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April 23, 2009

Freeman 33

Fortunately, the powercats that have survived the test of time in the United States are all top quality and perform really well.

Certainly, powercats haven't gained the instant acceptance many of us had hoped for some years ago when they first came on the scene here in America. Of course, those boating in places with the planet's roughest waters all embrace multihull technology. Nobody can deny that they run smoother in a chop than a monohull.

Fortunately, the powercats that have survived the test of time in the United States are all top quality and perform   really well. The newest of the genre - the Freeman 33 - is a custom hull (soon to be in production) built in Charleston, South Carolina. A planing hull, the Freeman successfully blends   blazing performance with real seaworthiness. In fact, this Freeman represents one of the finest "first-built hulls" we've ever run. With twin 350 hp Yamaha V-8s trimmed for top speed and with two passengers and half a load  of fuel aboard, the boat ran 63 mph at 6,000 rpm while burning 65 gph in Miami's Government Cut. That's about the fastest offshore fishing cat on the market today. Cruising at 40 (4,000 rpm) burned a scant 27 gph. Multihulls excel  at fuel economy thanks to less wetted surface and commensurately less drag than monohulls.

You can lay out the Freeman any way you wish. Each production boat will feature a hull consisting of hand-laid biaxial fiberglass and vinylester resin, cored with vacuum-bagged Core-Cell structural foam. The deck and cap will attach with methacrylate adhesives.

We found huge dry boxes (that could be plumbed as fish boxes) in each pontoon. However, thanks to the tunnel inherent in any catamaran, there's no room belowdecks for anything on centerline. Hence, Freeman offers the large coffin box on the forward deck. This charter model also boasted a 50-gallon pressurizable livewell and a molded hardtop along with myriad rod holders.

The first two hulls sold to offshore charter operators out of Venice, Louisiana, who make 200-mile round trips to crush the yellowfin by the oil rigs every day. That's a lot of miles in all kinds of weather for a 33-footer. The captains don't seem to mind.

LOA......33 ft. 7 in.
BEAM......10 ft. 10 in.
DRAFT......1 ft. 5 in.
DEADRISE......Planing catamaran
WEIGHT......5,575 lb. (w/o power)
FUEL......350 gal.
MAX POWER......Twin 350 hp OB
MSRP......Price on request

Freeman Boatworks / Charleston, South Carolina / 843-708-0755 / www.freemanboatworks.com