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Hey 2-coolers, My wife and I are considering buying a smaller boat. We currently have a 26' seapro center console w/250 merc. We wanted to know if anyone could advise us on the pros and cons of single hull boats versus catamarans. We would like to get a 23' cat w/twin (4-strokes) that would be sweet. I just dont know if the cats are that much better or just a myth. Please advise, any input would be greatly appreciated.

Robert and Jody
 

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I think there is great marketing ability in an offshore cat style boat, but the simple truth is that they do not match up to conventional v-hulls. True, in a head on 3 foot swell a cat can handle the wave better (engineering proves this theory), but in any quartering head or quartering following sea a cat style boat will fail 100% of the time. It is because of their lack of handling in quartering seas that I cannot approve of cat style offshore boats.

I think they do a world of good in flats boats, but thats just my opinion
 

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trashcanslam said:
I think there is great marketing ability in an offshore cat style boat, but the simple truth is that they do not match up to conventional v-hulls. True, in a head on 3 foot swell a cat can handle the wave better (engineering proves this theory), but in any quartering head or quartering following sea a cat style boat will fail 100% of the time. It is because of their lack of handling in quartering seas that I cannot approve of cat style offshore boats.

I think they do a world of good in flats boats, but thats just my opinion
Utterly rediculous statement.

Fail 100% of the time? Is this opinion based on any first hand knowledge, or are you just pulling this opnion out of your arsse?

Basically, catamarans are not for everybody. They run very well in head seas compared to like-sized mono hulls. In fact the ride in head seas is much better compared to like sized mono hulls. The ride in beam seas does take a little getting used to for sure. The weakest point in a catamarans offshore ride is in a big quartering following sea. That sea situation can be a little unnerving the first time you experience this but when you learn to trim the boat properly it is a non-issue. Honestly, a large quartering following sea is a handful for most boats, mono or cat.

Bottom line is that catamarans are very capable offshore boats, especially if you are looking for something under 25'.
 

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The thing that keeps me from getting a cat is that I'm very suspicious of their value in trolling for pelagics. In my observation, except in areas that have a real problem with rough water, nobody who is serious about trolling runs a cat. I don't know if this is just a boat fashion thing or if those wide spaced outboards make a nasty wake or what. Maybe there isn't anything to it but none of the big time offshore trolling boats that I can think of are twin hulled. At least that is the way it appears to me. As a bottom fishing machine I don't think that there is any argument as to a cats superiority. I'll bet some of the guys running cats can shed some light on this.
 

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Instigator said:
In my observation, except in areas that have a real problem with rough water, nobody who is serious about trolling runs a cat.
Meet McGolfer!!! Texas Gulf Coast Fishing Master, and by the way, he runs a cat!!! http://2coolfishing.com/ttmbforum/showthread.php?t=46429

It really doesn't matter if your fishing out of a cat, mono, or 55 gallon drum, the boat does not make anyone a great fisherman!!
 

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This is a polarized issue, or love/hate phenomenon in which you will get a wide range of responses on a public forum.



I have a cat and absolutely love it and I think it is a superior ride to a mono hull in most sea conditions (2-3 ft chop which is 90% of the time in the Gulf). Boats are always a give and take proposition, test drive one and spend sometime researching the design, and make sure it works for you. Feel free to pm with any questions. Remember the cat design has been around for hundreds of years and is a dominant nautical design for large racing sailboats.



The only 2 main drawbacks in my opinion are 1. cosmetic - they are ugly at first but you learn to appreciate their beauty and 2. When trolling at very low speeds the bow will produce the "cat sneeze".



Good Luck



TH
 

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I dont think mcgolfer is big on trolling. However Millinium Marine does very good trolling with their 23' prokat, I think that is what it is anyhow. I have never had any issues trolling behind a cat. Propwash is a little longer so we run them a little further back, think it is because of the distance between motors. If your cat is underpowered, you will have more of the quartering sea problem, if you have enough power, it isnt an issue.
 

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Sound like someone does not like cats, or does not know how to drive them. You can Play with the Trim as Manintheboat said. I used to own his boat. Now coming in with a 10ft following sea that is quartering away, there is little you can do other than drive the boat into the wave.

I know you will get alot of opinions both ways. A 23 foot cat will not perform like a 36' Contender. It runs slower. It is not designed to run 50 in a 3' sea. Cost about 1/4 of the price.

My suggestion to you if you are looking at catamarans is to see which one will fit your needs.

For the probems Trashcanslam was talking about, the best hull would be a semi displacement hull.
For the the best ride in rough head seas, a full dislpacement hull would be your best bet.
for the best fuel economy a planing hull is what you need. (with 4-strokes)

If you are serious about buying a cat, talk to the people that own them. They know more about them than the ones who have opinions. There are not too many cat owners that would go back to a mono hull boat. Especially with gas prices what they are.

trashcanslam said:
I think there is great marketing ability in an offshore cat style boat, but the simple truth is that they do not match up to conventional v-hulls. True, in a head on 3 foot swell a cat can handle the wave better (engineering proves this theory), but in any quartering head or quartering following sea a cat style boat will fail 100% of the time. It is because of their lack of handling in quartering seas that I cannot approve of cat style offshore boats.

I think they do a world of good in flats boats, but thats just my opinion
 

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Reel Peace Charters in Venice use cats exclusively and I know they do a lot of trolling out of them. In fact you will see a good portion of the charters down there running a cat of some sort (Paradise Outfitters, Capt. Eddie, Osprey, etc.)

In my personal experience, I believe the cats to be a much superior ride. I've fished on my share of deep-v's and cats. If there is any sort of chop whatsoever the cat always seems to win out. However, the drawback is on these flat days (like we've been having) the cat tops out at a lot lower speeds than a monohull.

my .02


Brad
 

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I have hooked or tagged a billfish every trip I made to the floaters. It ain't the boat that catches the fish. Alot of people are trolling with cats. Most of the big sportfishers have not changed over yet. The are becoming verypopular in other parts of the world. and with fuel prices rising, they are going to get even more popular. Australia is starting to run alot of bigger catamarans. The main problem is that there are not alot of people building 40' cats at this time. If Fuel prices stay up, big boat sales will go down and you will see one of the major us builders design at cat sportfisher.
Instigator said:
The thing that keeps me from getting a cat is that I'm very suspicious of their value in trolling for pelagics. In my observation, except in areas that have a real problem with rough water, nobody who is serious about trolling runs a cat. I don't know if this is just a boat fashion thing or if those wide spaced outboards make a nasty wake or what. Maybe there isn't anything to it but none of the big time offshore trolling boats that I can think of are twin hulled. At least that is the way it appears to me. As a bottom fishing machine I don't think that there is any argument as to a cats superiority. I'll bet some of the guys running cats can shed some light on this.
 

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Just to make sure that I was understood. I am not necessarily of the opinion that Cats $uck as trolling machines. I do have too much anxiety about my observation as to the seeming trend of snapper guys with cats and tuna/billfish guys with monohulls to actually plunk down the large dollars for a boat I plan to have for a while. After all, since the ride is inarguably superior in a cat, why isn't everybody running them? Since I spend about 3/4 of the time chasing pelagics I want to make sure that the hull I choose is best suited for that activity. As for the boat not making the fisherman, absolutely. But in an all other things being equal game, which this is, it's a good idea to pay attention to what you really want. You don't have to read this board long to see plenty of sad stories about the boat/fisherman marriage not working out. Hopefully that will smooth any feathers that I inadvertantly ruffled and maybe someone will post up whether they have made the same observation in boat owner trend and the guys that drag baits behind cats will discuss the wake issue.
 

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The wake issue can be fixed by trimming the motors waaaay up when trolling. This also helps the "Cat sneeze". On the larger heavier cats(36-up), I don't think it is a issue,
Instigator said:
Just to make sure that I was understood. I am not necessarily of the opinion that Cats $uck as trolling machines. I do have too much anxiety about my observation as to the seeming trend of snapper guys with cats and tuna/billfish guys with monohulls to actually plunk down the large dollars for a boat I plan to have for a while. After all, since the ride is inarguably superior in a cat, why isn't everybody running them? Since I spend about 3/4 of the time chasing pelagics I want to make sure that the hull I choose is best suited for that activity. As for the boat not making the fisherman, absolutely. But in an all other things being equal game, which this is, it's a good idea to pay attention to what you really want. You don't have to read this board long to see plenty of sad stories about the boat/fisherman marriage not working out. Hopefully that will smooth any feathers that I inadvertantly ruffled and maybe someone will post up whether they have made the same observation in boat owner trend and the guys that drag baits behind cats will discuss the wake issue.
 

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I troll with my boat quite a bit and it does just fine. The only downside to trolling is that if you are slow trolling directly into 3-4' steep seas, you will slam a little, and can take some green water over the bow. Of course, this is when you are trolling very slow, if you move the speed up to around 10 knots, then problem is lessened greatly. There is a guy who has a Glacier Bay a few spaces down from me (his name is Skin on this board) and he trolled up wahoo, dolphin and a sailfish a couple of sundays ago so he seems to have no problems trolling either.

I really think that the reason that there are not more cats out there is pretty simple. There are not nearly as many made. If you want a new catamaran, you have basically 7 manufacturers (GB,World Cat,Twin Vee, Pro-kat,Renaissance Prowler, Kevlacat, Sea Cat) to choose from verses hundreds of mono hull manufacturers. Also, monohulls have been the traditional design of choice in America for years, and it is hard to change that trend. Basically, the American boat consumer is conditioned to buy mono hulls, which are faster and much better looking in my opinion.

There is no perfect boat. You pretty much have to make up your mind as to what boat works best for you, especially since you are the one making the payments.

Instigator said:
Just to make sure that I was understood. I am not necessarily of the opinion that Cats $uck as trolling machines. I do have too much anxiety about my observation as to the seeming trend of snapper guys with cats and tuna/billfish guys with monohulls to actually plunk down the large dollars for a boat I plan to have for a while. After all, since the ride is inarguably superior in a cat, why isn't everybody running them? Since I spend about 3/4 of the time chasing pelagics I want to make sure that the hull I choose is best suited for that activity. As for the boat not making the fisherman, absolutely. But in an all other things being equal game, which this is, it's a good idea to pay attention to what you really want. You don't have to read this board long to see plenty of sad stories about the boat/fisherman marriage not working out. Hopefully that will smooth any feathers that I inadvertantly ruffled and maybe someone will post up whether they have made the same observation in boat owner trend and the guys that drag baits behind cats will discuss the wake issue.
 
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