Life with a Freeman 22 MK II

Life with a Freeman 22 MK II2023-01-13T11:42:12+00:00


Freeman 22 MKII

In September of 2021 I became the owner of a 1968 Freeman 22 MKII river cruiser located on the Norfolk Broads.

The boat ‘White Lady’ was in moderate condition, some might say excellent for an over 50 year old GRP vessel. She had her original un-painted gel coat, worn close to the laminate through years of loving polish or perhaps just a couple of over-zealous episodes with coarse cutting compound. She had new upholstery which left a good impression, possibly masking some issues as a first time Freeman owner that would only become apparent after I bought her. Lady was by no means a project but also not a show boat.

This blog is my own personal archive of experiences and technical undertakings which family and friends may find enjoyable (not everything needs to be on facebook) along with others that are about to or have embarked on a similar journey to me. Some pages or galleries will be private as they contain personal family images however I will endeavour to create the equivalent galleries with images removed of family members pulling silly faces or emerging hung-over in the early hours of the day after a heavy night before.

As to my background, my name is Chris and have worked in the marine industry since the mid 90’s, primarily in chandleries. I’ve owned a multitude of boats, mostly of the sailing kind and mostly kept in salt water. I’ve had the pleasure of learning to sail on my father’s International Pandora and owning my first boat, a deep fin keeled Westerly GK24 moving on to a bilge keeled Hunter 272. In more recent times I acquired a Swift 18 trailer sailer which I kept briefly on the Broads until discovering that dropping the mast to go under bridges was a bit of a nuisance without some expensive modifications. I sold the Swift 18 which partially funded the purchase of my current F22 MKII.




What are you going to do to keep momentum up when you're waiting for parts to be machined ? ...paint everything else blue ! Although it's purely cosmetic, having gone to so much trouble to re-build the engine, it would be a shame not to use the opportunity to repaint the block, manifolds, oil pan and oil filter

19 October 2022|Categories: Technical|

Stub shaft and gear problem

Re-building an engine, even with an experienced engineer to hand, can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to dealing with rare and unfamiliar parts. In this case there's a stub shaft which attaches to the flywheel which marries with a bearing and gear to the J-Type Watermota Gearbox. This short shaft is a two-part assembly. For lack

17 October 2022|Categories: Technical|

The mission to reduce blow-by: The clean-up

Having dis-assembled the engine and hopefully identified the issue, it's time for the clean-up and preparation for the next step of my mission. Although the bores were highly glazed with no sign of honing or crosshatching, they appeared to be in reasonable condition and serviceable after honing myself. The piston rings were moving freely, so that wasn't the main

7 October 2022|Categories: Blog, Technical|

The mission to reduce blow-by: The tear-down

This year, 2022, gave us our first opportunity to run the engine for any length of time. We motored for up to six hours daily at around the 1400rpm mark when cruising and the engine ran nice and smoothly however there were problems. The first I noticed, even before going for a longer trip, was the amount of

1 October 2022|Categories: Blog, Technical|

Making a navigator’s seat frame

I put together a Navigator's seat frame using stainless bimini fittings and 25mm stainless tube. The Sheridans offering was out of stock with a long lead time (and I don't think it looked that nice). The parts came to around £200 and making the re-inforcement board was probably the most technical part. I've still got some finishing touches

14 August 2022|Categories: Technical|

Custom switch panel

Having gone to the trouble of re-wiring most of the boat, it only seemed proper to replace the switch panel particularly as I had separated many of the circuits which were previously connected without switching to antiquated bakerlite fuse boxes. I designed the panel using Adobe Illustrator and had a local signmaker and engraver cut the panel from

24 March 2022|Categories: Technical|
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