Freebird 50 HUMMINGBIRD is a superb cat, built in the great tradition of sturdy, British oceangoing yachts. The quality of construction is outstanding both inside and out. The interior accommodation is fashioned of beautiful wood joinery that you no longer find on the "plastic fantastic" production cats of today.
The cat is handled entirely from the safety of the cockpit with a bulkhead wheel to port, under a full hard-top bimini and behind a generous dodger that gives you commanding views forward. Oversized winches and hardware provide total reliability of sail handling in all conditions. The mast is robustly stayed with inner forestay and split backstay and is just under 65 feet making the boat ICW friendly.
HUMMINGBIRD is full of design innovations and common sense ergonomics. She offers a spacious three cabin, owner version layout. The owner's hull to port features a queen-sized island bed, numerous hanging lockers, a large vanity, a walk-in closet (literally) and a bathroom forward with a vast shower stall. The comfortable salon is ventilated by no less than 12 opening Lewmar hatches. The galley's countertops are long and wide; a gourmet chef's delight.
She is equipped with generator, large solar array, watermaker, two fridges and a freezer, washer/dryer to name some of the highlights. Water and fuel capacity are a whopping 216 gls and 210 gls respectively.
If you are a serious bluewater voyager and have plans to travel far, this cat is a must see. The 50 foot waterline and high bridge-deck clearance will take you anywhere swiftly and comfortably. Please review the very complete inventory and photos attached for more.
Some wise words from the owners below:
The most important characteristics of a cruising sailboat are safety and comfort...
Hummingbird was a new boat when we bought her 20 years ago and since then we have lived on her for 9 months of every year. We have crossed oceans and sailed in storm force conditions. At all times the well protected cockpit has provided everything needed for our safety. We have also lived outdoors in the Caribbean for 15 years and loved the comfort, space and stability which can only be found in a well built catamaran.
Our boat has many more years of wonderful experience to provide for her owners, but we are showing more signs of wear and tear, so for us, the time has come to sell.
Sails, (by North Sails):
There are watertight bulkheads in each bow. The first 8 ft of each hull is behind a bulkhead and the space is similarly sub-divided horizontally. This creates a very substantial degree of buoyancy and the bows have never been submerged.
The presence of the backstay gives a high level of additional confidence.
Hummingbird was a new boat, fitted out on a semi custom basis, when the
owners took delivery in 1997. Five months were spent in English, French and
Irish coastal waters before the boat was displayed in the Southampton Boat
Show. Immediately afterwards she sailed for Spain, Portugal and the Canary
Islands for the winter.
The following spring the owners returned to Southern Spain and then into the
Mediterranean for three years, sailing as far east as the Aegean Sea each
year. These seas have a reputation for light and variable winds, but on at
least two occasions the boat had to weather Force Ten Storm conditions. At
the end of 2000 Hummingbird returned to the Canaries and cruised between
those islands for the next year.
At the beginning of 2002 the owners brought their boat across the Atlantic
to Grenada and have remained on this side of the ocean since then. Most of
their cruising has been between Tobago and Puerto Rico, but there have been
two major detours, the first to the East Coast of the USA via the ICW to
Washington DC and Annapolis and the second to Jamaica.
In recent years the owners have gradually reduced the distances sailed each
year and now concentrate on visiting a limited number of favourite islands
and especially , favourite anchorages
Hummingbirds engines, mechanical and electrical eqipment, and running gear
have all been either serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturers
advice, or replaced as necessary. For example, the port engine was removed
early in 2017, rebored and fitted with new pistons etc., and is being run in
as a new engine. The other engine has also undergone a major refit and the
capstan / windlass was replaced in 2016.
With the exception of one unit all electronic navigation equipment has been
replaced since 2014. Within the last year new grey water and holding tank
discharge pumps have been fitted and the genoa and mainsail sheets have been
Hummingbird has no need for antifouling to be replaced each year because a
coat of Coppercoat was applied before she was first launched, This was
renewed in 2011 and the only maintenance needed is a light scrape at three
to four month intervals. For this the owner uses a tethered dive kit
supplied from a battery driven compressor. However, the aluminium sail drive
legs do need repainting every two to three years and this is done during a
three to four day haulout.
In the summer of 2015 Hummingbird was hauled out for six weeks while the
owners returned to UK and the opportunity was taken to rectify a minor
problem which was effecting a moulding that covered the bridge to hull
joint. This was done in accordance with detailed recommendations from the
designer as a result of which a very strong boat was strengthened further.
At the same time the port heads holding tank was removed, modified and
fitted with a monitor system and new discharge pump.
Accidents and Mishaps
In 2004 Hummingbird was moored in a well protected south coast bay on
Grenada when Hurricane Ivan passed directly over the island. The boat was
struck on the port quarter by a drifting catamaran causing surface
delamination and the bows were badly scraped by the anchor cable of another
catamaran. All three vessels were then blown into a mangrove swamp from
which Hummingbird was subsequently dragged by a salvage vessel. This
operation bent the rudder stock and delaminated the rudder.
The insurance company surveyor decided that the damage was mostly
superficial and the boat was sailed three hundred miles north for repair in
Antigua. The delaminated area was ground out, repaired with GRP and
resurfaced with gel coat, the bows were similarly repaired and a new rudder
and stock were fitted. Structurally the boat was and is as sound as when
built, but there remains an area on the port quarter where the difficulty
of matching white gel coats.is sometimes apparent.