There have been similar discussions on the merits of one particular outboard, the Yahama High Thrust 9.9 on PDQs. Most of the boats built were equipped with this engine because it is the ONLY outboard that really works on Cats. It is also installed on several other production Cats, and the bulk of custom built catamarans under 45 feet. Its special qualifications are a 3:1 gear
ratio and room for a large diameter propeller
. These are not avialable on any other motor
I have owned both the PDQ 32 and the 36, and appreciate them very much. I have also owned A Stiletto 30, Simpson 34, and part of a Chris White Atlantic 42. Let me differentiate the PDQs from the others.
The PDQ was designed as a Coastal Cruiser. It has been sailed far off shore successfully. It is a very well built boat; the factory was next door to the old Whitby Boat works and provided employment
for Whitby's finest craftsmen. They are remarkably free of failure points or bad habits, so they provide a very secure and trustworthy vessel. They have held their value over the years perhaps better than any other marque save Oyster
The 34 was the first production boat and was soon stretched to 36', with many the 34s being refitted at the factory. The 36 is relatively under sailed, with a mast
short enough to clear every bridge on the ICW
and the Everglades passage
to the West Coast
is over spec too, but the boat sails
well. With new sails and a clean bottom, the 36 will tack thru 95 degrees. That's not bad for a LAR -keeled catamaran
. One 36 was built with dagger boards
and it's MINE if it ever comes on the market.
Diesels were an option but the fixed saildrive
detracted as much as a knot from the sailing performance, adding weight and drag while providing up to 80 watts for the batteries. Since there have been no fires on the outboard boats, the safety
claim hasn't demonstrated any value.
On my 36 I commonly raise the engines a foot or so out of the wells with a halyard
and winterize these motors. I don't have to disconnect any controls or hoses to do that, and its a LOT easier to sit comfortably and see what your doing. PDQ owners typically expect 2500 hours from a well maintained yamaha, that still has resale value. The motor is also popular as a kicker
on 20 to 26' sport fishing
The original accomodations were two queensize berths forward, a optional drop down dinette with room for three, and a generous single
in the port aft cabin
. Most 36s are content with two doubles.
Some boats are loaded with refrigeration
, hot water, water maker, airconditioning, radar
, and more. The fastest PDQs are the lightest, and they are also the easiest to maintain. If you don't have it, it won't break. The advantage in buying
a loaded boat is you can take it out if you don't use it after all.
A few have an onboard generator
. Mine does. A more reasonable choice is a portable generator like the Honda EU2000
, that can run a reasonable Airconditioner with a few tricks.
Speed? It will go faster than you want. That's true because most PDQ owners prefer the comfort and quiet of slightly slower pace over the adrenaline rush of sailing close to the limits. We are not racers unless some poor monohull
has the effrontery to be sailing in the same direction on a nice day!
One more arguement for outboards: If one turns uncooperative, you can always invite it into the sunlit cockpit
for a frank heart-to-heart discussion with some common hand tools, and convince it of the error of its ways! On our Atlantic 42 the engine spaces are very generous compared to others, but still awfully cramped and hot (very hot) to work in.