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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Sailboat Design and Construction
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Old 01-10-2010
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Interesting design

I saw this on Craigslist, 25' Freedom 25 , interesting design. What's the thinking behind this type of rig?
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Old 01-10-2010
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There are a whole series of Freedoms and it has a lot of merit. I have never sailed one but am intrigued by the theory. Here's an interesting link to Eric Sponberg's site. He was the engineer for the Freedom rigs. He explains very clearly the thinking behind them and his other designs.
Free Standing Masts
Properly done there is a lot less stress on the hull/deck and a lot less windage as well.
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Old 01-10-2010
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I think from an engineering and reliability standpoint a free standing rig such as the Freedoms', and Nonsuch and others (including Wylie) make sense for the 'stick' itself.

But the need for such a large section to be able to freestand interferes with so many other aspects of sail performance and sailtrim (and rig configuration). If it was the be-all/end-all everyone would be doing it. While there are some free standing rigs with vestigial jibs, they are not much more than a gesture in terms of an effective headsail. (Some Freedoms and the Hunter Vision line)

Aside from all that, the main memory I have from wandering aboard one of these on deck was the total lack of things to grab onto as you walked forward. Think how often you've grabbed into a shroud for stability as the boat gave a lurch.... and what might have happened had you missed it!.. or if it's not even there at all!

To my mind the most intriguing part of the Freedom 25 is the attempt to ''tame" the spinnaker with their 'gun mount' approach.
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Old 01-10-2010
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In other words the rigging is only there to grab on to? Just kidding. But if you read what Eric Sponberg has to say it all makes sense. No drag from the rigging, less strain on the boat, the ability to sail downwind more effectively with the boom out farther are all advantages. Accidental jibes are not a problem with a freestanding rig. To quote Sponberg "if it's not there it can't break." Handholds can always be added but the rig was never there for that anyway. The examples on his site show better performance from a freestanding rig in the cases where a conventional rig was changed to freestanding. By the way I've never considered the Hunter Vision a good example of a freestanding rig. Rigging is really quite archaic when you think about it with all those little fittings to break and bring it all tumbling down. Airplanes stopped using rigging about 80 years ago. The rating rules are probably the biggest reason sailboats have kept all the wires.
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Old 01-11-2010
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Has anyone ever actually seen Eric Sponberg's creation Project Amazon? His website does a brief writeup but it would also lead you to believe that the boat should be quite competitive and it makes you wonder why a higher budget team hasn't bought it. I must admit to liking some of the cat ketch rigs that he has produced although I have extremely limited experience with them.
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Old 01-12-2010
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I've read everything I can find on them and am intrigued. He makes a good case for them and doing away with the wires. Let me see, about 48', aluminum, 47' waterline hull similar to the Dashew's Sundeers, ketch rigged with carbon fibre rotating spars. If only I had a million or so.
As far as Project Amazon a lot was changed without Sponberg knowing about it during the build in South Africa. She ended up heavier by a lot and some ideas were left out due to cost. But she was still blazing fast. I think a lot of projects for these races sound better to the investors with a new build not an old boat, however good originally.
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