Freeport 41: A Ketch for the Islands
Lots of room and a flexible sail plan make the "Classic Plastic" Freeport 41 very family friendly.
Several features contribute to the unmistakable profile of the Freeport 41: the large windows, clipper bow, bowsprit, and ketch rig.
Islander Yachts built the Freeport 41, a redesign by Robert H. Perry of the Charlie Davies-designed Islander 40, from about 1969 to 1984. The boat's best feature is the aft stateroom, which offers a place to relax in comfort separated from guests or kids by a walkway and two doors.
Tall people appreciate the 6 feet 10 inches of headroom in the saloon, and everybody likes the easy stairs down from the cockpit. The galley is spacious but lacks brace points when cooking at sea.
Some Freeport 41s had all-teak interiors, and others had yellow laminate on bulkheads as well as counters. We made a big improvement to our Freeport 41, Destiny, when we installed white beadboard in place of the brown vinyl headliner and painted the bulkheads white.
It takes a breeze to get Destiny sailing, but once she's moving, she sails through anything in a straight line. Downwind, under mizzen staysail and cruising spinnaker, she'll really move.
When the wind dies, the original Nissan MD33-6 diesel engine, running at 1,800 rpm and turning a 24-inch fixed prop, drives Destiny at 7.5 knots. Parts are still available, and access is easy in the large engine room.
The Freeport 41 isn't without its problems. The hull/deck joint, secured with screws and inferior sealant, leaks badly on most boats. Our solution was to remove the teak toerail, scrape out the old caulking, reseal the joint with 3M 5200, and refasten it with 5/16-inch stainless-steel through-bolts. We also added a Taco perforated-aluminum toerail.
The fuel and water tanks are 200 gallons each. Made of stainless steel or aluminum, depending on the boat, they're encased in cavities under the saloon sole with no provision for drainage, so they corrode. In 1998, we replaced our fuel tank with two 65-gallon tanks, and we've found them more than adequate. We fitted a 35-gallon holding tank between them to replace the original 50-gallon tank that was built into the keel under the engine; it was difficult to get at and very hard to pump out.
The saloon windows give a fantastic view out but need storm shutters on passage. We had Bomon Marine make new windows for Destiny of Lexan with aluminum frames. They're a big improvement over the 30-year-old plastic-framed originals.
If you want to carry all your stuff with you when you go cruising, you'll love the Freeport 41. If you acknowledge that you might run aground someday, you'll also like the full keel, with its 7,000 pounds of lead encased in up to 3 inches of solid fiberglass. The hull is solid glass, and the decks are cored with plywood. The 51-foot mainmast passes under most bridges you'll encounter, and the 5-foot draft allows access to a great many harbors.
Used Freeport 41s generally list between $65,000 and $75,000, and owners take part in an active Yahoo! group (groups.yahoo.com/group/IslanderFreeport41/).
Steven Ellsworth, his wife, Leslie, and their two children, Sterling and Carly, recently spent 19 months cruising the U.S. East Coast and the Bahamas aboard their Freeport 41, Destiny.
LOA 41' 0" (12.50 m.)
LWL 32' 6" (9.91 m.)
Beam 13' 5" (4.09 m.)
Draft 5' 0" (1.52 m.)
Sail Area (100%) 750 sq. ft. (69.7 sq. m.)
Ballast 7,000 lb. (3,175 kg.)
Displacement 22,000 lb. (9,977 kg.)
Water 200 gal. (758 l.)
Fuel 200 gal. (758 l.)
Engine Nissan MD33-6 diesel
Designer Charlie Davies/
Robert H. Perry