One cannot spend their time reviewing compact yachts and not be impressed by a catamaran that, while just 26.5 feet in length, features TWO private sleeping cabins and a FLY BRIDGE (in addition to a comfy interior helm station). If you did a double-take on that opening line, let me assure you that you’re not alone. Suitably stunned, I decided to look into the Excitecat 810 more thoroughly, and was more impressed each step of the way.
The Spanish-built (designed by Philipe Subrero) Excitecat 810 is an example of what can happen when every detail is thoughtfully planned out. The yacht isn’t trailerable (by conventional means) because it sports a beam measurement of 12.7 feet. But if you’re looking for something that looks good in your marina berth, and what may possibly be the ideal cruising yacht, this boat may offer more than any other 26-footer.
Board the Excitecat 810 via her swim platform and the convenient transom door on her port transom. You’ll be impressed (I promise) by the size of her cockpit (remember: a 12.7’ beam!). In the floor, you’ll find multiple storage compartments as well as large access doors to the twin Yanmar or Volvo Penta diesel engines. There is also a properly-ventilated propane locker and a hot/cold, freshwater shower located here.
A stainless steel yacht ladder with teak steps leading up to the fly bridge is to port and large, high railings lead forward on both sides of the boat (starting just forward of the cockpit) to the large foredeck with the vessel’s ground tackle, including the windlass and anchor platform and a large space for relaxing/sunbathing atop the forecastle. Four translucent hatch covers are located in this area of the foredeck, but they are situated out of the way of working and sunbathing spaces.
A sliding door leads to the saloon, a light and airy interior space which features a spacious convertible lounge (3 double beds in a 26-footer!), a very compact but well equipped galley, a complete weather-sheltered helm station (to compliment the fly bridge, above), a comfortable head and shower (with sink, mirror and storage), and TWO (count them … 2!) forward double cabins. When one considers that the V-berth in a mono-hull is situated in a space that is approximately 6’ at the widest point, diminishing to about 18” at the bow, it’s no wonder that Subrero designed two cabins in this wide forward space. The sleeping accommodations (one facing longitudinally and one laterally) are quite spacious and include hanging lockers, shelf storage lights and electrical outlets for both cabins. There are overhead hatches in each cabin for natural light, ventilation, star watching and emergency egress. Water-view oval port holes are situated in the main hull (down low!) to provide a great view of the water and additional light.
Storage is well thought out, too. In addition to making use of every space opportunity in the interior of the 810, there are storage lockers on the foredeck (including a self-draining anchor locker with deck access), several lockers and shelf spaces in the cockpit, and several more on the fly bridge. Additional generous storage compartments are located forward in both hulls, accessed by the two forward most hatches in the foredeck. An organized yachtsman would find plenty of space onboard.
Tankage is adequate at 115 gallons of diesel, 26 gallons of water and 15 gallons in the holding tank. You have to give up something for the remarkable space on the vessel, and more fuel and water appear to be the victims. Just fill up the water tank every time you go for fuel, or consider a watermaker!
As for performance, the Excitecat 810 makes 18 knots at cruising speed (with Yanmar 160hp engines), so you can get anywhere you want quickly. Or, if you’re fuel-conservative, this boat sips diesel at about 6-7 knots. It drafts a mere 2.6’, so you can get into some of those choice anchorages that larger or deeper yachts can’t, and with the Excitecat’s exceptional onboard amenities, you may want to stay awhile.