Driving a launch around a harbor with over 1,200 moorings gets you acquainted with many kinds of boats. I’ve come to know several avid recreational fishermen in the harbor. During the summer, these guys fish every chance they get, normally four or more days each week. So when John, aka “Yukon Jack” showed up with a used Glacier Bay 22 center console catamaran powerboat newly outfitted for offshore saltwater fishing, I took a close look.
Even with twin 90-HP outboards and a custom-made fighting pulpit on the bow for fishing, it didn’t seem to compare with the bigger Regulators, Pursuits, Whalers, Grady-Whites, Contenders and other single v-hulled open boat brands I’m used to seeing for open water fishing. I asked Jack about this and his response was illuminating. “I used to have an old Mako center console and would come back from fishing Stellwagen Bank soaking wet. With this boat I’ve been out there in 20 knots of breeze and except for some occasional spray don’t even think about it.”
Jack wasn’t the first person I’ve known to appreciate a powercat’s stability and boathandling. Ten years ago I worked with marine photographer Billy Black who invested in a twin-hulled boat. Billy used to hold the camera in one hand while driving with the other. I saw Billy just last week, in the same boat, snapping pics of a boat I was racing on, out in the ocean swell of Rhode Island Sound.
When I searched Boattrader.com for catamaran powerboats I found 468 listings in the 15 to 35-foot range. Most were open center consoles with outboard power, priced in the $20–40K range.
As a tippy sailboater, I’m not personally inclined to buy one of these power catamarans; I’m not focused on fishing, stability, fuel economy, or getting someplace in a big hurry. But I do admire them for their form and appreciate their simplicity. These cats have grown up, and more people are recognizing the advantages of two hulls over one.