Cruising in a Freedom cat ketch? - SailNet Community

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Old 09-09-2007
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Cruising in a Freedom cat ketch?

Anybody got any stories, experience, or opinion about extended cruising in these boats? 33 to 39 range is what I'm curious about. Seem good for simpler single/shorthanded sailing. Reviews I've found online seem to indicate decent build quality and not too many issues with the unstayed mast. Thinking about Pacific coastal crusing or Carribean, no likely trans-ocean passages anticipated. Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2007
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
I simply loved our Freedom 33 cat-ketch, easy to sail, points well, very comfy.
The ONLY downside that I experienced was the weight of the sails and the effort to raise them.
For "normal" people I don't think is would be a problem, but my health concerns were a bit of a pita.

"TheCuban" could raise them using the big 2 speed and a long handle, but it was an effort for her.

This might have been relieved if the sails had been replaced with a track system rather than the wrap around original equipment.

Otherwise, I think its perfect as a cruiser and/or a trip to the islands.
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Old 09-10-2007
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I simply loved our Freedom 33 cat-ketch, easy to sail, points well, very comfy.
The ONLY downside that I experienced was the weight of the sails and the effort to raise them.
For "normal" people I don't think is would be a problem, but my health concerns were a bit of a pita.
Interesting you mention that CP, since last month we were moored next to a couple in Block Island, who were recently retired from teaching positions. The first day there, they came over in their dinghy and asked if they could tour our boat . . . thought it was pretty nervy of them at first, but since they seemed like nice people and offered fresh veggies from their island garden, I graciously welcomed them aboard.

They've been sailing to Block Island every summer for many years in their '83 Freedom 33 cat-ketch and said they plan to continue the tradition as long as they are able. Their problem was the size and weight of the main and mizzen (if that's what you call it) made sailing a real chore.

After the tour, they asked if I planned upon selling my NC33, since they've always admired the design for it's space and smaller 3-sail sail plan . . . "it's at the top of our next boat list", was their comment.

Told them thanks for the compliment, but I'm not selling . . . gave them my card anyway.
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
yea, its a real problem for those of us not built like a linebacker. (I've got a friend thats 6'2", and about 240 lbs, and when he went with me, he had no problems raising them and looked at me like I was on glue or something)

The original sails slid up and down the mast in a "pocket" of sail material, adding a lot of friction. Plus those sails are HUGE.

Once up however, she was an absolute dream to sail, and the "goofy" factor of the unstayed carbon fiber masts and wishbones always brought looks, stares, smiles and lots of "what the hell is that" comments.

I've talked to a couple of other owners that said with the change to a track/slide sail and a little lighter fabric, they have no problems at all. If I had kept her, That would have been the only change I would have made. I'm also told that you don't do that job yourself. Have a professional do it. Carbon fiber is nothing to mess around with if you have nary a clue.
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Old 09-11-2007
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Which version did you guys have--the centerboard or keel version?
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
fixed keel.
I've "heard" that the centerboard version sails well too a bit "tender" but thats subjective, it took up too much room, again subjective. (early 33ft versions) I don't know, wouldn't hazard a guess.
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Old 09-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardiacpaul View Post
fixed keel.
I've "heard" that the centerboard version sails well too a bit "tender" but thats subjective, it took up too much room, again subjective. (early 33ft versions) I don't know, wouldn't hazard a guess.

I'm owner of 1980 Freedom 28 Cat Ketch. Centerboard model.
F28CK is identical to F33CK, just a bit smaller. I believe that centerboard model is acctually a better sailor than fixed keel model. It points better. However, centerboard takes a lot of space inside, and it is pain in back to operate.

Boat is well built. It's a good boat for distance cruising. Lots of storage. Easy to sail. Boat is fast at any angle going downwind. It's not exiting going upwind, it will take you where you want, if you know how to sail, but it will not give you a trill typical for upwind sailing...

Boat is different in many aspects than most sloops. She is much quieter underway, making false impression of "nothing happens"
Sail handling and ajustments are different too.

Most boats already converted to "normal" boom/sail track/single ply sail. If not, such conversion is due and should be reflected in sale price.

Hoyt/Parris Freedom 28/33 Ketches were built as go anywhere boats and, I believe they are such boats. They are not daysailers/weekenders. There are better boats for weekends.

They are old boats. They have sandwich construction everywhere which is a big problem. Most likely, there is some water penetration into core. Good surveyer is good idea.
Carbon fiber freestanding masts are showing their age too....
Pricey as well

There are two groops at yahoo.
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