Cat powerboat running on one engine? (on one hull)

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by black_sails, May 10, 2016.

  1. black_sails
    Joined: May 2016
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    Location: Minnesota

    black_sails Junior Member

    How well does it work? Is it required to run two engines (especially on wide catamarans) at all times or is it possible to run just one of them?

    Does the extra steering and such affect efficiency that much? Is there a width or length-to-width ratio at which you pretty much have to run two? (for genuine passagemaking, not just emergency limp back to shore mode)
  2. ElGringo
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: Amarillo Texas

    ElGringo Senior Member

    Richard Woods has said he runs on one engine to save fuel. His boat is a 28' catamaran with two 20hp outboards. It would seem that turning the boat at slow speeds would be a bit slower but maintaining direction should not be a problem. But then I live in the middle of a desert.
  3. Richard Woods
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: Back full time in the UK

    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Yes, El Gringo, you are right we do indeed run our Skoota 28 on one engine. We have done over 5000 cruising miles now, in the PNW and from Texas to the Bahamas. You can see more of the boat here.

    Basically 28ft x 14ft x 4000lbs. Twin 20hp outboards. One engine 7knots, two engines 12 knots cruising, 16 max. a slight helm angle under one engine but even so it is much more fuel efficient than running on two

    When in close quarters I use both engines (without touching the steering wheel, all maneuvering is done with the gears and throttles)

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  4. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    In calm conditions it is less of a problem, in the rough you will be zig-zagging around a bit.

  5. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    I had a macgregor 36 cat that just had a single outboard on the stern of the stbd hull, which put it about 14ft from the port hull centerline (18ft beam) very poor at maneuvering with no remotes or steering but it worked very well just cruising without too much issue as Richard said.
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