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post #6 of Old 12-15-2012
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Surveying a Freedom 36/38

My wife and I just purchased a 36 this past summer. We've been quite happy with it so far.

I would second or third the recommendation to get the hull tapped out thoroughly. We have had no problem at all with ours, but that is potentially the most expensive issue you could face if there had been some compromise at some point. I would make sure to familiarize myself with the factory-installed thru-hulls and have the surveyor take extra care around any aftermarket installations. Tillotson-Pearson did them right at the factory, but you never know what a previous owner might have done.

I had some questions about how to evaluate the mast also and talked at some length about it with a rigger I know; his contention is that there is just about no way to non-destructively prove the integrity of a carbon fiber spar, so there wasn't much sense in hiring someone to go aloft to inspect it. I settled for a careful binocular-based inspection from on deck. Any cracks in the shell might have been a red-flag (then again, they might just be cosmetic) but we found none.

On the whole, both during the survey and since, we've been pretty impressed with the workmanship we've found. It's not amazing, but definitely at the high end of what we have seen in production boats.

We did find some questionable wiring, but I am not altogether sure that it was not added after the initial delivery.

The starboard waist water tank was not secured properly and we still haven't located the tank vent. The hull/keel join looked hinky to me but our surveyor vouched for it and it hasn't been a problem for us. It's something else you might want to make sure to look at during the survey, however.

She sails well--even better than I had expected--and sail handling just doesn't get any easier.

Finally, we live aboard, and the space is terrific and very usable. The stock holding tank is too small but the installation was done well, and there is space to add a larger tank under the port settee if you are so inclined. I expect that the head is going to be uncomfortable verging on unusable in particularly rough seas, but we fortunately have not got into that situation yet.

Good choice, and good luck with your offer! Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions.
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