Reviewed: Aquila 36

A look at the new Aquila 36 Catamaran.

aquila 36

Aquila 36

The Aquila 36 is the first vessel in the builder’s series with outboard power.Aquila Boats

When MarineMax approached the Sino Eagle Group, a Chinese boatbuilder, to create the Aquila series of power cats, the yacht sales firm had two goals: The first was to flesh out its MarineMax Vacations bareboat charter fleet in the British Virgin Islands, and the second was to create yachts suitable for private ownership.

Those are, in several ways, seemingly contradictory needs. Charter yachts need to be bulletproof: easy to maintain, easy to repair, easy to use. Private yachts, on the other hand, must be whatever their owners want them to be, even if using them takes a little extra maintenance now and then.

To satisfy both types of boaters, the Aquila line was created, first with a 48-footer and then with a 44-footer. The Aquila 36 is a departure from her sisterships in that she is an outboard-powered, express-cruiser-style catamaran, but she also adheres to MarineMax’s philosophies.

aquila 36
The Aquila 36 has two staterooms, one in each hull. The berths are tucked into the bows with windows to one side and an opening hatch overhead for natural light and fresh air. The en suite heads also have windows with opening hatches. And because the heads are amidships, they act as a sound barrier between the sleeping areas and the engines.Aquila Boats

With a single main living level from bow to stern and a beam of 14 feet 7 inches, the Aquila 36 is like a bowrider on steroids. She has seating that can handle 20 adults for outings and barbecues, and there are two staterooms below, one in each hull, for family weekending. The staterooms have nearly queen-size berths, en suite heads, stowage and 6-foot-6-inch headroom.

aquila 36
The walk-through windshield has three panels, so owners can adjust the amount of breeze cooling the cockpit as well as keep spray at bay. (Though during our ride, the Aquila 36 proved dry in choppy seas.)Aquila Boats

Up on the main deck, under the optional fiberglass hardtop, are a dinette, cooktop, fridge, sink and smokeless grill. Forward, the seating transforms from benches to sun pads, and the anchor gear is hidden under a hatch with a wired remote control.

Aft, the choices include settees across the transom or a fishing/diving option with a bait tank and tackle station. Twin boarding gates allow for docking, diving or tender access.

aquila boats

The Siblings

Aquila 44 Aquila 48
The Aquila 44 has an on-deck master stateroom with en suite head and an office/dressing area. Two additional staterooms also have en suite heads. Similar to the 48, the 44 has flybridge stairs to the cockpit and foredeck. Queen of the fleet, this 48-footer has a salon with a galley, along with four staterooms, each en suite. The flybridge has direct access to the cockpit with dinette, and to the foredeck, where far-forward seats allow unobstructed views.
Aquila Boats

Power choices are twin 250, 300 or 350 hp Mercury Verados, with the 350s pushing the Aquila 36 to nearly 35 knots.

A solid dayboat for the family or for fishing, the Aquila 36 is equally adept at weekending with friends.