We take a cue from an article that recently appeared on Luisa Fezzardini’s blog to tell you about an “unsuspected” sailor: Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman. Born in 1937, the son of a barber and a cleaning lady in Memphis, Tennesse, the U.S. movie star fell in love with sailing when he was in his 30s before he became famous.
Freeman is a true sailor with many miles behind him, who, in his own words, practices sailing “as a particularly effective antidote to healing from Hollywood.” His sailings usually include Long Island Sound, Block Island, the Elizabeth Islands, Cape Cod, the Maine coast, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Here are all the boats he has owned in his long career. Morgan Freeman is a sailor, so you won’t find megayachts, daysailers signed by prestigious archistars, vintage monuments. No “pussy” boats.
ALL THE BOATS OF MORGAN FREEMAN
1979 – HOTEL 30
The first major cruise experience, for Morgan Freeman, was in 1979, when on a small Alberg 30 he pointed the bow toward the Caribbean. Along with him is a family crew consisting of his wife, daughter and Zipper, the house cat. Measuring 9.23 meters long (waterline length 6.61) and 2.67 wide, this long keel sloop with a splintered keel (draft: 1.31 m) was designed by designer Carl Alberg in 1962 and built from the same year by the Canadian shipyard Whitby Boat Works. More than 700 examples were launched, many of them in fiberglass. Some of her features and appearance are reminiscent of the old wooden sailboats of the 1940s and 1950s. The robust construction still makes it a leading boat in the Canadian and North American used boat market.
80S/’90S – SHANNON 38
The years passed and success as an actor came for Morgan Freeman: starting in the mid-1980s he starred in several successful films that would prove Freeman’s versatility and talent. In 1988 he received his first Oscar nomination, for best supporting actor for “Street Smart – On the Streets of New York.”
Rather than be “bewitched” by the glossy world of Hollywood and megayachts, Freeman became the owner of a Shannon 38, Sojourner, switching from sloop to ketch rigging, but without giving up the long keel.
The Shannon 38, produced from 1975 to 1988 in more than one hundred examples, was built by the U.S. shipyard Shannon Yachts and designed by G, H. Stadel & Son/Schultz & Associates: 11.51 m long and 3.51 wide, it has a draft of 1.52 m and a dilocution of more than eight tons. With this boat in 1989 the famous actor went as far as Sombrero Rock, north of St. Martin, and then, two years later, began a long cruise to the British Virgin Islands.
90S/2017 – SHANNON 43
Years go by, Freeman is universally known; he won an Oscar in 2005 with “Million Dollar Baby.” With his money, he could buy any boat. But for him, sailing is not ostentation: it is passion, challenge. “If you live a life of fiction,” Freeman once said, “your life is worthless until you do something that challenges your reality. And for me, sailing the high seas is a real challenge, because it’s life or death.”
Once again, the actor leaves aside the comfortable millionaire’s yachts and, staying true to the brand, purchased in the second half of the 1990s Afrodesia, a Shannon 43. It, too, features a ketch rig, and comes in two versions, long keel or with the more modern blade. Freeman is a creature of habit, opting for the first version.
The Shannon 43, designed by Walter Schultz , is 13.36 m long and 3.96 wide, weighs 12,247 pounds and fishes 1.45 m (2.62 in the fin version), with 4,536 pounds of ballast. A boat suitable for long sailing and ideal for those who want to live aboard for a long time. Along with Afrodesia, Morgan Freeman explored the Caribbean and went as far as Trinidad before selling the boat in 2017, donating the entire proceeds to charity.
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