Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Power Cats are a beautiful traditional boat...especially in 6' seas

by Lenny Rudow

Cat Advantage 2: Modern cats have shearlines like a traditional boat
Should form follow function, or vice-versa? How you answer this question probably determines whether or not you'd ever consider owning a powercat. Do they look different then monohulls? Of course they do, with very few exceptions. And if this is more important to you then a smooth ride, high efficiency, enhanced stability, and all the other benefits that go along with running a cat, all one can say is "I hope you enjoy your monohull, which will look great even if it beats you to a pulp."


Before we get too carried away with how silly this entire argument is in the first place, let's remember that monohulls aren't all "lookers" either. There's a heck of a difference between the visual appeal of a traditional Maine lobster boat, a modern center console, and a southern skimmer, for example. But you won’t hear a northern guy whine that his boat isn’t sleek-looking enough, nor will the offshore angler turn down a CC because of the swishy Euro-transom, nor will the die-hard shallow water redfish angler complain that his skimmer looks boxy. So, why all the beefing about the different looks of a cat? Because it’s an easy argument to make. It's no different than politicians slinging ad hominem mud. When a boat salesman has a potential customer in the showroom, criticizing the competing boat's looks takes no effort or logic, and scores easy points.


Again, it all comes down to what is important to you, as a boater. If looks are the number one concern, then you may well be turned off by many cats (though I would note that personally, I think Glacier Bay's 27 and World Cat’s new 32 are a couple of the hottest looking boats on the water). If performance or seakeeping are the most important factors, you’ll have no problem getting past the "different" look of a cat. Instead of a squared bow, you’ll see additional forward deck space and stowage areas. Instead of a boxy cabin, you'll see boosted interior volume. Instead of an unusual hullform, you’ll see a smooth ride and easy trailer loading. As with many things in life, what looks good is more a matter of how you see things, then it is of what you see.
Do you see "squared" or do you see "roomy"? This cat is only 22' LOA.

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