Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable performance boats that are well built and easy to rig, with just enough accommodations to lure young speed freaks into some lively adventure cruising. After that came this in-between boat, the Seascape 24, which continues to build on this seductive formula and won a nod as the Best Small Cruiser in SAIL’s 2017 Best Boats Competition.
This is an important addition to the lineup, as many may find the 18, which can only sleep a pair of people, a bit too small, while others, particularly novice sailors, may think the 27 a shade too heavy and complex. By contrast, the 24, at just under 2,000lb, is almost 800lb lighter than the 27, but can still comfortably sleep four people in its relatively Spartan but well-thought-out interior.
Here you’ll find modular furniture with sliding panels that allow access to multiple storage areas, while an ice chest and optional porta-potty can be easily accessed under the sleeping berths. There is even a clever dual-purpose table that can be set up belowdecks or in the cockpit, plus some smart removable storage bags that make it easy to move gear on and off the boat. To help with power-lounging both below and on deck, the Seascape 24 can also set you up with some comfy custom beanbags. Add an optional single-burner JetBoil stove and a simple electrical system with efficient LED lights powered by a flexible solar panel, and you’ll have everything you need for an exciting weekend cruise.
Like its brethren, the boat’s hull form is straight out of the contemporary racing scene, with a fine plumb bow for max sailing length, plus wide hindquarters and hard chines for maximum initial stability and planing capabilities. The rig is lightweight and includes a carbon-fiber mast and Carbotech carbon boom with no backstay, which allows for a huge square-headed mainsail and also greatly simplifies the process of rigging the boat on a trailer ramp. (This can be done singlehanded in about half an hour, I’d guess.) There’s also a retractable carbon bowsprit for flying modern Code 0 sails and asymmetric spinnakers. To keep all this upright, there’s a retractable swing keel with a nice load of lead at the end.
Construction is high quality, but not exotic, which helps keep costs down. The hull is foam-cored glass, vacuum-bagged and set in epoxy resin. Likewise, with the keel and the twin rudders, which are also fully retractable and set in cassettes right off the transom. The hull laminate is thicker at the bottom of the hull, so you won’t feel shy about beaching your baby after you haul up the keel and rudders. She draws just 1ft this way, so there are lots of places you may feel inspired to sneak into.
I sailed the boat on a fine fall day out of the Piscataqua River near my home in New Hampshire with Seascape’s U.S. rep, Toralf Strand. The boat’s performance, I noted, was roughly equivalent to that of the 27. Sailing in 12-15 knots of true wind we had the boat planing on a close reach at over 9 knots under its working jib and mainsail. Our upwind speed at a tight 30 degree apparent wind angle was about 6 knots. Bearing away on to a broad reach we were feeling a bit too cruiserly to bother with launching an A-sail, but still found the boat moving at a brisk 8 knots or better.
The helm was lively, but not twitchy, with the rudders humming nicely as we got the boat up to speed. All the sail controls are right at hand, perfectly placed, and are substantially simplified compared to any equivalent flat-out racer. This is a fast boat, but not at all an ornery one, and will appeal to experienced and novice sailors alike. This, in turn, will make it a great boat to learn on and then just keep sailing, whether as a daysailer, a weekend cruiser or a competitor, either in round-the-buoy or short distance races.
LOA 23ft 11in LWL 23ft 11in BEAM 8ft 2in
DRAFT 6ft 3in (keel down); 1ft (keel up)
SAIL AREA 453ft
ENGINE 4hp outboard
BALLAST RATIO 36 SA/D RATIO 46 D/L RATIO 63
What do these ratios mean Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios
DESIGNER Manuard YD
BUILDER Seascape, Ljubljana, Slovenia
U.S. DISTRIBUTOR Seascape USA, Kittery, Maine, 207-703-0307, seascapeusa.com
PRICE $72,495 (sailaway) at time of publication