I know of 2 different mast failures in Freedom 33's. One from knowing the owner, personally, & the other is via a Freedom 33 which was posted for sale
on here, & is likely still listed in the archives
The loss of it's masts, & the reasons for same, were listed in the F/S writeup when I read it last year (probably 2014).
The one which I know of personally, was on a boat which was well maintained, & only gently sailed. Being home ported, all of her life in San Diego
. And as she came off of a wave "the mast just shattered", as the owner put it.
Not a big wave mind you, & in maybe 10kts of breeze. And it was the fore mast, which, I think was the case with the other Freedom 33 referred to on here.
Also, on the boat that I know of which lost
her rig. She wasn't yet 10yrs old when it happened. So I'm thinking that it wasn't due to age, or UV either. But by then, Freedom was out of business, so sorting things out was "complicated".
You should do some reading on www.sponbergyachtdesign.com
as he was the lead designer/engineer at TPI for quite a while, when the boats were being built. And he has heaps of knowledge on freestanding spars.
Also, make sure that this fix has been done to the masts http://sponbergyachtdesign.com/FREED...T%20REPAIR.pdf
Too, ensure that their finish & structure, especially around the collar & step, is in good condition. And has been maintained such that no UV has ever reached the CF itself.
One other wizard/genius, in the design world, who's done some free standing rigged boats, is Yves Tanton. And he's very
easy to talk to, if you're so inclined.
Ah, & be very cautious about any Non OEM equipment
bolted onto the spars. As CF spars can be finicky, & real sensitive to such at times.
On the lighting
thing. Statistically speaking, a cruising boat is likely to take a lightning hit at some point in her lifetime. And with a CF spar, pretty often that means that the spar's a write off.
Especially as it's nigh on impossible, without advanced NDT equipment
, to inspect such composites for damage. It's easier than it used to be. The catch being; getting the guys & the equipment to the mast, or vice versa.
NDT = Non-Destructive Testing, BTW.
Although, on the lighting
thing, you'd be wise to do your own research
. As, for example, J-boats (& many others), have, in essence, a lightning rod at the top of their carbon spars, connected to a #4 AWG wire, running down the inside of the tube, & grounded to Neptune's Realm.
All of that said, there have been Freedom's, which have cruised all over the place. So...