Blackdog Cat 4.5 Cuddy Cabin
Video: Adding a cuddy cabin, seats and windscreen to its successful alloy catamaran design looks like a winner for Blackdog Cats. Providing some shelter immediately widens the boat’s appeal to families and those wanting a more genteel ride.
Whangarei-based Blackdog is clearly doing something right. Since launching its first alloy hull catamaran (the 4m tiller-steered model) late in 2009, demand for its boats has grown steadily. Managing director Luke Seuren says it has recently taken over an adjacent workshop and increased staff numbers in order to keep up with demand.
Blackdog's second model, the 5m centre console, proved to be another hit and is popular with soft-bait fishermen and divers. However both previous models suffered limited protection from the elements. Its latest version, the 4.5m cuddy cabin, aims to address this issue.
The development of a more conventional seating arrangement, with two seats behind a windscreen and a small cuddy area, positions this firmly towards the family market and those who like to stay dry while boating. The protection from wind and spray when underway can be further enhanced with an optional bimini top and clears.
Apart from the cabin, Seuren has also raised the gunwales of the boat by fitting a section on top of the sealed pontoons. This provides a broad gunwale at a comfortable height for sitting on, as well as containing a very useful parcel shelf running the full length of each side of the boat. The twin sealed pontoons remain, extended in this model to an overall length of 4.5m.
Read the full review in the July issue of Trade A Boat, on sale 23 June.
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