Captain’s Test: Performance Cats

Learn more about the kings of the go-fast world.

June 14, 2017
Captain's Test: Performance Cats
Captain’s Test: Performance Cats Superboat International

When it comes to high performance on the water, catamarans are the kings of the offshore world, approaching speeds of 200 mph. You think you know what they’re all about, so let’s see if these boats are the cat’s meow when it comes to going fast.

1. A catamaran is a tunnel hull.
A. True
B. False

2. Some catamarans powered by a single sterndrive have a small appendage in the tunnel ahead of the driver. What is it called?
A. A center pod
B. A drive diverter
C. A prop feeder
D. None of the above


3. In an offshore powerboat race, a V-bottom and a catamaran are heading into a turn together. Which one can make a tighter turn?
A. The V-bottom
B. The catamaran
C. There’s no difference

4. Spirit of Qatar holds the record for the fastest pass at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. How fast did the boat run? A. 254 mph
B. 234 mph
C. 224 mph
D. 244 mph

5. What is the primary reason a catamaran is faster than a similarly sized and powered V-bottom?
A. It skips across the tops of waves instead of cutting through them.
B. It flies through the air.
C. It packs air into the tunnel between the two hulls, creating lift.
D. There’s less boat in the water.


1. A. A tunnel hull is defined as two hulls connected by a hard deck, so in powerboat terms, a catamaran is a tunnel.

2. A. It’s intended to feed clean water to the propeller.

3. B. Power to power, speed for speed, a cat will outturn a V-bottom.


4. D. That was with turbine power.

5. C. The key is not packing too much air, which could cause the boat to flip over backward.


More Boats