Skip to main content

Catamaran trawlers coming of age

Big power catamarans are gaining popularity as long-range cruisers. Their wide beam and narrow hulls make them seaworthy, fuel efficient and stable, with plenty of space on deck and for accommodations.

Nick Harvey, director of boatbuilder Lagoon America, says a power catamaran might get two to three times the fuel economy of a similar-size monohull.

The hull form also eliminates the need for stabilizers, flopper-stoppers and trim tabs, according to Endeavour Catamaran Corp. owner Bob Vincent and others. And the cat’s twin engines, located far apart, alleviate the need for bow and stern thrusters for tight maneuvering, says Rob Poirier, head of sales and marketing at PDQ Yachts.

“All this technology is adding expensive equipment and holes in your boat,” he says.

The motion of the catamaran also is less fatiguing than a monohull, according to twin-hull proponents, saying this adds to the comfort and safety of the skipper and crew.

In addition to the handling and stability characteristics, the large deck is another bonus with catamarans. “A catamaran is just a great entertaining platform,” says Harvey.

Harvey and Poirier both say their companies compete with conventional trawlers and welcome more catamaran builders to the market. “The only resistance I run into is fashion,” says Poirier. “For a lot of people a boat is supposed to look a certain way.”

But Poirier believes the power catamaran is finally coming into its own.

“When you consider what a short time it’s been, it’s amazing where we are,” says Poirier. “Really, it’s been a quick evolution.”

Here are four cruising power cats from 34 to 43 feet.


PDQ has been building its MV/34 Passagemaker for four years, and in that time it has become one of the best-selling cruising power catamarans on the market, according to Poirier.

The MV/34 is capable of handling heavy seas, yet draws just 2 feet, 4 inches, he says. “It’s a boat that’s being used very much in the islands,” says Poirier.

Another popular cruise for MV/34 owners is the Great Circle Route. The relatively square shape of the boat, with no “pointy end,” makes the design perfect for traveling through locks, Poirier says.

The layout calls for a dinette seating six in the pilothouse, a galley in the port hull, a head and wardrobe in the starboard hull, and two cabins with queen-size berths. “These are real queens, you-can-buy-your-sheets-at-Wal-Mart queens,” says Poirier.

An obvious consideration for long-range cruising is fuel economy, and Poirier says the MV/34 burns 3-1/2 to 4 gallons per hour when running 16 mph. “At speed, it’s the most efficient boat on the water,” he says. “There’s nobody going that speed that’s burning that little fuel.”

LOA 34 feet, 6 inches BEAM 16 feet, 10 inches DRAFT 2 feet, 4 inches DISPLACEMENT 12,000 pounds HULL TYPE semidisplacement catamaran TANKAGE 184 gallons fuel, 80 gallons water PERFORMANCE 17 mph cruise STANDARD POWER twin 75-hp Yanmar diesels PRICE $244,900 CONTACT PDQ Yachts, Whitby, Ontario. Phone: (905) 430-2582.

Endeavour TrawlerCat 38

The new TrawlerCat 38 is built with private owners in mind, unlike some cruising power catamarans designed primarily for chartering, says company owner Vincent.

“The amenities in the 38 are far more suited to the creature comforts of a private yacht,” he says.

The interior has teak trim, a teak-and-holly sole, and a minimum headroom of 6-1/2 feet. The boat also has a full cockpit enclosure with screens standard, according to Endeavour.

A folding dinette table in the saloon converts from the size of a coffee table to that of a dining table for up to nine or 10, according to the company. An entertainment center forward in the saloon, next to the chart table, is designed for a 20-inch television.

The aft section of each hull houses an identical cabin, each with a queen-size berth and hanging locker with drawers beneath. A head and shower is forward in each hull. The starboard hull has storage lockers between its cabin and head, while the galley — equipped with refrigerator, stove, oven and microwave — is in the port hull.

LOA 38 feet, 8 inches BEAM 16 feet DRAFT 2 feet,10 inches DISPLACEMENT 16,000 pounds HULL TYPE semidisplacement catamaran TANKAGE 500 gallons fuel, 115 gallons water PERFORMANCE 21 mph top,17 mph cruise STANDARD POWER twin 240-hp diesels PRICE $345,000 CONTACT Endeavour Catamaran Corp., Clearwater, Fla. Phone: (727) 573-5377. www.

CS Power Cat 42

The Power Cat 42 from CS Yachts has the look of a traditional trawler yacht, with the stability and seakeeping qualities of a catamaran.

“You can keep a bottle of wine on the table and it won’t fall over,” says John Farrow, owner of the Chesapeake Catamaran Center, importer and distributor of the Canadian-built CS line. “More than anything it’s just a more comfortable ride.” (CS is opening a modern facility in Stuart, Fla., to build boats using resin-infusion technology, Farrow says.)

The shoal-draft 42 has a cherry interior, a king-size berth in the forward owner’s cabin, guest cabin in one hull, dedicated workroom in the other hull for the laundry facilities and generator, and two heads.

Engine options range from twin 160-hp diesels to twin 240-hp diesels. Farrow says the economical 42 will run efficiently on one of its engines.

“You’ll still get the 10 knots, but it sips fuel,” he says. “For the penny-pincher, it’s a natural.”

LOA 41 feet, 9 inches BEAM 14 feet, 11 inches DRAFT 2 feet, 10 inches DISPLACEMENT 22,500 pounds HULL TYPE semidisplacement catamaran TANKAGE 400 gallons fuel, 150 gallons water PERFORMANCE not available STANDARD POWER twin 160-hp Volvo-Penta diesels PRICE $439,000 CONTACT Chesapeake Catamaran Center, Annapolis, Md. Phone: (410) 268-3700.,

Lagoon Power 43

The Lagoon Power 43 delivers a level of speed and efficiency learned from the fast-ferry industry, says Lagoon America director Nick Harvey.

Harvey says the Lagoon Power was designed by Philippe Subréro, known for his work with fast passenger-ferry catamarans.

In addition to its performance and efficiency, Harvey says potential buyers are impressed by the cat’s openness and accommodations. The beamy (21 feet) boat has a 10-foot-by-20-foot owner’s cabin located aft, he says. The master stateroom has views to port, starboard and aft. It has a king-size berth, and separate head and shower compartments.

A guest cabin is located forward in each of the cat’s hulls. The Lagoon Power’s vertical ports provide a panoramic view from the saloon. There is also a large forward cockpit and sundeck. Total deck space measures 860 square feet. The trawler also has a full-beam swim platform.

LOA 42 feet, 9 inches BEAM 21 feet, 1 inch DRAFT3 feet, 11 inches DISPLACEMENT 24,693 pounds HULL TYPE semidisplacement catamaran TANKAGE 396 gallons fuel, 198 gallons water PERFORMANCE 28 mph top, 22 mph cruise (with twin 285-hp diesels) STANDARD POWER twin 200-hp Volvo-Penta diesels PRICE $430,000 CONTACT Lagoon America, Annapolis, Md. Phone: (410) 280-2368.