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ContinuousWave: The Whaler GAM or General Area
|Author||Topic: whaler cats|
posted 11-04-2001 10:59 PM ET (US)
Ive read a lot of articles about how catamarans are a all around safer more stable boat than single hulls.I think boston whaler should really try making a cat.I wonder if it would be possible with their construction process?
posted 11-04-2001 11:29 PM ET (US)
I have been very interested in cats for some time now. Very much so. After reading a very informative article in Soundings about 2 or years ago and I emailed Whaler and asked them the same question. They gave a rather short and somewhat terse 'NO'. I though at the time that was a short-sighted position but what do I know about the boat business anyway.
Nonetheless after 2-3 years of reading about them I believe they will become even more popular but I don't think in my lifetime will they become the dominant hull style.
I have not been one one of any kind and there are several types that I know of - displacement, semi-displacement and planing I think.
It will be interesting to see what experience and thoughts others here have with them.
posted 11-05-2001 08:03 AM ET (US)
We have a number of Cats on the water here in Bermuda and I have been most impressed with a number of their qualities. For the recreational weekend warrior user here, they are really a perfect boat, easily driven, very very stable, lots of room for the munchkins etc. In this climate, having an actual cabin/sheltered space is secondary for most people. Just my two cents from the field,
posted 11-05-2001 06:44 PM ET (US)
The reason i brought it up is,i went to the big powerboat show in annapolis a couple of weeks ago.And like you "soho" was very impressed with all the advantages of a cat.Then i went and looked at some of the whalers(which i went to see)put 2 and 2 together and realized wouldn't this be the ultimate boat,an unsinkable,stable boat with a fraction of the displacement.Maybe i'll design my own if BW is that short sighted.I'll call it the "Catamawhaler"
posted 11-06-2001 03:58 PM ET (US)
I also sent Boston Whaler an e-mail regarding the same subject, they gave me the same, terse "NO". I think they are missing the boat on this one. All Whaler owners past and present would be interested and many would want test drives. If it was good, they would buy it. At a minimum they would visit a dealership. Sometimes I wonder what they are thinking???
posted 11-06-2001 04:53 PM ET (US)
Last week I helped a friend remove his 24' sailboat and take it to a new dealer for servicing. This dealer sold cats and I had never seen one in real life so I looked around. Those things look really neat. Also a friend of a friend bought one recently and said it can cruise 40mph in 4ft seas! Its also supposed to get great mpg too. I am wondering if there are any "catches" to this type of boat. I mean if they are really this good, how come they are only coming to the market now? As far as whaler goes, I can see why they are resisting. They tried selling sailboats once and I don't think they went over all that well.
posted 11-06-2001 07:54 PM ET (US)
I also think its interesting that Whaler hasnt tried to make a play in the cat market.....maybe the bigger players, like whaler, dont take the niche very seriously. The players are true innovators but the market is very small.
I've been in cats, I think they ride great, but I havent seen one that I would buy because of the surprising limits of storage space on the boats. You do give up a lot in the design.
I raced to a boatshow a couple of years ago to see one of the earlier cabin cats, and after seeing it I thought it was a waste for the manuf to even try to build it because there was so little room in the cabin.
Remember that the r&d and mold making for a whaler is far more expensive than any competitor. To recover the cost of a new mold they have to be sure they will sell many units of that particular hull. That's why they used to make multiple models out of each mold, changing the top of the boat occasionally, to get better revenue out of the mold....
posted 11-06-2001 08:37 PM ET (US)
I know someone who bought a 26' Glacier Bay cat with twin 150 yamahas. The boat looks beautiful and takes rough water very well. Plus the boat has a nice cabin area. I think he paid about 100K new. Way out of my league! I don't know if smaller cats would be as practical.
posted 11-07-2001 03:06 PM ET (US)
whaler did try the "cat" market...cml corp owned both boston whaler and ericson yachts in the early 80's...(i worked @ the plant in so ca)..we mfg both ericson yachts (> to 38ft) and the super-cats...(> to 18ft)...they were whalers (w/the logo on the side of the hull)...fast and made well...i am not sure why they stopped mfg them...the corp must not have made much $ in the market...
posted 11-07-2001 03:56 PM ET (US)
I would love to see a picture of that.I had no idea bw made a cat?Actually i think there is more room in a cat due to the increased beam.I would love to hear jimh's take on this.
posted 11-07-2001 04:08 PM ET (US)
rbonilla. How interesting you actually were a part of making them! Do you know if they sold any or just test marketed them? How many? Any pictures?
posted 11-07-2001 05:20 PM ET (US)
These cats you speak of are those the sailing cats?
posted 11-07-2001 07:08 PM ET (US)
A few reasons why I think cats haven't caught on.
1 Takes up lots of space to manufacture
2 They tend to weave and speed.
3 Draft issues
4 They don't turn as well in tight quarters
5 Loss of valuable space in cabin and deck.
6 Difficult to back down
7 They don't roll and turn the carve (hard to adjust to)
8 whaler's strength comes from its foam (ever noticed the bulbous look?) A cat would have to be huge to achieve the same kinds of strength.
posted 11-07-2001 07:41 PM ET (US)
The cats sold under the Whaler name were sailboats, known as beach cats. They were similar to the higher end Hobie Cats (Miracle 20 etc.) There is one in the fleet I used to belong to, and it is a fast, well made machine.
posted 11-07-2001 08:46 PM ET (US)
The cat boats whaler sold in 1981 were called
Supercats 17 and 20 footers.They were made in Rivera Beach FL.And they did not have foam flotation in the pontoons.I have the whaler flyer.
posted 11-07-2001 08:56 PM ET (US)
Catamaran boats are not good with fuel mileage, I know from experence. The reason is because they have two narrow hulls that cut though the water and have hardly any planing surface. You need to have the horsepower and speed to get it on a good plane. They are not low horsepower boats such as 13'whaler,jon boats,carollina skiffs etc etc...they need power to plane. I had a 10.5' TwinVee with a 30hp yamaha(tiller) that I thought would be a rocket, I didnt even bother do a test run. I sold it 2 months later...it did 28.5mph at best and went through fuel like water. Try putting a 30hp yamaha on a 9'whaler, your lookin at 40mph and a possible whiplash.
Then a year later my good friend got a 26' TwinVee PowerCat with twin 140hp tohatsu's w/SSprops and from that day i was sure no boat could take the sea like a catamaran boat and would challenge anyone to prove me wrong.
It was also a fuel hog. All 280hp pushed us along at about 36mph or so the cheapy speedo said, but it felt quite accurate. The ride was fantastic and the girls loved it.
But a Classic Boston Whaler is as perfect a boat you will ever see. Its not a tipsy vee hull. Its not a backbreaking flat bottom. It is the best off both worlds.-EasyE
posted 11-07-2001 11:13 PM ET (US)
I actually do have a photo of a Whaler SUPER-CAT, thanks to Don McIntrye who owns it. I'll try to find it and use it in a CETACEA article soon.
In commercial use the catamaran form is seen as the SWATH, Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull. SWATH ships are being used for high speed ferries. There is a SWATH ship on the run from Maine to Nova Scotia. The principal virture is speed and excellent stability.
ASIDE: Big controversy up there when the high speed SWATH ran over a fishing boat, the fishing boat going between the two hulls and getting pushed under, drowning two or three crew on the smaller boat.
posted 11-08-2001 12:31 PM ET (US)
There are a few power cats in my harbor and these are my observations:
1. They are ugly. Just my opinion, but I suspect it does hurt their popularity.
2. They look like a nightmare to trailer with their tall profile and wide beam.
3. The high freeboard would make landing and boating fish somewhat difficult.
Perhaps the folks at Whaler are wary of another flavor of the month debacle ala the Rage....
posted 11-09-2001 11:17 AM ET (US)
This is an interesting question, and I would like to see it persued further. I was offshore here yesterday (off of Tampa Bay), and saw several cats.
I know that Grady White made one, but have heard that the boat had big problems. If this is true, then that may be one reason that Whaler's so negative about the idea. If a manufacturer like Whaler or Grady turns out a lemon, then the damage to the corporate image could be severe. After all, both make boats that are much more expensive than many of their competitors (quality issues not withstanding).
posted 11-09-2001 12:32 PM ET (US)
Why would Whaler or Grady, for that matter, want to build a cat? They both have proven and efficient mono hull designs.
My experience with power cats is that the small, under 15' fishing boats, work fine. Anything larger eats HP and requires twin engines to duplicate the performance of a single engine mono hull.
Let's leave the cats to the offshore racers and the wind powered crowd, where they perform great.
Boston Whaler has made many changes to their hulls over the years (some good, some ?). I can't even imagine a Montcat, Outcat or worse.
posted 11-09-2001 05:06 PM ET (US)
The great thing about technology is that it is always improving.No company should be content on being complacent.Cats are relatively new to the main market,and improvements will be made.It just seems that BW isn't the innovaters they were 50 years ago?
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