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Old 24-02-2021, 10:31   #1
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"Unstayed cat" rig?

There's a sailboat for sale near me. It's a Freedom 25 and looks like a racing inspired design, very unique looking hull shape, extremely high gunnels. There's a picture on sailboat data.com and or looks much bigger...or they used a small human model in that pic!
Does anyone know anything about this boat or this type of rig?
I'm guessing it's not a good design based on the fact that there's nothing like it out there!
Thank you 🙏
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Old 24-02-2021, 10:52   #2
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

I think they are cool, especially if you want to trailer the boat sometimes. Unstayed rig makes things super easy. I like most of the Freedom boats.
Many unstayed Freedoms are out there. They've been around a long time. It's a bit of a niche.
They are lightweight and fast, albeit won't go to weather as well as some stayed rigs. But we aren't all racing....
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Old 24-02-2021, 12:37   #3
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

Great boat.

A guy from the German Yachting Magazine "Yacht" even sailed one across the Atlantic.
I think that was in the early nineties or late eighties.
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Old 24-02-2021, 12:59   #4
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

Kind of a weird rig. Not really Cat Rig, as the mast seems too far back for a Cat boat. Not really a Sloop Rig, as the mast seems too far forward for a Sloop. Most of the cat boats I've seen are gaff rigged with a much longer boom, while this doesn't appear to have either features based on the drawing.

Kind of a weird hybrid.
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Old 24-02-2021, 13:52   #5
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercat568 View Post
There's a sailboat for sale near me. It's a Freedom 25 and looks like a racing inspired design, very unique looking hull shape, extremely high gunnels. There's a picture on sailboat data.com and or looks much bigger...or they used a small human model in that pic!
Does anyone know anything about this boat or this type of rig?
I'm guessing it's not a good design based on the fact that there's nothing like it out there!
Thank you 🙏
You are correct, those “cockpit coamings” do indeed look much higher than the norm for that size boat. As long as you can step over them easily they will be a benefit when seated. The volume of water that cockpit would hold if pooped would be a detriment but a bridge deck and large scuppers would mitigate that concern. Normally when it’s rough enough to get pooped the next large sea will spill most of the contents and leave a manageable remainder. The Freedom line was very innovative at the time and I see several each season still being cruised and raced. The mast placed further aft than the norm allowed use of headsails in the lightest of conditions and made them more weatherly. The Freedom 40 blazed the trail for all of the smaller boats in the line and took the racing world by storm till they changed the rules to prevent them being competitive.
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Old 25-02-2021, 18:17   #6
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

I've often wondered about this reputation cat rigs have for not pointing well. When I saw them race on SF Bay many moons ago, it sure looked to me that they were pointing pretty well.
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Old 25-02-2021, 19:16   #7
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

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I've often wondered about this reputation cat rigs have for not pointing well. When I saw them race on SF Bay many moons ago, it sure looked to me that they were pointing pretty well.
The modern slim underbodies, fin keels and spade rudders, have gone a long way to increase their performance. The beamy catboats with their barn door rudders and long shallow center boards are mere distant cousins.
They are not my cup of tea but they are certainly weatherly and capable cruisers and racers.
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Old 25-02-2021, 23:30   #8
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

Yeah I was thinking of the Nonsuches I saw back then. They SEEMED pretty competitive, but I don't have firsthand knowledge, just rumors.
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Old 27-02-2021, 16:46   #9
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

When I raced my Nonsuch in the NFS division I did very well. First year I won 14 beer can races in a row, second year something like 9 of 11. If you try to pinch up you really slow down, better to head off a few degrees and use the long waterline. Race crew for a Nonsuch - helm, sheet person, wine (beer) steward.
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Old 27-02-2021, 17:43   #10
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

We are a cat-schooner technically, although when sheeted in we might get some minimal slot effect from the foresail. We have sailed to windward foresail-only though and it does make speed basically within the masthead indicators. We're routinely surprised by how often we casually glance up from our coffee to notice we're smoking performance sloops that should be much better than us in various conditions, so there's certainly some capability there even for lunkheads like us.

The only explanation is I think there is something like a 80/20 split with trad. rig racers (0% of them would consider a Freedom). 80% think that sailing performance is directly proportional to the number of lines and knobs you can tweak and how much carbon fiber you have on board, 20% actually have a deep understanding of what all those controls do and how the physical loads on a boat work. I think sometimes less is more, easier sail handling, tacking, make you less likely to hold on to a certain angle that isn't ideal for convenience or to wait for people to be ready for whatever it is you're about to execute.

I'm sure if you're in a down-to-the-wire racing organization you won't find *too* many freedoms but as a super easy boat to live with and a solid club racer I would not hesitate at all.
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Old 27-02-2021, 17:52   #11
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

First, thank you so for your input. Much appreciated!
Now, the boat I'm looking at came from Philadelphia PA and the PO had apparently left it there unpaid where it got repo'd. So PPO has got the sails, cushions, etc etc etc. Does anyone in the Philly area remember a boat like this or..long shot here...maybe the PO is a CF regular? If we could get the sails back to the current owner then me or someone would buy the boat, but with the missing equipment, it's gonna probably get cut into little pieces and scrapped, and that would be a shame, even for an unusual boat such as this. The tiller is another missing piece...probably the easiest one to replace.
The boat was named Seagull when it was in Philly. I've sent a link of this thread to the current owner, David R. If the missing equipment does possibly, miraculously get located, he owns it, and I'll have to pay more for the boat!
Like I wrote to David in a text...
Where's Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries when we need him, I can just hear him now "the owner of the sailing vessel SeaGull dis..appeared without a trace, and with him went the tiller, the sails, the engine and it's mount. Foul play cannot be ruled out due to the missing gas tank, it is rumored to have been full at the time of his disappearance and his friends do notice the smell of gasoline when they speak of him and a ghostly apparition appears."

Here's a text from the current owner. Seems a rather interesting man and very much into sailing/racing. Her knew/knows the designer of this boat. The picture he's referring to I had sent to him with some comments, it's the stock photo off the sailboat data site for this boat..

Yes that is a picture of Gary Hoyt, the designer. He is an interesting man, smart as can be. He was an abuse yachtsman and an accomplished racer. I know/knew him well. I lived in the British Virgin Islands at the time of that photo and when the freedom 25 was introduced to the public. It was ahead of its time. They were built at tillotson Pearson in Rhode Island who made the j24 and all the j boats at the time. Boat for boat the freedom 25 was faster downwind than the j24. Upwind the j24 was faster. The example I have is as described in the ad. It has just been sitting at the farm for going on three years now. It name on the transom is sea gull. It's dirty and needs some cleaning / restoring. The hull and deck are strong and proper. I don't have sails, tiller or motor. Those things would have been taken home by the previous owner before abandonment in the boatyard.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:13   #12
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

I had a Freedom 28 for years. A surprisingly fast, well-balanced and close-winded sailor, nice engine installation, comfortable interior. It had the “ gun-mount” spinnaker, which was a waste of time as it took ages to rig, you ended up with an unholy amount of string in the cockpit, it was hard to recover without shrimping and the chute itself was tiny and really not much easier than the real thing. The mast was well forward which meant it tacked about like mad at anchor, and without a back stay it’s hard to rig a riding sail. The lack of shrouds left the side decks amazingly wide and uncluttered: but with only the lifelines to hold onto.
The rudder was originally four inches longer than the keel, a recipe for disaster: I sawed the end off without ill effect. The main was huge, and with two reefs in was still way too big in 30 knots. Finally, the cored hull gave problems after I whacked it into a rock, admittedly a full-tilt whack that might have knocked it clean off a lesser craft?
.
My verdict: a good boat, well- built, you could do a LOT worse.
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Old 01-03-2021, 11:28   #13
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
The modern slim underbodies, fin keels and spade rudders, have gone a long way to increase their performance. The beamy catboats with their barn door rudders and long shallow center boards are mere distant cousins.
They are not my cup of tea but they are certainly weatherly and capable cruisers and racers.
Most of them older ones had gaff rigged mains, which don't go the weather as well no matter what hull they're on. As far as I can tell the Freedoms sail pretty well on all points. I remember their ads from back in the day, part of the design idea was that with no stays or spreaders, there's a lot less drag going upwind. That would be an advantage when beating or even motoring. Don't know if that actually equates to better upwind performance, but that was the idea. There are a few of them in different sizes around here, and other makes with the same kind of rig.
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:39   #14
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

I always like this video...shows they can certainly be competitive:
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:14   #15
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Re: "Unstayed cat" rig?

I think many people looking at that pass would be inclined to think boooo...ring, but when I watch that it might as well be two Formula One cars ripping by me at 200mph engines screaming for mercy. Love sailboats!! Thank you for the video!! That boat was screaming!
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