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Looking at a Seafarer 24 for sale. This a mid-70's racer/cruiser designed by McCurdy & Rhodes. Generally it's thought to be a well-built and, for its time, reasonably fast sloop, (PHRF @ 243).

The one I am looking at is dirty and neglected, and has an absentee owner (yes, alarm bells are ringing), but I've looked at a fair number of boats and somehow it has caught my eye. It has a keel/cb and the "futura" deck with (nearly) standing headroom. But value and clean-up aside, I think it may have a structural issue that would probably end my interest - hence this post.

Is the mast of the Seafarer 24 deck-stepped or keel-stepped, and even if the former, is it usual or acceptable to have the compression post under the mast to stop halfway between the deck and the sole (inside of a plywood bulkhead wall, in what feels like a bulb of fiberglass)? I'm surely no NA, but that strikes me as odd.

Also, the (folding) door to the V-berth is a huge way off from closing on the starboard side, and while I've read that the "headroom" in the futura deck model is 5'10", this one is several inches less.

All this makes me suspect there may be some deformity in the deck/cabin under the mast. The beam or strongback under the mast does not have an obvious problem to my eye, but when I found what I assume is a compression post inside a bulkhead wall under the mast, I was alarmed that it didn't reach down to the sole or keel.

Thoughts, especially from those who may be familiar with the boat or its design? Assuming there (probably) is a structural deformity, what steps (and approx $) would be involved in having it fixed by someone competent to do so (that would not be me)? Thanks in advance.
 

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I am familiar with the Seafarers of that era. There was a 24 in our club a number of years ago and one member currently has a 22. I even went to the plant in Huntington back in the 70s when I was shopping for a boat. I wouldn't call them well built. Typical of the mass produced boats of similar vintage like Catalina and ODay. Yes its unusual to build the compression post as you describe and that the V-berth door won't close is a clue that something is amiss. Needs further investigation.
 

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A 24' with a 243 PHRF was not "reasonably fast" for the mid 70's - a San Juan 24, from the EARLY 70's is nearly 1/2 minute a mile faster.

My old 1975 Kirby 26 (jumped up SJ 24) had a PHRF of 195
 
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