Tuesday, November 6, 2007

TomCat 24 TomCat

No, this TomCat hasn’t run aground. Her owners are gathering clams by the bucket in Kachemak Bay, Southcentral Alaska, after easing unto a sandy gravel clam bed to await the ebb of the tide. In all, 190 quarts of razor clams were taken for a feast that won't be soon forgotten.

John and Shanna Stauffacher purchased the 2000 TomCat 24, powered by twin Honda BF90s, in July 2006 to use it the way Alaskans use their boats: They hunt bear and deer, they fish, they harvest clams, shrimp and crabs. And, yes, they cruise, exploring glaciers, fiords and historic sites, and there is always wildlife to sightsee.

Their homeport is Sterling, Alaska, but they regularly trailer to Homer, Seward and Whittier. John is shown below on the ferry between Ketchikan and Haines right after they first bought the boat.

Here’s how John explains why he and his wife, Shanna, shown above with the black bear, started thinking about a power cat to replace their aluminum monohull:

We were interested in a power cat for one main reason: We were tired of getting beat up in the tight chop that is common in the saltwater of Southcentral Alaska in a monohull boat. Secondary was the better fuel economy of power cats.

Why did you decide on the TomCat?
We weren't previously familiar with the TomCat until my wife saw the one we bought for sale at boattrader.com. I wasn't sure I was interested, but my wife kept pushing me to call the owner. I did some investigating online and discovered the C-Brats site where I got some basic questions answered. I also had a good conversation with the C-Dory factory which helped me arrive at a proper used value. At the time, C-Dory still had all their sales information available online for the TomCat, including magazine articles. (See link at top right.)

What are the highlight experiences with the boat?

Our highlight with this boat was an eight-day seven-night bear hunt in May, 2007. We departed the port of Whittier and never used any other port services until our return eight days later. We stayed comfortable and well fed for the entire trip.

What’s next?

We plan an 800-mile trailer ride to Haines, Alaska, to cruise the northern Inside Passage for the month of June 2008. In May 2008, we will make our annual week-long hunt for black bears in Prince William Sound.

What's your background in boating?
Our TomCat is our second boat. We still own our first boat, an 18-foot Harbercraft/Jetcraft aluminum monohull. Everything we do with our Tomcat we used to do with our first boat; we just weren't near as comfortable and we had to pick our days because of the weather.

We've really enjoyed this boat, but . . . we've had some real problems to overcome, the biggest one being trailering this boat and the damage done by the trailer to the boat. (More on that in a future post.)

John and Shanna call their TomCat 24 TomCat, at least for now:

We starting using the name TomCat as soon as we bought the boat. It was mid-July of 2006 and we were in the middle of our high use season. This was supposed to be temporary, but until we work on becoming a little more creative, it has stuck.

Click here for the Alaska Adventure Journal site maintained by John and Shanna.


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