I’ll start you off with the pedestrian stuff – then hopefully we’ll get the major talents to wade in on the performance in the rough. If we are lucky, maybe Philip will be lurking and spend some time telling his stories!
Insurance – the big difference in the smaller cats. Since 9/11 it has become a serious issue and there is the possibility it becomes prohibitive. For reasons I don’t understand, it doesn’t appear to be an issue on the bigger cats. Somewhere around 30 foot and longer it seems to change. If you have a poor or bad driving record, it could be prohibitive now and don’t even think about turning in a minor claim!
Faster – the reason you buy a cat! Same pair of HP500s in a 38 foot Vhull will get you around 80mph (on GPS, no current). Same pair of HP500s on a 36 foot Cat will get you around 105mph (on GPS, no current).
Wider – Probably doesn’t sound like an issue, unless you put your boat in boat slips often. Plenty of times my 26 cat won’t fit and then some 38 Cig uses the slip. I would think it would make trailering a little more interesting. However, if you do a lot of beaching like we do at Havasu, the cats are easier to get on and off. Interesting, handling around docks with a wind appears to be more proactive with a cat. Maybe because they sit flatter on the water.
Cabins – cats suck. In the mid-to-small cats they vary dramatically. In mine, two people could easily sleep under the canopy area. Plenty of room to take stuff out on the lake for the day. My neighbors cat, same size, barely has room for a cooler. Potty? Maybe if you get up to the 32 footers.
Rough water – Now we need the big dogs of the board to wade in on the discussion. We just do not get that rough of water on Havasu. However, I do know that cats ride very different once they are fully packing air. On mine its around 70mph. If I have to travel much slower for passenger considerations, say 40 to 50 mph, then it bounces up and down like a V hull. But it’s a very flat V hull, so what would it be like in moderate to nasty conditions?