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  #1  
Old 07-02-2010
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Clark Boat Co. SJ-24

All,

I know alot of boat reviews deal with specific uses and features of boats, however, I feel it is pretty easy given some time, ingenuity, and of course money, to tailor your boat to your needs and/or uses. That being said, it seems the issue at the heart of the matter is what type of reputation for construction quality does the manufacturer of your boat have?

I am looking at purchasing a San Juan 24 as a first sailboat. I am very familiar with all types of maritime issues (Merchant Marine) and am not a neophyte by any means, just new to sailing as a pleasure activity.

I would like to know what the general reputation of the Clark Boat Company and their construction is? The SJ24? I am not one of these people who is planning to "move up" alot or become a part time yacht broker as some people are, but I want to make sure that the sailboat I purchase is capable of holding up for the long haul with proper attentive maintenance and is also very solidly constructed. From all the research I have done, I fell the SJ24 is pretty solid, but I have not heard specifics on the reputation and first hand experience.

Clark Boat Company and San Juan 24...please, fire away!!

Thanks everyone! I appreciate any and all input!

Regards

Greg
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Old 07-02-2010
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They built a solid boat. MANY are still are on the water, sailing, winning races etc.

From that standpoint, an SJ may serve you very well.

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Old 07-02-2010
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I think the SJ 24 is a nimble little boat, and overall not badly built... I know of issues with the support beam for the mast step, so watch for that.

The cockpit is smallish with very narrow coamings that are uncomfortable to sit on while beating. There's also an odd molding/fence forward of the cockpit on the side decks that is a bit of a tripping hazard, but I suppose its intent is to prevent some water from flowing aft on deck....

Designed by Bruce Kirby of Laser fame it's an IOR influenced design that's a bit squirrely in a breeze down wind, but as Marty says, lots of them around and they're a nice looking package at a decent price.

I think the SJ 7.7 might be a slightly more well-rounded design with some better habits.
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Old 07-06-2010
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I do not have specific knowldge of the SJ24, but I researched Clark's SJ21 very thoroughly and decided to pass. The overall consensus was that they were very popular, but rather lightly-built compared to competitors of similar size and vintage, like O'Day, Chrysler, Santana, et al. But then they are also faster than most of those.

I would stay with the oft-given advice one sees here... evaluate your anticipated use, where and how will you use it, whether you will trailer, etc.

That should lead you to design criteria (light / heavy, swing-keel or fixed, etc.) you should be looking for.

And of course, for older boats, it is the actual condition of any particular specimen... give me a good-condition lesser design over a marginal-condition great design any day.
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Old 07-07-2010
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Quick, fun, sails easily to its rating if driven hard & well. Good upwind and reaching; as Faster notes, it has a reputation for looseness downwind under a kite. Requires a quick hand on the vang. But it settles down if you don't push it. The SJ24 performs well in light to medium air but may struggle in short chop or gales.

Clark boats were moderate build quality with issues typical to boats of that age and era. Deck cores may be wet, transoms can suffer rot, and chainplates should be inspected closely. Deck hardware & rigging are not as undersized as on some entry-level boats of this period, but some of it is probably original and may need updating. These were simple boats and an experienced friend -- perhaps armed with a moisture meter -- should be help enough to judge the condition of this specimen.

Good luck and happy sailing!
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Old 07-07-2010
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I sail a SJ24 and enjoy it a great deal. I learned on a big C&C 121, then had fun on some Lazers and Bravos. This is my second season with this boat, and I don't see myself getting bored anytime soon. Some new sails would certainly up the performance level, but it is currently just a great day/day+ sailer.
I will echo what others have said regarding downwind sailing, though it is not a huge ordeal. I sail out of Seattle and my usual trip is to head into the wind for a couple of hours and then turn around to relax. The boat sleeps five in theory, but if you have a big head sail on it can take some positioning to to get that many on board. There are a few people out there still making upgraded parts for the SJ24 still.
FWIW I think you would be hard pressed to walk around a marina here in the PNW and NOT see at least one SJ24. I also know of 2 one design fleets being assembled in the area.
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Old 07-08-2010
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Everyone

Thanks so far for your responses...

For anyone else interested in SJ-24 stuff here is an article I found while I was doing some research on the boat about how a SJ24 was the only boat in her class to finish the '82 Farallones Race and shockingly how the owner of said boat circumnavigated on her:

Latitude 38 Letters - May 2006

It is towards the end of the page titled "Same Gulf, Different Conditions."

I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction to anyone who makes parts still for these boats? I saw someone mentioned that in one of the previous responses.

Thanks!

Greg
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Old 07-08-2010
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Parts list is for the SJ28, but this is the person who still makes some parts. I have seen a nice smoked plexiglass forward hatch he makes as well as some nice fiberglass rails that the compainon way hatch cover slides on. Prices that people told me they paid were pretty comparable to what is listed. He is also linked on an SJ21 forum FWIW.
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Old 07-08-2010
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I guess I can't post links? Just google 'Gene Adams San Juan'
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Old 07-08-2010
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colb, make 2 more posts, then you can do links. You need 10 posts to do so, this slows the spmmers down a bit, hence the why can not post links at this time.

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