REVIEWED: Powercat 2500 Sports Fisherman

This twin-engine catamaran has been designed to cater for serious fishos. Wayne Kampe reports.

Queensland’s PowerCat Marine has carved out an enviable niche in the upper echelons of power craft manufacture. AMIF award winners and runners up in several years past, PowerCat’s well finished and well performing boats have served powerboat enthusiasts well. That said, the new 2500 Sports Fisherman marks a deliberate move to target anglers Ð and it shows from stem to stern.

Big cat design
Entering via the wide step, rail equipped platform and gate astern it’s obvious that the rear seating arrangement has changed to allow total access to the transom area. Gone is the traditional PowerCat full-width lounge Ð which was easily removable – to be replaced by twin quarter seats with ice boxes underneath and set up at the front of the cockpit. 

There’s a new lift-up transom door, located centrally, that will facilitate all manner of fishing; a decky or angler can slip out onto the marlin board (it’s level) which extends between the twin outboards to either bring in or tag a fish. Game fishers in particular, will love this set up. 

The self-draining cockpit with non-skid floor and plush gunwale/transom coaming comes equipped with twin 220 litre capacity plumbed (pump operated) underfloor fish boxes, paired live wells, deck wash, freshwater shower (linked to a 60 litre tank), large recessed side pockets with port pocket set up to hold a gaff and tag pole. At 2.15 x 2.45 metres, and 1.07 metres of freeboard there’s no shortage of room for four or five anglers to work the deck in comfort. Paired rod holders on each gunwale are joined by eight other holders on the rear of the optional targa roof. The reviewed craft, incidentally, was equipped with game poles.

Forward cockpit seating comes back-to-back style, meaning the seats are set fore and aft on a pair of large moulded storage units. Supportive bolster style seats for skipper and mate are complemented by the aft facing seats tucked in behind. Speakers for the on-board sound system are mounted in the cabin sides close by. The storage units are large enough to take a fair amount of personal items, PFDs and the like (the house battery was to starboard) with the all important EPIRB and fire extinguisher set into dedicated companionway recesses. A nice touch was the pair of personal glove boxes for skipper and mate, each tucked under a side armrest.

Up front, and to starboard, the cabin’s bi-fold hinged door is easily accessed in front of the front passenger’s bolster seat. Within the fully lined and carpeted cabin there’s a 2.05 metre long double bed, wide overhead shelving plus paired lockers and a marine toilet. A central hatch, plus side lighting, keeps the cabin nice and airy.

Dare I suggest it, but that big bed (with a suitable cover on it) would make a really good place to store valuable game tackle when travelling, especially if there’s a bit of salt in the air. To starboard of the cabin door a Clarion AM/FM/CD player and marine radio were set up just behind the windscreen while a flat area adjacent would be convenient for the installation of any additional nav aids required. A large storage box plus a set of four removable moulded tackle drawers were set out below.

On the water
Main instruments sit directly ahead of the skipper with wheel central, forward controls further to starboard. With a Raymarine A65 sounder/plotter central in the recessed dash area, monitoring of all instruments was easy, switches for the likes of anchor winch and other features easily identified and activated and the bolster seat offered plenty of comfort whether standing or seated to drive. Driving was an absolute pleasure with the hydraulic steering making for easy, direct, control at all times. Visibility was totally unobstructed via a three-piece glass windscreen with a handrail and sturdy stainless steel framed targa providing added security and weather protection for seated passengers.

PowerCat’s Steve Shaw, pointed out that one could move forward around the targa – with the frame providing ample hand holds – if necessary as a step was moulded into the cockpit side for this purpose.

This craft is designed for serious anglers and the manufacturer has excelled in this regard. While the ample freeboard affords terrific sea-keeping ability, fish (if not too large) could be hauled over the sides; otherwise it would be a simple matter to lead a fish aft to the marlin board. I found the targa’s framework was unobtrusive and offered exceptional headroom and didn’t restrict rod handling to any extent. Non-skid floor surfaces and an almost unbelievable level of stability thanks to the cat’s 2.5m beam make this an exceptional fishing craft.

Lighting is important in fishing boats and the PowerCat’s cockpit sported a 20-watt halogen overhead light plus a 50-watt rear facing spreader light. Standard also are twin cockpit LED floor lights.

Powered by twin Suzuki 140 four-strokes the cat jumped easily onto the plane at around 3000rpm for a speed of 12 knots. 4000 rpm saw 24 knots, and a burst at WOT (6,200 rpm), a brisk 38.1 knots (70.6 kph). This incidentally, was with 400 litres of fuel aboard plus three bums on seats. High-speed trollers would no doubt be interested to note that 2000 rpm offered a neat trolling speed of eight knots. Ride and handling was basically the same as other PowerCats I’ve been in Ð impeccable. The tunnel of air and spray within the paired hulls with their 28 degree deadrise and reversed chines, effectively cushions the ride to armchair quality; the craft could also dig in and turn in extremely short distances if required, leaning in the manner of a mono-hull. Down trim did the trick! 

Having spent time aboard the 2500 Sports Fisherman it’s difficult to see how builder Steve Shaw and his team could make this craft much better. PowerCats have always been recognised as great performers with their ride, stability, and roominess all a bonus for owners that like to fish. While this craft is designed for anglers, I’d bet Mum and the kids would have just as much fun in it as Dad and his mates.

With a rating for up to eight I’d see it fishing four to six with ease. Best of all, it’s trailerable – with a larger four wheel drive.

Technical Summary: PowerCat 2500 Sports Fisherman
Length: 7.7m
Beam: 2.5m
Weight: Towing (twin engines) 2260 kg
Deadrise: 28 degrees
Fuel: 400 litres
Power: As tested, 2 x Suzuki 140 four-stroke
Speed Figures
12kts   @ 3000rpm
24kts   @ 4000rpm
38.1kts @ 6200rpm
Price: From $131,800                
Contact: PowerCat Marine (07)5428 0043;

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