Fishing catamarans over 30' long are rare in the United States. But the Pacific 3200 is attempting to change that by demonstrating that two hulls may be better than one on larger boats, at least for boaters more interested in comfort than blazing speed.
Most notable is the 3200's footprint: Dual hulls give it an almost rectangular shape, with a maximum beam of 12'10" that extends most of the length of the boat. The result is more deck space than you'd get on a monohull with similar dimensions. With that broad beam and the cat configuration, this boat is as solid as an oil barge at trolling speeds. Our test runs took place in the teeth of a nasty easterly, and the 3200 made frothy water feel flat.
Our test boat had a hardtop extension that completely covered the cockpit. Nice for driving rain and harsh sun, but not so nice when casting a fishing rod. The standard version of this boat doesn't have that extension. What does it have? An aerated livewell centered in the transom, a transom door on the starboard side, and a macerated fishbox in the sole.
Anglers unused to cats may find the centered-helm layout unusual. It's similar to driving a center console, but until the boat was on plane with the trim tabs deployed, visibility over the broad bow was poor. Of course, visibility isn't an issue when you're running the boat from the standard bridge command post-where you'll be in all but the worst weather.
The head is in the port hull's bow, and the starboard bow holds a single master stateroom. Both offer plenty of space and 6' of headroom. The main cabin, including a full galley and dinette, has lots of teak and an overall yacht-grade fit and finish.
Performance was strong, especially considering that the test rig had 200 gallons of diesel fuel plus five people onboard. Top speed was 37.3 mph. That may not allow you to run with the Fountains and the Scarabs, but you'll just be finishing your sit-down, air-conditioned breakfast when you join them at the hot spot. You'll be happy with your fuel bill, too, if you get our test boat's Volvo Penta KAD 44PEDC DuoProp stern drives. Cruising at 3300 rpm (29.3 mph) we achieved 1.4 mpg. This is the lightest power package offered, shaving 1,500 to 2,200 pounds as compared to the Yanmar and Cummins inboard options.
The closest competitor is the Benchmark 36, not surprising since both hulls were designed by John Kiley. With Cummins 450s, the Benchmark 36 goes for about $355,000 equipped similarly to the Pacific 3200. Fit and finish is comparable.
LAST WORD. Loads of space, great economy, and one of the best rides for its LOA make this boat catnip for hard-core anglers.
Displacement (lbs., approx.)...16,000
Minimum cockpit depth..........2'6"
Max. cabin headroom...6'0"
Fuel capacity (gal.).........300
Water capacity (gal.)........70
Price (w/standard power)....$223,000
Price (w/test power)....$223,000
STANDARD POWER: Twin 248-bhp Volvo Penta KAD 44PEDC in-line-6 diesel DuoProp stern drives.
OPTIONAL POWER: Twin Volvo Penta, Cummins, or Yanmar diesel stern drives or inboards to 740 bhp total.
TEST BOAT POWER: Twin 248-bhp Volvo Penta KAD 44PEDC in-line-6 diesel DuoProp stern drives with 220 cid, 3.62" bore x 3.54" stroke, swinging B-3 propsets through 1.68:1 reductions.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT (major items): Refrigerator; 2-burner cooktop; 10-gal. water heater; windshield wipers w/washer; AM/FM/CD stereo; Hynautic hydraulic controls; electric windlass; livewell; macerated fishbox; 4 bilge pumps.