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Old 02-01-2018, 23:08   #1
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Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Hello, Cruisers forum!

New here, second post, first one was occasionally misunderstood, so I'll start again.

I'm a lifelong sailor born to a family of sailors and sailed everything from a Bristol 22 to a barquentine, and every size in between. But I'm finally looking to buy for the first time, and finally fulfill "a lifelong dream of living on the thing."

[I don't see myself crossing bodies of water larger or more challenging than the Gulf of Maine any time soon, so this first purchase doesn't have to be a Pacific Seacraft, thanks.]

I've been looking at the options for solo cruising in my economic range for price, renovation and upkeep, and I'm kind of intrigued by free-standing masts. (No rigging! No chainplates! Tension not an issue, at least not that kind! I'm getting lazier as I get older!)

You can be a tough crowd, and there's not a ton of love for Hunters, and I get that. Does anyone love the Freedom 30? And has anyone had a sinking feeling because of that sink that drains at the waterline without a seacock? Are there other hidden dangers in what looks like a much better solution for a lazy person than a Vision? Are there any other lazy person options?

I've attached a picture of that old Bristol, just for fun. What a boat. If you can believe it, our family of five did 2-week-long cruises on it up and down the coast of Maine. If nothing else amuses you about this thread, you can at least picture that baby beating around Manticus et al in a 20kt sw breeze.

Best wishes and thank you in advance for your thoughtful replies,

Ned
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Old 03-01-2018, 00:54   #2
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

The Freedom looks complicated, how about a junk rig?

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Old 03-01-2018, 02:12   #3
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Freedoms aren't complicated, in fact the opposite. I cruised extensively on my Freedom 32, it was a very good boat, well built, sailed well and was very easy to single hand. I actually miss that boat.
The 30 will be very similar.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:22   #4
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Actually freedom made two different 32's and two different 30's. I assume your talking about the mull sloop 30 version. I had the hoyt 32 which was older but quite abit larger than the Mull 32 which was the 30 with a sugar scoop.
The Hoyt 30 (28, depends if was English or US made) ketch was a very good cruising boat. I often thing ketch stay less rigs maybe the best cruising rig.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:48   #5
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

I have sailed the Freedom 30 and I currently have a 1984 Hunter 31. I believe a free standing mast involves compromises (too thick, non-adjustable) that are not worth the aesthetic benefit. There are more important factors to consider such as internal layout, headroom, sailing characteristics when choosing a boat to cruise or race. Then take whatever rig comes with the boat. If you are set on a free standing mast, the freedom is a better choice than the Hunter. Otherwise, I think the Hunter 31/34 series by Cortland Steck (he worked closely with Cherubini) is as good as it gets for a fast, dirt cheap (<$15K) and capable boat from that era. There are plenty of them on the market, so you are likely to get one in good condition. Due to their particular design (head forward, aft cabin extends all the way to the back of the boat), they have more space than equivalent length boats. However, they are getting quite old (>30 years), so I would not recommend getting one if you are planning to keep it for 10 years or more. Later Hunters I do not like as much (worse B/D, slower, more coastal, bigger head, smaller saloon and storage, more appealing to couples, etc.). If you want to spend more I would look at the Freedom you suggested or later models Beneteau's. Keep in mind that we all love our boats and our advice is anything but impartial

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Old 03-01-2018, 03:39   #6
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

If you like Freedoms, and I infer from your post that you do, I say find a good one, and go for it. Personally, I was sorry to see Freedom stop production. There are cons to unstayed masts, but there are also pros. Keeping things simple makes sense, especially for coastal cruising. I owned a Nonsuch 30, which was a great coastal cruiser, huge inside for its size, and super easy to sail. As an added benefit, I found that the unstayed mast would flex slightly in gusts, de-powering the sail in a fine-tune sort of way that I'd never bother to do by easing the sheet. The result was a smoother ride with less heeling. Good luck in whatever choice you make.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:49   #7
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
I have sailed the Freedom 30 and I currently have a 1984 Hunter 31. I believe a free standing mast involves compromises (too thick, non-adjustable) that are not worth the aesthetic benefit. There are more important factors to consider such as internal layout, headroom, sailing characteristics when choosing a boat to cruise or race. Then take whatever rig comes with the boat. If you are set on a free standing mast, the freedom is a better choice than the Hunter. Otherwise, I think the Hunter 31/34 series by Cortland Steck (he worked closely with Cherubini) is as good as it gets for a fast, dirt cheap (<$15K) and capable boat from that era. There are plenty of them on the market, so you are likely to get one in good condition. Due to their particular design (head forward, aft cabin extends all the way to the back of the boat), they have more space than equivalent length boats. However, they are getting quite old (>30 years), so I would not recommend getting one if you are planning to keep it for 10 years or more. Later Hunters I do not like as much (worse B/D, slower, more coastal, bigger head, smaller saloon and storage, more appealing to couples, etc.). If you want to spend more I would look at the Freedom you suggested or later models Beneteau's. Keep in mind that we all love our boats and our advice is anything but impartial

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Old 03-01-2018, 07:52   #8
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

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Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
If you like Freedoms, and I infer from your post that you do, I say find a good one, and go for it. Personally, I was sorry to see Freedom stop production. There are cons to unstayed masts, but there are also pros. Keeping things simple makes sense, especially for coastal cruising. I owned a Nonsuch 30, which was a great coastal cruiser, huge inside for its size, and super easy to sail. As an added benefit, I found that the unstayed mast would flex slightly in gusts, de-powering the sail in a fine-tune sort of way that I'd never bother to do by easing the sheet. The result was a smoother ride with less heeling. Good luck in whatever choice you make.
Thanks! The carbon fiber mast on the Freedom also flexes and has that depowering effect. It's a big plus for the lazy man, as is that small self-tacking jib. I've never encountered a nonsuch so I'll look it up!
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:55   #9
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielamartindm View Post
If you like Freedoms, and I infer from your post that you do, I say find a good one, and go for it. Personally, I was sorry to see Freedom stop production. There are cons to unstayed masts, but there are also pros. Keeping things simple makes sense, especially for coastal cruising. I owned a Nonsuch 30, which was a great coastal cruiser, huge inside for its size, and super easy to sail. As an added benefit, I found that the unstayed mast would flex slightly in gusts, de-powering the sail in a fine-tune sort of way that I'd never bother to do by easing the sheet. The result was a smoother ride with less heeling. Good luck in whatever choice you make.
Durn, look at the size of the cockpit on that Nonsuch!
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:18   #10
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

Welcome to CF, Ned! Pizzazz makes some good points about Hunters, which I know very little about and considered early in my boat search. I have the Mull-designed F38 (it's the 36 with sugar scoop). The F32s and F38s are actually documented as F30s and F36s, but have the benefit of longer water lines and nice platforms. I absolutely love the way my Freedom sails and she's competitive in everything but light wind and hard beating to weather. Off wind, few can catch her (I curse those Wylies though). A friend here in the San Francisco Bay area has an F30 that he raced solo to Hawaii; I'm planning the same this year, so they're capable of offshore sailing, but they do need their upgrades. Mine is an '88. We've documented some of that work on the Freedom Forum (he more than I), so feel free to PM me if you're surveying or have bought a Freedom. I'm happy to give you more insight into my experience. After 5 years and doing most of the upgrades myself, I have learned quite a bit. Many things broke on Kynntana those first couple of years! Well, she is routinely pushed in conditions many wouldn't leave the dock in. In addition to the higher price of these boats compared to the Hunters, you should factor in some refit work, which shouldn't be such a surprise on any 80s vintage vessel. Be especially mindful of any significant crazing on the deck or poor aftermarket hardware that hasn't been bedded well. Through-hulls may also need to be pulled off and the holes epoxied before redrilling to ensure no water ingress. There are benefits to the cored hull -- TPI built these boats stronger than most others out there -- but buying one with a wet deck or hull would not be good. There's info on the Freedom Forum about these striations on the masts from the carbon fiber delaminating (or something). I don't really know what I'm talking about here so be sure to research that so you know it when you look at these boats. I lucked out on this issue because K's mast is built like a Sequoia tree. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:38   #11
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

I think a simple free standing rig of the F30 has some merit. But only for the right person. If you are a sailor that wants to bash to weather, needs to make the best performance all the time etc, then maybe not for you. But many cruisers only sail in the conditions they like to sail in. I usually motor if I cant make 3.5 knots. The boat's just a tool to me to get from point A to point B. I may crack off for speed when on the wind and point less high to be more comfortable.
However, I'm not crazy about any boat with a cored hull or a spade rudder and I think all Freedoms are cored.

As far as the Hunter debate goes, I'm not crazy about them but I think going by name alone is a fault. It's like saying you cont like Chevy's because you had a Vega. Different boats, designs, different years etc matter.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:43   #12
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pirate Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

A guy I knew in the Med back in the late 90's had one of these.. for me it ranks amongst beautiful boats I'd like to own.. alongside the Cheoy Lee 42..
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:56   #13
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

So I ended up buying a Freedom 30 last April and i am very pleased. I bought one with some neglect at the very low end of the market so i have been putting some time and money into bringing her back but the boat is very solid, was surveyed dry and in good condition so I don't mind putting a little money and time into her. The cabin layout is great (love having the aft cabin) and she sails fine and the self tacking jib makes her easy to sail. We sailed all over LIS last season and I had no trouble whatsoever (ok perhaps a little self inflicted trouble that cannot be blamed on the boat).
The users forum has allot of good info on it and there are still several places to get good information from people restoring freedoms such as Warren Boat Works in Rhode Island.
This is the first large boat I've owned (over 20 ft) an Obviously I am very biased in favor of freedom but thought you might like to hear from a satisfied owner.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:21   #14
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

For your use, strictly coastal sailing the Hunter would be fine, quite roomy. I've always liked Freedoms mostly for the quality of build but the Cat boat I like best is the Nonsuch line of boats built in Canada. High quality build, good following and good sailing boats, very quick off the wind with very well laid out and functional interiors.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:59   #15
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Re: Freedom 30 vs Hunter vision vs...?

There was a picture of a Freedom 30 doing the Transpac in Practical sailor magazine last month. Was that your friend?
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