Welcome Aboard "Fast Cat"

A Smaller, Faster, and More Intimate Whale Watching Experience

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Captain Dave’s high-speed zodiac boat for whale watching and dolphin watching is designed to get small groups up-close with whalesdolphins, and other marine wildlife like no other vessel. Any closer and the dolphins will think you’re one of their 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.

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 enjoying 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 from Boats.com.

Fast Cat surrounded by dolphins, by drone operator Domenic Biagini, during our whale watching safari.

See for Yourself!

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 to become the first 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 special safety information that differs from our other vessels.
  • Chevron down Minimum Age
  • The minimum age on public trips is 8 years old. On private charters the suggested minimum age is 4 years old.

  • Chevron down Health Conditions
  • Because of the high speed and fun but bumpy ride passengers should be in good overall health. 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 instead. Or, feel free to contact us to learn which boat will be best for your needs.

  • Chevron down Coast Guard Weight Information
  • Safety is our priority. Fast Cat is the first U. S. Coast Guard inspected and certified RHIB (zodiac) in Orange County. Due to Coast Guard regulations, guests weighing more than 185 pounds might not be accommodated on this boat.

    If you exceed the weight limit, please consider a Dolphin & Whale Safari aboard one of our larger catamarans instead.

  • Chevron down Ocean Spray
  • 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.

  • Chevron down Personal Items
  • Fast Cat has ample cushioned seating for all passengers. However, space for stowing belongings is not available. Please do not bring over-sized bags or coolers; 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.

  • Chevron down Food & Beverages
  • Because this vessel offers a fast and bouncy ride, plastic bottle 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 recommended. To prevent spills please do not bring open cans of drinks.

  • Chevron down Bathrooms
  • Although there is no bathroom on Fast Cat, there are restroom facilities nearby on land that are available to use before boarding.

  • Chevron down Seasickness
  • 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.

TripAdvisor logo Fast Cat private charter trip

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 accommodating 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.

– Katy V., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor logo AMAZING!!!

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.

– thewinsomewench, TripAdvisor
Yelp Logo

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.

– Tom G., Yelp
TripAdvisor logo An incredible experience - Can't wait to go back

The FastCat is amazing we had an incredible time. So close to the whales and dolphins. We even saw a humpback!

– Stagger L., TripAdvisor