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Rod Twitchin REFIT PROJECT Cougar Cat

Rod Twitchin REFIT PROJECT Cougar Cat

Mr Peter Rogers is the owner of a Cougar Cat 3400 built in Australia in 2002. He invited RTM to visit the catamaran located at Horizon Shores Marina for an introduction and inspection of his Cougar. Pete’s instruction was clear: he wanted the vessel to look clean and modern inside and out, given its dated and somewhat commercial appearance at that time. This project was a full team effort, which used all of RTM’s resources from shipwrights, painters, engineering and minor fabrication to our administration staff, including Nick from Liquid Electrical, and Rod from Stripe N FX. It took approximately four months for the primary agreed works, and then various minor “three percenters” were conducted so the entire vessel reflected the refit work.

WHY DID RTM ACCEPT THE JOB? It was quite apparent within the first five minutes of meeting with Pete that he knew what he wanted. He was happy to listen to all our advice, based on 35 years of industry experience. We knew this was going to be an amazing transformation from start to finish.

WHY DID PETE WANT TO REFIT RATHER THAN REPLACE? This vessel was a perfect canvas for a full refit. Cougar Cats are well-known performance motor catamarans that offer great seakeeping capabilities, an abundance of volume for their length, and fuel-efficiency given their two streamlined hulls.

WHAT WERE THE WORKS UNDERTAKEN? The vessel was launched by our ever-helpful team at The Boat Works. We did a hard washdown and then straight into the refit shed. Our team then started removing all the external hardware ready for painting prep. The shipwrights started removing all the internal fit-out as this was being completely reconstructed with a new and more suitable general arrangement to suit Pete’s needs. The engineers took to task with an extensive list of engineering and fabrication type works.

PAINT – The vessel’s exterior was painted grey to the hull and white to the decks and superstructure. The vessel’s new cabinetry and interior areas that weren’t to be soft covered were also painted white in keeping with the modern and clean look. ENGINE/PUMPS/POWER – The engines were fully serviced, with the gearboxes rebuilt. New freshwater tanks were constructed and installed along with replumbing of the entire vessel. All vessel systems were either replaced and or serviced.

INTERIOR/HELM – The helm was removed from the vessel and modified within the workshop, with the view of being reshaped to accommodate the throttles in a much more usable position and to declutter all gauges, as 2 Raymarine screens were being installed. The result was a modern and clean set-up but very practical for the operator. We installed 3 opening hopper windows forward of the superstructure, 2 aft and a new double opening door arrangement to enter from the aft deck.

Our team constructed all new cabinetry throughout, which also housed the new appliances complemented by a new quick release upholstered headliner system. This covered the previous visible ribs running athwartships to the underside of the deckhead.

Given the amount of work captured within the project and how it was transforming, RTM offered Pete teak planking to the vessel’s interior out of goodwill with the understanding of how this would finish off the interior and support the aesthetics of all other modifications. This also kept the teak theme from the custom swim platform, through the cockpit and into the accommodation. We even managed to scribe the vessel name into a section of teak in the forward accommodation and fill it with black sika, which is a great feature.

EXTERIOR – The vessel’s exterior was fully painted, with attention required to the hull bottom below the waterline prior to the new antifoul system being applied. Our team designed and constructed a custom swim platform which is light and very strong, incorporating two hinged flaps aft of the outboard to allow trimming of the engines when not in use, very unique and very practical.

ELECTRICAL/SOUND SYSTEM – Pete engaged Nick from Liquid Electrical who did a wonderful job sorting out the AC & DC systems, coupled with the electronics, sound systems and all things electrical.

PLAN/BUDGET There was a tight budget that was somewhat adhered to for the scope of work. However, Pete’s enthusiasm for the best result upon completion increased the budget. Nevertheless, it is fair to say that the cost was fair and reasonable and a direct reflection for the result with aesthetics, performance and practicability in mind.

VIRTUAL COMMUNICATION WITH CLIENT Throughout this and other current projects, the ability to communicate with our clients via facetime calling or simple picture messaging allows them to keep updated and feel part of the project regardless of their geographic location. As they say, “A picture tells a thousand words!”

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS PROJECT? The greatest reward for me, on behalf of our team, was receiving a phone call from Pete towards the end of the project with him being very emotional and thanking RTM for making his vessel something he can really be proud of when taking out his family and dear friends. We get up every day with the view of helping people any way possible and this is a great reflection of that!

Follow RTM on Facebook & Instagram to keep up with all our professional and project works or visit rtmarine. to gain an overview of our company. Contact Rod Twitchin Marine for any works required or simply to discuss any nautical matters.

Published in print January-March 2022