the pure, undistilled essence of sailing pleasure.
Could anything be sweeter than sailing this little gem on a Sunday afternoon?
Draft: 4'-6" or 3'-8"
Disp: 4,735 lb
Ballast: 1.958 lb
Sail area: 395 sf
In studying the hull of the M29, notice that the waterline length is about 70% of the overall length. Those long overhangs in the bow and stern, combined with the narrow beam will give this boat a very easy motion in a seaway, but more importantly in a boat of this type, give it lovely proportions. It will not sail nearly as fast as a modern 29 footer with a plumb bow and wide transom, but it will sail more beautifully. And while speed is important, so is beauty.
|M29 reaching under mainsail and asymmetrical spinnaker.|
Photos courtesy of Morris Yachts
The M29 looks like a classic yacht above the waterline, but below it has fairly racy features including a deep fin keel and carbon fiber spade rudder. The mast is also made of carbon fiber, clear indications that Morris is taking performance seriously in this boat.
The deck is of classic proportions, with a short cabin trunk and graceful coamings around the generously proportioned cockpit. With such a small cabin trunk, a sliding companionway hatch becomes problematic. There's just not enough room for it, so it has to be made removable. I've grappled with this problem on several of my smaller designs over the years.
|Headsail controls built into the cockpit coamings|
|Gryphon 26, "Cinnamon Girl" circa 1979|
|The M29 embodies the same approach as the G26 about thirty years later.|
The Morris M29 has a basic accommodations plan that includes a pair of settee berths and a Porta-Potty, which is all that's necessary for this daysailer. I like the reliability of the inboard diesel.
|Just enough accommodations for an overnight|
The boat was given a deeper keel and rudder in 2003
The deep keel is probably a bit much for this boat.
The M29 a wonderful example of classic design and very high quality execution. It's expensive, but what a sweet ride!