World Cat 330 TE
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
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 Brunswick, 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
underneath. 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."