Join Date: Nov 2005
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carbon fiber mast & lightening
In my long search for my current boat (a Pearson 33---so am I to assume you''ve moved on from looking at one of those?) I spent quite a bit of time lurking on Sailnet email lists for several manufacturers I was interested in. You can learn a lot doing that, just reading the problems owners are having, issues with factory support, etc. Freedom was one of the lists I was on. I saved a couple of emails from that list I will send you separately. One is about a mast that came down in very benign conditions.
While not saying yes or no to your question, it is possible for carbon fiber masts to have damage (lightening strike or otherwise) that you can''t see, or damage that looks to be cosmetic but isn''t. For example, if the boat you are looking at has what appears to be cosmetic cracks in the mast -- have the mast x-rayed if you''re really interested in the boat. One big con in the carbon fiber mast column is that if you have to replace a mast, it''s very big bucks.
Otherwise, I sat next to a guy at a wedding once who owned a Freedom 35 and loved the boat. It was his second Freedom in fact. This was before I knew anything about possible problems with the mast so didn''t get that far with him.