Fishing Catamarans: 5 Hot New Models

Fishing catamarans continue to become more and more popular — and more and more prolific. 

There’s no doubt that power catamarans attract a specific breed of angler: those who want to run far and fast, and then fish hard. Preferably, without beating their brains to a pulp. Generally speaking the smooth cat ride simply can’t be beaten by a monohull, so powercats are beloved by anglers who leave the dock even when it’s breezy. And while we need to remember that just like different monohulls, different cats do have different ride quality, as a rule of thumb they reduce wave impact, decelerate slower, and have higher static stability than monohulls of the same approximate size and weight. As an added cat bonus, they also have more deck space per LOA because most carry their beam all the way forward rather than tapering down to a point at the bow. Maybe you already know about all these cat traits. And maybe you’re looking for a fishing catamaran at this very moment. But, which are the hottest and newest hitting the water? Here are five chart-topping cats that have just come onto the market. 

Freeman 28 

The Freeman 42LR was one of the cats that started all the buzz, and for years, anglers have hoped this builder would come out with a pocket-sized fishing machine. Wish granted. The 28 is billed as a hybrid bay boat and has a trolling motor and casting deck on the bow, with a more offshore-oriented stern and transom rather than having a big aft casting deck. The livewell system includes 40-gallons in the deck, a pair of 21-gallon wells in the transom, and an optional 20-gallon forward well. The stock boat has eight flush-mount holders but like all Freemans there’s room for a lot of customization, and the gunwales and transom of the boat they brought to the Maimi International Boat Show was perforated with dozens of holders clear up to the foredeck. 

Image courtesy Freeman Boatworks

This boat is so darn new we haven’t been able to take it off the dock yet and there isn’t yet any reliable published performance data, but early reports are that with Merc 300s on the transom it runs in the upper-mid 40s at around 4500 rpm and tops out in the upper 60s. 

Read Next: Great Offshore Fishing Boat Options: Part 1

Invincible 46 Pilothouse 

Anglers looking for an all-weather mega-cat ride with complete protection at the helm will love the Invincible 46 Pilothouse. This 45’11” long, 12’ wide beast is more lion than cat, and inside the house you’ll find four pedestal seats with U-shaped seating aft, a small galley, a berth, and a head compartment. But the boat maintains 360-degree fishability all around and boasts three or four livewells with 70 gallons of capacity each fed via a sea chest, six different in-deck fishboxes, and virtually any custom feature you’d like to add.  

Image courtesy Invincible Boats

Big boats need big power, and the 46 Pilothouse can take quad 450s on the transoms. That provides cruising speeds in the upper 40s to lower 50s, and a blistering top-end surpassing the 70-mph mark. Note that this cat is vacuum-bagged and cored, minimizing weight while maximizing strength. As a result fuel economy is better than one might expect from a boat of this size, checking in at around 0.7 mph at cruise. 

Aquila 28 Molokai 

Aquila has plenty of experience building large cruising cats, but the 28 Molokai is their first attempt at building a fishing boat. That immediately makes us wary, because in the past plenty of very good pleasure-boat builders have come out with models that were really just cruisers with the word “fishing” stamped on the marketing brochure. That said, Aquila clearly did do their homework when it came to designing in the fishing features. The boat has 10 flush-mount rodholders, five rocket launchers on the hard top, an integrated tackle stowage station, and a pair of hefty 94-gallon fishboxes that are evacuated by diaphragm pumps. The livewell is thin for west-coasters at 30 gallons of capacity, but the deck is wide-open and there’s plenty of room to add a tank. Note that Aquila kept the transom svelte by locating the livewell and tackle station in the leaning post, and when a hot fish gets close to the outboards you can get notably farther aft than on many modern CCs. 

Image courtesy Aquila Boats

With 150 gallons of fuel and a pair of stock 150-hp outboards range will be excellent, though the 28 Molokai can’t be expected to keep up with the high-speed cats in the fleet. Opt up to twin 225s and you can look for a top-end in the upper 40s and a respectable cruise in the upper-mid 30s. 

Visit Aquila for more information. 

Caymas 34 CT 

Caymas is a relatively new builder but was founded by an old hand at building fishing boats, National Marine Manufacturers Hall of Famer Earl Bentz. Up until now all of their models have been monohulls and the 34 CT is their first stab at a cat. It’s also a live-baiting dream, if you have all the optional wells plumbed in addition to the stock 70-gallon transom well. There are two 25s in the transom and two 60s in the deck, bringing the integrated bait-hauling capacity to a whopping 240 gallons. The system is fed by a sea chest with two 2500-gph Hooker variable-speed pumps, plus high-speed pick-ups. Additional angling highlights include six gunwale and seven transom rodholders, fifteen more vertical holders, eight rocket launchers, and copious tackle stowage with six Plano boxes and leader holders. Electronics freaks will love the option to get a pair of 22-inch MFDs or a trio of 17-inchers at the helm. 

Image courtesy Caymas Boats

The semi-asymmetric hulls are twin-stepped to boost speed and efficiency. They’re also incredibly aggressive, with 50/55-degree deadrise entries. Locked and loaded with a pair of Mercury’s new V10 400 Verados the boat can hit 60 mph and cruise in the low to mid 40s, making short work of long offshore runs. 

Visit Caymas Boats for more information. 

World Cat 260 CC-X 

It may be the smallest boat in this mix, but the World Cat 260 CC-X has big potential. The builder made some radical changes in the standard designs out there, which give it a serious fishability boost. In the bow you’ll discover U-shaped seating which converts into a forward casting deck. That’s par for the course, but grab the front center section, and pull — it flips back to mate with the side sections and has a second solid deck underneath, so it converts the entire bow area into a massive casting platform with no clunky, tough-to-stow filler piece needed. The stern is just as inventive, with a transom that folds down to become an aft casting deck. The 30-gallon livewell and fishbox are shifted to the gunwales, which are wider than the norm. 

We ran the 260 CC-X with max power, a pair of Yamaha F200s. And we ran it heavy, with three aboard and full fuel. At 3500 we cruised in the mid-20s, at 4500 the mid-30s, and top-end touched 48.7 mph. At the time, the captain mentioned hitting 52 with a light boat and we don’t doubt it. 

Are you sick and tired of being bashed and banged as you run offshore? If so, it’s no wonder you find yourself checking out power catamarans. One of these five hot new offerings may or may not fit the bill for you, personally, but one thing is for sure: all five of them are armed with sharp claws the sharp teeth, and they’re all ready for serious fishing action. 

Lenny Rudow …has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow's FishTalk Magazine, is Electronics and Fishing Editor for BoatUS Magazine, and is a contributing editor to several other publications. His...