We Say: The beauty of a catamaran hull is that you can get a big-boat ride in a small-boat package. This proved true during our sea trial of the Carolina Cat 23CC in three-foot offshore rollers.
The faster we pushed this 23-foot boat, the better it performed — to a point. At 30 mph we found the 23CC’s sweet spot and a comfortable ride.
The 23CC is a planing cat, with a flatter running surface on the twin hulls as compared with displacement cats. With the twin 115 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards, we pushed the boat to over 45 mph. As noted, you can comfortably cruise at 30 mph and still get better than 3 mpg efficiency.
Another benefit of a catamaran design is that the builder can carry the beam far forward, creating a bow seating area that no traditional V-hull center-console of its size can match (though it can’t beat a V-hull’s insole storage). The bow has a horseshoe lounge that fits five adults. The recessed bow rail provides security without interfering with fishing. Underneath, you will find twin 150-quart insulated fish boxes.
The helm has space for two electronics displays. In the main cockpit, anglers will note the standard 30-gallon livewell and the rod racks in the gunwales that hold two sticks per side.
Who’d Want One: A fisherman looking for a trailerable offshore boat.
Another Choice: Twin Vee builds a 22 Ocean Cat that starts at $50,234 with twin 115 hp Suzuki outboards.
Bottom Line: $64,532; carolinacatboats.com