Here is a link to some Seaferer info. It is not updated frequently, but has info on most models / years:
Seafarer Research Center
JeffH - I have read your posts over the last couple years, and have enjoyed your knowlegable input. I am on my 2nd Seafarer (had a 1983 23" and now a 1978 30'). I have had my current boat for 3 years, and have only been sailing for 4 years. It was definitely in need of TLC, and then some, but no more that any other 30 year old boat, that had not been properly maintained.
Re: build quality, I do agree that some things on the Seafarer were not of the highest quality, namely the cheap, dated "faux" wood panelling that came on many models.
However, although is is certainly a production boat, built to sell at an attractive price point, at that time, I do feel that the solid hull, skeg-hung rudder, encapsulated (lead, not iron/steel) keel, and rigging
did make for a solid boat for the money (coastal cruiser, not offshore specific).
I have read some previous posts about concerns / preferences for bolted on keels, over encapuslated keels. I am quite certain, after a few seasons of sanding bottom paint
off the hull and keel, and seeing no evidence of cracks in hull / keel, etc, that my keel will not just fall off some day, unless it has been purposefully driven into the rocks, over and over. Of course, one can argue that there could be unseen damage, from possible previous groundings in it's 30 years in the water, but I doubt that there is enough damage to cause a catastrophic failure, without some warning signs. We are not talking about deep draft, very thin race keels here.
Of course, like any 30 year old boat, there are things to look out for. I had a crack in the rudder to skeg gudgeon, (that looked like it had been repaired / welded before). I had a new, larger one machined, that I am sure will last for years to come. I also found a 1/2 broken chain link in the steering chain, that woudl have resulted in a loss of steering. (there is an emergency ruuder ,although it is too short to be very effective, due to the wheel being in the way).
I am not a fan of the interior liner, but I believe that similar liners are common on many production boats.
As long as it has been well maintained, I would have as much confidence in a Seafarer, as many other production boats.
You certainly may feel that I am defending the boats, only because I own one, However, after owning two of them, and doing major work on my current one, I do feel that I know it pretty well.
I have had a few very experienced sailors out with me as well, who felt that the boat sailed well, despite it's old sails. It is a bit squirly in a following sea, off the stern quarter, but nothing I can't live with. I have not sailed enough other, similar sized boats to say how much better they would perform in this type of seas.
When you mentioned the build quality, what are the specific issues that you have noticed with them, and how do those issue compare with similar aged hunter, catalinas, C&Cs, etc?