Ameracat 31

Ameracat's 31 is a rugged sea boat that delivers a soft ride and easy maintenance.

We Say: This cat mixes high-tech materials with a low-cost build to deliver a soft ride and easy maintenance. It's a rolled-edge boat, the hull sporting an exposed flange at the sheer that serves as the gunwale. It sports a single-piece Airex-core deck instead of a separate deck and liner. The finish is well-done workboat, with grit-type nonskid instead of molded diamonds. Caulk lines showed care in application. Hardware is through-bolted and the electrical rigging robust.

Features that stood out included the way the fish boxes held ice during a sweltering test day, the amenable bow arrangement, and the gutters that ring the cockpit to direct water overboard. Installing the fuel tank above deck — beneath the leaning post — where water isn’t likely to stand on it is a great longevity feature, though removing the post for tank service is more complex than pulling a “soft patch” screw-down deck hatch as aboard some other boats.

With twin 300 hp Evinrude E-TEC outboards, the Ameracat 31 powered through sloppy conditions with authority. It’s a “displaning” cat, according to its makers, who say the displacement hulls will plane with enough engine trim. Whatever. We rocketed to 50.5 mph and found that it would maintain plane at 14 mph on just one engine.

Who'd Want One: Boaters seeking a rugged, customizable sea boat.

Another Choice: Twin Vee's 32 Ocean Cat ($153,664 with twin 300 hp Suzuki DF300 outboards).

Bottom Line: $109,000 (with test power); ameracat.com