Note: The optimal cruise speeds were; 1800 RPM @ 7K = 3.7 GPH with range of 850 NM. 2500 RPM @ 9K = 7.6 GPH with range of 535 NM.
My general impressions are that the boat is extremely quiet at all speeds and that fuel usage is comparable to trawlers of similar size at speeds around 9-10 knots, and up to a fast cruise of 12-13 knots. Above that, the fuel burn on the outboards goes up significantly.
I took over the helm and found the drive-by-wire steering system very responsive. With the helm hard over in either direction the boat would turn its own length with no leaning or skidding. Visibility fore and aft from the helm is unlimited. Those features, combined with the extreme quiet while underway, would certainly make for a very enjoyable cruise.
When our test was completed, we went to the docks at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club. The dock master had assigned a space that was not a challenging landing. Nonetheless, I was surprised to see just how easy it was to maneuver the big cat. Vincent manned the joystick while I watched the engines working, first together, then independently, occasionally one to port and one to starboard. The cat sidled up sideways, perfectly nestled up to the cushioned pilings.
The boat’s owner has taken her to his home on the east coast of Florida. By the end of August 2016, she will travel north to the fall boat shows. My guess is that she will be the only 40-foot outboard trawlercat on display, so I hope they can tie stern in: It will be an attention getter. After writing this article I learned that a customer who recently ordered a new TrawlerCat 48 has requested that she also be built with outboards—twin 400-horsepower Suzukis.