Video: Aquila 44 power catamaran review

By: Tim Van Duyl, Photography by: Ellen Dewar

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

With the Aquila 44, power catamarans manufacturer Aquila Yachts has seen the opportunity in long-range cruising cats – and set the benchmark for affordability and comfort.

Power on the Aquila 44 power catamaran comes by way of twin Volvo D4 300hp turbo marine diesel engines, an upgrade on the base 225hp models. They offer a touch more punch with similar fuel economy to the lower horsepower engines as they work a touch easier in the slippery hulls.

The D4 range runs from 180hp to 300hp, all compact inline fours. The engines use common-rail fuel injection, four valves per cylinder and in the high horsepower variants, turbochargers and aftercoolers.

Volvo’s excellent EVC system (Electronic Vessel Control) is a standout feature, allowing the use of electronic throttle control and full diagnostics and management through the helm displays and most modern multi-function displays. Reviewing on the very first day of the vessel’s Australian handover, we were unable to synchronise the engines to the helm electronics, so testing was limited to feel. Fortunately, the boat’s pre-delivery testing figures were on board.

At a long-range cruising speed of seven knots, the twin 550-litre tanks offer around 600 nautical miles with a 10 per cent reserve. This would allow owners to navigate up the east coast only needing to stop at major ports. At fast cruise, you should expect around 200nm, with 10 per cent reserve. Should buyers opt for the base 225hp D-4 engines and optional extended fuel tanks (nearly 1500L) they could expect to cover nearly 1000nm at 6.5kt. This would see owners capable of cruising to our most remote locations from any major port, and puts the Pacific in reach with careful planning.

Servicing on both motors is every 100 hours or annually after an initial 30 hours or three-month period. Drive is by V-drive gearbox onto shafts with 20in bronze four-blade propellers.

Aquila 44 power catamaran review

 

Aquila 44 handling and ride

"She moves sweetly," I remember commenting to Brent Vaughan, distributor for Aquila in the Pacific and GM of Multihull Central.

The 44 felt firm on the water, not hard riding but tight with little to no shudder pushing through the hulls into the superstructure. Movement onto the plane was smooth with a steady rise, and once there the sharp bulbs worked well, cutting the water with momentum and no impact.

Engine noise was evident only from the outside; on the lower decks, at the helm or in the salon the hum of the twin Volvo’s was barely noticeable and the ride was positively peaceful.

 

Aquila 44 power catamaran sea trials

Twin Volvo D4 300hp marine diesel inboard. Twin, independent 550L fuel tanks (range calculated leaving 10 per cent reserve)

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN (Lt/H)

RANGE (NM)

1500

7.4

12.5

592

3000

17.3

78.3

220.9

3400

20.6

107.9

190.9

3600 (WOT)

21.2

115.5

183.5

* Sea-trial data supplied by the manufacturer 

 

MORE INFORMATION

Multihull Central

Lot 4 Chapman Road

Annandale, NSW, 2038

Phone 1300 852 620

Email sales@multihullcentral.com

Web multihullcentral.com

 


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