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post #1 of 19 Old 06-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Talking rhodes Commodore swiftsure

Hi I'm in the process. of purchasing a rhodes 33 Commodore and have never even seen one in the water in real life i intend to take this boat around the world after her re-fit and was wondering if there is anyone out there with this boat or who has sailed this boat who could tell me a little about how she is through the water how is it to handel is their anything anything i should look out for etc. Etc.
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

Can no one lend a hatchet to my intellectual thicket?
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post #3 of 19 Old 06-08-2013
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Re: Rhodes Commodore Swiftsure

There's (I think) a Swiftsure 33 in the Gulfport Marina in Gulfport, FL, near St. Pete. I don't know if it is the original Swiftsure or the later Commodore Swiftsure 33. I also do not know who owns it, I've never been on it, and it's the only one I've seen in real life. Its designer as you may know is Phillip Rhodes, a well-regarded naval architect of the early-to-mid 20th century who designed lots of wooden and fiberglass yachts, many being blue water craft and fast for their time.

Wish I had more info for you. I am going to try to upload a few pictures of it that I took from the Marina dock about a month ago. Hope these help - and that a SNer or 2 with more experience of the boat will reply with more info.
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Gulfport Swiftsure crop stbd.jpg   Gulfport Swiftsure crop port.jpg   Gulfport Swiftsure crop stbd 2.jpg  

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-08-2013
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

I have never heard of the Rhodes Commodores but i am familiar with the Rhodes Swiftshore. The Swiftsures were built at the Lensch yard in Holland and sold as early Seafarers in the US. They were very well constructed and finished compared to most American built boats of that era. They sailed well, but were slow as compared to other boats of that era like the Rhodes designed Vanguard or the Tripp designed Galaxy.


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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

According to the write-up in sailboat data, both the original Swiftsure and the later Commodore Swiftsure were variations of the same design built by different firms in Holland. See link:
SWIFTSURE 33 (RHODES) sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

As for their sailing characteristics, I will defer to Jeff H.

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-10-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

Thank you all good information. I'm located in the NH area and i guess id like to meet or try to find a owner so i may pick their brain. any help with that would also be much appreciated. also jeff h i was curious where you got your info from? Have you owned one or perhaps been on one in the past?
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-11-2013
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

yeah Jeff's right, the DeVries Lentsch yard, and they were under the Seafarer name I believe. My dad was a Seafarer dealer in Marblehead in the 60s and 70s. Good boats, traditional wineglass shape, short waterline longer overhangs compared to todays fatties, very nice-handling, not wildly fast it's true. But seakindly and will keep you safe. If she still has that awful roller-reefing, change it over to jiffy reef, but you'll make a lot of changes anyway if you're looking to sail her deep-ocean.
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post #8 of 19 Old 06-11-2013
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

I knew these boats in several ways. After we bought our Rhodes designed Vanguard, my family lived on the boat during the summers and there was a Swiftshore on the next mooring. I was friends with the owner's son who was my age and I sailed on that boat on occasion, and we raced them in the beer cans of the era. My Dad and Mom chartered one in Virgin Islands in the 1960's and talked about how they sailed relative to our Vanguard. I actually tried to buy a boat from Seafarer in 1963 and so knew Brian Ackworth (owner of Seafarer) and the factory reasonably well. Whatever I wrote was from memory. The deal was that Brian Ackworth was an airline pilot (BOAC I think) and was flying to the States and Europe. Before the Common Market was fully up to speed, boats out of Holland were really cheaply priced and the Dutch were one of the first country to build quality glass boats and did a beautiful job of building boats. Seafarer, like Sail Master, like Van Breems, like LeCompte, had boats built in Holland for import to the US. But as the Common Market got up to speed, the prices shot up and so Seafarer started building their boats in the States.


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post #9 of 19 Old 06-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

Thank you all again. Good info and jeff is this brian you speak of still around?
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-17-2013
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Re: rhodes Commodore swiftsure

I seem to recall hearing that Brian Acworth had passed on a few years ago. But I cannot swear that I remember that correctly. Brian lived in Huntington when I knew him and a google search showed this:

Acworth Foundation
775 Park Ave
Huntington, NY 11743
(631) 425-7624

The Acworth Foundation was established in recognition of the education that founder Brian Acworth received through the altruism of others after he was evacuated from the U.K. during the Second World War. Because of the generosity of others, Mr. Acworth was able to attend the Choate School in Connecticut for grades 9 through 12. There are many participating schools throughout the United States and England.

You might try to contact the Ackworth Foundation in Huntington and see what they can tell you.


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Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-17-2013 at 09:44 AM.
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