The fact that the Mahe 36
is rated as offshore
capable has as much to do with meeting certain design/equipment standards (such as escape hatches
from both hulls in case of capsize) as it does the suitability of the boat for long offshore
passages, such as a Pacific Ocean crossing
. While the Mahe could undoubtedly carry some more stores as a result of more voluminous hulls, that does not mean that there would not be sacrifices for long passages on that boat as well.
Indeed, for passagemaking I would prefer the galley-down on the PDQ
as it provides better bracing and more counter space than the Mahe 36
. The lack of escape hatches
? I have mixed emotions about the utility of those; indeed, I have read accounts where the hatches have not only leaked, but have likely contributed to the sinking of non-inverted catamarans. if you were in the saloon
when one capsized, you would likely want to exit through the companioway door rather than going down and forward in an inverted hull
to find and knock open the hatch
. On a smaller cat such as the PDQ, I suspect that getting out through the companionway
would not pose huge difficulties even if you were in one of the hulls at the time of capsize
The point is, while the lack of escape hatches means that the PDQ cannot be 'certified' under current
construction standards for offhsore use, on a boat of that size I would actually prefer not to have them.
Could you carry sufficent water
and stores for a Pacific crossing? Yes, as people have done these passages in boats such as the Contess 26 with much less tankage. However, how prepared are you to ration your fresh water
supply? Apart from watermakers (which do use considerable power), I am sure that you could readily modify the solid Bimini
on the PDQ Capella by adding a raised lip and drains with a shut off valve in order to collect rainwater and either fill the tanks
after an initial flush, or separate 5 gallon jugs for drinking water
. Indeed, many people prefer rainwater for drinking and use something similar for that purpose even on boats with watermakers. In any event, the solid Bimin on the PDQ Capella (and the covered helm
station at the same level as the cockpit) are both things which I prefer on the PDQ to the Mahe, especially for offshore passages.
I also prefer the ventilation on the PDQ Capella - the four large, angled hatches at the front of the forward staterooms provide better ventilation for that size of cabin
than virtually any other design and, the two forward opening hatches in front of the saloon
table provide excellent ventilation in that area (bearing in mind that the original Mahe had no opening at the front of the saloon).
An adequate fuel
supply? As has been pointed out, no one will have enough fuel
to make those kind of passages under power and you will find that the 9.9 outboards are quite economical. You could easily carry another four 5 gallon fuel containers if you wanted, although since you will not be relying on the motors for charging
(as you might need on a Mahe with watermaker
etc.), your fuel supply should not be an issue.
One other thing to consider is this: the PDQ 36 LRC with inboard diesels has identical hulls etc. and yet weighs 700 lbs more than a PDQ 36 Capella with outboard
motors. That difference in weight would certainly allow for extra solar panels
, plus significantly more water, fuel, batteries (and perhaps a small Honda
generator) while still ending up on the same lines as an unladen LRC. What is more, your performance would still be better under sail as the outboard
motors can be readily lifted out of the water into the dedicated lockers with the standard block and tackle, significantly reducing drag.
Hot water? Yes, a problem with outboards. However, a garden sprayer plus a solar shower
can do the trick in many conditions. If so inclined, I suspect that you could also install a propane
on-demand water heater in the head
compartment quite readily as the shower is located aft, near the propane tanks
Would you have to install hull
extensions? No, although for the reaosns indicated already, there are many good reasons to do so both in terms of performance and stability. In the final analysis, only you and your wife can determine whether you are prepared to sacrifice some luxuries/storage capacity on such a (relatively) small cat. If you are prepared to do so and to make some minor modifications for additional water, electrical
generation and storage
capacity, then so long as you sail relatively wisely and conservatively, there is no reason that you could not make long offshore passages in a PDQ 36.