The Hills 825 Cat has been in the making for quite some time, and I for one have certainly been looking forward to this review. With this, the first to be launched, she presents some interesting innovations in the boating industry. The Editor takes a closer look to evaluate the progress this concept has made. The Hills Cat is all new and unlike anything I’ve really seen. Designed and built by Allen Hills of Hills United, who claims 22 years of experience, you can be assured that tried and trusted skill is combined with fresh new technology and techniques to present something unique.
It’s important to remember that the boat you see accompanying this review is the prototype. It’s the pioneer to testing out the hull concepts and to weigh in whether changes need to be made before full-on production. Understandably, a few small touches here and there in the finishes – pretty much limited to the top deck – need to be looked at in order to obtain the type of quality you’d expect from imported boats. But considering the discerning eye I look at boats with, and the fine attention paid to the rest of the craft, I’m sure these have already been addressed for following models, including the one which I’m truly excited to see on the water, a wheel house version. For now though, let’s stick to the centre console we’re onboard.
For starters, this cat is a proper walk around centre console. The passageways are wide enough to really be used and there’s plenty space up front as well as at the stern. At the moment, there’s no seating for the crew aft, but the manufacturer says this will be added for the following models. The same I assume would go for one or two other necessities, such as trolling boats at the transom. Allen Hills, the designer and builder, has been an avid boater for many years and particularly enjoys his angling – so no small detail will be overlooked in order to create the complete package for the fishing fanatic. But, Allen is also a family man and understands that sometimes you’ll want a day out with the kids, and for this reason, the bow section will be changed just a smidge to allow for cocktail tables and such.