A catamaran in the Gulf Craft family? It may appear like new waters for the Ajman shipyard, but the new SilverCat range is merely building on the brand’s historic multihull heritage. As Gulf Craft’s founders were passionate boaters, a fast, stable and safe catamaran (to go fishing in), was always required. During the 1980s Gulf Craft only built small fibreglass fishing boats and runabouts (the luxury motor yachts came in 1992) and fast catamarans became part of the shipyard’s legacy. In fact, the twin hulls performed so well that the management decided to build a racing version named the ‘Terminator.’ Now, Silvercraft has taken the best elements from the fishing and racing boats of old and created a new cat range comprising of the 34CC (centre console) and 34 HT (hard top).
For a UAE brand that exports boats to other suitably exotic climates, a multihull makes complete sense, mainly due to the cat’s inherent space and stability. A smooth ride with impeccable at-anchors manners, mean the new SilverCats are ideal for both fishing and for use as high-speed shuttles for areas such as the Maldives and Thailand.
The twin 3.4 litre, V6 E-Tec outboards at the 34 HT’s transom produce 300 horsepower each, at a full throttle range of 5,400 to 6,000 rpm.
|Fuel cap:||1,135 ltr|
|Water cap:||75.7 ltr|
|Recommended hp:||600 hp|
|Builder:||5 Gulf Craft, Umm-Al Quwain, UAE|
Thanks to the Terminator, Silvercraft is already well versed in the art of making fast cats. Catamarans offer agile running performance and superior lateral stability, meaning they can be pushed harder and faster. It’s no surprise that some of the fastest pleasure watercraft on the planet are cats, with the likes of MTI, Outerlimits and in particular, Mystic building cats that will hit 150mph+. The SilverCat isn’t quite that fast, but with a pair of 300 horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboards out the back, it is both fast, reliable and fuel efficient.
Of course, it’s not all about speed with the 34CC and 34HT, as usable space is the big sell. The beam on a multihull carries forward, allowing you to use the entire deck for fishing – not just the cockpit and side decks as on a monohull. The SilverCat has a beam of 3.24 metres – which stays constant, giving you extra space to cast, or entertain. Space is even more abundant on the 34CC centre console, as is guest maneuverability. However, the HT has the advantage of the hardtop, allowing guests to hide from the weather in cooled luxury.
If you like to get to your favourite fishing spot quickly, safely, with all your friends, then the two new SilverCats make complete sense. With two Mercury Racing 300Rs outback they’re quick, too. Match them to a safe and stable multihull platform and you have the ultimate dayboat.
Could the new range be improved upon? Well, the team here at Boats Arabia would love to see Silvercraft build a proper, no-nonsense racing cat in the style of the Terminator. That would open up the American market to the brand too, while keeping homegrown motorsports enthusiasts totally entertained.