VIDEO: Blackdog Cat

By: Norman Holtzhausen

Keen on a white-knuckle ride through the surf, on a boat that’s also stable enough to dive off, and with enough space enough for the whole family? Take a look at the Blackdog Cat…

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  • Great diving and fishing tender
  • Air cushion between the hulls making for a soft ride and landing
  • Large cockpit offers versatility
  • Fast, responsive hulls
  • Alloy hull makes the boat stable

The Blackdog Cat's middle section forms a shallow vee hull. According to designer Luke Seuren, this touches the water at rest and under heavy load. Not only does this provide for good tracking and stability, it also enables an underfloor fuel tank to be fitted.

In total there are six separate sealed buoyancy chambers, with a seventh fitted in the middle section if the underfloor fuel tank is not installed.

The internal cockpit area is huge for such a small boat. At rest the deck is just above water level and the checkerplate floor is self-draining through scupper flaps. An optional marine carpet makes the floor easier on the feet, and the pontoons provide reasonably comfortable seating.

Although there is no windscreen, a covered storage area sits in the bow area of the boat. Dive gear, spare fuel tote tank and a crate with anchor and chain were all easily swallowed up in this space.

A welded grab handle runs the full length of the boat along the outer edge. A further grab handle can be run along the inside edge of the seat, providing a channel for cabling.

Two rod holders are set into the transom on either side of the engine.

There is no anchor bollard fitted but the anchor warp is easily attached to the grab rail.

The boats are normally supplied with a 50hp, short-shaft two-stroke Yamaha, although a similar Tohatsu engine is also available. These are tiller-steered and pull start.

The hull is rated for up to 50hp, and the engine has power to spare. Claimed top speed is around 40 knots. There's plenty of grunt to pull a skier or water toy, and the boat comes standard with a sturdy utility bar over the rear of the engine.


We opened up the throttle and the boats took off, instantly on the plane and zipping from wave top to wave top.

Being open boats, and sitting less than a metre above the water level, you're likely to get wet. But we stayed remarkably dry, outrunning most of our own spray.

Powered through a swell of over a metre and fully, you quickly get used to the fact that there is no crash at the end of the take off. The boat seems to "float" down, landing softly.

These boats turn like they are on rails, and there is no heel. There is a safety cord between the kill switch and the driver's wrist.

Despite the extra weight of the alloy hull these remain fast, responsive hulls. If anything, the extra weight and rigidity has made them more stable, and more versatile.

Even with two fully kitted up divers leaning over the edge the boat hardly moved. The gunwale is close to the water level, so rolling backwards into the water is a gentle entry.

An optional dive ladder is available, as are other fishing accessories such as bait boards and extra rod holders. Additional seats are also available, and keel strips for beach landings.

The boat does not normally have any electronics fitted but lights, radio and other gadgets can be installed.

Read the full review in the February issue of Trade-A-Boat magazine, on sale now.


LOA 4.0m
Beam 2.05m external, 1.52m internal
Construction 2.5mm marine-grade aluminium
Hull weight 240kg
Towing weight 480kg
Engine 50hp Yamaha two-stroke
Trailer Blackdog galvanised unbraked trailer



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