power catamaran reviews

  • Subscribe Now
  • Digital Editions

hero profile

Best power catamarans: 6 of the best models on the market right now

  • Top stories

Power catamarans have become so popular in recent years. Alex Smith talks us through 6 of the most exciting models we've covered in the past 12 months...

With the promise of extra volume stability and running efficiency it’s easy to see why power catamarans have become so popular in recent years.

Established players like Sunreef , Leopard and Lagoon have been joined by new builders like Vandal, Archipelago and Moon Yachts.

Big brands like Prestige have also made them move into twin hulled motorboats in recent years, and the likes of Bluegame and Wider Yachts look set to follow suit.

So with the trend showing no signs of slowing here’s our round-up of some of the most exciting new power catamarans you can buy right now.

Article continues below…

Prestige M48 sea trial review: The smartest multihull on the planet?

Moon power 60 review: is this £3.7m adventure cat the next big thing, 6 of the best power catamarans available right now.


Prestige M48

Prestige’s first ever power catamaran is designed to provide the volume of a 60 footer alongside the running efficiency of a 40 footer, but the way it manages all that onboard space is also quite attractive.

A three-part aft swim platform features a raising central section to help extend the cockpit party out over the water. The foredeck mimics that with freestanding furniture right at the forepeak and between them the saloon includes a big-aft galley, a large port lounge and a compact helm with a handy starboard side door.

From here private stairwells to the forward owner’s cabin and each of the two guest cabins provide plenty of privacy, and the split design of the port ensuite means it works really well as a day head.

In terms of styling the freestanding bow furniture looks a bit odd, and in terms of dynamics the stooping bridge deck does tend to touch down when the swells get beyond a couple of feet.

But if you want an accessible, novice-friendly boat that provides a party platform way out of proportion to its length, the first model in Prestige’s M line has a lot going for it. And if you have the budget, the more recent Prestige M8 is an even more convincing piece of work.

Watch our full sea trial review of the Prestige M48


Moon Power 60

As a modified sailing cat, the Moon Power 60’s beam stands at a massive 53% of its overall length and that has a very clear impact on the inside.

In spite of huge side decks with dual access to the flybridge , the internal saloon occupies an enormous footprint. It’s used for a pair of peripheral seating areas plus a forward door to access a lovely sunken bow lounge.

Visibility from the lower helm is restricted by the big stuts that sit sailboat-style toward the centre of the screen, but performance is pretty impressive: a pair of 3,500L tanks give you a 2,000nm range at 8 knots with a fuel flow of just 3lpm, and if you really want to boost the range there’s plenty of space for extra fuel capacity too.

Up on the flybridge there’s a big symmetrical lounge and a hot tub flanked by sunbeds, and down below the two hulls borrow a bit of inboard space for four ensuite cabins.

The simplistic saloon arrangement, the absence of a day heads, and the sheer masculinity of that styling might prove a bit problematic for some, but if you’re okay with a modified sailing cat, and you’re happy to work with the yard to refine that deck layout, this big imposing long-distance boat is unlike anything else out there.

Watch our full sea trial review of the Moon Power 60


Invincible 33

Invincible is a well-respected American Builder with a strong offshore sports fishing heritage and close links with the US Navy, but it also builds high-performance power catamarans, and this impressive 33-footer is the entry point to that fleet.

It uses quite a narrow beam with asymmetrical chines and spray rails, which enable it to heel into a turn in much the same fashion as a monohull and to ride the chop without spitting clouds of spray over that bow.

Capable of 56 knots with twin 400hp Verado outboards , it can also reportedly achieve cruising economy of just 2.5lpm for a range of around 500nm.

The internal arrangements are also really practical – with high capacity deck drains and an automatic fresh water flushing system for the outboards you can simply hose this boat down after a trip and get on with your day.

The fuss-free fit out includes multiple bait wells as well as lots of drained, insulated lockers that do a great job as ice chests and storage spaces, and the squared off bow provides lots of seating to supplement the big open deck of that half cockpit.

It might be built with fishing in mind, but as a rapid offshore performance machine, this might just be the perfect power catamaran for monohull lovers.

Watch our yacht tour video of the Invincible 33


Archipelago 47

The Archipelago 47 is a seriously good looking boat. Built from aluminum on the Isle of Wight with design input from commercial specialist Chartwell Marine, its low roofline, reverse screen, wide beams, slender forward hulls, and raised bridge deck give it a seriously potent profile, and that’s precisely what this boat is all about.

The idea is to deliver proper long distance offshore performance alongside a handy turn of pace in a homely fit out, and the Archipelago delivers that.

Built from 8mm hull plating with 6mm topsides, this Category A boat is rated to carry 12 people and sleep up to eight people in four cabins.

Reserving one entire hull for the owner’s suite is a really attractive option, but in all cases headroom is great and huge vertical picture windows provide amazing views from bed level.

The saloon features a large galley and lounge, as well as a raised helm with a shut-off partition for night nav. There are still some design tweaks required, particularly at the helm and the aft end, to maximise this boat’s potential, and if you want a flybridge you’ll need to look toward the Archipelago 52 instead, because on this particular boat that’s not an option.

But with space up top for all kinds of expedition friendly tenders, toys, cranes and solar panels, this tough go anywhere power catamaran has plenty going for it.

Watch our full sea trial review of the Archipelago 47


Vandal Explorer

As a foil-assisted, outboard-powered, flybridge equipped, aluminium power catamaran, the Vandal Explorer is certainly not the mainstream choice, but of course it was never designed to be.

Created by Ben Mennem, who wants to enjoy the sun-drenched waters of the Med, in collaboration with Norwegian designer Espen Oeino, who loves outdoor adventures in the Nordic States, it seems to straddle both camps.

It uses a wide open main deck with skeletal bars rather than rigid bulkheads to keep you properly in touch with the sea. There’s also a big aft platform between the Verado XTO outboards, which operates as a passerelle, and thanks to a ladder and rain shower does a great job for watersports too.

Ahead of the cockpit lounge there’s a big transverse galley tucked inside the shelter of the pilothouse structure, and there’s also a raised full-beam bow cabin with a separate incinerator toilet.

It’s a bit noisy on that main deck when you’re underway and the limited two-berth arrangement of the base boat is likely to compel some people to question its overall practicality.

But as a tough and lightweight 40-knot boat with space for 14 people, a cool off-grid aesthetic and all the custom friendly flexibility you could want, its simplicity is actually a really key part of its appeal.

Watch our full sea trial review of the Vandal Explorer


The Aquila 44 is a proper wide-beam cruising cat

Built at Sino Eagle’s 1million sqft facility in China and developed in collaboration with the renowned J&J Design Group, Aquila is a specialist power catamaran builder and that absolutely shows.

Capable of up to 20 knots with the top rated Volvo Penta D4 420s, the Aquila 44 uses bow bulbs for extra waterline length, a softer ride and improved stability at displacement speeds.

But is the way it uses its 21ft beam that really impresses. In the aft cockpit a convivial c-shape dinette sits opposite a fold-out bar at the aft galley.

At the bow a set of steps connects the foredeck lounge directly to the flybridge, which is great for practicality as well as for large partie, and up top a central walkaround helm pod keeps things more sociable and inclusive than on any other boat in this class.

There’s a proper main deck helm too if you want it, plus sleeping for six in three private ensuite cabins, including a brilliant owner’s cabin that occupies the full beam beneath that foredeck.

If you need extra performance and style you could of course look toward the brand’s smaller, narrow-beamed, outboard-powered sport line, but for proper power catamaran lovers this big, cleverly arranged entertainment platform feels exactly right.

Watch our yacht tour video of the Aquila 44

Watch: Galeon 560 Fly sea trial – the best Galeon flybridge you can buy

Cranchi 62 flybridge first look: blurring of boundaries, riva el-iseo: is this the coolest electric boat money can buy, latest videos, watch: galeon 560 fly sea trial - the best galeon flybridge you can buy, bluegame bgm75 sea trial: the €6.8m powercat that thinks its a monohull, cormate chase 32 tour: fast, stylish and practical weekender, axopar 29 sea trial: sun top vs cross cabin – which is best.

  • Email Newsletter
  • Yacht Walkthroughs
  • Destinations
  • Electronics
  • Boating Safety

Yachting Magazine logo

The New Cat Class

  • By Lenny Rudow
  • Updated: February 20, 2020

Lagoon Seventy 8

Power catamarans have always had hardcore fans, and we could all argue for the umpteenth time about whether powercats are better than monohulls. Yawn . The truth is, there’s a relatively small but dedicated group of powercat lovers who will never agree with the monohull crowd. Trying to persuade one or the other to change their minds is akin to locking Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow in a room and saying, “Go.”

A more interesting debate is about what, in any particular catamaran’s design, triggers such dedication. I say particular because one of the great judgmental errors naysayers make is lumping all multihull boats into the same category. Nobody would say all monohulls are alike, yet powercats are often painted with an exceedingly broad brush and then dismissed or embraced on the whole.

Truth be told, whether you’re considering a 40-foot center-console cat with quadruple outboards or an 80-foot cat cruiser with the elegance of a Trumpy, the ability of a designer to take advantage of the twin-hull platform is often the key to the design’s success—or lack thereof.

Amasea 84

Amasea Yachts 84

Invincible 35

Invincible 35

Horizon PC60

Horizon PC60

“The design work on a cat is far more involved than on a monohull,” says Larry Graf, who started off his design career by creating Glacier Bay powercats and, today, designs and builds Aspen Power Catamarans. “With a monohull, you design from the centerline out, then mirror it on the computer and pow —you have a full hull. A typical monohull hull can be done in three to five days. But for a cat, the best shapes are often asymmetric, so each hull has two halves that are not the same.”

And the hull is just the beginning of a cat’s story. Is it easier to design an interior that fits into one hull or into two separate hulls plus a center deck level? That cats have more complexity on the inside is a no-brainer.

However, having the two separate hulls also provides advantages. One is privacy on a level that can’t be matched in any monohull, if a cat’s designer works with the shape of the boat.

McConaghy 59p

McConaghy 59p

World Cat 400DC-X

World Cat 400DC-X

Leopard 53

The key to harnessing this privacy advantage is the ability to separate staterooms not just with thin bulkheads but instead with entire hulls, or at the very least with head compartments and companionways. In part, this ability contributes to the popularity of powercats in the charter market.

Lex Raas—president of charter and special initiatives at MarineMax, which launched the ­Aquila line for charter in 2012 with the Sino Eagle Group—says the Aquila 48 illustrates how privacy can be done right on a catamaran.

“The privacy advantage specifically is that the port hull is a full owner’s cabin,” he says. “There are no shared ­bulkheads. And on the starboard-side, there are two absolutely equal ­cabins with equal heads and showers ­between them. You can take two couples with you, and nobody feels that they’re getting the short end of the stick.”

The elimination of shared bulkheads increases privacy quite a bit on that Aquila, but examples become even more stark as you consider larger yachts. One of Sunreef’s newest offerings, the 80 Sunreef Power, for ­example, can have six staterooms—all separated by full heads or companionways, with no two staterooms sharing a common bulkhead.

Fountaine Pajot MY 40

Fountaine Pajot MY 40

Corona 85

Silent-Yachts 55

The ability to have more staterooms that are more private is in large part a function of beam on a cat, designers say.

“Beam is gained for the whole length of the boat, and the cross-deck provides a huge space,” says Mathias Maurios, a naval architect at VPLP Design in Paris, a firm known for designing twin-hulled yachts. “And while, yes, the individual hulls are narrower than a single monohull body, on the whole, usable space is larger than with a monohull. The width allows for more of the valuable interior and deck space.”

Maurios points to the Lagoon Seventy 8 as an example. “The staterooms are the size of the cabins in a much larger motoryacht,” he says.

The other big advantages many cats can claim relate to seakeeping, speed and efficiency. Again, no two powercats are alike, but a close look at specific models is illuminating. As we reported in Yachting ’s review of the Lagoon Seventy 8, for example, at a 10-knot cruise, the boat has 4,000 nautical-mile transatlantic range—a boast that few engine-driven yachts of the same length overall can make. Smaller cats can also have extreme ranges for their size; consider that the Fountaine Pajot MY 44 can reportedly cruise more than 1,000 ­nautical miles between pit stops.

“Speed, stability and comfort are the prime words illustrating catamarans,” Maurios says, “and we’ve always believed that multihulls are ideal.”

Aquila 70

Lagoon Sixty 7

When ­designed for speed instead of efficiency, cats enjoy a different sort of advantage. Consider the Freeman 42LR, a quad-engine, ­62-knot center-console. That boat gets close to 1 nmpg when cruising at just under 50 knots. And because the vessel has a compression tunnel—air gets compressed between the hulls at high speed, ­creating a cushion that softens the blows when striking waves—it can maintain that pace in conditions that would make most monohulls rather uncomfortable, to say the least.

What about those disadvantages the cat haters often point to? The unusual handling characteristics, the need for wider slips to match wider beams, the nontraditional looks and higher initial cost—sure, there are trade-offs. Then again, every vessel has some level of compromise.

So, let the pundit debates rage on. But remember: Power catamarans are just as different and distinct from one to the next as monohulls are, and smart design is the key to harnessing the advantages of the form.

  • More: Catamarans , January 2020 , Power Catamarans , Yacht Reviews , Yachts
  • More Yachts

Winter Custom Yachts 46

Winter Custom Yachts 46 Reviewed

Bering 92

Bering Yachts Showcases Exploration

Merritt 88 Skybridge

Merritt 88 Skybridge Reviewed

Tankoa T580 Diamond Binta

Tankoa Launches “Diamond Binta”

Prestige 460S Lucky One

For Sale: Prestige Yachts 460S

Winter Custom Yachts 46

For Sale: 94-foot Rybovich Sportfisherman

Bering 92

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Email Newsletters
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding