Power catamarans have become so popular in recent years. Alex Smith talks us through 6 of the most exciting models we've covered in the past 12 months...
With the promise of extra volume stability and running efficiency it’s easy to see why power catamarans have become so popular in recent years.
So with the trend showing no signs of slowing here’s our round-up of some of the most exciting new power catamarans you can buy right now.
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6 of the best power catamarans available right now
Prestige’s first ever power catamaran is designed to provide the volume of a 60 footer alongside the running efficiency of a 40 footer, but the way it manages all that onboard space is also quite attractive.
A three-part aft swim platform features a raising central section to help extend the cockpit party out over the water. The foredeck mimics that with freestanding furniture right at the forepeak and between them the saloon includes a big-aft galley, a large port lounge and a compact helm with a handy starboard side door.
From here private stairwells to the forward owner’s cabin and each of the two guest cabins provide plenty of privacy, and the split design of the port ensuite means it works really well as a day head.
In terms of styling the freestanding bow furniture looks a bit odd, and in terms of dynamics the stooping bridge deck does tend to touch down when the swells get beyond a couple of feet.
But if you want an accessible, novice-friendly boat that provides a party platform way out of proportion to its length, the first model in Prestige’s M line has a lot going for it. And if you have the budget, the more recent Prestige M8 is an even more convincing piece of work.
Moon Power 60
As a modified sailing cat, the Moon Power 60’s beam stands at a massive 53% of its overall length and that has a very clear impact on the inside.
In spite of huge side decks with dual access to the flybridge, the internal saloon occupies an enormous footprint. It’s used for a pair of peripheral seating areas plus a forward door to access a lovely sunken bow lounge.
Visibility from the lower helm is restricted by the big stuts that sit sailboat-style toward the centre of the screen, but performance is pretty impressive: a pair of 3,500L tanks give you a 2,000nm range at 8 knots with a fuel flow of just 3lpm, and if you really want to boost the range there’s plenty of space for extra fuel capacity too.
Up on the flybridge there’s a big symmetrical lounge and a hot tub flanked by sunbeds, and down below the two hulls borrow a bit of inboard space for four ensuite cabins.
The simplistic saloon arrangement, the absence of a day heads, and the sheer masculinity of that styling might prove a bit problematic for some, but if you’re okay with a modified sailing cat, and you’re happy to work with the yard to refine that deck layout, this big imposing long-distance boat is unlike anything else out there.
Invincible is a well-respected American Builder with a strong offshore sports fishing heritage and close links with the US Navy, but it also builds high-performance power catamarans, and this impressive 33-footer is the entry point to that fleet.
It uses quite a narrow beam with asymmetrical chines and spray rails, which enable it to heel into a turn in much the same fashion as a monohull and to ride the chop without spitting clouds of spray over that bow.
Capable of 56 knots with twin 400hp Verado outboards, it can also reportedly achieve cruising economy of just 2.5lpm for a range of around 500nm.
The internal arrangements are also really practical – with high capacity deck drains and an automatic fresh water flushing system for the outboards you can simply hose this boat down after a trip and get on with your day.
The fuss-free fit out includes multiple bait wells as well as lots of drained, insulated lockers that do a great job as ice chests and storage spaces, and the squared off bow provides lots of seating to supplement the big open deck of that half cockpit.
It might be built with fishing in mind, but as a rapid offshore performance machine, this might just be the perfect power catamaran for monohull lovers.
The Archipelago 47 is a seriously good looking boat. Built from aluminum on the Isle of Wight with design input from commercial specialist Chartwell Marine, its low roofline, reverse screen, wide beams, slender forward hulls, and raised bridge deck give it a seriously potent profile, and that’s precisely what this boat is all about.
The idea is to deliver proper long distance offshore performance alongside a handy turn of pace in a homely fit out, and the Archipelago delivers that.
Built from 8mm hull plating with 6mm topsides, this Category A boat is rated to carry 12 people and sleep up to eight people in four cabins.
Reserving one entire hull for the owner’s suite is a really attractive option, but in all cases headroom is great and huge vertical picture windows provide amazing views from bed level.
The saloon features a large galley and lounge, as well as a raised helm with a shut-off partition for night nav. There are still some design tweaks required, particularly at the helm and the aft end, to maximise this boat’s potential, and if you want a flybridge you’ll need to look toward the Archipelago 52 instead, because on this particular boat that’s not an option.
But with space up top for all kinds of expedition friendly tenders, toys, cranes and solar panels, this tough go anywhere power catamaran has plenty going for it.
As a foil-assisted, outboard-powered, flybridge equipped, aluminium power catamaran, the Vandal Explorer is certainly not the mainstream choice, but of course it was never designed to be.
Created by Ben Mennem, who wants to enjoy the sun-drenched waters of the Med, in collaboration with Norwegian designer Espen Oeino, who loves outdoor adventures in the Nordic States, it seems to straddle both camps.
It uses a wide open main deck with skeletal bars rather than rigid bulkheads to keep you properly in touch with the sea. There’s also a big aft platform between the Verado XTO outboards, which operates as a passerelle, and thanks to a ladder and rain shower does a great job for watersports too.
Ahead of the cockpit lounge there’s a big transverse galley tucked inside the shelter of the pilothouse structure, and there’s also a raised full-beam bow cabin with a separate incinerator toilet.
It’s a bit noisy on that main deck when you’re underway and the limited two-berth arrangement of the base boat is likely to compel some people to question its overall practicality.
But as a tough and lightweight 40-knot boat with space for 14 people, a cool off-grid aesthetic and all the custom friendly flexibility you could want, its simplicity is actually a really key part of its appeal.
Built at Sino Eagle’s 1million sqft facility in China and developed in collaboration with the renowned J&J Design Group, Aquila is a specialist power catamaran builder and that absolutely shows.
Capable of up to 20 knots with the top rated Volvo Penta D4 420s, the Aquila 44 uses bow bulbs for extra waterline length, a softer ride and improved stability at displacement speeds.
But is the way it uses its 21ft beam that really impresses. In the aft cockpit a convivial c-shape dinette sits opposite a fold-out bar at the aft galley.
At the bow a set of steps connects the foredeck lounge directly to the flybridge, which is great for practicality as well as for large partie, and up top a central walkaround helm pod keeps things more sociable and inclusive than on any other boat in this class.
There’s a proper main deck helm too if you want it, plus sleeping for six in three private ensuite cabins, including a brilliant owner’s cabin that occupies the full beam beneath that foredeck.
If you need extra performance and style you could of course look toward the brand’s smaller, narrow-beamed, outboard-powered sport line, but for proper power catamaran lovers this big, cleverly arranged entertainment platform feels exactly right.