Andrew Wright, founder of Shockwave Marine, debunks the myths about twin hull boats.

Andrew Wright has been a Sea Rescue Volunteer for over 20 years. Having clocked up 1000s of hours on the water, in all sorts of conditions, he knows a thing or two about handling power catamarans. He’s passionate about the versatility of these craft – that’s why he builds them!

So, we asked Andrew to tell us about the pros of a twin hull over a mono, particularly for keen fishing and leisure cruising folks.

What myths are debunked by the Shockwave Power Catamarans?

Some people think that cats (or twin hulls) are less stable than mono hulls and more prone to rolling. For us this in not the case as it all comes down to how well the boat is designed and built.

At Shockwave Marine we debunk this myth by using certain design features. There are several factors but three stand out:

  1. beam to length ratio of 3:1
  2. increased buoyancy towards the bow
  3. the attitude of the craft, both its static and dynamic trim.

We make sure that these factors are designed so all our catamarans perform well and are not prone to nose-diving, broaching or chine walking.

What convinced you to only make catamarans?

  • The faster you go, the better they get, whereas a mono hull performs better the slower you go!
  • Functional deck space & storage. Cats have plenty of space to relax – good for entertaining, fishing, exploring, and holidaying. The 3:1 ratio carries through all aspects of the design, e.g. a 9m craft offers a work platform of about 27 sqm. A similar length mono hull may only offer 15sqm. They also have lots of neat opportunities for storage, whereas a mono is somewhat limited.
  • Manoeuvrability in tight spaces – large engine width allowing fine control.
  • Shallow draft – cats careen quite happily when you need to beach, where mono hulls would be no good.
  • Versatility – when buying a boat for leisure, you don’t want a boat that is only good at one thing. If you only want to go from A to B as fast as possible, then maybe a RIB is your thing perhaps as a tender, but the power catamarans offer so much more. They are a lifestyle boat.

How well does the catamaran perform in choppy or rough conditions?

• 100% faster than a mono hull.
• Comfort. It’s like riding on a cushion of air – going fast is preferable on a twin hull than a mono when it’s rough.
• Cats generally perform 99% well in 99% of conditions.
• On average a 9m catamaran can do equivalent of an 11m mono hull in rough conditions.

Shockwave Marine claims that it makes the safest powercats in Australia. There’s a preconception that things that are safe look ‘daggy’. What do you say to that?

Safe definitely does not mean daggy! Our boats are designed to be supremely functional – that means in all aspects: safety, comfort, practicality, durability, technologically… and easy on the eye. In fact, our cats attract a lot of attention for how great they look.

Are there any tips you can offer about how to get the most from your cat?

Yes! There are some tricks to driving a cat – that can significantly increase your enjoyment of your power catamaran. Stay tuned. That will be my next post!

Read more about our design & build processes:

At Shockwave, we’ll design a package that suits your requirements for fishing to sea rescue to purely pleasure boats, and kind of everything in between.

Come and have a chat and see our workshop in Bibra Lake, Western Australia.