Hello from Down East!

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Pete Weis
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Hello from Down East!

Postby Pete Weis » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:32 pm

My wife and I live in Maine and are near the point of downsizing from our house to a condo and buying a catamaran to live aboard and cruise the East Coast to the Bahamas and possibly the lower Caribbean.

We've been monohull sailors and owned a number of monohulls. Our last boat was an Island Packet 40 which we lived aboard for just over a year, cruising the East coast from Maine to Florida. We loved the experience, but my wife ended up with serious knee issues and ended up taking a fall from the companionway ladder. She's since had a knee replacement as well as other surgeries. At the time, we contracted to have a catamaran built for us, because we felt it would be easier on my wife's knees and, understandably, she never liked the considerable rolling of the IP40 in rough seas. However, because of health issues and the arrival of grandchildren, we went back to living on land. We cancelled having the cat built and got our deposit back (a whole nother story, but...). Now the grandkids are going to school full time and we don't babysit much anymore, it's getting close to casting off lines once again.

Have done some research online and for our needs, the PDQ seems to be the way to go. When we were cruising we met folks cruising happily on Gemini's, met one couple cruising on a St Francis 44, and another couple who had just bought a new Leopard 40. Anyway, the Leopard and St Francis or similar boats are beyond what we would want to pay, and there are issues with the Gemini's for me (bridge deck clearance, build quality, and an outboard on the stern).

When it comes to affordability, quality, enough seaworthiness for where we would be cruising, the PDQ seems like the best choice in a limited market for catamaran builders of that type.

There is no better place to learn about a particular line of boats than on the owners site, and starting early can only pay dividends when it comes time to buy.

A catamaran would be a much more enjoyable experience, especially for my wife, who never liked those rolly, occasional, overnight passages offshore. She (me too) would love the large open spaces topside, the shallow draft to get into better, less crowded anchorages, the brighter, non cave like interior. I especially would like the lower cost of fuel when motoring. My wife handles the helm when docking, anchoring, and picking up moorings. She would absolutely love the ability to steer at slow speed using just the throttles to pivot the boat in its own length. No fun backing what is essentially a 45' (dinghy hanging of the back and bow sprit) full keel boat into a slip with wind and current!

Anyway, this site appears to be an invaluable resource for all interested in PDQ's. There are things we would like about both the 32 and the 36. So much more to find out. There's a great, well outfitted 36 for sale right now in Grenada and if we were ready to buy right now, we'd probably be on a plane down there. It should sell soon - very good price for what appears to be excellent condition and some very expensive equipment. Having spent $60,000 on upgrading our IP, we know something about the cost of the extras on a cruising boat. I'm ok with the location of the outboards on PDQ's and there's a reason why the outboards would be a good idea if you want to cruise the Maine coast.

doubledutch
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Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 2:23 pm
Location: Ontario (32043)

Re: Hello from Down East!

Postby doubledutch » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:54 pm

You are correct in determining the PDQ32 and 36 are unique in terms of quality and sailing ability for cats in this size. We sail a 32 in Ontario but I sailed the 36 on charter a couple times so I have experienced them both. Our local marina could not handle the beam of the 36 so we went with the 32 but if you plan to live aboard the 36 does provide more space and is probably a better choice for you.

Welcome aboard.
Henry

Ps: check out pdq36.com for listings of both the 32 and 36

Pete Weis
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Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Hello from Down East!

Postby Pete Weis » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:14 am

doubledutch wrote:You are correct in determining the PDQ32 and 36 are unique in terms of quality and sailing ability for cats in this size. We sail a 32 in Ontario but I sailed the 36 on charter a couple times so I have experienced them both. Our local marina could not handle the beam of the 36 so we went with the 32 but if you plan to live aboard the 36 does provide more space and is probably a better choice for you.

Welcome aboard.
Henry

Ps: check out pdq36.com for listings of both the 32 and 36


Thanks Henry. Yeah, the 36 may be the way to go. One thing we've learned from living aboard for a year, is to anchor as much as possible and spend as little time in marinas as possible.

Not sure if the extra two feet of beam on the 36 causes more trouble with hauling out when that is necessary. Maybe it doesn't.

What were your impressions about the sailing characteristics of the 32 vs the 36? The bridge deck clearance of the 32 is impressive and so I wonder if the lesser clearance of the 36 causes problems. How much does the extra length and beam of the 36 help with comfort in heavier seas?

Having done some overnight passages, I can appreciate the aft cabins with births near the cockpit of the 32 over the forward births (which would be great at anchor with great ventilation) of the 36, which may suffer from greater motion and noise from inevitable deck slap. Yet I like the aft location of the 36 head while underway. On our IP40, when the aft head was temporarily out of commission, I thought I was going to get launched into the over head of the forward bow head, while underway at times. Guess a sea birth could be added to the small aft cabin of the 36 and that could help solve the underway sleeping.

Anyway, I could live with either boat and there are things I like about both and some things not so much.

Think a good water maker is essential for a liveaboard on a small cruising cat. Also solar panels and wind generators are huge. We had one of those Honda 2000 generators and they are little gems. We've used it for our home when we've lost power for multiple days and it was able to run a large full size home fridge/freezer, furnace, and some lights and runs for hours on very little gas. When we wanted to operate a sizeable microwave, I just temporarily opened the breakers for the fridge and furnace.

Looking forward to learning about these two great boats (the 32 and the 36) from members on this board.

Thanks for your response!

Pete Weis

doubledutch
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admiral
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 2:23 pm
Location: Ontario (32043)

Re: Hello from Down East!

Postby doubledutch » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:13 pm

I found that the 32 felt like a sportier boat to sail. It tacks easily with the self tacking jib and it seems to respond more quickly to wind changes but when the water gets bumpy a little extra length will always make for a better ride. The 32 rarely suffers from slap under the bridge deck but I don't recall the 36 being that much different in this regard in spite of the lower clearance.

The forward cabins on the 36 get better ventilation but the 32 does have the advantage of it's aft berth forward hatches being under the bimini so they can be left open when it rains.

Catamarans have the advantage of having more room for solar panels. We have panels on the bimini and over the davits that usually will keep up with house loads so the gas backup generator does not get called into service very often.

Henry

Pete Weis
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Hello from Down East!

Postby Pete Weis » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:01 pm

doubledutch wrote:I found that the 32 felt like a sportier boat to sail. It tacks easily with the self tacking jib and it seems to respond more quickly to wind changes but when the water gets bumpy a little extra length will always make for a better ride. The 32 rarely suffers from slap under the bridge deck but I don't recall the 36 being that much different in this regard in spite of the lower clearance.

The forward cabins on the 36 get better ventilation but the 32 does have the advantage of it's aft berth forward hatches being under the bimini so they can be left open when it rains.

Catamarans have the advantage of having more room for solar panels. We have panels on the bimini and over the davits that usually will keep up with house loads so the gas backup generator does not get called into service very often.

Henry


Yeah. One of the big advantages of the hard top bimini is the ability to mount solar panels. I seen some well outfitted 36's with canvas bimini's and sometimes you like having more sun in the cockpit and the ability to view the sails better, but the hardtop bimini's also last as long as you own the boat, to go along with the stuff you can mount on them. Everything is a trade off.

Pete Weis

Do you run your fridge off of the propane when on the hook, or are you able to run your fridge off of your onboard electricals? I see that some small portable coolers draw only 2.5 amps.

doubledutch
admiral
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Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 2:23 pm
Location: Ontario (32043)

Re: Hello from Down East!

Postby doubledutch » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:19 pm

Our fridge is electric.
Henry


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