Thinking of making the switch to Cat -Thoughts? - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:38 am
Hello all - Currently I have a 239fs Key West. Love the boat and have enjoyed it but.... Looking for something with more open fishing room and a better ride.

I have been looking at Cats for a while now. I have never ridden on one but from everything I read, it sounds like what I am looking for. I found a Twin Vee 260se for a pretty good price and am debating putting up the Key West for sale and heading that direction. From everything I have read, there is quite a bit of getting used to but once you do, it's ride in rough seas, performance and fuel efficiency is tough to beat in the same length monohull.

I will be looking to take a ride on one (if you know anyone who has one, I'll gladly pay) before doing this of course but figured I would ask some opinions on here first.

A couple key things for me.... Twin fuel tanks, plane on one engine, beam runs all the way to front, open rear and of course, better ride....

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spanishking
Posts: 163
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:41 am
My dad has a cat and I'd be happy to answer any questions. My twin vee does plane on one engine just fine. We had to do it once and came home at 25 mph. You can ignore small choppy waves to a point. I'm still mastering the art of trimming the boat and handling but I'm also not a highly experienced skipper. I typically run lines, bait hooks, and gaff fish. The twin vees fish great, high and wide gunnels are nice and a lot of room in the back.  
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DOGKILLR
Posts: 1114
Location: Mooresville, NC and Harkers Island
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:48 am
Have owned two, a Seacat SL5C and a Ameracat 27. The Seacat has a semi-displacement hull the Ameracat more of a planning hull like the twin vee. The seacat had a softer ride, but was a little harder to handle as she would bow steer. The Ameracat was a good ride but not as soft as the seacat, but easier to handle in any seas. Since the tunnel wasn't as high as the seacat you will feel some hull slap and shuddering at lower speeds. The Ameracat was a noticeably better on fuel with twin 175 suzukis and would easily plane on one engine and run on one engine nearly 30 mph. The Ameracat was fully composite, so no worries with rot, not so sure about the Twin vees. I know they have had problems in the past with it. Ameracat is now making a 25 with a single engine, that would be a great all around sound to sea boat. I actually sold my 27 in September to go to a single engine v-hull, but if I had the money I would of looked into the new 25.

Oh yeah, cat boats can be a bitch to load, you got to be dead nuts to hit the bunks.
  
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wavescrash
Posts: 3671
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:45 pm
I don't know much about Twin Vees, but the modern cats like Freeman/Prowler/Calcutta are badass and I'd choose them over anything except maybe an Onslow Bay.

Cayo down in Florida is working on a 26 hybrid (bay/offshore) that looks bad ass but they are just now finishing hull #1 so no real world experience with a fully rigged boat yet.
  
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DOGKILLR
Posts: 1114
Location: Mooresville, NC and Harkers Island
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm
wavescrash wrote:
I don't know much about Twin Vees, but the modern cats like Freeman/Prowler/Calcutta are badass and I'd choose them over anything except maybe an Onslow Bay.

Cayo down in Florida is working on a 26 hybrid (bay/offshore) that looks bad ass but they are just now finishing hull #1 so no real world experience with a fully rigged boat yet.


Yep , never heard anything but good stuff on those three....pricey but that comes with the territory.
  
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Kato
Posts: 110
Location: Onslow County, NC
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:54 pm
Every hull has it's pros and cons but you not find a better ride than a cat. Take a couple out for a sea trial and see for yourself. I was set to buy a cat last year and was going back and forth between WorldCat and Twin Vee. I ended up getting a mono hull only because of $.
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fishing-misfit
Posts: 74
Location: Hampstead NC
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:25 am
Tideline Boats in Edenton NC builds some nice cats, per reviews. I was going from a 21' skiff last Fall to a bay boat, thought very hard about the Tideline 235 Hybrid which drafts 14", similar to average large bay boat. I decided on a 24' bay boat, mainly because I fish alone on a regular basis and the bay boat will be easier to handle. Think they have larger models, cool boats. I have been on a couple power cats, would defiantly lean that way if I was a offshore stream guy.
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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:36 am
Thanks all!!! I'm an offshore only guy. Backwater is too much like freshwater to me.

I've seen the talk about loading it back on trailer. Is it truly that much more of a pain? I fish alone quite often.
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Timorjc
Posts: 989
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:49 am
There were quite a few Twin Vees that had water intrusion issues where water would get into the hulls and you could never get it out. Do a search on THT or other sites. I know personally of one 26 that gained about 800# of water weight and eventually cost the owners over $8k to have it resolved. Not all of them are bad. Certain years and models IIRC. Spend the $ for a quality marine survey on any boat purchased used.  
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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:22 am
Timorjc wrote:
There were quite a few Twin Vees that had water intrusion issues where water would get into the hulls and you could never get it out. Do a search on THT or other sites. I know personally of one 26 that gained about 800# of water weight and eventually cost the owners over $8k to have it resolved. Not all of them are bad. Certain years and models IIRC. Spend the $ for a quality marine survey on any boat purchased used.


I've read the same about them in the past. Supposedly they have changed all their QC and workmanship since the new owner took over. I have not seen much in the way of bad reviews on the new ones.

It's a difficult decision. Either way I am moving up from my 239 to something a little more offshore capable and more room... Just have to decide what and how much I can afford.
  
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DOGKILLR
Posts: 1114
Location: Mooresville, NC and Harkers Island
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:42 pm
wampler24 wrote:
Thanks all!!! I'm an offshore only guy. Backwater is too much like freshwater to me.

I've seen the talk about loading it back on trailer. Is it truly that much more of a pain? I fish alone quite often.


Loading can be a chore, especially by yourself. One reason I got rid of mine was that it was sorta hard for me and my fiancťe to handle by ourselves, especially in the wind. If you load in any kind of current, it's going to be a bitch. It's not like pointing a v hull to the center and letting it "right" itself when it hits the bunks. It takes a little more patience and is a learning process.
  
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SEAHORSE
Posts: 1151
Location: Carolina Beach
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:09 pm
Cats excel in short close chop which is kind of the majority of our seas here in NC. Same running to the oil rigs in Louisiana and thatís why Freeman Cats are so popular.
Iím not bashing the, and only hear amazing reports from guys who have fished a Freeman. Things I do know are very difficult to life with a fork lift unless you have a special cradle . As mentioned hard to trailer load.
Difficult to wire or rig anything in the hulls because of distance to center helm from pontoons.
Run fast on smaller engines so fuel savings is great. Like any hull design if it was like inventing the wheel everyone would buy it. I do know in super fast offshore racing boats Certain sea conditions they blow away the skinny deep V boats and other days depending on sea conditions they suck. Seems very popular in Australia. Iíd be doing a google search to try and find out why.
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SEAHORSE
Posts: 1151
Location: Carolina Beach
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:12 pm
Cats excel in short close chop which is kind of the majority of our seas here in NC. Same running to the oil rigs in Louisiana and thatís why Freeman Cats are so popular.
Iím not bashing the, and only hear amazing reports from guys who have fished a Freeman. Things I do know are very difficult to life with a fork lift unless you have a special cradle . As mentioned hard to trailer load.
Difficult to wire or rig anything in the hulls because of distance to center helm from pontoons.
Run fast on smaller engines so fuel savings is great. Like any hull design if it was like inventing the wheel everyone would buy it. I do know in super fast offshore racing boats Certain sea conditions they blow away the skinny deep V boats and other days depending on sea conditions they suck. Seems very popular in Australia. Iíd be doing a google search to try and find out why.
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Lunchmoney
Posts: 238
Location: Huntersville
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:19 pm
We have dogkiller's SeaCat now. I've launched and hauled her solo many times without issue so don't let that hold you up. Strong crosswind or current can increase the level of difficulty but your approach speed and how far down you back the trailer are the keys. Ours doesn't do so well in a head sea and a big following quartering sea is a trick to operate in but aside from that it performs very well. It'll eat up a chop. I'd be happy to take you out for a spin if I can ever get back down east. Boat is stored in Otway, launch out of Harkers or Davis.  
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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:51 pm
Lunchmoney wrote:
We have dogkiller's SeaCat now. I've launched and hauled her solo many times without issue so don't let that hold you up. Strong crosswind or current can increase the level of difficulty but your approach speed and how far down you back the trailer are the keys. Ours doesn't do so well in a head sea and a big following quartering sea is a trick to operate in but aside from that it performs very well. It'll eat up a chop. I'd be happy to take you out for a spin if I can ever get back down east. Boat is stored in Otway, launch out of Harkers or Davis.


If I am ever that way, I will give you a shout! Thank you for everyone's input. I am still on the fence but will take some time to sell mine anyway so I am continuing my research. The main reason I am looking for something is to increase my fishable days. The choppy seas common around OKI keep me on the dirt more often then I would like. I see other larger boats heading out while I stand on shore and dream. I see the Twin Vee 260se can be gotten for under 100K new so that is what really peaked my interest. That and I won't need a bigger truck to haul it to the ramp and back. Through my countless hours of research, I am finding the cons are having a lot to do with learning the habits of a cat in different sea conditions and once you know the boat and how to control, they can be overcome.....

Still debating but really appreciate the input from everyone. Now to get mine on the market because either way, I am changing directions on the boat. The Key west is AWESOME for everyday general fishing/family use but I am looking to move more towards fishing only.
  
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spearjim
Posts: 71
Location: N.Raleigh NC
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Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:38 am
The older worldcat's are built like a tank. Here is a video.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtBiHnP6oSI
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wiper
Posts: 28
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Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:07 pm
Since you may not have the inclination or stamina to read all the below, Iím very happy to take you out on my boat. Like the other gent, I too am out of harkers so you could ride two cats.

My TV is great for nearshore wreck etc bottom fishing. Itís not a great offshore boat (see comments below), but pick your days, and it is a good as many. Iíve made numerous offshore trips, but if things turned really ugly, Iíd rather be in a boat with a covered bow that sheds water when a wave breaks.

I have a 2007 twin vee 26 with 150 Suzuki engines. Like you, I did my research at the time. Some background/caveats before I get started: 1. most of my info is now 12 years old, 2. I have 1300 hours on my twin vee, but limited experience on other similar sized boats: about 27 hours on a 27 albermarle; a couple of trips on a 27 or 29 contender, a 28 or so regulator, a couple of trips on other 31-32 feet deep V monohulls (seacraft and fountain); 3. Sea conditions vary so much, itís next to impossible to get perfect comparisons between boats; 4. These are my thoughts/opinions and nothing more; 5. My search at the time primarily focused on the world cat, twinvee, procat and Renasaince Prowler. Currently, there are other options that I would have to consider, but have little information on them.

I rode a procat, and I didnít like the ride or the layout as much as the prowler or twinvee. I didnít ride a worldcat because I couldnít afford the 33, thought the 23 was a tad too small, and was less interested in the 26/27 as described below. The Prowler had/has a great reputation, and I actually looked at and rode a 24í. I liked it a lot, and at the time I felt like the quality was better than the twin vee, but was more expensive and few used ones around. It did not have as much fishing room behind the console as the twin vee. I swore I would not buy a boat with wood in it, but rode a 26 TV cat while on a trip in the Philippines, and I liked it a lot. A couple more test rides under tough conditions, and I was sold. The combo of the ride and price point at the time sold me so I ignored the woodÖÖ..maybe Iíll regret that.

In general, cats are displacement, planning or semiplaning (in between). The bow steering issue that can be un-nerving, particularly noticeable in following seas, is most pronounced with displacement hulls. The ďheightĒ and/or design of the sponsons affects the handling as does the length to width ratio of a cat. A narrow, long cat with tall sponsons would be the worst. The twin vee has shallow sponsons and designed to semiplane and has the necessary width, therefore bow steering isnít much of an issue. I understand that the 33 world cat and the 23 world cat (some term a bulldog) have the right length to width and perform well. My understanding is the 26 or 27 (not sure of exact length) had the width of the 23 and was more prone to bow steering issues. At the time, the best ride in most of the world cats was with the motors trimmed to just before ventilation/cavitation. That is not the case with the TV. I would yield to spearjim who has real world experience with the 26 WCÖÖ.mine is hearsay.

Pros:
the 26 TV has a good amount of fishing room behind the console, and more than many similar or larger monohulls. They can do that because the ride is pretty good so donít have to put the console as far back as some manufactures do.
The boat eats up a 2-3 foot chop, loves a quartering, confused and following sea. I truly believe the 26 tv rides as good as any of the afore mentioned bigger boats in these sea conditions. It doesnít like a big head sea any more than any boat. That is negated a bit with a light load as may be true with any boat. The higher she gets up on top, the better the ride. Unfortunately, sheís generally loaded when going offshore, and my 2007 wasnít really designed for the HEAVY 150 four strokes (4 strokes today are lighter). I like the power of the 150s, but the weight of those older motors is a negative for ride quality.

The boat is quite dry and better than many Iíve been on. There is one situation in relatively calm water and a certain wind will bring a light spray from the side into the boat. Also, sneezing (a characteristic of some cats) can bring a little spray in the boatÖ.mostly when trolling in a moderate sea.

Draft is relatively good. I believe that I can run it on plane in 2 to 2.5 feet of water, but I wouldnít swear to that, and Iím not sure how that compares, but think itís better than a comparable sized deep V.

Cons:
wood used in construction (not sure about now and I donít believe I currently have a problem with mine);
not the best fit and finish;
not a lot of storage and no fish box; on the positive side, itís easy enough to put coolers etc. in and theyíre easy to keep clean.
Relatively low bow and with a TV and the bow doesnít rise (cuts into the wave) with a wave as much as a monohull therefore can get water over the bow when trolling in 3-5í seas. I put something on the bow of my boat to deflect the water more. This was much more of a problem with earlier 26 twinvees, but they raised the bow and gunnels a few years before I got mine. This is not an issue when running as the boat gets up high and overcomes that issue. Also, anchoring in a in a heavy sea would not be advisable, particularly with the older TVs.
A little hull slap and shuddering at slow speeds as mentioned by dogkiller. Maybe the TV and americat are similar designsÖ..not sure.
Sneezing as mentioned above, but itís not that much of a problem.
At high speed (40 or above) in calm sound, it can lean to one side an dig in a bit, not terrible, but youíll let off the throttleÖha.

Neutral:
(some may view as cons, but they donít bother me): itís a utilitarian boat; pretty is in the eye of the beholder and I could care less, but many donít like the looks of a TV or any cat.
As far as fuel efficient, I donít believe my boat is any more fuel efficient than any others. It gets about 2mpg I believe, and it will run just north of 40 mph and cruises at about 27. It is not a speed demon.

Bottom line is this isnít my dream boat (and I will never afford a 30í+ freeman), but for my fishing purposes and affordability, I donít believe I could have selected a better boat.

Oh, some have mentioned loading on the trailer as problematic. I donít have to worry about that much now (on a lift), but I used to trailer it often to various ramps, and I fish alone more than with someone, and I donít recall loading on the trailer being that much of an issue. You have two motors spaced way apart, so gain a lot of control that way. Maybe I am just too ignorant to realize I was having trouble. I would take the word of several of my word. I can turn the boat around in about the length of the boat. Loading my jet boat is a different story.

My TV will plane with one engine, but the strain is noticeable. Iíve run it that way for 4 or 5 miles at about 25mph as spanisking mentioned, but not sure Iíd want to do that for a long time.

Even though there are advantages with 2 motors (the handling mentioned above and redundancy when offshore), Iíd probably prefer the upkeep and cost savings of a single engine now that they pack 300 plus horses in a single motor. HOWEVER, although tried by several cat makers, there were almost always ventilation/cavitation issues. Maybe some have now overcome that issue, but you should definitely ride in one and make sure that isnít an issue.
  
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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:45 pm
Thanks spearjim for that excellent write up! I've been back and forward a thousand times in my head with it. I'm going to.be posting my boat soon and once it sells I'll be quick to shoot you a message to take you up on the ride offer. I feel like a Cat will suit my needs pretty well and give me the room I am looking for. My main concern I am looking for is deck space to move around. I want a large rear cockpit since that is where most of the fun happens.i dont go out on really rough days anyway so if it can eat up chop, that would make me happy enough. My current boat does decent but it makes it quite bumpy. A little uncomfortable for my dad with bad knees.
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lwr37
Posts: 2589
Location: Wilmington
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:31 am
I'm going to give you some advice. Do with it as you please. Whatever you decide to buy add 5' to it and buy that! I've fished a Prowler quite a few times and I like it. I've fished on a ton of 23'-27' mono hulls. From Sea Fox's to Onslow Bays. Everyone of them catches fish. BUT, when I fished a 31' contender I was ruin. Nothing makes up for the length. If the weather holds we are headed to Venice next weekend. I'll let you know how a 42' Freeman rides...

As Prowler Steve would say, "That's a smooth riding cat".
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wavescrash
Posts: 3671
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:51 am
lwr37 wrote:
I'm going to give you some advice. Do with it as you please. Whatever you decide to buy add 5' to it and buy that! I've fished a Prowler quite a few times and I like it. I've fished on a ton of 23'-27' mono hulls. From Sea Fox's to Onslow Bays. Everyone of them catches fish. BUT, when I fished a 31' contender I was ruin. Nothing makes up for the length. If the weather holds we are headed to Venice next weekend. I'll let you know how a 42' Freeman rides...

As Prowler Steve would say, "That's a smooth riding cat".


All true, but a well designed cat rides like a monohull 3-4 ft bigger.

Fishing with MGFC? Have fun!
  
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wampler24
Posts: 664
Location: Greensboro, NC
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:12 pm
A Freeman is only assistant dream hahaha
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JBarefoot
Posts: 339
Location: Wilmington NC
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:02 pm
Make the switch, you wonít regret it. One bit of advice though, length and tunnel height make all the difference.
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wavescrash
Posts: 3671
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Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:29 pm
wampler24 wrote:
A Freeman is only assistant dream hahaha


I'm so sad they aren't making the 28 any more. Somebody needs to buy those molds and start building them.
  
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Thinking of making the switch to Cat -Thoughts? - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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