Sea Cat 22 CC, 321/268-2628 www.seacatboats.com
PERFORMANCE: Running this boat is just plain fun. The planing hulls remain more or less flat in the turns. It rises up out of the water more than the semidisplacement cats do as you increase speed, climbing onto a cushion of compressed air. This seemed to negate that slow, bobbing motion, and in cresting waves the boat remained flat. We suspect that this may be one of the most comfortable boats for its length in rough water at high speeds.
FISHABILITY: Between the insulated forward fishbox and a standard 94-quart cooler, there is plenty of fish stowage. The forward and aft cockpits are obstruction free. This is the only boat that doesn't have a transom that's easy to walk through to help fight fish at the stern. The upside to this is a 40-gallon livewell and an extra cooler/fishbox aft. This boat has the best built-in tackleboxes, with two large and two medium Planos that swing out of the side of the console.
CONSTRUCTION: Each hull has three full-width fiberglass "boxes" that incorporate the bulkheads. These are glassed in place, filled with foam, and sealed over with fiberglass. Finish is a notch behind the Glacier Bay. All hatches forward of the transom are on gas-assisted struts. There are two spring struts aft that Sea Cat says it will do away with. The hull-to-deck joint is screwed together and sealed with fiberglass putty.
HIGHS: Great ride, top-notch handling, high marks for efficiency and being the fastest. Construction gives it a rock-solid feel. Tackle stowage is best of the bunch.
LOWS: Transom is full height, so it will be tough to work a fish. Livewell and fishbox hatches have spring struts, which often break. Nonslip is on the slippery side.
STANDARDS: $40,485 (w/115-hp outboards). Includes: 4 gunwale-mounted rodholders; 4 under- gunwale rodracks; hydraulic steering; 2 fuel filter/water separators; raw-water washdown; 94-qt. cooler w/cushion; cockpit toerails.