If anyone's looking for an excellent off shore fishing boat that is still trailable, safe in remote areas, capable of accommodating two people in comfort for a few days and can really handle the rough stuff , here it is.
Issue: October/November 2005
It's misleading to refer to Powercat's new 24-footer as a "small" boat. The 2400 Sports Cabin is the baby sister of other siblings in the Powercat stable and yes, she is trailable (if you have a tow vehicle rated to three tonne that is), but a small boat she definitely ain't.
Being a cat, it's reasonable to compare this boat with considerably larger mono hulls in terms of interior space and especially, bluewater handling.
In fact, if anyone's looking for an excellent off shore fishing boat that is still trailable, safe in remote areas, capable of accommodating two people in comfort for a few days and can really handle the rough stuff , here it is.
But if you want to use a 2400 Sports Cab as a pure fishing boat, you'd have to seriously consider whether you wanted the optional aft lounge seen in these photos. We thought it was a worthwhile option, because it makes the boat an ideal cruising and fishing boat.
For fishing days, the lounge can be easily removed and left at home. If you'd optioned the table, which again we suspect most new owners would (for social use) this can also be quickly removed.
But the upholstered seat squab around the cockpit's periphery should stay, because it makes a comfortable structure to brace against when fishing.
Serious fishos would take up the workstation option, which drops into place on the aft covering board.
Set-up like this, you retain a roomy and comfortable cockpit in what is an awesome fishing platform. Still on fishing, one of the two bait wells in the covering board can be plumbed as a live-well. The under-deck locker (beneath the starboard side of the centre console) can be used as a fish box and the standard fitment stainless steel Targa bar holds six fishing rod.
But the good news is this boat has a work/fishing space comparable to mono hulls almost two metres longer.
And most of these monos aren't trailable, nor do they ride anywhere near as well.
RIDE & HANDLING
Every time I cross northern Moreton Bay in a Powercat that hit song from the old film Easy Rider, "Magic Carpet Ride" keeps playing in my head.
Why ? Because when you've had as many poundings crossing Moreton Bay over the past quarter century as I have, a "magic carpet" is the only way to describe a Powercat's ride.
About the only thing the 2400 Sports Cab compares poorly with on northern Moreton Bay is a larger Powercat. The breed quite clearly defines all that's good about power catamarans in rough water.
And these days the Powercat marquee has, in many correspondents opinions, ascended dizzy heights in this category.
On top of all this is the boat's stability at rest, which can only be described as monolithic! It's rock solid, thanks to the twin hulls and their agressive chines.
Slip the lounge and table back into place in the cockpit, but this time leave the workstation at home. Those bait-wells and the fish box are also great for icing the drinks in and keeping the salad fresh for a social day out.
Then take a peek inside the lockable cabin doors. Being a cat, you can't stand up in the cabin properly, but there's a large comfortable bunk and when dressing you can stand up in the starboard sponson as you enter.
A chemical toilet is supplied with the Sports Cab package (that'll keep the ladies happy), but there is an up-market version of this new Powercat hull. Called a "Targa", the non-fishing 2400 Series Powercat (which actually means little, because the lounge can still be removed as easily) comes with an electric toilet with holding tank. But the stainless Targa bar seen on the test boat becomes a moulded one that's incorporated into a hardtop.
Pressurised water from an inbuilt water tank is standard, as is a shower. There's a stove in the centre console and an electric anchor winch on the bow. Plus, you still get that "magic carpet ride" hull in a more luxuriously appointed boat. It's an ideal trailable cruiser for two with unmatched rough water handling abilities.
For those unfamiliar with Powercats, the 2400 Series (in either version) is a scaled-down version of its larger boats, so it has the usual Powercat centre console. But in this boat the console incorporates a sizable sink unit with a 65lt icebox stowed beneath. Curved doors give access to storage compartments located on each side of the console.
A portable stove can be used on the bench top and there's a rail around its periphery to hold onto and to keep anything sitting on the top of the console from falling off.
On the front of the console is another great piece of Powercat engineering, a forward facing seat. It has a flip-up cushion that becomes a bolster seat when folded away. This will keep the skipper happy.
Powercats always seem to have small steering wheels, which nonetheless control the boat effortlessly thanks to the wonders of hydraulics. The dash area in the 2400 is enormous and there's even a small glove box to secure valuables.
Another big plus on this boat is the walkthrough transom and folding swim ladder between the outboards. There's no denying this is one hell of a boat. And yes, it is legally trailable.
The test Powercat 2400 ran a pair of 90hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards. Powercat recommend outboards between 80hp and 140hp for this hull, but we'd have to say that any other engines would be hard pressed to match the two Suzuki motors on this boat. The Suzuki brand is now well known for its quiet, fuel efficient and smooth running motors, which deliver ample power right across the rev range.
But what made these outboards even more noticeable was they were so quiet. You could hardly hear them at low revs and at speed we were conversing inside the boat without raising our voices, even near the top speed of 33.7 knots.
The hull can hold on the plane at speeds as low as 7.3 knots, which is quite impressive for a power catamaran and sure to make "bad weather" trips comfortable.
If you haven't experienced the performance and handling of a power catamaran, do yourself a favour and have a close look at Powercat's latest 2400 Series. You'll be blown away!
So, how much does it cost to park a 2400 Series Powercat at the marina ? Prices start at $115,000 or $129,335 as tested.
THE POWERCAT STORY
Powercat Marine is a family company manufacturing world class, multi-award winning, performance catamarans. According to the team at Powercat, these vessels are one of the original twin-hull boats manufactured in Australia and are known for their sleek looks and high performance. With their luxury finish and extensive list of standard inclusions (all powered by engines of your choice) Powercat strive to ensure your boating experiences are nothing but a pleasure. They're happy if you're happy. Powercat Marine recently celebrated 25 years of Powercat Boats by taking out the AMIF 2005 Fishing Non-Trailable Boat of the Year with it's new 3000 Sports Cabriolet. This gives Powercat Marine back-to-back category wins in the Marine Industry's most prestigious awards. In 2004, Powercat Marine won the category award for Cruiser Trailable and Dayboat Commendation as well as taking out the Overall Australian Boat of the Year with its 2600 Sports Cabriolet.
The Powercat 2400 was powered by twin 90hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards. Her maximum horsepower rating is twin 140hp outboards.
Powercat 2400 Sports Cab with twin Suzuki 90hp and spinning Suzuki stainless steel 17-inch pitch props produced the following speed-to-rpm readings: 7.3 knots @ 2500 rpm, 19.7 knots @ 4000 rpm, 33.7 knots @ WOT
HULL LENGTH: 7.15m
HULL WEIGHT: 2000kg
TRAILERING WEIGHT: 2800kg
RATED HP: 80-140hp
PRICING: $115,000 (base boat) or $129,335 (as tested)
+ Centre console. Ride & handling.
? Nothing to report
Words by Warren Steptoe