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Old 09-24-2011
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Seafarer 24 swing keel, keel pivot? Sailing qualities?

In a moment of weakness last night I purchased a "sight unseen" Seafarer 24 swing keel on Ebay.

I've never seen one, and don't like swing keels. But it was only 50 miles away and cheap. Also, I've looked at a lot of boats recently, Ericsons and the one Seafarer (fixed keel) I saw really stood out.

Question 1: Anyone familiar with what the pivot pin is made of? That's my biggest concern. If it turns out to be a stainless bolt, is there some special stainless marine alloy I should acquire? Or just buy the best available at the hardware store.

Any other pivot info would be appreciated (trunks, leaks, strengths, weaknesses).

Question 2: Has anyone sailed on one of these boats? I expect to work on it for a year or so and will tailor my efforts to the expected quality of sailing, i.e., more effort if it's a good performer, cheaper way out if it's a dog. I'll be sailing the coast and bays of Maine. Maybe some of the larger lakes, I'm on a small lake and near Sebago Lake.

I'm thinking with the narrow (less than 8' in the charts) beam and the swing keel I could trailer it anywhere, but again, I don't want to get a real nice trailer if the boat doesn't point fairly well and sail at least OK.

My truck can easily tow the weight of two or three of this size boat on a trailer, so that's not an issue.

Thank you to anyone who chimes in, good or bad!
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Old 09-24-2011
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Found this on the net for Seafarer 24:

Ballast. Fixed lead ballast, total weight 1,200 lbs (c/b), 1,400 lbs (keel). Hydro-dynamically streamlined fiberglass centerboard on centerboard model weight 342 lbs. incorporates 207 lbs. additional lead ballast and is worm gear winch operated to provide positive continuous position control at all times. Centerboard swings up if it hits an obstruction and can be removed for painting from the outside the boat without any risk of leaks. Lead ballast custom cast and weighed by Seafarer, structurally laminated to hull and centerboard.

So, at least it (the centerboard) is not as heavy as I imagined, it sounds quite good actually. I could go to new areas and find all the hidden thin water and rocks, without sinking!

Real good for lakes, where charts are non existent or very poor. Lots of unmarked granite even in the big lakes I have charts for.

Last edited by skygazer; 09-24-2011 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 09-24-2011
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i have a santana 23 with a swing keel, you will not regret it . There is maybe one place that i cannot go in the area i sail. otherwise with keel and rudder up, i can operate in 12 inches of water.
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Old 09-25-2011
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We love our swing keel, we can go almost anywhere we want! I'd get a "will do" trailer at first unless you plan on dry sailing, we use our trailer only a couple times a year and thats only for seasonal transition and we did pull out for Irene. We will be in a larger boat within a few years but there are many things I'll miss about out current boat...one is the swing keel and rudder.
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Old 09-25-2011
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A friend of mine has a Seafarer 24, swing keel. It is a good solid, well mannered boat. He has taken some long trips in it. I think you will be happy. I also had a Macgregor 22 with a SWING KEEL, which I loved. Now I have a depth sounder, and worry more
Lou
Mariner 28
Fair Haven NJ
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Old 09-25-2011
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Thanks all for the encouragement! Glad you like yours. I haven't even been told where to see mine yet () , I can see it's at a private residence from the photos.

I like this comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillia28 View Post
Now I have a depth sounder, and worry more
Lou
Mariner 28
Fair Haven NJ


I'll probably just use my swing keel as my depth finder.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Congratulations on the S24 purchase

Skygazer,

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality and performance of the Seafarer 24. The boat and manufacturer has quite a history. She was built in Huntington, NY and was designed by Philip Rhodes & James McCurdy.

Sailboat Designs of *McCurdy & Rhodes

I wouldn't be too concerned about the Stainless Steel pin for the swing keel. It is (if it's the same as the Seafarer 29) permanently embedded in the fiberglass trunk. I'm not aware of any issues with the pin. The keel cable is another matter. If it is stainless steel I highly advise replacing it with a synthetic line like Kevlar. Stainless steel cable will deteriorate in salt water within a matter of weeks. The last thing you want is a weighted keel crashing down when the cable breaks. There are documented occurrences of this happening and severe damage to the fiberglass hull, loss of the keel completely, and near sinking has resulted.

I also have a swing keel (Seafarer 29) and I do not raise the keel unless I've hit bottom or grounding is eminent. As soon as I have sufficient water under the keel, it goes back down. I switched to a Kevlar cable and it's been on my boat for 10 years, and I'm in salt water.

There is some information on the S24 available at SailboatData.com.

SEAFARER 24 sailboat on sailboatdata.com

I also suggest joining two online resources for Seafarer owners.

Sailnet Seafarer Forum

Seafarer - SailNet Community

Seafarer Yacht Group on Facebook.

Log In | Facebook

You may also find some helpful information at the Seafarer Research Center. Unfortunately, the owner hasn't updated the web site in some time, but there is still a lot of good info available.

Seafarer Research Center

I hope this is helpful.
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Old 09-26-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesnewsome View Post
I hope this is helpful.
Very helpful, thank you. I would not have dreamed of considering a synthetic line for the keel cable, I thought stainless was "de rigueur" for that purpose.

I have found that the chain I originally used for mooring my floating docks in a fresh water lake were eaten up in a few years, but after switching to nylon or poly (forget which) lines they have lasted a decade.

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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Seafarer 24 swing keel, keel pivot? Sailing qualities?

Congrats to purchasing the Seafarer. I have owned a similar one for many years and was very pleased with it.
I would be happy to share with you photos etc - things i have done on my boat - if you are interested.
You can contact me directly at zorang@videotron.ca
cheers
Zoran, Montreal
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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Congratulations on the S24 purchase

[QUOTE=jamesnewsome;779593]Skygazer,


I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the quality and performance of the Seafarer 24. The boat and manufacturer has quite a history. She was built in Huntington, NY and was designed by Philip Rhodes & James McCurdy.


I wouldn't be too concerned about the Stainless Steel pin for the swing keel. It is (if it's the same as the Seafarer 29) permanently embedded in the fiberglass trunk. I'm not aware of any issues with the pin.

The keel cable is another matter. If it is stainless steel I highly advise replacing it with a synthetic line like Kevlar. Stainless steel cable will deteriorate in salt water within a matter of weeks. The last thing you want is a weighted keel crashing down when the cable breaks. There are documented occurrences of this happening and severe damage to the fiberglass hull, loss of the keel completely, and near sinking has resulted.

I also have a swing keel (Seafarer 29) and I do not raise the keel unless I've hit bottom or grounding is eminent. As soon as I have sufficient water under the keel, it goes back down. I switched to a Kevlar cable and it's been on my boat for 10 years, and I'm in salt water.


unquote/

My Congrats also. I have been eyeing a few different Seafarers in that size range and found them laid up very solidly. I have yet to crawl around in the bilges however.

My response is in regards to the comments about stainless and its durability under water. I recently had a weighted centerboard drop on me while on a sail and spent a sizable amount of time diving under the boat in a pretty good blow trying to rig a temporary pennant The original was stainless. It was ten years old and had not been out of the water for at least three years. On inspection in the yard it was absolutely impeccable. I hear alot of theoretical assertions about metal tech on here and no doubt much of it is well informed but I read that a stainless cable wont last in salt water I start having little questions like "What kind of stainless" in what marina with bad electrolysis and grounding issues etc....not a piece of stainless on this boat or any boat I have had back to 1968 has suffered from significant or even noticeable deterioration underwater.
Given the variety of metals out there and the variety of manufacturers. grades etc no doubt I have been lucky but feel the statement above is inadvisably dramatic. If stainless deteriorated that badly in cable form under a boat beleive me it would only be a few months before it started rotting just above the gunnels.
Anyway a little balance in judging materials for boating goes along way and maybe someone should remember that 90% of all metal on board most sailing ships was forged or cast iron and that even my first clam boat was fastened with galvanized fastenings and lasted ten years before it was thought wise to refasten with bronze.
I was tempted to convert to the new rope pennants but frankly they can be cut too easily one thing they are not miraculous about is real abrasion )sand, broken barnacles, crab trap cables etc. But just for the fun of it I will check back with reports on my stainless...Lets see how long it lasts
Have a great time with that boat!
ChrisCod

Last edited by oysterman23; 03-08-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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