Join Date: Jun 2011
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My wife and I had the pleasure of owning Swiftsure 24 hull #1 "Alfie" back in the late 70's and we still look back at her being one of the best boats we ever owned. During the five years we owned her, we and our daughter (who was 3 1/2 when we bought "Alfie") went on holidays every year of 4 and 5 weeks in the Gulf Islands as well as club racing and day-sailing. We always felt safe on her as her high ballast ratio, bolted and bonded hull/deck seam, bonded bulkheads etc. all were features usually associated with bigger, more expensive boats. She also very forgiving as she had an almost idiot-proof tendency to round-up and luff if you seriously overpowered her in strong winds. Although she looked tiny compared to the Catalina 30's and Petersen 35's in our club, when they went, so did we and felt perfectly secure in doing so. I think the only complaint we really had was with the Vire inboard ( a 2-stroke single cyl.). Ours at least would develop "vapour-lock" if you shut it off on a very hot day then tried to start it again too soon. The carburetor bolted right to the cylinder head and the sudden increase in temperature when water wasn't cooling the motor would "boil" the gas. This only happened after running for long periods on days where the air temp. was around 80 F. and up. Otherwise they're not a bad little motor which I believe you can still get parts for. Some boats were factory built as outboard models. Swiftsure 24's were built to rate "1/4 ton", as a competitor to the San Juan 24. I believe the San Juan is quicker in light air but my personal opinion is that the Swiftsure was a better all-round boat. "Better" is really a personal tastes/needs distinction anyway. One area you should check before purchasing is the deck and cabin top as they used balsa coring, considered "state-of-the-art" at the time, you can get soft-spots that may require some injecting. The plywood that many others used is hardly "bullet-proof" either. We never had any blistering, she left the factory with several coats of epoxy paint beneath the anti-fouling but that was 30 years ago, lots can happen. The builder was a local BC outfit, so I'm not surprised that info. is scarce, they ended up building powerboats and I think they folded eventually. I was told many years ago that the boat was designed to make use of a readily available supply of surplus Soling dinghy masts available from Proctor at the time. Accurate? - I don't really know. Someone who may have some old literature is Ray Donaldson at Harbour Yachts in West Van. He has quite a library of brochures etc. in case he needs info. on a boat he has for sale. He is also a very knowledgeable and honest broker.
The point of this long-winded epic is that if there is nothing wrong with this particular boat I think you'll be happy with it.