Twin Vee 19: Tested. And tested, and tested, and tested...
Does your back scream out in pain every time you blast over a two-foot chop? Are you sick and tired of having your fillings rattled out? If you value a smooth ride and you're looking for a small bay-worthy boat, then it’s time to check out a Twin Vee 19 Bay Cat. After living with one for six years, I can say with confidence that I've never been on a 19-footer that rode smoother in a tight bay chop—yup, I liked ‘em so much, I bought one.
Why does the 19 Bay Cat rides far more smoothly than a monohull? Because it’s compression tunnel packs air between the two hulls, building up a cushion that softens every blow. Oddly, you’ll find that in many cases the ride’s smoother in a head sea then it is with following seas. And in a beam sea the two hulls make the boat incredibly stable; there’s no snap roll, with this cat.
The latest edition 19 Bay Cats have fore and aft casting decks with stowage underneath, and a 24-gallon livewell can be installed aft. Bummer. My 19 was the older version (still currently sold as a "skiff" configuration,) and although it has a less-evolved look it also has a heck of a lot more unobstructed fishing room. Unfortunately, the console is screwed down, not bolted. (Note: Ignore the marketing claims stating it’s through-bolted. A metal L-bracket is bolted onto the console… then screwed down to the deck.) However, over six years of seriously hard use, the only problem this created was loose screws. Once or twice a season I had to go around and tighten them all. The leaning post for either version holds the prerequisite cooler, or you can opt for a flip-back cooler seat. The console has three vertical rodracks per side, and there are also a pair of gunwale rodholders in the upgraded version.
You use all of those fish-catching accouterments to the best of your ability, and now the boat’s all bloody? Good deal; it’ll clean right up. On lower-grade models Twin Vee uses a tough coating that’s like a truck’s bedliner on the boat’s interior. The finish you’re left with may not be as good-looking as fiberglass nonskid, but blood washes off easily and if you drop a heavy sinker on the deck, you won’t have to worry about chipping the fiberglass. On the newer design the boat is linered with fiberglass, which looks better but weighs more—and cats are notoriously weight-sensitive. What about the cracks in the deck you may have heard about? Yup, it's true, the decks on these boat do tend to crack quite a bit. But it's not the end of the world; after 5 years I had mine refinished at a cost of $1,000 and it was (literally) better then new.
Wait a sec, if this powercat has two hulls doesn’t that mean the boat will have a deep draft, and make getting into the backwaters tougher? Heck no. The 19 Bay Cat has a static draft of just 9”. Plus, the twin-hull design is notably more efficient. Running with a 140-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard, you’ll cruise in the 30’s while burning a meager six or seven GPH. Open up the throttle and you’ll break 40-mph. And yes, even at those speeds, the ride will still be astonishingly smooth.
See Twin Vee at www.twinvee.com. LOA - 18'8" Beam - 7'6" Dry Weight - 1,740 Fuel capacity - 36 Max. HP - 150 Price - Upper 20's to mid 30's
Observed performance notes w/ 2 people and half load fuel, single 140-hp Suzuki DF 140 outboard swinging a 14” x 21" four bladed stainless steel prop:
Speed in MPH
Gallons per hour
Miles per gallon
Wide open throttle/6100
A Twin Vee 19 is surprisingly seaworthy for it's size; this shot was taken on the way home from a 20 mile offshore run.
The super-simple layout means gobs of fishing room.
Lots of smiles, from the transom of a Twin Vee Bay Cat.
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