Not all design projects start with a blank sheet of paper. In this case, the starting point was a highly successful 36 footer, the MORRIS 36, of which Tom Morris had built some 32 beautifully individualized yachts before his clients suggested a “stretched” version. The objective was not to replace the 36, and indeed there has been no slowdown in demand for the “older” design. It was to develop, on essentially the same hull, a lengthened version which would offer additional sailing length for higher speed in open ocean conditions, increased lazarette stowage, and a more “modern” look.
Once the design got going, it became obvious that there were other areas in which the additional length could pay dividends. What started as an alteration merely to the hull, led to a new deck mold with 18 inches of additional cabin area beneath full headroom. This in turn engendered a new interior design which took advantage of a significant increase in usable cabin space.
A great deal of attention was paid to deck styling, resulting in a more contemporary, sleeker profile which marries perfectly with the longer hull. The house front is curved rather than flat, the housetop camber increased in order to lower the perceived height of the housesides, and the aft end of the house raked to serve more comfortably as a seatback when relaxing beneath the shelter of the dodger. Like a classic Harley or the J3 Cub, the MORRIS 38 is an example of classic design that keeps getting better with age and judicious, conservative design improvements.