Fishing boat, bowrider, dive boat, family fun, weekender – this boat does it all.
SOME BOATS TRY TO do many things and fail at everything. The new World Cat 400DC-X takes on a multitude of challenges but succeeds at all of them. Fishing boat, bowrider, dive boat, family fun, weekender— this list goes on.
World Cat built its reputation on rugged offshore fishing machines and if you think this is just another center console for a bunch of guys, you’d be sadly wrong. The DC in the name means “Dual Console”, which is one of the features that makes the World Cat 400DC-X so cool: you walk between twin consoles to reach the forward cockpit.
Now, if you’re thinking this is one of those little V-shaped bowrider hang outs for a couple of people, again you’re wrong. Remember that the World Cat 400DC-X has nearly a 13-foot beam, which means you have seating—-nay, make that luxurious seating—for a dozen friends on wraparound lounges. Two tables rise electrically from the floor to create either sunpads for roasting or tables that can accommodate eight for dining. An optional sunshade attaches to the hardtop, giving you a shady getaway forward.
A nice feature is the clever sliding walk-through windshield door, which neatly solves the problem of closing off the cockpit from spray or wind, and it does so without any pinched fingers found on conventional folding windshields. And I liked that the 400DC-X is one level bow to stern: no steps to trip Aunt Edna.
On our test boat, the transom was another multi-purpose zone. To port, fishermen will find a 24-gallon live well and a cooler with chiller plates. Separated by a walkway to the stern platform, the starboard transom was for families and weekenders: a pop-up Magma propane barbecue plus a sink and cutting board meant you could grill some burgers, fish on the other, or simply walk between the two areas where you’d find a huge swim ladder big enough for a commercial dive boat.
Speaking of divers, not only is the oversized ladder a real bonus, but a size door (with removable ladder) makes getting in and out of the water with tanks and weights and gear a lot easier. And even if you’re not a diver, you’ll appreciate the ability to step straight from a dock to the cockpit without any daring leaps.
Of course, a major selling point is this is a catamaran, which means you get two hulls for the price of one. It’s a two-fer that provides the stability of a yacht twice its size, but those slim hulls also create less drag which translates to better speeds and better fuel economy.
Our test boat had a pair of Yamaha XTO outboards punching out 425 hp each, which pushed the World Cat’s seven-and-a-half tons to a startling 46.3 mph. But the slipperiness of the twin hulls meant that, at 20 mph, she was getting 15.5 gph, or about 1.25 miles for every gallon. With the twin aluminum fuel tanks totaling 464 gallons (and leaving yourself a 10% safety margin), this gives you a 522+ mile range. This means not just the offshore islands (all of them at once!) but deep into Mexico or a long ways toward Alaska.
That 13-foot beam also translates into a spacious cockpit under the fiberglass hardtop with its big opening sunroof. There is a dinette that easily seats eight, with electric seatbacks that reverse to create a forward-facing companion seat for the skipper and an aft-facing seat to watch the fishing lines. An entertainment center has a fridge and a sink, so you have all you need to feed the gang.
But if you were thinking the 400DC-X has the limited amenities usually found on center consoles, like a porta toilet and maybe a cramped berth, you’re wrong again! The port cabin has a comfy 46-inchlong by 74-inch-wide berth (wider than a twin), air conditioning, and 6 feet, five inches of headroom.
This means weekending in cool comfort: no bugs, and stand-up room to pull on your britches. Even if you’re not sleeping over, this is a secure place for kids to take naps.
The starboard console has the same headroom, a freshwater flush toilet and, get this, a walk-in stall shower with teak-grated seat and hot water heater so you can get the salt off in comfort. This isn’t a “wet” shower that soaks everything, but a real walk-in stall with a door that keeps your splishin’ and splashin’ contained.
The skipper gets a nicely arranged dash, with twin Garmin 17-inch monitors (everything on this cat is big!) plus the engine monitors. Our test boat had the optional Yamaha Helm Master joystick controls, which takes all the white knuckles out of docking and can do tricks like holding in place while waiting for a spot at the fuel dock or holding over a deep-water fishing hole. The skipper also gets a double-wide seat with flip-up bolsters and tilt wheel for standing comfortably.
I already gave away the top speed, but the World Cat 400DC-X is just plain fun to run. Not only is she quick, but putting the hammer down and unleashing those 850 wild horses should be prefaced by alerting your crew to hang on: she comes up on plane quick!
The 400DC-X is one level, bow to stern.
We had the kind of lumpy sea conditions that aren’t the best boating days, but they were perfect for wringing out this big cat, and she ate up the dishwasher seas with aplomb. Spray went to the side rather than onto the windshield and her motion was smooth and predictable. We had people aboard moving around while running flat-out, and they didn’t have to move using rails like people on a subway. She also didn’t have that unfortunate catamaran ailment called “sneezing”, where water is compressed between the hulls and blows back forward, wetting the entire boat.
One thing I realized is that the World Cat 400DC-X, with its windshields and side windows, could really stretch your boating season for those in areas that get either wet or cold (or both). An optional soft enclosure of the hardtop and you’ve got snug conditions on a boat that can take the off-season sea conditions.
Our test boat had a 9kW Fischer Panda diesel generator tucked under the cockpit fed by a separate 24-gallon diesel tank, and that would run not only the air conditioning, but full AC power throughout which can mean blenders for piña coladas in summer or heat in winter. Space under the cockpit has also been allocated for a Seakeeper 3 gyro stabilizer, which I’m told is a popular option on the 400DC-X.
When you first go aboard a 400DC-X, take the time to poke around, and you’ll find that World Cat gets big points for finding every possible nook and cranny, and turning it into a locker, a cubby, or stowage area. There is hidden rod stowage in the coaming aft, and the anchor windlass is tucked under a hatch forward, with another hatch for the rode locker.
The bottom line is that I liked the World Cat 400DC-X a lot. It’s well built and thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of today’s families who do a lot of different things with their boats. Multiple options allow customizing the 400 even more for diving, fishing or just plain family fun.
It’s time for your family to get a cat!