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Swift/ Morton Explorer

dancrane

Well-known member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
9,260
Curious thing...I just went through my Flickr account because I was pretty sure I had a photo of a Hunter Minstrel...

...and I found it near the photo of the Swift Explorer! Possibly this conversation and suggestions arising, have been had before. :unsure:



Actually I saw a two-masted Minstrel at close quarters quite often last year, and I reckon it's a very nice, compact, totally original design, unlike anything else. And needing no standing rigging is a neat way to avoid a big bill every decade or so.
 

Arcady

Member
Joined
9 Dec 2010
Messages
409
Actually I saw a two-masted Minstrel at close quarters quite often last year, and I reckon it's a very nice, compact, totally original design ...
That “ two-masted Minstrel” is better known as the Liberty 22/23 (23 in your picture)! I have one and agree it’s a very nice, compact, totally original design :)
 

dancrane

Well-known member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
9,260
Thanks for that clarification, Arcady...I had Googled Hunter Minstrel after Ditchcrawler's suggestion...

...and amongst the images that appeared, the similarity of the Liberty's rig to the Swift Explorer's, made me think he meant the Liberty, even though he had specified the Minstrel's similarity to the Cape Cutter!

So, very possibly, I've never actually encountered a Hunter Minstrel. 🥴

The Liberty's a lovely-looking boat though. ;)
 

DownWest

Well-known member
Joined
25 Dec 2007
Messages
8,967
Location
S.W. France
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)
Quite a bit faster than the Crabber.
 

oldbloke

New member
Joined
24 Jun 2018
Messages
14
In the early days Sunsail had Explorers at some of their clubs. I sailed them at Perils in Turkey. Awful boats!!!. Dog slow with tremendous turbulence at the stern. Even worse they had much too little freeboard and were very prone to filling up and swamping. As far as I could see the only thing they were used for was filling up with kids and sinking them. Good fun in 35 degrees, but they were too dangerous to be allowed to go off cruising.
I seem to recall someone drowning in one (at a sailing school in Wales?) in asimilar but much colder scenario
 

Ronan Beirne

New member
Joined
14 Sep 2020
Messages
3
Hey Justin, just picking up on your questions on the Explorer.
When I saw the one I have listed for sale I fell in love (sad old bloke) with the lines and the one I purchased is the one the previous posted a few YouTube clips on.
It is still in similar condition. Purchasing was the easy bit, geting it from Bournemouth to Dublin a challenge - or more accurately cost as I used a carrier.
I have to say I am delighted with it and one of its appeals is that it has loads of space for family. My Explorer is very much admired .
The disadvantage of a small "cabin" boat (and look at the cost of some of the pocket cruisers - expensive !) is half of the boat is unused for most of the time with the cabin and this gets cluttered with stuff you don't use most of the time. The open Explorer is a better use of space for enjoyable sailing with guests/family.
The Explorer has just loads of under floor storage for; warps, fenders, petrol can, sail covers, bucket, fishing lines, anchor, boat hook, paddles and more !
The battery (for the electric bilge pump) goes in one of the aft lazerette compartments which are each side of the outboard well. While I dry sail the boat, the bilge pump gets rid of the rain water. The big negative with the design is the boat is not self draining and I have yet to flood the boat to see what happens.
I would have a question about the rig on the boat you have in mind as I had a Drascombe Dabber and it just didn't sail to windward, the cat rig twin mast Explorer (the standard set up) while not matching the flying fifteen I am use to racing, the Cat rig Explorer much more efficient than the Dabber and you can set sail in five minutes. Rigging a gaff rig takes additional time and you don't want a bow sprit, catches in mooring lines etc.
You ask what should you look out for: The hulls are a heavy lay-up and robust. Look underneath in case of former groundings on rocks.
The centre plate is a pivot lift and while mine rocks in the casing, I lifted the boat on a crane and lowered the plate to find that is is made from two plates of steel secured with counter sunk screws. I was happy to find the liftting stainless wire looked good and probably recent and there was a stainless shackle attaching the lift cable to the plate with no sign of corrosion. I took the opportunity of giving the plate a light sand and paint with a metal primer. As I dry sail the boat no need for antifoul. However if you are purchasing a boat that has been left on a mooring you would be advised to check out the plate and lifting cable. If you are getting her at the right price you might not be too bothered. Also no harm to get a trial sail to check on the rig - does the boat sail with the gaf rig & use the trial sail to check the bilge for and ingress of water.
Trailer - check how good or bad it is. I have seen some in file photos with guide arms on the side, good if you are launching & recovering from a steep slip. You don't want to be a few miles up teh road and have trailer issues. Are you getting an outboard ?
I would like to have a frame for a spray hood that I have seen in some photos, regretfully not with my boat.
Its a pity that the former "Explorer" web site is no more, I would be happy to host if the former proprietor could be found. As mentioned the boats were being built before the development of the web so not much information on line. Also seldom appear on the "normal" for sale listing sites, suspect the value of boats is now generally low so they remain sitting in gardens under the hedge.
I'll post some photos later and of the plate lowered, just hae to find them.
 
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