Built by gamefishermen for fishermen of all ilks, Kevlacats
have become the boat of choice for many light tackle billfishermen.
The companys latest Offshore series is poised to enhance
this reputation, as David Granville found out
Seafood and fishing it seems a logical cocktail.
Well, its certainly a mouth-watering mix for Terry of
Markwell Seafoods on the Sunshine Coast. A seafood vendor
by day, Terry pursues a sportsfishing passion when time permits.
But his real tastebud tantaliser is a newly-purchased Kevlacat
Offshore SF2400. And he was kind enough to allow me to put
it through its paces before blooding the decks. Im unsure
if Terry intends supplementing the shops stocks or just
wishes to fill the freezer at home. But if his modus operandi
is catching fish, then hes selected the right boat for
Check out the list of anglers at the top of this past seasons
Sir Garrick Agnew Trophy listing. Of the top five, three fish
from Kevlcat craft in fact, two of those anglers are
the principals of the company that builds these fast felines.
Its generally considered that Kevlacat is at the forefront
of powered trailerable catamaran design and construction.
From its factory at Warana on Queenslands Sunshine Coast,
Kevlacat combines a clever use of FRP and Kevlar to produce
strong, lightweight vessels.
Being able to keep the weight of its hull down translates
to smaller horsepower requirements and, ultimately, better
fuel economy. Of course, you can maintain high horsepower
and take the benefit in performance if you wish. After all,
these bulletproof battlewagons can certainly handle it.
The testboat, Reel Fantasea, is a perfect example of Kevlacats
ability to accept greater horsepower. The recommended horsepower
for the 2400 series Kevlacat is twin 90hp outboards, however,
this rig was fitted with twin 130hp V-four Yamahas. The twin
130s gave the 6.5m cat a top speed of close to 110kmh. Fast,
even for a skiboat let alone a little ol fishin
Our test day was one of those blustery days that have been
so hard to avoid in south east Queensland this year. As we
departed Mooloolaba harbour and headed north, it wasnt
long before we were greeted by an honest two metres of swell
Not a perfect day for fishing, but a good day
for boat testing.
The Offshore 2400 cruised very nicely, with the sea on the
starboard rear quarter, as we headed up to Old Woman Island.
I was surprised to look at the GPS and find we were cruising
at 30kt. Considering the conditions, the ride at this speed
was outstanding with not a drop of saltwater hitting the windscreen.
I actually tested a 3100 series Kevlacat (8.2m) on the same
day as the 2400 and expected to find a notable difference
in performance between the two hulls. This was not the case,
however, with the smaller boat performing admirably in comparison
to its big brother. Of course, there is no substitute for
length and weight when you are offshore, but I know which
one would get my money.
I was extremely impressed with the ride of the 2400 with the
sea from every angle, except dead head on. To be honest, Ive
never ridden in a cat that likes a head sea. Come to think
of it, I know plenty of monohulls that dont like the
sort of head sea the Sunshine Coast can produce either.
Its no secret that multihull vessels are renowned for
stability at rest, and Kevlacat is no exception. You could
probably position a footy team on one side of the 2400 and
still not put the gunwale underwater.
Wide-spaced twin outboards provided excellent manoeuvrability.
I did manage to put a bit of water in the boat when reversing
into the sea, but its fair to say that no outboard-powered
boat is designed for reversing hard into a sea. If you find
yourself having to chase a fish, a bit of forward motion would
be the smarter option.
Like all Kevlacats fishing machines, the Offshore SF2400
is built for fishermen by fishermen. So its not surprising
that the boat is packed with angler-friendly options, and
maximum use made of every available space.
The list of standard equipment incorporated in the Offshore
series is impressive. Basically, the only additions required
are electronics, rods, reels and tackle and youre
The cockpit of the 2400 is huge for a boat this size, and
ample storage compartments ensure the deck remains uncluttered.
Lockable battery compartments are located in the port and
starboard bulkheads, and a hatch in the aft bulkheads conceal
the oil reservoirs.
The cockpit coamings are padded, and the deck is non-skid
providing sure footing as you tango on stand-up tackle with
a big fish.
Two bait storage compartments are incorporated in the aft
bulkhead on either side of the vessel. The starboard compartment
is plumbed for livebaits, while the port compartment is ideal
for deadbait and/or burley.
Directly above the port bait compartment is high quality cutting
board with two stainless steel rodholders. Six rodholders
are situated in the gunwales, while another six are provided
via a stainless steel rocket launcher off the hardtop.
Other cockpit features include true self-draining decks, stainless
steel grabrails, and cockpit lighting which allows for nocturnal
Located between engines is a moulded swim platform that incorporates
a stainless steel boarding ladder. Each outboard is mounted
on individual aluminium pods that are bolted to each sponson.
The counter-rotating 130 Yamahas were fitted with standard
19-inch alloy props.
AT THE CONTROLS
The helm station was well-laid out with all electronics flush-mounted.
Reel Fantasea was fitted with a Koden CVS-106 colour sounder,
Garmin 120XL GPS, and GME VHF and 27MhZ radios. All gauges,
including fuel gauges, hour and voltmeters for each engine,
were in clear view. Both the compass and switchboard were
also flush-mounted in the dash. Completing the helm station
inventory is a hydraulically-operated sports steering wheel,
and binnacle gear and throttle controls.
Comfortable Reelax pedestal seats are located above large
moulded boxes on either side of the vessel one for
the pilot and one for a passenger. Padded seating is provided
atop each box. These seats are hinged in order to allow access
to insulated storage below.
Lockable dry storage is also located beneath the helm seat.
Ahead of the passenger seat is a large glove compartment which
has a GME stereo-cassette player hidden inside. (Just the
thing for cruisin to Jimmy Buffet during those long
days at sea).
Access to the forward cabin is via a centrally-located sliding
door. The cabin is fully-lined and carpeted, and features
a single bunk on either side. A toilet is fitted beneath the
port-side bunk. The cabin has fixed windows and a centrally-located
The foredeck features a split stainless steel bowrail, anchor
locker, bollard and recessed cleats. Stainless steel grabrails
and non-skid decks prevent any unnecessary swims when tending
Launching and retrieving the 2400 was a breeze due to the
drive-on/drive-off trailer with nylon skids. The trailer is
alumiuium and is fitted with vacuum brakes. With an overall
length of 7.68m and a beam of 2.5m the 2400 is a fair hunk
of boat to tow, although the Kevlacat Landcruiser took it
in its stride.
For more information please contact Kevlacat by phone on 07
5472 8470, fax 07 5472 8559 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Price as tested
& clears, stainless steel cockpit rails, transom
boarding ladder, engine upgrade.
Deadrise at transom:
7.68m (moulded 6.5m)
1700kg (dry with engines)
Rated hp (ea):
Yamaha Saltwater Series L130B
Loopcharged, 90°, V-four, carburettored, two-stroke
Article taken from Blue Water Boats & Sportsfishing, Jan/Feb