#1 2020-08-24 15:21:58

Registered: 2020-08-23
Posts: 1

Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

I have recently acquired a 1985 Frances 26 sloop rig version.  I would like to convert it to a cutter rig and would be most grateful for any information or drawings on the bowsprit dimensions, especially the length from fibreglass stem to the forestay attachment position.
Also I wondered if cutter rig owners find that marinas like to add the two feet or so of the bowsprit to their per meterage invoices?
Many thanks.


#2 2020-08-26 17:35:02

From: Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
Registered: 2017-03-14
Posts: 71

Re: Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

The Members Only portion of the forum has a topic for "Technical Manuals". While there are no dimensions for the bowsprit that I can find, there is discussion in the 26 manual about sail changes etc for a cutter rig that may be useful if you haven't seen it.


#3 2020-09-03 12:17:59

Registered: 2018-07-11
Posts: 5

Re: Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

Hi Crispin
Many years ago I had a Gaff rigged Cornish Crabber with a fixed 5 ft bowsprit and yes all the marinas used to charge for the overall length including the bowsprit. I strongly suggest you design one which can be brought on board for Marinas. Also manoeuvring with a five foot wooden spike on the front of your boat in marinas is not easy!
Alan SV Symphony V 34


#4 2020-09-09 10:18:46

Registered: 2020-07-27
Posts: 4

Re: Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

If its any help on my Victoria 800 the distance from the hull to the end of the Bowsprit is 67cm, the total length is 172cm. The forestay and bobstay is attached to the end of the bowsprit with no overhang. Some thought needs to be given to how the bobstay is attached to the hull. A boat without a bobstay which dinks the pontoon has a fairly cheap repair, a bobstay creates huge forces on the hull for the same dink (the answer I know is not to dink the pontoon) I have always declared the full length of my boat and I am charged for the full length, every time. Someone a few boats down from me thinks I am mad and doesn’t declare his bowsprit and has got away without paying for it for years, his is much longer and more obvious than mine.


#5 2020-09-10 22:59:21

Registered: 2004-03-23
Posts: 98

Re: Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

On the Frances the bowsprit is around 2 foot to the attachment of the base of the forestay, depending on exactly how you measure it.    I will email some photos.

The attachment uses a cranse iron or mast band, which can be sourced from Classic Marine.   The bronze band in my mind is preferable to the galvanised version as it is thicker at the aft end, thus giving greater contact with the wood - otherwise I found the galvanised original wore a groove in the bowsprit.

The U bolt attachment original is the same one that is used on the shrouds, and can be sourced from Baseline (item 0293).   You could make up a fitting just using bent bar with a couple of bolt holes in - the angle is then much tighter to the hull.   However, if you were unlucky enough to strike an object in the water you will want something in that region to bend or break first, and I believe it not worth trying to over engineer this part of the set up.    Install above the water line, and check all nuts are A4 not just A2.   These then should be accessible from the anchor locker.    The bobstay is made up of 6mm 1 x 19 plus rigging screw.

Mast - it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the standing rigging - the standard set-up has check stays for the staysail.   

Re. mooring cost.   I always use the SSR length, or 8m when visiting just to make things easier.   Only ever had one try to charge for the overhangs (in the Netherlands).   Some marinas will get the tape measure out, so might be worth asking around if you are setting up an annual agreement.


#6 2020-09-12 08:51:58

Registered: 2017-05-26
Posts: 22

Re: Frances 26 cutter rig conversion

Hi Crispin,

I was down at me boat yesterday and took some photos of the bowsprit and fittings with a tape measure in the pictures.
If these would be of help then it's probably best for me to email these to you.
If you can ping me an email via this forum then I'll have your email address and can send the photos through.
You should also note that there do appear to be some minor variations between boats - so just take care when ordering sails etc.
I had my bowsprit replaced 3 years ago and I think they replicated the original .. or very close !


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