Powercat 3100 Sports Cruiser Review

King of the Cats – This boat gets going when the water gets rough.

Powercat is renowned for building boats that punch well above their weight and its latest 3100 Sports Cruiser is no exception. With a flat deck that extends from the cabin doorway to the aft bulkhead and motors mounted on pods, the 3100 Sports Cruiser’s open-plan living area is also extremely generous for a boat of this size. A C-shaped lounge/dinette beside the helm and galley and optional lounges in each corner of a cockpit, easily seats six people with room to spare. 

Between the helm and the cabin there’s a bathroom you can stand up in (with hot water supplied from a heat exchanger) and a Granicote vanity unit. There’s a walkway between the motors and a wide fold-down swim ladder. When stowed the ladder encloses the entire living space, so it’s safe for small children.

Not just a day boat
Powercat designed the 3100 to be more than a day boat and fitted her with a full set of insect screens and camper covers, which increases the usable living area when overnighting onboard.

In the main cabin there’s a king-size bed with individual reading lights and two ‘hanging’ wardrobes. The galley has a stainless steel sink plumbed with hot and cold water and a two-burner cook top set into a Granicote bench top.

Under the bench is a 59lt refrigerator and a generous pantry locker. The boat’s owners fitted a 240V microwave into a locker in the cabin bulkhead with extra deep-cycle batteries and a 1400W inverter to power it. There’s a 95W solar panel on the cabin roof to recharge these batteries. A deep icebox is also set into the bulkhead between the C-shaped lounge and cockpit.

The aft lounges on the test boat are optional and are easily removed to free up cockpit space completely. I won’t try to describe all the storage areas on this boat because they’re everywhere and I’d probably miss a few.

Optional 300lt-fuel tanks (240lt tanks are standard) and a 120lt freshwater tank make this a serious cruiser for two, but if friends stay onboard for the night, the dinette converts into a second double bed. It’s an option but you can have a rear lounge that also converts into a bed.

As a social (or family) day boat, Powercat’s 3100 Sports Cruiser really has a great deal to offer. Apparently the judges at the 2007 AMIF Boat of the Year Awards agree, because the Powercat 3100 took out the award for the best Non-trailerable Cruiser Under 10m. Performance & handling

But the nameplate says ‘Sports Cruiser’, so how does she perform?

Although the 3100 can be powered with a minimum of twin 150hp motors, this boat was fitted with a pair of 250hp Suzuki outboards and they certainly added some sparkle to our day. 

The Suzuki motors accelerated quickly and wound out to 48 knots. In cruise mode the big Suzuki motors lazed along at 3000rpm doing 21.6 knots. At 3500rpm she hit 27.2 knots and 31.2 knots at 4000rpm.

It’s precisely the kind of performance you’d expect from a narrow beamed, needle-nosed sports boat, not a spacious cruiser. And it adds an entirely new dimension to this boat. (Apparently a 3100 Sports Cruiser powered by twin 175hp outboards achieves ‘only’ 42 knots during test runs performed by Powercat)

Finally, there’s a point Powercat’s Steve Shaw just loves to make. While balmy days on the water are why we all go boating, in the real world, every now and then, the weather does turn nasty. These are the days Steve likes best for water tests with wavering customers. He reckons one ride home across Moreton Bay when it’s in a bad mood is all it takes to guarantee a signature on the dotted line. 

Steve has a point. His 3100 Sports Cruiser has a great deal to offer, but few of its many positives present as compelling a case to own one as its rough water ride.