The Sled Cat was a courageous move on Halmatic’s part to create a fast,
multi-purpose workboat. She was a cross between a catamaran and a Sea Sled (hence
Sled Cat). In order to carry heavy loads on the plane the craft was designed
to function on the Sea Sled principal. There was a cat like tunnel down the center
but this was designed to remain wetted and supply lift. As well as load carrying,
other requirements were that the craft should be able to beach either bow or
stern on and have a ramp at each end, thus allowing a quad bike and/or other
payload, to be driven on or off either end. This meant that the engines and jets
(needed for the shallow water) had to be spread as far apart as possible and
that a centreline pod to house the jet intakes was not practical.
The hulls aft were asymmetric catamaran style with positive deadrise – to
take the jets and give good handling – while being Sled like, with negative
deadrise, forward, to give directional stability coupled with a soft ride and
to divert the hydrodynamic pressure under the hull for load carrying. After a
few modifications the prototype went well and further development could produce
a production work craft with unique capabilities.