Makai M37 first look: Is this the first genuinely desirable powercat design?

While power cats are hardly famed for their sex appeal, Makai is committed to making them genuinely desirable, starting with this new Makai M37…

Developed in collaboration with Italian sports car designer, Emanuele Rossi, and built at Makai’s production facility in Split, Croatia, the firm’s new Makai M37 is being marketed as a high-end sportscruiser which draws direct inspiration from both classic and modern supercars.

Rossi refers to the “harmony between elegance and masculinity”; to the importance of finding a way to “portray grittiness as well as elegance”. And florid though that might sound, you can see what he’s getting at.

With its plunging aft gunwale line, elevated bow and one-piece wraparound screen, it has the look of a muscular modern take on a classical limousine. And in line with company policy, the performance appears to live up to its looks.

As you would expect of a fast, sporting power cat, the hulls are designed to funnel the air into a channel that narrows as it moves aft, increasing pressure, creating lift and helping cushion the ride through the chop. The bridge deck also looks reasonably elevated to help minimise wave slap, improve comfort and retain running efficiency.

In terms of power, twin Yanmar 8LV-320s or 370s, hooked up to Q-SPD surface drives, should deliver 38 knots in GT guise and 44 knots in the Open variant. And thanks to the boat’s natural stability, you should be able to enjoy a comfortable, well-trimmed cruise at low speeds too.

As regards the deck layouts, the Makai M37 is designed as a category B boat to carry 12 people and the internal space certainly seems to bear that out. In the absence of side decks, a generous beam of 15ft 3in is made freely available to the occupants of the cockpit.

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That cockpit is organised around a central dinette with an aft-facing settee to help make the most of the open transom. And down below, while the two ensuite cabins steal extra space by projecting inboard of their respective hulls, they do so way forward, where the bow elevation is at its greatest and the bridge deck clearance at its most forgiving.

Whether this stylish compact cruising cat is enough to tempt people away from premium monohulls is of course open to question. But as the race for power cat supremacy continues to hot up, it’s certainly refreshing to see a builder entering the fray with something so unashamedly different.

Makai M37 specifications

LOA: 36ft 5in (11.10m)
Beam: 15ft 3in (4.64m)
Engines: 2 x Yanmar 320-370hp diesels
Top speed: 38-44 knots
Starting price: €499,000