Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby Wilfred934 » Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:34 pm

Hi All,

I own a Freedom 21 and have been trying for some considerable time to track down a Freedom 25 here in the UK. Unfortunately only 6 F25's were ever built over here and perhaps another 3-4 brought over from the USA - I know of 2 imported F25's and maybe there are others? The problem is that they come onto the market so very infrequently that I am beginning to doubt if I will ever find one? However I am an enthusiast for the cat-rig concept and the prospect of being able to single-hand such a boat so I am having to consider other options such as the Nonsuch 26 which occasionally crops up on the UK market.

Whilst I shall be very sorry to "desert" the Freedom club at least the Nonsuch is a very close relative to the Freedom concept with a wishbone rig and a freestanding mast.

Has anyone got direct experience of the comparative sailing qualities of the Freedom 25 vs. the Nonsuch 26? I would appreciate any advice or comment anyone could give?

Many thanks,

Wilf Bishop
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby wcwcwc » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:24 pm

Here are the PHRF handicaps for the Nonsuchs and Freedoms:
FREEDOM 25-2 213
NONSUCH 26 219
The numbers are seconds per mile handicap and thus mean lower is better. I'm not sure what the "IB" means. Inboard maybe?

So if you have an F25 wingmast (PHRF 198) sailing against a Nonsuch 26 (PHRF 219) the F25 is 21 seconds per mile faster. If you are sailing at five knots you are sailing about 8 feet per second and can expect the Nonsuch to be about 168 feet (7 boat lengths) behind the Freedom after a mile of sailing.

Since I don't race could someone out there check this calculation, please.
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby ceresma » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:54 pm

IB is inboard the F25 came with an inboard or outboard
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby R. Bush » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:18 pm

I thought I would resurrect this thread and see if there are any new opinions out there regarding the Nonsuch versus the Freedom 25. I am actually thinking of making a trade. I don't race and am over 6 feet, so the idea of standing headroom is quite appealing to me, and the idea of an actual separate enclosed head with a door is a big plus for the wife. The Nonsuch seems to be much more of a weekender or coastal cruiser while the Spartan interior of the Freedom is more for day sailing to me.

Anyone have any experience sailing in a Nonsuch 26 versus the Freedom? I have only managed to get one sail in on a Nonsuch when one visited our local marina. To me it seemed a lot more stable and upright in strong winds than the F25.
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby Jack Woods » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:24 pm


I've got an F25 and a friend has a Nonsuch 26. My friend sold his Nonsuch 30
to get out of boating but ended up buying a 26. I went for a sail with him a few weeks
ago in @10-17 and was impressed with how fast the Nonsuch was (seemed faster than my boat).
The Nonsuch is very substantial and has a big boat feel interior. The boat has all the
systems (heat, pressure water, etc.). For me the boat is too complicated. I sold my
Tartan 41 to go back to basics. Also, the Nonsuch is a lot more money than my F25.
The Nonsuch really did impress me with it's speed and solid feel. I could be happy with the Nonsuch
but I feel the F25 is better for me as I age (I'm 63) maintenance wise. I also enjoy havinf a spinnaker and staysail to play with.
I had my F25 out in 30-35 and gusts in our club's last race of the year (last September) doubled reefed and alone.
Though a bit tender I liked how my boat got me to the finish line and earned me a trophy for
last place.

The Nonsuch 26 is a real nice boat.

1983 F25 round mast #184 Badaka
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby R. Bush » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:42 pm

Thanks for the reply. I agree that the Nonsuch is much more boat (for substantially more money) to maintain, but I kind of like puttering over the winter months and at the dock. My wife says I would rather work on my boat than actually sail it. The analogy I have in my head is that my F25 is like a basic Honda Civic, and I would be trading for a Cadillac. Not quite as sporty, but a lot more comfortable.

When you mentioned wind speeds were you talking mph, knots or Kilometers? I am almost always sailing alone and I find that it doesn't take much wind at all to heel the boat over to an uncomfortable angle. Even with 2 reefs in I find I am heeled over past being comfortable with a lot less wind than I would expect. I am not a racer but just like to go out for a few pleasant hours on the water. I have a new foresail that I have never bothered to take out of the bag - even when it probably would have made the difference between the boat just sitting and at least moving along. I have my spinnaker rigged but tend not to use it either. Can't be bothered to contend with all the additional ropes. Hence the thought that a Nonsuch might be a better choice for me.
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby weremeer » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:27 pm

I have owned a Nonsuch 30 and a Freedom 28 Cat ketch. I loved the Nonsuch but I hurt my shoulders and could not get the sail up. The yard told me I needed new blocks at the top of the mast. I had them put in but I still had difficulty putting up the sail... (I am an older man.) I did not sell the boat for that reason. But an accumulation of reasons.... Then I got my Freedom 28. It is a lot easier to sail. The sails go up easily, they don't have to travel a mile up the mast. Tacking and sail handling is easier. But there was more room in the Nonsuch.
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby Teke's Pride » Tue Dec 31, 2013 11:57 pm

You have mentioned extreme heal in moderate wind in several post on this thread. How old is the mainsail on your F21? I got a new main this summer and it greatly improved performance (more speed & less heal). I know you said you're looking to trade up for comfort below decks but, if you do stick with your Freedom, consider a new mainsail. I predict you will fall in love with her all over again!
Clark Myers
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Browns Creek Sailing Association
Lake Guntersville, AL
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Re: Freedom 25 vs Nonsuch 26

Postby R. Bush » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:54 pm

I have an F25, not a F21. I don't know how old the sail it, but since it was not made by Harstick I would assume that at least it is not the original. It looks as if it is in decent shape to me, but I am not an expert sailor. Perhaps you are right about a new sail increasing speed and reducing heel. It is still a rather light boat, and with only one person in it for weight it does tend to lean over. The Nonsuch seemed much less inclined to heel in the guest - probably because of the wide beam and nearly double weight. And it sure is nice to be able to stand up and move around below!
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