Since it is just going to be the two of us, our dogs, and some occasional visitors (I do hope), a large boat would seem to be much more than we need. The 41 foot Maine Cat we took lessons on was home for 7 people for our class and trip. It was way more than enough for a smaller crew and the added expense of a large boat goes against one of the reasons we are doing this.
The smallest catamarans suitable for living aboard seem to start just larger than 30ft. The requirements (we think) we have for accommodations at this point are:
- A queen size or better master berth.
- Accommodations for two or more guests.
- A boat that will be comfortable at anchor as well as at sail.
- A shower I don't have to wear.
- Low draft.
- Gemini 105mc
- PDQ 32 and 36
- Fountaine Pajot 35
- Lagoon 35 and 37
The PDQ 36 is a nice boat. It's obviously well constructed with two queen berths at the front of the bridge deck just behind the trampoline, one accessed from each hull.
|Photo courtesy of www.pdq36.com|
Behind the large berth in one hull you will find a good size galley mid hull, with a rear compartment that has been apparently configured based on the original owner's specifications (It can be a double berth, storage, or I've even heard one case where it was setup as a mini dive shop with air compressor and everything).
Behind the berth in the other hull is a nav station with seating, a desk, and the usual electrical control panel. At the rear of this hull you find the head with a separate shower enclosure (no wearing a curtain here).
The bridge deck also supports a large seating area or saloon behind the two queen berths and it can be converted to additional sleeping area if needed. The interior has quite a bit of space that is very well configured. There is also a lot of teak flooring and other wood accents that make the space warm and inviting.
Moving back from the saloon you exit to the cockpit. The cockpit is covered by a hard bimini. Unlike many catamarans, the cockpit is rather small and well enclosed. Not very suitable for a party or dining al fresco, but might feel very secure while on passage.
Since this was the LRC version, instead of the usual outboard engines, this boat has twin diesels in the back of the hulls. My understanding is that the outboards are lighter and can be swung up into the hull to reduce drag, but the inboard diesel engines are considered more reliable and are better for battery charging and auxiliary water heating. I'm not sure which is the better choice...as they seem to say with all things boating...it's a compromise.
Other than the cramped feeling of the cockpit, I'm pretty impressed with this boat. Of course, I don't exactly have a lot of knowledge of these size boats...having only seen a couple of them new at the Annapolis boat show. I do think the PDQ's will likely be on our short list.