Captain's ReportTested By Capt. Bob Smith(Note: No longer in Production)When testing boats for a living, you see a lot of hulls and designs that begin to run together. You hear a lot of noise and hype about what this little difference or that little gimmick will do, so when I get a chance to test something really different, I know I'm in for some real fun. It isn’t every day that I get to test a tunnel hull boat, but I did in Orlando recently. These boats are go-fast boats designed for speed, performance, and……..fishing! Yes, besides being a ton of fun, this sleek ride is as comfortable to troll the reeds around an inland lake as she is racing across the bay and intracoastals. I got the chance to open her up with Jerry Kilpatrick, one of FastCat’s executives and boy did she deliver!Jerry has been building these boats since 1999 as a bass boat, flats boat and just a fun recreational catamaran. They use some of the latest materials in the lay up and deliver a solid riding hull that is very responsive and surprisingly easy to maneuver. Being a catamaran, she is very stable when trolling and working a fish around the roomy topsides and gunwales. At speed, she handles rough water as good as or better than the standard vee hulls I have tested. During the aerial shots she almost left the helicopter behind several times due to her tendency to go fast. SpecsThe CF20 is 20 feet 3 inches in length and 8 feet six inches in the beam. She weighs in at 2,340 pounds and carries a fuel load of 75 gallons. I believe the standard power plant recommendation was 225 horses, but her design has an unlimited ticket for power options. We ran with a Mercury 300 HX outboard that got everyone’s attention every time we cranked up. Our test rig had a flats platform mounted over the outboard engine that was made of heavy duty tubular aluminum. Standard equipment on this feline includes a custom switch panel, Gaffrig instrumentation, 28-gallon livewell with Flowrite Livewell control systems, and Teleflex SeaStar Pro Steering System with tilt wheel. This one had a pop up navigation light forward as well as pop up cleats. The engine is mounted to a Detwiler Hydrolift Jack Plate. The hatches have gas assist lifts and you also have removable hatch boxes. Rod lockers can hold lots of rigs and there is plenty of storage for lures and/or other gear aboard. There is still even more to the long list of standard items and another equally impressive list of optional items to personalize this rig to your taste.ConsiderationsI only had two suggestions, which Jerry quickly responded to. First, the helm was too close for my six foot frame. It can be set up with any distance you desire from the seat to the helm pod. Second, the flat panel display is mounted to the left and is not as easily visible in the bright daylight. He is working on placement or a better angle to answer this problem. If you have never driven a tunnel hull, then you should get a little training, just like any other boat, she has some differences and if you are not ready for them, you could find yourself wondering just what happened.Performance and HandlingIn ten mile per hour breezes and moderate chop, we got her out of the hole in 4.4 seconds and easily passing 30 mph in just 7.3 seconds. The acceleration on this cat is palpable. I found her best cruise speed at 3500 rpms running 38.7 mph. At this speed we burned 13.6 gallons per hour for a range of 192 miles on a full tank. She topped out at 83.0 mph turning 6250 rpms. At top speed she burned 32.8 gallons per hour and had a range of 171 miles to the tank. Although the Mercury 300HX was a beefy fellow, sound levels were not bad. She had a decibel range of 69 at idle to 94 at top end. This number was recored at the helm, as there was no windshield on this boat. If you want speed, performance and something unique, whether fishing or just having fun on the water, you’ll have to check out this beast. She is one fast cat on the water and will leave you smiling from ear to ear.
* NOTE: This boat is no longer in production.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the FastCat CF20 is 83.0 mph (133.6 kph), burning 32.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 124.15 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the FastCat CF20 is 38.7 mph (62.3 kph), and the boat gets 2.85 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.21 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 192 miles (308.99 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 300-hp Mercury 300HX.
- Time to plane for the FastCat CF20 is 4.4 sec. seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the FastCat CF20 is 7.3 sec. seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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