Dagny is a Morris Frances 26. Designed by Chuck Paine in the early 70s. She is a classic double-ended sloop with full keel and flush deck. The design has a good reputation as a blue-water cruiser with at least one having circumnavigated.

Dagny Morris Frances 26


  • LOA – 26′ 0″
  • LWL – 21′ 3″
  • BEAM – 8′ 0″
  • DRAFT – 3′ 10″
  • DISPLACEMENT – 6800 lbs
  • BALLAST – 3500 lbs
  • SAIL AREA 337 sq. ft.
  • HEADROOM – 4′ 8″

She was known previousely as “Rachel,” “Fancy,” and “Carol Anne.”

I wanted a seaworthy boat above all, of small but liveable size, capable of crossing oceans. The list of candidates is a short one. The Frances 26 fits the bill perfectly. The lack of headroom is a problem since I am 6’2″ tall, but everything else is perfect. There is no head, shower or water tank inside; very little to go wrong. The stove is an Optimus double-burner kerosene pressure model I bought from Sweden. Sleeping arrangements are two bunks in the bow and two in the stern. There isn’t much space for more than two crew however and three would really be pushing it.

I was glad to see a Fleming wind vane installed on the stern.

The inboard engine is a Volvo Penta 2001 series, single-cylinder diesel. Unfortunately that motor has the worst reputation. Time will tell…

The Frances is featured in “Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere” by John Vigor.

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