A building wave of big, new multihull boats is sweeping across the offshore angling world. Catamaran fishing boats hailing from manufacturers such as Barker, Calcutta, Insetta, Invincible and World Cat now rival long-established monohull models in the 30- to 50-foot range for bluewater dominance.
What has spurred the trend? While cat-style fishing boats have been around for decades, advances in computer-aided engineering, boat-building materials and powerful new motors have accelerated development of bigger and more capable models. The latest fishing catamarans feature styling, handling and performance that have captured the interest and, in many cases, the boat-buying dollars of today’s offshore anglers.
Some multihull models reach 51 feet in length overall, and most—but not all—of the new fishing catamarans feature a center console layout. A number of the new multihulls are available with outboard or inboard power. Here are five models, presented in alphabetical order, that epitomize this new wave of big catamaran fishing boats.
Barker Boatworks new 40HPFC (High Performance Fishing Catamaran) features a Michael Peters-designed double-stepped multihull. Standard power includes quad Mercury 300 hp Verado V-8 outboards with an Optimus 360 joystick control system. The 40 HPFC is Barker’s first multihull boat and the largest of the brand’s stable of saltwater fishing boats, which also includes 26-foot bay and hybrid models.
Each 40HPFC features 100 percent vinylester resin and composite coring, with the hull, liners, decks and hardtops constructed using vacuum-bagged resin-infusion. The cat is backed by a limited 10-year warranty. Angling features include two 55-gallon livewells (one in the transom and another in the deck) are served by a Hooker Sea Chest with twin 2,500 gph variable speed pumps. Fish boxes forward and amidships, built by Frigid Rigid, provide a combined 664 gallons of insulated storage. Optional dual 65-quart slide-out coolers offer quick access to drinks and provisions. The standard hardtop comes with 15 rod holders, Gemlux outrigger mounts and 22-foot carbon fiber outriggers. Thirty-eight Gemlux rod holders are positioned in the transom, console and covering boards. The 40HPFC also includes four electric reel plugs, lockable rod storage, and saltwater and freshwater washdown systems.
There’s helm seating for three abreast with two side compartments and a rear tackle center in the seating module. A second row of three-passenger seating is an available option, along with a freshwater sink and 12-volt grill. The console incorporates a three-sided tempered glass enclosure and a forward lounge seat.
Garmin electronics and JL Audio packages come standard. Notable options include front-row reclining helm seats and a full-beam removable transom seat with removable backs and foot rests, and a Rebel EZ-5 anchor windlass. Power upgrades include quad Mercury 450R V-8 or quad Verado 600 V-12 outboards. Merc’s 450R outboards produced top speeds in the mid-80 mph range in company testing.
Barker 40HPC Specifications
LOA: 40 ft. 4 in.
Beam: 11 ft. 10 in.
Fuel: 670 gal. standard, 770 gals. optional
Weight: 15,000 lb. (fully rigged)
Max Power: 1,800 hp
At 51 feet of length overall, the Calcutta 480 is impressive for its size alone, not to mention a world-class multihull design. Boasting a super-wide 17-foot beam, it offers a spacious deck with plenty of room for anglers, as well as superb stability while trolling or drifting.
Calcutta custom builds this catamaran to the specifications and needs of each buyer, and offers two interior configurations. One is a diesel inboard-powered express with a fully enclosed bow area and sportfisher-style cabin boasting a roomy helm deck, sleeping berths and enclosed head forward. The other features quad outboard-power and a walk-around deck layout with an enclosed pilot house and cabin.
On the express version of this cat, a pair of 550 hp Cummins diesel inboards linked to Arneson surface drives propel this big cat. On the outboard model, buyers can specify the power such as quad Yamaha 425 XTO engines. A 600-gallon fuel capacity and Calcutta’s efficient multihull design provides extended range.
Calcutta 480 Specifications
LOA: 51 ft.
Beam: 17 ft.
Fuel: 600 gal.
Weight: 31,000 lb. (express with diesel inboards); 25,000 lb. (pilothouse with quad outboards)
Max Power: 1,100 hp (diesel), 1,700 hp (outboard)
Insetta 35 IFC
When Insetta introduced its 35 IFC (internal foil catamaran) amid last year’s pandemic shutdowns, the boat might have missed some of the attention it deserved. While hydrofoils aren’t new, they’ve been rare, particularly among fishing boats. Crafted correctly, foils can improve fuel economy 20 to 40 percent and enhance the ride by creating a dampening effect. Rob Coffey, Insetta’s director of sales and marketing, says the company wanted the 35 IFC to deliver optimal cruise speed and range, which results in less wear and tear on the engines and less fuel burned.
The foil, which lies between the two sponsons, is made from stainless steel and looks like a pair of airplane wings connected by a central strut. The foil’s backing plates are integral to the hull itself. Two smaller stainless-steel fins lie aft of the foil, on the inside face of each sponson.
Another unusual feature: Insetta tilted the outboards inward, toward each other, to ensure that the props on this asymmetrical multihull find enough water to maximize thrust. This cat’s design also allows it to turn like a monohull, leaning inward.
Standard fishing features aboard the 35 include a 156-gallon insulated coffin box, eight bow rod holders (with more aft), twin 30-gallon transom livewells (with an option for a third 70-gallon well beneath the mezzanine seat), three-pump-capacity sea chest, fold-down bait-prep station and tackle storage, and transom bulkhead rocket launchers. With twin Mercury 400 Verados, the 35 IFC topped out at 58.8 mph (5,800 rpm) in our testing. A best mpg reading of 1.73 occurred at 47.3 mph (4,400 rpm). Insetta also offers the 35 with twin 300s, which improves the mpg at cruise to 2 mpg at 42 mph, according to company tests.
Insetta 35 IFC Specifications
LOA: 35 ft.
Beam: 10 ft. 8 in.
Fuel: 490 gal.
Weight: 11,000 lb. (fully rigged)
Max Power: 900 hp
Invincible 46 Cat
The 46 Cat is not only the largest multihull in Invincible’s growing line of offshore fishing catamarans, it is the company’s flagship, eclipsing even the Invincible 42-foot center-console monohull in length and beam. Designed by cat-design specialists Morrelli and Melvin, the 46 rides on a hybrid semi-asymmetrical multihull design that allows it to bank comfortably into turns. A double stepped-hull promotes quick acceleration and lift when powered with quad Mercury 450 Racing outboards. At wide-open throttle, the 46 is capable of 78 mph. The grid-stringer system, vacuum-infused hull, deck and parts result in super-strong and durable construction.
The helm station of this center console cat offers enough room for dual Garmin 24-inch displays. The hardtop is bonded to the console and includes an integrated full-height tempered-glass windshield and side windows. The 46 also features an inward-opening tuna door on the port side and four in-deck fish boxes with 1,334 gallons of total capacity. The custom-built 46 Cat boasts four livewells: two in the deck at 72 gallons each, and two 60-gallon transom wells. A dozen rod holders line the aft edge of the hardtop with 10 more on both sides of the console.
Two rows of helm seating, each with three seats, plus aft-facing mezzanine seating with a large molded cooler beneath, offer plenty of places to kick back while underway. On the forward console, two large lounges with contoured cushions, folding armrests with cup holders and comfortably reclining backs sit atop an insulated coffin-box-style fish box. The roomy console interior is also equipped with a head and sink, and provides access to the electronics, batteries, circuit breakers and other rigging.
Invincible 46 Cat Specifications
LOA: 45 ft. 11 in
Beam: 12 ft.
Fuel: 1,000 gal.
Weight: 20,000 lb. (w/ power)
Max Power: 1,800 hp
World Cat 325CC
World Cat completely retooled its popular 320CC with enhancements such as an improved removable transom seating arrangement, increased insulated storage, and improved styling, then re-badged it as the 325CC. Standard features of this center-console catamaran fishing machine include bow seating with cushioned backrests for six adults; port and starboard insulated 56-gallon fish lockers, and a 26-gallon center fish box. A 45-gallon livewell is served by 1,100 gph magnetic drive pumps. The expansive helm area can accommodate a pair of 16-inch multifunction displays screens.
An available Shadow Series option includes a two-tone hull with any of World Cat’s available colors on the top and standard white on the bottom, a full hardtop, black windshield frame, black-powder-coated motorwell rocket launchers, gray SeaDek helm pad and footrest, black console hatches, and a black Edson wheel.
Other notable options include a bow filler with sun lounge cushion; removable bow table with dedicated storage; transom rod holders (three per side); blue LED underwater lights; manually retractable hardtop shade with Sunbrella canvas in Cadet Gray color; bow shade; outriggers and dual Garmin 8616xsv displays. A beefier new transom allows for a higher horsepower rating than what was available for the 320CC. The World Cat 325CC can handle up to 800 hp.
World Cat 325CC Specifications
LOA: 32 ft. 2 in.
Beam: 10 ft. 6 in.
Fuel: 279 gal (twin 139.5-gal. tanks)
Weight: 10,100 lb. (w/ power)
Max Power: 800 hp