Freedom 38 performance and issues

Boat handling, ideas, questions...

Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby Sailnh » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:22 pm

Hi folks, I am considering a Freedom 38 and have a few questions about performance and condition.First, how well does the boat point? Any sense of what she tacks though? I currently own a Tartan 34, which can barely tack though 90, or about 60 apparent. I am hoping my next boat can do better. How much does the shoal draft keel affect upwind performance?

The phrf is a little higher than I would have thought given weight and sail area. Does the F38 perform above its PHRF?
Given the sized the main, how difficult is it to raise? Do people often add electric winches?

I sail in Maine, which can be blanketed with lobster pots, how forgiving are they when encountering trap lines?

Finally, when looking at boats, what should I be on the watch for? Any areas or systems more likely to be a problem?
I would appreciate your comments and experiences.

Steve
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Re: Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby wcwcwc » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:10 am

I have a shoal draft F36 which is the same as an F36 without the added sugar scoop. The added two feet may make a slight difference in pointing. Further, I had a Tartan 30 (which has a slightly lower PHRF than your 34) before the F36.

Given enough wind, meaning 15 knots or more and a new set of sails, I can just about get to 90 read tack to tack from my GPS. In lighter air you are lucky to get 100. Shoal draft does hurt.

On the other hand, gentlemen don't sail to weather. I do sometimes miss the Tartan when I can't lay the mark to the harbor. However the ease of tacking without grinding sheets offsets this in my mind and when you crack off to a reach she goes better than most.

Things to watch are the core of the hull and deck. Pick an experienced surveyor that the boat broker has never heard of or better yet hates. Scan this forum for other items.
Bill Cormack
Formerly Sailing F-36 "Hard Earned" out of New Bedford Yacht Club, Padanaram, MA
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Re: Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby Hans » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:02 am

Don't know the Tartan, so I can't compare. My F38 has a shoal draft, non wing keel, drift is more than with a deep draft keel but she tacks easily 90 degrees true. But, it's a cruiser and not to be compared to a
J boat in upwind performance. Strong point: the ease of handling the boat, where others start their engine in narrow upwind channels I keep on sailing while tacking is simple and fun. ( My boat has a Camberspar)
Although primarily a cruiser, performance can be increased quite a bit by trimming the main. I do so by trimming halyard tension, Cunningham, outhaul and the vang. Beneteau's First, X yachts and J boats are of course no competition, they being much faster. But compared to other cruisers of the same size, she does very well and in my experience most of the time better, may be because I like to trim and try to get the most out of her. For that reason I switched to a square top mainsail. Being of a pensioners age I am happy to have an electric winch. I do have winch handles aboard, but I have to look where they are, use them very seldom.
The only problem I had: ruddershaft bearing. Ruddershaft is quite short for the free hanging rudder in my opinion, giving quite a load on the bearing. Had to replace mine.
Connection mast/ deck is important. Use the right partners or better : Spartite.
But overall: a wonderful, very well built boat. Very suitable for short handed or single handed sailing. Performs very well when given some attention to trim. Spacious interior with lots of stowage space.
Wouldn't like to have a different boat.
Hans Hansen, Harlingen,The Netherlands.
Freedom 45AC #47 "Scherezade".
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Re: Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby RW Rawles » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:39 pm

Sailnh wrote:Hi folks, I am considering a Freedom 38 and have a few questions about performance and condition.First, how well does the boat point? Any sense of what she tacks though? I currently own a Tartan 34, which can barely tack though 90, or about 60 apparent. I am hoping my next boat can do better. How much does the shoal draft keel affect upwind performance?

The phrf is a little higher than I would have thought given weight and sail area. Does the F38 perform above its PHRF?
Given the sized the main, how difficult is it to raise? Do people often add electric winches?

I sail in Maine, which can be blanketed with lobster pots, how forgiving are they when encountering trap lines?

Finally, when looking at boats, what should I be on the watch for? Any areas or systems more likely to be a problem?
I would appreciate your comments and experiences.

Steve

Steve,

As an original owner, I have race my Freedom-38 in at least 40 races a year since 2001. The non-handicapped fleet I race in has an average of 15 boats.

Raising the main provides the most exercise, but it only requires three crew: helm, grinder, & optional mast man to jump the halyard. Because I race with a spinnaker, I add two or three more crew for dexterity around marks. Most of the race the crew has too much time on their hands so they serve the helmsman as critics and 2nd guessers.

I have a deep, but swept back keel. As such I gain an advantage over kelp-adverse/challenged adversaries.

In winds between 15 knots and 25, I will trophy. I never reef. In 30 knots? (I go in.) However, in 30 knots, she will point enough to finish a course!
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Re: Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby bbarnewolt » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:38 pm

Regarding the snagging of lobster pots, the F38 does a good job at buoy collection and you do need to be careful. I've had my share of misadventures with my 6 foot keel and an inattentive helmsman (most of the time it was me). The pot ropes tend to snag at the rudder on my boat. Easy enough to remove manually if you realize the mistake before starting the engine.

Same comments as the others regarding performance.

Good luck.
Brien
1988 F36/38
Mattapoisett, MA
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Re: Freedom 38 performance and issues

Postby RW Rawles » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:59 pm

Hans wrote:I switched to a square top mainsail.


Nice!
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