Hello 2008, and Gizmo the Large


Big Gizmo? Gizmo the Large? Maybe just plain Gizmo, and add a “Li’l”—you know, in small letters on a diagonal—to the original (especially easy as I haven’t yet repainted the li’l darlin’ since the thief bastards scrapped the decals off). So, yeah, I’m sitting here fussing about boat names when, in fact, I may have completely lost my mind. That strange, yet oh-so-slippery hull above is a prototype for the Maine Cat P45 about to go into production down the road in Bremen, and P45 #4 now has my name, and deposit check, on it. (Hence my encouragement toward any boat nut who treats himself well.)

But, oh lord, what have I done!?! Well, actually I nabbed the last of the “preproduction” versions of what I think may be the prettiest, most fuel-efficient “trawler cat” available, and thus got not only a discount but also the right to kibitz on final design details and/or to get my money back if my feet get too cold before “my” hull is started next September. Honestly, that could happen, but, my, wouldn’t this make one hell of a Panbo mobile electronics laboratory, not to mention a nice ride for surfing the seasons up and down the East Coast? If nothing else, just researching possible systems I don’t yet know much about—like remote helm controls, solar cells, and distributed power—will put a little spark in my work life. And, heck, I’m already well along with a “Top Ten reasons I must have a P45” list. But I’m all ears, and cold feet, too; so, please, if you’re interested in cruisers like this, check out the P45 here, and share your thoughts. 


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

9 Responses

  1. Pat Harman says:

    Anything with fuel economy is worth looking at. I am not partial to Volvo diesels, but that is a personal thing.
    Pat Harman

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Actually, Pat, I specified the optional twin Yanmar 4BY150’s, both because they talk NMEA 2000 and because they seem to have great reputation.

  3. charlie says:

    Hokey smokes, Ben! You didn’t mention this when we spoke the other day. Way cool, man. But I hope you get the one with a proper cabin on it, otherwise I’m not coming to visit. As for names, how about El Gizmo Grande, or EGG for short.

  4. Fjorder says:

    Oh wow Ben. Congrats are in order. Love her profile. And good choice with the Yanmar powerplants. And Happy New Year.

  5. Sandy says:

    An excellent choice from the last of the “Good Guy” Builders. You will treasure your friendship with Dick and Lynn, world-class nice people. I may caution you though: Shy Dick Vermeulen has a personal standard (based on experience!)for quality equipment that doesn’t tolerate much wackiness. Whatever the two of you agree on is bound to be noteworthy! I hope you can get him to check in here occasionally. Keep us posted on your electrical decision processes. And make sure you’ve got wide open easy access to wiring ducts and channels!

  6. Sandy says:

    Gotmo Gizmo.
    nuff said.

  7. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Realistically, it’s going to be a lot more time consuming to wire and test products on a boat than into your home lab. However, if your going to do it, include a distributed power system with an ample number of spare circuits in multiple locations around the hull. This will insure any additions have a short cable run for power, it will be less wear and tear on your boat to have constant changes, and as a bonus you can turn the equipment on/off from your helm(s) and measure and report on power consumption of any devices you test aboard.
    Nigel is currently having one outfitted into his new Najad. Look into choosing a different product and writing about it, so us readers can benefit from two in-depth reviews of the future of distributed power. I would like to hear how confusing it is / or is not in the installation process as well as insights and experience after you have had it for a year.
    Of course on the data side, it would be nice if products would likewise have short wiring runs to a NMEA 2000 backbone. How would you accomplish that, run multiple N2K backbones, one for each major vendor ?

  8. thataway4 says:

    Congratulations on the Maine Cat 45! I have been watching this boat carefully, and if I was younger would be on the list. As a recent power cat convert (Tom Cat 255 #39), I think that the Maine Cat is the best looking and will have the best construction of the bunch. I don’t dare show my wife the renderings of the galley!–wow–could make a great electronics lab also.
    The only comments I might make, is I hope that there is consideration of a gull wing shape (avoiding flat surfaces) in the lower part of the bridge deck to help keep down pounding in heaver weather. Also be sure that they put in several “extra” PVC pipe runs for your wiring. I find that most boats are under wired (size and races are crowded) and that having easy runs will pay. I always put two 1/8″ lines down the side of a new boat immediately, and keep two of the lines in there for pulling cables and wires.
    It is so refreshing to see the open progress of developement and inviting the boaters to participate in comments and sea trials before finalization of the boats molds.

  9. BillP says:

    Great news, Ben. Congrats! Dick is a great guy and his designs are refreshing.
    It will be fun to see you zoom by all the rest of us slower trawler folks, but maybe we can raft up for a cold one at the end of the day sometime.

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