Fast Cat, by staff photographer Mark Tyson, during our whale watching safari.
Welcome Aboard “Fast Cat”
Orange County’s Best Zodiac Boat Whale Watching Adventure
Welcomed into our 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, our 24-foot zodiac boat is available for burials at sea (ash scatterings) and is also a great choice for private charters seeking an exhilarating thrill ride. This intimate vessel will carry up to 12 passengers.
Public Whale Watching
• 90-Minute Signature Safari
Adults & children, ages 8 and up:
• 120-Minute Signature Safari
Adults & children, ages 8 and up:
• 90-Minute Charter
1 to 6 guests: $570 plus $50 gratuity
7 to 12 guests: $780 plus $100 gratuity
• 120-Minute Charter
1 to 12 guests: $1,140 plus $125 gratuity
Please call 949-488-2828 to reserve.
Burial at Sea
90 Minutes (Minimum)
1 to 6 passengers: $570 plus $50 gratuity
7 to 12 passengers: $780 plus $100 gratuity
Please call 949-488-2828 to reserve.
Fast Cat surrounded by dolphins, by drone operator Domenic Biagini, during our whale watching safari.
A Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Turbo-charged for Fun!
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
Fast Cat is unique, and as such, has different safety requirements from our other vessels.
The minimum age requirement on public trips is 8 years old. On private charters the minimum age is 4 years old.
Because of 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. All passengers will need to sign a waiver before boarding.
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 instead. Or, feel free to contact us to learn which boat might be best for your needs.
Due to U. S. Coast Guard regulations guests weighing more than 195 pounds may not be accommodated on Fast Cat.
If you exceed the weight limit, please consider a Dolphin & Whale Safari aboard one of our larger catamarans instead.
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, and to prevent loss or damage, please do not attempt underwater filming until after the boat has slowed down and your Captain gives the OK.
Fast Cat 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 you 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 that won’t be swept away by the wind, such as granola bars or cookies, are best. To prevent spills please do not bring open cans of drinks.
Please be advised that there is no bathroom on Fast Cat. Restroom facilities on land are available to use before boarding.
Capt. Dave’s Fast Cat has a very low center of gravity. For guests concerned about feeling seasick, this means the boat might feel more comfortable.
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. – Via TripAdvisorKaty V.
I’d heard about the Fast Cat adventure last year, and wanted to try it ever since. The cost was certainly higher than your average whale watching tour, but this trip was worth every penny. I think this is going to be an annual thing for my husband and I. We had so much fun. The Fast Cat is the Zodiac adventure where you’re right on the water. With such a small boat and group size, you’re not limited to seeing off one side of the boat. You can see all around.
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. – Via TripAdvisorthewinsomewench
Where do I start? My fiance and myself, Tom Ginn & Jennifer Gilbert were on a 7 day So California vacation with my daughter. Of course my daughter visited all the fun parks and we found an absolute gem in Captain Dave’s. We were expecting to see any wildlife and we got more then we bargained for. I sure wish i could remember one of our captain’s name. I believe it was Tim or Ken(Argggg). I do remember Captain Marie. These two were the most impressive captain’s. We were hoping to see a dolphin or two but would have been satisfied with seeing any wildlife. We still are in AMAZED at what we encountered. A Minke whale, a Humpback whale, 1000’s of Dolphin(Common) and a family of Sea Lion, we are still in AWE!!!!!!! Why they call these dolphins Common, is beyond me. They are everything but common. We have decided to make this an annual trip just for the fun. If we see wildlife then that is just an added bonus. This was the most incredible excursion of any type for both of us. The Fast Cat was absolutely incredible. They tell you that it is a little bumpy but fail to tell you that these are amazing fun bumps. They were not uncomfortable at all, just FUN! Make sure you bring plenty of room for lots of photos. This team at Captain Dave’s will make sure you see something. We want to thank you all again for the most incredible time we have ever had is a long, long time. I have a few more places to post my review so until we see you next year, thanks so much again. – Via YelpKaty V.