Captain's Report by Capt. Steve--
The mission of the 23 DC is to take a proven performance center console fishing hull and create a roomy bowrider dual console model with greater seating capacity and the ability to handle offshore runs. Because of this boat's offshore capability, adding fishing features to make her a crossover family boat was a natural step.
• Complete fuel, and propulsion system redundancy• Extremely roomy bow seating• Full sized head with 5'5" (1.65 m) of headroom• Large cockpit• High windshield
Offshore Capable… Really?
I've taken a number of Carolina Cats offshore, and each time I get more impressed with the way they handle the conditions I find there. From small to fairly large seas they just seem to take whatever I can dish out. Now because this 23DC is still in the construction stage, I haven't taken her offshore but I can say that based on my experience testing the 23CC (click here to view this must-see test video) that this design should also have remarkable offshore performance. And there's more proof.
Recently a small fleet of boats made the 50-mile run across the Gulf Stream from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini. In this case, the Carolina Cat 23CC not only successfully completed the run but she led the fleet. Additionally, the crew had to hold the speed back to 28-29 mph so that the other boats could keep up, and they made the round trip while burning only 62 gallons (227 L) of fuel feeding a pair of 115-hp engines. I think that says a lot about the hull that the 23DC is being built upon.
Turnaround Is Fair Play
There is one design feature catamarans have that we need to discuss because it's a sticking point that mono-hull people pick on. The turning characteristics of a cat are different than a mono-hull. Catamarans do not lean into a turn. Rather, they will either stay flat or lean slightly out board in the turn. The feeling can be a little disconcerting at first but trust my long experience when I say that after 5 minutes it becomes a non-issue.
Additionally, for some reason these boats tend to lean into the prevailing wind. This is easily countered by using the individual outboard trim. The phrase to remember is high hull, high trim. If one hull is higher than the other, raise the trim on that hull to level the boat out. Trim is not needed to increase, or improve, the boat's performance. That is because cats do not plane like a conventional mono-hull. They tend to lift themselves on top of the water from a level attitude and as such no trim adjust is necessary.Virtually every mono-hulled boat has its own quirks as well, but the cat people never seem to pick on them for some reason. To me, I don't look at the handling characteristics of the cat as a downside and I tend to stay more focused on the positives such as sea keeping ability, system redundancy, roominess… etc. I'll save my boat-picking-on ammo for sailboats.
The Carolina Cat 23DC is constructed in the usual manner of 1800 and 1708 knits of double bias fiberglass layers over gelcoat with woven roving across the bottom. While the hull is still in the mold a separate cored fiberglass stringer system is laid into place and then bonded to the hull. In this manner the hull is able to maintain its shape while the stringer system bonds to the interior.
The crossover features of the 23DC begin at the bow. Because she carries her beam so far forward, in fact practically fully forward, there's enough seating space for everyone to be gathered around without knocking knees together. Since the area lends itself so well to both dining and sunning, a bow table with a filler cushion is available as an option ($1067). As for the fishermen, twin 150 quart (141 L) insulated fish boxes are underneath the seats and yes, they drain overboard.
Of course being a bowrider there is the usual walk-through between the consoles. A three-piece windshield allows for a center opening to access the bow. An air dam will be a snap on Sunbrella type that will be offered as an option along with the Bimini top and boot ($1306). A door will allow access under the starboard console and this is also where the water tank will be located for the standard freshwater washdown feature.To port the 23DC does what no mono-hulled boat this size is capable of doing… providing a full-sized head compartment with a full 5'5" (1.65 m) of headroom. Were this in a mono-hulled boat, this head compartment would be in the shallow section of the hull allowing for only sitting headroom. But with the cat, the compartment's sole is able to be placed low into the port hull allowing for this amount of headroom. While some might argue that 5'5" (1.65 m) isn't exactly standing headroom it's certainly very good for this size boat. The portable head is included as standard equipment. Conversion to a pump out is optional ($336) and an electric freshwater head with a holding tank is being spec’d as well.
Moving to the cockpit we have what is easily one of the roomiest in this size range. While the 23DC's beam is the same 8'6'' (2.59 m) as most monohulls this size, she has far more usable deck space because her topsides do not taper in 6'' or so on each side like a monohull. The standard arrangement calls for two bucket seats behind the dual consoles. An option allows for a back-to-back lounge seat with a 78 quart (73.8 L) cooler underneath.
While the helm seat is not double wide it certainly qualifies as being called "extra-wide". The helm console is made large enough to accommodate a 12” (30.5 cm) nav display. The 23DC comes pre-rigged for Yamaha 115-hp engines and as such will have the Yamaha multifunction gauges in the panel.
To the stern are two molded-in forward-facing seats. Between the two seats is another feature that crosses over into the fishing realm… a 30 gallon (113.6 L) livewell. The livewell will be elevated 16” (40.6 cm) above the base of the seats adding to the security of the seats as well as making it more comfortable to access the interior of the livewell.
At the transom will be the only power offered for the 23 DC, a pair of 115-hp Yamaha 4-strokes. These engines have been chosen as, historically, they've provided good performance and economy for this hull as evidenced by the Ft. Lauderdale to Bimini trip mentioned earlier, and our recent testing of the 23CC.
The Carolina Cat 23DC has a base price of $84,322 that includes the twin 115-hp 4 stroke engines, with a marine-grade stereo standard. Base color is white, but any of 6 hull colors is available for an additional $1269. I think the design team at Carolina Cat is spot-on in their thinking that the 23CC hull lends itself nicely to the roominess of a dual console. After testing and being so impressed with the center console version, I frankly can't wait to get my hands on the 23DC. It should be an exciting boat indeed.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
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