Kevlacat has forged a reputation on a if it aint
broke, dont fix it philosophy. But its new 2100
Offshore is set to be the catalyst for change. David Granville
checks it out
The distinctive Kevlacat design has remained relatively unchanged
during the past decade. And with demand exceeding supply,
Kevlacats range of strong, lightweight, power catamarans
is proving extremely popular in both pleasure and commercial
With a full order book and production at full capacity, Kevlacat
could be forgiven for a little complacency in the R&D
department but its new 2100 Offshore is the complete
antithesis to such thinking. Indeed, the sleek-looking 2100
Offshore is a new design and supersedes the popular 5.2m model.
The 2100 series is based on the old 5.2m hull, but has been
extended to include fully-moulded engine pods as opposed to
bolt-on aluminium versions used previously. The new hull now
has a moulded length of 5.8m and an overall length of 6.4m.
The cabin and deck moulding is all-new, and the modern look
conforms with a millennium-model boat.
Kevlacat has removed the sidedecks on the 2100, which means
the cockpit is absolutely huge for a 5.8m boat it also
increases the internal dimensions of the cabin. Of course,
the exclusion of sidedecks means accessing the anchor locker
is via a hatch in the foredeck. This wont unduly bother
gamefishermen, but it may annoy a few bottom dongers.
The lack of side decks also eliminates the need for a bowrail,
which allows the smooth lines of the new cabin to flow.
The test on the 2100 Offshore was always going to be interesting
for yours truly, as the previous day I had fished from a friends
1990-model 5.2m Kevlacat and was therefore keen to compare.
The 5.2 certainly did its job we tagged a sailfish,
boated a couple of big cobia and enjoyed a comfortable cruise
home at 24kt in a stiff northerly. The old 5.2 is an incredibly
seaworthy little boat, and I wasnt expecting anything
different from the 2100.
Our test day was just the way I like it a strong wind-warning
was current. While I dont make a habit of going to sea
in such conditions, I enjoy doing boat tests in them as it
gives me a feel for the boat. After all, every
boat performs well on an oily-calm sea.
The entrance to Mooloolaba is one of the safest in Australia,
but with 25-30kt of northerly blowing, even it was looking
nasty. There was even the odd breaking wave across the entrance,
which is quite rare for this harbour. We blasted out of the
mouth of the river and ran parallel to the sea, to note down
some speed-to-rev comparisons. At 4000 revs we were cruising
at a leisurely 40kmh, 5000rpm saw the GPS reading a sprightly
55kmh, while at full revs (5500) we were literally flying
Time to head into the sea, which, in my experience, is the
only heading cats dont like. Surprisingly the ride wasnt
as bad as expected. I found by keeping the revs up, I could
jump from wave to wave without copping a pounding.
Sure I was getting a bit of air, but thats the beauty
of Kevlacats they leave the water very flat and land
nice and even. On the odd occasion when the props left the
water, you didn't feel out of control. Cats dont twist
in midair like a monohull, so they are less likely to broach
IN A SPIN
Stability at rest was excellent and although not fitted with
counter-rotating props, I was still able to spin the boat
(working one engine against the other).
I backed up into the sea and found myself momentarily sharing
the cockpit with a considerable amount of water, but in a
blink of an eye it was gone thanks to the large scuppers.
Nonetheless, if you plan on doing a bit of backing up, the
optional transom door is money well-spent.
A walk through of the testboat sees twin Yamaha 90AETO extra-longshaft
outboards with 16-inch standard props mounted on fully-integrated
pods. Between each pod is a moulded boarding platform with
drop-down stainless steel boarding ladder, which aids entry
to the boat from the water or while on the trailer.
Bait wells are located in both port and starboard transom
bulkheads, with the latter being plumbed for livebait and
featuring an integrated deckwash. Hatches in both transom
corners provide access to batteries, each with isolation switches.
A void below the boarding platform catches water prior to
exit via the scuppers.
The self draining deck features a non-skid surface, while
good space is provided for foot placement below internal bulkheads
and coaming. While the sidepockets provide considerable storage
space, they are a little on the short side for storing gaffs
and tagpoles, etc. Coamings are at a nice height, and gunwales
feature four heavy-duty Reelax rodholders and recessed stainless
cleats as standard equipment.
Reelax pedestal seats are provided for the helmsman and passenger,
with both mounted atop insulated storage/iceboxes. Below the
helmseat is an additional storage hatch, recessed EPIRB and
fire-extinguisher. Beside the passenger seat is a small sidepocket,
while in front is a grabrail and lockable radio box.
The helmstation is nicely laid out, with the testboat graced
by a Furuno GP1650 chartplotter and FCV600L sounder taking
centre stage. Both units were flush-mounted on the dash, with
a Ritchie compass between.
Flush-mounted gauges included tachos, speedos, fuel, hour
and trim meters. A waterproof switch panel and sports steering
wheel completed the dash fittings.
The binnacle gear and throttle controls were mounted, slightly
recessed, into the starboard bulkhead. Initially, I thought
this may create the problem of arms hitting the bulkhead.
However, it seemed to work well and freed-up some leg room.
The wraparound glass windscreen complements the new-look cabin,
while the stainless steel targa, bimini and clears provide
the necessary protection.
Access to the cabin was via centrally-located bifold perspex
doors. The cabin is not huge but does have two single bunks
and good storage space. An optional marine toilet can be fitted
below the port-side bunk.
As mentioned earlier, access to the anchor well is via a 500mm
square hatch in the cabin roof. The anchor well is a good
size, with the adjacent bowsprit featuring a cross bollard
The testboat was on an aluminium, dual axle, drive on/off
trailer fitted with nylon skids and Hydrastar electric brakes.
These trailers make launch and retrieve a breeze.
I towed the 2100 Offshore with my Jeep Cherokee and, even
without the brakes connected, I found it quite easy. With
a dry weight on the trailer of 1750kg, the 2100 remains in
the towing range for most large family cars or smaller 4WDs.
The Kevlacat 2100 Offshore was an outstanding seaboat for
its size. It handled the poor conditions with ease and was
a pleasure to drive. While the 5.2m model has earned its stripes
over the years, the 2100 is a more worthy successor.
For more information please contact Kevlacat by phone on 07
5472 8470, fax 07 5472 8559 or email:
Article taken from Trailer Boat, September 2000
Price as tested
GP1650 chartplotter and FCV600L sounder, trailer, stainless
steel targa, bimini and clears, fuel gauges, cabin doors.
2 x 90hp / 2 x 115hp
Approx 1750kg (dry on trailer)
Rated hp (ea):
Three-cyclinder, loopcharged, two-stroke outboard