Donzi building first-ever catamaran

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Iconic Marine Group, parent company of Donzi Marine, is planning to show off a new catamaran bearing the legendary performance-boat company’s name at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show in February.

The Donzi 44, the first-ever cat from the company, will be powered by quad 400-hp Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboards. “Having an outboard cat that will run well into the 100s, it should be pretty damn good,” Iconic Marine COO Joe Curran told Trade Only Today.

Iconic is collaborating with Wilson Composites of Fort Pierce, Fla., on the design and construction of the boat. The father-son team of Mark and Craig Wilson is well-known in the high-performance world and Craig recently worked with the Miss GEICO offshore powerboat racing team. The Wilsons had been working on the catamaran design when Curran saw it. The two sides discussed collaborating and Iconic Marine now owns the molds. Initially, the boats will be built at Wilson Composites.

The hull and deck are being assembled at Wilson Composites.

The hull and deck are being assembled at Wilson Composites.

The 44-foot cat will be built with advanced composites including carbon, infused epoxy resin and a new foam coring that forms a honeycomb pattern. Craig Wilson told Trade Only Today that the core is 10 percent stronger and 40 percent lighter than the cores most manufacturers are currently using.

“It’s more of a luxury cat,” said Wilson. “It’s lightweight and should be under 8,500 pounds. The goal speed is 120 mph carrying six people and full of fuel.”

Other manufacturers of go-fast cats have recently shown renderings or concepts of current models in the 36- to 40-foot range with the transoms flattened to accommodate outboards, but Wilson said the Donzi 44 is designed specifically for the four motors. “It’s got a really cool swim step that goes all the way down to the water,” he said. “The tie bar will be under the step that extends 3 inches past the motors.”

Where the new boat differs from other go-fast cats is in the aft cockpit. When installing outboards, manufacturers have typically left the traditional aft deck and used the area that would have been occupied by stern drive engines for large storage compartments. This limits cockpit space and doesn’t create an area that’s comfortable for hanging out when the boat is at the docks, said Wilson.

The Donzi 44 has six high-backed bucket seats forward behind the wraparound windshield so the occupants are still protected when the boat is running. What’s new, however, are the lounge seats that extend aft on each side and a table that rises up to provide an area for people to gather. It should be noted that Mystic Powerboats recently came out with a 38-foot catamaran with a more open stern configuration. That boat was powered by two Verado 400Rs.

This rendering shows the initial cockpit layout with the six bucket seats.

This rendering shows the initial cockpit layout with the six bucket seats.

Wilson added that the cockpit is a drop-in pod that can be configured to a customer’s desires.

“Our motto is if you can dream it, we can build it and if you can’t dream it, we can dream it for you,” he said.

While the initial boat is designed for the quad outboards, Wilson said the Donzi 44 has change-able transoms so it can be configured for BPM surface drives or Mercury Racing’s M8 or NXT Six drives.

Curran attended the Florida Powerboat Club’s Key West Poker Run in November and said that participating in the event confirmed his decision to move forward with the Donzi 44.

“I see the cat market being real,” he explained. “Every outboard makes it to Key West. Many of the guys with stern drives had their hatches up.”

Additionally, with the available extended warranty on the Verado 400R, Curran said, “You can run at 6000 rpm for five years and be under warranty.”

Curran added: “It’s going to be an easy boat to run. You’ll be able to cruise at 90 all day in it.”

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