buying an F25

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buying an F25

Postby SVBAGATELLE » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:20 pm

Hi all,
I am a F30/32 owner (Bagatelle is located in the Bahamas) but am looking to get a boat for cruising Lake Ontario (I currently sail a 24' Shark here but want something larger for mainly single-handed cruising). There are various reasonably-priced alternatives in the 25-28' range that look attractive (CS27, Aloha 8.2 or 8.5, Ontario 28, Mirage 27, C&C 27), but I am also constrained by my marina--not much dock space for a boat with more than an 8'6" beam. It turns out that the F25 fits the bill, and there is one for sale not too far away. But I know nothing about the boat, and fear that there may be some key parts that have gone missing and are hard to get. And I am not sure from the documentation I see online whether all F25s are the same; some mention "round mast" others that the mast swivels, etc. Some have staysails, some not (presumably just using the gunmount spinnaker as a headsail), etc. And the posts I see suggest that upwind sailing may not be good.
After learning the ins and outs of the F30 over 10 years, I don't want to get into a major new learning experience and problems refitting an older boat! Since I live in Canada importing parts from Rhode Island will be especially costly and time consuming.
I would appreciate some honest advice (no sales jobs)!
Paul
F30/32 "Bagatelle"
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Re: buying an F25

Postby hxschiller » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:17 pm

Most of the characteristics of the F-25 hull are the same as any other Freedom. The '82 I owned had extraordinary storage for a small boat. It has a comfortable cockpit with high coamings that support your back. In addition one can manage everything from the cockpit while steering with the tiller between your legs.
I would look to see if the rear-most keel bolt is leaking, something that the F-25 shares with the J-24. Look for deck fittings that were not rebedded in time and have caused mushing balsa core. The side windows are also a leak area if not maintained. The rest of the hull; if it looks good, it is good.
I feel you should prefer the wing-mast version because with just the main, it performs very well on all points of sail. Look to make sure that the wing mast turns freely, and without much radial (sideways) play. The bearing at deck level consists of a 2" wide strip of teflon sheet about 1/8" thick (this is replaceable with commonly available material). The bottom bearing is a commonly available (it's an automotive front wheel bearing) tapered roller bearing (keep greased). A mast boot replacement can be created using a Fernco 6" plumbing fitting (a $20 item), intended for mating 6" copper/plastic pipe with 6" clay/cast-iron drain pipe.
The tapered round mast made its appearance sometime in 1983 (I believe) with a larger mainsail to (attempt to) make up for the loss of performance this less expensive mast caused.
Most of these boats had factory-installed single-line reefing. Some of them had the Hoyt gunmount pole on the bow pulpit, a contraption that lets one single-hand the spinny. Everything about this is ordinary except for the gunmount and the GRP chute that fits into it.
Some of these boats had a Yanmar single-cylinder inboard (nothing odd about this installation), others had an outboard. I loved my 1982 Honda long-shaft 7.5 HP with a high-thrust prop (get from Michigan Wheel; intended for old-style OMC 9 and 15HP engines). Since I previously lived up North, taking it home for the winter and maintenance was better than winteriszing an inboard. The ouboard also frees up the area under the cockpit sole.
I welcome questions and countervailing opinions. Herm
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Re: buying an F25

Postby SVBAGATELLE » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:19 pm

Many thanks Herm for that valuable information. The F25 I am looking at is a 1982 so I hope it will have the wing mast; there is no mention of a jib in the listing. I think there is a gunmount and that should be fun to use with the spinnaker. It has an outboard, which, as you say, is easier to service and replace if necessary. I am not too concerned about pointing ability as long as it is not too dismal, since I basically want to get to places rather than beat out other boats.
You have reassured me that the bits and pieces can be replaced without lots of effort and money, provided the hull and mast are in good shape. The pictures do suggest that the F25 is a neat pocket cruiser--definitely a step up from a 24 footer with a 6'3" beam. Do you know if the hull is cored, or is solid? Has blistering been a problem? In any case, blistering will be visible--though not water intrusion. I expect that given the relative simplicity of the boat, I will not use a surveyor, but we'll see.
Thanks again,
Paul
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