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Hi,

I've been searching for an easy-to-single-hand live-aboard boat for an oldster with diminishing strength, and have been considering a Freedom 29, not finding anything smaller with the req'd creature comforts. A serious concern I have seen so far was the possibility of delamination of balsa core hull and deck. Would even a partial marine survey be necessary and sufficient to give one peace of mind?

After dinghy sailing and racing in my youth, I've had a 20', a 25', a 34' and a 26' keel boat, but never had any experience with the unstayed CF mast, so, comments on that would be welcome as well.

My major concern is with the size of the main sail. This past Summer I chartered a Hunter 30 and found raising the main sail a bit taxing. The Freedom has a similar -- or even larger -- main sail. What do you think?

I'd me most grateful for any advice.

Ernest
 

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You might want to consider a Nonsuch 26 or 30 for liveability as well. In all cases you need a good survey. If getting the mainsail up consider either a larger or even electric halyard winch, likely the former will do the trick.
 

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Thank you, Killarney Sailor! A Nonsuch was of course what I first lusted after, but there are very few for sale, far away, and they are beastly expensive. The Freedom comes close in some respects, is very spacious and inviting below, and seems to have good reviews, apart from the delamination issue, and some concerns about the unstayed mast which I don't quite understand. Anyway, I must rely on my "friends" for sound advice. Thank you for yours!

Ernest
 

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Most mast failures can be traced to failure of supporting rigging and fittings. In theory any mast designed and engineered to NOT require said support should provide more peace of mind and ultimately be more reliable..

A quick google found this string: Yahoo Groups (click on "View" and "Expand messages")

It may be helpful to you.
 

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My major concern is with the size of the main sail. This past Summer I chartered a Hunter 30 and found raising the main sail a bit taxing. The Freedom has a similar -- or even larger -- main sail. What do you think?

I'd me most grateful for any advice.

Ernest
The sail on my Nonsuch 30 is 540 square feet. It's pretty heavy. I use a manual winch. Takes a bit, but it goes right up. Some Nonsuch owners have installed electric winches. A few have purchased, and seem happy with, the Winchrite or right-angle drill with a winch bit to help raise the sail. Certainly is a cheaper option than an electric winch.
 

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FreedomYachts.org ? Index page is a source for information.
Freedom 29 is a scaled down version of Freedom 32. just a bit. (Hoyt design)
It was designed to fit same niche as Freedom 32 for more cash stripped buyers.
Huge interior, for 29-r of the era. three cabin. Very well thought out layout. Not just accommodation, but easiness of maintenance and sailing. Motor is under saloon table, accessible from every point, outboard rudder ( I personally think is a big plus on small boat) It is not as plush as Freedom 32, but very functional.
The freestanding masts are showing their age, however masts are not normally point of failure but supporting structure. You will need to check mast step and underlying structure.
I don't believe that mainsail can be a problem, as long as sailtrack and slides are in good shape. I sail my friend's Freedom 36 sloop, and I can raise mainsail by hands, without winches. On my Freedom 28 Cat ketch I don't have any problems either, but I have much smaller sails.
Freedoms are very easy to sail.
Balsa core problems should be detected with a good surveyor, check the owners website for references.
 

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Almost all options will have a balsa cored deck, but the hull is a lot less common. I don't think that a partial survey is enough, wouldn't you need to haul the boat to be able to do a moisture check on the hull?

The aft-head/aft-cabin layout can also be found in a Beneteau First 285, First 29, and Pearson 28-2. None of them have the massive main of the Freedom 29, all three have pretty balanced sail plans with the main and jib near the same size as each other.

We looked at a Freedom 28 (sloop, not cat ketch) when we bought our Pearson. It was a nice boat, but I didn't like having the mast come down right through the V-berth. I didn't get far enough in my purchasing to sail it, so I can't compare the sailing qualities to my boat.
 

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It is my understanding that Pearson 28-2 has same hull construction. It is balsa cored.
In fact F29 (hoyt) were built at Tillotson-Pearson.
F 29(Hoyt) are bigger than F28(Mull designed) and, probably, roomier than F30(Mull).
There is nothing wrong with cored hull as long as integrity of laminate is not compromised. Actually, there are many benefits, stiffness, insulation, quietness, no condensate.
There are huge benefits of freestanding masts for cruising purposes. Less rigging, less maintenance, less stress points. Sail handling is easier. Sailing downwind is stress free. There is no rigging for main sail to rub on, Sail is much more stable with very little tendency to fly over to another side, and Jibing is simple.
 

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Pearson 28-2 is not a cored hull. It does have a balsa cored deck with plywood in a few high load areas.

Tilton-Pearson (who made the Freedom boats) was also not related to Pearson Yachts in the mid 80s, though the did "merge" sometime in the last decade and both are now under US Watercraft. Sadly a Pearson branded boar hasn't been sold since 90 or 91.
 

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My apologies then. I was under impression that all Pearsons of the era were cored.
 
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