REVIEW: POWERCAT 2800 SPORTS FISHERMAN

By: KEVIN SMITH, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

The appellation announces fishing first, but the Powercat 2800 Platinum Sports Fisherman is more - a willing family entertainer that's also legally towable increasing its range to more than just offshore forays.

TESTED: POWERCAT 2800 SPORTS FISHERMAN

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When it comes to creating the ideal multifunctional, stylish and trailerable outboard-powered catamarans, the locally manufactured PowerCats most certainly excel in all departments. Creating quality family cruisers and entertainers is its forte, but they are also just as good at producing one of the finer sportsfishing local cats on the market. Trade-a-Boat put the latest PowerCat 2800 Platinum Sports Fisherman through its paces and once again, the PowerCat produced the goods, putting smiles on dials and excelling in all areas.

Now before divulging into yet another PowerCat show-stopper of a test, I will admit that yes, I talk them up, but hey, they most certainly deserve it as, 1: these guys produce exceptional performing and high-quality cats in various sizes, and 2: they are not shy to showcase and educate people on their Australian manufactured craft. It’s a niche market, and they are tapped right into it.

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FAMILY-FISH COMBO

So, what makes the latest PowerCat 2800 appealing? For starters, this cat is a significant upgrade to the 2500 Sports Fisherman in size and its layout is loaded to the max with fishing accessories and apparel to please any serious offshore angler. Not only that, it’s a cat that’s just as attractive to family boaters, with an array of creature comforts aboard to keep mum and the kids happy on dedicated family days out. To top it off, it’s a big performer, well suited to the odd overnighters, and being towable it’s the kind of boat suited to some serious adventure trips.

At a glance the 8.6m length, 2.5m beam and high freeboard portray a cat that means business. Twin 175hp Suzuki four-strokes take care of the gumption, and with the hardtop and clears combo it’s as stylish as they come in the looks department.

A closer look at the cockpit layout includes a well-balanced combination of fishability and comfort, with the owner adding the new port and starboard rear lounges to the transom. These are a great idea as it provides the extra seating and storage that most boats fall short of; while for serious fishing days, it’s simply a matter of unclip and leave at home. The only slight downside is the restricted access to the deck hatches/killtanks – but splitting the hatch lids might be an option in this case.

HIGHS

• Serious offshore fishing platform
• Comfortable family boat
• Big performer
• Economical for size
• Long-distance adventure towing

LOWS

• Some modernising of the lines would be nice

Decks are non-slip, self-draining and easy to keep clean, along with the gunwales having ample storage pockets for gear and maintaining a decent height through to the stern.
The portside kitchenette is another nice feature and includes 12V fridge, plumbed sink and a bit of storage space. Small and simple, yet practical and a nice feature to have on a boat.

Up at the helm the dash setup is impressive with dedicated flush panels for the sounder – in this case twin 9-inch Raymarine eS98 Hybrid Touch screens with inbuilt DownVision Sonar and Wi-Fi, coupled to the remote Raymarine Evolution Auto Pilot and Power Assist steering. There’s ample space for gauges and other electronics without cramming up the dash, and off to the side is a dedicated enclosed switch panel and tackle-drawer system.

The extended hardtop provides good protection from the elements, and having the full front and side clears is a nice option as you can keep it closed on foul or cold days, or open them up for extra ventilation on the warmer days. The vinyl underside refines the finish and adds a nice touch to the styling.

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Another bonus on the 2800 is the space for overnighting, and with a full double bunk cabin up front with full plush lining, you can actually have a good night’s rest on this boat. The cabin adds to storage space and with a plumbed head there’s no need to worry about rushing the family back to find a toilet or doing the proverbial overboard drop.

As a serious sportsfisher this 2800 is loaded with heaps of big-ticket items like: outriggers, extra rodholders, twin livewell system, better electronics, side-mount baitboard … the list goes on and on. If this layout doesn’t suit you, well they have plenty of options available, and that’s what I really like about these cats.

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OFFSHORE ANNIHILATOR

Just like the 3100, the PowerCat 2800 sports similar attributes when it comes to exhilarating performance and ride qualities. The 2800 is definitely quite a bit nimbler than the larger 31, however, it’s still a fantastic boat to drive.

If cruising is your forte, then the 2800 is the kind of boat you can chuck onto autopilot and sit back at 20kts without having to stress about constant control of the helm. Then, if you’re a bit of a gangster on the throttles, well you can thrash the living daylights out of these hulls too.

Crossing Moreton Bay on the best of days can be quite a trip as you always have reverse chop somewhere in the bay and swell over the banks. This is child’s play for the 2800 and you can belt the speed up to a consistent 30kts in pretty rough conditions.

The hulls track well, stability is above average at speed, the ride is soft, and having a decent airflow through the sponson tunnel means there’s minimal blowback onto the bow to maintain a nice dry ride.

One thing with the PowerCats is you don’t have to be an experienced catamaran hull driver to control these machines and I would be even confident with my wife at the helm at cruise speeds. In tight turns at cruise speeds they run on a level plane and don’t bank outwards, they are smooth to control and just a pleasure to drive.

These performance and ride characteristics on the 2800 most certainly lend themselves to comfortably handling large offshore and rough conditions, and of course long-distance runs to the shelf with ease.

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THE WRAP

Now, when it comes to the PowerCat range, the 3100 in its numerous layout configurations is no doubt a favourite of mine, however, they are no budget boats and require the likes of an F-Truck or Dodge Ram for the oversize towing. This is where the 2800 becomes really attractive as it’s far more manageable and towable with a standard four-wheel-drive vehicle rated to 3.5-tonne tow capacity.

Whether it be local boating in the bays, chasing big gamefish offshore, maybe a fishing adventure trip north to 1770, a few days cruising the Whitsundays, or simply heading out to your favourite spots or grounds anywhere else in Australia – the PowerCat 2800 Platinum Sports Fisherman will do it with ease, and comfortably at that. 

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PRICE AS TESTED

$269,219

OPTIONS FITTED

Engine upgrade; side-mount baitboard; outriggers; 49lt stainless steel fridge; portside workstation/kitchenette; removable rear lounges; additional Raymarine eS98; and more.

PRICED FROM

$189,810 BMT

GENERAL

TYPE Powercat
MATERIAL Fibreglass
LENGTH 8.6m
BEAM 2.5m
WEIGHT 2400kg
DEADRISE 28°

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 8
BERTHS 2 + 2
REC. HP 300
REC. MAX HP 400
FUEL 500lt
WATER 240lt
HOLDING TANK 40lt

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL 2 x Suzuki DF175AP
TYPE DOHC Inline, four-cylinder four-stroke outboard
RATED HP 175 (each)
DISPLACEMENT 2867cc (each)
WEIGHT 241kg (each)
GEAR RATIO 2.5:1
PROPELLER 16in x 21.5in three-blade

SUPPLIED BY
POWERCAT MARINE
14 Roseby Road, Caboolture, QLD, 4510
PHONE (07) 54280043
MOBILE 0411 477 795
EMAIL sales@powercatmarine
WEB powercatmarine.com.au

Check out the full review in issue #501 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.

 


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