Power Catamaran fans, rejoice: there are several new options for you to investigate this year, including the World Cat 295 DC, the Aspen 32 C100, and the Fountaine Pajot Summerland 40. These are very different boats—just about the only thing they have in common is the basic powercat twin-hull DNA—but a different one we’d bet you haven’t heard of yet is the all-new ArrowCat Express 32. This isn’t just a new model, it’s also a relatively new builder, with only about six years in the marketplace. But in those six short years they’ve gone from offering a 30-footer, to a pair of 30’ models, to a pair of 30’s and a pair of 42’s, and now the Express 32, as well. So if you like power catamarans, you’re going to want to check this one out.
When I got to climb aboard the ArrowCat at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show (watch the ArrowCat 32 First Look Video we shot at the show), the first thing I wanted to examine closely was its build quality. Although the design (including the lamination schedule) was developed in New Zealand, and finish work is done in Everett, Washington, the hull is laid up in China, which raises some obvious build-quality questions. Fortunately, however, I didn’t see the red flags I was worried about. Yeah, the cockpit table was a bit wobbly and the plastic hatches in the cockpit didn’t thrill me, but major components were all solid. And the fact of the matter is that the same hatches and table pedestals will be found on most boats built in the US of A, because ArrowCat makes a point out of using American and European parts. Gel coat is Ashland, power packs are AGM, canvass is Sunbrella, the settee is Ultra-Leather, and so on. Note: as of the 2013 model year, ArrowCats are also NMMA certified.
In fact, a few of the construction touches are downright sweet, including multiple watertight compartments in the hulls, foam-filled belowdecks voids, and the use of tinned-copper wiring harnesses, for example. But what’s really impressive about this model is the design from the aft bulkhead forward. The main cabin is about what you’d expect from a boat of this size, with an L-shaped settee aft running up the port side, and a small but sufficient galley to starboard. But look forward from here, and instead of seeing a cabin entry on one side and the helm or the other, a common layout for express powercats of this size, you’ll see a center helm with separate cabin entrances on either side.
That’s because the port side enclosure houses the head forward, while the starboard entrance takes you into a stateroom which utilizes the center section of the forward cabin for a queen berth. I like this arrangement better than the cat staterooms which combine both areas and always feel like they have a weird hump in the middle, where the cat’s tunnel is. What I like even more is the way ArrowCat carves out berth areas into each hull aft of the cabin entry, too, so the boat has accommodations for four. Truth be told one of those aft berths will probably become a bulk stowage area in the real world (hint to ArrowCat: offer some rodracks and tackle drawers), but no matter how you choose to utilize that space, it’s great to have the options.
Fishing-wise, the ArrowCat has room for four anglers to comfortable cast from the cockpit, and it can be optioned-up with plenty of rocket launchers on the hard top and aft rodholders on the rails. The center cockpit transom unit provides an obvious opportunity to add a livewell. There’s an integrated fishbox option with a macerator pump; a diaphragm would be even better.
|Fuel capacity||152 gal.|
|Water capacity||46 gal.|
The ArrowCat 32 I checked out at Lauderdale sported a pair of 250-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboards, which should provide a cruise in the mid to upper 30’s and a top-end nearing 50. Of course, with max power it’s also max price, and in this case, that pushes a quarter mil (the boat show price tag read $239,441). Go for smaller powerplants and you can push the numbers down a bit. In either case, this is about par for the course in this class of powercat. And remember—there aren’t many to choose from. So for real power catamaran lovers, discovering the ArrowCat for the first time is sure to be a thrill.
Other Choices: Remember, cat choices in this class are quite limited. The Aspen 32 C100 is comparable by size, but beyond that these boats are completely different. You might also want to check out the World Cat 320 EC, though this is also a very different boat.
View ArrowCat listings.
For more information, visit ArrowCat.