REVIEW: POWERCAT 3100 PLATINUM SERIES

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

With the release of the 3100 Platinum Series by Powercat comes refinement on the already legendary hull, finds Kevin Smith.

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HIGHS

  • Phenomenal ride, performance and handling
  • Spacious and stylish layout
  • Queen-size cabin that’s usable
  • Multipurpose cruising and fishing abilities

LOWS

  • Towability – you will need a Dodge Ram or an F-truck and it’s only a negative if you don’t have the money

REVIEW: POWERCAT 3100 PLATINUM SERIES priced from $259,237.45 with twin Suzuki DF175’s

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Unfortunately, Powercat tests don’t come around frequently enough for my liking, maybe every second year if you are lucky – and it’s no wonder as they have a product that works and does not really need further improvements  especially when it comes to its 3100 range.

It is a shame that trailerable cat hulls are the minority in Australia as once you have owned one, it’s very difficult to go back to a mono. The cons, a cat hull generally takes a bit of style and fine tuning to drive – a small education to a degree if you’re a virgin at the helm of a cat. However, the pros significantly outweigh the cons and a ‘decent’ cat hull can produce a high-speed ride that’s comfortable and far more stable than a monohull – and that’s exactly what Powercat has perfected in the 3100’s hull.

PREMIUM CRUISING

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The latest edition to the Powercat fleet is its 3100 Sedan Cruiser Platinum series, an upgrade to the already successful 3100 Sports Cruiser tested some time back. There’s definitely a lot more to these local Queensland-manufactured Cats than meets the eye at a glance, as they boast a meticulous and crafty combination of phenomenal ride characteristics, crossed with style and sophistication in design, as well as serving as an entertainer’s and even fisherman’s delight.

So, what’s new to this already proven hull design and top performer? Well, at a glance the new hard top with full glass screen and double sliding windows to replace the clears is quite the standout. The new hard top has also been extended further into the cockpit thus adding to protection from the elements, but still maintaining a decent open deck area in the stern. The 80-100mm of extra height also makes a big difference to keeping it open and spacious.

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The hard-top lines and design style is fairly sharp, even a bit boxy, but still comes across as aesthetically stylish. A combination of vinyl and plush linings then adds to the interior styling and finishes, and looks great. If anything, and maybe in time, they could look at a few softer exterior lines as well as completely enclosing it to suit the colder climates – regardless it works, and I like it as it is.

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing to the eye both externally and internally, the new 3100 certainly comes across as the ideal entertainer’s delight, suiting comfortable cruising, day trips out to the reef or islands with the family, and even overnighters, as it’s loaded with an assortment of creature comforts.

GENUINE OVERNIGHTER

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A big plus with a cat hull is the full beam that runs right through to the bow and in this case the 2.8m beam allows for a queen-size cabin bunk with plush lining, LED lighting, TV and plenty of storage space. I could even see my wife happily staying overnight on this boat, and she’s a hard one to please when it comes to boats.

The saloon is also well-appointed and adding to the creature comforts onboard is an ergonomic port side helm station with side entrance to the separate head and vanity below. It’s spacious and works far better than a simple under-bunk head/porta-potti.

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Adding to the entertaining features and overnighter comforts would then be the rear console seat mouldings with built-in sink, stainless fridge and induction cooker on the port side. The starboard side includes an insulated cooler with refrigeration plates, as well as extra storage.

The stern is then open to the elements, however there are extendable bimini options available for those that don’t gel well with the sun. To suit the cruisers, entertainers and family boaters there are twin corner lounges with storage and a table insert. Now, before the serious anglers get in a tizz over the seating hard up against the stern, don’t fret as the seats can be easily removed and left at home, opening the stern into a decent-sized fishing and diving platform.

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Having removable side access door and large stepped transom access makes land or water-based access into the boat nice and easy, although I could visualise a 50kg yellowfin being dragged in through the gunwale side door.

Either way, whether it be serious fishing or cruising, the 3100 Platinum’s layout works for both. I think they have done a great job at creating a good balance between the two and like any boat, Powercat have multiple layout options to suit.

POWERHOUSE RIDE

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Aptly named the Powercat, the 3100 is an absolute pleasure to drive and most certainly my top riding 30ft cat in Australia. As mentioned, cat hulls can be tricky to drive and get used to, but in this case the 3100 literally drives itself and does not need major fine tuning or aggression on the throttles to make it perform. Simply get on, fire up the twin Suzuki 300’s and off you go – and at whatever speed you like!

Big boat and big ride is what you get out of the 3100 – it’s quite phenomenal to say the least. Crossing the Moreton channel to Tangalooma wrecks on the best of days can be a torrid ride on any boat due to wind over current and fair swell encountered. The test day was tackled in 12-15kts SE winds and with the typical slop over to Tangalooma which is about a 25km run, we sat at an average speed of 27-30kts, and only burning a combined 57-65Lt/h.

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I have tested this hull with twin 250’s some time back and in 25kts winds doing the same run to Tangalooma, we averaged speeds of 25-30kts, although that time you were holding on a bit tighter in the foul conditions. Regardless, this hull tackles the rough with ease and when dropping back to common cruise speeds of around 20kts it gets even better, and the economy drops further to around 40Lt/h combined – and that’s exceptionally light for twin 300hp four-strokes. To try and pick faults in the 3100’s ride would be like drawing blood from a stone, or catching a 2m flathead – it’s not going to happen.

THE WRAP

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Again, this is a really difficult boat to find negatives as it’s well-appointed with good finishes throughout, it suits multiple styles of boating, and outdoes itself when it comes to performance. If the layout doesn’t appeal to you it can easily be changed to suit. If cabin-styled and refined luxuries onboard the 3100 Platinum doesn’t suit, there is talk of a centre console 3100 version coming out next year, and that’s going to be a big competitor against the American centre consoles in Australia.

Priced up at 332 grand it’s definitely not a budget boat, but it is a lot of boat, it’s a bloody good one at that, and it’s a quality locally built Australian product. When you look at similar-sized American imports, well they are up there in price and can be anything from 300 grand right up to 500, so in hindsight the Powercat is decent value for money and not badly priced at all. Dropping down to a lower horsepower will also make a fair difference to the end price.

Another big positive is that it also comes in just under 4.5 tonnes, which makes it towable as an oversized load, however the Dodge Ram or F-truck would have to be part of the budget. 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

$259,237.45 with twin Suzuki DF175’s

PRICE AS TESTED

$332,126.45

OPTIONS FITTED

DF300ATXX; Garmin instruments; side loading cockpit door; 1800W inverter; shore power kit with earth; fridge; induction cooktop; microwave; 22in marine TV; Raymarine eS98 9in Hybrid Touch; Raymarine Evolution Auto Pilot

GENERAL

Type Powered Catamaran

Material GRP

Length 9.4m

Beam 2.82m

Weight 3400kg (no trailer)

Deadrise 28°

CAPACITIES

People 8

Berths 2 + 2

Rec. HP 2 x 200

Max. HP 2 x 300

Fuel 2 x 250lt

Water raw 40lt holding tank

Water fresh: 120lt

ENGINE

Make/model Twin Suzuki DF300APXX

Type DOHC 24-valve

Weight 299kg

Displacement 4028cc

Gear ratio 2.08:1

Propeller 16in x 21.5in (three-blade) Stainless Steel

SUPPLIED BY

Powercat Marine Sales & Service Pty Ltd

14 Roseby Road, Caboolture Qld 4510

Email sales@powercatmarine

WEB www.powercatmarine.com.au

Phone (07) 54280043

Mobile 0411 477795

Check out the full review in issue #499 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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