#1 2011-02-24 20:26:01

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Registered: 2011-02-24
Posts: 350

Cranse Irons and Mast Bands

[Moved from 'Technical Advice' pages, dated 23/11/05]

Ian Powell writes ...

"The lower U-Bolt was bent, the wire damaged and the 'Cranse Iron' distorted (I'm showing off now! The 'Cranse Iron' is the chunk of bronze on the end of the bowsprit, but I only found out it was called a 'Cranse Iron' a couple of weeks ago!)."

So, if you didn't know what a Cranse Iron was before, the picture below will give you a good idea, or will it?

"The U-Bolt is an unusual size (!) but I've managed to locate a new one at 'Baseline', who originally supplied these and several other fittings to Victoria Marine, but finding a new Cranse Iron proved to be a bigger problem.

Incidentally, the Rigger who helped me agreed with my evaluation that the outer forestay and backstay are a little bit on the small side, so I shall definitely change them for 6mm wires next winter. Also, it's worth knowing that the Victoria withstood a considerable force and yet the damage is minimal really. It bent the 9mm rod of a U-Bolt but didn't damage the GRP at all! ... and the bottom-front edge of my Cranse Iron has pulled away from the bowsprit but there isn't even a tiny crack around the bowsprit's joint to the hull and deck!"

Baseline Marine specialise in hardware and fittings. They supplied Victoria Marine with things like my bobstay U-bolt and still stock a number of items that look very familiar. Download their excellent pdf catalogue from www.baselinemarine.com. They're at Unit 10, Apple Industrial Estate, Fareham.

Their phone number is 01489 576349 and e-mail at baseline.marine@btconnect.com.

When Peter Allen needed to replace the Cranse Iron on his Victoria 800, 'Volante' he went down a different path.

A hollow cylinder of stainless steel was fitted with an end plug and cap (at least an inch thick) of similar material, welded and polished. The loop and eyes, again in stainless steel, could then be set into an extremely strong structure.

The bowsprit itself was shaped to be a tight fit in the new assembly, which was then hammered home for a permanent fit!

I believe the large loop serves some purpose that involves attaching the foot of a most untraditional sail!

The final word should come from Ian Powell ...

"As for my "Cranse Iron", I've found a marvellous little place called 'Classic Marine' who specialise in traditional hardware. I soon discovered that our original fittings were actually mast bands and not cranse irons at all! They were able to provide me with a genuine Cranse Iron, which only required a fraction machined out from the inside of the main ring, and a quarter inch or so taken off the front. They charged me about £27 for the fitting and £23 for workshop time (plus VAT) and the result is a far sturdier version than the original. The main ring about half as thick again and has a rectangular section which should butt up against the shoulder on the bowsprit better, and the eyes are more solid, but still fit OK."

Classic Marine are at Lime Kiln Quay, Woodbridge in Suffolk and their phone number is 01394 380390.
Their e-mail address is sales@classicmarine.co.uk and their website is www.classicmarine.co.uk.

Much_Ado_with_distorted_cranse_iron.jpg
Much Ado with distorted cranse iron

Volante_with_her_fine_cranse_iron.jpg
Volante with her fine canse iron

Much_Ado's_new_mastband_doing_duty_as_a_cranse_iron.jpg
Much Ado's new mastband doing duty as a cranse iron!

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