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Aquila 36: The Great Fishing Entertainer

Aquila 36: The Great Fishing Entertainer

Wherever this boat goes, it is certain to turn heads. A power cat that has the wow factor, it is ideal for either weekends away with family and friends, or for offshore fishing. It can really do both very well. The design and list of possible options are well thought out, as they were developed by people with years of on-water knowledge and experience. A really large boat with very nice handling, this is the Aquila 36.

Queensland’s first local owner is Arie Goddaer, who recently ordered his A36 as an offshore fishing platform. Arie was generous enough to take us out on the Gold Coast Broadwater and through the Southport Seaway for an enjoyable ride.

Arie counted out for us eight different fishing boats he has owned in his life. “I have owned many game boats. I chose the A36 because of the stability of the wide beam, and the low maintenance of the outboard engines, which is unique for a boat of this size,” says Arie. “Operating this boat offshore is quite relaxing. You don’t need to be constantly steering the boat in choppy seas. Unlike a monohull, this boat has very little swaying out at fifty fathoms. At my age, you can go out in rough seas and come home without feeling any pain in the lower back.”

The A36 has a fabulous amount of room above and below deck. It is a big-volume open-bow catamaran, offering the comforts of an overnight cruiser with two well thought-out cabins for up to 4 adults. “This boat is not too big and not too small. Just right for our crew of two. And the walk-through entry doors on either side of the hull means my wife can easily set our fenders and lines when docking,” confirms Arie.

The southeast Queensland waters are notorious for sand banks. The A36’s shallow draft of just 60cm and the outboard engine configuration make it possible to motor around without fear of touching bottom. “We can anchor up close to sheltered shores. We often go to Peel Island and Moreton Island. But wherever you want to go it’s going to take you there very nicely,” explains Arie.

Arie’s boat is set up for fishing with a live bait well, a large fish catch locker for the days catch, and a built-in transom bbq where he hopes his day’s catch will end up. However, there is still plenty of room to ensure this boat is family friendly. Arie’s wife, Lorraine says, “This is the best boat for us as there is plenty of entertainment room to bring aboard family and friends. I have never been out on any of Arie’s fishing boats, but this is different. I especially like that it’s air-conditioned, and both sides of the boat have separate controls. And what’s amazing is that there are two identical cabins down below with ensuites, so when it’s just the two of us and the dog, we can have our own cabins. Our friends also really love this boat.”

ABOVE DECK

Aquila prides itself on continually improving the clever boat designs by listening to suggestions of existing customers and collecting opinions from the international sales channel. Every model has progressed with some subtle and sometimes major enhancements that maximise the practicality of the boat and improve the boat user’s experience. Beyond its nice handling, this boat is more than capable of hosting up to 20 guests, all while seated, with 12 seats facing forward.

There are many little hidden features that make a big difference in the design throughout the three main entertainment areas. For one, the floor is slightly angled to the aft and centre so that water can flow through, which makes washdown really easy. The chic quality fixtures utilise heavy-duty stainless steel fittings and hinges. There is a selection of stylish colour scheme upholstery with contrast colour UV-resistant threads.

Lorraine and Arie are happy with the standard feature light grey and charcoal upholstery, and we agree. To accentuate the interior hull design, stainless steel arm rests and drink holders have illuminated lighting. Storage spaces are accessible underneath all seating. A huge hardtop overhead has courtesy lights around the perimeter. An electric sunroof is an option, but Arie did not order one as he wants to keep out of the sun. A folding seatback allows passengers to sit facing ahead at the forward console seating. There are well thought out air-conditioning outlets, as well as USB and accessory plugs added to each seating position, and 240V outlets throughout. There is even an elevated tow point for towing wakeboarders wanting to get air while jumping.

 

There is plenty of storage in the galley alongside a fridge/freezer. The wrap-around grab rail ensures your stability. The bench tops have raised edges so items will not slip off. Arie’s boat has an induction cooktop, a deep sink as well as having enough space for Arie’s counter-top microwave and LCD TV. The dining area has an L-shaped settee around a collapsible table, surrounded by handy flat surface storage space and a self-draining insulated storage under the seating.

The walk-through windshield allows the crew easy access to the front of the boat and is great for ventilation on hot days. At the bow, the wow factor really kicks in with a cutting-edge ergonomic modular seating design. The seats are facing each other, and fill-in cushions with drop-down back rests can create full-length sun lounges, including flip-down arm rests and grab railing, and upholstered recessed areas with cup holders and speakers. This is one of Lorraine’s domains. “I look after the anchor, the chain locker, and the remote control electric windlass. There is also a handy freshwater washdown. The button-down bow covers allow us to section off each side of the boat. So when the boat is not in use, we can still walk through the centre up to the front bow rail and anchor locker.”

DOWN BELOW

The cabins are accessed by doors in the centre walk-through, and the doors conveniently slide forward into the bulkhead. When entering below, it feels very spacious with a 1.98m headroom. The double berth has a side window the length of the bed that has pull down blinds, and overhead hatches fitted with a screen for insects, allowing natural sunlight into the cabin.

“During the day, the cabin is bright and cheerful. The air-condition vents keep the cabins cool even when the doors are open. There is ample storage on the shelves on the side and ahead, and drawers underneath the bed,” Lorraine points out.

To the aft bulkhead are the electrical panels and a door to the toilet. The toilet has natural light from a full-length window and an opening porthole for ventilation. A tap head pulls out to double as a shower head. All of these useful features are exactly the same in the opposite side cabin.

IN CONTROL

The helm includes a smart 4inch Mercury Vessel View display, which gives multi-functional readings of fuel burn/levels and temperatures. Switches are reliable push-button style that illuminate when activated and at night. An automatic engine trim function will level the boat out once you are on the plane, making trips more economical. A digital throttle shift will automatically match the throttle speed and setting of the engines. The dashboard has a 16-inch Raymarine multifunction touch screen computer. Arie plans to install a second computer with a larger 600kw transducer to be used as a dedicated fish finder. “I am also planning to install the autopilot, which I think is very handy when travelling back from our offshore trips. You just line up your destination and the boat will take your there. Travel times are usually faster and you burn less fuel.”

There is also a joy stick control option which can 100% control the boat allowing the drive to not only turn the boat in any direction but also move the boat sideways. However, Arie says, this option is not really needed. “The wide beam of this boat means I can dock at a marina using only the forward and reverse throttles. I don’t even use the steering wheel, which makes docking a breeze for such a large volume boat.”

The adjustable helm seat can slide forward, and has a push-up bolstered seat cushion. There is also a comfortable footrest.

Arie confirms, “The entire helm control system is great. I love it. As a captain, it makes driving the boat very relaxing and more enjoyable.”

ON THE PLANE

With two 250 Mercury Verados fitted with the standard 3-blade Enertia propellers, there is plenty of power to get the A36 on to the plane. Out on the water, this boat just continued to impress, with a comfortable 18-knot cruising speed.

The A36 is a level-running boat that comes out of the water level and stays level while turning. This means guests will remain comfortable while underway. Arie explains, “Catamarans have good handling characteristics in rough seas. When crossing oncoming wake or tackling large seas, the boat performs with no spray and no hull slap. It also has a very tight turning circle. The boat is very quiet when engines are idling at rest, you can barely hear them.”

OPTIONS GALORE

A swim platform is accessible via a transom door. Arie uses the utility cabinet as an aft-facing bench seat while waiting for a fish. There are flush-mounted pull-up cleats that eliminate any toe stub. A neatly tucked-away swim ladder with pop-up grab rails is deployed on rollers. An electric version is an option, too. There is also a fresh water shower and stereo remote, and davits can be added to carry a tender.

The Aquila 36 offers many possible options. This particular model comes with the full windscreen, but there is a version with clears between the windscreen and the hardtop. The A36 is built to survey and can be registered as a commercial vessel. When fitted with an optional electrically controlled windscreen hatch the boat makes an ideal tropical island transfer vessel. For commercial operators, a new dive boat option exchanges transom seating for dive tank holders.

Under the floor is designed for easy systems access, which is useful for an owner-operator. There are two independent aluminium fuel tanks, a fresh water tank, black water tank, and a diesel generator. Arie has fitted an additional 400-litre fresh water tank for long journeys.

So many great options, yet Arie chose not to take up the option of a factory-applied graphic hull wrap, as he believes the boat looks great all white, featuring only the boat’s name, Arie’s.

Clearly, these boats are built with outstanding comfort levels and a load of innovative features to make boating easy and relaxing. An on-water evaluation is sure to impress, and as we found, a great deal of fun.

 

By Andy Kancachian

 

To book your sea trial, contact Multihull Central QLD Jake Wynne 0412 55 11 77. jake@multhullcentral.com 

www.multhullcentral.com

 

 

 

 

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