ProKat 2360CC Boat Test (26ft)
Jim Whippy gets the ‘magic carpet ride’ aboard the fabulous 26ft ProKat, one of an American range of catamarans now being imported by ProKat UK Ltd to Pembrokeshire Yachts in West Wales.
The weather could not have been worse for my test run in the ProKat 2360CC, with winds up to Force 8 bringing sleet, snow and stinging hail. Luckily it was from a northerly direction and we would be afloat in Milford Haven where some shelter could be found. Howard Williams of Pembrokeshire Yachts, who manufacture the popular Pirate Boats, had the 20ft and 26ft ProKats in the water ready for me to go afloat in, and as soon as I saw them I couldn’t wait to hop on board.
Built For Fishing
The Prokat range is purpose built for fishing and for use in the USA. That means first priority is stability, as they spend a lot of time standing up on the bows casting for their fish. Being a catamaran ensures this stability, but there’s more to this hull.
The design allows a controlled flow of air between the twin hulls that creates a cushion as the boat gets on the plane. This gives what can only be described as a ‘magic carpet ride’. It was just as well on my test as the very strong winds restricted us to a couple of runs through an exposed part of the Haven, where the wind had whipped up a nasty chop with white water blowing off the top of the waves.
The boat performed brilliantly, giving as smooth a ride as you could wish for at 25 knots through all this turbulence. The size of the boat is documented as 2360CC but this is at the waterline, while in reality the overall length of the boat is 26ft 6in.
There’s certainly plenty of space for fishing and there’s room for two standing at the centre console helm, two sitting in front of the console and another two on the bow seat while underway.
The boat is built using top quality materials with a wood-free hull and all stainless steel fittings. The twin Honda 135hp outboards will take the ProKat 2360CC up to 38 knots and will cruise economically at 22 knots using only six gallons an hour.
We made our way upriver to find a bit of shelter, as it was certainly no place to take pictures where we were exposed to the bitterly cold wind and the spray that would soon get on the lens. To get the pictures I switched to another boat in the range. This was the ProKat 2000CC, a super 20ft boat that had followed us through the worst of the weather, showing that these catamarans are designed to cope with all conditions. When I took the helm of this smaller boat it was more a feeling of being on a boat rather than being in a boat. You are much higher up than in our traditional cabin boats and this gives an all round better view for manoeuvring.
The ProKat 2360CC has a microcomputer ignition providing reliable starts and smoother low speed operation. It also has a 51 gallon livebait well, a sink, a walk through transom and dive ladder, rod holders and two large insulated fish boxes. Even in the extreme conditions we tested the boat any spray entering the boat was negligible. Apart from the windscreen, the only other protection needed is the T-Top with the extra rod holders to keep tackle from under your feet and the hot sun or shower of rain off your head. The large centre console has a side door where you can get inside out of the weather or fit a toilet.
UK anglers have been slow to catch onto these American centre console boats and it’s a bold move by Howard to invest in this range, but he has used them in the USA and has great belief in them. After my run in them, in weather I would normally not go out in, I can see why. If you are after a safe, stable fishing platform, the ProKat range will certainly fit the bill with boats available from 20ft to 36ft in length.
Costs And Contacts
ProKat 2000CC, with 150hp outboard, £26,800 (inc VAT)
ProKat 2360CC, with twin 135hp outboards, £58,900 (inc VAT)
Contact PROKAT UK LTD at Pembrokeshire Yachts on: 01606 602030 or Mobile: 07977 537584.
E-mail: PYCboats@aol.com or check out the website: www.pirate-boats.com
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