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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Boats / Help required with a Freeman 26
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Help required with a Freeman 26

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Fender
May-30-2007 @ 10:37 AM                           Permalink
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Hi All,

I hope you all had a good bank holiday,

I was over in Norfolk at the weekend getting thoroughly soaked looking at boats. I was looking at a Freeman 26 with a part wooden cockpit cover and part canopy. I have looked on the Freeman Owners Club website at the data sheets which indicates the air draft to be 7'4" (not sure if thats with the cover/canopy up or down). My query is - has anyone seen or taken a Freeman 26 through Potter and Wroxham bridges. Any observations/snippets of information will be appreciated.

Andy

"Now..where did I put that spanner?...Oh there it is, in the works!!"

ncsl
May-30-2007 @ 11:16 AM                           Permalink
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Andy

I thought the 26 - apart from the length and slightly wider - is the same as the 23`?

If so then the air draft to the top of the screen is about 6` 8".



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ncsl.co.uk
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BOATERS
May-30-2007 @ 8:41 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Andy Went through with a 26 some years ago but it had a full hood and not a fixed hardtop.Had a look at a 26 near us and noticed that the screens folded flush to the cabin top which may be a possibility . A call to the bridge pilot at Potter may help as they will tell you about the Bridge and the Freeman.

See you down the river,
Roy and Diane

Fender
May-30-2007 @ 10:14 PM                           Permalink
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ooops, missed some info out my first post. The 26 I looked at is part wooden cockpit cover and part hood. The screens and sides fold flat and the canopy folds down into a recess across the transom. I suspect it could be the same one thats near you?

Thanks to Lord Paul and yourselves for responding so quickly, all information is much appreciated as this is my first boat.

Regards

Andy

"Now..where did I put that spanner?...Oh there it is, in the works!!"

ncsl
May-31-2007 @ 7:54 AM                           Permalink
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Andy
You could do what I did with my Freeman - and would apply to anyone else too -

As I moor at Wayford, I took my Freeman to the bridge and when it was quiet I walked it through the bridge and fitted a "mast" on the pulpit, I then measured the heights from the bridge to the water, then measured the highest point of the boat - canopy top - then set the "mast" on the pulpit to the same height as the canopy top against the water - mine is a hard top so doesn't fold down.

As I was standing on the boat front the "mast" and cut to the correct height above the water thus allowing for a bit of leeway when when I got off.

Using the bridge which is almost level, also gave me an idea of the bridge gauge indicator.


Hope you can follow this Andy as the idea is if the "mast" clears I know I have about 1" clearance about the hood with just me on board and a lot more with a crew.



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Fender
May-31-2007 @ 12:16 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Lord Paul,

Is your Freeman a 26? I'm being nosey for future reference as we are not having the boat now due to the probable non return of deposit from the broker if defects are found.

Regards

Andy

"Now..where did I put that spanner?...Oh there it is, in the works!!"

ncsl
May-31-2007 @ 1:22 PM                           Permalink
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No Andy.  Mine is a 23 footer and MK 3   Built 1973.



Regards
ncsl.co.uk
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"Lord Paul of Sealand"
www.lordofsealand.co.uk

Fender
May-31-2007 @ 2:31 PM                           Permalink
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Paul, It was the first Freeman i had looked at and was impressed with the use of space on board. Having looked at Elysians which, in my opinion, don't have a lot of storage space, the Freeman 26 had cupboards everywhere! Even with my penchant for hoarding, I reckon there'd have been space left over.

Can the hardtops be removed and a canopy fitted to the windscreen instead? One of the criteria of the boat is that it MUST be capable of going through all the bridges (I haven't been through Potter bridge since 2000) and speaking to the Freeman Owners Club at lunch, they're not something you can keep taking up and down very easily. I understand how you've worked out whether or not you can get through but I'm being cautious and want to make sure that the boat will go through with screens and conopy flat.

Regards

Andy

"Now..where did I put that spanner?...Oh there it is, in the works!!"

ncsl
May-31-2007 @ 5:06 PM                           Permalink
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Andy

When I bought my 23 footer the canopy was in a leaking state.
I managed over the first winter then decided to replaced it.

I toyed with another soft top or the hard top.

S/top was about £750  H/top £1000

The hard top won for no particular reason.

The soft top will unhook from the screen ( there are some thumb screws on the screen top where the hood fits )and fold back into the transom pit very easily.
You can remove the H/top but it is very heavy and nowhere to stow it.


Once the soft top is off you can release the screen and fold it down ( not sure if forward or back  but doesn't matter).

The thing is with the screen down you would gain the screen height extra for the air draft.

If I remember correctly it would make my air draft about 6` 1" instead of 6` 8".

One other thing to remember is with a softtop UP it is not very easy to get into and out of the boat because you have two support poles holding up the canopy.
On the hard top there is only one and that is a vertical pole fitted at the end of the wooden handrail.
I just stand on the rear seat and step off. Very easy to do compared with the S/top.

If you do need more info then my phone number is in the SOS list and I am down most weekends at Wayford / Ant side so could always show you around.


Regards
ncsl.co.uk
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"Lord Paul of Sealand"
www.lordofsealand.co.uk

Fender
May-31-2007 @ 6:11 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Lord Paul, thanks for the info and the offer of a look round your craft, I'm not sure when we will be back in Norfolk but we would love to take you up on your in the future. I'll contact you nearer the time. In the meantime we will continue to hunt down a Freeman 26 as SWMBO has decreed that is the boat we must have.

Regards

Andy

"Now..where did I put that spanner?...Oh there it is, in the works!!"

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