photo credit: Freemanboatworks.com
Unless you've been under a rock for the past decade, you've likely noticed a big trend in offshore boats, the rise of the catamaran. Now, it's not really fair to say that catamarans are a new craze, or that Freeman has anything to do with the success of the platform, but they certainly have captured a lot of attention lately.
The old Catamaran vs. Mono debate has been a argued for decades, but with today's high-priced powerhouses duking it out for consumer dollars, the battle has never been this valuable. It doesn't take long to find the "Yellowfin vs. Freeman" threads on all over social media, and forums.
Post some Freeman 42' pics, and you'll see thousands of views racked up in a matter of hours on the popular boating forums. Simply put, people love cats, and Freeman seems to be the boat du jour. Now, of course you'll see Prowler builds, Ameracat conversations, and some other cat brands getting love across the internet, but lets face it... Freeman seems to be the Yellowfin of the cat world for the time being. They simply can't do much wrong in the eyes of owners, and certainly fans.
Their success was made even more obvious when they announced that they are undergoing a major expansion of their facilities in South Carolina. Now, you've got to wonder if the small boat company founded by Billy Freeman is bitting off a little more than they can chew in, at a time the economy is booming, and everyone seems to have waitlists for new orders. It wasn't so long ago that we remember the boat business imploding on the heels of the US economy. It's always easy to grow when the money is good, but with boats costing well into the mid 6-figures it's not like there's a huge buyers market for a niche builder.
Freeman had a simple, yet effective answer when asked about the possibility of such risk. While it's yet to be seen if the Freeman craze can withstand another major market downturn with this new overhead, their current position is surely something to be proud of. No doubt a homegrown company like Freeman knows their market and customers well, and the market clearly doesn't seem to be slowing down.
As someone who recently witnessed the first Freeman show up in my little salty town, I can tell you that all the Yellowfin boys were at the dock that day... many with little to say. :)