You may have read past Boats We Love columns in which I talk about power catamarans like the Glacier Bay 22, Twin Vee 19, and the Mako Pro Skiff 17. And, if you drew the conclusion that I was a cat-lover, you’d be correct. Like many in the boating community, I have a bad back from too many years of pounding through rough seas in small boats. These days, I just can’t take that pounding anymore. So power cats are ideal for me; the twin hulls soften the blows, and make long runs through the open ocean bearable.
When it comes to cruising boats, I never paid cats much attention, because if there aren’t rods and bait onboard, I’m not terribly interested. Lately, however, I’ve had the occasion to test and review some cats designed for cruising. And I’m afraid I’m smitten.
The Aquila 44 and the Aquila 48 are power cats designed for long voyages with maximum privacy and comfort. When I tested them for video boat reviews, I made a few rather surprising discoveries. First off, the cabins don’t share bulkheads, which means that the people in adjoining cabins don’t hear your every snore, sneeze, or sniff. Second, the sheer volume provided by the cat design is overwhelming. On both of these boats, I felt like I was on a 50-something. And finally, yes, I really did like how the twin hulls knife through the water—after two full days aboard these boats, my back wasn't tweaked in the least.
Another interesting boat I've come across recently is the TAG 60. Unlike most boats I step aboard, this one had a mast, boom, gennaker, and other assorted sailing gear which I assume you use to entertain yourself between fishing bites. Or something. I don’t really know since I'm not exactly a sailor, but I was on the scene when our sailing expert Zuzana Prochazka shot a First Look Video. Again, what really struck me was the interior volume. I loved the sauna (yes, sauna), the rounded saloon, and twin cockpits. Sure, the blow-boaters had more interest in the rotating mast, all-carbon construction, and its ability to fly a hull. Whatever. From my perspective, the cat advantage was the extra room—gobs of it.
Is a cruising cat the right boat for you? Hey—there are a million reasons why it may or may not be. But one thing I now know for sure: fishing isn't the only thing catamarans are good for.