APRIL 2002
Length overall  27'
Beam  9'2"
Draft  13'
Displacement  5,100 lb
Fuel Capacity  238 gals
Water Capacity  20 gals
Standard power  Twin 120hp MerCruiser diesel inboard with Alph out drive 
Base Price  $78,615

Mike Robinson, president of Pro Sports Boats, has built a few of his ProKat 26-foot walk-around and center-console catamaran sportfishermen for use with Yamaha outboards, but this is the first time he's tried inboard diesels with outdrive units. And the novel combination works just fine, as indicated by a recent run out on Miami's Government Cut into the Atlantic.

Mike chose MerCruiser's new 120 HP D1.7L DTI diesels, light and fuel-efficient engines with state-of-the-art turbochargers, aftercoolers and direct-injection systems that yield plenty of low-end torque. Their smoke-free performance meets all current emissions standards. They feature freshwater cooling, centrifugal freshwater pumps, and rubber impeller seawater pumps in the reliable MerCruiser Alpha Series sterndrives.

The engines are hunkered way aft in each hull, underneath custom hatches designed so they can easily be hauled if needed. The ride was quiet and sure with the turbos kicking in and bringing the twin hulls up onto plane in one brisk whisk. We ran out the mouth of the inlet and onto the open ocean, cutting across big wakes and waves with aplomb at the top speed of about 38 MPH. 'This one will get you airborne,' Mike calmly advised as we took off and then after a breathless moment aloft, landed, but landed square and firm with no jolt or thump, and stayed right on track.

'Watch this,' he said, and he asked me to throttle down and put the engines in neutral. He shut off the port engine, raised the port outdrive, and said, 'Okay, make her plane.' And I did, on just the starboard engine, going about 17 MPH. With both engines running at a cruising speed of about 30 MPH, they burn an amazingly low 8 gallons per hour.

The helm has a two-person bench seat, loads of room on the dash, and a wrap-around aluminum-framed windshield with a center opening pane. The list of standard features is impressive, including a 40-gallon bait well, hydraulic steering, stainless-steel bow rail, flush-mounted rod holders, rod storage, two deep fish boxes and bolsters around the gunwale. This one was equipped with flashy two-toned, black-and gold dive ladder, hard top frame and tower, part of the optional tournament fishing package.

The cuddy cabin has a spacious double berth spanning the gap between the two hulls, good head room, and a curtained off area where you can mount a portable toilet. There's a small molded-in sink and a hanging locker and lots of storage in the starboard hull under the cushions. It's no-nonsense, no frills.

Larry Viergever, one of Pro Sports' professional fishing team who tagged along for the ride, said, 'These cats make good, stable fishing platforms,' he says, 'because you can get two or three big guys working a side, landing or fishing, and the boat won't heel over like a deep-V hull will.' I came to a stop and sat broadside to the big swells just beyond the inlet just to see for myself the boat's excellent stability at rest.

Efficient and quiet operation, and all the stability you'd expect in a catamaran -- overall, it was an impressive ride. And Mike Robinson offers a10-year limited warranty on the hull, too.