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Antares 44i

2009 August 1

H ere is the latest from the Antares people up in Canada. The Antares group used to be known as PDQ and the new version of its successful 44 is built in Buenos Aires. The new model is the 44i and the "i" stands for "inclusive," meaning that it comes with just about everything you can think of. The designer of the 44i is Ted Clements. Antares built 27 units of the original model. The Antares group would not like to have me call their cat a "condo in the islands." They prefer to think of the Antares as a cat designed from scratch to be a long-term live-aboard and ocean cruiser.

The D/L, using the listed "voyaging displacement" of 26,000 pounds, is 141. The L/B is 2.02. The bridgedeck clearance is 2 feet, 6 inches. This is an important dimension. Waves can slam up against the bridgedeck and make for a jarring ride. That's why the bridgedeck is often referred to as the "slam pan." I think 30 inches is a conservative number for clearance. There are full-depth skegs protecting the rudders and the draft is again 4 feet. There are chines on the inboard side of the hulls that gain volume for the accommodations without increasing the BWL.

You need a different hat if you are going to discuss aesthetics of cruising cats. Most of them do not come off well in 2D drawings due to the overall height involved. The Antares looks pretty good to my eye. There is plenty of freeboard but the overall lines of the house are clean and simple. Vertical windows may work well but they are hard on the eyes and I prefer the raked front windows of the Antares. The decks are flush and the area between the bows where you would normally have a spongy trampoline is, on the Antares, a rigid, lightweight panel. The hard dodger has glass windows forward with windshield wipers. This is a nice looking cat.

Using the voyaging displacement the SA/D is 15.66. The main boom is a patented "main tamer" that cradles the full-battened main when it's down. The mainsheet traveler is on top of the bimini arch. There is a self-tacking working jib but larger genoas and a screecher can be tacked to the short bowsprit if you are after more performance.

The Antares comes in two layouts. You can have the galley up in the saloon or you can have it down in the port hull. Nobody ever buys the galley-up version. I have no idea why, but when faced with the option buyers always choose the galley down version. There are three staterooms with two in the port hull separated by a large galley. In the starboard hull the owner's stateroom takes up the entire hull with the head and shower stall in the bow. I could be mistaken but the shower stall looks more like a bathtub to me. That's good for living aboard. With the galley out of the saloon there is room for a nice wet bar and a generous navigation station. But like the rest of the cruising cats, the cockpit is really another living area and the cockpit of the Antares is the perfect place to share a meal on a warm night. The interior of this cat is all hand-built with TriCell Honeycomb for lightweight construction. The head modules are the only GRP liner type units in the boat. This is an expensive way to build but weight is always the enemy, and you might note that most of these cruising cats are about as heavy as their LOA-equal monohull counterparts. They just don't have any ballast.

Again, the steering station is mounted to the back of the main bulkhead of the saloon. It does look comfy though, and there is a sliding panel in the hardtop above it so you can have great visibility of the rig. Sculpted swim steps on both hulls make boarding the dinghy easy.

The engines are located amidships under the cabin soles in the hulls. This is an unusual feature of the Antares, but from talking to Rob at Antares, I get the feeling that all of these details have been very well thought out by Mr. Clements.

LOA 44'; LWL 43'6"; Beam 21'9"; Draft 4'; Displacement 26,000 lbs.; Sail area 859 sq. ft.; SA/D 15.66; D/L 141; L/B 2.02; Auxiliary (2) Yanmar 29-hp; Fuel 120 gals.; Water 150 gals.

Antares Yachts, 400 Dundas St. W., Suite 201, Whitby, ON, Canada L1N 2M7, (866) 594-1779, www.liveantares.com.

OBE: $839,000
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