Power catamarans seem to be making a new charge on the saltwater fishing market, and one of the latest to emerge is the Invincible 40 Cat. Our testing revealed a boat that runs fast, rides smooth and affords an immense amount of deck space.
The aft cockpit interior width measured more than 11 feet wide by 5 feet 4 inches long. The 26-inch-tall gunwales offer plenty of security in rough seas. Wide walkways aside the center console and level deck throughout offer easy access to and from the forward cockpit, which maintains its width thanks to the characteristics of the cat design.
The 40 Cat banked gracefully inward while turning at speed. (For more on the ride qualities, see “Another Take.”) Pete Melvin of Morrelli & Melvin Desin and Engineering, Inc., the Newport Beach, California-based marine architectural firm that designed this running surface, credits the semi-asymmetrical cross-sectional design of each sponson for the V-hull-like handling. “This asymmetric shape allows the boat to lean inward while cornering, versus cat hulls with symmetric cross sections that tend to turn flat or lean outward in turns,” Morrelli explains.
If you’re looking for a comparison boat, check out one from South Carolina-based Freeman Boatworks. The 42LR Freeman ($575,000 with quad Mercury Verado 350s) multihull center-console offers 2 more feet in length, but 3 inches less beam than Invincible’s 40 Cat.
Our 40 Cat was equipped with twin flush-mounted Garmin GPSMap 8617 (17-inch) multifunction displays to access the Garmin radar and fish finder, as well as chart plotting. The 40 Cat’s center console melds with the hardtop thanks to integral, powder-coated aluminum uprights, which frame the thick acrylic windshield and side windows that protect the helm
While our test boat came with a leaning-post-style helm seat with tackle stowage underneath and room for three people, you can option this boat with three-across bucket helm seats with fold-down armrests and flip-up bolsters. Abaft the helm seats is seating for three in an aft-facing bench.
For fishing, the 40 Cat features twin pressurized 55-gallon transom livewells, as well as a 72-gallon livewell under the aft cockpit sole. The insulated 960-quart XL coffin box in the foredeck of our tester offered dividers inside to separate cold-storage items. Each side of the box was lined with seven vertical rod holders, and the top doubled as a padded lounger.
The 40 Cat has plenty of room to keep fish: two fish boxes below the aft cockpit — 268 gallons to starboard and 414 gallons to port — and two 158-gallon boxes forward. I also found two 8-foot-long dry lockers forward. To clean up, the 40 Cat has a raw-water washdown, as well as a freshwater washdown fed by an 82-gallon freshwater capacity. Powered by quad Mercury 350 Verado outboards, the double-stepped hull reached 30 mph within 10 seconds. With a load of seven crewmembers, 400 gallons of fuel, 45 gallons of fresh water, 500 pounds of fish, 300 pounds of ice, and 180 gallons of livewell water, the 40 Cat reached a top speed of 71 mph at 6,400 rpm. Best fuel efficiency occurred at 4,000 rpm and 40 mph, where the quad outboards burned 41.8 gph for about 1 mpg.
Anyone who has ever driven a boat in New York Harbor, where the Hudson and East Rivers converge at the southern tip of Manhattan, knows a thing or two about rough-water handling. All it takes is one or two passes from the local fast ferries and the whole area is churned into one giant confused sea, with rollers that can rival any inlet’s. So this proved to be the perfect place to test the Invincible 40’s offshore mettle, and it passed with flying colors.
With its asymmetrical hull design, the boat popped onto plane with negligible bow rise and, despite having a tall center console with a fully enclosed windshield, no loss of vision at the helm. In fact, while at the wheel, I noted the boat’s excellent all-around visibility, an important plus when playing in traffic in a place like New York. We took on huge ferry wakes that mimicked head, quartering and following seas — sometimes cleanly and sometimes in a confused state — and the Invincible handled everything with aplomb. No matter what waves we took on, our passengers felt secure thanks to the high freeboard and ample grab handles around the boat. I especially liked the ergonomic handles on the T-top supports near the helm that accommodate passengers who wish to stand near the captain underway.
With eight people on board, a full fuel load, plus a full water system and a full arsenal of offshore fishing gear, we hit a top speed of just under 70 mph. Jim was able to eke out an extra few mph in his test, with a similar fuel load and seven aboard. Mercury testers produced speeds in the mid-70s. No matter, in moderate sea conditions this boat can run all day in the 4,000 to 4,500 rpm range, cruising comfortably along at speeds over 40 mph. Our tester came equipped with Mercury Active Trim, which took the guessing game out of finding the sweet spot — not that you need much trim to get this cat going anyhow.
If you’re looking for a boat that can run offshore all day without beating up your crew, the Invincible 40 Cat is a great choice. —Pete McDonald
- Asymmetrical design of each sponson results in V-hull-like cornering in turns.
- Smooth ride in choppy water with little or no deceleration when meeting waves.
- Immense amount of level deck space accommodates a large group of anglers.
- Nature of the catamaran design means that there is no step-down inside the console, which limits headroom.
- The 12-foot beam might create issues in finding dock space, such as along the canals with regulations limiting beam width.
Price: $535,000 (base with quad Mercury 350 Verados)
Available Power: Outboard
How We Tested
Engine: Four 350 hp Mercury 350 Verados
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Revolution 4 14 5/8″ x 22″ 4-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 400 gal.
Crew Weight: 1,400 lb.