Feline Favorites

Introducing THREE CATS That Really Roar

Capt. Mike Genoun February 26, 2015

Multihull fishing boats are nothing new. They have been recorded as far back in history as the 17th Century, with wooden dugout outrigger canoes likely in use far earlier than that. What’s new is the state-of-the-art technology and advanced building materials in use today to design and manufacture these impressive fishing machines. However, before we take a closer look at our favorite cats it’s important to note there’s no debating whether two hulls are really better than one.

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The Freeman 37VH

Like most relationships and major purchasing decisions, everything comes with a compromise, and the same applies to boat design. Different performance characteristics, various features and a wide range of amenities appeal to different anglers and boat owners for their own reasons. If you are currently in a deep-V—clearly the most popular offshore boat design—then you already know of the benefits of a planing mono hull, which include increased centerline storage and cabin space, impressive downhill and beam-to handling characteristics, and greater wide open speed. If you are a current cat owner, then you appreciate a wide beam, reduced draft, increased fuel economy, soft ride and comfort on anchor.

This brilliantly engineered machine was conceived for one sole purpose—to kill big fish!

While multihull configurations are available in every class including flats skiffs, bay boats, small open fish models and jaw-dropping convertible style sportfish yachts eclipsing 80 feet in length, volumes would be required to discuss every model in great detail. Instead, the focus of this editorial is on three monster machines that are plotting a course into the future of catamaran design.

 

FREEMAN 37VH: A New Standard In Offshore Performance

How far can you push the envelope of a high performance open center console catamaran? How about more than 37 feet in length powered by three monster engines! The 37VH Freeman is the real deal. Incorporating state-of-the-art vented hull technology, this wicked cat is setting a new standard in speed, comfort and fishability for open fisherman in this class.

Catamaran style fishing boats have typically lagged behind in wide open throttle speed as compared to traditional deep-Vs for one reason—horsepower. The Freeman solution…bolt a trio of powerful Yamaha 350s to the fully integrated stern! The result is a ready to fish 13,500 pound platform that is capable of exceeding 70 mph! Of course, in cat-like tradition, she sucks up less than one gallon per mile while cruising at 45 mph—impressive by anyone’s standards.

It’s not always about who gets to the bite first, and few open platforms in any class rival the fishability of the Freeman 37. This is not your ordinary day boat with cushy seating for 12 and all of the comforts of home. This brilliantly engineered machine was conceived for one sole purpose—to kill big fish!

First off, she is wide for a 37-footer, 11’6″ to be exact, which sets the framework for completely unobstructed walk around capabilities. You could put a 100-pound tuna along either side of the console and still have room leftover. Speaking of which, the centrally positioned command center is monstrous! The dash measures 44-inches across and 19-inches high. Along with all of the usual gizmos, that is more than enough space for a pair of flat screen displays. With starboard side entry, the house protects the battery switches and breaker panel and provides enough dry storage space for a week’s worth of gear.

You want to talk about pushing the envelope? The Freeman 37 offers nearly one third more square footage than many comparable mono hulls. Equally notable, her length and breadth combine to provide a smooth, dry ride that’s been compared to a mythical magic carpet.

Like the rest of the cats in the Freeman lineup, the 37VH features a huge step-up bow that provides a stable platform with ample space for multiple anglers to fight big fish simultaneously, while still maintaining adequate gunwale height for a safe and secure feeling in any sea condition. The raised deck also makes it easy to maneuver around the bow when determined tuna decide to do their death circles directly underfoot. With standard 800-quart insulated coffin box and 400-quart in deck fishbox, you’ll have plenty of space for big fish.

Although sold impressively equipped for hardcore anglers, factory upgrades worth considering include additional livewells, an expanded tackle station and 540 gallons of fuel capacity for unparalleled range. Delivered turnkey with triple Yamaha F350s, trailer, hardtop and a complete electronics package, this game changer will set you back around 350K! Freeman Boatworks,
843.708.0755, freemanboatworks.com

 

CALCUTTA 390: The Perfect Package

When it comes to a superbly balanced blend of fishability, performance and comfort, this is it! Seriously, I don’t care if you have a thing for cats or not, you have to appreciate the time and effort that went into designing and manufacturing the Calcutta 390. This catamaran is like no other center console in existence. For more than a decade Calcutta Marine has been researching innovative hull designs, helm stations, deck layouts and cabin configurations in their quest to perfect the ultimate family oriented dream machine. The Calcutta 390 is the culmination of all this effort.

With a centerline length stretching 38’8″ and a daring 14′ beam, this pretty kitty is practically half as wide as she is long. Thanks to such broad shoulders, the Calcutta 390 does have that boxy look that many V-hull owners despise, but her performance attributes, yacht-like fit and finish and extensive list of standard amenities certainly supersede her distinct visual characteristics.

Although the Calcutta 390 can be adequately be propelled by twin outboards, the Yanmar 370 HP diesel stern drive package with dual counter-rotating propellers and joystick control is a powertrain worthy of marvel. With 740 horses under your feet and variable sponson deadrise, the 390 comfortably plows through head seas with ease. Even in small craft advisory conditions, helmsmen appreciate a soft ride with no bow steering and little sneezing. The best attribute might be the 390s agile handling characteristics. For such a wide boat she is incredibly nimble and can literally spin on a dime.

While the Calcutta 390 provides air conditioned sleeping quarters for six adults in more than one well appointed cabin, a full galley with yacht-like woodwork and a refreshing shower, hardcore fishing amenities are not overlooked. Standard equipment includes an adequate 52-gallon oval baitwell with clear acrylic display and redundant pump system. A full transom door and insulated deck boxes with more than 1,800 quarts of fish keeping capacity mean no monster is off limits. A large tackle center behind the helm seat houses a rigging station with freshwater sink and bait freezer. To port, additional tackle drawers and electric grill round out the family-friendly fish package. Calcutta also incorporated huge compartments in the forward sponsons to maximize every available inch of storage space.

Above it all, the abnormally large hardtop can be equipped with a second station offering extended visibility for blue water fishermen heading over the horizon. On deck, the wraparound enclosure keeps the helm dry and the area can also be kept cool with air conditioning. There’s no sacrificing on safety features either, with only the highest quality components incorporated into the build and six automatic bilge pumps with high-water alarms strategically installed throughout.

Calcutta Marine’s commitment to design and manufacture a platform that will put you and ten of your best friends on a hot bite in any conditions is undeniable, as is their goal to suitably accommodate a weekend getaway with family and friends.

So whether you enjoy competing in high stakes tournaments or fall into the category of casual weekend warrior, the Calcutta 390 will certainly change your perception of what catamaran sportfishing boats are capable of. Calcutta Marine, 941.721.3313, calcuttaboats.com

 

INSETTA 45: The Shape of Things to Come

No matter how you enjoy spending time on the water, the Insetta 45 will blow you away! The aggressive look is like nothing else on the water and with one sweeping glance you’ll notice this is no ordinary cat. The offshore racing heritage of the Insetta 45 clearly shows in the tunnel and stepped hull design. Bolt a Seven Marine 557 HP powerhouse to each of the sponsons and 1,100-plus supercharged horses make this lion roar!

Manufacturing processes and building materials are also of the highest quality to produce a solid platform that will stand up to the most adverse conditions. All major components are vacuum-infused using 100-percent vinylester resin and closed cell PVC foam core. Additionally, full beam infused bulkheads and a one-piece deck screams strength, rigidity and beauty. Topping it all off is a one-piece aluminum hardtop with 10-rod launcher for all of your favorite hardware. The aluminum framework also features an integrated glass windshield that protects the helmsman and passengers from the elements while providing unobstructed 360-degree visibility.

Weighing in at 12,500 pounds—surprisingly light for a boat this size—the Insetta 45 is smooth and stable whether running wide open or on the hook. At 47 feet in length she means serious business and when you multiply that by a 11’8″ beam you end up with a massive playing field. Her ability to fly through crisp five footers spaced only seconds apart is nothing short of exhilarating and the soft re-entry will blow you away. This big cat screams at over 60 mph with standard outboard power but can also achieve two mile per gallon efficiency with the optional twin 370 HP inboard diesel package. With 450 gallons of fuel capacity anglers will have plenty or range to go the distance.

The spacious console features a full size berth that sleeps four, an enclosed head and full galley. Whether your sunset cruise just became a late night rendezvous, or your offshore tuna trip turned into an unexpected overnighter, the Insetta 45 will keep you safe and comfortable.

Designed, engineered and built from the keel up to lead a new class of offshore catamarans well into the future, the Insetta 45 is adequately suited for the task! American Marine Design, 912.882.5420, insetta.com

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