Outbound 44/46: Suspended and Alive
The Carl Schumacher-designed Outbound 44/46 is a voyaging boat that deserves a second look. A boat review from our April 2004 issue.
Movement forward on deck is free-flowing yet made safe with ample handholds, well-fastened rails, stern rails that extend past the vulnerable point of exit from the cockpit to the side deck, mast pulpits, and aggressive nonskid. Stanchions, an exceptional 30 inches high, hold twin vinyl-coated lifelines.
The twin anchor rollers extend far enough outboard to protect the stem from anchor damage but are wisely supported with the headstay and a short bobstay. A clever catch tray with a drain helps keep anchor muck off the foredeck. Ground tackle was deployed and retrieved smoothly via a Lewmar Ocean 3 windlass.
A keel-stepped Charleston spar with moderately swept double spreaders comes standard, with a separate trysail track already installed. Outbound has chosen the increasingly popular solent configuration, with a Harken-furled 140-percent Hood genoa and a hanked Hood 75-percent jib on a removable inner stay. This is a versatile cruising setup that also provides a long run of foredeck space for dinghy stowage.
For all its lush allure and flawless finish, the interior reflects the sound philosophy of allowing form to follow function. A slight rise in the main cabin creates a bright and airy feel without breaking the sole into tiers. Ample handholds and bulkheads make moving about in a seaway secure.
A single head stands to starboard of the companionway steps, where it enjoys maximum ventilation and doubles as a wet locker. A snug but complete forward-facing navigation station nestles to port.
The well-appointed U-shaped galley is spacious without being dangerously open. All surfaces, including the Corian countertops, are deeply fiddled. Foot-operated pumps wisely back up the twin sink electrical pumps.
A large saloon table sits across from a starboard settee. These seating surfaces convert into four practical sea berths aft of the mast. A private double berth lies aft to starboard, and the workshop/stowage area is aft to port.
An elegant owner's cabin is situated forward, and in the case of Ginger (hull number 10), it included a slick computer/office station in lieu of a second head. Commodious stowage is found throughout.
The sole is teak and holly, and all boards lock down. The well-limbered bilges are gelcoated for cleanliness and drain into an 18-inch sump, a valuable feature lost in many modern designs. Range-extending tanks carrying 160 gallons of fuel and 200 gallons of water sit low and central in the bilge, minimizing hobbyhorsing and freeing stowage space beneath the settees.
The cleanly installed 75-horsepower Yanmar is accessed under a pneumatically lifted companionway ladder and from two side panels. The one Group 27 and three 8D batteries (with room for more) are well secured.