Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby scuzzmonkey » Wed May 23, 2012 10:26 am

Hello,

My wife and I are considering purchasing a Freedom 36. Prior to looking at this one, we had no familiarity at all with the model so I have been scouring the Internet for information. We're impressed with the layout and build quality and we've heard a lot of favorable things about handling and general performance.

Our remaining questions are mainly about sailing comfort factors and windward performance. On this board and others it is pretty broadly acknowledged that the F36 isn't at its best close on the wind, and I have seen some reviews that suggest it doesn't do particularly well in light winds. Here in the Pacific Northwest, a whole lot of our sailing is done going upwind in light winds, so I am looking for some real-world feedback on exactly how high the boat points and what the minimum windspeed is that you can sail in. The broker says it will point to forty-five degrees and make no leeway, but, well, it's the broker talking.

I'm also curious about pointing in higher winds. We also do a lot of sailing on lee shores up here, so I also want to know how practical it is to work to windward when the windspeed picks up. A lot of people just motor, but we really like to sail, and want a boat that can safely work off a lee shore without resorting to the iron genny. Is the Freedom 36 that sort of boat?

Finally, my wife gets seasick fairly easily. We have seen at least one comment that this model can be "rolly" and when I look at the plots for the roll period, comfort factor, and lateral acceleration (http://svbreakaway.info/bd/ShowPlotsGoD.html) they seem to confirm that... the F36 looks like it has a pretty high initial stability, but would tend to roll more, and more violently, than comparably sized boats when it gets going. This might be of no consequence to more experienced sailors but we're concerned that it's going to make life very uncomfortable in a seaway for us. The capsize ratio, coming in over the golden "2" is also a little bit of a worry, since that's often considered the cut-off for off-shore safety, and we do plan to be out in open ocean at some point with this vessel.

The broker is saying that the stability and comfort are similar to other comparable sized cruisers, such as the Catalina 36. It certainly doesn't look like it based on the numbers but I don't want to make my judgment just based on paper. My hope is that those numbers are just numbers, and that there is something about the unconventional design of the Freedom that makes those motion and stability formulas irrelevant for these boats. But I don't know enough about how they are derived to figure that out, so I am hoping to get some information from actual owners.

I've already gone through many of the threads here; the ones on storm tactics and knockdowns were particularly helpful. I'm particularly interested in real numbers, if you happen to have them; how high can you point, what does your boat speed look like in x knots, what is your roll period when in a beam sea? How difficult is it to get forward in that big cabin to use the head in eight or ten foot seas? What do you do for sea berths? What's the lowest wind speed that you are able to sail in?

Thanks!
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby brico » Fri May 25, 2012 5:47 pm

Hi,

Not sure where in PNW you are. I am in Vancouver, BC and my 1986 F36/38 is moored in Point Roberts, so if you are interested you can come over, we can diuscuss the boat and if you wish we can even go out for a sail.

If interested PM me and we can make contact.

Petar
1986 F36/38
s/v Mirage
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby scuzzmonkey » Sat May 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Hi Petar,

Thank you for that very generous offer! We're down in Seattle; we have arranged to go out for a test sail on the boat we are looking at. Of course, you can't exactly pick the conditions ahead of time when you schedule something like that, so we'll see how it goes. I'll definitely PM you if that doesn't satisfy my questions.

Scott
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue May 29, 2012 7:28 pm

To even put a Freedom & Catalina in the category means that you clearly knows nothing about boat construction and you're making decisions based upon some numerical analysis that means very little. I would never, repeat, never take a Catalina offshore. However, I have 40,000+ miles on my Freedom and trust it empirically in whatever mother nature throws at it. Catalina's, IMHO, are cheaply made production boats and I've been amazed at some of the stuff that I've seen the factory push out.

-- Geoff
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1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby philipl » Wed May 30, 2012 8:56 am

One comment i would add about the comfort of the F38. two years ago, we moved from a narrow beam Bristol 34 to an F38. We find the roomy (beamy) and bright interior of the F38 a lot more comfortable and it is much easier to stay below on longer hauls ( even when motor sailing ) without feeling queasy. We also have a well insulated engine compartment that substantially reduces the engine noise. It is pretty comfortable to motor sail in light winds over long distance with the autohelm taking care of business. The big battened main stiffens the boat even in light winds much better than our Bristol. All in all we have been very pleased with our Freedom 38.
Philip Leahy
F-38 ex Manchester, MA.
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby scuzzmonkey » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:45 pm

Thanks Phil, that was helpful.

And thank you, Geoff, I'm afraid you must be right, I "clearly knows nothing." Appreciate your pointing that out, super-helpful also.
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby RW Rawles » Sat May 11, 2013 4:12 pm

Scuzzmonkey, I agree with Geoff.

I would never prefer a heavy keel boat of comparable displacement and size to the Freedom-38 I have owned for 23 years. The only reason Psyché's Song is for sale is that she has not aged as quickly as I, her original owner, have. (I'm pushing 74.) If you are still in the market and live on Pacific Coast, come on down and race an afternoon on her and see for yourself. Bring your wife and she can drive!
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby RW Rawles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:29 pm

RW Rawles wrote:Scuzzmonkey, I agree with Geoff.

I would never prefer a heavy keel boat of comparable displacement and size to the Freedom-38 I have owned for 23 years. The only reason Psyché's Song is for sale is that she has not aged as quickly as I, her original owner, have. (I'm pushing 74.) If you are still in the market and live on Pacific Coast, come on down and race an afternoon on her and see for yourself. Bring your wife and she can drive!


This boat is no longer on the market.
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Re: Questions about F36/38 performance, stability

Postby sailmon » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:04 pm

Scuzzmonkey,
Not sure what boat you ended up with - but in re-reading the thread, I'm a bit put off by your picking on Geoff's typo. Truth is, comparing a Catalina and a Freedom is like comparing a Chevy and a BMW. If you dig into this board, you would see that Geoff is an experienced skipper who has successfully sailed numerous sea miles in a wide variety of conditions. If I am not mistaken, he is also responsible for creating this Board - which provides us with an opportunity to respectfully learn from each other and share our passion for sailing these unique and high quality boats. If you felt the tone of Geoff's comment was unduly harsh, respond to that - but picking on a computer typo - really not impressive.
Sailmon (Captain Bob Allenick)
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