The all-new Aquila 44 is, much like its larger sibling the Aquila 48 power catamaran, intended to make long stays aboard a pleasure. No surprises, there. What is surprising, however, is that even with four fewer feet of LOA and two feet less beam than its bigger sister, the 44 is every bit as successful in this mission. What gives?
This boat has a cabin layout unlike any we've seen before:
One of the key features to pleasant living aboard a boat of this size is privacy. On most 40-something boats, you simply don’t get it. The bulkheads between cabins are so thin you can hear someone snoring in the next room, and you’re lucky to get two acceptable staterooms out of the hulls’ footprint. But in the Aquila’s case, you aren’t forced to work inside of a single hull footprint—you get two of them side by side. Having separate port and starboard hulls obviously makes having port and starboard staterooms a no-brainer. But here’s where the builder introduces an interesting twist: these staterooms only occupy the hulls amidships. The forward sections on both sides as well as the center forward section of the boat are all dedicated to the larger master. Each of these staterooms has its own private head, and the master also gains a small settee in a sitting area. To get this many cabins with this much space out of a monohull, you’d have to go to a 50 or 55 footer.
Part of the reason why the Aquila 44 has so much more space is also the fact that its beam is carried all the way forward. The bow of a power catamaran doesn’t have to form a pointy end, so the full 21’6” of width can be capitalized on. As a result, every bit of the boat feels oversized when compared to its monohull counterparts.
The main cabin in the Aquila 44 features a galley-aft arrangement with a dinette/settee forward, along with a separate sitting area. The best part of the main cabin, however, is outside of the cabin—swing open the huge aft bulkhead window, flip out a pair of supports, and swing down the counter to form a two-seat bar. It’s a really nifty arrangement, which we made sure to capture on film; check out our 2014 Aquila 44 Video Boat Review to see it for yourself.
Some other highlights that’ll help you enjoy the great outdoors on this boat include swim steps that are sized to do double-duty as seats, seats built into the corners of the bowrails, and a huge cockpit lounge. But the flybridge is where a lot of people will end up spending their time. It’s easily accessed via a stairway to the cockpit, or the stairway leading down to the bow. Once you’re up there you’ll discover gobs of space, with a huge aft settee, an L-settee at the helm, and a great kick-back spot to starboard of the helm where there’s a single lounge. You’ll also find a wet-bar with a built-in grill—perfect for cooking up the catch of the day.
|Fuel capacity||290 gal.|
|Water capacity||203 gal.|
If the power catamaran design gets you so many advantages, why doesn’t every builder under the sun use it? Hey—no boat is perfect. The two biggest drawbacks here are looks and performance. As far as appearance goes, the boat looks nothing like a monohull. That’s not at all to say it doesn’t look appealing, just that it doesn’t fit the classic boat profile. And when it comes to performance, the Aquila 44 is best compared to a trawler. Top speed in our test boat just broke 17 knots, and a slow cruise of seven knots is where this design really shines, as it gets 2.9 nautical miles to the gallon. For those of us living in the slo-fast lane it’s ideal, but speed demons need not apply.
Handling at speed is also a bit placid, as it takes a while for the twin hulls to turn a zig into a zag. The up-side here, however, comes at the dock. With the twin inboard V-drives spaced so far apart, opposing the engines makes the Aquila 44 dance. Our slip had very little extra space, yet it was downright easy to slide the boat between the pilings.
|Test conditions: Calm seas, winds 0-5 knots, 2 POB|
|Power||Twin 225-hp Volvo Penta D4 V-drive diesel inboards, swinging 20" four-bladed bronze props.|
Some boaters find trawlers attractive because they can cruise for long distances. Some like them for their good fuel efficiency at slow speeds. And some like them because they have good accommodations. If you like them for all of these reasons but wish for the space that would normally only come with another 10 feet of LOA, then the Aquila 44 is a boat you’ll want to check out—especially if you value your privacy.
Other Choices: Another trawler-like catamaran is the Fountaine Pajot Summerland 40, which also has three staterooms but just two heads. If a single hull is more your style, have a look at the Azimut Magellano 43.
For more information, visit Aquila.