Clash of the CATS

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At the recent National Boat Show, a reader was telling me how a Cat is a Cat. That each one is exactly the same, just varying in size … But I couldn’t disagree more. And to illustrate my point, we’ve decided to pit two smaller Cats against each other and highlight the differences.

Enter the Osprey 16 and the Benguela 530 (17.5 foot).

As always, I must stress that any choice of boat comes down to you, the buyer. It depends on your needs and expectations.

Clash of the Cats - Leisure Boating MagazineThis is why the Osprey is fighting out of her category by taking on the Benguela 530. Both craft have got smaller, twin-mount engine installations, both have a T-top, both are great craft and are incredibly well finished off, and both can be geared towards the ultimate in sports fishing. So, just where does the separation come in?

For starters, the Osprey 16 as reviewed carries a price tag of R265 000, while the Benguela 530 is a little heavier on the pocket, costing you around R350 000 of your hard earned cash. But, with the physical difference down to basically 1.5 foot in length, which craft should you spend your money when push comes to shove?

The Benguela 530 measures in at 5.35 m, and weighs in at 840 kg, compared to the Osprey’s 610 kg. She’s also a bit more of a performance-based machine, able to accommodate that extra crew member comfortably for the day. She’s also a centre console, so maneuverability around the craft while you’ve got a fish on the line is easy.

The Benguela 530 does offer quite a bit more than the Osprey, showing that she is worth the extra money spent come purchase time. Although just 1.5 foot longer, the 530 does give you that extra bit of storage space for gear, bait, food and dry clothing, if needed.


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