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September 21, 2007

28 Pro Kat

The expression, "Two's company, three's a crowd," isn't heard much around the Pro Sports factory. That's because with three models of the 28 Pro Kat catamaran now available - Walkaround, Sport Cuddy and Center Console - there's one to satisfy most every boater.

"Anyone interested in a 28- to 29-foot conventional boat will be impressed with the Pro Kat," explains Pro Sports president Mike Robinson. "It's a hands-down winner for stability, and it lends itself to serious fishing and diving because of its range, ride and handling."

28 Pro KatAll three models are based on the same planing hull. Reverse chines on each sponson provide increased lift for stability, fuel efficiency and a drier ride, as we discovered during choppy conditions in Alabama's Mobile Bay. The Pro Kat sliced through the waves and tracked exceptionally well. Straight runs allowed nearly effortless steering with the Sea Star hydraulic system, while on gradual turns the boat would follow the heading without hesitation or drift. We did encounter some tunnel slap in a head sea, but were able to eliminate it by angling slightly into the waves.

In addition to stability, our test ride demonstrated the Pro Kat's other positive performance characteristics. It stays abeam of the seas on a drift, offering unhindered fishing from either side, and the effect of whitewater funneling tightly between the sponsons and outboards, combined with the gurgling noise it produces, is sure to raise fish when trolling.

Incredible Range

And speaking of trolling, the Pro Kat will let you maximize your fishing time, according to Pro Sports's performance data. A Sport Cuddy rigged with twin 200 Mercury OptiMax outboards is capable of 51.9 mph at a wide-open 5800 rpm. Throttle back to 4000 rpm for a cruising speed of 39.1 mph and 19.6 gph, or save even more gas by dropping to 3200 rpm (28 mph and 12.6 gph). With a fuel capacity of 238 gallons, that translates into a 474-mile range at cruise.

28 Pro Kat specificationsEvery model of the 28 Pro Kat features plenty of standard angling amenities. Topping the list are a 40-gallon, oval bait well with macerator pump and cutting-board top; two large, insulated fishboxes; molded rod racks, and a molded backing plate in the cockpit sole for mounting a fighting chair. Add the 28's immense cockpit, padded coaming bolsters, rod holders and ample storage for tackle and gear, and you've got a very versatile fishing machine.

Removable transom bench seats and forward padded seating complement the large helm leaning post and console. The console (with standard stainless steering wheel) is large enough to accommodate a typical electronics package, while the carpeted interior offers access, plus additional storage and room for an optional head. A handy console T-top/radio box combo is also available as an option.

The center-console model has wraparound seating in the bow, along with a convenient, lockable storage area that'll easily handle rods and gear for overnight stays in a marina. The cuddy version, on the other hand, uses that same space for a small yet cozy cabin. The finished space features twin padded berths with storage below. All models in the 28 Pro Kat line come equipped with stainless bow railings, an anchor roller with hawse pipe, and a lifetime hull warranty against rot.

With very affordable price tags for boats of this size, no matter which model of the 28 Pro Kat you choose it's sure to draw a crowd - of admirers, that is.

Pro Sports Boats, Lincoln, AL; (205) 763-0231; www.prosportsboats.com