Nor-Tech 3600 Supercat: Powerboat Performance Report
Nor-Tech 3600 Supercat: Custom cat is built to dazzle.
Guests of the hotel at our Sanibel Island, Fla., test site for the 2004 Performance Trials fell into two distinct camps when it came to the Nor-Tech 3600 Supercat. Those of the gearhead persuasion thought the 2,000-hp catamaran was simply amazing. Those with sensitive ears and zero interest in high-performance machines found it purely annoying.
No doubt about it, the 3600 Supercat was loud, and buyers who’d like to avoid noise tickets—and preserve their hearing—would do well to equip it with good mufflers. But the 36-footer, the smallest model Nor-Tech offers, also was a meticulously constructed, 140-plus-mph rocket with great handling manners and a soft ride in rough water.
A true tunnel boat without a center pod, the 3600 Supercat had six steps in each sponson. Multiple strakes that began on the forward- most running surface gave way to a single strake that continued all the way to the catamaran’s stern. Chines were roughly 3 inches wide, and flat.
Mercury Racing No. 6 dry-sump drives with 1.24:1 reductions and Huber Kryptonite transmissions handled the power from the boat’s twin engines. Though Nor-Tech offers engines from other companies—twin Mercury Racing HP525EFIs are base power—the builder has its own in-house engine program. Based on tall-deck GM blocks, the power plants in our test boat were equipped with Blower Shop 14-71 superchargers with intercoolers and CMI straight dry tailpipes exiting the transom.
The builder estimated the boat would hit 145 mph, and it came mighty close with its 143.2-mph top end. Better still was how the catamaran felt at that speed—connected and stable. The cat felt nowhere near the edge of its performance range, though it’s worth noting, that such speeds need to be approached with deep respect.
The 3600 Supercat’s tall Hering 17″ x 37″ and high gears cost it a bit in the acceleration department. Time to plane was a decent 5.8 seconds with its trim tabs down, but in 20 seconds the cat reached only 58 mph from a standing start. Midrange punch was more engaging since the boat ran from 30 to 50 mph in 5.2 seconds and from 40 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. Acceleration was strong above 100 mph, where the cat came very much to life.
A little negative tab trim was necessary to keep the 3600 Supercat settled in middle speeds. Otherwise, at least on flat water, no tab input was required. Handling was uniformly excellent. In an impressive display, the boat carved wide turns, to the right and left, at 110 mph.
A customer’s boat called Perfect Storm, the 3600 Supercat was painted by The Art of Design. The renowned Elkhart, Ind., shop did a breathtaking job on the 36-footer by laying down a storm-themed graphics package over equally breathtaking mold work protected by a stainless-steel rubrail.
Solid throughout, the catamaran was laid up with fiberglass, Kevlar and vinylester in the bottom. Divinycell coring strengthened the hullsides and deck, which were fiberglassed together around the entire perimeter of the boat. Foam-cored stringers and bulkheads were encapsulated in fiberglass.
In addition to Accon Pop-Up cleats, Accon Pull-Up navigation lights and push-pin fender connectors, the cat had some cool custom goodies. An automotive-style rear-view mirror was mounted on each side of the windshield. A center-mounted, custom-fabricated brace doubled as a mounting spot for the 180-mph Livorsi GPS speedometer.
Nor-Tech divided the engine hatch into two sections, each with its own scoop, which raised and lowered on electric screw jacks. Rigging was race quality, starting with the solid-plate mounting systems for the engines. Cables, wiring and plumbing were supported by stainless cushion clamps, and diamond plate was mounted on the side of each engine.
The 3600 Supercat can be ordered with or without a cabin and head locker, depending on a buyer’s preference. Our test boat came in the former configuration and the use of space could not have been better.
The cabin and head locker were closed off from the cockpit by hinged three-piece vinyl-and-acrylic doors with a gas strut supporting the top lid section and rubber-strap latches. The cabin was on the port side of the boat, and the builder cleverly created a lounge in the sponson and a long rectangular berth above the tunnel. Several spotlights were installed to illuminate this straightforward, yet functional space.
Large enough to be used as a changing room, the head locker was on the starboard side of the boat. It included a portable head, a sink with a pull-out faucet and a mirror.
Definitely set up with the hard-charging poker run crowd in mind, the cockpit had a three-person bolster-style bench, with a wraparound seat and a grab handle for each passenger, a pair of fore-and-aft adjustable high-back bucket seats for the driver and co-pilot and snap-in carpet on the sole. Bench passengers won’t have to guess at speed, thanks to a Livorsi speedometer mounted in the back of podium between the buckets seats.
That podium also was home to the Livorsi throttles and shifters. Although the steering wheel was on the port side of the dash, the starboard-side dash was equipped with a wheel hub. That meant the boat could be driven from either side or operated by two people—one steering and one throttling.
Stout construction and riveting performance place Nor-Tech’s 3600 Supercat in the upper echelon of custom-made, high-performance catamarans. You won’t sneak up on too many folks in this cat—unless you invest in good mufflers—but you will blow right by them.
Hull and Propulsion Information
|Deadrise at transom||NA|
|Hull weight||9,200 pounds|
|Engines||(2) Nor-Tech 1000|
|Lower-unit gear ratio||1.24:1|
|Propellers||Hering 17″ x 37″|
|Price as tested||$616,275|
Options on Test Boat
Upgrade to twin Nor-Tech 1000 engines with Mercury No. 6 drives ($238,550), The Art of Design graphics ($50,000), Tiger Performance intercom ($3,800), Mercury 280S K-Planes ($2,000), dual helms ($1,700), STD-Horizon GPS 170C ($1,250), sea strainers ($840), freshwater flush ($790), dual power steering ($695), 20-amp battery charger ($675), start buttons ($275) and removable wheel ($250).
|Location||Fort Myers Fla.|
|Wind speed||1-3 mph|
|Sea conditions||1′ chop|
|5 seconds||18 mph|
|10 seconds||32 mph|
|15 seconds||50 mph|
|20 seconds||58 mph|
|30-50 mph||5.2 seconds|
|40-60 mph||6.3 seconds|
|40-70 mph||9.1 seconds|
Rpm vs. Mph
|Radar||142.3 mph at 5700 rpm|
|Nordskog Performance Products GPS143.2 mph at 5700 rpm|
|Time to plane||5.8 seconds|
|Minimum planing speed||20 mph|
For More Information
Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats
7941 Mercantile St.
North Fort Myers, FL 33917