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Old 08-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #1
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Catamaran vs. Trawler

Anyone have experience with midsize catamarans vs. trawlers?
Looking for something a bit more livable than our 32 Eagle trawler and stumbled on a PDQ 34. Lots of room, seems very stable and quite efficient on fuel. Don't know much about PDQ quality/reliability/etc. but would like to learn more. In addition, any opinions about cat vs. trawler would be appreciated.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:46 PM   #2
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My opinion for what its worth.
I would rather a cat any day of the week.
I have owned cats, I have built cats , I have crossed oceans in cats.
Their upside is speed for low hp, stability, space, shallow draft.
But their downfall is cats or any multihull are very weight sensitive so to effectively carry the weight weight and more weight and fuel associated with full time liveaboard cruising they need to be large and built using lightweight techniques.
That = $$$$$$$$

When I say large, I wouldn't have a liveabord cruising cat under 60ft
Lightweight construction being thick foam or nidacore and thin fiberglass skins or possibly aluminium build.

Domino 20 for the win
She's had another $100k haircut
https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...no-20-3495698/
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:52 PM   #3
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Thx for the info - we don't intend to live aboard but would like to be more comfortable on 3-4 day trips.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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Our neighbors have a PDQ34 that they love. Seems to be a quality boat. I would have bought a cat, but the Admiral refused to sleep in a tube. I thought the galley on the PDQ was really tight, I liked the galley up design of the Fountaine Pajot 37 much better.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:15 PM   #5
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The PDQ 34 is about as good as it gets, IMO. At only 34 feet, it is so well designed. As you can see by my Avatar, I ended up with a bulbous KK Manatee, but the decision to do so came only after my Admiral and I spend the previous night aboard a PDQ 34 in Stuart. The owner was a pretty small guy and only needed a very thin foam mattress. I loved the boat, even though this big and stiff ole frame couldn't access the hulls very well. To make matters worse, the water supply was putrid. In the morning, the Admiral said "No".

The boat handles and performs like a sports car. The twin 75 or 100 Yanmars push the thing effortlessly through the water, nearly as good on one engine as it is two. Visibility and helm position superb. Flybridge is great, especially on 2005 and newer. Machinery space is tight, but well thought out. One has to lay across the engines to change impellers or pull the bunk hatches, but otherwise simple systems and great electrical.

I got a chance to go side by side with a PDQ 34 in a rough SW Florida inlet. Confused, wash-tub seas and opposing winds & current had my Manatee changing course 30 degrees back and forth on every wave. The PDQ looked like it was on a plumb line, totally unfettered. True, I had the drier ride and probably a bit less hobby horsing, but I was also doing maybe 6 knots while the PDQ was doing twice that. He got through across that inlet a lot faster and with a lot less fighting than I did.

Fuel economy on both our boats is about the same up to 7 knots. From that point on, the PDQ wins big, all the way to its 19 or 20 knot top speed. I have a hard time even getting to 8.8 knots in ideal water and clean bottom. In noise level, my boat wins but I also have a single engine. PDQ 34 owners say that switching to four blade props really helped noise and vibration, ....you may want to check that on the boat you're looking at.

Its a tie in ease of getting around both boats. PDQ wins outside and my trawler wins inside. In weight carrying, the trawler always wins. Cats don't do well with weight, and if you load them like we do trawlers, they loose all their economy and stability advantages. Lowering the bridge deck clearance is not a good idea on a cat. She'll sneeze (throw water out the front) in head seas and add a lot of drag when she's deep in the water.

Maintenance spaces, trawler wins again. Those narrow cells are hell to get things off the side or front of the average diesel. Inside cubic space for living, trawler wins but the PDQ takes advantage of every possible space. As a long distance cruiser, if you're 6'2 and 250, get the trawler. If you're 5'8 and 145, the PDQ is the boat for you. PDQ's do really well in resale and have a great owners association website (the last time I checked). Owners are scrappy individuals who get these vessels figured out. Wish I could have fit in one more comfortably.

So that's my comparison with my fat trawler. You may want to check out the only two other boats that can be compared with some exceptions, those being the Fontaine Pajot 35 Highland and 37 Maryland. I wouldn't think the 35 compares as well as the 37, but both tend to be cheaper. The 37 might be a bit better offshore than the PDQ 34, but it bends and creeks a bit.

Good luck with your selection.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:40 AM   #6
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Can't thank you enough for taking the time to post that, Larry. It all makes good sense and you've given me plenty of new aspects I hadn't considered previously. Neither of us are large people and we seem to like the PDQ layout better than either of the Pajots. Again - thx for your expertise.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:12 AM   #7
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We owned a 2005 PDQ MV34 for 6 years and loved that boat. Great handing boat especially around the docks.with the wide beam spaced inboards. You can spin this boat in its own length (no need for thrusters). Good efficiency with the Yanmars. Tons of space and storage. Large beam seas can however create what’s called a “Snap Roll” which can be uncomfortable, one hull lifts while the other hull drops off the wave. Easily corrected with a slight change of course. Also large head seas can create a pounding of sorts by the bridge deck between the sponsons (hulls) but this is also mitigated by a change in angle to the waves. Here is the rub for some and why I wont own another one. The admiral wants a walk around berth, making the beds on the PDQ was a PIA. The mechanical access was also tough, especially for a large person. It’s tight around the motors. Lastly you better have and keep good knees. Stairs are everywhere on this boat. It’s really got 5 levels which require steps all day. You’ll get a great workout on your legs but for some it may be problematic. Some will tell you its hard to get a dock space when traveling but we never found this to be true. We always found slips, t heads or bulkheads to tie up to when not at anchor. I am currently between boats but pretty sure my next ride will be a Trawler with a walk around bunk and better engine access. Less stairs will also be good as we get long in the tooth. With that said, we enjoyed our PDQ and it was great for our needs at the time. Enjoy the search for your next boat.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:18 AM   #8
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much appreciated real life experience from a former owner - exactly why I posted the question. Thx!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:11 AM   #9
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In my feeble little mind, the down side of any cat is find a slip.

Correct me if I am wrong. Did PDQ go out of business?
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
In my feeble little mind, the down side of any cat is find a slip.

Correct me if I am wrong. Did PDQ go out of business?
PDQ went out of business in 2007. The management reorganized as Antares Yachts (I think), and the molds were bought by Pearson Composites.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:44 AM   #11
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PDQ went under when the Canadian dollar rose. I believe that also coincided with a recession. They were a Canadian company whose primary customers were in the US. Their boats got too expensive, due to the exchange rate and recession, and they went out of business.

I have been looking at PDQ for years. They hold their price. That is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Many seem to be selling for their original price when new. Considering that PDQ has been out of business for over 10 years, that is saying something. You just wonder if you would be paying a dear price up front and eventually age will cause the resale price to plummet. Rhumb line boats in Fl seems to always have some. Refurbished and well cared for boats that are again selling near their original as new price.

Also, I think you have to look at location. Cats seem to be popular in southern waters. Up here, just north of the Chesapeake, there is one that has been for sale for 2 years now without any lookers. He is looked at as the weird boater with an inappropriate boat. That sentiment may be wrong. However, maybe you don't want to be the only cat owner in an area.
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