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dana 24 yacht

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Dana 24 Boat Review

Small, expensive, and proven salty enough to cross oceans, this hip-pocket cruiser is best suited to couples who want a getaway vehicle that's easy to sail and laid out correctly down below..

dana 24 yacht

Now back on the production line at Pacific Seacraft after a three-year hiatus, the Dana 24 is a pricey, seaworthy, two-person cruiser. She will satisfy the criteria of a couple interested in owning a moderate-displacement boat designed to sail in tough conditions. Though comfortable, her layout is seagoing—she’s not a dockside entertainment center.

The Dana has had a bumpy production history. After a successful run from 1984 to 1998, she was relegated to the bench when Pacific Seacraft began producing several bigger boats —a 40-foot companion to the PS 34 and 37, a 38-foot trawler, and the Nordhavn 40 trawler. Production facilities were simply overstretched, and the Dana had to sit out for a few years. She was reintroduced in 2001, and is enjoying a successful renaissance.

We sailed Chris Humann’s sloop-rigged Carroll E, hull #39, built in 1986, on San Francisco Bay. By day’s end we were convinced of the boat’s suitability as a daysailer when the wind pipes up, or as a cruiser that can be easily singlehanded.

Dana 24 Boat Review

The Company Pacific Seacraft was founded by Henry Morschladt and Mike Howarth in 1976. They first produced 25-foot daysailers. Like many boatbuilders, the company suffered the hardships of the marketplace in the 1980s, when ownership was transferred to Singmarine Industries, Ltd., of Hong Kong. It has been owned by an individual investor since 1998. The company’s niche is high-end, well-constructed bluewater cruisers.

The company has operated for several years under the direction of Don Kohlmann, a veteran America’s Cup racer and former owner of Ericson Yachts. Kohlmann reports that Pacific Seacraft has produced 1,950 boats so far, and that the current annual production level is 40 to 50 boats.

Design Designer W.I.B. “Bill” Crealock says his boats are “designed to deliver crews to their destinations in comfort, good shape, and refreshed.” His cruisers have been crossing vast expanses of blue water and gracing the pages of sailing magazines since he opened a design studio in California in 1958. Prior to setting up shop, he received a degree in naval architecture from Glasgow University in Scotland. Following graduation, he spent eight years learning about boats while cruising the Atlantic and Pacific aboard sailing yachts from 40 feet up, including a stint as sailing master on a 105-foot schooner undertaking a scientific expedition for the US Navy.

Crealock’s designs range in size from dinghies to a 100-foot catamaran. Among his production designs are the Excalibur, Islander, Columbia, Westsail, and Cabo Rico. “I estimate that about 8,000 boats have been built to these designs,” he says.

The Dana 24 shares many of the same design characteristics as her larger sisters: clean lines, traditional ocean-cruiser appearance, nearly plumb bow and stern, comfortable spaces belowdecks. Her cabintop (with bronze ports) is a bit high, but the elevation produces more than 6 feet of standing headroom. Coupled with a 36-inch bowsprit, she presents a jaunty profile.

Crealock describes the basic aim of the design: It’s “the smallest boat in which a couple could cruise offshore in safety and reasonable comfort, with an enclosed head… The hull would have to be roomy to carry a fair amount of weight in tankage and supplies. She would not be a light-displacement boat. Displacement was not considered a disadvantage since no other single factor eases motion, in my opinion.”

He describes the sailplan as “balanced, designed to produce good upwind performance.” The boat can be configured as either a masthead sloop or a cutter.

The underbody features a long, moderately deep keel with a fully supported rudder and cut-away forefoot, a shape that reduces unnecessary wetted surface and gives better maneuverability in close quarters, as we experienced during our test sail.

Construction Construction techniques for the Dana mirror those employed in the construction of other Pacific Seacraft boats. Though she’s the runt of the litter, all of her deck hardware is of the same quality as her big sisters.

The layup schedule calls for a coat of ISO-NPG gelcoat mat laminated in vinylester resin. The skin coat is 3- oz mat followed by three layers of 2415 bi-axial roving. Additional layers of 2415 are applied at the keel, rudder post, and chainplates. The hull is 5/8″ thick at the bottom.

The hull is solid fiberglass, but the transom is cored with plywood to produce stiffness for the stern ladder and steering vanes.

The interior is constructed of plywood-reinforced fiberglass faces that form the furniture and a bulkhead matrix, all of which are bonded with bi-axial roving. The process produces a strong grid that also allows access to the hull behind cabinetry.

The hull-deck joint consists of opposing flanges on the hull and deck molds, joined to form a bulwark. The joint is bedded in 3M 5200 and through bolted, after which an aluminum toerail is bedded in 3M 5200 and bolted through the joint.

Deck coring is 0.5″ Baltek AL-600 balsa encapsulated in layers of 3-oz mat and 24-oz woven roving. Additional plywood reinforcement is laminated in all areas where deck hardware will be installed.

Ballast is 3,200 pounds of pre-cast lead bonded into the interior of the keel fin.

She is well built. In Kohlmann’s words, “This boat might also serve as a bomb shelter.”

Deck Layout The first impression upon stepping aboard is that you’re on a miniaturized version of a traditional, cutter-rigged cruiser. The bowsprit and pulpit, which add three feet to her LOA, create visual space forward, and the long cockpit seats provide “full-size” seating.

Dana 24 Boat Review

The aluminum mast, made by LeFiell, is deck-stepped, and protected with a layer of linear polyurethane. It’s supported by a compression post belowdecks.

Deck-stepped masts are frowned upon in most offshore circles, but Dana owners are more likely to be sailing protected waters, and even bridge-covered waterways, than oceans, and a full section of mast belowdecks in this boat would be a serious intrusion into the cabin.

A single set of unswept spreaders bolster standing rigging of 1×19 stainless steel wire connected to bronze turnbuckles. Halyards are external, leading to mast-mounted Lewmar 8 winches. This is a simple, traditional set-up, but the deck mold has flat surfaces on which turning blocks could be installed, allowing relocation of winches aft. It’s hard to say whether such relocation would be worth it on a boat this size, but it’s good to have the option.

The only backstay adjuster is a turnbuckle on the transom, so sail shape will be controlled by halyard, mainsheet, vang, and outhaul. Ball-bearing blocks for the mainsheet controls are located on a short traveler on the transom and at the end of the boom. The mainsheet fall is angled aft, so it gives up some power in order to be out of the cockpit.

Jib sheets are led to the 5″ tall bulwarks: It’s clear that she won’t point as high as a Farr 40. There’s a second sail track mounted inboard atop the coachroof for a working jib or staysail.

Stainless steel chainplates for upper shrouds and fore-and-aft lowers are fastened in the hull with stainless carriage bolts and backing plates. This method produces a strong structure, and eases movement along the decks. With the boat heeled 15 degrees during our test sail, we found that the two teak handrails and six shroud bases provided handholds at every step.

The cockpit can accommodate up to six adults for sailing or lounging. The seats are 6′ 3″ long, 18″ wide, and outboard can’ted backrests are 13″ tall. The tiller can tilt up out of the way when not in use.

Crealock designed long seats at the expense of space belowdecks because, “those seats need to be long enough to allow crew to sleep comfortably outside.” This is exactly right, as anyone will agree who has had to spend a stifling night below while a traveler track rested comfortably across the cockpit, or an oversized wheel area took up all the room where sleepers’ feet should be.

The cockpit footwell is 51″ long, 20″ wide, and 14″ deep: Guests have plenty of foot space, but also convenient bracing when the boat is heeled.

Though the cockpit seems proportionately large for a small vessel, Crealock also says that the combination of her buoyancy, high coamings, and 1.5″ scuppers will prevent her being swamped in a following sea.

The starboard cockpit locker houses two batteries, and provides access to engine hoses and the holding tank. A 25 GPM Whale Gusher manual bilge pump also is close at hand.

The port locker is 54 inches long, 36 inches deep and 30 inches wide. The owner of our test boat found adequate storage there for a small sail, dock lines, fenders, and a spare anchor. The space also houses a pressure pump for the kerosene stove on older boats. Newer boats have propane stoves, with a locker for tanks in the corner of the cockpit to port.

Access below, and ventilation, are provided by a companionway 28″ high and 26″ wide, enclosed by a 35″ long fiberglass hatch.

The cockpit has a watertight, removable sole, a Crealock signature. Unscrewing four bolts allows removal of the sole and access to the sides and aft end of the engine. The fuel fill is on the companionway step—simple plumbing to the fuel tank, but a bad place for a fuel a spill.

The bow is equipped with two cleats and a hawsepipe. The owner of our test boat told us that a 25-lb CQR anchor had held her in 40 knots of wind in Tomales Bay on the California coast. The hawsepipe should be sealed when sailing offshore.

All of the deck hardware is installed with backing plates and caulked on both sides with polyurethane. The owner of our test boat pointed out that the flat brace for one stanchion is bedded atop the nonskid, which could allow water into the deck coring if fasteners are not properly sealed.

Less than ideal was a 6″ loop of wire connector on deck at the base of the mast. It’s for attaching wires for mast lights and VHF, but it looks to us like something that could easily be kicked loose, or loose enough to invite electrical shorts and leaks. We observed the same arrangement on three used boats. According to Don Kohlmann, it’s left that way for the convenience of owners who frequently trailer their boats, or who live inside bridges and have to lower their masts often.

Accommodations Pacific Seacraft boasts that the area belowdecks is “fully 50 percent larger than any other boat of similar length.” In the absence of proof to the contrary, we believe them: This 24-footer has 6′ of headroom in the saloon and 8’6″ of space between the foot of the companionway and the V-berth. The V-berth is large enough for two 6’2″ adults to sleep comfortably. Settees port and starboard measuring 4’6″ long convert to 6’6″ berths. The galley is large, there’s an enclosed head to starboard, and there are even a few cubic feet of stowage space.

Dana 24 Boat Review

The feeling of spaciousness is enhanced by the combination of hand- rubbed oiled teak surfaces accented by a removable white headliner, eight shiny bronze ports, a big Bomar hatch to introduce light, and the lack of a bulkhead forward. Kohlmann notes that newer boats have rectangular ports that are more durable and have better seals than their oval-shaped predecessors.

In the bow, the anchor locker drains into a PVC pipe leading to the bilge. This helps keep odors out the saloon, but requires good bilge cleaning and maintenance.

Wide shelves outboard of the V-berth offer storage for books and miscellaneous items. The area below the berth is occupied by a 30-gallon stainless steel water tank fitted with an inspection plate. A second, wide-open storage space below the berth is 20″ long and 28″ deep. Additional storage for clothing is in two drawers located under the center of the berth.

Crealock has cleverly hidden the dining table under the berth. When needed, it slides aft around the compression post, and offers seating for two at a 30″x20″ table.

Storage amidships is in open bins behind and above the settee backrests. Optional cabinetry provides four cabinets above the settee, and two bookshelves.

The navigator’s station consists of a small hinged desk at the forward edge of the galley that folds out of the way when the settee is in use. It’s one of the compromises involved in the design of such a small boat. It’s tiny—only 18″ wide and 13″ deep.

A removable counter atop the two- burner gimbaled stove measures 20″x 25″. There’s a bit of additional counter space atop the ice box, aft of the 10″ x 14″ stainless sink. Storage outboard is in two enclosed cabinets, and a plate and glass holder.

The ice box on new boats measures 3.5 cubic feet. The owner of our test boat carries two five-pound blocks of ice that he says last five days in 70- degree weather. No surprise: the reefer has 3″-7″ thick insulation.

Electric panels are tucked in the aft end of the galley, and on the port bulkhead.

A hanging locker aft of the starboard settee measures 14″ wide by 34″ deep, and is large enough for two sets of foulies. It’s enclosed by a vented door that aids air circulation.

With clearance measuring 32″x21″, the head can only be described as cramped. The vanity is 12″ wide, and fitted with an oval sink.

A storage compartment aft is 17″ wide and 30″ athwartships; it allows access to a sea water filter and sea cocks.

Power Engines on older boats were Yanmar diesels developing 16 horsepower; that engine moved our test boat at hull speed into a chop at three-quarters throttle. Newer boats are equipped with 2-cylinder, 18-hp Yanmars.

Companionway steps can be removed for access to oil and fuel filters. The fuel tank is located on the centerline under the cabin sole. Fuel capacity is 18 gallons.

Performance We sailed the sloop-rigged test boat under full main and 110% jib on a chilly San Francisco day in blustery conditions, and were impressed with the performance and seakindly motion of the boat. A Kestrel windspeed instrument registered 12-15 knots of wind.

The GPS registered boatspeed at 5.7 to 5.9 knots over the ground as we sailed close-hauled with sheets barely started. As we hardened up farther, moving the traveler up and trimming the jib board-flat, we heeled to 20 degrees. Speed held at 5.2 to 5.4 knots, but she was not comfortable and we were sliding to leeward.

We eased sheets and saw speed reach 6.8 knots over the ground while sailing into a flooding current on a broad reach in 13.5 knots of breeze. The boat felt lively, and responded quickly to each movement of the tiller.

The owner typically reefs the main only when wind speed reaches 18-20 knots; otherwise the boat develops excess weather helm.

Later, in light air, we sailed at 3.5 to 4 knots on a beam reach, and felt sluggish with the 110% headsail. In lighter windspeeds the boat feels her weight. A bigger genoa, or an asymmetrical cruising spinnaker tacked to the sprit would be a big help.

Conclusions The Dana 24 is a cruiser that will feel at home anywhere winds blow more than five knots. She’s a proven performer in short, choppy conditions, and sailing down a Pacific wave. She’s well built, and outfitted with top quality gear.

During her first stint in the marketplace, prices for new boats ranged from $70,000 – $100,000. At that time, owners were offered wide latitude in the design of spaces belowdecks, gear specifications, and deck and hull colors (all of which increased the price). Though construction of a boat still requires 9-10 weeks, Don Kohlmann says she’s now built more like a production boat with fewer changes to the basic configuration.

Today a new boat has a base price of $70,000, including Ullman mainsail and jib. Options like Harken roller furling, a boom vang, shore power, and instruments will run the tab up to $80,000 quickly.

No question—that’s a staggering amount of money for a 24-foot monohull. But there’s obviously a niche well-defined enough to justify production, and that niche, we suspect, is filled by dedicated cruising couples who are actually sailors (not dockside liveaboards), who want just enough to manage easily, and who have the wherewithal to treat themselves to a right little sea-boat.

Contact— Pacific Seacraft Corp., 1301 East Orangethorpe Ave., Fullerton, CA, 92831; 714/879-1610; www.pacificseacraft.com .

Also With This Article Click here to view “Used Boat Price History.”


A seagoing interior – without anywhere to sleep at sea? You certainly wouldn’t sleep comfortably offshore in a v- berth. Sorry, just another heavy, slow lump for the marina crowd.

There are two settee berths that fitted with lee clothes make excellent sea berths. I should know I have sailed my Dana from Texas to Plymouth England.

How did she do on your transatlantic? Did you have a passenger(s) or was this a solo excursion?

Having sailed for well over 60 years on my own, I have seldom encountered anyone who actually slept in their vee berths while underway. Usually in a small yacht, it is the main salon’s settees that are used for passageway sleeping with the vee berth employed as a ‘garage’ for storage.

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Edwards Yacht Sales

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2002 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

  • Indian Harbour Beach, FL, US

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2002 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

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World renowned designer Bill Crealock designed the Dana 24 first to be seaworthy and efficient yet well thought out for comfortable accommodations capable of sleeping four.  

Beautifully well maintained pocket cruiser great for day sailing, coastal cruising or high seas adventures! 

This Little Ship has very desirable features including • B&G Electronics (chart plotter, wind, depth, speed) • Lazy jacks for battened Main Sail • Harken Roller furling genoa • North Sails Cruising Spinnaker • Self Tailing Winches • Aluminum toe rail instead of teak (less maintenance) • Interior looks close to new with beautiful upholstery  • 6'8" long Vberth w/6'6 settees (port 'n starboard) • Stainless Opening Ports for Great Ventilation • Hot 'n Cold Pressurized Water • Force 10 Stove w/Oven • Yanmar 2GM20F w/215 hrs • Dripless Shaft Seal • Raymarine ST2000+ Tiller Autopilot


Descriptions, basic information, dimensions & weight, tank capacities.

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2002 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

Builder:  Pacific SeaCraft Designer:  Bill Crealock

LOA: 27 ft 3 in Beam: 8 ft 7 in LWL: 21 ft 5 in Length on Deck: 24 ft 2 in Maximum Draft: 3 ft 10 in Displacement: 8000 lbs Ballast: 3200 lbs Bridge Clearance: 37 ft 4 in Headroom: 6 ft 1 in

Fresh Water Tanks: 1 (40 Gallons) Fuel Tanks: 1 Aluminum (18 Gallons) Holding Tanks: 1 (15 Gallons)

Engine 1: Engine Brand: Yanmar Year Built: 2002 Engine Model: 2GM20F Engine Type: Inboard Engine/Fuel Type: Diesel Engine Hours: 215 Propeller: 3 blade propeller Drive Type: Direct Drive Engine Power: 18 HP Dripless Shaft Seal

Number of single berths: 2 Number of double berths: 1 Number of cabins: 2 Number of heads: 1

Shore power inlet Electrical Circuit: 110V 2 Group 27 AGM 92 Batteies

B&G Network wind direction/wind speed B&G Network depth B&G Network speed/log B&G Network repeater installed in cabin B&G color chart plotter ICom M 502 VHF Raymarine ST400 Tiller Pilot Weems and Plath Upgraded Bulkhead Mount Compass 

Batten Main Sail w/Lazy Jacks (Ullman) Harken Roller Furling Genoa 130 (Ullman) Like New North Sails Cruising Spinnaker Two (2) Harken 32 ST Winches Two (2) Harken 16 Cabin Top Winches IJPE : 361.00 sq ft I : 34.00 ft J : 12.25 ft P : 28.25 ft E : 10.83 ft

Antifouling April 2015 Trinidad by Petite

The Dana 24 is conceived for cruising and designed for performance. She is built to the standards of excellence that have always set Pacific Seacraft yachts apart. Quality is evident in every detail, from carefully fitted teak joinery to husky bronze fittings and impeccable mechanical installations. Crealock is well-known for cruising boats with exceptional performance, and Dana is the culmination of all he has learned. Sophisticated hull design, high ballast ratio and efficient sail plan provide stability and power for the kind of windward performance that is so often lacking in other pocket cruisers. Her beautifully traditional hull encloses an extraordinarily spacious and functional interior that is innovative and inviting. Her 6-foot 1-inch headroom, fully enclosed head, honeymoon berth and congenial main salon are but a few of her charms. A long list of standard features includes two-cylinder diesel power, winches, sails and full galley.

Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Specifications - Standard Features Construction - Hand laminated hull and deck with molded-in gelcoat color. First laminate uses vinylester resin for superior blister resistance. Standard color is Antique White. Contrasting boot & sheer stripes. - Bottom paint including solvent wash, three coats epoxy barrier coat and two coats of anti-fouling bottom paint. - Deck is balsa cored. Plywood is substituted in high load areas. - Deck has molded-in nonskid pattern. - Deck to hull connection: mating hull and deck flanges bedded in polyurethane adhesive and fastened with stainless steel thru-bolts. - Ballast is 3,200 pound (1.45 mt.) solid lead casting. - Interior: structural fiberglass, plywood and gel coat interior unit bonded into hull with fiberglass mat and woven roving. - Stainless steel chainplates and backup plates caulked both sides and thru-bolted to hull. - Solid teak rubstrake. Deck Equipment - Polished bronze deck hardware includes: Two LEWMAR #16 two speed genoa sheet winches. Four 7" x 12" and four 4" x 7" opening ports with screens. Two 8" stern mooring cleats with chocks. Two 10" bow mooring cleats with hawse pipes. Two 8" open spring cleats amidships. - All cleats, winches, turning blocks, pulpits and stanchions are installed with backing plates and caulked both sides. - BOMAR forward hatch. - Laminated vertical grain fir bowsprit with clear epoxy finish, teak platform and bronze eye band. - Stainless steel double rail bow and stern pulpits with 27" high stanchions, and double lifelines. - Stainless steel swim ladder with teak treads. - Stainless steel bow roller assembly with two anchor rollers. - Outboard genoa track and cars. - Bow chain locker with anchor deck pipe. - Stern chain locker, anchor roller and deck pipe. - Deep bulwarks - Four teak loop handrails. - Fiberglass sliding hatch and fiberglass seahood. - Propane storage tank locker with hatch in cockpit. Spars and Rigging - Aluminum spar with two-part polyurethane finish. - LEWMAR #8 jib halyard winch. - LEWMAR #8 main halyard winch. - 1 x 19 stainless steel standing rigging. - Forged bronze open body turnbuckles. - Dacron braid running rigging. - Stainless steel tabernacle style mast step. - Ball bearing mainsheet traveler. Interior - White Formica cabin house sides. Hand rubbed oiled teak interior. - 6' headroom with teak and holly sole throughout cabin area. - All hatches and hatch openings in sole banded in solid teak. - White matte finish below counter height, teak cabinetry above. - Spun polyester wrapped foam cushions with choice of fabrics. - Zippered vinyl headliner for access to deck hardware & wiring. Forward - 6' 8" long and 81" wide double "V" berth with shelves on both sides & storage below. Two teak drawers under V-berth. Main Salon - 6' 6" long settee berths, port and starboard with storage bins. - Teak storage shelf with removable fiddle, both sides. - Slide out dining table stows under V-berth. - Enclosed head w-teak shower seat, storage lockers & separate wet hanging locker. Shower has teak grate & sump pump. - Spacious hanging locker to starboard. Galley - Gimbaled stainless steel, two burner propane stove w- oven. - Stainless steel safety bar-towel rack. - Large ice box w- poured foam insulation and w- hand pump out to sink. - Polished stainless steel double sink. - Food and dish storage lockers and drawers. Plumbing - 40 gallon (151 Itr.) water tank. - Bronze thru-hull fittings with UL approved bronze seacocks below waterline and bronze ball valves above. - Marine head with holding tank and overboard pumpout. - All thru-hull hose connections are double clamped. Engine - YANMAR 2GM20F, 2 cylinder, 18 hp diesel, with 55 amp alternator and MORSE controls. - Two blade bronze propeller. - 18 gallon (68 Itr.) fuel tank, easily accessible with gauge and inspection port. - Mechanical fuel pump. Electric back-up fuel pump. - RACOR fuel filter - water separator. Seawater strainer. - Engine hour meter. - Water lift muffler system. - Deluxe control panel with tachometer. - Fresh water cooling. Electrical - DC control panel w- six circuit breakers and battery condition meter. - Copper tinned DC wiring throughout. - 2 marine batteries (approx. 66 amps each). - Four position battery switch. - All required navigation lights. - Dome lights and reading lights. - RG-8U coaxial antenna cable lead from masthead to navigation station. Sails - Main (6.4 oz., 153 sq. ft. with two sets of reef points.) - 100% Working Jib (6.4 oz., 220 sq. ft. with one reef point.) Cockpit - Two 1-1-2" drains with seacocks for fast self-bailing. - Deep cockpit coamings with comfort contoured seat backs, 6' 3" cockpit seats and integral winch islands. - Engine access hatch in cockpit sole has neoprene gasket seal and four knurled bronze retainers. - Cockpit seat lockers. - 25 GPM bilge pump mounted thru cockpit seat riser. Dana 24 Optional Equipment Deck Equipment - Upgrade to chrome plated bronze deck hardware - Teak sliding hatch (in lieu of standard) - Teak capped cockpit coaming - Coaming boxes (port & starboard) - Lewmar #30 ST primaries (in lieu of standard) - Teak cockpit grate - Cockpit cushions, closed cell (specify color) Spars and Rigging - Foredeck light on mast - Single handers package: (Lewmar #8 halyard winches moved from mast to cabin house. Both halyards & two reefs led aft through turning blocks, organizers & stoppers) - Cutter rig (tack plate, staysail stay, halyard to additional Lewmar #8 winch on mast, staysail tracks and cars, staysail sheets, staysail not included) - Single handers package for cutter (Lewmar #8 halyard winches moved from mast to cabin house. All three halyards and two reefs led aft) - Dermac quick release lever - staysail - Harken roller furling system Unit 0 (for headsail and-or staysail) Plumbing - Electric bilge pump - Raw water spigot in galley with foot pump - Raw water deck wash - Hot & cold pressure fresh water system with shower in head (requires 110 volt AC shore power system).. - 30 gallon auxiliary water tank  Teak interior cabin house sides - Teak cabinets over settee (per side) Electrical - 110 volt AC shore power system - Lewco 20 amp battery charger - Tri-color light at masthead with strobe - Lightning ground - Single sideband copper grounding strap - Insulated backstay for SSB antenna - Accessory 12 volt breaker panel Navigation - Communication - B & G Network Instrument Package (includes speed - log- temperature - timer, depth and wind on bulkhead; with multi-function data repeater below deck) - B & G Network digital depth sounder - B & G Network digital speed-log - Icom VHF radio with antenna - Ritchie BN202 bulkhead mount compass Sails - Upcharge for full batten mainsail w- lazyjacks - Mainsail cover - Cruising spinnaker (1.5 oz., 637 sq. ft.) 

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Bluewater Sailboat – Dana 24

The Bluewater Sailboat Dana 24, designed by the late great Bill Crealock and debuted by Pacific Seacraft in 1984, is perhaps the ultimate pocket cruiser, measuring only 24 feet on deck. The yacht combines traditional style with the kind of expert craftsmanship and sturdy construction that Pacific Seacraft is known for.

The Dana 24 is well balanced, swift for her size, and seaworthy, as are all good boats. Her small draught allows her to explore cruising grounds that larger yachts cannot, and her design, which is now over 25 years old, is well proved, having completed a number of ocean crossings. Despite her offshore capabilities, she is one of only a few who can return home on a trailer.

Although the Dana 24 was never a cheap boat to acquire, owners can console themselves with the cheaper maintenance costs of a small blue water cruiser. “It’s a superb entry level, genuine go anywhere cruising boat,” says Crealock.

Dana 24

  • LOA: 27′ 3″
  • LOD: 24′ 2″
  • LWL: 21′ 5″
  • Beam: 8′ 7″
  • Draft: 3′ 10″
  • Displacement: 8,000 lbs.
  • Ballast: 3,200 lbs.
  • Sail Area: 358 sq. ft.
  • Headroom: 6′ 1″
  • Fuel: 18 US. Gal.
  • Water: 40 US. Gal.
  • Engine: 18 hp Yanmar 2GM20F / 21hpYanmar 3YM20
  • Designer: William I. B. Crealock
  • Builder: Pacific Seacraft Corporation / Seacraft Yacht Sales
  • Year Introduced: 1984
  • Total Built: 250+

It may be claimed that Pacific Seacraft had a thing for pocket cruisers back in the day. The Pacific Seacraft 25 and, later, the Orion 27, were both robust and capable offshore cruisers designed by one of the company’s co-founders, Henry Morschladt. However she is compact and capable, the Flicka 20. Pacific Seacraft purchased the Flicka 20 in 1977, and it quickly became a hit for the company. By the early 1980s, the business was planning to supplement Flicka with a larger boat in the same form.

Bill Crealock, known for his seaworthy designs, was given the commission for the new boat, and the Dana 24 was unveiled in 1984. She was warmly accepted; in fact, 222 boats were sold over the next fifteen years before a rising mid-1990s economy moved demand to larger boats.

“For a while, the preference was for larger vessels, and smaller boats were simply set aside… People’s boat sizes appear to change with the square root of the Dow Jones index.” – William Crealock

The Dana 24 was discontinued by Pacific Seacraft in 1997, but after a three-year pause, interest was revived as the economy weakened. In 2000, the company resumed limited production, but only a few units were sold.

Pacific Seacraft went into receivership in 2007 before being purchased by Stephen Brodie. Surprisingly, the Dana 24 moulds were not included in Brodie’s purchase. Instead, the moulds were given to a dealership in Seattle named Seacraft Yachts, which has made the yacht available again (hull number #351).

At least 250 boats have been built in all. In this period, little has been done to improve the small Dana 24, and the boat has remained virtually intact, a true monument to the perfection of Crealock’s original design.

The Bluewater Sailboat Dana 24 is a moderate displacement cruiser with a complete keel, a forefoot cutaway, and a keel-hung rudder beneath the waterline. Her sheerline is graceful, and she features a plumb bow with a teak bowsprit platform. Because of her size, she lacks the unique Crealock double-ended stern in favour of a large and nearly vertical transom.

The boat retains the iconic cutter rig that has become so famous among the blue water community. Some have been configured for single-handing, with sheeting and halyard lines leading back into the cockpit for safety.

The hull and deck are hand laminated fibreglass, in keeping with Pacific Seacraft tradition. Since 1989, the innermost layers have been made of polyester, while the outermost layers have been made of osmosis-resistant vinylester resin. In heavy stress zones, the deck is balsa cored with plywood core. The hull-to-deck joint is a double flange that is embedded in a high tension polyurethane adhesive compound and is through-bolted with stainless bolts. The interior module, which is similarly made of vinylester resin, is attached to the hull using fibreglass mat and woven roving.

The inside fittings are white matte beneath the counter and teak above. Ballast is made of lead and is encased with fibreglass. Solid bronze is used for all through-hull fittings. Chainplates are bolted through the hull with stainless steel bolts and full backing plates. Since 1989, eight rectangular bronze port lights have replaced the boat’s original round bronze ports.

This Bluewater Sailboat has an open-plan interior with hand-rubbed oiled teak cabinetry and a teak-and-holly sole, giving her a wonderfully warm and inviting feel. As you descend the companionway, you’ll find a full Sailboats Galley on the port side, complete with a gimballed two-burner propane stove, a huge insulated icebox, and a 10-inch-deep sink with hand-pump. A flip-down cover over the stove, as well as another in the seating area, give additional counter space. An enclosed head area with a head, inbuilt shower pan, hanging locker, and sink with hand pump is located to starboard.

A v-berth sleeper that is 6′ 8″ long and 6′ 9″ broad, as well as two 6′ 6″ settees with neatly positioned foot room that tucks beneath the v-berth, are among the four possible berths. There are two spacious drawers and a drop locker beneath the forward berth. The cabin shelf is equipped with removable fiddles, and the hanging locker is louvred for additional ventilation. The dining table glides out from behind the v-berth, above the two drawers, and has a hinged centre that fits around the inner metal pillar and can be fully or partially extended.


The Bluewater Sailboat  Dana 24, like all Crealock designs, incorporates a high level of comfort in a well-controlled and balanced hull. She’s a seaworthy yacht with a gentle motion across the water, and its high ballast ratio (almost 40%) no doubt contributes to her overall stability. Crealock’s comfort and stability philosophy translates to less crew fatigue and faster, safer crossings.

Light air performance is not her strong suit, so don’t anticipate too much boat speed unless she’s set up very properly and carefully flown. She is, after all, a heavier displacement boat in the broad scale of things. The Dana comes to life in a breeze, she points well to windward and sails best on a reach, while downwind her keel and hull form tracks well with no squirming and less roll than most.

Her difficulty to hove-to is one of her known flaws; her high freeboard in her bow sections, along with a large forefoot cutaway on her keel, means her nose is too easily knocked away.

Expect a top speed of roughly 6.5 knots, she is well-equipped versions may reach 120 mile days during extended trips. Not bad for a vessel of this size and displacement.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifications and details of a sailboat, we recommend visiting the page Bluewater Sailboat data by   Ocean Wave Sail . This page provides comprehensive information and is an excellent resource for anyone seeking detailed information about 1000+ sailboats

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Boats, reviews, photography, bikes and an occasional rant

Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 review

Photo of Doolittle taken at Cannes by James Taylor Nikon D3 All photos in this post taken with a Leica Digilux 2 unless otherwise stated.

It’s been over five years now since I first bought my Dana 24 and in that time it has crossed the Atlantic from West to East, visited three continents and sailed over 10,000 miles. It is also my year round home. It would be true to say that I am fairly intimate with my boat, it’s construction and behaviour. What follows is an article about living with a Dana 24.

Bill Crealock the designer of the Dana was simply a genius. When he designed the Dana back in the early 1980s he was about 65 years old and he used all his hard earned experience gained from a lifetime of creating and sailing yachts. The Dana may well have been one of the last yachts designed without the aid of a computer.

Today most boats are designed around their accommodation. With the Dana the hull was designed first to be seaworthy and efficient with the accommodation being cleverly designed to fit within afterwards. The Dana is also built to a specification and not to a price and because of this she could never be described as a cheap boat. A new Dana from Seacraft (the now makers of the Dana) will set you back about $150,000 which is a lot for such a small boat. Secondhand ones start from about $50,000 if you can find one as they get snapped up pretty quick.

A jaunty sheer and a traditional look. The Dana might be a practical boat but she’s noticed everywhere she goes and passers by always comment positively.

When a boat is designed with accommodation in mind and the hull shape created afterwards all sorts of undesirable characteristics come to light. Because people insist on aft cabins these days, sterns have become wider and wider making steering the boat difficult and possibly dangerous in heavy weather situations. However this problem is solved by the latest auto pilots which can steer for days on end without losing concentration or getting tired. The problem arises when the auto pilot inevitably packs up and the hapless owner is forced to steer without it.

It’s facts like this that are not apparent to people new to sailing but seaworthyness and easy steering are basic traits that all yachts should possess. Many people will not even consider the Dana because it has no aft cabin or is only 24 feet long. The misconception being that big boats are better, more comfortable and faster. This is only basically true. A well designed small boat can be much better than a poorly designed big boat.

Something else that the new sailor may not realise is the importance of a product that has been built to a specification and not to a price. Going to sea should be taken seriously and many modern boats have far too many compromises to safety because of the need to compete in the market place. One has to look a bit closer than skin deep to see why this is important.

Most modern boats work very well in moderate conditions but there are times at sea when the conditions are truly horrendous and it’s at times like these you will realise just how important it is to be aboard a solid well built boat you can trust. The Dana instils confidence with it’s quality feel and solid build.

So the Dana is not for everyone but if you respect the sea and want a practical, competent, safe and very comfortable small yacht, then take a closer look.

The first thing one realises is that the Dana may only be 24 feet long on deck but in every respect she feels much bigger. Most visitors are surprised to learn that the boat is so short, they normally put her length at nearer 30 feet. The interior is Crealock at his best. An open plan accommodation that allows a heads compartment that is large enough for a sink, toilet and a shower, and indeed has a shower tray already fitted as standard, it sleeps 4 very comfortably, two in the forward V berth and one either side on the saloon bunks, your feet go into a large space under the V berth. They are hidden behind the cushions at the end of the saloon bunks – See pic above.

The galley has a fully gimbling 2 burner oven and even a excellent, top loading well insulated 100 litre cold box. There is a table that slides away under the front bunk which can seat 4 around it. There is storage in every spare space. It is incredible just how many stores can be packed away on a Dana. Enough supplies for a month can be carried with ease making the Dana much much more than just a weekender. This boat can go anywhere.

Here are all the stores bought for the Transat (food for about 45 days) and yes, unbelievably it all went away somewhere with room to spare.

Most people will look at two things when choosing a boat. The price and the length but this is an inadequate way to judge any craft. We need to look closer and not just at the quality of the build or the fittings used in it’s construction. A good design is as important as a good build. Even the most beautifully constructed yacht will fail if it’s a poor design.

The problem for designers is that if they have done their job right in the first place, you will never know how good the design is because bad design gets noticed but good design doesn’t. For example, there are many boats which are so badly designed that water can collect on deck or in the cockpit. There’s nothing more annoying than having to mop up a puddle before you can even sit down. This is bad design and it is more common than you might think.

Water doesn’t collect anywhere on a Dana, all the surfaces and locker openings have angles or deep gutters to allow the water to flow away. The Dana takes it one stage further though. All the water that collects on the deck runs out through two scuppers on each side of the hull. What this means is that there are no streaks of dirt down the hull as you will find on many modern boats. Even the teak rubbing strake has a groove cut into it so that drips of water fall from the strake instead of running down the hull and making streaks. You would be amazed at how many modern boats have omitted this basic and sensible feature.

There’s more. There are no visible seacocks on either side of the hull. They are all either below the water or exit through the transom. This makes the hull much tidier and since there are no streaks either, thanks to PSCs water manipulation system, the hull remains clean at all times. This is more than just helpful, dirt and grime will damage gel coat given time so by staying clean, it stays good looking and shiny for longer.

Most Danas have cream coloured hulls with a contrasting top strake. I think this is unnecessary. They do it because it breaks up the hull and makes it look longer. The only problem with this is that it makes the already fairly boxy cabin look higher than it is. I solved this by not having one.

While we’re on the subject of design lets look at some of the details that you just won’t find on other production boats. The high stanchions sit on raised pads and are not placed directly on the deck, this helps to stop water from getting into the boat should the sealant fail. On the foredeck there is a raised centre moulding. For a long time it had me puzzled. Perhaps it was to reinforce the foredeck? In fact it is there as a foot hold. Clever stuff.

Other things that might not be so obvious are the numerous and large cleats on deck. Every fitting on the boat is bolted through with backing pads. All the fittings are made of solid bronze, including the 8 opening port holes.

Another good bit of design that you might have missed is the simple fact that at anchor, the Dana does not slap her arse into the waves. So many modern boats have ‘sugar scoop’ transoms, I suppose to allow a convenient swimming platform but when the boat’s stern falls on a wave it crashes down sending out a blast of water every time. The noise this makes is most disconcerting and frankly annoying. It’s hard to relax with a noise like this. The Dana has no stupid sugar scoop, she has instead, a simple and seaworthy flat transom.

The Dana does come as standard with a swimming ladder whose bottom step goes far into the water making getting in and out of the water a doddle although it does make getting on and off from the stern at the quay rather inconvenient. The Dana is an American boat however and they generally moor alongside and not stern too. Here’s yet another nice feature: The life lines come off on either side of the cockpit and at the stern making getting aboard, no matter how you are tied up, very easy indeed.

One of the best things about the Dana is that it is resistant to rolling at anchor. My last boat was simply dreadful and I’ve seen many small boats rolling so badly one wonders how the occupants can survive with their sanity intact. There is nothing more annoying than a boat that rolls at anchor. There are things you can do to try and alleviate the rolling but there is nothing better than a hull form that stops it happening in the first place. To me, this is one of the Dana’s best features. We do a lot of anchoring so it’s very important that the boat is stable.


Fresh out of the mould. Incredible finish.

The Dana weighs about 4 tons and that’s a lot for a 24 foot boat. The lead ballast alone weighs 1.4 tons, or about 40% which is quite a lot by today’s standards. There’s no skimping on the materials of a Dana. The gel coat is sprayed on to a generous thickness. I can tell this from some of the cutouts I kept from where sea cocks have been fitted. The gel coat appears to be about 2mm thick! This is good news as it means that it can be polished many times before wearing through.

This photo shows a cut out which came from the Transom when I cut a hole to install an electric socket. It is a full 28mm thick!

Many modern cheap boats are made using only a chopped strand mat sprayed on with a time saving gun. The Dana is completely hand made using a variety of different cloths and then hand squeegied to get the very best cloth to resin ratio. The layup is generous indeed and the Dana’s hull is much thicker than any other contemporary boat of the same length. The first layer of resin is Vinylester which is more resistant to water than plain polyester and on top of this already over the top build, four coats of epoxy paint are added to further protect against osmosis.

This is a photo of the inside of the Dana mould. It has a removable rear section that allows the boat to be extracted.

A detail perhaps not fully appreciated is that until recently all PSC boats were laid up in open sheds in California (they are now in Carolina) where the humidity was always low. The perfect environment to layup a fibreglass hull. No wonder PSC offered a 10 year hull warranty. To this day, I have not heard of one PSC yacht from any era having osmosis.

Having moulded the hull, an inner liner is glued in to further strengthen the structure but this inner liner does so much more. It incorporates the water tanks, engine beds, fridge, bunks and the floor. It is a very clever bit of design. The liner is bonded in everywhere it touches. This obsessive attention to detail makes for one incredibly strong boat. The bulkheads are fitted and glassed in as well, and in places they are also bolted in. Often it’s the bulkheads that give way on modern yachts. This is something I just cannot imagine happening on the Dana.

This photo shows a Dana 24 with the inner liner bonded in. Note also the protected surfaces, a sign of a boat builder who cares.

The deck moulding is made in a similar way and uses balsa to strengthen and insulate the deck, and plywood in areas where more strength is required, such as winch and stanchion bases. It is then glued to the hull using 3M 5200 and bolted through every three inches or so. This makes for a very strong and waterproof join. There is no flex on the boat anywhere. You can jump up and down anywhere on deck but you’ll see no movement. On a Bavaria 34 I viewed, my 55 kilos was enough to get the side decks flexing as I merely walked on them.

This is the Dana deck mould. Visible in the background are the open sheds where the boats are laid up.

On the way back from the Azores we fell off a wave. We’d had a force six on the beam for a few days and the waves had built up quite a height and on the top of the crest of a particularly big one we fell off it and into the trough 2 metres below. What happened? Nothing much. A huge splash as water was forced out from under the hull and our stomachs left us behind but apart from that nothing. There were no groans, creaks or any kind of indication that the hull was flexing. Nothing fell off the shelves, in fact the motion down below was actually rather mellow and well damped. It’s times like this when you realise the importance of good design and solid build.

The Dana is a heavy boat but that’s a good thing in rough weather. A light boat might be faster but it’s more susceptible to waves and the quicker movement will tire you out quicker. At sea, the weight of the Dana assures a more comfy ride and slower motion.

Things I like about the Dana is the moulded in lead keel. There are no bolts to corrode. The keel simply cannot fall off. The rudder is fully protected behind the Dana’s full keel. This is something that almost no other manufacturer offers anymore but to my mind, a rudder is really important so it needs protecting and it needs to be strong. Modern yachts mostly have the rudder sticking out all vulnerable to damage. It’s done this way because it reduces drag and makes the boat lighter but I’ll take a fully protected rudder every time.

Not only is the rudder protected but it is also very strong and simple. It consists of a strong framework of stainless steel and has been engineered to be self supporting yet just to be sure PSC also fit a hefty bronze gudgeon to support the bottom end. This is one strong rudder. You might think this is simply overkill but in 25 years of making the Dana and 350 examples there are no stories about any that have fallen off or failed. Not many manufacturers today can say the same! Considering how important a rudder is I applaud PSCs efforts.

All the solid bronze seacocks are screwed and bolted in with plywood backing pads. They are all oversized and totally solid. Every seacock is labelled so there’s no mistake about which outlet is which. This is a very simple detail but could be a life saver in certain situations and in any case is a very proper way to do things.

The mast and rig on the Dana is also heavy duty yet simple. Chainplates are chunky and bolted through with backing plates. Another nice feature that might not be obvious is that they are placed on the outside of the hull which has the advantage of making the decks wider and thus easier to walk along and also reduce the chance of deck leaks. The painted alloy mast is deck stepped in a stainless tabernackle that allows for single handed mast lowering, which is available as one of the many options with the Dana.

A Dana under construction.

Because the boat is not built to a price, PSC only select the best products for it and it’s not just the obvious stuff like stoves and cleats, it goes much further than skin deep. For example, PSC use only tinned copper wire for their boats. This is much better and slows down corrosion yet as far as I know, not one European manufacturer uses it. Not only are the cables tinned but they are also oversize. Most manufacturers use the thinnest they can get away with which is fine if you don’t add any further electrics but this seems unlikely. As soon as you add a few new toys there will be an unhelpful voltage drop.

The boat is full of nice little details. For example, all screw heads are aligned, no matter whether they are visible or not. Where the capping is joined PSC fit ‘dog bone’ inserts and I don’t know if it was deliberate but there’s a perfect place for two mugs of tea in the cockpit drains.

So there you have  a basic run down of the construction of the Dana. I’ve sailed on and worked on a great deal of boats in the last 25 years and I have never seen anything that compares to the Dana. Actually that’s not true. I did work on a Riva Aquarama for a while and they had taken anality to a whole new level with that but since it’s a speedboat and made of wood, the comparison is somewhat pointless.

Often heavy displacement boats like the Dana have a reputation for being poor sailors and it has been said that the Dana doesn’t sail well in light airs. I contest this and blame the many owners who load up the boat with drag inducing additions like mast steps, fixed 3 blade props, bbqs, outboard engines, davits, solar panels etc. If the boat is kept clean and the weight kept out of her ends I have found the Dana to sail well in light airs. It’s true that if there is a chop she doesn’t do so well. The trick is not to ‘pinch’ and to ease the sheets a little. I have surprised many much bigger boats in light airs.

The standard Dana is a sloop with a 130% genoa fitted but many were sold as cutters with a small staysail and a 110% jib. The Dana needs running back stays if you want to use the staysail as a heavy weather sail or the mast will pump. I do not believe that the Dana was ever supplied with runners but there’s a chance that the mast will have the necessary fitting already on it so fitting them is no hardship.

With some breeze there’s no stopping the Dana. She sails as if on rails. I know it’s a cliché but she does. She has quite a lot of sail area for a 24 foot boat and does everything very well indeed. She sails upwind well and although she doesn’t point as high as some more modern yachts, she never disgraces herself. She will point very high but she loses too much speed so I have found that she’s happiest (and fastest) about 40 degrees from the apparent wind.

Sailing to windward her helm becomes heavier but the angle of the rudder is very slight. She makes no leeway that I can discern. That long keel has plenty of bite. Her hull is easily driven and she prefers to sail more of less upright, she will still perform when over pressed and well heeled but it loads up the helm and is quite hard work so it’s simply better to pop a reef in since she’ll go almost as fast a lot more comfortably with less sail. Often in a good breeze we’ve averaged 6 knots to windward.

With the wind on the beam she sails beautifully with very little roll and only a slight heel. Because she has no overhangs, her ultimate speed is limited but she gets to hull speed very quickly and will hold it for weeks on end. It’s like being on a magic carpet ride, so smooth is her motion. Our best speed on a broad reach was over 7 knots. This was a steady speed we maintained. Mind you we had 35 knots of wind, two reefs in the main and the staysail.

Downwind the Dana is a witch. Her easily driven hull slips through the water with an effortless grace and plenty of speed. Even the autopilot can cope which is very unusual, many boats are just too lively downwind but again, that long keel keeps it all in hand. She does roll downwind but the motion is mellow and the angle she heels to not excessive. I have sailed on a lot of boats which roll much worse. I find the best sail set up for downwind sailing is to put the main on one side with a preventer line tied up forward. I then use a telescopic whisker pole to pole out the jib or staysail (depending on how much wind there is). This ‘goosewing’ set up is excellent and the Dana’s long keel means that you can have main sail up and the boat will still steer well. In fact, once the wind gets up, I drop all the foresails and carry on with just a reefed main. Even the autopilot can steer the boat.

On most voyages we can expect to average about 120 miles a day (5 kts ave) and this is most respectable. In light airs many big boats do not do so well.

The Dana has one peculiar trait that I have not yet managed to fully understand. When sailing with the wind on the stern quarter in big waves, she will turn her transom to face the next wave head on, then as the wave passes under her, she turns away a few degrees and goes down the wave obliquely and at speed only to repeat this when the next wave appears. If you have ever read Moitessier you will know that he thought this was a great way to cope with big waves in a storm and the Dana does it all by herself! It’s not a fluke either, it happens every time we are in a quartering sea. Even at anchor she shows a tendency to turn her stern into the waves if the wind is not present. It’s a very helpful and interesting trait as it’s far more comfortable to pitch than roll.

Doolittle is a cutter rig and this set up is very versatile but we also have an MPS which is excellent here in the Med where there are often extremely light winds. For offshore cruising I would always take the cutter rig over a sloop. When it’s very windy, the staysail and reefed main is a good combination. The foresails are high cut so they’re easy to look under and should be high enough to be out of the way of even the biggest waves.

The feel on the helm of the Dana is a little dull. She’s responsive enough and changes direction quickly but there’s little feedback. With the Navico TP30 autopilot it’s rare when I have to take the helm. I accept the dull feel on the tiller because although it’s great once in a while to take the helm of a well balanced fast boat, you soon tire of it after a few hours. The bottom line is that the Dana is built for cruising and not for racing. Small price to pay really.

Heavy weather sailing

Wind and waves building mid Atlantic.

The Dana takes bad weather in her stride and has so well balanced a hull form that she will even sail downwind in a gale under bare poles with just the tiller pilot steering the boat.

The conditions outside might be horrific but down below the motion is very smooth, even in the roughest seas. A good self steering system means you don’t need to be outside in the weather. The boat will take care of herself while you stay below and conserve your energy for any possible emergencies that might occur.

One time we were about 50 miles from Minorca when we were hit by a nasty storm. The waves grew very large and came at us from all directions. It was night time of course and we were lit by hundreds of flashes of lightning. The rain was torrential and horizontal in the strong winds. We set the boat on course to run with it and stayed below poking our heads out every now and then. Not that we could see much, it was dark and the visibility was very poor. As dawn broke and the day got brighter, we finally saw the conditions we’d sailed through all night. To this day I have not seen conditions like it. I laughed (perhaps slightly hysterically) to think that we were there at all. It was definitely one of those, ‘What the hell are we doing here’ situations.

If I had been in any other boat I might have been worried but the Dana is so solid and tough that I knew she wouldn’t let us down. It would be the crew who failed her, not the other way around. At one point we were knocked down. Celia was amazed at the colour of the windows, they were all green. It was because we had been knocked down to 90 degrees and a wave had broken over the deck. What she was looking at was the sea! She was in one of the saloon bunks when we were knocked down but she didn’t even realise what had happened because the motion was so mellow. We popped up in just a moment. By the time I got to the cockpit, any water that had filled the cockpit had already gone through the two cockpit drains.

The only evidence of what had happened was a small dent on the hanging locker door opposite the galley where the kettle had simply fallen off the stove because of the extreme angle the boat had got to and bashed into it. This is one tough boat. No matter what the conditions you feel that she could take a lot more. I wouldn’t hesitate to go anywhere in a Dana. A measure of this confidence is the fact that we don’t even carry a life raft.

25 knots of wind in the Straits of Gibraltar on route to Africa.

Having sailed over 10,000 miles in Doolittle I can happily say that I would take her anywhere and she wouldn’t let me down. The only very slight niggle I have is that once, just once, we were sailing down a particularly steep wave and I was on the foredeck tidying the sails and I felt that the bows lacked a bit of buoyancy. The bow’s entry is quite fine and the bows not particularly flared and there is little overhang. It was just a feeling that I had, after all the wave didn’t even get near the deck and I wondered if in an extreme situation she might want to pitch pole. No one else has mentioned this is 25 years so perhaps I’m just being paranoid.

One thing that the Dana will not do is hove to and it’s a shame because being hove to is an excellent tactic in heavy weather or whenever you just want to stop. Most modern boats don’t do this very well either whereas most old classic yachts do. The problem the Dana has is that she has a high freeboard up forward, a bowsprit and thus a lot of leverage at the bows which catches the wind and then the bows get blown off. Her keel is cut away at the bows and this certainly doesn’t help.

There’s not much that can be done. One can’t change the shape of the keel or reduce the freeboard. So she won’t hove to. At best she sort of sails badly to windward, heading up to about 45 degrees before being knocked off and dropping down to 90 degrees before heading up again. In fact she’s quite happy in nasty conditions like this but she would be better if she would just sit at 45 degrees to the wind. Once with a completely flat sea and a very light breeze, I was able to get Doolittle to hove to for half an hour with just the main sail. I was very pleased to see that she didn’t fore reach at all and merely drifted sideways leaving a massive textbook slick to weather.

This photo shows the Yawl rig as it will be when finished. The current sail is experimental.

The solution I have for this is to turn the Dana into a yawl with the addition of a small temporary mizzen mast. After all, it was exactly what Slocum did with the Spray, and if it was good enough for Captain Slocum, then it’s good enough for me! This little mizzen (Slocum called it a jigger) allows the Dana to hove to perfectly. Not only that but it makes an excellent heavy wind sail when used in conjunction with the staysail. The boat becomes perfectly balanced and can be steered simply by adjusting the angle of the mizzen sail. When it’s choppy this combination allows the Dana to sail through the waves with very little effort.

This photo shows the current experimental rig made from a 40 year old jib found in a skip. It works extremely well.

This mizzen mast is also very helpful at the anchorage. The Dana sails about all over the place when anchored. I don’t really mind but when it’s very windy, the bows catch the wind and she drops downwind and pulls up hard against the anchor and because the boat is so heavy it can have enough force to rip the anchor out of the sea bed. By flying the mizzen, she behaves impeccably at anchor facing directly into the wind as if aground. Another advantage of the mizzen is when you come to pull up the anchor. Without it, getting the anchor up can take time as the boat is either on one tack or the other. The sail also damps the roll slightly when anchored.

Doolittle in the Canal du Midi. How many ocean going yachts can also motor along canals?

It’s a sad fact of life that a yacht today needs a motor. Sailing into harbours is usually forbidden and with the amount of traffic at sea these days, a motor has become a necessity. The early Danas were fitted with a Yanmar 2GM20 two cylinder diesel engine producing about 18 hp. This seems a good choice for the heavy Dana.

The later Danas and Doolittle were fitted with the latest 3YM20 engines, now three cylinders and producing 21 hp. I did ask PSC at the time why they fitted such a big engine to such a small boat. It seems that the new range of engines from Yanmar started at 15 hp (2 cylinder) and they didn’t want to go ‘down’ in size so went up instead.

The 3YM is no heavier than the old 2GM so there’s no real reason not to fit a larger engine although I personally think the 15 hp would have been fine but I must confess, there have been a few times when I have been grateful for the full 21 hp that the 3YM delivers. I also like the fact that a 3 cylinder engine is smoother by design than a twin.

The 3YM is longer however and this has reduced the options for stern gear. I wanted to fit an Aquadrive as this is simply the best flexible coupling money can buy and reduces vibrations to almost nothing but there just isn’t the space to do it as the motor is so far back. In the end I fitted a Vetus Bullflex unit which works ok but not as well as an aquadrive.

This picture shows how little room there is for a flexible coupling.

The engine installation is excellent of course. The engine sits on part of the interior moulding which also contains a sump to catch any spills or leaks from the engine. The 60 litre fuel tank lives behind the lead keel under the floor and and is generally made of aluminium. Later Danas are fitted with fibreglass tanks which should last a lifetime.

There are all the usual filters and water separators naturally but also an electric fuel pump which does nothing it’s whole life unless for some reason the engine’s own fuel pump packs up. I love the whole PSC philosophy of carefully thought out solutions to age old problems, but I must say that even I feel that this is over kill. Engine fuel pumps are extremely reliable so I question the need for a back up fuel pump. It might be better to carry a spare engine fuel pump as they are very small and simply change it if it fails, rather than having a heavy, large and mostly useless electric pump in the engine bay. That said, it’s there and maybe one day I will be very glad of it.

All pipes are top quality and reinforced, held in place correctly where necessary. Wherever a pipe goes through a bulk head, it is always protected from chafe by the use of a piece of larger diameter pipe in the hole.

Since my boat has the 3YM I can’t really comment about the way the Dana works with the 2GM as I have only been on an old Dana briefly. What I do remember is that the engine was clattery and noisy. When I first got Doolittle, she was fitted with a 2 bladed fixed prop. With this she would reach hull speed (6.25kts) easily enough and could fight her way through a chop but she wouldn’t stop! This made moving the boat around in a marina tricky when it was windy as you need a bit of speed but then were unable to stop. So manoeuvres had to be done slowly which was fine so long as there was no wind on the side of the boat.

The 3YM was noisy on Doolittle as well. This is partly due to the two bladed prop, the fact there is very little sound proofing fitted to the engine bay, no flexible coupling on the motor but mainly, I think, because the hull on the Dana is so dense that it transmits sound readily. We know this because we can often hear dolphins calling long before we see them.

The first thing I did was fit Halyard sound proofing to the engine bay. I then fitted the Vetus Bullflex shaft coupling and finally a 3 bladed feathering Kiwiprop . This helped a lot but it’s still not the quietest or smoothest engine installation I have known. My friend Gus has a PSC Flicka and this has a single cylinder Yanmar 1GM engine. Even from new it was a noisy and clattery installation. Since then Gus has fitted an Aquadrive, sound proofing and a 3 bladed prop and it is much improved but like Doolittle, there’s no shutting it up completely. It’s the down side of owning such a solid boat!

With the 3YM engine there’s plenty of power for moving the boat in the marina. The Dana can be made to turn almost in it’s own length, she is really very agile. She will happily go backwards as well. However if there is wind on the beam of any strength then you have a problem. The cut away forefoot and all that freeboard means that the bows will get blown down and there’s not much you can do about it.

Having the Kiwiprop helps a lot and I can now confidently moor Doolittle in the most demanding conditions. I can get speed up in moments but more importantly I can stop the boat instantly as well. The power of the Kiwiprop in reverse is awesome. Often moving the boat with the old two bladed prop was impossible, the prop just didn’t have the bite and the boat was too heavy.

Manoeuvring the Dana is made easier by a tiller that lifts up and allows you to stand in the cockpit and look right along the boat. Most Danas are fitted with twin lever engine controls which seem very complicated to me so fitted to Doolittle is a removable handle Spinlock system. Incidentally the twin lever system invalidates the engine guarantee so I never did understand why PSC fitted them. It must be an American preference thing.

The hull of the Dana is very easily driven and at speeds of up to about 5 knots there is virtually no wash at all. With just 2200 rpm we can motor at 5 knots on a flat sea. This uses about 1.25litres an hour so we have a range of about 40 hours which isn’t huge but then this is a sailing boat! Considering the size of the engine and the weight of the boat it’s not bad fuel economy really.

Another feature of the Dana that is worth mentioning is the fact that the cut out for the prop is placed in the hull and not the rudder. All the boats I have sailed on that have a cut away in the rudder have had problematical steering. By not cutting into the rudder, the flow over it is always clean. Nothing affects a boat’s steering more than a hole in the rudder!

There’s plenty of room behind the engine for a decent sized hot water tank. The one I fitted is a stainless steel 20 litre version that heats water from the mains or from the engine. It only takes about 15 minutes to heat up and there’s more than enough for two very generous showers.

Living aboard

This picture shows the Dana’s spacious oiled teak interior. Over 6 foot of headroom and even a table that slides away under the V berth.

For two the Dana is a perfect boat. We might live on a 24 foot boat but both feel that we have as many comforts as any landlubber. In port we sleep on the large V berth forward. It is a full 2 metres long and wide, tapering as it goes forward. The foam is latex and even after 5 years of being slept on it’s lost nothing of it’s springyness and comfort. The latex foam was a $400 option. Money well spent. The V berth is a supremely comfy bed made all the more pleasant by having the forehatch directly above one’s head. I often wonder how many people get to fall asleep while looking at the stars. It’s by far the best bed I’ve ever owned. Under the bed is a very large locker which runs the whole width of the boat. It’s not the easiest to get to as the two bunk cushions need to be moved out of the way first but for things that you don’t need often it’s a very useful space.

View from the V bunk looking aft.

The saloon bunks are also latex and extremely comfortable to sit on. They also make excellent sea berths, being located as they are centrally in the boat. Because the boat was designed for Americans all the dimensions are generous. Even the saloon bunks are fully 2 metres long and easily wide enough for bottoms and sleeping. There are 3 lockers under each bunk which can take a huge amount of food. They are top loading.

There is over 6 foot headroom throughout the cabin which is pretty good for a 24 foot boat. The floor is almost a metre wide and made of teak and holly plywood. Access to the fuel tank is by a lift out floor board. The tank has a built in fuel gauge which can only be seen by lifting the floor.

Access to the bilge behind the fuel tank is next to impossible. There’s no room behind the engine to get in and there’s not much at the tank end either. Best advice: Don’t drop anything in there! Access to the engine is excellent. There is a large panel under the companionway that comes out and also a very large cockpit engine panel held down with four knurled bronze nuts. Things like fuel filters and water strainers are easy to get at with the cockpit cover out.

Leica M9, 21mm Asph Cabin looking aft. Box under companionway is a replacement for the original steps. Doors are not original either. Originally there were 4 solid teak washboards.

The boat is all teak below. There is some fibreglass showing but it is in no way offensive and simply helps to brighten the interior. If the whole boat was wood it might be a bit much. The finish is oil and not varnish although some Danas were varnished from new, others have been varnished since.

Note: The new Danas made by Seacraft use cherry wood down below. I applaud the ecological benefits of using this fast growing timber but personally I don’t like it. However Seacraft will build the boat using any wood you like.

The boat has a very nice spacious and open feel to it. It’s not poky. The 8 opening bronze port holes and the forehatch let in a lot of light and air if you want. If the Dana has a fault down below it’s the lack of ventilation. This is something that very few modern boat builders consider properly. It’s true that in fine weather the Dana is better ventilated than most boats but as soon as it starts raining you need to close the ports or water will run in from the cabin top.

The problem with port holes is that their frames condensate and drip water down the cabin sides. There’s not much that can be done about this. A better design of port holes would help but no one has attempted this. The ports PSC use now for the Dana are pressed stainless ones which are smaller and give the Dana a squinty look, also they look like baking tins and to my mind spoil the boat completely. In the old days, PSC had their own portholes cast in New Zealand. They even had the PSC logo embossed in the outside frames. I never did discover why they stopped using them but it was a mistake as they gave the boat a nice individual look that no other boats on the market could match.

As hard as they tried, PSC just couldn’t get their hands on an original set of ports for Doolittle so I had to settle for these made by New Found Metals. They are OK but not a patch on the originals but still better than the baking tin specials they use now.

The hatch on Doolittle is a Bomar venting hatch which is not standard, it was something I insisted on. The lockers and cupboards do not have ventilation holes between them, they are all so well glassed in. PSC could have saved some weight and allowed air to pass all through the boat even through closed lockers.

Some of the locker doors are made with slats for ventilation which is helpful but what they should have done is made every locker door like this. I realise that they have to keep the price reasonable and that’s probably why not all the locker doors are vented. Doolittle has flush fitting locker doors using Soss invisible hinges. Early Danas had frames with external brass hinges.

There are shelves on either side of the V berth with removable fiddles. There is room here for most of our clothes. Behind the saloon bunks there are further shelves with removable fiddles and these are perfect for books. On some Danas the shelf is turned into cupboards but I think they make the boat look a bit fussy and cluttered. On Doolittle there are teak slats but on many Danas there is simply a pvc covered panel.

The doors I made to replace the original washboards. The entire assembly lifts out easily and also houses the compass, gps and TackTick log.

The Dana has 4 solid teak wash boards that slot in and a solid sliding hatch made of fibreglass. We soon got bored of fitting and removing the boards so I made some doors which is a much more sensible solution if you live aboard. Under the washboards is a small yet useful locker. Teak steps deliver you into the cabin and these can be removed for access to the engine panel when needed. I always found that they rattled when the engine was running and no amount of wedges would stop the noise for long so eventually I removed them and made a box instead. This box is also a place for shoes, rubbish and recycling. Like most boats, the Dana has no dedicated place for rubbish as standard.

The galley is on the port side by the companion way. There is a two burner hob, grill and oven made by Force 10. Because it’s an American boat it has the American version which is a few inches wider than the European one. It’s an excellent oven with flame failure devices and a spark for lighting the various flames. There is a double glazed window in the oven and the door slides under the stove when open. This simple feature is really needed or the door would stick too far into the cabin to be safe. There is a work top that covers the stove and lives behind in it’s own slot. Very tidy and simple.

Author in the fridge. Most lockers on the Dana are big enough to get into.

Some Danas had a small lift up table to the right of the stove which increases the work surface in the galley which isn’t huge, most of it taken up by the fridge, sink and stove. The fridge lid is sensibly made in two parts hinged in the middle so you don’t have to shift everything off the top to get into the fridge. The fridge is very well insulated with a minimum of four inches of foam all around it. It’s special foam that is poured in a liquid form which then sets. Even the fridge lid is about three inches thick and because it’s a top loader it is even more efficient. Inside the fridge are two clear Perspex shelves dividing the space. The fridge has a 100 litre capacity and is actually big enough for me to get into. Most boats 30 feet long don’t have a fridge this size.

It’s relatively easy to access the contents even though it is placed far aft in the galley. Behind the fridge is a useful cupboard although most Danas use this space to make a space wasting place for plates and cups. When we ordered Doolittle we asked PSC to fit a closed cupboard which has worked well. Next to the fridge is a good deep stainless sink with a foot pump to get water out of the water tank which is moulded in at the front of the boat under the bed. It has a capacity of 150 litres. Above the fridge is the electric panel which hinges down for easy access to display beautifully presented and tidy colour coded wires. The switches used are breakers which simply turn off if short circuited.

Under the sink is a large cupboard taken up mainly by the fridge drain pump and the sink seacock. In some respects I wish that PSC had moved the seacock slightly to allow a more useful locker but it’s right in the middle. They do this because all seacocks should be accessible quickly in the event of a problem. What you don’t want is to have to empty a locker to get to one. It’s also easier for PSC to fit the seacocks centrally as they are easier to fit and connect.

Often one wonders why something has been done a certain way on the Dana but usually there is a good reason for it. I might not always agree that PSC chose the right way but they did at least consider it and then chose the best compromise that fitted into their philosophy for building boats. After all, the Dana is a production boat and costs must be cut somehow. What you end up with is a strong and trusty seaworthy boat that won’t get sunk by accident.

Behind the sink and cooker is a deep cupboard with two sliding doors. It’s a bit dangerous having to reach across a possibly hot stove to get out the olive oil but it’s too good a space not be used for a cupboard but one soon learns to take care! There is also a large locker under the stove.

The Dana is well lit with no less than eight lamps in the cabin. Four in the ceiling and four reading lamps well placed at each end of the saloon bunks. The headlining in the Dana needs special mention. It is made of pvc and has full length zips in it. The zips allow access to the deck, should you need to fit something to it. They can also be unzipped when leaving the boat for a bit of ventilation. It’s very smart and a vast improvement on most manufacturers efforts. Also in the ceiling are two long teak hand holds which are placed parallel to the saloon bunks creating an obvious place to tie the lee cloths to.

Note: The latest Danas made by Seacraft do not have this headlining system which is a shame. They use a series of panels which to my mind spoils the interior of the boat and makes it look cheap. I do not know why they chose to change the old proven system.

Above the foot of the bed is another big locker also big enough for me to climb into, and at the back of that a small panel comes out and gives access to the chain locker.

Opposite the galley is a hanging locker and yes, you guessed it, I can get in that one too! It is lined with cedar and this gives a lovely smell to the clothes hung up in there. In fact we have divided the cupboard with shelves which utilises the space much more efficiently. Above the locker is a useful fiddled space which is used for fruit mainly.

The heads compartment has all you need but is small. This is actually a bonus at sea when it’s rough as you can wedge yourself in when on the throne. The toilet is a Grocco HF. It has a solid bronze base and a plastic pump. It has not been very reliable and has needed repairs a few times. The design is a bit pants and could be improved. The spares kit they sell for it doesn’t contain the O rings you need for the small bronze switch over valve which leaks after a year or so.

There’s a round shallow sink in the heads and a hand pump to get at the water but this was the first thing to get rid of. I have never understood hand pumps since you need at least one hand to use it but how can you wash your hands like this? Not only this but in their wisdom, PSC put  the pump on the right hand side of the sink whereas it would have been better looking and more efficient on the left hand side.

There is a locker next to the sink and another under it. Neither of these lockers have vented doors but they should have. Behind the toilet is a very large locker with double vented doors, I suppose for wet waterproofs but we use it for everything but. The battery charger and the inverter are fitted in this locker as they are nearest to the batteries.

There is a shower grate made of teak and a useful and deep sump to catch the shower water. There is a switch by the sink which operates the shower pump which is installed in the stb cockpit locker. There is a filter to catch hairs and stuff before they get into the pump. It needs cleaning regularly. The only aspect of this installation that bothers me slightly is that there is absolutely no way to get at the back of the drain fitting. It was installed before the inner lining was glued in. If ever there is a problem with this I will have to somehow cut a hole to get access to it. However there’s no reason why it should cause trouble for decades but…

The head door is a solid teak frame with teak ply panels held in place with a full length bronze piano hinge and a lot of screws. I can put all my weight on the door no problem at all. The knob is bronze of course and even has a lock on it for those who want a little privacy.

The only complaint with the Dana heads compartment is the ridiculous lack of a step to stop shower water draining straight out of the shower and into the cabin. I don’t know what PSC were thinking about. The door closes into a step in the moulding which is all very well but it doesn’t stop the water. In the end I solved this by cutting about 40mm off the bottom of the door and fitting a step into the moulding which is what PSC should have done in the first place. No doubt it was one of those things that just wasn’t worth doing properly, after all, how many people would actually be showering in there? The answer to that is probably not many, but having spent too many depressing times in cold and filthy Marina shower blocks I was determined to have a shower on my boat.

A step added to the head’s compartment. Before, shower water would simply run out on to the cabin floor! Teak grate comes as standard, as does a pump to empty the shower tray.

That about sums up the interior although I haven’t mentioned the stainless steel pole right in the middle of the table. It is a bit odd when you stop and think about it. How many other people have a metal pole in their living room? I understand the need for it, after all it supports the mast but it is odd. However PSC have used it well as it makes a good thing to grab at sea and it also supports the table by the use of a stainless pin which slots into a hole in the post. The table is big enough to seat four and is strong enough to stand on, I know because I do it all the time. It is teak trimmed with a durable cream coloured Formica. It slides under the bed when you don’t want it in sight and is a very clever solution to the age old table issue on small boats. Under the table are two large sliding drawers and a third locker where the speed transducer is fitted.

The one thing the Dana doesn’t have below is a chart table but I applaud this. Fitting a chart table to such a small boat would have upset the otherwise excellent use of space. Halberg Rassy’s new 35 footer has no chart table and I’m sure that in the future very few, if any, small boats will have dedicated chart tables. After all, with electronic charts and plotters becoming the norm it’s a logical step. If I need to consult or work on a chart I can use the floor or the bed.

The Dana has a very nice deck. There is a moulded in non slip pattern to the fibre glass which makes much more sense to me than a teak deck does. The side decks are easily wide enough to walk along and getting to the decks from the cockpit is easy to do. The foredeck is spacious enough for sail handling and the front of the cabin makes an excellent back rest for two. It’s simple things like this that make the Dana so excellent. Many modern boats have sleek cabins that cannot be sat against which is a shame as it’s a great place to sit on a sunny windless day when you’re motoring. The autopilot steers the boat and you’re further from the noise of the engine.

There are full length teak handrails on the cabin top so there’s no shortage of places to grab when going forward. There is an excellent light on the mast that illuminates the foredeck perfectly at night.

The stanchions are all 26” high and this adds to the feeling of security. You won’t fall off the Dana easily. The bowsprit allows great anchor options but also makes a great platform for watching dolphins or just contemplating the universe as you sail along.

The cockpit is a great place to be. Many boat designers reduce the size of the cockpit to make a greater space below but Crealock avoided this mistake and the cockpit is long enough to lie down in. The combings are curved and comfy to lean back on. The seats are well spaced so that you have somewhere to wedge your feet when the boat is heeled over.

Crew ‘On watch’. The cockpit is over 6 feet long. Cockpit cushions have since been fitted. ‘Dave’ the Navico autopilot in charge.

There are three lockers in the cockpit. At the stern there is a gas locker which vents over the stern. It is very low and when sailing water comes in through the drain. In the US gas bottles are generally aluminium so a bit of salt water on them is no problem, however in Europe we have steel bottles and they tend to rust up quickly. Mind you, it’s a small price to pay for the safety that a completely separate locker for the gas gives you.

On the Starboard side, the cockpit locker houses the batteries, holding tank, seacocks for the toilet, diverter valve, pump out for the holding tank, bilge pump and the shower drain pump. It’s a busy locker but there is still a lot of space for things like buckets, hoses etc.

The cockpit locker on the port side is virtually empty and can only be described as voluminous. In ours we have: Two folding bikes, 4 bags of woodworking tools, a small work bench, mooring lines, sheets etc, 6 large fenders and even the MPS! Of course if you want a chisel or a tape measure…

One annoying thing that PSC do for want of a simpler solution is to fit the steering compass on the starboard aft end of the cabin which sadly spoils an otherwise excellent place to sit. They normally put instruments on the other side thus spoiling another good place to sit. All the Dana’s I have seen are like this so unless you buy a new one, you’ll just have to live with it.

The Dana has her diesel fuel filler in the cockpit by the companionway. It’s a logical place to put it because there is only a short pipe run to the tank. They also fit the tank breather in the same place and this good in the sense that if you do overfill the tank and diesel comes out of the breather it can be soaked up rather than going over the side but when the tank is full and the weather rough you can smell diesel from the breather. When you’re not feeling well this can be unhelpful.

One of the disadvantages of a small boat is where to put a dinghy but the Dana is lucky in this sense because it has two novel dinghies designed especially for it. For most people an inflatable boat is the best compromise. They can be deflated and either put away in a locker or lashed on the foredeck. If you want a hard, albeit small dinghy there is the Deckster which stows on the cabin and around the mast thanks to a special removable bow section. If that’s not elegant enough a solution take a look at the Stasha which is a very light nesting dinghy that fits perfectly on the Dana’s foredeck.

Some things the Dana doesn’t do

There’s no place to stow anything over six feet long down below. Because the cabin is open plan, it’s all used as a living space and there is no where to even put a boat hook, unless you don’t mind putting it on the bed. On the Pacific Seacraft Flicka, there is a deep quarter berth that is excellent for things like that but the Dana lacks this feature. It’s just one of the prices that must be paid for that large open plan interior.

Actually that’s about the only fault I can think of. Anything else that it doesn’t do is simply the product of being a small boat. After all the Dana is just 24 feet on deck and that is often forgotten. Maybe it’s best to think of the Dana as a 30 foot boat which can go on a trailer or find a cheap place in any marina at any time of the year.

The seacock for the head sink must be closed when sailing on a port tack or the sink can fill with water.

Some known issues

The Dana was designed in 1984 and the then owners of PSC did an absolutely brilliant job on the Dana. It says much for their foresight and quality of work that the same moulds they made 25 years ago are still in use today.

The first Danas cost about $100,000 at the time but later on, a cheaper way of building the hulls was found ( I never did discover what this was – I know the layup and types of cloth were changed and the Dana also lost a bit of weight). The Mark 2 Danas were about $70,000 which although still expensive for a 24 foot boat were more attainable and about 350 have been made over the last 25 years.

PSC went bust shortly after I bought Doolittle and the moulds were bought by Seacraft who now offer the Dana (albeit finished slightly differently ) for about $150,000. It’s entirely possible that PSC were selling Danas at a loss as they made such excellent ambassadors for the company. I can’t see how they managed to make one for $70k. The then CEO Don Kohlmann joked that PSC only made $17 on each Dana sold. Perhaps he wasn’t joking. He also told me that a Dana takes about 2500 man hours to assemble. I can well believe it.

It’s hard for me to know what was going on at PSC when I ordered my boat back in 2005 but from what I have gleaned all was not well there. The original owners had sold PSC to a Singapore company that ran the company for many years. Then about when I ordered Doolittle it was bought by a guy who sold Porsche and Audi in Beverly Hills. Perhaps he thought PSC was a cash cow and he’d make a packet but I think he soon tired of the idea and lost interest.

Judging by the many mistakes and shoddy work done on my boat I think there was more going on that I can ever know. All I know is that I did get my boat and only a week late. When I saw what soon happened to PSC and what a Dana costs now, I consider myself very lucky to have bought my boat when I did.

Mexicans build my boat, deck visible in background.

In fairness to PSC they did their best to make my boat just how I wanted it but they rushed the build although I’d given them a year to make it. The bloke who put the woodwork in the boat must have been half blind or incompetent. Or both. My boat was the last he built. He retired soon after. Not a moment too soon I thought. Even allowing for the fact that I was buying a production boat I was shocked at some of the bloody awful work he did. Thankfully it’s only me that can see these details, they wouldn’t matter or even be noticed by most people. I have since corrected most of his mistakes. All the woodwork that was made in the shop and later fitted was beautifully made.

Despite these cosmetic problems we still launched the boat and after just one week set off home across the Atlantic. Some problems have come to light since but because PSC no longer exist (at least as they were – they are now on the east coast) I have no come back.

Perhaps the most serious of the problems is a cracked rudder gudgeon. In fact it’s not as serious as you might think since the rudder is engineered to be strong enough without it but it’s still a disappointment. The crack is still there but has got no bigger and there is no play in the rudder so for the time being I’m keeping an eye on it. There were other owners who had similar problems. Perhaps a batch of bad castings?

Other Dana issues include problems with the mast step collapsing. This is due to water getting in to the step and rotting out the plywood, then the fibreglass cracks. The solution is to remove the mast and the tabernackle and replace the wood and re-glass the area. For a specialist it’s a straightforward job with easy access.

Often owners have reported leaks by the scuppers on the side decks. The mark one Danas have one scupper, later versions two. They are finished with bronze castings. The remedy is to remove these, dig out all the old sealant and then replace it. Again, a straightforward task with good access.

Fuel tanks were made of aluminium until recently and after 20 years of sitting in bilge water many of them corrode and start to leak. Fortunately, thanks to the good basic principals of PSC the tank is easily removed for replacement.

Some Danas had delaminating bowsprit problems. PSCs solution was to leave a bigger glue gap working on the assumption that they didn’t use enough glue. That’s not the problem however. It seems more likely to me that three laminates just isn’t enough. It would have been better had they used 5. Wood is an amazing material but it absorbs moisture and changes shape slightly all the time. Depending on how the wood was cut and the direction of the grain will have a huge effect on how much and in what direction it moves. The wood can move so much that the glue line can simply break. By using more laminates you introduce more glued area and the chances of the sprit delaminating are reduced. I also noticed during my tour of the factory that no additives were put into the epoxy which leaves it hard and brittle. One reason for adding fibres is to give the glue more flexibility.

Here is a 2003 Dana with chromed bronze fittings and varnish. Shows the way the substantial bowsprit platform is fitted on top of the bowsprit. Ugly, wide and uneven glue joins visible.

Another problem with the bowsprit is the bowsprit platform which is bolted directly on top of it. This is one of those classic ‘It will do because any other way is just too complicated’ decisions by PSC but it does make getting to the bowsprit to varnish it almost impossible. So what happens is that it doesn’t get varnished, water gets in and the bowsprit starts to rot.

On Doolittle, I soon modified the platform to mount on either side of the bowsprit. I did this for many reasons. It makes the boat look better, it reduces weight and windage up forward and it means you can see the bowsprit for maintenance. The capping is now visible whereas before it disappeared under the platform and a nice ‘boaty’ type feature was lost. It also lowered the lifelines forward a little which also improved the boats lines.

Doolittle’s modified bowsprit platform. Note how the capping ends at the bowsprit. You couldn’t see this before. Better glue lines on this bowsprit and much easier to maintain and inspect.

The staysail track is a bit short which means it’s hard to properly trim the sail on a broad reach. Some owners have had the staysail cut a little higher to rectify this. It’s not a big deal.

Perhaps it seems like the Dana has a lot of problems but these do not apply to all boats only the occasional one. The Dana may be a production boat but it still requires a lot of skill to put one together so it’s not surprising that some boats may be built better than others. As a boat builder of 20 years I can tell you that although she may have some issues, none of them are particularly serious and can be easily remedied. However, they’re nothing to the problems I have seen on many other modern boats. PSC did all the important bits right.

Maintaining a Dana 24

The Dana is a relatively easy boat to look after depending on how much varnish you have! Most Danas have a wooden cap rail and many of them are varnished. However this is not an easy job as the stanchions and life lines get in the way when working and varnishing around the genoa track is a pain, there’s also the bowsprit to consider. Doolittle has her teak bare and untreated. It has never been treated and it never will. My last boat was covered in varnish. I have done my time on that score.

Most Danas have wooden handrails bolted through the cabin top and again, many are varnished. This is a hard job to do well and there is a lot of masking involved. There is an argument against varnishing hand rails because it can make them slippery when wet. Another good reason for not varnishing! Teak is about the only wood that can take this sort of abuse. It is full of natural oils that protect the wood from rotting. However the teak does go grey and if not washed regularly can go mouldy in places.

On Doolittle I wash the teak with soapy water from time to time but I never scrub it. Despite this, the capping is looking very worn in places with raised grain. It will soon be time to sand it lightly and get it flat again. This is the kind of maintenance I like, a small amount every half decade or so.

Pacific Seacraft must have been aware that the exterior woodwork involved a certain level of upkeep so they offered a few alternatives, such as an alloy toe-rail in lieu of the wooden one which although practical makes the Dana look too much like other ordinary boats. I’ll take the teak with all its issues thanks. They also offered a few of the later boats with plastic wood rubbing strakes. And for the cabin top they offered stainless handrails. Again, practical but somehow out of character, cold and unfriendly.

The mast is easy to look after as it is well painted. I keep an eye open for bubbling paint and scratches and take care of them as soon as I get a chance. They say you can’t polish the paint when it dulls because it ruins the paint but I have successfully polished the mast and it still looks good today. personally I believe if you can keep paint shiny then that’s better than letting it go dull and simply repainting it. Anyway, the mast is nearly 7 years old now and still looks shiny.

The hull is easy to clean using a brush on a pole but there are two areas that are impossible to get at from the deck and that is aft on both sides where the transom tucks under. You can get to these areas easy enough with a dinghy however.

Most Danas were finished down below with teak oil rather than varnish. Naturally some were varnished. Doolittle’s interior is done with teak oil so I can’t comment on the longevity and practicality of varnish. I will say this though. I would not like to varnish a Dana interior with it’s slats in various doors and panels in the others. There is a lot of wood down below in a Dana and varnishing that lot would take weeks, not to mention the dust and the mess.

Teak oiling is a far simpler solution. It looks nice, it’s more mellow and comfortable to look at than varnish and it’s easy and less messy. The trick with successful teak oil is to make sure there are enough coats protecting the wood. The factory maybe applied 3 or 4 coats and this is no way near enough. Each coat needs to be allowed to properly dry before the next is applied. It can take weeks to get a few coats on.

I have found that the best finish is achieved by first washing the woodwork with soapy water and letting it dry thoroughly followed by a swift rub over to remove any nibs or bits of dust with the scratchy part of a sponge helps. I apply the oil with a sponge and try to get as much as possible on. I work on small areas at a time. I leave the oil for about ten minutes and then remove the excess with kitchen roll which I have found leaves a nice clean thin coat of oil that soon dries. Repeat this once a week or so until you have a nice regular finish. It can take at least 6 coats before it looks even and not patchy or rough.

The teak oil finish is still good on Doolittle despite living on her for almost 7 years now. I have regularly added coats of teak oil and over the years the teak has mellowed and it all shares a nice warm red/brown colour, except for the bulkhead by the companionway which has gone quite light from the sun. Varnish would have done the same so there are no real disadvantages to oiling. I think at the end of the day it just comes down to personal preference. I’m obviously biased as I hate varnishing but teak oil does protect the wood and that is what matters to me. If in years to come the wood needs cheering up, it’s much less work scraping off dried teak oil than dried varnish!

Cleaning the bilge is one job that is practically impossible to do as there is no way to get to it. You can look at it but with the engine in place that’s about all you can do. And don’t drop anything in there either or you’ll have fun and games getting it out! Luckily the bilge stays pretty clean as the cabin floor is sealed and there is a sump tray under the engine to catch spills.

Apart from these slight issues the Dana is not a hard boat to maintain. All the important bits, like stern glands, motors, pumps and batteries etc are all easy to get at. I would say that keeping a Dana spick and span involves a bit more work than most modern yachts but this is the price you pay to be that little bit different.

I first discovered Pacific Seacraft back in 1994 when I came across ‘Caraway’ a little black Flicka in Cornwall. I fell in love with the boat but when I discovered that PSC also made a bigger version called the Dana, I knew that it was the boat for me. It took 15 years but now I have the boat of my dreams. If I won the lottery I wouldn’t buy a bigger boat. What people fail to realise is how much work it is keeping a boat in shape. It’s hard enough with a 24 foot boat let alone a 40 footer.

‘Caraway’ the mighty Flicka that started it all. Here she is barrelling down wind with a fat bone in her teeth.

The Dana is so small that I can easily sail it singlehanded. I don’t need crew, I can just up and leave at a moment’s notice. She might be small but she does all I could ever hope for. Bigger boats might be faster but when you’re so happy and comfy at sea, what’s the rush?

So, a brilliant boat despite it’s 24 foot length. Spacious, comfortable, safe, solid, capable, easy to sail, small enough to be trailered or find it’s way into the smallest harbours, creaks or canals. There is no stretch of water on the planet that the Dana couldn’t get to. Yet it’s big enough to offer real ocean crossing ability at speeds that can surprise.

Pacific Seacraft built the Dana well. Any problems they may have are easily sorted or mostly cosmetic in nature. The basic boats are built to last with the best materials. Proof of this can be seen in the Dana’s high second hand values. You could probably buy a second hand one, use it and care for it for five years then sell it on and not lose a penny. There’s even a Yahoo group for the Dana and a lot of experienced sailors on it who know the boat well and are more happy to share their knowledge.

* Doolittle is now for sale. To find out more, please visit this page

To learn a bit more and see the Danas specifications visit Bluewaterboats.org

Leica Digilux 2. Long exposure, early morning. This image is exactly as it came out of the camera.

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A very customised fliptail 7, dana 24 for sale. one of the last, most desirable, highly modified & vat paid. hull number 342 (2005), the stasha ‘tweed’ nesting dinghy uses flax, 27 thoughts on “pacific seacraft dana 24 review”.

Thanks for this. I recently became fascinated by sailing and joined a sailing club. I’m incredibly jealous of the traveling you’ve done in this little boat. My only reservation about it is that it may be too small for me (I’m 6’5″) so I’m looking for something with a little more headroom like a Westsail 32. Beautiful photos too. Thanks again!

I can understand your passion for the Dana 24 given it is the type of boat you own, but this is one of the best boat reviews for any boat I have read.

I have never seen a more detailed report on a yacht in 58 years of sailing. I totaly agree that the Dana 24 is the perfect little Big yacht. I f I was to change my Colvic Watson 32 Motor Sailor the Dana would be my only choise. Thank you very much. Pete Gallienne

From one Dana owner to another, this is a very well written piece that certainly does justice to what this vessel is.

What an excellent review on a fantastic vessel. If only I can win that Lottery I know the boat I want..lol

Thanks again! Brent

I congratulate you, a fine report fr a fine little ship. You are so lucky, the perfect compromise for what I need.

Keep lucky.

“Doolittle” might just be the quintessential Dana! In the meantime … I will enjoy my “Graceful Exit” on the Pacific coast. I have learned a lot from you! Keep up the reports on your incredible adventures. Laurence

Thanks so much for the review. I have owned 5 yachts so far and was looking for a yacht that was small enough for me to handle by myself or big enough to enjoy company. I am so impressed. I love the feature of the head near the companion way…fantastic…hate those that are up the bow of the boat…single handing its a nightmare & and the kettle so close too 🙂 The hatch above to look at the stars in bed i love it…i had this before on one of my previous yachts…fantastic to look at the stars lying back on your bunk on a clear night. I will be getting one 🙂

Very well writen and instructive! This looks to be a fantastic boat with minimum of headache and maximum of pleasure. Having said that, you seem to have prefered the original bronze portholes on Doolitle; I agree, great for looks but would that not be an enourmous hassle to keep shining?

PS: Are you still in the med?

By the far the most comprehensive review I have ever read. Congratulations. The Dana 24 is obviously a fine vessel, but the insights and pictures given in the review are superb. Thanks. Cheers Andy

[…] Dana 24s were fitted with the Yanmar 2GM engines, now they are fitted with the 3YM 20. It’s basically a […]

Amazing review of an amazing pocket cruiser.

I also notice you don’t have a windvane nor a radar. Why not?

[…] the Dana 24 as an example. A very expensive boat for its size. Personally I don’t think it’s expensive, I […]

I googled “Dana 24” after seeing an ad in my regional sailing magazine – your review was the first result. I’ve been fascinated by the PSC Crealock 34 and 37, but reading your review makes me thing the Dana might be all I ever need. Thank you for the in-depth review of both your boat and boat buying experience. It’s incredibly informational and a good read!

Excellent review! I’ve been researching bluewater boats for months, with intent to purchase very soon, and this is by far the most comprehensive review I have come across for any bluewater boat. And the principles in the review can be applied to almost any boat. Thanks!

Looks like you have what I would term a “proper boat” – ie build like a boat should be built. I too would be proud to own such a vessel. There seems to be a general opinion these days that if you want to go offshore you need a boat around 40 feet. The important things in my opinion are not size (within linits) but good design and sound construction. It needs to be constructed by a builder who dots hid “i’s” and crosses his “t’s” – no shortcuts. Smaller boats are far cheaper to buy and cost far less in maintenence, are easier to manouvre in confined spaces like a marina – yet a boat around 24 feet can average well over 100 miles per day in good conditions and can be adequately seaworthy. The hull of my boat was designed by Sparkman and Stevens but deck and cabin by someone else and built in fibreglass. Ny boat is a modified version on the Dolphin 24 or Yankee Dolphin 34 built in USA. (See website). The difference is that my boat has a longish fin keel amd skeg and rudder whereas the USA boats have a shallow full keel and centreboard. A beautiful boat that can be made offshore capable. In fact one did the Transpac and another the same as mine was sailed from New Zealand to France via Cape of Good Hope. His average across the Atlantic was 112 miles per day and his best run was 142. The deck/cabin of mine had a number of bad design and construction faults that I have spent quite a few years correcting, one being water collecting in the cockpit seats and well. Also hatches that leaked. I am not far from relaunching and will have a boat as good looking and seaworthy as yours – a boat to be really proud of 🙂


[…]Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 review[…]…

Graet review Benj!

Small boats are the best. Find out why and read about the Dana’s little sister the Flicka here:


Great article!

My wife and I sailed our PSC 37 from San Diego to New Zealand in 2004. We had some heavy weather but no anxious moments. Pacific Seacraft certainly made a quality product in their Fullerton plant.

Now that I’m retired I am considering another boat, a Dana 24. Your article has spurred me on!

Alan Williams Vancouver, Canada

Good day, I would like permission to use one of your picture, would you contact me please? All credit would be given of course! …Excellent review btw, I have been looking fo rthe ‘right’ Dana 24 and when I find it… Also I love the dark hull wish I cold find one with dark gelcoat like yours. Cheers a.

Hello, I am very surprised that such a brilliantly designed boat cannot heave to. I did some Googling, and found this video that seems to show a Dana24 heaving to – and so I’m just wondering if you had any input on that. Thank you!


P.S. Your review is absolutely outstanding. Thank you for all of this!

Ahoy Peter,

If you look closely at the video you will see that the waves are coming from the side of the boat and not the bows as it should do when a boat is correctly hove to. The fact that boat was also rolling when hove to also suggests that the waves were coming from the side.

When a boat is correctly hove to it should be fore reaching very slowly (about half a knot) and it should be pointing to windward (about 50 degrees of so). The slick produced should be ahead of the boat not alongside. The idea being that the slick, being ahead of the boat, will stop the waves breaking before they get to the boat.

I was wondering if you had more pictures of your boat? It is set up well, and clean.

I have loads more pictures of my boat. What did you have in mind?

Thanks for the great review, Ive fallen in love with DANA 24.

Thanks for this fantastic review of the Dana 24. I used to have a Pearson 26 in Florida, which was fine for day sailing but not built heavy duty like a Dana. I was looking for the perfect pocket cruiser and I have now found it. My wife and I are now saving for a Dana of our own. Watching the Doolittle video has us drooling. Damn she’s pretty! By the way could you tell me the name of the band playing that fine music on your video? Thx again!

Simply fantastic review of the Dana. I am saving up for one right now. Once the kids are out of college and the Mortgage is paid off and hopefullly I can still function properly, this is the one for me. BTW, how small are you? I am 5’6′ but a little round in the hips and in no way shape or form could get into that ice box!

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Homepage » Yacht Listings » 24′ Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 24' Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

Listing No. 5780


Price/ $ 76,900

Hull Material/ Fiberglass

Colour/ White

Beam/ 8' 7"

Draft/ 3' 10"

Displacement/ 8000#

Host Office/ West Vancouver

Location/ Thunderbird Marina

Moorage/ no

The Dana 24 can accurately be described as “perfection in the just the right size”. Kalila is no exception. Pacific Seacraft is known for high quality construction, fixtures, and finishes. It’s this standard of excellence that has always set Pacific Seacraft apart from the rest.  

The Dana 24 was designed to have the speed, balance, and comfort of the larger boats in the Pacific Seacraft family, and generate the same feeling of safety and security as a larger boat while underway. They are fast, responsive, comfortable, easy to sail, and very charming.  

Kalila has clearly been loved by her previous owners. The cabin shows almost new and is incredibly spacious for a 24’ boat. The Dana has a 6’ 1” headroom and 6’ 6” length v-berth. The settees also convert to berths. Six ports add lots of light, and a cover on the stove adds plenty of workspace in the galley.  

Kalila is powered by a Yanmar Diesel engine with 514 hours. Other features include Truecharge battery charger, and enclosed head. Sail inventory includes main sail, 100% jib, roller furling and 150% Genoa.

Whether you are cruising or weekending, single-handing or with the family, Kalila is the ultimate sailing boat for the Pacific Northwest. The Dana 24 provides access to smaller anchorages without compromising sailing performance. When you climb aboard Kalila it clear that she possesses the highly regarded Pacific Seacraft quality. Call anytime for an appointment to view.  

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A Boat Owner’s Insights – Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

In this piece of “A Boat Owner’s Insights,” we feature a 24′ Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. The Dana 24 is for sale by Waterline Boats / Boatshed Tacoma the direct link is provided belo w .

All This Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Needs is a Destination

From day trips around the Puget Sound, to weeks long excursions to the San Juan Islands – these and even blue water adventures are all possible with this Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. If sailing has been on your mind, then this boat, with its comfortable yet no-nonsense design, is a must see.

The Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 is William Crealock-designed, and well known for its sturdy construction, compact efficient design and for being both comfortable and capable, even in the open ocean. With all that, you can’t help but want to learn more. Fortunately, we had a chance to talk with the owner and hear directly from him on what it’s like aboard this intriguing vessel.

Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 For Sale by Waterline Boats / Boatshed Tacoma

Acquiring the Dana 24: Intended to Fulfill a Sailor’s Dream

The owner of this Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 originally bought the boat to fulfill the trip of a lifetime: Sailing double handed from Seattle to Hawaii, planned for the summer of 2019. Everything was in place for he and his sailing partner to start, from the boat being fully outfitted to having his employer (a yacht interior company) cheer him on in the endeavor. Even his ailing mother, who was most certainly not of the boating mindset, gave her blessing on the adventure.

As a marine carpenter himself, this owner had “…all the support you could want for a potential 3+ month trip…Basically a dream come true.”

Then as luck would have it, another opportunity arose that put the trip on hold. While in preparation he was given the opportunity to throw his name in the ILWU longshore lottery – and his ticket was drawn. So, with the owner starting his longshoreman career the trip never came to pass. But this didn’t mean he didn’t get a chance to use the boat locally, and well learn about its craftsmanship and performance.

Puget Sound and San Juan Islands Cruising

With the current owner the boat has sailed in areas from Bellingham to Olympia, but it was proven well capable even before that as a charter boat. “I know she was a charter vessel for the San Juan’s for some years,” says the owner, “I’ve met a couple of people that have actually chartered her. Those are super fun conversations.”

This Boat Means Business

And with those trips the owner got a lot of enjoyment. When asked what he appreciates most about his Dana he’s quick to point out how much he admires the William Crealoack design. “My last boat was a Crealock 32,” the owner says, “he nailed it. It’s just perfect. I love the in your face of Crealock designs, kind of like, I mean business. No fluff, just meat and bones, but also quite comfortable too.”

Plus, the owner says the boat is, “A heavy girl for 24 feet. No one has ever gotten sick aboard since I’ve owned her, and that’s a big deal for me.” He then went on to again emphasize the feel of the boat, saying it’s, “Super comfortable.”

A sailboat that means business yet remains comfortable? A truly spectacular combination for any sailor!

Notable Additions

In readying the vessel for the Hawaii trip, several additions were made for the long-range voyage. These included adding:

• Monitor wind vane steering • EPirb (last inspected 2018) • 6-person offshore life raft (last inspected 2018) • Radar reflectors • Engine spares • Emergency repair kits • Even a sextet, as the owner was intending on navigating “old school” for the trip

The only remaining addition the owner suggests is a new radar.

With everything extremely well organized, labeled and close at hand, all the boat needs is, “…just needs a destination.”

Why Waterline Boats

This sailboat owner chose to list with Waterline Boats because of the reliable nature of his Waterline Boats broker, Jamie. “I know Jamie is solid,” says the owner, “So whoever he works for is trustworthy.” And we can assure that is true!

Where to Learn More

With a seagoing spirit combined with comfortable spaces, this boat will bring any owner fun on the water. For complete listing details on this efficient and capable sailboat, including 95 large format photos as well as videos and 360 Virtual Tours, visit our Boatshed presentation.

A Boat Owner's Insights - Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 For Sale by Waterline Boats / Boatshed Tacoma

DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) Detailed Review


If you are a boat enthusiast looking to get more information on specs, built, make, etc. of different boats, then here is a complete review of DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT). Built by Pacific Seacraft and designed by William Crealock, the boat was first built in 1984. It has a hull type of Long Keel and LOA is 8.31. Its sail area/displacement ratio 14.37. Its auxiliary power tank, manufactured by Yanmar, runs on Diesel.

DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) has retained its value as a result of superior building, a solid reputation, and a devoted owner base. Read on to find out more about DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) and decide if it is a fit for your boating needs.

Boat Information

Boat specifications, sail boat calculation, rig and sail specs, auxillary power tank, accomodations, contributions, who designed the dana 24 (pacific seacraft).

DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) was designed by William Crealock.


DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) is built by Pacific Seacraft.

When was DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) first built?

DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) was first built in 1984.


DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) is 6.53 m in length.

What is mast height on DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT)?

DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) has a mast height of 8.61 m.

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Preview: Small Boat, Large Experience – by Karen Larson

dana 24 yacht

(Originally published in Good Old Boat Magazine).

Small Boat, Large Experience

A tall-ship captain sails a petite dana 24.

M instrel is the perfect name fr Karen Sullivan’s Dana 24.

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3 Responses So Far to “ Small Boat, Large Experience – by Karen Larson ”


C Bradley Hindle says:

looking forward to part 3 of your outfitting vids. I hope interior layout will be the topic. I have a 32 foot Islander that is set up in the dinette configuration. I don’t much care for it though rebuilding in a better configuration may be too expensive to be practical.Any opinion?


Craig Vogt says:

Well I missed the opportunities you took advantage of. I am not fit to sail any more but enjoy the read. I recently finished a Redwing 21 with a 25 hp High Thrust Yamaha.

My wife and I just physically can’t do the sailing anymore at 70. I have found many former sailors that are older going to small motor boats. Our attempt to keep in the game — “Baxter” — was designed for Chesapeake Bay, shallow draft, did 5 weeks there. Have explored Yellowstone Lake, Flaming Gorge and this Fall the Missouri R. above Pierre, SD. We are always the smallest boat in the marina, usally the only wood one, and it is all paid for.

I wish I could have done what you have done earlier, but you can’t live two lives I guess.


Lee Fox says:

These are all great little seaworthy cruisers!


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1989 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

  • Description

Seller's Description

Standard features

Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Great in the PNW or Open Water

Boat REF# · 275203 Length · 242 Year · 1989 Construction · GRP Underwater profile · Long Keel Sleeping berths · 4 Engine · 1 x diesel 18hp, Yanmar 2GM20F (1989) Lying · Tacoma, Washington USA - Shown by Appointment

View COMPLETE SPECS - 360 VIRTUAL TOUR - up to 80 PHOTOS - VIDEO of this sailboat by copying and pasting the link>


Brokers Comments: The William Crealock-designed Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 is well known in the sailing world for its sturdy construction, its compact efficient design and for being comfortable and capable in the waters of the Pacific Northwest or in the open ocean.

This Dana 24 in particular was outfitted for a trip to Hawaii by its current owner. She has bee outfitted with Monitor weather vane steering, autopilot, an EPirb (last inspected in 2018) a life raft (last inspected in 2018), radar reflectors, engine spares, emergency repair kits and even a vice attached to the bottom of a storage lid! Every thing is nicely organized, labeled and close at hand. Step aboard and your brain says lets go sailing!!!

Rig and Sails

Auxilary power, accomodations, calculations.

The theoretical maximum speed that a displacement hull can move efficiently through the water is determined by it's waterline length and displacement. It may be unable to reach this speed if the boat is underpowered or heavily loaded, though it may exceed this speed given enough power. Read more.

Classic hull speed formula:

Hull Speed = 1.34 x √LWL

Max Speed/Length ratio = 8.26 ÷ Displacement/Length ratio .311 Hull Speed = Max Speed/Length ratio x √LWL

Sail Area / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the power of the sails relative to the weight of the boat. The higher the number, the higher the performance, but the harder the boat will be to handle. This ratio is a "non-dimensional" value that facilitates comparisons between boats of different types and sizes. Read more.

SA/D = SA ÷ (D ÷ 64) 2/3

  • SA : Sail area in square feet, derived by adding the mainsail area to 100% of the foretriangle area (the lateral area above the deck between the mast and the forestay).
  • D : Displacement in pounds.

Ballast / Displacement Ratio

A measure of the stability of a boat's hull that suggests how well a monohull will stand up to its sails. The ballast displacement ratio indicates how much of the weight of a boat is placed for maximum stability against capsizing and is an indicator of stiffness and resistance to capsize.

Ballast / Displacement * 100

Displacement / Length Ratio

A measure of the weight of the boat relative to it's length at the waterline. The higher a boat’s D/L ratio, the more easily it will carry a load and the more comfortable its motion will be. The lower a boat's ratio is, the less power it takes to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed or beyond. Read more.

D/L = (D ÷ 2240) ÷ (0.01 x LWL)³

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds.
  • LWL: Waterline length in feet

Comfort Ratio

This ratio assess how quickly and abruptly a boat’s hull reacts to waves in a significant seaway, these being the elements of a boat’s motion most likely to cause seasickness. Read more.

Comfort ratio = D ÷ (.65 x (.7 LWL + .3 LOA) x Beam 1.33 )

  • D: Displacement of the boat in pounds
  • LOA: Length overall in feet
  • Beam: Width of boat at the widest point in feet

Capsize Screening Formula

This formula attempts to indicate whether a given boat might be too wide and light to readily right itself after being overturned in extreme conditions. Read more.

CSV = Beam ÷ ³√(D / 64)

From BlueWaterBoats.org :

Penned by the late great Bill Crealock and introduced by Pacific Seacraft in 1984, the Dana, at only 24 feet on deck, is perhaps the consummate pocket cruiser. The boat combines traditional styling with the kind of keen craftsmanship and solid construction upon which Pacific Seacraft built its reputation.

Like all good boats, the Dana 24 is well balanced, fast for her size and seakindly. Her shallow draft allows for exploration in cruising grounds larger yachts cannot, and her design, now over 25 years old, is well proven with a number of ocean crossings to her credit. Yet for all her offshore capabilities she is one of a select few that can go home on a trailer.

Although the Dana 24 has never been a cheap boat to buy, owners can console themselves with the lower maintenance bills from a blue water cruiser of diminutive size. Perhaps Crealock best sums it up, “It’s a wonderful entry level, genuine go anywhere cruising boat”.

It could be said that the Pacific Seacraft of yesteryear had an affinity for pocket cruisers. Right from the get go, the company introduced the Pacific Seacraft 25 and later the Orion 27 , both strong and capable offshore cruisers designed by one of the co-founders himself, Henry Morschladt. However it’s the Flicka 20 that we remember most when we think of small and capable. Pacific Seacraft acquired the Flicka 20 around 1977 and became a hit for the company. By the early-1980s the company was looking to augment Flicka with a larger boat of similar style.

It was Bill Crealock, well respected for his seaworthy designs, who got the commission for the new boat and by 1984 the Dana 24 was introduced. She was fairly well received, in fact a respectable 222 boats were sold in the subsequent fifteen years before a booming mid-1990s economy shifted interest to bigger boats.

“The taste went to bigger boats for a while and smaller boats just got put aside… The size of boats people get seems to vary with the square root of the Dow Jones average” – Bill Crealock

Pacific Seacraft ceased production of the Dana 24 in 1997, but after a three year hiatus interest was reignited as the economy slowed. The company recommenced limited production in 2000 however only a few were sold.

In 2007, Pacific Seacraft entered receivership before changing hands to its new owner, Stephen Brodie. Interestingly, the Dana 24 molds were not part of Brodie’s acquisition. Instead the molds passed to a dealership in Seattle called Seacraft Yachts who have made the boat available once again (starting with hull number #351).

In total at least 250 boats have been built. In this time there’s been little to improve upon the little Dana 24, the boat remains almost unchanged, a true testament to the quality of Crealock’s original design.

Configuration and Layout

The Dana 24 is a moderate displacement cruiser, below the waterline you’ll find a full keel with a forefoot cutaway and a keel-hung rudder. Her sheerline is elegant and she has a memorably plumb bow with a teak bowsprit platform. Compromise on her size means that she is lacking the distinctive Crealock double-ended stern in favor of a wide and almost vertical transom.

The boat retains the signature cutter rig, that’s so popular among the blue water fraternity. Some have optionally been setup for single handing with sheeting and halyard lines led back into the safety of the cockpit.

The cockpit provides good protection from the elements and there are two generously sized cockpit drains. The two cockpit seats are long enough to sleep on at 6′ 3″ in length, and have large lockers are below. There’s a watertight hatch on the cockpit sole to provide access to the engine.

Down below you’ll find of 6′ 1″ of headroom and it’s apparent that 8′ 7″ of beam has been plenty for Crealock to play with. The interior layout demonstrates excellent functionality and clever use of space. Her interior space is around 50% larger than other boats of similar length, making her feel like a much bigger boat.

She has an open plan interior with hand rubbed oiled teak cabinetry, and a teak-and-holly sole that gives her a beautifully warm and inviting feel.  As you descend the companionway, on the port side is a full galley with a gimballed two-burner propane stove, a large insulated icebox and a 10-inch-deep sink with hand-pump. A flip down cover over the stove provides extra counter space to work with, as does another in the seating area. To starboard there is an enclosed head are with head, integral shower pan, hanging locker and sink with hand pump.

The four available berths are generous and comfortable a v-berth berth that is 6′ 8″ long and 6′ 9″ wide, as well as two 6′ 6″ settees with cleverly placed foot room that tucks beneath the v-berth.

Beneath the forward berth are two large drawers and a drop locker. The cabin shelving has removable fiddles and the hanging locker is louvered for extra ventilation. The dining table slides out from underneath the v-berth,  above the two drawers, and is a particularly clever feature, having a hinged center which fits around the interior metal post and can be fully or partially extended.


True to Pacific Seacraft tradition, the hull and deck are solidly constructed from hand laminated fiberglass. The innermost layers are polyester and the outermost layers have utilized osmosis resisting vinylester resin since 1989. The deck is balsa cored with plywood core in high load zones. The hull to deck joint is a double flange bedded in high tensile polyurethane adhesive compound and through-bolted with stainless bolts.  The interior module is also of vinylester resin and is bonded to the hull with fiberglass mat and woven roving.

The interior fittings are white matte below counter height and teak above. Lead is used as ballast and is encapsulated in fiberglass.  All through-hull fittings are solid bronze. Chainplates are through-fastened to the hull with stainless steel bolts and full backing plates.

Since 1989 the boat has had eight rectangular bronze port lights in place of the original round bronze ports.

Like all Crealock designs, the Dana 24 integrates a good deal of comfort in a well controlled and balanced hull. She’s seakindly boat with a mellow motion through the water and her high ballast ratio (nearly 40%) no doubt helps her ultimate stability. The Crealock philosophy being comfort and stability translates to lower crew fatigue and faster, safer passages.

Light air performance is not her strength, unless set up particularly well and skillfully sailed, don’t expect too much boat speed, she is after all a heaver displacement boat on the grand scheme of things. In a breeze the Dana comes to life, she points well to windward and sails her best on a reach, while downwind her keel and hull form tracks well without a hint of squirming and with less roll than most.

One acknowledged weakness is her inability to hove-to, her high freeboard in her bow sections coupled with a big forefoot cutaway on her keel means her nose is too easily knocked away.

Expect a top speed around 6.5 knots, and we’ve heard reports that well set up examples can top 120 mile days under during long passages. Not bad for a boat her size and displacement.

Buyer’s Notes

The Dana 24 is a well proven boat and to date no significant weaknesses in her construction have been found. For further research, it’s recommended buyers consult the active community of Dana 24 owners who have an email list running at Yahoo Groups (see below for a link).

In the used boat market the Dana 24 has enjoyed popularity and prices reflect this. As at 2010 the asking price for a used Dana 24 is in the range of $40k-90k USD. A new Dana will set you back in the region of $150k USD for the basic model without any of the large range optional and extras.

Links, References and Further Reading

» Dana owners group on Yahoo » An owner’s in-depth review of the Dana by Benjy » Article on the Dana by Heather Frickmann » Review of the Dana from 48 degrees North by Richard Hazelton » Dana 24 video review by Lattitudes and Attitudes, Seafaring Magazine » Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere by John Vigor , (Ch11, p65-70) an in depth look at the Dana 24. ISBN:978-0939837328

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Two men face extradition to France over death of girl in small boat incident

The Sudanese nationals were arrested in west London last week and appeared in court on Saturday.

dana 24 yacht

Two men wanted by French authorities over the death of a young girl who drowned attempting to cross the Channel in a small boat have been arrested.

The little girl died after boarding the boat near Wimereux on April 23, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

NCA officers arrested Sudanese nationals Al Tahir Abdullah Adam, 24, and Musaab Bashir Altijani, 19, in Hillingdon, west London, on Thursday.

They are wanted in France on suspicion of causing the death.

The two men appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday and were remanded in custody until their next appearance at the same court on Friday.

NCA deputy director of investigations Craig Turner said: “These arrests are the result of an investigation led by the French authorities and supported by the NCA alongside other law enforcement partners.

“We said at the time of this tragic incident that we were determined to do all we can to identify those responsible for this event and bring them to justice, that remains the case.”

The girl was among five people who died when a dinghy carrying more than 100 people set off from a French beach before getting into difficulties.

Three men, a woman and the girl were killed. Some 49 people were rescued but 58 others refused to leave the boat and continued their journey towards the UK.

dana 24 yacht

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Photo of Dana Katherine Tyson

Birth: 1928

Death: 2021

Dana Katherine Tyson OBITUARY

Dana Katherine Tyson of Brooks Howell Home in Asheville, NC passed away peacefully November 13, 2021. She was born on March 24, 1928 in Nansemond County, VA (now Suffolk) to the late Adelaide Jones Tyson and Allen Tyson. She was preceded in death by her brother, Roy, and her sister, Marjorie. Several cousins survive her: Patricia LaReau Benfield, Dr. Harold P. Heafner, Anne Weber, Amy Parker, Elton Jones, Doris Tyson and Craig Tyson.

The family moved to Cradock, VA when she was two years old. Dana was a member of Cradock Methodist Church from an early age. Among the ways she served the church was as a Sunday School Teacher, District Chairman of Worship for the MYF, Treasurer for the United Methodist Women of Cradock Church as well as Church Historian and as a Girl Scout Leader. She graduated from Cradock High School in 1945 and began working for The Seaboard Railway. In 1950 Dana went to Greensboro College. Upon graduation she attended Scarritt College to prepare as a missionary for the Methodist Church. She was commissioned in June 1955 and set sail for the Phillipines where she served for 20 years. While in Mindanao, she served as a Conference Missionary.

In 1963 the Northern Conference in the Philippines voted to open Aldersgate College. She served as Executive Dean, Professor and was also Superintendent of the Family Life program. In 1990 The Hope Development Center was dedicated in her honor. On her furloughs she further studied at Scarritt College, William & Mary Extension, Old Dominion University, Wesley Theological Seminary and American University In 1954 when black schools were closed in Prince Edward County Virginia, Dana went and taught at the Prince Edward Free School for a year. Later, in 1960, she served as a Church and Community Worker at the Choctaw Indian Mission in Pearl, Miss.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Brooks Howell on December 2, 2021, at 10 am. Her burial will take place at a later date in Portsmouth, VA at Ok Grove Cemetery.

Morris Funeral & Cremation Care is serving the family and condolences may be sent to them through our website at www.morrisfamilycare.com .

Honor with Flowers

In memory of Dana

Plant a Living Memorial

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Posen carnival shut down early after 'large fight' leads to multiple arrests, police say

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POSEN, Ill. (WLS) -- A carnival was shut down early in the south suburbs Sunday evening after a "large fight" broke out.

Posen Park Fest 2024 was closed due to safety concerns from the altercation, police said.

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Police made multiple arrests in connection to the fight, officials said.

Posen's mayor told ABC7 that "civil unrest" broke out around 6 p.m. and the unrest continued for almost two hours.

The carnival was originally supposed to be open until 10 p.m.

"We regret to inform you that due to a large fight at the carnival this evening, we have made the difficult decision to shut it down for the safety of all attendees," Posen police said in a statement to residents.

Residents were asked to avoid the area near the carnival grounds at 147th and Sacramento.

Cell phone video captured large crowds with some people running into the street.

Officer continued to work to clear the area and "disperse the crowd and restore order" after the carnival was shut down.

No further information about the large fight or if there were any injuries was immediately available.

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Ufc, dana white welcome donald trump to ufc 302 in wake of 'hush money' conviction, share this article.

Donald Trump made his first public appearance since becoming a convicted felon at a high-profile UFC event – naturally.

Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime after he was found guilty on all 34 felony counts in his New York criminal “hush money” trial Thursday. On Saturday night at UFC 302, Trump was escorted to his cageside seat in grand fashion by UFC CEO Dana White , with the crowd cheering him on at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

President Donald Trump is in the building! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #UFC302 | LIVE on TNT Sports & discovery+ pic.twitter.com/5GxqLnWbzI — UFC on TNT Sports (@ufcontnt) June 2, 2024

Just two days ago, a jury found Trump guilty of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 “hush money” payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Each of the 34 counts Trump was convicted of individually has a maximum sentence of four years, which can be imposed consecutively. However, New York has a 20-year maximum consecutive sentence for Class E felonies.

Legal experts told USA TODAY the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee is likely to receive probation or a shorter sentence , with sentencing scheduled for July 11.

Shortly after being found guilty, Trump called the outcome of the six-week trial a “disgrace” and vowed to keep fighting his conviction. One way to do that is to continue catering to his voting base, of which UFC fans largely comprise, as he gears up to run for president a third time following his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.

Trump and White’s friendship dates back more than 20 years to when Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City welcomed the UFC at a time when the promotion was struggling for acceptance. White’s affection for Trump has been undying ever since, with White speaking on his behalf at the 2016 Republican National Convention and Trump attending several UFC events during and after his presidency.

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  1. 1989 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 New Rochelle, New York

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  2. 1989 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Cruiser for sale

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  3. 2003 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Cruiser for sale

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  4. 1987 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Sail Boat For Sale

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  5. 2002 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 24 Boats for Sale

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  1. Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 boats for sale

    Used Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 1 listing. Find Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 boats for sale in your area & across the world on YachtWorld. Offering the best selection of Pacific Seacraft boats to choose from.


    Consider, though, that the typical summertime coastal cruiser will rarely encounter the wind and seas that an ocean going yacht will meet. Numbers below 20 indicate a lightweight racing boat, small dinghy and such; 20 to 30 indicates a coastal cruiser; 30 to 40 indicates a moderate bluewater cruising boat; 40 to 50 indicates a heavy bluewater boat;

  3. Dana 24 Boat Review

    Now back on the production line at Pacific Seacraft after a three-year hiatus, the Dana 24 is a pricey, seaworthy, two-person cruiser. She will satisfy the criteria of a couple interested in owning a moderate-displacement boat designed to sail in tough conditions. Though comfortable, her layout is seagoing—she's not a dockside entertainment ...

  4. Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

    In the used boat market the Dana 24 has enjoyed popularity and prices reflect this. As at 2010 the asking price for a used Dana 24 is in the range of $40k-90k USD. A new Dana will set you back in the region of $150k USD for the basic model without any of the large range optional and extras. Links, References and Further Reading

  5. 2002 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

    The Dana 24 is conceived for cruising and designed for performance. She is built to the standards of excellence that have always set Pacific Seacraft yachts apart. Quality is evident in every detail, from carefully fitted teak joinery to husky bronze fittings and impeccable mechanical installations.

  6. Dana 24

    The Dana 24 is a recreational keelboat, built predominantly of fiberglass, with wood trim. It has a cutter sloop rig, a spooned and slightly raked stem, a nearly vertical transom, a keel-mounted rudder controlled by a tiller, a bowsprit and a fixed long keel. It displaces 7,400 lb (3,357 kg) and carries 3,100 lb (1,406 kg) of ballast.

  7. Dana 24 Boat Review

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  9. Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 boats for sale in North America

    2005 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. US$69,950. US $552/mo. Able YachtPro | Spragge, Ontario. Request Info. <. 1. >. * Price displayed is based on today's currency conversion rate of the listed sales price.

  10. Bluewater Sailboat

    The Bluewater Sailboat Dana 24, designed by the late great Bill Crealock and debuted by Pacific Seacraft in 1984, is perhaps the ultimate pocket cruiser, measuring only 24 feet on deck. The yacht combines traditional style with the kind of expert craftsmanship and sturdy construction that Pacific Seacraft is known for.

  11. Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 review

    Construction. Fresh out of the mould. Incredible finish. The Dana weighs about 4 tons and that's a lot for a 24 foot boat. The lead ballast alone weighs 1.4 tons, or about 40% which is quite a lot by today's standards. There's no skimping on the materials of a Dana. The gel coat is sprayed on to a generous thickness.

  12. 24' Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

    The cabin shows almost new and is incredibly spacious for a 24' boat. The Dana has a 6' 1" headroom and 6' 6" length v-berth. The settees also convert to berths. Six ports add lots of light, and a cover on the stove adds plenty of workspace in the galley. Kalila is powered by a Yanmar Diesel engine with 514 hours.

  13. A Boat Owner's Insights

    In this piece of "A Boat Owner's Insights," we feature a 24′ Pacific Seacraft Dana 24. The Dana 24 is for sale by Waterline Boats / Boatshed Tacoma the direct link is provided below. ~~~~~~. All This Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 Needs is a Destination. From day trips around the Puget Sound, to weeks long excursions to the San Juan Islands ...

  14. DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) Detailed Review

    Built by Pacific Seacraft and designed by William Crealock, the boat was first built in 1984. It has a hull type of Long Keel and LOA is 8.31. Its sail area/displacement ratio 14.37. Its auxiliary power tank, manufactured by Yanmar, runs on Diesel. DANA 24 (PACIFIC SEACRAFT) has retained its value as a result of superior building, a solid ...

  15. Dana 24 New Design Review

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  16. 1996 UNDER CONTRACT- 27' Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

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  18. Pacific Seacraft Dana 24: Small Boat, Large Experience by Karen Larson

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  19. 1989 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24

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    1987 Hake / Seaward 24. $6,800. Fort Wayne, IN 46802 | Private Seller. <. 1. >. Find 28 Pacific Seacraft Dana 24 boats for sale near you, including boat prices, photos, and more. Locate Pacific Seacraft boat dealers and find your boat at Boat Trader!

  21. Two men face extradition to France over death of girl in small boat

    The little girl died after boarding the boat near Wimereux on April 23, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. NCA officers arrested two Sudanese nationals aged 19 and 24 in Hillingdon, west London ...

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    As of January 2024, the best interest rates for yacht loans typically start around 7.74%. These rates fluctuate with market conditions, inflation, and supply and demand. Borrowers with the highest credit scores and strongest overall financial profiles usually get the best yacht loan rates. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest ...

  28. Posen carnival shut down early after 'large fight' leads to multiple

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    Donald Trump made his first public appearance since becoming a convicted felon at a high-profile UFC event - naturally. Trump became the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime after he was found guilty on all 34 felony counts in his New York criminal "hush money" trial Thursday. On Saturday night at UFC 302, Trump was escorted to his cageside seat in grand fashion by UFC ...