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Tibona 20: an ‘old-school’ power cat

The Tibona 20’s hull-to-deck joint is bonded with a polyester putty, further bonded and sealed with 3M 5200, through-bolted and fiberglassed from the inside. Sound like overkill? Not if you want the boat to last for decades, says Dan Hollins, who recently launched his catamaran company, Tibona Boats, in Sarasota, Fla.

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“I plan on building these boats so I never have to see them again,” Hollins says. “I don’t want them coming back to the shop.”

The 30-year-old builds his catamarans — which have a beam of 8 feet, 4 inches and draw 13 inches — with a solid glass bottom and cored sides and decks. “Basically, I’m keeping it old-school,” says Hollins, who also runs a fiberglass repair and boat refit business, Boat Medics. “Everything is hand-laid.”

So far, Hollins has built only one boat — the demo — powered by twin 90-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboards. The Tibona gets 3.5 mpg at 24 mph, and 3.1 mpg at 31 mph, he says. Top end is 39 mph.

Each engine is mounted to an individual aluminum transom bracket. “The brackets allowed me to avoid mounting [the engines] directly to the transom, which would require splash wells,” says Hollins, who got his start in the industry as a rigger at Yellowfin Yachts in Sarasota, Fla., and then learned how to build boats with Sarasota boatbuilder Robert Helmick.

The Tibona 20 design is based on the Seagull 19 catamaran. (Hollins bought the molds.) The base price of $44,500 includes the engines, an aluminum trailer, leaning post, console, rod holders, nav lights, stainless-steel deck hardware and three batteries with switches. The batteries are housed in the console.
Contact: Tibona Boats, (914) 812-4239.

This artilce originally appeared in the August 2011 issue.