The 23SD (Sun Deck) is Carolina Cat’s first foray into the sportboat market using its proven 23’ (7.01 m) catamaran hull. The result is an extremely roomy platform with a level of seaworthiness and on-the-water comfort that traditional flat bottom and V-hull sportboats are hard-pressed to match. More deck space and superior stability mean more fun, which is what a sportboat is all about. The safety and easy-handling this hull is known for will give mom and dad assurance when bringing the family out on the water.Because this hull was designed for offshore fishing, and because she is a cat, at a single stroke she becomes one of the most offshore-capable sportboats on the market. This is the go-further, ride-smoother, get-home-every-time sportboat.
The 23SD uses the same 23' (7.01 m) catamaran hull made famous by Carolina Cat’s center and dual console models. This hull has a stellar reputation for being a safe and comfortable ride even when conditions get nasty. Buoyancy on the outside edges makes the boat very stable at rest. Adapting this hull to a sportboat gives the 23SD a major advantage over the competition in ride, comfort, and seaworthiness.
Dual Engine Redundancy.
Are two engines better than one? For many boaters the redundancy of the dual 115-hp outboard engines on the 23SD inspires confidence over single engine competitors -- particularly when going offshore. It is rare for a boat of this size and style to have twin engines of any type.
The shape of a cat hull does not taper at the bow and holds full beam width from the transom to the bow giving the 23SD more useable deck space than a traditional monohull. The sheer workable space is notable throughout the boat which will be appreciated when entertaining or for watersports.
A catamaran holds the most depth on the outside edges of the hull. This allows some extra deep storage bins to be placed below the deck line around the perimeter of the boat. Carolina Cat makes full use of this area and the 23SD has storage to spare for skis, wakeboards and all sorts of water toys and gear.
High End Construction.
A hull design that can handle big seas requires solid construction to take the strain. Carolina Cats are built with all composite fiberglass. No wood is used in their construction. Closed cell injected foam provides basic floatation with woven fiberglass and methacrylate bonding that provides a tensile strength of over 4,000 lbs. per square inch.
Virtually all catamarans are heavier than their equal-length counterparts in the monohull world. The reasons is because much more fiberglass and resin are used to build the two hulls and the structure between them, plus the added deck space in the bow. We averaged the weight of four popular 23' sterndrive sportboats and came up with 3,336 lbs. -- 14% less than the World Cat 23SD's 4,500 lbs. (2,041 kg).
Virtually all sportboats on the market in the 23’ range are sterndrive powered which typically runs between 190-hp and 320-hp.
Great Fuel Capacity.
The 23SD has a fuel capacity of 89 gallons (337 L) which is nearly twice that of most sportboats this size. The reason for this is that in her first life this 23-footer was intended to be an offshore fishing boat that needed to reach the canyons. If long jaunts are not planned, simply fill the tank accordingly to maximize performance.
Where the Action Is
Sportboats are all about action and fun. In a sportboat, most buyers are looking for maximum person-carrying capacity, lots of storage for all gear needed, and easy launching of towing activities off the stern. The 23SD is rated to carry 10 people and because of her twin hulls has more storage capacity than any other sportboat this length.
Her centerline swim platform is unusual and the twin engine cowlings might offer a measure of support when getting into the water. Equally important, there is a fiberglass deck across the stern where two or three people can stand at the same time to help launch the person being towed.
Let’s start with looks. Appearances mean a lot in the sportboat market and everyone wants to look good while having fun. From first glance this cat looks like she wants to go. Carolina Cat gives owners a variety of visual options from clean, uncomplicated hull colors and a Bimini top to a full-on and refreshingly creative sports package with aggressive graphics and a powder coated, forward facing towing tower. The tower holds a tow point and navigation lights. The good looks and sporty feel continues to the seating where the high-grade premium vinyl and upholstery can be ordered in a jazzy two-tone configuration.
The twin hull catamaran allows a generous amount of space in the bow area where the 23SD has roomy seating with cushioned bolsters and seat backs. An optional bow sun pad with filler cushion transforms this area into a very large cushioned sun deck where even the lankiest passenger can stretch out with ease. Low profile grab rails hug the gunnels within easy reach, while four stainless steel cup holders keep beverages steady.
The wide bow provides plenty of room for a standard forward beach boarding ladder. This feature is quite useful when beaching the boat between wakeboarding runs and guests don't want to get their clothes wet when going ashore. The bow pulpit keeps the anchor secure and out of the way and feeds directly into the bow storage locker for rope and chain.
While the builder calls this model a "Sun Deck" -- and she is certainly every bit of that -- she is also a "dual console’’. As such she has a wide walkthrough windshield that can easily be closed if the weather is not cooperating. Both the helm and the companion seat are well protected from wind and spray because of the high freeboard and even higher windshield. Again, remember that this boat was first designed for rugged offshore work.
Directly behind the windshield to port is the enclosed head. Thanks to its position above in the port hull there is far more headroom in this 23-footer's head compartment than is possible in a 23' monohull dual console sportboat.A Porta-Potti head is standard equipment. To starboard below the windshield is a large storage area in front of the helm.
Driving the Carolina Cat 23SD is a cozy proposition with a snug, wrap-around helm chair that swivels and slides for optimum comfort. A convenient foot rest is molded into the console. The dual engine and trim controls are within easy reach, as is the switch panel. The engine gauges are in plain sight above the steering wheel where they share space with the optional Fusion stereo controls.There is room for a 12” screen GPS/chartplotter that would be more than adequate for a boat this size, particularly one going offshore.To port there is a matching wrap-around helm chair and leg room to spare.
Moving aft into the cockpit we find a large amount of wide open space for a boat of this size flanked on by a cushioned L-shaped lounge to port and an entertainment center to starboard. This is the area of the boat where the majority of activity takes place and the design is ready for the action. The lounge is comfortable. It is large enough for an adult to comfortably recline in and has cushioned seat backs fore, aft, and amidships. Three stainless steel drink holders, a grab rail, and under seat storage complete the package.Courtesy LED lights are strategically placed throughout the cockpit for those evenings spent onboard.
The entertainment center
is molded into the hull and has a smooth Corian countertop. A freshwater sink is standard as is a fitted area for a 48-quart cooler. An "Entertainment Package" is optional and includes a 20-gallon (76 L) freshwater system as well as an electric marine-head.
The deck space
carries to an offset starboard transom door that leads out onto a large swim platform and swim ladder positioned between the twin engines. The platform is larger than most sportboats in this size class and is big enough to deal with deploying leisure toys. A freshwater wand shower is ideally positioned in the transom and convenient to access from the platform or the cockpit.It is worth noting that the platform and cockpit area are exceptionally roomy which will be very much appreciated when negotiating cumbersome watersports equipment like tubes, wakeboard, and the like.
Options to Consider
The base Carolina Cat 23SD comes with a list of standard equipment that is adequate for a pleasant day on the water. However, the real fun begins when adding options and there is quite a bit that can be done with this boat to customize her in several different ways.
The "Sports Package"
will be a popular option on the 23SD as it includes a red or blue graphics package. The ski tower is a functional option for those who like to ride the wake. Add the Fusion stereo, underwater lights, and the bow sun pad and this boat is seriously ready to party.
The cockpit entertainment center
has some available upgrades for those who desire amenities. These include a grill, 20 gallon (76 L) freshwater tank, and a marine-head. For those planning on-water picnics and cocktail parties, we would recommend the optional side-mounted table that can be placed in the bow or the stern. Some owners might want one for each location.
Power and Performance
Power packages come from Yamaha or Suzuki and both are twin 115-hp 4-stroke outboards. The nature of a cat boat allows it to skim through the top of the water without needing a lot of power so the standard twin 115-hp engines get the job done.
WOT and Best Cruise.
We have not tested the Carolina 23SD but the folks at Yamaha have. With twin F-115XBs with 16-1/4" x 16" props and a test weight of 5,226-lbs. (2,370 kg), Yamaha's techs recoded a WOT speed of 41.6 mph at 6250 rpm. Best Cruise was found to be at 3500 rpm where the boat went 21.7 mph getting 3.19 mpg. That gives the boat a 267 statute mile range and over 12 hours of endurance with a 10% fuel reserve.
Carolina Cat boats are part of the PowerCat Group which is the largest catamaran manufacturer in the world and also builds Glacier Bay and World Cat boats. The 140,000 sq. ft. North Carolina manufacturing facility has been building cats since 1989. At Carolina Cat, it takes pride in the belief that its hull design is superior in rough conditions and the company manufactures its boats to be able to handle the unique stresses that catamarans have.Multiple layers of knitted fiberglass are laminated in hand lay-up. Eliminating wood in the construction costs more, but it provides a longer life and no-rot worries anywhere, especially in the places that take the most strain.
The Carolina Cat 23SD has greater interior space than a deck boat, the comfort and good-looks of a dual console, the stability of a pontoon boat, and the sea keeping abilities that only a catamaran can offer. As such she is an appropriate option anywhere that a deckboat, dual console, or a pontoon boat might be considered. In short, she is a sportboat on steroids.We think she is a particularly exciting -- and practical -- option for people who do their boating in "big water" -- the Great Lakes or in saltwater locations. There the cat offers the most stable platform available, and, perhaps, the safest one as well. And of course, most pontoon and deck boats are not appropriate for those applications.
that the 23SD costs more than most monohulls of the same length. As noted, there is significantly more material in the boat and, of course, it has two engines, not just one.For those wanting to do some serious entertaining afloat, the ability to have two tables, large, comfortable seating areas, a full size head (with headroom), and stability at its best, we think the 23SD is compelling.
Standard and Optional Features
10 year limited
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