FISHABILITY

A TALENTED CAT DE­SIGNED TO TACKLE OFF­SHORE GAME AND INDULGE FAM­ILY AND FRIENDS.

Saltwater Sportsman - - Table Of Contents / Departments - BY ALEX SUESCUN

World Cat ded­i­cated more than two years to de­sign­ing and fine-tun­ing its new flag­ship, the 280CC-X, the first X de­sign in its lineup of power cata­ma­rans. The pay­off was a head turner of a cen­ter con­sole that, along with daz­zling looks, of­fers the lat­est in marine tech­nol­ogy, a wealth of crea­ture com­forts and well-thought-out fish­ing fea­tures, and the smooth ride that has be­come World Cat’s hall­mark.

Look­ing at the 28-footer head on, the twin-hulls de­sign with a tun­nel and the sports-car-like grille nes­tled be­tween for­ward-pro­trud­ing stems give the boat the ap­pear­ance of a For­mula One road­ster and set the tone for its dy­namic styling.

The ra­diused tun­nel en­hances over­all strength; mean­while, a lip at the un­der­side of the tun­nel serves to di­rect spray down­ward and keep the crew dry and com­fort­able. To take on big waves, the sheer line starts high at the bow and slopes grad­u­ally to­ward mid­ship where it lev­els at a gun­wale height of 25 inches, af­ford­ing enough aft free­board to tread off­shore safely and still let the des­ig­nated gaffer reach the water to haul in fish.

The bow, with its U-shaped lounge seat­ing for seven, is the des­ig­nated gath­er­ing spot. A re­cessed grab rail traces its con­tour, coam­ing bol­sters — that ex­tend the length of the boat — serve as port and star­board back­rests, and four cup hold­ers and weath­er­proof plug-in sta­tions for mo­bile de­vices are tucked un­der­neath, out of the way yet con­ve­niently at arm’s length. Un­der the for­ward seats hide a 36-quart cen­ter cooler, a pair of 6-quart cool­ers, and two large, in­su­lated com­part­ments with over­board drains with 180 quarts of stor­age ca­pac­ity each. Just for­ward, two hatches pro­vide ac­cess to a siz­able an­chor locker hous­ing a raw-water wash­down, 300 feet of rode, and a through-hull an­chor setup with a wind­lass, a first in a power cat of this size.

Apro­pos of the sleek de­sign, the er­gonomic con­sole with a swept-back glass dash­board ac­com­mo­dates dual Garmin 12-inch mul­ti­touch widescreen dis­plays with the cus­tom­iz­a­ble Czone dig­i­tal switch­ing sys­tem, plus dig­i­tal mul­ti­func­tion gauges, a Fu­sion marine stereo and more. Atop the con­sole, in a nod to tra­di­tion, sits a com­pass, en­abling old-fash­ioned nav­i­ga­tion and bear­ing ref­er­ence.

Be­low the dash, the steer­ing wheel to port and the throt­tle at the cen­ter­line leave room for elec­tronic steer­ing con­trol, two cup hold­ers and a handy glove com­part­ment. Far­ther down, the in­te­grated footrest har­bors ad­di­tional dry stor­age. In the front of the con­sole, for­ward seat­ing with a back­rest is at­tached to the door that pro­vides ac­cess to a step-down head com­part­ment with a marine toi­let, Co­rian counter, mir­ror, stor­age cab­i­net, and ac­cess to wiring and elec­tron­ics, plus room to stash ex­tra gear.

A surf­board-style fiber­glass hard­top with pow­der-coated frame, ra­dio box, rear- and for­ward-fac­ing spreader lights, LED un­der­side light­ing, and built-in glass wind­shield with Pan­to­graph-style wiper pro­vides shade for the skip­per and a com­pan­ion at the helm, where the seat­ing mod­ule with dual ad­justable bol­ster seats with fold­down arm­rests dou­bles as a lean­ing post com­plete with a rig­ging sta­tion, tackle and tool stor­age, and a 30-gal­lon livewell with a clear lid in back.

In the cock­pit, raw- and fresh­wa­ter wash­downs are smartly lo­cated un­der the op­po­site cov­er­ing boards, and twin 355-quart in-deck fish boxes stretch to port and star­board. They both have di­aphragm pumps and, thanks to fold­out racks in­side, dou­ble as rod lock­ers

ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing four out­fits each. Ad­di­tional rod stor­age comes via eight flush-mounted hold­ers on the cov­er­ing boards and tran­som, plus an op­tional five-tube rocket launcher on the aft side of the hard­top.

On the tran­som, a fold­down bench seats two to star­board. Ad­ja­cent, off­set to port, a tran­som door is per­fectly sit­u­ated to bring aboard trophy fish or wel­come re­turn­ing swim­mers. Just for­ward, sym­met­ri­cal in-floor hatches af­ford ac­cess to the bilge and other me­chan­i­cal sys­tems.

Other stan­dard fea­tures in­clude in­te­grated LED dock­ing lights and a swim lad­der, with Sea Vi­sion LED un­der­wa­ter lights, Taco Marine top-mounted out­rig­gers with 18-foot tele­scopic booms, and an Ed­son satin-fin­ish steer­ing wheel with power knob listed among the many avail­able op­tions.

Upon fin­ish­ing our de­tailed sur­vey, we took the new World Cat out for a spin. Take­off was swift, and we jumped on plane with­out any squat­ting, a trait of top power cats. Be­tween runs, pitch and roll were neg­li­gi­ble, de­spite the 2- to 3-foot chop, and so was sway dur­ing our var­i­ous ma­neu­vers. In clas­sic cat fash­ion, the 280CC-X re­mained pretty flat on the curves, with a slight out­ward lean as the only pal­pa­ble sur­ren­der to cen­trifu­gal force dur­ing tight turns at speed.

The twin 200s pushed the boat from zero to 30 mph in a quick 8.5 sec­onds and crossed the 50 mph thresh­old at wide-open throt­tle, a power ad­van­tage typ­i­cal of cata­ma­ran hulls. At 3,500 rpm we achieved the best speed (26 mph) to fuel con­sump­tion (11.1 gph) ra­tio, which, un­der sim­i­lar con­di­tions and with both 110-gal­lon gas tanks full, should yield a range of 520 miles, surely mu­sic to the ears of tour­na­ment an­glers and is­land hop­pers.

If a boat un­der 30 feet is in your plans, give this World Cat a close look. The well­rounded 28-footer is built to last and de­signed for com­fort, safety and fuel efficiency, with eye-pleas­ing looks and loaded with ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect in a top off­shore per­former.

WEATHER: Sunny LO­CA­TION: Sara­sota, Florida WIND: NE 11 knots SEA STATE: 2- to 3-foot chop TEST LOAD: Two adults, 165 gal­lons of fuel

TEST CON­DI­TIONS

The race-car-like front sets the tone for dy­namic styling and er­gonomic de­sign. Bow seat­ing hides a 36-quart cooler and two large in­su­lated boxes with over­board drains. A swept-back glass dash holds two 12-inch dis­plays with dig­i­tal switch­ing, gauges and more. Twin bol­ster seats dou­ble as a lean­ing post over a 30-gal­lon livewell and tackle stor­age.

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