TomCat 9.7 - Sail Magazine

TomCat 9.7

The TomCat 9.7 was a splendid surprise at the Annapolis boat show. Walking through, I checked off my key points for a 32-foot cruising cat. Marina-friendly beam—check; twin four-stroke outboards—check; open interior space—check; shoal draft—check; neat construction—check. During my test sail, I found that the solutions Ted Strain has implemented to maximize interior space and sailing
Author:
Publish date:
TomCat

The TomCat 9.7 was a splendid surprise at the Annapolis boat show. Walking through, I checked off my key points for a 32-foot cruising cat. Marina-friendly beam—check; twin four-stroke outboards—check; open interior space—check; shoal draft—check; neat construction—check.

During my test sail, I found that the solutions Ted Strain has implemented to maximize interior space and sailing performance on a 32-foot cruising cat work, and work well. Its dual retractable 9.9-horsepower four-stroke Yamaha outboards are just right—quiet, efficient, and quick. Once we killed and retracted the engines, the TomCat 9.7 sailed beautifully. In 12 to 16 knots of wind and a 2-to-3-foot Chesapeake chop under spitting rain, we touched 9 knots on reaches and tacked through 90 degrees effortlessly. Good hardware, intelligent planning, and low line loads make this an easy boat to handle, while the level ride and cockpit hardtop afford great comfort.

The interior is a delight, with none of the down-in-the-hull claustrophobia some boats have. The main structural member is an incredibly strong 4-inch-wide solid-fiberglass beam running along the cabintop (supported by several posts) rather than a bulkhead. This opens up the interior to provide wide-open living spaces and excellent sight lines throughout. The boat has two double cabins in the hulls and one athwartships bunk forward of the saloon. The galley is only two steps down in the starboard hull. Thanks to Strain's clever cockpit-roof design, center-mounted steering pod, and dual companionways on either side of the helm station, the transition between cockpit and saloon is virtually seamless. The cockpit roof blends into the overall hull profile beautifully without appearing overly tall or boxy.

The builder is amenable to some customization, so one of the sleeping cabins could become an office, for example. The boat I sailed was a very early model and had a few small bugs left to squash, but it's already at a high level of development and will refine well. The single centerboard and twin rudders kick up easily for wandering through gunkholes or tucking into a sheltered spot to wait out bad weather. Much of the boat is vacuum-bagged laminate, neatly done, and poking into compartments revealed excellent craftsmanship.

Building a cruising cat in the 32-foot range that has sufficient accommodations and good sailing performance without appearing boxy is no easy task, but TomCat appears to have done it. This boat should strike a chord with cruisers looking for the benefits of a 40-foot cruising cat in a much more manageable and affordable 32-foot package.

Builder: TomCat Boats, 905-584-1236, www.tomcatboats.com

Price

$129,500 (base, FOB Ontario, Canada)

LOA

32'

LWL

31'6"

Beam

16'/TD>

Drafts

5'1"/1'6"

Displ.

7,600 lbs

Sail area

470 sq ft

Fuel/water/waste

24/35/20 gal

Power

2 retractable 9.9-hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards diesel

Related

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more