Sunsail responds to power cruising trend

ANNAPOLIS, Md., and St. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Sailing charter firm Sunsail USA has launched a fleet of power catamarans along Florida’s Gulf Coast, an expansion of the company’s existing sailboat charter rentals, it reported in a statement today.

“As time has become a more precious commodity, we’ve seen the sailing vacationer turn towards power cruising in recent years,” said Peter Cook, Sunsail USA’s general manager. “We recognize that more people want to travel in luxury and travel faster and the addition of the Power Cat fleet was an easy solution to that changing dynamic. The Power Cats travel further faster, allowing its navigators to see more in a shorter amount of time.

Cook also said the expansion makes the company’s fleet available to more people, including novice boaters as captaining the Power Cats only takes a basic knowledge of navigational skills.

The 34-foot catamarans are based near Fort Myers in the Burnt Store Marina and in St. Petersburg.

The Power Cats are equipped with twin engines, two steering positions, a GPS chart plotter, two double cabins, dining and living areas, air conditioning, a television, and CD and DVD players. The Power Cats can sleep up to six people in two double cabins and a lounge area.

The fleet includes a total of three Power Cats: two stationed in Burnt Store Marina and one stationed in St. Petersburg, Sunsail reported. The Power Cats launched in Annapolis, Md., this summer and will continue to charter out of Florida from November through April. The Power Cat fleet will expand to five in early 2004 with the delivery of two new Power Cats in time for the start of the Annapolis season, April through October, according to the company.

Sunsail USA offers bareboat charters in 37 locations throughout the world, power catamaran charters out of Florida and a water sports resort, Club Colonna, in Antigua.

The company was founded in 1974 and has grown in subsequent years, with revenues up more than 50 percent since 2001, much of that from acquisitions and mergers, according to Sunsail.

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