PDQ Antares 44i - Sail Magazine

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:
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

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more