Hi, Cbeagle --
We're currently on the hard
in Wilmington, NC, right next to an Antares 44 that's for sale
. I've also been aboard several. Great boats, very well built, lots of luxury features and designed for the liveaboard
(and that really makes a difference). This particular one looked like they were doing some sort of engine/shaft/prop work, as they had the starboard shaft pulled. The boat looks very clean. I think they're asking about $600K.
The midships engine
placement does have downsides in that the noise
will be greater. We also have midships engines in our St. Francis 44. They also intrude some in space that other boats use for hull storage
or passageway. However, there are also definite advantages to the midships placement. The boats balance better, no doubt about it. You also recover room aft that you wouldn't have in an engines aft boat -- really, I think that's a toss-up -- room lost
in one place is gained in another. The midships placement also allows for a slender aft hull/transom and that will gain you a bit of speed. I also think they maneuver slightly better. I say "slightly" because compared to a monohull
, having the twin engines regardless of midships or aft placement is so much better than a single
Another boat I thought of that might fit your desires is:
2005 Custom Eric Lerouge Boat For Sale
It is more than $750K, but this is also a much superior boat, even to the Antares. I've been on her and she is incredibly well constructed, very well thought out, and for such a large boat, quite quick, even in light air. Lerouge never built a slow boat and the current
owner is quite obsessive and a sailor for 50 years.
If you really want to go cheaper rather than more expensive, then you also start having to deal more with the compromises. While the Antares has fine accommodation, it is a 7 to 8 knot
boat. If that's what you're looking for, then you can't beat the PDQ. It does have very high freeboard, though, so docking
may be adventuresome at times.
The same goes for the Lagoon
420's and 440's. Great accommodations, decent performance on the 440 (although a delivery captain
I know calls it "riding the camel" for the flybridge). The 420 is slower and "leisurely" and I, personally, haven't been impressed with the construction of them. Hopefully, those practices have improved, but I'd get a very detailed survey
, even of a new one.
If you're looking for more performance in a cruiser, then boats like the St. Francis 50, Switch 51, and Catanas come to mind. Higher performance, but still luxurious. You'll pay for it, though.
For a cheaper, but still well performing cruiser, I'd have a hard time not recommending the St. Francis 44. Less accommodation space when compared to the PDQ, Lagoons and Fountaine Pajot
, but much better built. Plus, they sail quite nicely and, if you keep it within reasonable weight limits, will usually do 60 to 65% of wind
speed with just the working sails
, on a beam to broad reach. Yet, I can also pinch her up to 35 degrees and still maintain decent speed. Sure, lots of boats will do that, too, but we also have the A/C's, genset, icemaker, TV's, dive toys, etc.
All in all, though, the Antares is a great boat. If you'd like, I'd be happy to try and sneak a peak inside at the Wilmington boat and send you some pictures.