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Old 28-02-2013, 19:32   #1
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Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

I will be heading to Boston this Saturday to view both a 1987 Catalina 30 and a 1987 Freedom 30. I would love any input and or opinions from either vessel’s owners. Anyone willing to make comparisons would also be very much appreciated. I have been reading reviews on Practical Sailor, but there is nothing like hearing it from the source Thanks!
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:17   #2
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Owned a.Catalina 30 for about six months... The first time I slid out of the v-berth in the middle of the nigh to take a leak, I twisted my ankle on the cock-eyed slanted floor, put her up for sale the next day.
Didn't quite like the way she sailed, as it felt like we were crabbing... Like sailing a basketball with.a mast and keel.
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Old 28-02-2013, 21:13   #3
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Welcome to the forum!

I've sailed both boats but haven't owned either. I'd give the Freedom 30 an edge in the quality of its build, but the Catalina 30 the edge in performance. The jib on the Freedom 30 is barely functional, and the boat performs poorly in light air as a result. Both boats are a little small for much more than weekending, and neither boat rates high in such things as storage space or tankage.

If you're set on that 30' range, you owe it to yourself to check out a Nonsuch 30. It's 2X the cruiser than either boat you're currently considering.
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Old 28-02-2013, 21:36   #4
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Sailed a Catalina 30, only looked at the Freedoms. I have to second BASH's comments about quality. The Freedoms were built at the TP yard in RI and are pretty well put together. Based on the rig and how other Freedom's sail I think the Catalina would blow it away. Randy does have a point. The boat is very beamy. Not quite a basketball but is sort of roundish.

On the other hand, the Catalina is a very roomy boat and has a lot of space for the length.

Nonesuch is a very well made boat.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Sailed a Catalina 30, only looked at the Freedoms. I have to second BASH's comments about quality. The Freedoms were built at the TP yard in RI and are pretty well put together. Based on the rig and how other Freedom's sail I think the Catalina would blow it away. Randy does have a point. The boat is very beamy. Not quite a basketball but is sort of roundish.

On the other hand, the Catalina is a very roomy boat and has a lot of space for the length.

Nonesuch is a very well made boat.
I have noticed most boats at 30 or less tend to sail this way....though I was quite impeessed with the 30' S2.....you might want to consider this one as well.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:09   #6
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

I have sailed both boats. I have owned a Catalina 30 for almost ten years. The C30 is a GREAT boat for its intended purpose - coastal cruising. She has sufficient displacement to be a stable boat even in difficult conditions. I have done short (1-2 day) offshore passages on several occassions. The C30 will handle harsh conditions better than the Freedom. Moreover, the C30 will be a much better sailing vessel if properly handled. The Freedom's workmanship may be nominally superior, but my boat is a 1987 tall rig and she was very well made and is in excellent condition presently.

I think both are good boats; however, if the C30 is in good condition it is a hard boat to beat.

I wouldn't pay much attention to anyone who buys a boat but sells it after twisting his ankle getting out of bed. A C30 does not "crab" if sailed with any degree of skill. She sails very well to weather and does very well around the marks with a good skipper and crew. She is easy to single hand. It is definitely not a basketball with a mast and keel. There is a reason it is arguably the most successful keelboat ever manufactured.

It is important that she have the 21HP diesel or even one of higher horsepower. The C30's with 13HP engines are significantly underpowered. I think any C30 built after 1985 will have a more powerful diesel than the 13HP.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:27   #7
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Quote:
Originally Posted by csharp View Post
I will be heading to Boston this Saturday to view both a 1987 Catalina 30 and a 1987 Freedom 30. I would love any input and or opinions from either vessel’s owners. Anyone willing to make comparisons would also be very much appreciated. I have been reading reviews on Practical Sailor, but there is nothing like hearing it from the source Thanks!


As always, the first question is what is your plan for the boat? Local cruising, beer-can racing, extended coastal cruising? And what is your sailing experience?

I have a Catalina 310, which is essentially a 30 with a few twists. A very good friend of mine has a Freedom 30, actually it is a 32 because the previous owner had a sugar scope put on the transom by the factory during the original construction, but the hull is actually from the 30 mold and not the 32 mold. With my 135 genny, we have just about equal sail area. You can compare two boats by the numbers at Sail Calculator Pro. Overall, we both really like our own boats and each others boats. There are definitely merits to both. He specifically sought out a Freedom because of the unstayed mast and other design elements. I also looked at a couple Freedoms before choosing my C310. For me it was more about the interior comforts more than the design elements (or rather should I say for my Bride; if she doesn't like the boat it doesn't matter what you have ). We are both going to take our boats from Boston, down the ICW and down the thorny path to the Caribbean. We are both very confident that these boats are capable of this trip and more. He has been living on his boat since September (yes, through the winter in the Boston area). We lived aboard ours from April through December of last year (we are back at the house trying to get it ready for a sale, hopefully). We both feel these are comfortable live aboards for a couple.

When looking at the C30 vs. the Freedom 30, below are my comments.

From a sailing perspective, both boats should sail OK. Neither are rocket ships, nor are they heavy displacement cruisers. They are both coastal cruisers (a term that can be debated forever). The Catalina will point a little higher, which would be important if you are planning to race. The Freedom will be easier to sail short handed if you are planning to cruise. Both have fairly shallow drafts which is good for gunkholing but will tend to have more side slip than a deeper keel boat.

Under power, the Catalina will probably get up to hull speed quicker but the Freedom will get there.

One big thing on deck I like better about the Catalina is that it has an anchor locker. The Freedom just has an opening to allow the rhode to go to the below deck anchor locker that has to be accessed by removing part of the vee-birth. Not a deal killer, but something to consider.
In the galley, I think the Catalina is much better due to the double sinks and additional counter space. I think the refer on the Catalina is bigger too.

Both are very similar on sleeping births, although a plus for the Freedom is the door for the back birth. The salon tables are a personal preference item. Personally, I like the Freedom's because most of the time I would rather have the additional space when it's folded up.

The heads on both are a little small. I think they have the same tankage amounts for fuel and freshwater.

I believe I know both of the boats you are looking at from their Yatchworld.com listings.

If the Freedom is Cadence, she has been for sale for a while (or has been put back up for sale after a short period of ownership). Both my buddy and I looked at this boat. He felt she was a good deal at around $25K. She was in OK condition, but neither of us went as far as having a survey done.

I believe the C30 is Kinship, I have seen her out sailing in the area but have never been aboard. This boat has an impressive list of upgrades that have been done in the last couple of years. However, I would be leery of a boat whose owner stores her for the winter with her sail's still on.

If these are the right boats, you appear to have selected very good examples of both, based on their listings. If that is the case, I would look for the better maintained boat. With these two, you may find it just comes down to personal preference or a coin flip.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:30   #8
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
If you're set on that 30' range, you owe it to yourself to check out a Nonsuch 30. It's 2X the cruiser than either boat you're currently considering.
Yes they are, but they are also twice the price of what he is looking at.
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Old 01-03-2013, 21:31   #9
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

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Sailed a Catalina 30, only looked at the Freedoms. . Based on the rig and how other Freedom's sail I think the Catalina would blow it away. .
PHRF average ratings give Catalina 30 186, Tall rig 171, and Freedom 30 168.
http://offshore.ussailing.org/Assets...+Handicaps.pdf,
Freedom 30, designed by Garry Mull, is not a slow boat. Freedoms , due to their unique rigs and cored hulls, are very quiet and very easy to sail. It gives an impression that nothing is happening, while it is moving at a decent speed.

I didn't sail Catalina 30, but I sailed Catalina 27 quite a lot, Catalina 36 briefly, I own Freedom 28 Cat Ketch, i(it is different animal than newer Mull designed single masted Freedoms) and spend lots of time on Freedom 36. Freedoms are better designed, somewhat better made(arguably) and a lot easier to sail singlehandedly.
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Old 03-03-2013, 18:54   #10
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

Thanks to all that replied to my inquiry; Catalina 30 vs. Freedom 30. I am still looking for "the right boat" for me but with each that I look at, I am learning more and more. With the input from fellow readers like you it helps me to identify pos and cons of each individual boat.
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Old 03-03-2013, 19:02   #11
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

pretty familiar with the Cat, have looked at the Freedoms only. The Freedoms intrigue me for sure. However, keep in mind they are cored hulls..... make sure it doesnt have any problems there. Nothing wrong with the Cats, but I would lean toward the freedom... mostly for reasons of personal interest!
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csharp View Post
Thanks to all that replied to my inquiry; Catalina 30 vs. Freedom 30. I am still looking for "the right boat" for me but with each that I look at, I am learning more and more. With the input from fellow readers like you it helps me to identify pos and cons of each individual boat.
So what did you like and not like about the two boats you looked at?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:51   #13
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

We have had a 1991 Catalina 30 for only one year. We really loved that boat and gained a lot of experience from her. That was our first sail boat. It’s a big boat for a 30 footer. Very well made.
We sold her, because we loved sailing so much we wanted bigger with a few more amenities.
We did not like the shower draining into the bilge. They make a pump box to fix it, but we never did.
Ours had an ice box and we hated buying ice all the time.
All that said it was a great boat and we sold her in one week. Gotta love that. Catalina’s do tend to sell well.
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Old 04-03-2013, 15:15   #14
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

I have been on Sail Calculator Pro for performance comparison of the Freedom 30 vs. equal size Pearson, Oday and Catalina on hull speed and didn't notice much of a difference. Sail are actually goes to the Freedom so I assume they are comparing a 135% genoa on the others. I am somewhat concerned with difference between the Freedom and the others though, as far as motion comfort which puts the Freedom at a 4-5 point disadvantage. Is that because she is a much lighter boat? Will I feel that noticeable of a difference in both underway and at anchor?
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Old 04-03-2013, 15:22   #15
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Re: Catalina 30 vs. Freedom30

At the very best, "Motion Comfort" is controversial. At the worst, it doesn't reflect the reality of how boats go through the water. All it's saying, in this case, is that heavier boats tend to be more comfy. This is not always true. There are some double enders in the size range you're looking at that are notoriously uncomfortable because of how they wallow in quartering seas, and yet they'll have a far superior "Motion Comfort" rating than that Freedom.
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