Boat Test: 2024 Aquila 47 Molokai

The Aquila 47 Molokai is a serious fishing cat that offers standout performance and a luxurious cabin for overnighting.
Aquila 47 Molokai cruising offshore
A serious fishing cat with a luxurious cabin for overnighting means you don’t sacrifice one for the other. Courtesy Aquila Catamarans


As we exited the inlet into a roiled Gulf Stream, importer Alain Raas grabbed a fistful of throttles on the new Aquila 47 Molokai power cat and put the hammer down. Behind us, 1,600 muscular horses whinnied, and we were off. I had two immediate uh-ohs. First, “­Uh-oh, this isn’t going to be pretty.” Second, “Uh-oh, we’re going to be featured in one of the inlet videos of people doing stupid things on boats.” 

But this new 47-footer sliced through the square-edged seas with aplomb, and the deeper we went into an upset Gulf Stream, the more my fists unwelded themselves from the grab rails. If the 47 didn’t notice the seas, why should I? 

For those who don’t know, Aquila power cats are imported by mega retailer MarineMax, which revolutionized the bareboat-charter world and have proved popular with private owners. The 47 Molokai is Aquila’s first foray into sport fishing and—oh, my—the boatbuilder clearly picked the brain of angling experts.

Aquila 47 Molokai helm
Tucked under the carbon-fiber hardtop are seven Stidd seats. Courtesy Aquila Catamarans

Interior and Accessories

For example, I lost count at 22 rod holders; the forward casting ­platform spanning the nearly 15-foot beam is a spacious 53 inches fore and aft; and there are 4-foot fish boxes on each side of the console, each served by macerator pumps. If those aren’t enough, there are a pair of insulated 74-gallon coffin boxes forward.

Oh, by the way, my worry about starring in an idiots-in-inlets video was the result of four hulking Merc 400s on the stern, and that was good for a solid 66-plus mph. Speed in your blood? Check the box for quad Mercury Racing 500Rs. Yee-haw—70-plus mph!

Tucked under the carbon-fiber hardtop (reinforced for the optional Pipewelders tower) are seven Stidd seats: three up front behind the helm, and four in the raised mezzanine to spectate the action. That helm is impeccable, from the eyebrowed black dash with twin (or triple) Garmin MFDs, C-Zone switching, custom Fusion audio, and Mercury joystick. Our test boat had been ­upgraded to Release Marine ladder-back seats—very comfy, very secure.

Fishermen will love being able to chase a fish round and round, with unimpeded 22-inch-wide walkways and 35-inch-tall padded coamings with recessed rails for security (kid safety too). When it comes to itty-bitty baitfish, the 47 Molokai has two 42.5-gallon transom livewells, with added livewells or tuna tubes optional.


But, as the car guys say, “What’ll she do?” With the quad 400s, we topped out at 66.5 mph but, dropping it back to between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm (37 to 54 mph), we had a range of about 600 miles with 10 percent reserve. That’s about 11 hours of running, which is a long haul, but it puts you deep in the islands or far down the Baja coast.  

The 47 isn’t just about speed though. With the joystick, it’ll spin easily to chase a fish and, using what hot-rodders used to call a “Brodie knob” on the wheel, it delights in doughnuts and slaloms till you’re bored.  

Aquila 47 Molokai cabin
Tucked into the low-profile ­console is a fully outfitted air-conditioned cabin. Courtesy Aquila Catamarans

There’s more: Tucked into the low-profile ­console is a fully outfitted air-conditioned cabin with a queen-berth, 6-foot-7-inch headroom, big windows, overhead skylights and—ta-da!—a surprisingly spacious head with shower. One thing I really loved: walkarounds on each side of the berth (no inelegant clamber into bed from the bottom).

The soft-riding double-stepped hull carves square-edged seas and, because Aquila raised the tunnel height, there was almost no wave slap at trolling speeds and not a trace of “sneezing,” where spray is blown out the front of the tunnel (and then back at the crew).  

Construction ticks all the boxes, starting with watertight fore and aft bulkheads of carbon fiber (in case you ram something hard). The hull is vinylester (no blisters!) resin infused for superior strength and stiffness-to-weight ­ratios, nonskid surfaces are everywhere you might place a foot, and the anchor windlass with twin rode lockers all tuck under flush hatches in the ­casting ­platform.

Aquila 47 Molokai head
There’s a surprisingly spacious head with shower. Courtesy Aquila Catamarans

If, as they say, the devil is in the details, then this power cat might need a full exorcism, because this is where the 47 really shines. Just take a peek at the massive hinges on the three boarding doors in the cockpit (port, starboard and aft), which provide easy diving and dock access.  

Best, the systems have been engineered and laid out by someone who has actually worked on a boat. Labeled and tidy, both the electric and plumbing are accessible and shipshape. The baitwells are fed from Hooker sea-chest pumps; the wiring is precisely loomed; and the two heavy-gauge aluminum fuel tanks have a transfer ­system, allowing the engines to run off both or just one. A charcoal fuel filter is standard because you know you’re going to get filthy fuel in faraway places. Just to keep things tidy, there are two freshwater washdowns (not counting the shower), plus a raw-water washdown.

Shopping around? The Invincible 46 Catamaran ($1,275,000) is narrower, with a head only and no berth.

With the ability to take a baseball team of friends fishing, overnight on the boat in cool comfort, or just to get your performance kicks ­blowing the doors off so-called hot boats, the ­Aquila 47 Molokai is (to use a 1920s ­adage) the cat’s ­pajamas.

Read Next: Aquila 28 Molokai Power Catamaran

Aquila 47 Molokai on the water
The soft-riding double-stepped hull carves square-edged seas. Courtesy Aquila Catamarans

How We Tested

  • Engines: Quad 400 hp Mercury V-10 Verado outboards
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard two-speed/26″ x 15.25″ 4-blade stainless-steel
  • Gear Ratios: 2.08:1/2.5.1 Fuel Load: 600 gal. Crew Weight: 600 lb.

High Points

  • Deep gutters on every deck locker, hatch and fish box can handle Biblical rain.
  • Berth walk-around space is very civilized.
  • Lithium batteries power the air conditioning for eight hours without a genset.

Low Points

  • Aircraft-style overhead controls (including VHF) are hard to reach when seated.
  • The single windshield wiper is offset and parks directly in the skipper’s view.

Pricing and Specs

Draft (max):3’8″
Displacement (approx.):33,400 lb. (full load)
Transom Deadrise:NA
Bridge Clearance:9’7″
Max Cabin Headroom:6’7″
Fuel Capacity:1,048 gal.
Max Horsepower:2,000
Available Power:Twin or quad Mercury outboards

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

Aquila 47 Molokai performance data
Aquila 47 Molokai Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

Aquila Catamarans – St. Petersburg, Florida;