The power-driven catamaran market can feel a bit niche at times, but multihulls can have plenty of advantages. In a world awash with cool, credible monohulls, it sometimes seems that all the power cat fan gets are ambitious design projects that never see the light of day as anything but scale models at posh boat shows - but for those with the inclination to investigate the cat world seriously, the potential rewards are striking. Stability, space, ride softness and running efficiency are of course chief among the catamaran’s inherent assets; as are visibility, manoevrability and, on smaller cats with dual systems, security. And with everything from nippy little 18-footers to monstrous liveaboard 70-foot expedition vessels, the variety open to the cat fan is now much broader than you might think.

Lagoon My 630

The MY 630 marks a fine return to the power-driven market for Lagoon.

Lagoon Motoryachts MY630

This is the model that marked the return of Lagoon motoryachts after an enforced absence to make way for expansion in the sailing part of the business. Aptly then, it is based squarely on a very successful sailing cat, with tweaked hulls to cater for the increased aft weight of the engines. It still feels a bit like an adapted sailboat, but it’s massive space, lovely fit-out, generous cabin options and first-class master suite put it right back up at the forefront of the powercat race.

Flash Cat 74SC

The internal volume of the Flash Cat 74SC is huge.

Flash Cat 74SC

As an established builder of sail and power cats from around 40 to 80 feet in length, Flash Cats has taken a bold step with the 74SC. Despite the existence of a range-topping 75, this outlandish looking 74-footer uses a full-beam main deck structure that eradicates the side walkways altogether, helping to create enormous internal volume. The Fly deck is also a fully covered space, housing the galley, dining room and lounge – and the absence of a helm station on the main deck frees up even more space for anything between four and six cabins. If you can handle the style, it’s full of merit.

Stealth 540

The monohull-style, hydrofoil-equipped Stealth 540 is capable of 50 knots.

Stealth Yachts 540 Fly

On the face of it, a relatively narrow beam of just 18 feet would appear to represent the voluntary abandonment of many of the key benefits of traditional catamaran design. But this monohull-style cat uses a proprietary Hysucat hydrofoil to increase efficiency and generate 50-knot performance from its 800hp MAN Common Rail diesels and Integrated Surface Drives. However, it still manages to offer the space of a 70-foot monohull with three full staterooms, a flybridge for 12, very decent side decks and a central walk-through to link the bow and the big aft cockpit.

Powercat Sunreef 40

Sunreef's 40-footer is a fine high-performance Mediterranean leisure platform

Sunreef Yachts

Sunreef does power cats from 60 to 150 feet and ‘conceptual’ trimarans beyond the 200-foot mark. All of them come in ‘Custom’ or ‘Semi-Custom’ form, but the most exciting boat in the fleet is arguably the smallest. The new 40 is Sunreef’s first open foiling catamaran and the multihull take on the day cruiser concept generates huge lounging space from bow to stern, alongside plenty of user-friendly stability both underway and at rest. Two lateral fold-out platforms help supplement the space and multiple engine options bring the prospect of radical 60-knot performance.

Foutaine Pajot MY44 powercat

The Foutaine Pajot MY44 scooped top prize in its class at the European Powerboat of the Year Awards.

Fountaine Pajot MY44

Designed by Pierangelo Andreani to offer the internal space and comfort of a second home, this power cat also maximises the value of its outdoor areas with the option of a pool up on the flybridge, plus a main deck galley that opens directly onto the aft cockpit. Down below, you get two ensuite guest rooms to starboard and a spacious private apartment to port, with the option of a fourth cabin. True, in the context of the luxury cat market, it looks a touch pedestrian but, having scooped the top prize in its category for European Boat of the Year, it’s plainly a boat that works.

Privilege Furio 6 powercat

The Privilege Furio 6 is available in Sport and Cruiser variants.

Privilege Marine Furio 6

One of only two powered craft in the Privilege fleet, the Furio 6 is a long-distance cat with 6,000-litre tanks and strikingly fresh aesthetics. According to Naval Architect, Marc Lombard, the aim was to circumvent the traditional trawler-style approach and to generate a bonafide motoryacht rather than a sailing cat adapted for power. The result is a 63-footer with plenty of scope for internal customisation in two base forms - an efficient Crusing model and a Sport model, capable of hitting 27 knots.

Hysucat powercat

Hysucat's hydrofoil-assisted cat concept is in its element as a Centre Console fast fisher.

Hysucat 25 CC

Hysucat’s new 25-foot Centre Console model is a serious saltwater machine. It comes with the company’s famous hydrofoil system for increased efficiency and useful ride damping underway, allied to a long-distance 600-litre fuel tank and seating for ten. While the company also does a couple of RIBs, the design is in its element as a rapid (53-knot) centre console fisher - and if you like the concept and you’ve got the budget, there’s also a 30-foot centre console model with just a little bit more of everything.

Trawlercat TMD 65

The Trawlercat TMD 65 comes in either Cruiser or Expedition formats.

Trawlercat Marine 65

With its 28-foot beam and its upright trawler-style structures, the Triple Deck 65 is as traditional as a long-distance power cat gets. Built by a company with a strong heritage in robust workboats for the wind farm industry, the 65 is nonetheless designed to offer internal space akin to that of a 100-foot monohull. And in addition to the Expedition variant (pictured) with its forward rake to the upper deck pilothouse windscreen, you also get the option of an uprated 2,800-litre fuel tank for a claimed cruising range of 4,500 nautical miles.

Cheetah powercat

Cheetah can do stealthy and recreational too if that's what you want.

Cheetah 11.2

While Cheetah is best known for its commercial workboats, the 11.2 is proof that it can also turn its hand to leisure. Designed as a larger, liveaboard style cat with additional refinements, it features deep, high-volume, semi-symmetrical planing hulls, with an open plan wheelhouse in a choice of lengths, plus a flybridge with dual control options. This particular variant, built for a keen fisherman in France, uses the sports fishing walkaround cab, with a large bow space for easy casting and twin Yamaha 250hp outboards for 42-knot performance. If you enjoy the idea of commercial underpinnings with the design flexibility of a custom leisure boat, it’s a real tempter.

Oxygene Air 77 powercat

The remarkable Oxygene Air 77 is all about openness, lightfootedness and efficiency.

Oxygene AIR 77

If the AIR 77sounds ethereally green, that’s because it is. Built by Canadian company, Oxygene, this is a lightweight, broad-beamed catamaran which, with nothing more than a pair of 260hp engines will hit a top end of 20 knots and achieve fuel economy of little more than 40 litres per hour at 12 knots. It also offers 280 square metres of internal space, with a 360-degree view through the Plexiglas superstructure and a 65 square metre saloon. With its bold departure from the tough-guy, expedition-style approach, it feels every bit as “modern, refined and peaceful” as it was supposed to be.

Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.