Contents of Report
Catamarans are an increasingly popular choice for cruisers. They offer a lot that traditional mono-hulled designs simply cannot. And long gone are the days of having just a large salon with claustrophobic cabins squished into the hulls. Nowadays, the cat staterooms rival the luxury of much larger yachts, as does the space. Clearly, this design has come into its own, and as of late it’s a “take no prisoners” approach to garnering market share.
The first version to leave the shipyard is an open flybridge design, with an enclosed version to follow as a natural progression of the design. With her whopping 28’4” (8.63 m) beam, she’ll have the interior dimensions of a comparatively larger mono-hull yacht, we would even say in the 90’ - 95’ (27.43 m - 28.96 m) range. Or, put another way, that means the master and two guest staterooms get king-sized beds. There are five staterooms total, all with ensuites, with one of them being a possible crew accommodation for three. The aft deck can seat 10 while the formal dining can seat eight. And since she’s clearly smaller and lighter than the typical yacht with these features, smaller engines for a fraction of the performance costs can power her, in this case twin 1136-hp CAT C18 ACERTs. The props are in tunnels and protected by a keel forward.
The two symmetrical semi-displacement hulls include “planing wedges” (what we normally refer to as running pads) at the stern. Hydrodynamic design suite software allowed for virtual tank testing the PC74 throughout the design phase and helped determine the final hull form. It consists of narrow entries and a wedge angle that diverges to the point where the crests come together well aft. This creates hull pressure recovery and adds to the lift of the planing wedges.
Another interesting design feature is the “wave breaker” between the hulls. This is basically a V-shape added to the underside of the space between the hulls. We’ve seen it at the bow of other cats, but here it continues well aft. The resulting benefit is to not only add buoyancy in a seaway, but to better disperse waves entering between the hulls and avoid the sneeze effect when a buildup of pressure causes spray to exit out the front and up onto the bow.
Exterior Features Inspection
The swim platforms are separated into two sections, as seems to be the norm for a twin-hulled boat. Both of the extensions aft of the hulls provide a spot to relax at whenever the PC74 isn’t underway. Between these two platforms is another section, this time teak covered, and a hydraulic feature allows for conversion to a teak beach or even storing and launching a PWC. We can wash off after coming out of the water thanks to the standard shower.
The aft deck is accessed from either the twin stairs from the swim platform or through side doors to the port and starboard bulwarks. It is here that the PC74’s 28’4” (8.63 m) beam really starts to come into play. Where we normally see seating ahead of an aft bench, here, while the bench is still present, there is additional seating to both sides of the table just ahead. In this manner, we can seat not only 10 people for dining, but also another four at the aft seating. LED courtesy lights are under the bench. Ahead are a TV and a bar that includes a fridge, icemaker, and a single basin sink. Decking is all teak.
Storage solutions abound here. Two side cabinets flank the bench seat. A large storage locker is under the stairs to the flying bridge. There’s storage for up to 12 dive tanks and additional storage is in the sole compartment.
The entire area is protected from the extended overhead that is well populated with LED lighting. Two stainless steel stanchions support the overhead at the aft end.
The open flying bridge of the PC74 is focused on entertaining with a nod towards a central operating station. This elevated deck is accessed from a set of stairs to the port side of the aft deck. Once at the top of the stairs, it’s clear that this will be a remarkably popular spot for crowds to gather in.
Looking ahead, there are two separate gathering venues. To port is a large solid wood table on a set of twin stainless pedestals. Movable deck chairs supplement a wraparound bench. This arrangement makes al fresco dining an inviting prospect, and for entertaining in this area, one need only look across to the starboard side.
To starboard is a curving wet-bar that truly shares the qualities of any shore-based bar. Five bar stools are mounted to fixed bases with Z-shaped pedestals that can swivel closer to or farther from the bar. A stainless foot rail surrounds the bar. There’s more than ample counter space for serving. Behind the bar we find twin freezers, a fridge, the requisite icemaker, a single basin stainless steel sink, and a TV. Ahead and to port is a sun pad, but it is under the protection of the hardtop.
Moving aft, there’s a spacious boat deck that can store a RIB tender. Launch this with the crane, and the open area can accommodate chaise lounges, deck chairs, or just remain open as a gathering area/dance floor.
Ahead and to port is a grilling station. To starboard is a convenient feature to have on an elevated deck: a day head. This one even includes a shower.
Fully forward is the helm station, and it is in fact the only helm on the 74, which is a strong argument for an enclosed flying bridge. Certainly, we can fit the bridge with isinglass that would provide three-season cruising, but with the cruising capability of this yacht, warmer climates will likely be the norm regardless of the time of year.
The center-mounted helm is based on the glass-dash concept with triple 21” (53.3 cm) screens on the upper panel. The lower panel includes the twin CAT displays, autopilot, and all electrical switches. A pair of Stidd pedestal seats accommodates the operator and observer. An additional forward-facing seat is to the starboard side.
Interior Features Inspection
Center mounted doors lead us to the interior, which continues fully forward on a single level, that includes the master stateroom. Visibility is through a pair of side windows with wide mullions that will support the deck above. A fabric-covered overhead with recessed lighting to the sides separates highly-polished valances. Decking is wide-planked mahogany.
Immediately upon entering, the salon is to port. A leather L-shaped sofa wraps around a high-gloss finished solid wood coffee table with open and enclosed storage underneath. A pair of barrel-type chairs to the opposite side of the table adds to the opposing conversational atmosphere.
Across to starboard is the galley with a bar and four barstools. The layout is that of a narrow walkway with counters to both sides, the breakfast bar being one of them. The galley is also accessible from the front and rear, so there are no dead ends to deal with. As with the flying bridge bar, the barstools are on Z-shaped pedestals that allow pivoting in and out as well as the lower foot rail. The galley is fully featured with high-end appliances. Under the bar side of the galley are the refrigerated drawers and wine chiller. To starboard are the induction cooktop, convection oven, and plenty of storage. Further aft is a large pantry.
The open floor plan complements the wide beam of the main deck and further eliminates any thoughts of this being a boat in the 73’ (22.3 m) range, as it appears much larger. That said, as the single level continues forward, we come to the more formal dining area. This time, we have seating for eight. The fabric overhead now continues forward and then down the front bulkhead. To the sides of the bulkhead are glassware storage cabinets with additional storage underneath. The wide-planked decking also continues here, and we could easily envision an area rug placed strategically either here or in the salon area.
Ahead and to starboard is the entrance to the forward master stateroom, still on the same level as the rest of the main deck. It’s full beam with a stunning view normally reserved for a command bridge. In other words, windows provide a full panoramic view out the sides and ahead.
In the center of the stateroom is the king-sized berth with high gloss dark wood trim to both sides and continuing over the top. The same material that we saw in the salon area overhead is repeated behind and above the berth, as is the recessed lighting to the sides. The same dark wood surrounding the headboard comprises the cabinetry across the forward bulkhead under the windows. Nightstands are to both sides of the berth, and storage is underneath with drawer access to the sides. A walk-in closet is over to the far port side. To the forward port corner there is a nicely finished vanity. To the starboard side there is a settee, with an upholstered ottoman just in front. Once again, just having the space for placing an ottoman ahead of this settee is another testament to the possibilities afforded a yacht with this sort of beam.
The master head is accessed through a sliding pocket door to the port side of the berth. Decking is marble this time. A vanity includes the usual storage, sink, and mirror just above. The electric flush head is just between the vanity and the glass-enclosed walk-in shower.
Lower Deck Accommodations
While we were impressed with the layout of the PC74 so far, it’s the lower deck accommodations that really blew our minds. Your typical 74’ (22.6 m) yacht will have four staterooms, one of which will be the master. A fifth crew cabin may be tucked into the stern in a remote location. Here there are five, including the master. On this level there are four, all ensuite.
The lower decks are accessed from ornate curving stairs to both sides of the main deck dining area. The treads are tri-toned wood with the darker carried to the curving bannister and trim of the bulkheads. Courtesy lights add subtle illumination for nighttime transitions.
Moving forward from the bottom of these stairs leads to mirror image staterooms. Both include king-sized berths accessed by walking past the inboard ensuite heads with walk-in showers. The beds are mounted athwartships. Hull side windows admit natural light. The same quality of fit and finish are present here, with dark woods surrounding the headboard and continuing up and across the overhead, much as we saw in the master. We’re also seeing the fabrics carried into this space as well.
Dual Guests or Guest Crew
Walking down the port side and then turning aft, we come to the guest stateroom. This is laid out with twin berths that slide together to form a queen-sized single. The ensuite also includes a walk-in shower.
To the starboard side aft is another stateroom that consists of two berths, a single and a queen, both separated by the ensuite head compartment. Horizon will say that this is the crew space, but that flies in the face of the meager accommodations tucked away in the stern that the crew is usually relegated to. We would argue instead that this would be a fifth stateroom; the fourth for guests. It lacks for nothing and is still accessed from the main deck proper. With the PC74 still being within the realm of owner/operator classification thanks to its ease of operation, this stateroom being a guest makes even more sense. Besides, the owner of this yacht is bound to have an abundance of guests, so they may as well be comfy.
It’s hard to compete with a yacht that adds, possibly, a third other space to her interior than that of a traditional hulled yacht, but such is the benefit of a cat. They come with the downside of having to find berthing that can accommodate such a wide beam, but that’s a problem we’d all like to have. As for cruising capabilities, nothing can touch the cat design. They are renowned for their better sea keeping abilities and stability. Those are two qualities guests will appreciate long after the dock is left over the aft horizon.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Helm: Second Station||Standard|
|Oil Change System||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)