Frequently Asked Questions


Rudder Bearing Replacement is one of the thorniest problems in many classes of boats this size.  We welcome the experiences of everyone who has addressed this.

Don Bottaro's notes are the most complete we've seen so far.  Download 

Art Kelley's experiences, leveraging Don's notes, but simplifying to an extent. Download


Wanted to give everyone a heads up on the steering for the Frers 33.

 Not sure about all model years but on my 1987 Frers the wheel and steering system appears to be a product of Yacht Specialties Equipment.  That company went out of business in 1989 and there is no longer anyone who sells those products.  Fortunately Edson sells replacement parts for at least some of the steering that will work.  I broke off one of the sheaves on a race two weeks ago and contacted Edson.  They identified the replacement part below which I purchased.  It was not an exact replacement and required that I enlarge the opening under the pedestal along with drilling out the holes in the replacement part.  The original holes are 6 1/2 inches on center and the bolt holes in the replacement part were 6 inches on center.  There was enough space to drill the holes out to the required 6 & 1/2 inches on center so it would bolt up to the pedestal.  Edson was very helpful in identifying exactly what piece I needed and what would work.

A cast aluminum backing plate with or without sheaves. The current product can be viewed on line or in a hard copy of our current catalog. It is fig.  #776AL-4AL.

Editor's Note: in 1990, the steering system was Edson.

Mast Tuning

A thread about prebend...

Kurt Hudson: Do you have to figure a number for pre-bend on our rig when you cut our 3DL main?
Steve (North): What we input during the design process is "maximum optimal bend" which in the case is 4". Optimal because some masts may easily bend more but if you design for more you have to remember that there are girth limitations; so added luff curve comes at a cost of eliminated roach. On the 33 you should not have more than an inch of pre bend with near slack backstay, like 500 pounds. With this you can reduce bend to zero easily with hand tight runner for downwind and light air upwind. Then in like 20 apparent, with Heavy#1and max backstay you can now "limit" your mast bend to 4" with use of the runner.

Bob Ames: At minimal backstay pressure about (600psi), Windswept doesn't have any mast prebend, i.e. the aft edge is straight. Prebend should be based on the amount of luff curve built into the mainsail. So, probably, it would be best for you to take your sail to your sailmaker for evaluation, and subsequent determination of a suitable amount of prebend.

Deck Hardware

Q: I am looking for a bow pulpit. Does anyone know where i can find one?

A: Tops in Quality (ph 810-364-7150) was the original provider. I got a replacement from them in 2001. Though it was not an exact match, it has been very satisfactory.


Q: What is the pitch and rotation of our propeller?

A: The original, stock unit is a Martec Eliptic RH16DX10P-3.  That translates to Right Hand, 16" diameter, 10 pitch, Mark-III.  It rides on a 1" shaft.

Cutless Bearing

Q: What is the size of the cutless (some people spell it cutlass) bearing, and any tips on replacing?

A: The stock unit is 1" x 1 3/4" x  4" (ID x OD x L) with a brass shell. Duramax/Johnson calls this size "BAIT".  Some boatyards are equipped to do it inexpensively, but some take a brute force approach, cutting the prop shaft and charging over $1000.  This can be a do-it-yourself job, and does not require removing the rudder or prop shaft (the prop itself will have to come off).  StrutPro ( sells a tool for $300. or you can make the equivalent tool for a few scrap pieces of steel and some threaded rod.  It will probably take an hour or two to make the tool, and an hour to replace the bearing.  The best article I've seen is here:   In 2009, the bearing cost about $37 at an online discount shop and the materials for the tool cost less than $20.  You can often pick up scrap metal from a welding shop.

On hull #55, there are 2 set screws that secure the bearing, both on the port side of the strut. These are #10-24 1/4" long hex socket, stainless steel set screws