by Steve Lague

Outlaw Boats is a small West Australian company that specialises in custom design aluminium catamarans although they are quite capable of monohull builds too. Located in the southwest coastal suburb of Port Kennedy, about 55kms south of Perth, it produces about half a dozen boats a year making it a boutique bespoke boat builder.
Their latest is a 12.0m walkaround catamaran that has been designed, would you believe, so a helicopter can land on the roof. It is also the first quad-rigged catamaran the company has designed and the first in Australia to be fitted with four massive 350hp V8 Yamaha four-stroke outboards (more on that later).
While it is the first 12.0m catamaran the company has built, it is based on its successful 10.7m model. Outlaw Boats owner, Brian Sims who has been a boat builder for 28 years, said his client had four specific requirements when he ordered the boat – it had to be able to accommodate four outboard engines, handle a helicopter landing on its hardtop roof, be fast and fit on a trailer. Simple right.

Mr Sims said using the 10.7m, which has an overall length of 12.0m and a beam of 4.2m, as his starting point he needed to make the hulls slightly wider to ensure two outboards would fit on each hull, while at the same time keeping the boat under 4.5m wide so it could be towed. He also wanted to keep the tunnel height and the entry angle on the hulls the same as the 10.7m because of its proven blue water capabilities.
With a helicopter to come, the hardtop also needed to be made stronger, with strengthened supports, so it would hold the 1.14tonne machine. After giving his requirements to his Naval Architect, the result was a 12.0m cat that is 4.4m wide and weighs just under 10-tonne fully loaded (excluding the helicopter).
The boat, named Fawesome, made its first public appearance at the Mandurah Boat Show last month where it was the star of the show with a helicopter parked on the roof and a PWC sitting on the boarding platform between the four massive outboards. It was put in the water for the first time earlier this month and last week, BoatAdvice was the first to get the opportunity to take the big cat for a test drive.
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 28
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 31WHAT YOU GET
Outlaw Boats are custom built so you can take delivery of anything from a bare hull up. The 12.0m Fawesome has been ordered by the owner of Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures and will join the rest of his fleet of boats, all built by Outlaw Boats, in the Kimberley, though after talking to him I think he also has quite a few adventures planned in the boat for family and friends in the offseason and he had the roof built to handle the helicopter for those times. CASA regulations prevent the helicopter from being landed on the boat when it is being used for charter work.
Fawesome has been built specifically for VIP day tours in the Kimberlety so it has been fitted out with the very best of everything and has also been built to survey standards. But the thing that hits you first, at least when the helicopter is not parked on the roof, is the four big Yamaha outboards strapped on the back, it is an impressive site. In between each hull there is a large landing platform that gives you access to the water or makes a pretty handy fishing platform. There is a massive aluminium ladder that sits in the middle of the platform but this has been designed so it can easily be removed and replaced with a cradle for those times he wants to carry the jetski. There is a capstan fixed at the back of the lounge in the saloon that is used to pull the jetski up onto the skids and into place. The centrally located transom door also needs to be removed when the jetski is stored there.
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 3
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 2Access onto the boat while it is docked is through a side door, which eliminates the issue of not being able to access the swim board from the side of the boat. As you enter the cockpit there is a large bait board, with six rod-holders across the rear, in the back starboard corner. There are an additional five rod-holders affixed to the back of the transom on the port side. All 11 rod holders have power point access so electric reels can be plugged in. The cockpit area is plenty big enough for fishing or for storing dive gear, or simply enjoying the scenery. Under the cork-covered deck there are two large kill tanks that have been insulated so they can also double as ice buckets for drinks.
The cockpit is divided from the rest of the saloon area, which all sits under the massive hard top, by a beautifully curved lounge, which will comfortably accommodate 6-8 people, that surrounds a large table with drink holders down the middle. Opposite the lounge, which has large storage space underneath, is a small galley with a BBQ, sink, ice box and small dishwasher drawer.
The helm, which is equipped with two massive 19-inch Simrad multi-function display screens that fill the entire dash, has everything you need for long-distance cruising including radar and auto pilot. The switch panels for the radar and auto pilot are on the starboard side of the stainless steel steering wheel while the throttles and all the engine management gauges for the Yamaha motors are on the port side. The marine radio and all other switches and controls run along the top of the dashboard in a separate panel. There are two helm chairs that are positioned so it is equally comfortable to drive sitting or standing.Outlaw 12.0m Cat 18
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 21Vision from helm is OK, despite two bulky support frames right in front of the steering wheel. Having the central window set up so it can be opened to let fresh air through the saloon area does not help with the visibility either.
On the port side of the helm is a door into the bathroom/toilet while on the starboard side is the door to the sleeping quarters that consists of a double bed and a king single in an L-shaped configuration. The single is under the floor of the saloon and has no windows or ventilation. Both of these areas would best be described as functional rather than anything else with little in the way of finish or features. You also need to descend a four-step ladder to get down into both areas. While the bathroom is an important component of any charter boat, the sleeping quarters have been designed for crew or family and not guests.
The walkaround design of the boat enables easy access to the bow via wide passages on either side of the saloon. There is plenty of under-gunnel storage on both sides for ropes, boat hooks and anything else. At the front of the boat there is a plenty of room for standing and a long bench seat that would make a superb place to sit and enjoy the scenery while cruising down one of the 33 wild rivers in the Kimberley region. There is also a large electrically operated anchor for those times guests just want to stop and enjoy the magnificent Kimberley.
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 6
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 30POWER
One of the design criteria for this big cat was that he had to be quick because many of the tours involve a 150km plus round trip. The four big 350hp V8 Yamaha four-stroke engines certainly fulfilled that requirement. During initial testing the 10-tonne Catamaran has achieved a top speed of 55.8 knots (103.3km/h) and for those who are interested the four engines were consuming a total of 540-litres of unleaded fuel per hour in the process.
On the day we tested the boat in open waters off the Mandurah coast there was a 2.0m swell and a 15knot south-easterly breeze blowing but we still managed to get to 53.0knots (98km/h), a speed that had the hull out of the water (with what seemed extraordinarily long hang times) as much as it was in, with a fuel burn of exactly 500L/hour.
If you are looking for comfort, rather than adrenalin-pumping excitement, it sits on 37 knots (68.5km/h) extremely comfortably, even in less than ideal conditions, and consumes a much more reasonable 200L/hour which would give it a theoretical range of 500 nautical miles(900kms) from its 2 x 750-litre and 2x 600-litre fuel tanks.
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 8
Outlaw 12.0m Cat 11ON THE WATER
The Outlaw 12.0m is not a cheap boat with prices starting at $770,000 – and that is with a twin 350hp motor configuration, but when you get this boat out on the water you really start to appreciate the quality of the build and design of this big cat. Despite the owner being determined to push it as hard as he could when he was behind the wheel, it remained composed even when hit by bigger, unexpected swells. The landings were always soft and surprisingly quiet and there was absolutely no sign of any rattles or shudders anywhere. Neither was there any booming or noise from the water going through the tunnel. And, despite the hull spending a lot of time lifting out of the water at no time during the test period was there any sign of engine cavitation. Even with the boat thrown into full-lock turns at 30 plus knots the 4.4m wide cat simply turned with the two hulls staying beautifully flat and no sign of any cavitation.
Despite the size and weight of the boat the Yamahas had it up on the plane surprisingly quickly and hole shot was impressive with the cat reaching top speed from a standing start in a few hundred metres.
When driven at a more relaxing pace it became a very comfortable platform with virtually no water coming over the deck or even the windscreen.Dropping it back to 20 knots it felt absolutely pedestrian, but that could just have been an indication of how hard we were driving the boat throughout the test. It was hard not to walk away impressed.
trailer 10
ON THE TRAILER
As I mentioned earlier the owner wanted to be able tow the boat so he can transport it between his residence in Perth and Broome. He has had a twin axle, each with dual wheels, 10-tonne gooseneck trailer custom built for the job. The trailer is also fitted with airbag suspension and has air spring brakes. Basically it is a semi-trailer that he backs into the water to drive the boat on and off the trailer. He uses a Ford F650 dual rear wheel truck as his tow vehicle.
OVERVIEW
While Fawesome has been set up specifically for day use the 12.0m catamaran could be designed as a long-distance cruiser with a greater emphasis on accommodation. What the test showed was that you would be getting a superb blue water ocean cruiser that is well built and designed with acres of space and capable of handling all types of conditions as well, or better, than any similar sized boat. After spending a day on the boat it was very easy to imagine it skipping across the flat waters up north while passengers sat or stood enjoying fresh food and cold refreshments in the most stunning natural environment in the world.
outlaw 4POSITIVES
Ride comfort and handling
Outstanding performance
Massive saloon and deck area

NEGATIVES
Cabin basic
Visibility from helm

NUMBERS THAT MATTER
Price: (from) $770,000 with twin 350hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Length Overall: 14.0m
Beam: 4.4m
Engines fitted: 4 x 350hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards
Fuel: 2 x 750-litre and 2 x 600-litre
Water: 200-litres