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Is this new boat the sportscar of the sea?

Australian designed and built, the Castle Rock Carbon Cat is elevating the world of ribbed inflatable boats (RIBs). Small wonder it’s being dubbed the ‘Ferrari of RIBs’ and the sportscar of the sea.

Imagine zipping over the water at 60 knots, but feeling like you’re flying thanks to the innovative design of your chariot. Unlike other boats around you travelling at similar speeds, you’re gliding – not bumping – over the waves. 

It sounds like a logical way to build a ribbed inflatable boat (RIB); well, logical to Dan Oatley and the clever team at Castle Rock who are changing the way we cruise thanks to the revolutionary Carbon Cat, aka the Ferrari of RIBs and the sportscar of the sea.

Castle Rock Carbon Cat

The brains behind the sportscar of the sea

There’s a lot that goes into ribbed inflatable boats (RIBs), as Dan knows well. If you’ve heard Dan’s name before, that’s because he’s one of the most legendary people in the boating world. 

Over his career he has spent time as a navigation officer aboard the Queen Mary 2, has held the title of ‘master of superyachts’, has crossed the Atlantic 14 times and cruised to the North Pole. 

He has also sailed in the last three Sydney to Hobart yacht races, aboard his late grandfather, Bob Oatley’s, record-breaking super-maxi Wild Oats XI – he steered the yacht across the finish line to win the 2018 race. 

It’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about what makes a great boat. And in partnership with Castle Rock, Dan has channelled his knowledge and talent into crafting the extraordinary new Carbon Cat. 

“I set out to design and build a high-speed, stable and visually appealing RIB, and I’m certain that target has been achieved,” says Dan. “This is due primarily to the hydrodynamic and aerodynamic features that I have been able to incorporate in design, along with the benefits that come with carbon fibre construction. This boat ticks every box in its category when it comes to recreational boating.”

Castle Rock Carbon Cat

Innovation at sea: the Ferrari of RIBs

Dan used his industry insights to craft the 5.3-metre-long Carbon Cat with features like a Mercury four-stroke 115 horse power Pro XS outboard. Which means the RIB can cruise comfortably at 45 knots, and can reach that top speed of 60 knots if needed. And it’s as easy to handle at top speed as it is when cruising. Ferrari of RIBs indeed…

And like a top-model sports car, the Carbon Cat is made using the most high-tech materials available. It’s made of 100 per cent carbon fibre, which provide strength, durability and reliability. Oh, and this also means it’s lightweight – it’s much lighter than fibreglass, reducing displacement and saving on fuel. 

It’s then wrapped in a Hypalon tube. This guarantees protection (it’s highly resilient to UV exposure) and a dry ride, being more resistant to shock and impact.  

Also like a Ferrari, the RIB is all about quality. Dan has made sure that his top priorities are attention to detail and craftsmanship. Castle Rock has incorporated yachting features like an innovative tunnel hull design that maximises aerodynamic lift and reduces hydrodynamic forces. These features ensure it is stable as those high speeds you reach.  

Despite its high-tech features, you don’t have to be James Bond to appreciate this ride. The Ferrari of RIBs and the sportscar of the sea is just as attractive to recreational boaters as it is racers, fisherfolk and those towing watersports equipment.

This Signature Luxury Travel & Style article was produced in partnership with Castle Rock. Be the first to see more exclusive online content by subscribing to the enewsletter.

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