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2023 Power Buyer’s Guide - Under 30 feet

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Small but seamanlike

The test videos of this pocket powercat leave no doubt about its seakeeping qualities: the machine jumps from wave to wave and always seems to be at ease, whatever the sea state. For all that, the designers are not looking for power overkill - 2 x 30 to 2 x 120 HP. The maximum speed quoted by the builder, subject to the chosen drivetrain, ranges from 16 to 30 knots. The deck layout comes in several versions - open, central passage, cabin - and can accommodate 7 people.

Manufacturer: Powercat 
Length: 17’3” (5.25 m)
Beam: 7’5” (2.25m)
Draft: 12” (0.30 m)
Light displacement: 1,300 lbs (590 kg)
Engines: 2 x 30 to 120 HP
CE Category: C



The temptation of a RIB – and of extra power!

Designed in Australia and built in New Zealand, the Castlerock Carbon Cat was designed by Dan Oatley, a member of an Australian family well known in the boating world. This catamaran RIB is built from an aluminum chassis and a carbon deck. Trim is controlled by a pair of trim tabs. Although this boat’s short length confines it to relatively sheltered waters, the top speed recorded with a modest 115 HP is still 60 knots…
We can only imagine that the Formula 1 version, with double the engine power, is reserved for very experienced skippers. The builder has already reinforced the structure of hull #3 so that it can take a more powerful engine.

Builder: Carbon Cat
Length: 17’5” (5.30 m)
Beam: 7’10” (2.40 m)
Displacement: 2,200 lbs (1,000 kg)
Capacity: 6 people
Fuel: 21 US gal (80 l)
Engines: 115/250 HP outboard
Max speed: 60 knots with 115 HP outboard



The all-purpose boat for everyone

Cheetah is well known in the UK: the brand has produced nearly 400 motor catamarans over the past 30 years. Designed from the start to take on the rollers of the exposed beaches on the Isle of Wight, the first model initiated a complete range of powercats perfectly adapted to the demanding constraints of various services – firefighters, response operations, diving etc. The Adventure model, developed from the proven hull of the 720, features a bulwark opening to starboard, which provides a 10 by 12½-foot (3 x 3.8 m) deck when at anchor. A metal frame, not unlike a roof-rack you might find on a 4x4 that also goes on adventures, can be fitted to carry equipment (bikes, paddleboards, etc). A tent is also available so you can spend a night or two on board. We’ll be testing one soon in Multihulls World.

Builder: Cheetah Marine Catamarans
Length: 22’8” or 23’7” (6.9 m or 7.2m)
Beam: 8’4” (2.55 m)
Draft: 12” (0.30 m)
Engines: 2 x 80/100 HP outboards
Fuel: 2 x 26 US gal (2 x 100 l)
Price: € 129,167 ex-tax with 2 x 80 HP outboards



Compact but with no fear of anything!

Despite its limited length, this Australian ...

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