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Swift/ Morton Explorer

Sandgrounder

Active member
Joined
2 Nov 2009
Messages
3,488
Location
Me: Merseyside; Boat: Anchor swallowed
Further to my recent thread about camping dinghies, I am wondering about one of the above-mentioned boats of which I have a few vague memories from about 25 years ago.

Does anyone know anything about them or even have experience of sailing one? Looks as if it might work well as a dinghy cruiser but I can't find anything courtesy of the usual sites e.g. google and yachtsnet.
 

LittleSister

Well-known member
Joined
12 Nov 2007
Messages
11,954
Location
Me Norwich - Boat Orwell & Southwold
There was a review of one some years ago in, I think, PBO. (You can probably buy a reprint.) I was quite interested in them for a while, and seem to recall that article made me think there were important (from a practicality point of view) differences between the different versions (Mk 1 or Mk 2, manufacturer, or whatever), though I can't now recall what they were.

I think one of them was involved in a fatal accident investigated by MAIB ( I think it was the one where a young woman ended up in the water under the boat, but the school(?) group leaders didn't realise in time that someone was missing). IIRC the Report recommended some modification to the boat, or highlighted the hazard of some characteristic of it.

Apologies this is all rather vague, but hope it's of some interst.
 

Sandgrounder

Active member
Joined
2 Nov 2009
Messages
3,488
Location
Me: Merseyside; Boat: Anchor swallowed
There was a review of one some years ago in, I think, PBO. (You can probably buy a reprint.) I was quite interested in them for a while, and seem to recall that article made me think there were important (from a practicality point of view) differences between the different versions (Mk 1 or Mk 2, manufacturer, or whatever), though I can't now recall what they were.

I think one of them was involved in a fatal accident investigated by MAIB ( I think it was the one where a young woman ended up in the water under the boat, but the school(?) group leaders didn't realise in time that someone was missing). IIRC the Report recommended some modification to the boat, or highlighted the hazard of some characteristic of it.

Apologies this is all rather vague, but hope it's of some interst.
Thanks I'll look
 

Lakesailor

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15 Feb 2005
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35,332
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Near Here
I don't know the model you mention but Morton did build the Eagle 525 after taking over production from someone else. It was a small cabin cruiser though.
 

explores

Well-known member
Joined
17 Feb 2007
Messages
3,592
Location
cornwall
Further to my recent thread about camping dinghies, I am wondering about one of the above-mentioned boats of which I have a few vague memories from about 25 years ago.

Does anyone know anything about them or even have experience of sailing one? Looks as if it might work well as a dinghy cruiser but I can't find anything courtesy of the usual sites e.g. google and yachtsnet.
Is this what you mean
 
Joined
23 Sep 2010
Messages
29,185
Location
West Sussex / Hants
There couldn't be much more difference between boats !

Jumbleduck is right, the Eagle 525 is a modified Skipper 17, with a small almost cuddy cabin, large cockpit and twin lifting plates; in my view an inshore / estuary sort of cruiser, but suitable for trailer sailing ( if any boat is ! ).
 

explores

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Joined
17 Feb 2007
Messages
3,592
Location
cornwall
That is my boat,and it sails really well.There are loads of storage space,and it has a cuddy.They say it is self draining but it isn't really.It also has a cover that completely covers the boat.It has a plastic window and ventilation holes in it so ideal for sleeping in overnight.It has its own buoyancy and is unsinkable.I have been out in it in some rough weather and it always felt safe.I first sailed them in Greece when Sunsail had about six of them for the customers to use.Mine is for sale due to replacement hip.Nice boat,
 

Keith 66

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Joined
21 Jun 2007
Messages
1,271
Location
Benfleet Essex
A Dutch friend bought one a few years ago & it was a lovely boat, the design was closely based on the 17ft Hampden boat in Howard Chappelles boatbuilding book.
The Hampden boats used two Spritsails which the early GRP versions also used. I tried to track down the mould only to find it had finally been sold to an Irishman on ebay who had supposedly converted it into a fishing boat. If so rather a shame!
 

Lakesailor

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Joined
15 Feb 2005
Messages
35,332
Location
Near Here
That is my boat,and it sails really well.There are loads of storage space,and it has a cuddy.They say it is self draining but it isn't really.It also has a cover that completely covers the boat.It has a plastic window and ventilation holes in it so ideal for sleeping in overnight.It has its own buoyancy and is unsinkable.I have been out in it in some rough weather and it always felt safe.I first sailed them in Greece when Sunsail had about six of them for the customers to use.Mine is for sale due to replacement hip.Nice boat,
Nicely done. Hope it finds a new home. :encouragement:
 

Ronan Beirne

New member
Joined
14 Sep 2020
Messages
3
I have an Explorer 19' day boat now 3rd Summer 2020 and delighted with it. Easy to rig and set sail in no time. Loads of space for day sailing and fishing. 4HP outboard pushes her along grand. I tow the boat from winter storage to Summer hard standing and launch as required from club platform. Probably a bit on the heavy suide for towing long distance, trailer is OK but not great so looking to install "guide on" uprights to ease the recovery operation. I replaced the dodgey braked hubs with non braked ones. The rig is simplicity itself and as I had a Dabber but Explorer more efficient and sails to windward. Original "Rockall" sails. I think my boat is possibly built by Honor Marine although no builders plate. Similar joinery and deck colour as the Dabber I had. Anyone with any "Explorer" info glad to exchange notes. Regret production ceased prior to internet network so not much info on line. Previous owner of my boat has clips on YouTube.
 

Justin_G

New member
Joined
9 Jan 2021
Messages
3
Hi Ronan - I'm thinking of buying an Explorer. The one I'm looking at has a gaff sloop rig rather than the more normal ketch rig. I guess that was an early option as there seems to be holes in the thwart and forepeak for the unstayed masts. I have not been able to inspect it in person thanks to lockdown - but are there any points you would suggest I should be on the lookout for when I do get to go and have a look?

Boatshed adverts for the Explorer typically describe it as having a lifting keel, but I assume that is an error? I have not been able to see any keel raising tackle in any of the photos I have looked at.

Are the You Tube videos you refer to the ones uploaded by Alan Stokes?

Do you have any other material - reviews etc you could upload here or give links to? There used to be a website (www.explorerboats.org.uk) with a lot of info on it, but I assume the chap who started it found the hosting charges too much for him as it has disappeared.
 

dancrane

Well-known member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
9,233
I realise this is a revival of a fairly ancient thread, but the design in question is a timeless one, I think, and deserves another showing.



I doubt I've seen one this century, and possibly not since they were new in the 1980s.

To would-be purchasers, I'm interested in the reasoning that makes them pick the Explorer in preference to the Swift 18...

...that may be a much more conventional bit of design, and hasn't the same appeal as a big open dayboat, but is probably more useful as a first cruiser. I'd love one! 😄

 

Justin_G

New member
Joined
9 Jan 2021
Messages
3
great question - and one that I am struggling with. There are many younger boats that are trailerable that would probably be more practical than the Swift/Morton Explorer.
I love the gentle sheer and a 'wineglass' transom of the Explorer - based I think on Howard Chapelle's take on Hampden boats from New England.
Also the one that I am thinking of buying is a gaffer (which also appeals to me) and needs to be brought back from a state of neglect / disuse which makes it easier to afford (ie get past the management committee).
To be honest, if SWMBO was more willing, I would probably raise my sights to a more modern plastic gaffer such as a Cape Cutter.
 

dancrane

Well-known member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
9,233
Cape Cutters are very appealing...terrific proportions.

The first time I saw one, at Ashlett Creek, I thought, "which Cornish Crabber is that? It's gorgeous!" Which was a first. I like gaffers and I approve of the ease of maintaining GRP, but I've often felt Cornish Crabbers weren't quite what I wanted. The Cape Cutter, though...

...compact but perfectly formed.




But let us know if you get the Swift Explorer. (y)
 
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