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Old 24-06-2014, 04:37   #1
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Seawind and PDQ's

Hello, as the Admiral and I begin our search for the next boat we believe it will probably be a catamaran. I like the simplicity of the seawind and pdq's with the twin outboards but have some questions. In my part of the world you can spend time motoring up or down the icw. My current small mono with a diesel sips fuel.

What kind of range can you get with twin outboards motoring at (i'm guessing here) 75% power?

We have no plans to cross oceans but would like to be deep into the Western Caribbean at some point. I have to believe that gas is no problem to get but clean gas on the other hand could be an issue. Does anyone have real world experience with this and the problems that may arise?

Lastly, are the twin outboards enough power. I have to believe yes as they have built a lot of seawinds and pdq's but I'm curious how the engines preform in rough seas if needed.
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Old 24-06-2014, 05:00   #2
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Spent a few weeks on a PDQ and the engines seemed to do fine, but conditions were nice, I did wonder how they would cope in bad conditions.

I just finished a project in your area, stayed in New Bern, I really like the area

Good luck in your search
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Old 24-06-2014, 05:39   #3
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Power. More than enough. Speaking for the PDQs, since the engines are mounted well forward, they do not come out of the water in waves, and I've pounded into some rough stuff. Monos, with outboards behind the transom, are a completely different kettle of fish.

Like all outboards, about 1 gph per 10 hp at full throttle. For the PDQ 32 that means about 10 kmpg on one engine at 5.5 knots, 6 kmpg at 6.5 knots, or 3.7 at 7.4 knots, On the other hand, the weight savings and lower drag mean ~ 0.3-0.4 knots more speed at 6 knots (you can see 0.2-0.3 knots every time you lift the engines). Also much more storage space, more noise, shorter engine life, but easier replacement. Limited charging, but solar is king.
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:25   #4
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

New Bern is a great little area. Like a lot of cruising destinations it's a hidden gem. We fear word is getting out though.
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Old 24-06-2014, 06:55   #5
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Have you been on or chartered either? What size PDQ 32 or 36 in a strong headwind / seas your speed will decrease considerably a SW 1000 I was on he said he slowed to 1 knot sometimes. Granted their avg speed is a little faster compared to a heavy cruising cat
On a side note Mike and Rebecca from Zero to cruising are selling their pdq32 might be a deal!,
For fuel I don't think its much more challenging than diesel. Inspect it closely before going into the tanks, many I know fill jugs then fill the tanks from them so they have better control of seeing what's going in

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Old 24-06-2014, 07:29   #6
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

People who automatically dismiss the concept of twin diesels in a catamaran are generally people who haven't sailed in one. Some catamarans only have one engine and one propeller in the water.

Safety (diesel fuel doesn't explode), redundancy, reliability, maneuverability (especially with high winds on the beam when docking), speed, battery charging capacity and cruising range, are all greatly increased with twin diesels and are well worth the additional investment. Outboards have cavitation issues, and just how do you keep their propellers in the water when it's blowing 60 knots and you're in short period waves? (think typical tropical summer afternoon thunderstorm)

Also, consider that diesel engines can run for 10,000 to 15,000 hours before a rebuild if you treat them right. On the other hand a gasoline outboard lasts for 2500 to 3000 hours if you're lucky. I've rebuilt single cylinder Yanmars for less than $1000 in actual engine parts (note Yanmar engine mounts not included). In the long run, the cost differential between gas vs diesel is not as great as it would appear to be, especially if you DIY or repower with rebuilt diesels. Lastly, my notes above are relevant if you actually use the boat. If, you don't use her and she's just another 'Dock Queen', gas outboards have issues these days with old fuel left aboard.

I definitely recommend twin diesels in any catamaran you might consider. It's worth it.
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Old 24-06-2014, 07:34   #7
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Long term owners perspective KATIEKAT OUTBOARDS
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Old 24-06-2014, 07:48   #8
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

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Long term owners perspective KATIEKAT OUTBOARDS
That's what I gave you ... MY Long term owners perspective
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Old 24-06-2014, 09:54   #9
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Most people use gas dinghy ob's and gas is fairly available in the Caribbean. I think the owners concern is economy and safety. Not sure the tankage on either but carrying g extra gasoline jugs isn't fun as with heat they want to vent and expand and sometimes leak. Diesel does not. Our 42hp diesels avg .3 gph at 2000 rpm in flat water moving us 6 knots , 1 will push us 4.5-4.7 . at 2500 rpm were doing 7 .+ knots burning 1gph each, they will rev to 3600. This is pushing a cat that weighs about 10 tons. We have power to spare for bad headwinds currents etc. With the Ob I think you have no power to spare for emergency conditions and under strong current and wind may make very little headway. I like both boats you mentioned but not for long term cruising or living aboard. People talk of condomarans being slow etc. But one SW we met up with had an avg cruising speed of 7.9 knots, we were 5.9. For the sacrifice in space and comfort we made the right choice. I was jealous of his top speed of 18 knots surfing lol.

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Old 24-06-2014, 10:14   #10
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
I definitely recommend twin diesels in any catamaran you might consider. It's worth it.
I will 2nd the twin diesels on cruising catamarans.
1) Have power to spare.
2) Safe
3) Long Lasting
4) Reliable
5) High output alternators
6) Hot water
7) Fuel efficient
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Old 24-06-2014, 12:21   #11
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
People who automatically dismiss the concept of twin diesels in a catamaran are generally people who haven't sailed in one. Some catamarans only have one engine and one propeller in the water.

Safety (diesel fuel doesn't explode), redundancy, reliability, maneuverability (especially with high winds on the beam when docking), speed, battery charging capacity and cruising range, are all greatly increased with twin diesels and are well worth the additional investment. Outboards have cavitation issues, and just how do you keep their propellers in the water when it's blowing 60 knots and you're in short period waves? (think typical tropical summer afternoon thunderstorm)

Also, consider that diesel engines can run for 10,000 to 15,000 hours before a rebuild if you treat them right. On the other hand a gasoline outboard lasts for 2500 to 3000 hours if you're lucky. I've rebuilt single cylinder Yanmars for less than $1000 in actual engine parts (note Yanmar engine mounts not included). In the long run, the cost differential between gas vs diesel is not as great as it would appear to be, especially if you DIY or repower with rebuilt diesels. Lastly, my notes above are relevant if you actually use the boat. If, you don't use her and she's just another 'Dock Queen', gas outboards have issues these days with old fuel left aboard.

I definitely recommend twin diesels in any catamaran you might consider. It's worth it.
While I do NOT dismiss the advantages of diesels and would have accepted the diesel option if I had found it during my search, I must dispell certain myths.

1. Gasoline is not likely to explode in cats. The tanks are in the bridge deck, not the hulls, so vapor and liquid leaks drain overboard. The engines are in bays open to the sea. I suspect the fire risk is no different than diesels (which have engines deep in the hulls), but it's hard to say since I have never heard of a sailing cat gasoline fire.

2. Outboards in center wells do not cavitate. I've motored into awful conditions with short period waves many times, Atlantic, Chesapeake, and Delaware. The slower turning Yamaha high-thrust 9.9s are a bit like inboards in this way. At least is doesn't happen on my PDQ. Highspeed outboards on transoms cavitate.

3. Dirty fuel. While e-10 has its challenges, they are easily solved with desicant vent filters. Bugs do not grow in gasoline, ever, and it does not generate tank sludge. Still, a Raycor filter on each engine is a nice thing. I change the filters every 4 years, just cus'. Engine filters last for many years. If the service station is loading without a 10 micron filter on the pump, I'd be stunned and I'd go elsewhere.

4. Power. It boils down to mass and windage. A PDQ 32 (8000 pounds) with twin 9.9s has power to spare in all conditions. a heavy 36- to 40-foot boat with nearly twice the mass is a different question, requiring more beef. I think outboards are the right answer for the first and the wrong answer for the second, but the taste of the owner is another factor. Does he keep the boat light? Does he value performance over hot showers (I have both--propane heater)? Does he prefer solar or engines? This is a size range where the answer is "it depends."

Not saying diesel isn't better in many ways, just not the above 3.
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Old 24-06-2014, 15:13   #12
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
People who automatically dismiss the concept of twin diesels in a catamaran are generally people who haven't sailed in one.
I find the opposite to be the case. People (like you) who dismiss twin outboards in a catamaran are generally people who haven't sailed in one. Given that the vast majority of production cats have twin diesels...

Anyway, I've sailed in both, cruised with people on other boats with both, and I find for my purposes, the advantages of outboards outweigh the disadvantages by a considerable margin.

Frankly, to me, fitting diesels to my boat would be a huge step backwards.
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Old 24-06-2014, 16:12   #13
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
I find the opposite to be the case. People (like you) who dismiss twin outboards in a catamaran are generally people who haven't sailed in one. Given that the vast majority of production cats have twin diesels...

Anyway, I've sailed in both, cruised with people on other boats with both, and I find for my purposes, the advantages of outboards outweigh the disadvantages by a considerable margin.

Frankly, to me, fitting diesels to my boat would be a huge step backwards.

I think your right. Some boats are designed to accommodate twin diesels and for the majority of those boats outboards wouldn't be a sensible choice. And then some boats gain from having outboards. Usually, and this is not always the case, the cat with outboards would be considered a performance design and benefits from the outboard installation.


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Old 24-06-2014, 16:16   #14
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

Didn't PDQ offer an option on the PDQ36 that had a diesel in one hull and an outboard in the other?

If so, problem solved!

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Old 24-06-2014, 16:19   #15
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Re: Seawind and PDQ's

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Didn't PDQ offer an option on the PDQ36 that had a diesel in one hull and an outboard in the other?

If so, problem solved!

Mark

Funny you say that as we had friends recently look at a cat for us that has a diesel in one hull and an outboard on a sled under the bridgedeck next to the other hull. Kind of strange but maybe a compromise!


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