Beautiful, strong, and capable the Orion 27, introduced in 1979, was one of the earlier boats to come from the well trusted Pacific Seacraft stable. Pacific Seacraft built its reputation on robust boats constructed with attention to detail. It was notable for being the last design by Henry Mohrschladt, who was one of the two original founders of Pacific Seacraft. Built in California, most examples to this day can be found on the West Coast and at least one has circumnavigated. Brec Morgan set out in Otter in 1998, visiting over 50 countries before completing his odyssey in 2003.
Unsurprisingly for a Mohrschladt design, the Orion 27 has conservative lines. Under the waterline is a long keel with a forefoot cutaway to improve nimbleness and reduce wetted area. The sections carry the tried and true wine-glass shape. Don’t expect record setting pace with this kind of shape; think strong, safe, and good manners for heaving-to in the rough. There’s a 6’1″ bowsprit to help carry her canvas and the rig came in 3 variations; sloop, yawl, and cutter. The cutter rig, best suited to longer distance sailing has a self tending staysail.
In addition to the three rig options, Pacific Seacraft offered two cabin layouts, and steering in tiller or wheel; note most examples are found with wheel steering. In 1981 an improved MkII version was introduced with a longer coachroof, two deck hatches, and an extra set of portlights.
The two layouts were named “A” and “C”. Both have a double v-berth, a hanging locker, a head, and a quarter-berth. A shower located in the head was an optional extra as was a pressurized water system for it.
The A-layout is more common and has a relatively roomy U-shaped dinette to port, lowering the dinette table converts the area into a double berth. On the starboard side is the galley with a nav-station further aft.
The C-layout was designed for longer cruises. Here the U-shaped dinette is sacrificed to gain room for a larger head and shower combo as well as providing space for a larger v-berth and more stowage in the forward sections. At the bottom of the companionway is a wet locker.
Through the years the boat has proven to be of sturdy construction. The hull is of hand-laid fiberglass and the decks are of glass cored with plywood. The hull to deck join is a double-flange bedded in polyurethane adhesive, thru-bolted with stainless bolts. This forms the bulwarks which encloses the deck and is capped in teak.
» Orion 27 Owners Yahoo Group
» A Field Guide to Sailboats of North America by Richard M. Sherwoo, p192