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  #1  
Old 11-07-2012
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Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Hi all,

I'm just about to pull the trigger on a new (to me) sailboat (32-36-ft range) and will be spending the next 4 days on the NE coast viewing a whole slew of boats (listed below). As you'll see, I am most enamored with the Freedom cat boats, particularly the "cat-ketches," but the others are by no means low on the list. Any thoughts out there would be appreciated such as: what to look for that might not be so obvious, your overall experiences with any of these, sailing capabilities, whether one is more squirrely than the others for offshore use, etc. I would get surveyors for the boat and engine. The plan is to outfit it and sail around the San Juan Islands until next fall, sail it to San Fran, and then single-hand race and cruise for a couple of years. I'm a diver, so stern access is important, but I'm willing to compromise on this. Amount of space and cabin layout are not overly important (right now), but I do plan to live on it.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions! It's great to have this virtual community to count on in the future.

Freedom 32, 33 and 36/28
Yamaha 33
Canadian Sailcraft 33
Saturna Offshore 33
Niagara 31 and 35
Coast 34 (custom-built)
Wauquiez Pretorian 33
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

I like the CS and Niagra for cruising. I would also add Pacific Seacraft
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Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

The Yamaha may be among the best built and engineered... and that's saying something, given the other good brands on your list.

Freedom's should be surveyed carefully - some (all?) had cored hulls.

You ought to add an Ericson 34 or 35 to your list.
There's a nice-appearing Olson 34 for sale currently in the SF area, also.
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Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

With respect, lumping a Saturna 33 and the Coast 34 together with CSs and Yamahas is really looking at such different ends of the spectrum that I think you need to do some refining of what you really want. There are big performance, hull form and 'design intention' differences among that list.

Do you want a semi-heavier displacement cruiser? or a more agile, responsive fin keeler? What kind of sailing will you be doing and in what area? Weekending or extended cruising? The answers to questions like these will help to understand (for us and for you) which type of boat would be a better fit....
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Old 11-09-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

I agree that you need to figure out what purpose you are buying for. I have both Niagaras and they are very different boats even though they look the same. Different designers and different design briefs. the 31 (Frers) is much more performance oriented than the 35 (Ellis). If you like cat rigs, what about Nonsuches, also Ellis design. I think they are better built than Freedoms.
But again it depends on your purpose.
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Old 11-11-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Thanks for the feedback. I plan to single hand sail around SF Bay and on longer offshore races in the region. I also want to do some extended cruising (month or two) and may live aboard 2-3 years from now. These are not easy things to merge into the same vessel. It's funny that Faster suggests that the Coast and CS are on opposite ends of the spectrum. They are currently my two top picks and other than the high freeboard on the Coast, I don't see the chasm between them. The Freedoms are still close by in 3rd now. I realize they are markedly different in their own ways, but what's the best way to compare them for what I want to do? Should I be considering: displacement/hull ratio, beam width, quality of rigging, keel type, hull speed, capsize value, all of the above? I've obsessively done (and continue to do) a lot of research, so it's not for lack of trying, but I had considered them all quite capable for the type of sailing I want to do. Given that I can't take them all out for a test ride, there is quite a bit of pressure to choose well and right the first time...further thoughts would be great to hear :-)

Oh, there was a typo in my first post about the location of these boats -- I meant Pacific NW -- though it was probably obvious.

Cheers,

C.
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Old 11-11-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Also....now that I have the Coast 34 high on my list, I should go back to looking at the Pacific Seacraft. I was trying to steer away from a double ender because of my diving, but something keeps pulling me back to them. I also really like Ericsons, but I don't want the traveler in front of the companionway (another pet peeve). I had the impression that Olsons were fine for racing but they would probably hobbyhorse a bit offshore.
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
....... It's funny that Faster suggests that the Coast and CS are on opposite ends of the spectrum. ..
The Coast 34 is a Shannon design but very Perry-ish in the double ended, longish keel, skeg rudder and v-bottom sections.. The CSs are, while not lightweights necessarily, very much more in the flat bottom/fin keel category. So while we're not talking Olson 30 vs Westsail 32 they are still not really 'similar' boats...

If you're a diver you'll really need decent access to in and out of the water, and as you say the double ender really isn't a good fit, but in reality the newer open/walk through transoms will better suit that requirement, but it does push into mostly newer (pricier) boats..
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Old 11-12-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
I also really like Ericsons, but I don't want the traveler in front of the companionway (another pet peeve). .
This isn't that hard to move if you really don't like it.

My current boat (Pearson 28-2) has traveler there. I thought it would be annoying, but it really isn't. I'm happier with it there than in front of the dodger or on the transom, the other two options on a cruising boat.
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Old 11-15-2012
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Re: Freedoms, Niagaras, and Wauquiez - oh my

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
Also....now that I have the Coast 34 high on my list, I should go back to looking at the Pacific Seacraft. I was trying to steer away from a double ender because of my diving, but something keeps pulling me back to them. I also really like Ericsons, but I don't want the traveler in front of the companionway (another pet peeve). I had the impression that Olsons were fine for racing but they would probably hobbyhorse a bit offshore.
The Olson 34 would be very unlikely to "hobbyhorse"... and that model was designed from the git go to be a very fast cruiser. Like all (!) sailboats one could race it, of course.
It's a MORC-derived designed hull and *not* an IOR sort of boat.

Several of them have done single-handed races from SF to HI. Good all-around offshore boat, with a strong through-bolted hull to deck joint.

Speaking of travelers, look at an Ericson 35-2. One of those sails in the SF area and has also solo-ed to Hawaii. Traveler right in front of the wheel.

L
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