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Freeman 40: a quad-powered cat

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.

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"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.

This article originally appeared in the May 2011 issue.