Fast Cat: Orange County’s Best Zodiac Boat Whale Watching Adventure
A Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Turbo-charged for Fun!
Welcomed into the fleet in 2015, Captain Dave’s zodiac boat for whale watching and dolphin watching is designed to get small groups up-close with whales, dolphins, and other marine wildlife like no other boat. Any closer and the dolphins will think you’re one of the pod!
In addition to whale watching adventures, this 24-foot zodiac boat is available for burials at sea (ash scattering) and is also a great choice for private charters seeking an exhilarating thrill ride. This intimate vessel will carry up to 12 passengers.
On our zodiac boat, whale watching is turbo-charged for fun. Fast Cat’s 240-HP inboard diesel engine is quieter and more reliable than an outboard engine. With speeds up to 30 knots, a small group of up to 12 passengers will spend less time looking for animals and more time with them for a shorter, faster, whale watch. The special wide, rectangular, bow area of this RHIB is perfect for dolphin viewing as they bow ride within arm’s reach.
Comfortable and upscale, Fast Cat features heavily padded seats with seat backs, large custom sunshade, custom teak floor, and a unique catamaran hull designed for a smoother, more stable ride than ordinary RHIBs. Her unique catamaran design won her honors in the Top Five Rowdy Ribs, written about in Boats.com.
Fast Cat has gone beyond that level with lots of added features like custom seating, large t-top sunshade, and safety equipment. Fast Cat has passed a series of rigorous Coast Guard Safety inspections including: a stability test, thorough hull exam which is done yearly, plans examination, and electrical, fire, and safety exams to become the first and only U.S. Coast Guard inspected rigid hull inflatable boat, (RHIB), in Orange County.
Many people prefer a relaxing, unhurried ride on the ocean. But for those who want to wake up and feel the thrill of moving fast across the water, don’t have time for a longer trip, or just want to be even closer to the dolphins and whales, and don’t mind a little occasional spray at high speeds, then this is trip for you!
Important Fast Cat Safety & Comfort Information
• The minimum age requirement on open trips is 8 years old. On private charters the minimum age is 4 years old.
• Due to the high speed and fun, but bumpy, ride you must be in good overall health and have good mobility. We do not allow anyone who has head, neck, or back injuries, is pregnant, or has any current problem that could be aggravated by this type of ride. If you have disabilities, or are not able to meet any of these conditions, please consider a Dolphin & Whale Safari aboard one of our larger catamarans or feel free to contact us to learn which boat might be best for your needs.
• A signed liability waiver is required for each person before boarding Fast Cat. Parents or legal guardians please sign a waiver on behalf of each of your children. Download the waiver for Fast Cat.
• Please be advised that there is no bathroom on Fast Cat. Restroom facilities on land are available to use before boarding.
• Our zodiac boat has ample cushioned seating for all passengers. However, space for stowing belongings is not available. No over-sized bags or coolers are allowed. Please limit what you bring to only what can fit on your lap. Waist-packs, mini backpacks, and small camera sling bags are good examples of what to carry your belongings in.
Food & Beverages
• Because this vessel offers a fast and bouncy ride, plastic-bottled beverages that can be closed and easy-to-eat dry snacks such as granola bars or cookies are best. Open cans of drinks are not permitted.
• Fast Cat is very low to the water, and as a result, you may encounter ocean spray. Please keep electronics, camera equipment, and any other items you don’t want wet secure while the boat is underway. You’re welcome to bring a GoPro but please do not attempt underwater filming until after the boat has slowed down and your Captain gives the OK.
• Capt. Dave’s Fast Cat has a very low center of gravity. For anyone concerned about feeling seasick, this means the boat might feel more comfortable. Also, with less time on the water, Fast Cat may be a good option for those worried about feeling sick.
Fast Cat Reviews
I took my 4 year old and my sister on a private charter last month on the Fast Cat. It was worth every penny. Captain Dave was very accomodating and tailored the trip to our interests. We spent a long time following dolphin pods which my daughter loved. We saw a humpback whale about 15 feet from the boat – absolutely breathtaking. We also saw a pair of Minke whales at the end of the tour. No issues with ocean sickness at all as the boat has a low center of gravity and is so close to the water. I plan on doing this trip with my family every time we visit California. Just fantastic.
Visited July 2015Katy V
Visited February 2016Stagger L
Our captain, Marie, got us right to a huge pod of dolphins. Once surrounded, she slowed, allowing everyone to take turns looking over the bow of the boat. Here you can see the Dolphins so close that you can practically touch them. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people actually did. You are that close.
Captain Marie then located two greys, a mom and calf. We spent a good twenty minutes watching them.
The boat ride itself is exciting. Lots of speeding and bumps. We were prepared to get wet, but we didn’t.
If you only make one whale watching trip, it should be with Captain Dave’s. The other ships they have look awesome too. I’m happy we did the fast cat though.thewinsomewench