“Bufflehead likes the moderate air common to Marblehead. Her full headroom, ample beam and centerboard make her a comfortable cruiser able to get in to the coziest anchorages. “
Bufflehead, Morgan 30′
Interview with the Captain — Campbell Seamans
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Morgan?
Bufflehead was family owned and I know her well. My father purchased her for her light air sailing, shoal draft with centerboard up and full standing headroom.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
In her day Dad would have been looking at Pearsons and Bristols, which are heavier and less roomy.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
My father bought Bufflehead from Fran Forbes at Graves’ in May 1968. Hull number 3, she was the first 30 to leave St. Pete. Story has it she was headed to Maine for one Buckminster Fuller, but was diverted to Marblehead when Charley (Morgan) convinced Fuller he would be happier with the 42. Dad subsequently met Fuller that same summer, and the story was confirmed. Forbes knew Dad had been following the design and called him to the upper yard for a viewing. Fran wouldn’t have another model to show right away, so they worked out a deal and a free set of Barlow winches was installed, which are still on the boat. Barely more than a prototype, Bufflehead is different from all that came after her (168).
Bufflehead has been on the same mooring off of Cliff Street ever since she was purchased, first wintering at Cloutman’s (now Trading Co.) and then at Dion’s in Salem. I have been sailing her without adult supervision, with Jud Smith as my cohort, since 1971 when we were 13 years old. Her first suit of sails was cut by Dave Curtis. Miserlou’s Tom Egan has been a frequent crew over the years. Five generations of my family have sailed and cruised her from Block Island to Mt Desert Island. Many a summer she was based out of Robinhood Cove in Georgetown, ME for six weeks while various family members took a week or two. Pixie and I spent our honeymoon aboard in 1985.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
She was converted to Diesel in 1989, and I ditched the genoa when I took over ownership in 2004. I currently sail with a newish suit of North Sails designed by Brad White from North’s Salem loft. Lots of repairs over the years including the post under the deck step which we fashioned from a section of mast from a Hinckley Owens Cutter named Flair which had belonged to Fred Atkins at Dion’s. Universal diesel replacement for the Atomic 4, self- tailing jib winches, rigging, canvas, new rudder, through-hulls etc. The mantra is to keep everything finished, lubed and working.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
Bufflehead likes the moderate air common to Marblehead. Her full headroom, ample beam and centerboard make her a comfortable cruiser able to get in to the coziest anchorages. She sails well, but does not point. We are a tall family and she is really comfortable. Relatively easy to maintain.
Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
My family. I have been obsessed since I can’t remember.
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
Member at MYC since 2006.
What boats have you previously owned?
I had a Herreshoff 12 ½ for many years. My dinghy is a fully restored 1956 Dyer Dhow of which I am only the second owner. fully Open wooden skiff 14’ with 9.9hp outboard from the Salem Willows.
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
Lots of day-sailing, overnights on the mooring and locally around Mass Bay and Cape Cod. Did Block Island a few years back and need to get back to Maine.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
She is a little quirky
Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
Richard Schroeder at Dion’s was my co-owner for many years and has been invaluable in her success and longevity.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Morgan like yours?
Make sure you know it has a centerboard and that it is intact. She will not sail without it.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
Buffleheads are the little black and white ducks that spend the winter here and dive for their food.
CHECK IT OUT
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Bufflehead!