Catamaran Powerboats: Offshore Fishing in a Small Package

glacier bay

Yukon Jack's refitted Glacier Bay 22, Tuna Tales, has a custom pulpit on the bow, which is used for standing up while fishing offshore.

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.

Comments

  1. I had the opportunity to fish with John on my catamaran and the wind blew up to 15-20 mph out of the Southwest. I could see he was nervous abouth the 20 mile run back home into the teeth of it. We continued to fish two more hours and then turned the boat to head in. When we reached the harbor John turned to me and said, “I am going to buy one of these boats” and he did. My 1998 glacier bay 22′ cat has turned 6 other single hull boat owners into catamaran people in the 13 years I have owned it. I have just retired my port motor (with 4000 hours of use) and this boat has taken us all over the waters of new England between montauk and Gloucester. I can fish in 2′ of water or 75 miles offshore. It holds 100 gals of fuel and gets 3.0 mpg. The cruise speed is around 26 mph

  2. Lilia Rhodes says:

    Power catamarans have a lot of advantages. We had bought one, and until now we have no regrets with our decision. It is definitely worth our money.

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