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Old 07-23-2005, 07:35 PM
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Default 18' Nautico cat

Anyone have any first hand experience with these? I haven't seen or read much. It's outfitted with a single 50hp Honda. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: 18

I own a 18 nautico since 2002 bought it used with 20 hrs on it. This cat is a semidisplacement hull, so it's not fast, but it 's stable in a chop. Have a 70 four stroke Suzuki does about 25 to 27 mph when the bottom is clean, engine tuned & wind at your back with 2 people aboard. It's rated for 90 max, but what you might gain in horsepower you lose because of the extra weight of the engine.
It your cat is the same, the 50 Honda sounds like it will be way underpower. My only 2 complaints about this cat is it's lack of speed & narrow walking area around the center console.
Hope this helps,good luck.
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Old 07-24-2005, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: 18

Thanks for the info. If I'm really interested I'll take a seatrial.
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Old 07-24-2005, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: 18

dman: Have owned my 2000 18' Nautico since new. Boat handles a chop clearly better than a comparable size monohull. Also, it is much drier. Mine has a Merc. 75hp 2 stroke, and tops out at 31mph in flat seas. Most people would consider the boat underpowered with only 50hp. A 4 blade Turbo Flats prop is essential! Cavitation is a serious problem with the standard 3 blade prop, but with the 4 blade the problem becomes insignificant. Keeping the scuppers clean is critical for safety in this boat! There is no bilge area or Bilge pump. Only the scuppers drain water from the boat. In a following sea, the prop will throw some water over the cut transom. If the scuppers are clogged, the boat will take on water, starting to accumulate in the stern. The driver will be looking forward (in the direction he is traveling) and not notice this silent problem until his shoes get wet. At that point it is almost too late. This happened to me once when my flimsy trash bag split at the seam from bouncing around from the wind and banging against the console where it was hanging. Unnoticed by me, napkins and paper trash fell to the floor of the boat and were blown by the breeze to the scuppers which clogged as a result. If I was wearing rubber boots I never would have sensed the problem, and almost certainly would have sunk in 40' of water on Ches. Bay. Fortuneately, I was wearing athletic shoes and felt the water coming in my shoes. Just turning off the engine stabilzed the problem, and I was able to bail the water out. Also, try to never reverse into a following sea unless it is just briefly. Water flows in over the cut transom and will not drain out until you change direction(go forward). This problem is more pronounced in 2+ foot seas than in flat conditions. Always check that your scuppers are clean before launching. It is as important as puting in your drain plugs. When underway, visually check your scuppers to be sure they are draining, just as you check your engine's pee stream. I suspect that all this applies to any self-drainig skif, not just the Nautico.

Also 1) It's a narrow boat, the floor is only 6' wide. The beam is listed as 7', but that measurement includes the curve of the rolled edge gunnels.
2)Freeboard (gunnel height) is very low. (like older Twin Vees)
3)Operating a catamaran is very different fram operating a monhull. If you have never driven a catamaran, you will need some basic lessans. In many ways, operating a cat is the opposite of a mono.
4)The manufacturer listed the draft as 8" in his sales brochure. Forget it. That figure was based on just the bare hull- no console, no engine. My real world experience is 18 1/2" with the engine up, 2 fisherman and gear. Less than ideal for very skinny water. Semi-displacement boats sit lower in the water.
5)The front casting platform is large. The stoage area under it is generous.
6)This boat is CONSIDERABLY softer riding and much drier than a comparable monohull. Perfect for choppy bays and rivers.
7)It is a spartan skiff (no liner). No livewell.
8)Considering the relatively low price of the boat, no reasonable person has the right to expect more from it. My only complaint has been the manufacturer's grossly misleading draft information in their sales brochure. I called them concerning the matter of draft, and they were men enough to admit their misleading number.
9) The open area between the hulls (tunnel) makes a slap noise (tunnel slap) when drifting in a chop. A disadvantage when drift fishing shallow water. True of all cats, I assume.
10) This boat, and all cats, drifts differently from monohulls. It drifts approx. 50% slower and at a 60degree angle to the sea (almost sideways). You must be alert to this when trying to drift in the company of other boats that are also drifting.
11)Mail me if you want to learn more about correctly driving this cat.
12) Overall, I like this boat very much for my purpose!
Tight lines, Sander
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Old 07-24-2005, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: 18

Thanks for the info Sander. I think I'll pass on this one and keep looking. Ther are two World Cats for sale arounf here, one a 2000 and one a 2001, both 24 footers, but the price is 4 times as much. Guess like in everything else, you get what you pay for. Around here it can be slick calm when you leave the dock in the morning but you can easily get caught in an afternoon squall and find yourself in six foot seas - been there, done that in my former 30 foot SeaRay. No fun at all!!

I sold the SeaRay a couple of years ago and I'm looking to downsize to something I can trailer and still get out 20-25 miles in the Gulf. Just wrestling over center console vs. cuddy now and whether I want to spend the big bucks on a cat or not. Anyway, I have plenty of friends that need fishing partners so the looking can be at a leisurely pace.
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: 18' Nautico cat

I have the 20 foot center console big brother...night and day boats...with twin 75 hp Mercs, I get up to about 43 mph when I'm alone...I run in 4-6 foot seas pretty regularly (3-4 foot chop is no fun but is doable) and have been out in bigger...boat runs Jones Inlet (NY) without a problem...but as said above, it takes time and patience to learn to drive a cat...it took me about two seasons to get good...now I'm in my fifth season and I go all over with the boat...just ran seven hard hours yesterday and it took 28.9 gallons of gas today...

My next choice up would be nil...with an 8 1/2 foot beam, my length to beam ratio is awesome...I have so much walk around space it's unreal...boat is so stable that I drifted fairly flat in a beam sea and watched a 25 Grady go gunwhale to gunwhale right next to me...I'd have to go to at least a 30' boat to make a difference in how and where I go...only thing I really want is a head in the console...but it isn't worth me spending another $40-60K more to get one...

My forward locker is so large that I can jump in and get out of a heavy rain if need be...not my first choice to do but it has kept me dry in an offshore pinch...my anchor locker is half full and I carry 600 feet of line...what else can I say about how I enjoy this boat...only issues I have are with Merc tachs not lasting more than a few seasons...engines are running great with close to 600 hours so it's more of an annoyance than a big deal...notta bad about the hull...

Quality wise I'd say it was built well...the firm went belly up but not due to poor quality or design issues...I heard it was poor management...for the money, a Nautico hull (realize I only know the 20 foot size) is dollar for dollar one of the best boats around...there was a 27 foot made but I heard (heresay) it didn't ride well and may have been what cost the firm to go belly up...but I don't know for sure...

IMHO
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Old 07-27-2005, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: 18

My 2001 Nautico (last year manufactured w/ lots of improvements) 18 ft. cat. Full liner insert, good size oval live well, lots of storage in the console ( w/ attached seat in front that flips up for easy access to storage), large forward hinged platform w/ storage - doubles as a fish box - not insulated but does drains overboard. Anchor locker in front of platform holds 2 anchors & fair amount of rope. Built in cooler / bench seat combo w/ back rest. Aft hatches port dual batteries, starboard hatch more storage & easy access to bildge pumps & live well pickup shutoff valve. Gas tank located in starbord spoon. Anyone know how much fuel it holds? Furthest I've been out about 15 miles, this cat can be a wet ride, lockers always hold rain gear. Not alot of room to walk around when fighting fish. If it was alittle bigger & faster it would probaly be my last Cat.
Does anyone know why they stopped making this Cat?
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Old 07-27-2005, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: 18

Dman,
The 19īTV cat with a single 140 hp Suzy 4 stroke runs about $28K and is really a step above the Nautico. Fun boat that is great up to 25 miles out.
Then follows the WC23 which is a sweet hull, used for around $40K.
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