Kit-Cats PowerCat 40 — By Capt. Bill Pike
— September 2005
Part 2: Although the test boat was a finished version with everything from electronics to bilge pumps installed, simplicity was still the theme of her interior.
The ensuing afternoon was an interesting one. Among other things, I recorded a top speed of 24.7 mph—rather spiffy, considering the modest firepower in our fuel-sippin’ Suzukis. For rough comparison’s sake, last year I got slightly less speed (22.7 mph) out of a longer, narrower (45'7"x17'5") NauticBlue 464 power cat equipped with a couple of 370-hp Yanmar diesels (“Cuttin’ Edge Cat,” June 2004). Although, at 41,527 pounds, the charter-equipped NauticBlue was way heavier than our ultra-light, airplane-inspired, 11,000-pound PowerCat.
Weight was not the only thing we had going for us, though. According to Young, Aerocomp has built a reputation over the years for highly aerodynamic/hydrodynamic Superfloats—sleek pontoons that make for exceptionally efficient waterborne landings and takeoffs. “You’re riding on proprietary Superfloat technology right now,” Young said mystically as I carved a tight, stable turn and then goosed the throttles.
I docked our PowerCat behind Young’s house on Syke’s Creek, just off the Banana River, a maneuver that emphasized both the boat’s buxom width–she just fit between the finger pier and pilings of her double-wide slip—and her excellent close-quarters maneuverability, a quality mostly attributable to the leverage inherent in engines mounted at considerable remove from each other. After we’d finished tying up, Young and I did a walkthrough while Lueck returned to the shoreside airstrip to top off our Air 7’s fuel tanks.
Although the test boat was a finished version with everything from electronics to bilge pumps installed, simplicity was still the theme of her interior. There were four double-berth staterooms below decks (two per hull; fore and aft, with a head in between), a bright, spacious saloon/galley/dining area as well as a large cockpit on the main deck, and a helm station with great visibility all the way around on the flying bridge. Fit and finish was workmanlike and, again, simplicity was key. For example, while the staterooms were cooled with two separate 7,000-Btu Cruisair air conditioners, the saloon/galley/dining area had an easy-to-service and -install 6,000-Btu Fedders window-type unit. Moreover, cabinetry was constructed straightforwardly of stick-built mahogany ply, galley equipment was minimalist but of good quality, and the furniture onboard was comfy and condoesque, albeit not my taste by a long shot.
While flying back to Tallahassee that afternoon, I did some thinking on this last score. And what I came up with was accurate, I think. Certainly, the Kit-Cats PowerCat 40 is a comparatively fast, fuel-efficient cruiser, with sophisticated, lightweight laminates and a no-nonsense layout. But what really sets her apart is the fact that she’s sold in various stages of completion (see “Have It Your Way,” this story) and can therefore be finished in perfect accordance with an owner’s tastes and wishes.
Almost as cool and convenient as commuting to boat tests via private turboprop airplane!
Kit-Cats ( (321) 453-7175. www.kit-cats.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.