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Honest review of 37' Freeman

Old 11-02-2014, 05:30 PM
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Default Honest review of 37' Freeman

So after hearing about this unicorn of a boat I finally was able to ride on it Saturday. Here's my review....
We had 11 people on the boat, all full grown men and Billy said anywhere from 230-260 gallons of fuel. Weather was calling for 21 its form the North/Northwest and picking up. My first impression was how large the boat was for 37 feet. Dwarfed any other 36-38ft boat I have been on. The rear bilge/storage boxes were huge, enough to fit 4-5 cases of water easily if one wanted to do so. The starboard side had a sea chest, easily accessible. I'm 6'5" and could sit in there to work on things. Directly forward of those boxes were two live well/insulated fish boxes that were very deep. Probably 100 gallons each, I don't remember the exact number. The hatches were all very nice, although some areas could have used some finish work.Throughout the boat Billy used Gemlux products which really made it look nice, and the friction hinges kept the lids/hatches up without having to use the annoying gas shocks. Very nice feature that Yellowfin and others were seen using at the boatshow.
The stern livwell was very big (65 gallons plus) and was accompanied by (2) tuna tubes on one side and storage on the other side. Nicely laid out, nothing to complain about the finish work.
The console was nicely laid out with twin Simrads, nothing felt cramped as myself and Billy stood under the hardtop talking for a bit. He is 6'2". I wish it would have had an electronics box, but I'm sure its an option.I prefer to throw my phone/wallet/keys there where its easy to get to them and see instead of a glovebox. The interior of the console was smaller than I would have liked, for dry storage such as luggage for a week in the Bahamas, but it was doable for sure.
The hardtop was excellent in terms of finish and size, I really liked that. Also, the rear leaning post was awesome, with two coolers with an option as having one for dry storage for foods. Harder to hold on to top though because there is no toe-kick/relief and the rod holders were a little farther than other boats. Grab handles would be great here They were big enough (each) to fit 48 beers with ice. The hatches were nice and light, no handles for a clean look.
Forward, the coffin box is massive, I really did like this, but might have preffered a walk around option. Not sure. There are two more hatches forward, which could be built unlined and fit (4) large bean bags inside each, rod locker for 12+ rods, or you could install a liner and have a big enough fish box for 60lb tuna (several).
And now, my opinion on the forward step. I haven't owned a boat with a forward step since my 1979 23 Seacraft 10 years ago, and to be honest: I liked the step. I didn't protrude so far that it was a nuisance, and had a storage locker beneath that was perfect for lifejackets, ropes, bumpers etc. No complaints there, although the finish inside here was brushed awl grip. Could have been a little nicer.
Performance*was very cool. 72 mph at one point, with 11 people and 230-260 gallons is very impressive. 1.1-1.0mpg at 38-44 mph I think, anything above that was touching .9-1.0 mpg. We cruised at 55 mph effortlessly in a following sea. Hell even Scott was filming when we were cruising out. I'll try to post the video. Throughout the sea trial no one got wet, expect when Billy backed down into the sea to show NO water coming through the scuppers. It sprayed a few people, any boat would do that. I really wish he would've brought his Triple 350 boat or even a triple 300 boat, to see more realistic performance numbers for the average outboard buyer. Although those Seven Marines are absolutely sick when going 70 MPH, 180k for twins is steep.
The ride in the beam sea it was most impressed me about the boat. 41 mph felt more comfortable than 33 mph, and it was very comfortable. At first I felt the boat jerking back and forth, but Billy later explained the controls were very sensitive. Again, no one was wet during this ride. Dennis (Daddy Menace) moved over to our side of the boat (away from the waves) anticipating the spray to hit him, but one guy stayed and did not get wet.
Going into the head sea was a solid 2-4, but a stiff wind for sure. Again, no one was uncomfortable when Billy decided to throttle to 4400 RPM doing 52-55 mph. Fuel burn was .8-.9 mpg going into the wind and waves. Boat rode effortlessly, with no shutter or gut punching jumps(this was throughout the sea trial, which really impressed me and others.
At one point, when we stopped to see how the boat drifted, all 11 of us walked to one side, and the boat barely leaned. If the average weight was 160lb per person, you're talking about 1760lbs on one side of the boat. At first I thought this was a useless demonstration, but then I got to thinking about what were to happen if I had to use one fuel tank due to fuel issues, or only one in floor live well filled. It's the small things like that that you don't think about until after.
For the family creature comforts, non really existed. It's definitely a fishing boat, but small things can be done such as adding a bench seat in the back or a larger leaning post fix this. Not a concern of mine, most of my family/friends prefer the bean bags. Dennis had some great points as to why he's sticking with his Yellowfin and I agree with him. I have my personal reasons as to why I would consider my SeaHunter better.

Overall, very very impressed with the freeman 37'.
Ride: 10/10 (from what I experienced, I wish I would have seatrialed others that day)
Finish: 8/10 (a lot of small things that could be easily fixed, I'm sure they will be once boat is delivered)
Price: Very competitive with the others, however there are no resale figures which scares me and others. When paying 300k+ for a boat that is something you have to account for, unless you are flithy rich or a knucklehead, which I am neither.
Service: Billy and Scott were top notch, answered all questions ad did everything we asked for in the sea trial. In terms of having the boat, from reading JJ Tabor thread it seems like Billy genuinely cares about his boats out there.
If anyone has any more questions,as away. If I misquoted something please correct me.
Thanks again Billy and Scott. Talk soon! Good to meet you Dennis, good luck with your new boat!s with other boats

Last edited by Captllama; 11-04-2014 at 09:50 PM. Reason: Editted
Old 11-02-2014, 05:32 PM
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Count us. all 11 ( don't forget to include the photographer, myself!)
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:48 PM
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Very nice review!
Old 11-02-2014, 05:51 PM
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Great review! Who's this Scott fellow?
Old 11-02-2014, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Captllama View Post
I have ridden the 42,39, and 36 Invincible, 36 and 42 Yellowfin, 37, 40 and 41 SeaHunter, 39 SeaVee (both stepped and non) (Just boats in the size category)

I have yet to ride the 39ST Contender or the 39 Yellowfin.
Very nice write up. I haven't ridden on the boats that you listed but I climbed all over most of the ones that you listed over two days this weekend. (except the Freeman ) I will say the 39 ST Contender they had at the show was less than impressive, the little things that stick out to me such as fit and finish needed work, there was rough fiberglass and places missing paint on the underside of the cap. I noticed this when I stuck my head up and under trying to locate the kite reel plugs. I also noticed several areas where holes were drilled to run wires and no finishing was done to the holes, no sleeve, pvc, anything. It screamed chafe issue. (See the long Spencer thread on the The Florida Sportmans Forum.) I only bring this up if that is at the top of your list it is something that should be addressed. I made a point to be on the look out for the same issues on the other boat but did not find anything. The Invincible 39 and 42 were excellent and the Sea Vee products were also impressive. I was impressed with Sea Hunter at the Miami show but did not see them this past weekend. Seeing that a lot of the local tournament teams picked up SH's this season, they must be doing something right. I know you are looking for a hardcore fishing boat but I also was impressed with Propbenders Nortech 392 on display. Good luck with the hunt!

Last edited by Leeroyjenkins; 11-03-2014 at 07:40 AM.
Old 11-02-2014, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the honest review! It was a pleasure to meet you and we appreciate the feedback. Feel free to contact me any time if you have addition questions or comments. Great show for sure!
Old 11-02-2014, 06:02 PM
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Very nice review. I can tell you after putting right at 400 hours on my 37 since April I have been nothing but pleased with the boat. As far as resale goes I wouldn't worry about that with over a year back log for a new one and the growing popularity and there are never any used ones for sale. I've owned most of the boats you mentioned and rode on all the others except a sea hunter and the Freeman was my pick.
Old 11-02-2014, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Leeroyjenkins View Post
Very nice write up. I haven't I know you are looking for a hardcore fishing boat but I also was impressed with Propbenders Nortech 392 on display. Good luck with the hunt!
Went by the nortech booth and I really liked what I saw. I had a lot of questions but no one seemed to care I was on the boat for 20 minutes. Bummer. Guess because I am relatively young I didn't look like a serious buyer, not a big deal Miami is right around the corner. Met prop bender (Chris) for a brief second, he was busy with another customer. Hope to see him again at Miami and talk again.
Old 11-02-2014, 06:10 PM
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Very we'll written! Thank you for confirming what my thoughts already were.
Old 11-02-2014, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dillard88 View Post
Great review! Who's this Scott fellow?
Marketing and Sales. He was excellent at answering questions VIA email, he even managed to get my on a different sea trial due to my dumb a** missing my originally scheduled one
Old 11-02-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by T-bone123 View Post
Very nice review. I can tell you after putting right at 400 hours on my 37 since April I have been nothing but pleased with the boat. As far as resale goes I wouldn't worry about that with over a year back log for a new one and the growing popularity and there are never any used ones for sale. I've owned most of the boats you mentioned and rode on all the others except a sea hunter and the Freeman was my pick.
^ truth....if ever another CC in my life, it will be a Freeman
Old 11-02-2014, 07:20 PM
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Llama's review was spot on. Nice to meet you guys, and best of luck to Billy and his team. They have a nice product for sure!
Old 11-02-2014, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Captllama View Post
Went by the nortech booth and I really liked what I saw. I had a lot of questions but no one seemed to care I was on the boat for 20 minutes. Bummer. Guess because I am relatively young I didn't look like a serious buyer, not a big deal Miami is right around the corner. Met prop bender (Chris) for a brief second, he was busy with another customer. Hope to see him again at Miami and talk again.
Sorry to hear that, as another young person it's very frustrating when that happens. I am 0-5 on the past 5 shows (Miami and FtL) without getting a single hello from any sales reps at one of the brands you listed above in your original post. I had to ask one polity if they could move to the side so I could board the factory team boat. He looked at me sideways and continued speaking with the other rep on the boat without moving. I hope to be in the market for a top tier center console in the next five years and that brand will not be on my top list for that reason.

When I boarded the Nortech Chris was busy, after he finished up my buddy and I came up and introduced ourselves as both forum members and we spoke in length about the boat, he was very friendly going over the top to explain the ins and out of the boat and even discuss fishing the gulf and their use of batteries. I had always chalked the nortech boat as a go-fast fishing boat similar to a donzi zf, scarab sport, ect. It looks like they really had some great ideas and a lot of potential to be a top fishing boat. It did have more creature comforts such as a "bunny pad" and a small bunk in the cabin but it seems they are made to order per your taste and you can customize as you see fit. I look forward to seeing what they bring to Miami and I will go out of my way to check out the Freeman. I'm kicking myself that I missed them this weekend ugh
Old 11-02-2014, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Captllama View Post

... When paying 300k+ for a boat that is something you have to account for, unless you are flithy rich or a knucklehead, which I am neither.
I would never call you a knucklehead. Or even flithy But if you have 300K to spend on a boat, that pretty well defines rich to me.

Glad you liked it and thanks for sharing.
Old 11-02-2014, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DooFighter View Post
I would never call you a knucklehead. Or even flithy But if you have 300K to spend on a boat, that pretty well defines rich to me.

Glad you liked it and thanks for sharing.
Prefer to call myself blessed.

Flithy rich is owning a 285' explorer yacht with a 43 Gamefisherman and a 32 SeaVee on the back.
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:17 PM
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Great review on a fantastic boat, thanks.
Old 11-02-2014, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Coral Head View Post
Great review on a fantastic boat, thanks.
37 Freeman would make a nice "mothership" to your Calcutta
Old 11-02-2014, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Leeroyjenkins View Post
Sorry to hear that, as another young person it's very frustrating when that happens. I am 0-5 on the past 5 shows (Miami and FtL) without getting a single hello from any sales reps at one of the brands you listed above in your original post. I had to ask one polity if they could move to the side so I could board the factory team boat. He looked at me sideways and continued speaking with the other rep on the boat without moving. I hope to be in the market for a top tier center console in the next five years and that brand will not be on my top list for that reason.

When I boarded the Nortech Chris was busy, after he finished up my buddy and I came up and introduced ourselves as both forum members and we spoke in length about the boat, he was very friendly going over the top to explain the ins and out of the boat and even discuss fishing the gulf and their use of batteries. I had always chalked the nortech boat as a go-fast fishing boat similar to a donzi zf, scarab sport, ect. It looks like they really had some great ideas and a lot of potential to be a top fishing boat. It did have more creature comforts such as a "bunny pad" and a small bunk in the cabin but it seems they are made to order per your taste and you can customize as you see fit. I look forward to seeing what they bring to Miami and I will go out of my way to check out the Freeman. I'm kicking myself that I missed them this weekend ugh

that is frustrating. When I went to the MIBS last year. I had no problem getting salesmen to talk to me. The Regulator, Yellowfin and Mako booths were especially receptive. I am going to be 30 this year. FWIW.
Old 11-03-2014, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Captllama View Post
Prefer to call myself blessed.

Flithy rich is owning a 285' explorer yacht with a 43 Gamefisherman and a 32 SeaVee on the back.
Old 11-03-2014, 04:40 AM
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Nice to hear so many forum members are younger than what I'd kind of guessed. I'm the youngest homeowner in my neighborhood by about 10 years. I also have the crappiest house!

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