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26th Nov 2015 by Rightboat

Pandora Mk1 Review

The Pandora Mk1 is a classic, small slim-hulled yacht based on the Trotter-Pandora, a design by the famous Dutch boat builder, E.G. Van de Stadt. The boat is responsive and extremely seaworthy, offering a performance that matches many larger yachts. The open-plan interior includes four berths and a galley unit while the spacious cockpit accommodates three crew members. The Pandora Mk1 was inexpensive when new, and represents good value for money as a second-hand buy.

Who and what was this boat designed for?

The Pandora Mk1 was originally designed as an inexpensive day yacht. It is a quick popular cruiser, easily handled by a crew of two, and fits in a category between racing-oriented 22 ft yachts and cruisers of the same size where the emphasis is on accommodation, rather than performance.

What commentators say about this boat?

Fun to sail, easily trailed, and big enough to live aboard for a fortnight.

Despite its relatively small size, it's an extremely seaworthy boat whose ability matches many larger craft, particularly the fin-keeled versions.

Van de Stadt’s small boats were invariably beautifully proportioned, looking like scaled-down offshore yachts rather than blown-up day sailors.

In short, she was an absolute delight to sail – smooth, stiff, responsive, well balanced and, importantly, a lot of fun.

We were sailing a real classic, a well-built, good-looking little cruiser with a first-class pedigree.

Model variations

  • Rydgeway Marine produced the Pandora Mk1, based on the original design by E.G. Van de Stadt.
  • The company took over production in 1971 after redesigning the deck and coachroof.
  • In 1973 they revamped the boat giving it a deeper keel and taller rig.
  • In 1976, they gave the boat a retousse stern, replacing the transom-hung rudder with a skeg-hung rudder, and increasing the height of the rig.
  • They offered alternative hull forms, including fin keel, twin keels or drop plate.
  • Production ceased in October 1991.


  • Length overall: 21ft 10in (6.65m)
  • Beam: 6ft 11in (2.10m)
  • Draft fin 3ft 9in ( 1.14m)
  • Draft twin: 3ft 0in (0.91m)
  • Draft triple: 2ft 3in (0.69m)
  • Main sail area: 92 sq ft (8.55 sq m)
  • Genoa: 160 sq ft (14.86 sq m)
  • Displacement: 1.21 tons (1100kg)
  • Engine: 2-4hp outboard

What’s great about the Pandora Mk1?

  • Excellent sailing performance
  • Design and build qualities have stood the test of time
  • Choice of hull forms
  • Well-designed boat
  • Spacious cockpit
  • Good balance between performance and accommodation

What to look out for on a pre-owned Pandora Mk1?

If you’re buying a used Pandora Mk1, engineers and owners have reported some things to watch out for and potential faults that might occur on this boat from time to time.

  • Second-hand models could be 20-30 years old, with problems of wear and tear. However, build quality was good.
  • Keel bolts and bedding can rust and wear. Check when the boat is out for survey and replace if necessary.
  • Check for damage and water ingress on the hull. Cleaning the hull, removing anti-fouling and spraying with a cellulose paint can help to prevent water ingress.

Keeping your Pandora Mk1 in shape

When buying a used Pandora Mk1, regular scheduled servicing and attention to some minor points will keep your craft in top condition.

Regular servicing

Carry out regular engine and drive servicing in line with the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.


We don't currently have any specific maintenance information for the Pandora Mk1

If you have ever owned or worked on a Pandora Mk1 and would like to share your thoughts, then get in touch and we'll add your information to the page.

Laying up

We don't currently have any specific information on laying up the Pandora Mk1.

If you have ever owned or worked on a Pandora Mk1 and would like to share your thoughts, then get in touch and we'll add your information to the page.

Model-specific repairs

The Pandora Mk1 is not known for needing specific repairs more frequently than other boats.

Why buy a pre-owned Pandora Mk1?

The Pandora Mk1 is a classic design that offers good sailing performance and sufficient accommodation. Despite its age, the Pandora has stood the test of time and remains a popular boat in the second-hand market.




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