The Helicat 22 “takes off”
What’s that? A boat, a helicopter, some type of seaplane? It’s the Helicat 22. This unique watercraft won’t take off into the air, but it uses a helicopter-influenced catamaran design for a fast, stable ride over choppy water.
When we first saw the Helicat, we wondered aloud: “Why would anybody put a helicopter-styled body on a boat, outside of trying to get attention?”.
The answer is really that obvious. Washington-based Helicat LLC tells us that the idea behind the boat is combining the fast, stable, lightweight properties of catamaran hulls with the eye-catching heli design. The manufacturer also claims that the boat is particularly good for rough water, with the enclosed cockpit providing the advantage of not collecting water like a traditional catamaran.
The Helicat 22 is equipped with a dual-engine powertrain, and buyers can choose between dual 60-hp and 90-hp engines. The 90-hp engines power a top speed of 43 mph (69 km/h), and the Helicat is made to shine in rough water, shooting through whitecap waves at up to 30 mph (48 km/h).
The Helicat measures just under its 22-ft namesake at 21.5 ft (6.5 m). At 3,300 lb (1,500 kg) with trailer and fuel, it’s designed to be towed by mid-sized cars and SUVs. It’s built at Helicat’s shop from components made at local Pacific Northwest outfits, including fiberglass from Sunbacker. The cabs shown in Helicat photos have tandem or 1+2 seating, but the boat can be designed for up to seven people. Optional vinyl side doors keep occupants from getting wet, and the boat can also be driven without them for “open air feel and thrill like a motorcycle.”