REVIEW: RAZAR CAT

By: JOHN WILLIS, Photography by: KEVIN SMITH


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It’s not every day that a truly original boat appear in the marine industry, but the high-flying Razar Cat from Stefan Boating World is one from outside the square.

First and foremost, riding the Razar Cat is more fun than a centipede taking centre stage in a boot scootin’ contest. I genuinely had a ball on this bad boy.

Queensland’s marine/hairdressing entrepreneurial icon Stefan Ackerie, of Stefan Boating World on the Gold Coast, and his friends originally developed this unique little craft just for their own fun, but it probably has a few sensible applications, too.



 

INFLATABLE TWIN-HULL

Razaar Cat underway

The Razar Cat is a 4.1m twin-hull inflatable with a fibreglass structure that you ride much like you would a jetski. The difference when compared to any of the more traditional craft of this nature, however, is that it has an outboard and a steering wheel, which means it’s not defined as a PWC (Personal Water Craft). This distinction means the Razar Cat can be used in restricted areas, such as most of Sydney Harbour.

With their buzzing jet drives, PWCs usually tend to make around the same amount of noise as a skeleton party on a tin roof (which is to say, a lot), but the Razar Cat on the other hand only produces the low noise of a modern, mid-range outboard. (Hopefully, this cool new craft won’t attract the attention of the cackling jackals that often hoon around populated areas on their PWCs).

Stefan was still in the process of playing with engines, heights and propellers when I got the opportunity to take his personal (and garishly pink) demonstration unit for a spin. This particular inflatable toy had a grunty 60hp Evinrude E-TEC strapped to its hindquarters and my word, did it go.

It’s a bit like riding a quad bike: you need to work your weight with the twin-hull characteristics to get the most out of the ride, but once you get the hang of things you can really drop the hammer.

I achieved around 35kts (64.8kmh) on a rather choppy Gold Coast seaway, running circles around most other vessels. It made this old Bear feel like a teenager again.

Stefan tells me he has achieved higher speeds with other propellers and the soft-riding hull will certainly handle the increased top end. The Razar does admittedly get a little flighty but that’s really half the fun.



 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Razar Cat port view

The Razar’s soft twin-hull configuration allows excellent stability, as well as a large carrying capacity. Its pontoons have a sharpened, upturned entry that appears a little like Aladdin’s slippers from the front. However, it gives it a nice bow-high attitude to stop any ploughing at lower speeds. The whole idea, as is the case with any twin-hull, is to get plenty of air flowing under the hull to cushion the ride and increase performance.

I could see the Razar Cat being utilised in rescue and training applications along the lines of rowing and yachting. And its soft sides will make it an excellent option for fisheries, police or parks inspection, because it’s capable of pulling alongside other craft without damage. I can also see it proudly mounted as a tender on the bow of larger vessels and perhaps as a commuter for others.

But when it’s all said and done, this machine’s major design brief is fun and it has absolutely nailed it. And then some.

The hard-wearing PVC construction softens the ride and should last for many years. My only hesitation with the Razar, however, was that I felt it needed a more substantial steering wheel because you can feel a bit like a feather in a whirlwind with only the steering to hang on to.

Safety equipment is stored under the straddle seat, as is the portable 22L fuel tank, and there are custom options for inbuilt tanks should you so desire.

Speaking of fuel, you can expect to be on the upper end of your consumption, but much of that is because it’s just too tempting to open the throttles and let fly.

The Razar Cat is easily towed and launched on a single-axle galvanised trailer and with its very shallow draft, will get into many spots that may prove difficult in traditional hulls.



 

THE VERDICT

The Razar Cat is only one of the new range of boats and water toys set to be distributed from the Stefan Boating World showroom.

For his part, Stefan himself has made a strong commitment to putting the fun back into boating and all at a reasonable cost.

Whatever his plans, Stefan’s highly individual flair certainly brings some much-needed panache to the marine industry and his considerable experience in ocean racing helps him develop new ideas like the unique and exciting Razar Cat.

At the end of the test, I could only express my disappointment in having to give this great little machine back to its owner. I just loved it. And I think you will, too.



ON THE PLANE...

· Fast fun

· Low cost

· Commercial and recreational applications

· Easy to tow



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

· Steering wheel could be more substantial

· Where are the navigation lights?



 

RAZAR CAT SPECIFICATIONS

 

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $19,990

Options fitted: 60hp Evinrude E-TEC; single-axle galvanised trailer

Priced from: $11,999 (with 30hp); $15,999 (with 40hp)



GENERAL

Type: Cross between a PWC, RIB and a cat

Material: PVC and fibreglass

Length: 4.1m

Beam: 1.95m

Weight: 220kg



CAPACITIES

People: 5

Rec. HP: 30 to 60

Max. HP: 60

Fuel: Portable 22L with custom options



ENGINE

Make/model: Evinrude E-TEC 60hp

Type: Inline two-cylinder direct injection two-stroke

Weight: 109kg

Displacement: 864cc

Gear ratio: 2.67:1



SUPPLIED BY

Stefan Boating World

27 Waterway Drive

Coomera

Queensland 4209

Tel: (07) 5665 8400

Web: www.stefanboatingworld.com

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #299, September/October 2013

 


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