Iliad 53S

An adventurous boat ready to settle on the beach

Power catamarans are the fastest growing sector, for some very good reasons such as frugality, comfort and in the case of the adventure variety like this Iliad 53Sport, long-range capabilities. Lifestyle is the other main driver for the surge in demand for these vessels and their inherent features, such as shallow draft and in the case of this 53S, beach-ability, mean they are also ideal explorer boats.

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Test location: Gold Coast, Australia
Conditions: 0 to 5 knots of wind, calm sea

Iliad Catamarans is a young brand, with the first 50 arriving in Australia in 2019, joined in 2020 by a 70 model in a range that now includes the 53, 62 and 74 models.
The 62 premiered at the 2022 Sydney Boat Show, where I boarded it after the event. For 2023, the major milestones are this 53Sport which is the first model without a flybridge and made its Australian debut at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show this year (May 25-28), followed by the 53 Flybridge that debuts at the Sydney Show (August 3-6).

Explorer credentials

These semi-displacement boats can achieve double-digit cruising speeds with long ranges. The key to these capabilities is a wide array of engine choices, all shaft-driven, tailored to a customer’s needs. Shaft drives, protected by mini keels minimize grounding damage, should any dramas occur.
The popularity of explorer-style yachts continues to grow as people seek to escape the crowds and embrace technologies that liberate them from onshore services.
For motor yachts, fuel efficiency is a key feature, and this is where sedan catamarans with their low-drag hulls are very attract...

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