Boating | Aquila 36 impresses | Mark Rothfield

Aquila 36: The outboard-powered sports catamaran offers top performance, plenty of space and versatility.
Aquila 36: The outboard-powered sports catamaran offers top performance, plenty of space and versatility.

AS outboard-powered sports catamarans go, they don’t come much bigger or better than the Aquila 36 from one of the world’s leading manufacturers.

Like no other boat in its class, the 36-footer can serve as a family weekender, cocktail cruiser, deep-sea fishing and dive boat, or simply an entertainment vessel with seating for no fewer than 20 guests.

Deck space echoes that of a 55-foot monohull and affords three separate gathering areas for maximum versatility. You can fish from the back while others enjoy a champagne at the bow, or send the troublesome teens forward so the adults have the rear cockpit to themselves.

Access to the bow entertaining area is via a walk-through windshield and, once there, the seating can be configured in three ways. Choose eight seats facing each other, or wide lounges and aft facing seats, or fold to make two double sun beds.

Included are flip-down arm rests, LED-lit cup holders, speakers and mounting points for an optional collapsible bow awning. Aft lounges span almost the entire stern area, with a section that transforms into a double sunbed, while between the outboard engines is a large swim platform with a bench seat for use when anchored.

There’s a swim ladder fitted as standard or you can choose an optional hydraulic deck that lowers to water level. The Aquila also has port and starboard boarding gates in the transom to allow for easy access from the dock.

Shaded by an expansive hard top with optional electric sunroof, the central deck area features a well-designed galley equipped with a barbecue, fridge and freezer. An L-shaped dining area, which includes a collapsible pedestal table, is nearby.

In addition to all this space, there are two separate companionway entries leading to a cabin with a double bed and en-suite, including a head and shower. Headroom of 1.98 metres, combined with expansive hull side windows and overhead hatches, ensures a feeling of space and light down below.

The helm position offers excellent all-round visibility and has a state-of-the-art Raymarine and SmartCraft navigation package. The skipper never needs to feel removed from the action thanks to a companion seat to starboard and a two-seater lounge to port.

Most craft of this size carry shafts or pods, which adds to the complexity and maintenance costs. Here, you can just tilt the motors at day’s end and the props stay high and dry. With a draft of only 60 centimetres, it’s possible to nose into the beach – perfect for places like Swansea Channel or Jimmys Beach.

There’s handling benefits, as well, when manoeuvring in confined marinas since the twin engines are set well apart and offer direct steerage, unlike a shaft configuration that relies on small rudders.

Performance is assured with today’s free-revving Mercury Verado four-stroke motors. Twin 350hp outboards accelerate the Aquila to well over 30 knots but you can also downsize to twin 250hp. 

Multihull Central is the agent. Contact Brent Vaughan on 0418 670 751 or