By Capt Bill Pike.
As published in Power & Motoryacht Magazine
Talk about a cool little project! We had a great testing venue lined up at Clearwater Harbor Marina in Clearwater, Florida, complete with two Aquila 44 powercats from MarineMax Vacations, the stateside rep for Aquila and a purveyor of vacation charters featuring Aquilas as well. The weather was okay, meaning it was calm both inshore and offshore, which was good for gathering most of the test data we were after but unfortunately not all.
And then, there was something else—two rather controversial questions concerning bulbous bows on small boats. First, do bulbs genuinely address all aspects of performance, improving speed, efficiency, and seakeeping? And second, do they have a downside? Are there potential drawbacks?
Watch the Aquila 44 cruising along the West Coast of the United States 15 miles offshore in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 18 knots. Her bulbous bow design creates an exceptionally smooth and efficient performance.