Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Weekend of Boat Shopping - Day 3

In the past two days of the trip we saw a couple boats that would meet our requirements and a number of others to judge our various "wants" in a boat.  But on day three, we had three boats lined up that all are on our list: A Lagoon 37, a PDQ 36, and a PDQ 32.  I was  particularly looking forward to seeing another PDQ 36 now that we have more of a clue than we did the first time.

Lagoon 37

The first stop was a 1994 Lagoon 37.  The thing that we were the most impressed with was the use of space on the boat.  The cockpit was well laid out and  spacious with ample seating.  The access from the cockpit to the fore deck was nice and wide with good handholds.  Inside the salon area was light and airy with good headroom.  The steps leading into each hull are fairly wide and not too steep.  It is a galley down design with three queen size berths and two heads.
This particular boat had some issues though.  It has obviously been in charter and needed some TLC in general.  Some chips and scratches on the gel coat, some minor water damage to the woodwork, almost 5000 hours on the engines, and the upholstery and cushions could use replacement and/or recovering.

The big catch though is that the boat at one time had some hull damage.  It has been repaired, and from what I can tell repaired well (I couldn't see external signs of the repair).  But, in order to make the repair they had to remove everything in the galley on that side of the hull.  When they replaced the galley, they did some nice things like install Corian countertops and a new refrigerator/freezer.  But the cabinetry itself is kinda sad (cheaply made, incorrectly stained) and I think they downgraded the stove from a 3 burner to a 2 burner.

So, while we were not sure if we are interested in this particular boat, we were impressed with the Lagoon 37 design.

PDQ 36

After the Lagoon, we had a little drive up the coast to see a PDQ 36.  Since I've previously written about this model, I'll just note my new observations.  We remembered the cockpit was rather small, this time it did appear larger to us (or maybe there  are minor differences from year to year). The seating "bench" around the cockpit didn't seem very comfortable or inviting.  Maybe it's not even really a bench, but more of a stair. The access to the forward deck is good, but the stantions and safety lines are ineffective at midship as you need to walk on the cabin roof to go forward and it sits roughly at the level of the top of the stantions.
Inside they use light woods and the salon is inviting.  Having just come from the Lagoon, the PDQ's narrower beam could definitely be felt.  The salon did feel less roomy and the stairs leading down into the hulls are very narrow.  The two forward berths were comparable, but the hulls in general felt a bit narrower on the PDQ.

PDQ 32

The smaller cousin to the PDQ 36 is the PDQ 32.  It is a two berth design with galley down and a single head.  To keep the relatively "standard" lines of a catamaran with a high bridge deck in a smaller boat, the first noticeable thing they did was reduce the headroom in the salon.  I'm not sure what the exact clearance is, but I'd estimate it is at most 5 foot.  To combat this, they put a full slider in the cabin top that sits above the entry, at the back of the salon where you find the isle between the hulls.  In the smaller PDQ, you will also not find an oven, only a stove top.
The particular boat we saw was in somewhat rough shape but was definitely sufficient to rule the model out as insufficient space for what we need.

When this day started, I would have thought that the PDQ 36 would be the boat we would likely end up with.  By the end of the day, as I mentioned in a previous post, we seem to have changed our minds. Everyone claims that all boats area compromise, and we think we like the set of compromises in the Lagoon better than the others. As we pushed to see three boats in a day and make our flight back home, we only had so much time to allocate to each.  I do wish we had spent more time on the Lagoon.

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