The Swiftsure 24 is a cute little boat, there are several around here but they are definitely not a mainstream brand. I've always kind of liked them for what they are, but they will be smallish for the length by today's standards.
The extra rigging is likely a check stay or a running back, (IIRC this boat is a 7/8 fractional rig) used to help tension the forestay when beating. They need to be set up to windward (and released to leeward) on each tack and released when going downwind. This adds a task to each maneouver, and many who are not performance minded often leave them stowed somewhere and don't bother. As long as the integrity of the rig does not require them, all you lose is some perfomance (sail shape and pointing ability).
The squishy deck is a bit of a concern, and to understand the implications fully you need to try to find out just how the deck was constructed. It sounds like delamination of a cored deck. If the deck is not cored (fairly unlikely but possible) then it's simply too thin, and repeated flexing will eventually cause a problem. As I recall the deck has a pretty severe camber, which should help to stiffen it some. However the boat has survived this long, and at $2K you can afford to do some repairs perhaps.
If you get yourself on the Burrard Civic list, be sure to keep at them. If you simply "wait for the call" you'll likely be waiting for years. Did you try the Fishermans' wharf (FCHA)? Port Moody will wear thin in a hurry if you plan to do much sailing on English Bay.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
Last edited by Faster; 02-23-2009 at 08:05 PM.