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serah 02-23-2009 07:19 PM

Swiftsure 24?

My boyfriend and I are in the process of hunting for a "vintage" racer/cruiser. We've stumbled upon what seems to be a jem of a little boat - a 1974 Swiftsure 24 in Victoria BC for only $2000. Details are on another thread here ( - my apologies for the double posting - just wanted to see if anyone who wouldn't be sucked into looking at a thread on Cals knew anything about a Swiftsure 24)

We've looked at a bunch of others in this general range - mostly Cal 20s and 25s, a few San Juans, Ericsons and Kirbys. For the price this is a great little project boat, and far "more boat" than others in the range. We've gone over her with a pretty fine toothed comb, and are thrilled with what we see. We may have a surveyer come take a peek at her next week.

However, I can't seem to find ANYTHING on these boats. Her PHRF rating according to is 231. Not particularly zippy, but in the same range as a similarly sized C&C, Catalina or Hunter.

Does anyone know who built these? I'm finding quite a few things on the Swiftsure 33s built by Rhodes, but not a mention of the 24s. And finally - when all your online digging has pulled up nothing, is there somewhere you can go for this sort of information? Someone must have come across one of these in their wanderings...

Faster 02-23-2009 08:25 PM

...Responded in your other thread first, Serah......;)

2old2growup 06-23-2011 11:23 PM

Swiftsure 24
Hi Serah,
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.

Faster 06-24-2011 12:00 AM

Welcome to Sailnet, "2old"

Just a gentle reminder that, as you cruise the archives here try to keep an eye on the dates of the posts you are responding to. Serah's post is a couple of years old and she's not been around for a while.

Nevertheless that's a good discussion of the relatively unknown Swiftsure 24 and so thanks for that!

serah 06-28-2011 06:23 PM

We loved that boat! We sailed it for about two years before we found our new boat. We installed a Wallas heater and surprisingly, cruised that boat year round. Eventually 24 feet just wasn't big enough for us. She sailed beautifully, and yes, had a bad tendency to round up violently; especially a problem as we were almost always overcanvased. We debated putting proper furling and more reefing points, but again, we simply chose to buy a boat that would be more appropriate for what we wanted to do. We sold the boat last September and the new owner ended up installing furling.

Apparently the hull molds are still available somewhere in the interior. I think we found out they were built by De Kleer? (sp?) in Richmond in the 70s.

Faster 06-28-2011 06:52 PM

Hi Serah! Good to hear from you again.... so.....

Now you gotta tell us what you're sailing now!

The DeKleer brothers in Richmond built the Fraser line, and the Endurance 35s in glass... didn't know they built the Swiftsures too.

serah 06-28-2011 07:01 PM

We went to the opposite end of the spectrum, with a heavy Douglas 32. Still in the Vancouver area, living aboard at Mosquito Creek.

There are many many days that I miss the responsiveness of our wee Samurai (the Swiftsure)... and her pointing ability!

I was surprised by how many people recognized our old Swiftsure, and came by to tell their stories about racing on her sisterships as youths. It was one of them that mentioned that it may have been DeKleer's that built her; so really, entirely possible a rumour.

Funny, as my family bought a Fraser from them in 1985, and I remember being at their yard about age 4 watching them put together our hull.

Faster 06-28-2011 07:08 PM

Congrats! Glad to hear things have worked out.. nice when you can get into something and it works out to that degree of success!

Not a particularly common boat.. we'll try to keep an eye out for you this summer. We're off for 7 weeks on Thursday!

SloopJonB 06-29-2011 11:10 AM

It is very possible that the DeKleers were involved with the Swiftsure - they did a lot of tooling - but I know the boats were built in Kelowna at the time they were going up against the SJ24's in the early 70's.

sailhound104 09-26-2011 04:39 PM

Swiftsure 24'
I am the current owner of Samurai, the Swiftsure 24' and having a great time with her! She is a wonderful boat. Since I added the Harken Furling she is a joy to sail single-handedly. I have disabled the extra backstay/mast tensioners and have raised the boom, replaced the waterpump, but that's it. She's in great shape. Time to upgrade, though. I have an Ericson 29 waiting for me as soon as I can sell her.

Thanks for all the great notes on this boat. The previous owners did a great job of shoring up the foredeck, but there is a spongy spot on top of the cabin. I will look at the injection idea.


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