World Cat 330 TE
MAY 2005
 
   
Length overall  34'
Beam 10'6"
Draft (drive down)  16"
Displacement  6,300 lb
Fuel Capacity  300 gals
Base Price  $171,514


Captain Jim Barlett, above, mans the helm. Note the lockable electronics box in the dash.

I had a chance to go for a ride at the Miami boat show with Captain Jim Barlett, owner of Beast Charters. He runs fishing charters for sailfish, dolphin and swordfish in the South Miami area out of Black Point Marina. Rod Antonioli, World Cat's special events coordinator, came along.

With a light breeze out of the west, the seas were running a two-foot chop, but once we were about a mile off-shore out of the wind shadow of the South Beach high-rises, the seas kicked up to a good three feet with occasional four-foot ground swells. In short, these were ideal World Cat conditions.

In your traditional V-hull fishing boat, you naturally throttle back when fixing to take a wave or a wake; however, with catamarans, particularly cats equipped with semi-displacement sponsons like this one, you maintain speed or even throttle up. The sponsons cut through the wave and land you gently on the other side.

The boat was equipped with twin Honda 225 four-stroke outboards. The captain, who owns an identical model a year older, likes to cruise at 4000 rpm, which even in these conditions, gave us a GPS reading of 26 knots. Wide open, we were doing 35.7 knots at 6000 rpm, though later when I checked the maximum speed log, it read 36.4 knots. Needless to say, it was an exhilarating ride, a veritable hoot. The power steering is remarkably smooth and yet the boat tracked extraordinarily well. The power steering can be turned off with a switch on the dash and the difference is marked.

Back at the docks, I had the opportunity to meet World Cat's president Mike O'Connell. He's been in the recreational boating industry for 20 years now, working with Bruns-wick, Genmar and Yamaha before joining World Cat about two and a half years ago.

"I left the world of 5,000 boats a year, board meetings and Powerpoint presentations to join a company with a hundred employees and a great product in a niche market. I would do it all again in a heartbeat," he explained. They build about 240 boats a year.

The 330 has a small cuddy cabin in the bow, tucked underneath a raised casting platform. There are two hatches to the cabin on either side of wide molded steps leading up to the bow platform. Inside the port hatch, there's a portable toilet in the bottom of the sponson. Inside the starboard side, there's storage. Cushions span the space from one side to the other, providing a space to lie down out of the weather.

The rest of the boat is devoted to fishing. The optional fiberglass T-top protects the helm console. There's a roomy storage compartment under-neath. The walk-through transom features two 45-gallon lighted livewells with 1100 gallons per hour magnetic drive pumps and flow regulators. One livewell can be converted to an optional self-draining fishbox or insulated cooler.

The cockpit has a four-inch molded-in toe rail all around. There are three large fishboxes totaling 888 quarts of insulated storage, two tackle centers, six gunwale-mounted stainless steel custom rod holders, and four twist-lock 12 volt DC plugs to power downriggers, electric reels or kites.

The fiberglass helm station/leaning post comes equipped with two tackle stations, a 54-quart cooler, raw-and freshwater washdown, and a bait prep station with rigging sink.

"This is cool fluid dynamics," O'Connell said. "We've got to tell people about this. The buzz has been phenomenal."