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#1 2018-04-10 16:05:53

From: Dublin Bay
Registered: 2011-02-24
Posts: 333

Frances 34 Pilot House - PIPPIN

John Willis writes:


Pippin is a Guernsey based 1997 Frances 34 Pilot House.  I proudly took over custodianship of Pippin from Pete Goss in 2017.  Pete began her upgrade in 2015 and I have continued the motion, and fervently hope the replacement of her stern tube this month (April 2018) will be the end of her thorough refurbishment – for now.

Pippin in Jersey Harbour

Jersey Harbour

Still in Jersey Harbour

Sailing Between the Islands

Cross Channel – Guernsey to Baltimore via Teignmouth, Plymouth & Penzance

Celtic Sea ‘Selfie’

Works Completed 2015 – 2018
Sails and Rigging:

New standing and running rigging
New reefing lines
Spinnaker pole & storage fittings
Spinnaker fittings
New Furlex roller reefing x 2 (yankee and staysail)
New spinnaker
New yankee jib
New staysail
New fully battened mainsail
New lazy jacks
New staysail tracks (replaced self tacker)
New Selden kicker


New dodger
New bimini
New cockpit tent
New companionway canvas door

Self Steering:

New Hydrovane


New liferaft
New teak life raft holder
New LED navigation and anchor lights

Engine & Ancillaries:

New engine mounts
New starter motor
New fuel lift pump
New engine hoses
New front fuel connector
Valve clearances adjusted
Injectors serviced
Engine pressure tested
Heat exchanger checked
New engine exhaust U bend
New Darglow feathering propeller
New stuffing box and stern tube
New Volvo shaft seal
New fuel tank sender
Alternator rebuilt with new bearings
Main throttle cable replaced
Gear box linkage cleaned
New gearbox linkage seals
New internal throttle lever
New automatic bilge pump
3 x new batteries


Hull shot blasted, Coppercoat applied (2 coats)
Hull scaled and polished
New bronze sea cocks
New hawse pipe fitting
New bow sprit


Raymarine C95 9" MFD s/n 160005
Raymarine Quantum Radar Scanner
Raymarine Pole Mount
Raymarine Wind System
Raymarine Evolution Autopilot
P70s Control Head & ACU-200 EV1
Raymarine Dragonfly 5m
Additional P70 Control Head
Raymarine I70 Multifunction
Raymarine VHF Ray 60
Raymarine remote hand set
Assorted charts UK to Azores


Pilot seat
New LED lighting


#2 2018-05-01 12:36:32

Registered: 2016-10-21
Posts: 11

Re: Frances 34 Pilot House - PIPPIN

Excellent work John, I think I will use your report as a check list for Wren.

As you know I have done similar work on Wren this winter, most of which is complete, I need to get the mast up to connect the radar and the new wind vane. Stern Glad changed fuel tanks emptied and cleaned, gear selector securely attached to gearbox!! Bit of a shock to arrive in Stranraer marina for a windy weather diversion only to find as I gently selected reverse to slow the boat she shot forward, thankfully I was able to steer away from the pontoon with no damage to me or others. The joys of boat ownership, it must have been when I tested it just before entering the marina that the ball joint came off, I'm not going to test it anymore!

Having my engine instruments on the left hand side above the chart table gave me more room for changes on the instrument panel. I have Left to right, Steering change over solenoid button, USB sockets, Fuel and Water gauges, ICom IAS, I70s, P70s, Axiom 9, RMK 10 remote for Axiom. My thought were to switch the chart plotter off on passage and just run with the IAS and auto pilot, to save power, however the thing uses so little power I may not. In the cockpit I just have a second P70 and the engine controls, in theory I can use the Raymarine Apps to copy the CP information onto my iPad fitted in the cockpit - TBC. The Axiom 12 inch would not fit due to the depth of the triangular pedestal. Also it would not fit my budget!


Next year is standing rigging, running rigging and batteries, as much as I would love a wind vane I'm hoping the new Raymarine Evolution will go in a straight line and not use too much power. Last year I fitted three solar panels totalling 200w and a Stirling alternator to battery charger which I would highly recommend.


Happy sailing, you to the Azores me to the Shetlands one day I will head south for the sun.

Keith Walker
SY Wren.
Frances 34 PH.


#3 2018-10-14 21:52:16

From: London/ Barcelona
Registered: 2018-06-04
Posts: 8

Re: Frances 34 Pilot House - PIPPIN

Keith Hi.
I am in the market for a V34. The pilot house version is something different as an option.
in general conditions are you in the cabin or in the cockpit?
you seem to have accomplished some great renovation works.
best regards
Richard Gaunt. member


#4 2018-10-15 15:00:24

From: Guernsey
Registered: 2017-04-07
Posts: 64

Re: Frances 34 Pilot House - PIPPIN

Hello Richard,

although your email was to Keith Walker, who commented on my original post, I thought I would answer your question.

I did a 4 month, 2,000 mile trip from Guernsey to Shetland and back in my previous boat, a Sadler 290 spending too much time in the cockpit.  I loved it bit it made me want a wheelhouse.

Pippin my Francis 34PH replaced her and I have now sailed her about 2,500 miles in the 18 months I have had her, including solo across Biscay from Penzance and back to Guernsey non stop.  I can therefore say categorically say that for me, I spend my most of my safely time in the wheelhouse.  Being solo I need anything that can make life easier and that wheelhouse reduces the stress and physical effort by a huge amount.

I hope that answers your query

Good luck with the boat hunt.

John Willis


#5 2018-10-16 19:59:49

From: London/ Barcelona
Registered: 2018-06-04
Posts: 8

Re: Frances 34 Pilot House - PIPPIN

John Hi.
Thank you for getting back to me.
There are a couple of V34PH for sale. To be frank I had put them out of mind as they looked ungainly, but after your comments I shall make an effort to view one. At 68 I ned all the 'ease of sailing' as possible!

You have accomplished some good trips. I had picked ups few months ago that you were in the Northern Spain area. At the time was in La Corunna viewing a Vic34.
Till later
Best regards and agin think you for getting back
I shall be at the AGM in November

ps my email address should have read


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