PDQ Antares 44i

Voluminous cruising catamarans have a reputation for being ideal charterboats, but the boat builders at PDQ Yachts are quick to point out that the new Antares 44i cruising cat is not intended to be a charterboat. Rather, they say, it’s a sturdy, well-equipped bluewater cruiser built specifically for private owners. They also report that the accommodations plan is well suited to long-term
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
PDQAntares44i

Voluminous cruising catamarans have a reputation for being ideal charterboats, but the boat builders at PDQ Yachts are quick to point out that the new Antares 44i cruising cat is not intended to be a charterboat. Rather, they say, it’s a sturdy, well-equipped bluewater cruiser built specifically for private owners. They also report that the accommodations plan is well suited to long-term living aboard. I jumped aboard an owner’s boat in Miami, Florida, to see if the boat met expectations.

It has a minimum bridgedeck clearance of 30 inches to reduce bridgedeck slap. It also has well over 6-foot headroom in the hulls and saloon. As a result, freeboard is substantial but well proportioned. The 44-foot Antares actually started out as a 42-footer, but PDQ’s designers realized that, in order to achieve the proportions they wanted, plus access to the stern steps, the additional 2 feet was needed. The breeze was in the 10-knot range and seas were calm for my test sail. The boat was equipped with high-quality laminated sails and loaded with four months’ worth of provisions (the owners were heading out on an extended cruise through the Bahamas and the Caribbean), full water and fuel tanks, and many prospective Antares buyers. The boat’s rounded hulls are designed to be able to handle extra weight without performance falling off sharply, and I found this to be true. We tacked through 90 degrees and logged speeds in the 4-knot range upwind, rising into the 5-knot range when we turned downwind with the screecher set. Under power, the cat’s dual shaft-mounted 29-horsepower Yanmars maneuvered predictably, and speed under power reached into the 7s. The engines are mounted under the cabin sole in front of the aft cabins. This is good for sailing performance, and soundproofing keeps engine noise in the cabins at acceptable levels.

The helm station accomplishes the difficult task of providing excellent visibility over the coachroof without perching the helmsman high above the cockpit on a tall seat. It’s also within easy reach of the central stopper/winch station, allowing the helmsman to trim both main and jib without having to stand. A similar stopper/winch station at the stern handles all halyards and reef lines. There was no evidence of increased friction even though the control lines run through a race under the bridgedeck back to the cockpit. The cockpit has good stowage that includes a large locker built into the cockpit sole and a sturdy stainless-steel dinghy arch (instead of davits) that can support the weight of a dinghy up to 111/2 feet long. Except for the large and airy bridgedeck saloon, the accommodations are in the traditional mode, featuring generous amounts of woodwork and copious stowage. All cabinets, furniture, and bulkheads are made of varnished cherry veneer over lightweight honeycomb core. The sole is genuine teak-and-holly. The result of all that wood is a warm feeling belowdecks that any long-term cruiser will appreciate.

Long-term cruisers will also appreciate the layout. Instead of compromising the size of the galley and the saloon by putting the galley “up,” PDQ put it down in the port hull. While the cook may miss out on some of the conversation in the saloon, this is more than made up for by the 15-foot-long space with 15 cupboards and five drawers. The forward-facing nav station is up to offshore standards. It has a large table, good mounting points for electronics, a comfortable seat, and excellent visibility outside. The cabins also passed my liveaboard test. The master cabin occupies the entire starboard hull and is equipped with drawers, cupboards, and a 5-foot-long hanging locker that PDQ calls a wardrobe. The two guest cabins in the port hull (one can be converted into an office) have similar features.

This boat should be well suited to extended offshore cruising. And it may help people realize that not all offshore boats are monohulls and not all multihulls are charterboats.

Price: $655,000 (sailaway, FOB Whitby, Ontario, Canada).

LOA 44'

LWL 43'6"

Beam 21'9"

Draft 4'

Displ. 22,500 lbs

Sail area (main and jib) 864 sq ft,

Power (2) 29-hp Yanmar diesels.

PDQ Yachts, 888-297-2287

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more

JuneWaterlines

Sights and Stories Cruising the Caribbean

Though I hate to think of myself as a “disaster tourist,” I can’t deny one of the things I was most curious about as I sailed south last fall to visit St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was how much hurricane damage I would see. I’m sure no one needs reminding that ...read more