Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One Hull or Two?

We recently returned from a two week venture to examine and review some available catamarans in Florida. We split our time between the boats and a visit to mom in central Florida, a whirlwind of driving and land navigation in new cities.

Having already sailed on a Gemini 105mc (little wind) and a couple of years snooping the internet our search  was basically to see what was available at the time and possible may still be available when the cash is in our hands from the selling of the house. Our main objective of this trip, was to get aboard some PDQ's that are also in the same price range as the Gemini, although a bit older out of the factory. They make a 32 foot with a 16' beam available with twin diesel engines in each of the hulls, or twin 9.9 Yamaha gasoline outboards located in lockers in the cockpit. They also make a 36 foot PDQ with an 18' + beam with the same power configuration. We missed our only chance to see a 32' PDQ in Georgia, as it sold the Sunday before our trip.

First impression on the first step aboard a 36 PDQ , "a lot of fiberglass". Tons of living space and all systems seemed to have easy access. This boat had twin gas engines and when he started them, I was impressed with how quite and imagined that below decks underway would be very pleasant heat and noise wise cruising the lower latitudes. Compared to the Gemini, the deck structure was obviously tougher and more of a boat that could take a beating off shore, and this was a 20 year old boat. Love it for what it was, but felt we  sooo don't need this much boat. The next one, was a newer model 1999 and obvious to me first was the professional boat yard maintenance of all systems. A stunning boat to the both of us and this time the gas engines did not feel like something I absolutely do not want, I could be swayed! Although way on the high side of  our expected expenditure we felt at the time, if top dollar for the house?, then  this would be worth making an offer on.

Finally we tracked down a 36 with two diesels, which for my old school brain feels a more reliable way of propulsion. I knelt down in the spacious shower stall to open the access panel to the engine and was surprised to see the engine filling the whole door space Yikes! I ran to the deck to find what I knew HAD to be there, a hatch from above. When I lifted this starboard hatch, the engine was still almost 6' away, straight down! The only way was to climb down and straddle the engine. NO WAY! NOT ME! I'd seen enough! Although the port engine had great access under a half bunk of sorts, the starboard engine turned me right off. The single diesel of the Gemini sitting in the cockpit started looking better and better.

Now we haven't seen a 32' with gas and I'd imagine it would be more attractive to us size wise, but all I've read so far is the total lack of storage in these little cats. This is something I might have a hard time overcoming because of my mono hull days where storage is a plenty. Now the Gemini has a bit of a storage problem too, but one of the tiny cabins aft, can I think accommodate what I want to carry as must have.

So the bottom line now is....still want to see a 32 PDQ, The Gemini 105mc will do the job and a 36PDQ will give us way more boat than we need which kinda crosses that off the list just in itself. Now, all these cats we're seeing are very pricey, so our basic practicality in spending is being tested. There are thousands of quality, way less expensive mono hulls out there that we used to dream of owning back in our cruising days of yesteryear. They're still out there and whole lot cheaper than catamarans. Maybe if I google "dog friendly companionways" I'll set my sites old school and still bring the old girl along without too much trouble.

1 comment:

  1. The Auriga is a nice looking boat. Looks wise, I prefer the beauty of the Mallihini.

    Sail on sailor...


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