What is a Thundercat?

in #thundercat2 years ago (edited)

Glass Jan 14th 6.JPG

To clear up any confusion these ‘Thundercats’ have many names:

Aquacat – by Aquarius, South Africa
Zapcat – by Gemini Marine, South Africa
P1 – by Infanta Inflatables, South Africa
Bullet – by Caesar Inflatables, Germany

There may be more, please comment below if you know of more, but these are the main four hulls I see at races.

They are all RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boat), which are Catamarans and whatever brand you decide to buy, they are all ‘Thundercats’.

These boats are amazing at dealing with rough conditions, they house a 50hp 2-stroke outboard motor, typically Tohatsu or Yamaha, and can be easily tuned. A standard 50hp motor on a Thundercat can be compared to a Porsche 911 Turbo, just to give you an idea of power delivery.


Essentially they are all the same thing (rubber ducky’s), but with some minor differences as they are made by different manufacturers.

The nose cones will have a different shape, each cat may sit differently in the water or handle different at high speeds or in turns.

I chose to buy the Aquarius Aquacat as it suits my driving style, which is ‘flighty’. I believe the nose cone is responsible for this as it’s slightly cupped underneath and you’ll find Aquacats will have their noses in the air typically a lot higher up than other hulls.

See photo below, Aquacat at this years' Thundercat Racing Championship - Round 5


My racing co-driver bought a Caesar Bullet, and we think this hull gives you an ever so slightly quicker top end (in our testing), and the ride is smooth, but we find it’s just not as aggressive in hard turns. My favourite way of explaining the difference between the two hulls is…think of the Aquarius Aquacat as an angry wasp, haha no wait, think of it like a fast Japanese performance car, which has blistering acceleration and power, not the best handling, but you feel like you are going fast! Now think of the Caesar Bullet like driving an expensive Audi, you are going fast but it doesn’t seem like it as the ride is smooth and direct. So is the Aquacat more fun? In my opinion, YES!

Although the Infanta’s are the latest ‘rubber ducky’ hull design, so I am seeing more of them about. Are they any better? People with them will tell you that they are, but I know there are racers that have tried them and gone with the Aquacats…personal choice I guess. I have noticed they have a sharp edge on the nose cone, and I can’t help but imagine my teeth going straight into it.

So what about the infamous Gemini Zap Cat? Well these were the ONLY hulls you could get for a long time as they were the originals. I see that they are still making them, but I have seen one in the last two years, so maybe not so popular in the UK anymore.

Here is my friends zap cat that's an championship winning boat - Wet Willy 2. It no longer races, its used for general fun at sea.


Whatever hull you decide you like, you’ll probably want to rip out and replace the foot straps, as the standard straps are like shitty skydive toggles, they sit flat and if you need to get your feet in quickly you sometimes find yourself having to faff about…not ideal in a race. They are perfectly fine for recreational use, but for racing I find the straps need to be reinforced so that they maintain shape, and they need to be bigger so that you can wear booties and still get your feet in quick. When buying new, you do have the option of placement, but you’ll need to do all the measurements and send them off, as again, they don’t know where the ideal placement is for you.

Old standard foot straps:


Our homemade reinforced foot straps about to be glued on.


Something else to consider is the floor. It’s solid, so you’ll need to decide how you want to cushion it out. I chose 30mm closed cell foam, it wasn’t cheap but it’s comfortable and dispels water very quickly. It does have a downside though, if it’s wet and you stand up on it, it’s deadly, very easy to slip.




If I were to buy another hull, I would also ask for the bags to be on the outside this time, as having them in the boat on the sides has proven to be a pain in an Endurance Race. We needed two fuel cans, and having the bags there in the way made it very difficult to fit the two side by side.

Ok so we know they can handle big surf, but did you know they are great in flat conditions also? In fact, let me just list below the things I use my Thundercat for:

. Fishing
. Taking my family up the river to explore
. Beach festivals
. Up the river for a pub lunch
. Towing inflatables, like donuts & banana boats
. Trailering it to different places and exploring


Amberley on the Cat.JPG

Glass Jan 14th 2.JPG

Wheelie POV.jpg




Thanks for reading guys! See you on the water soon!

#summer #travel #adventure #thundercat #zapcat #aquarius #aquacat #caesarbullet #rib #sib #beach #travel #ocean #vitaminsea #beachparty #beachlife #life #beaches #sun #friends #love #inflatables #towing #infanta #tohatsu #yamaha