I found a power catamaran at this year's Miami International Boat Show that actually has nice lines - the Freeman 40, whose sharply raked bows and reverse sheer immediately got my attention.
"Catamarans have been boxy-looking, aesthetically unappealing to people," says Billy Freeman, the founder and owner of 4-year-old Freeman Boatworks in Charleston, S.C. "We wanted it to be attractive and still provide that smooth ride cats are known for."
The boat on display had been sold to a hard-core fisherman, so it has sparse seating and lots of fishing components. With its 13-foot beam, there's room for several anglers to fish without obstruction from bow to stern.
"This boat has 30 percent more room than a comparably sized monohull," sales manager Bob Dayhoff says.
Freeman Boatworks used cold-molded construction to build the 40, but future models will be built of fiberglass with composite coring materials, Freeman says.
With four 300-hp Yamaha 4-strokes, the Freeman 40 can exceed 60 mph. Cruising at 38 mph, it gets 1 mpg. "Pretty darn good for 1,200 hp," Dayhoff says.
With the quad setup, custom T-top, a full electronics package and synthetic teak decks, the show boat was $475,000. A similarly equipped 40 with twin 350-hp Yamahas is about $430,000. The company also builds a fiberglass 33-footer.
Contact: Freeman Boatworks LLC, (843) 708-0755. www.freemanboatworks.com
This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue.