WORLD CAT 280 DC-XImpressive performance and functionality

By Andy Adams

Last September, we had our first encounter with a World Cat 280 DC – X and it was quite impressive!

We know of no other comparable Performance Offshore Luxury Catamaran in the Ontario market, but we expect to see more World Cats in the coming seasons. The test boat was supplied by Central Marine Midland, in Midland, Ontario and they report that they are doing quite well with the World Cat line. Built with vacuum-infused hull construction in North Carolina, the World Cat was designed as a big water boat.

Design and performance

For those not familiar with power catamaran designs, the boat has two deep and narrow hull sections joined by a tunnel down the centre. Compared to a vee-bottom boat, there are some performance differences and attributes that Central Marine’s Georgian Bay clientele are attracted to. Part of that attraction is in the interior accommodations, but what really sets the World Cat 280 DC-X apart is the performance.

The hull sections have quite a high bow to ride well up and over waves and the design gives the World Cat significant side to side stability. The first benefit is apparent as you step on board; the boat does not roll as you step on the way a vee-bottom will. The 9’2” wide beam contributes greatly to the stability and for passenger accommodations, the catamaran design yields a wide flat expanse of floor, all the way from the transom to the bow. However, the bow is not pointed as on vee-bottom boats; it’s square. The result is a very spacious bow seating area.

From idle in gear as you leave the dock, the World Cat remains steady and level, even as the speed rises. The boat does not experience the “planning off” transition as a vee-bottom does. It just stays level and goes faster. Better yet, the speed increase is linear as you bring up the engine revs and the World Cat is happy to run at any speed you choose right to maximum. Just select the most comfortable speed for your passengers and the conditions.

The most economical cruising speed was 3,000 rpm doing 18.4 mph and achieving 2.29 mpg although it’s still getting 2.0 mpg at 30 mph. Acceleration is also impressive going from a standing start to 30 mph in just over 8 seconds and the bow never rises to block the view.

We loved that the boat did not need to be trimmed much at all. The faster you go the more aerodynamic lift the hull generates. It has car-like handling in that it leans to the outside of a turn and in that sense, experienced boaters will need a little time to adjust to the different feeling. It does not bank into a turn. Owners will love how smooth and stable it is through the chop on Georgian Bay no matter how fast you go. This is perfect for islanders who need to travel during inclement weather.

The test boat was equipped with twin Yamaha F200 outboard engines that are smooth, quiet and include the Yamaha Command Link Plus package. An Optimus 360 steering system with joystick docking control and autopilot is available, although we found the World Cat was easily managed at dockside without it.

The HelmWhat a well-organized helm! The seat has a flip-up bolster, footrest and accommodates standing
or seated driving. The Edson wheel with the Power Knob is a high-end feature.

Helm


The 280 DC-X features a fiberglass hardtop on a powder coated frame with LED overhead lighting and a very attractive frameless glass treatment. This gives protection without a frame to block your vision and an opening port side windshield section provides access to the bow. A roof-mounted cockpit sunshade is available to reduce the sun exposure.

The handsome helm console layout features a Garmin GPS Map 12” multi-function display with chart plotter, depth readings and more. The World Cat also has a Fusion stereo and we really liked the stainless-steel Edson wheel with a power knob; a very blue water touch! The Yamaha control box is mounted at a comfortable angle and you get a footrest, flip-up bolster and folding armrests for excellent driver comfort. The battery controls and switches are under the seat base.

The companion seat is versatile with a backrest that accommodates up to four sitting back to back. Press the stainless-steel release bar and the backrest folds into a rear-facing sun lounge, or flat for an even bigger lounger. The space in the seat base can accommodate an optional live well.

Head

Another great comfort feature that takes advantage of the catamaran hull design is the port side enclosed head. It has ample vertical space making it very usable for all and a glass ceiling panel brings in natural light. Featuring a full fiberglass liner, a 9-gallon holding tank, sink and a Corian counter, this is a good head compartment and great spot to change into a bathing suit, too.

The CockpitThis is a great cockpit for a 28 footer. We love the snap out easycare carpeting, all the rod holders, refreshment stand, places to put a barbecue and of course, serious fishing features.

Main deck and cockpit features


The World Cat 280 DC-X has a spacious cockpit with padded inwales surrounding a large expanse of flat floor . The transom door is just off the centreline and has an excellent safety lock slide latch. This leads to a swim platform between the engines with an outstanding ladder arrangement. World Cat calls this boarding ladder the “On-Ramp”. It goes out at an angle, well beyond the engines, almost like a set of stairs; a great feature.

The test boat had four rod holders and four drink holders in the gunwale tops. There are more rod holders on the hardtop frame as well. The boat is equipped with deck hawse and inboard cleats to give a clean deck and eliminate tripping hazards; a very nice feature, typical of serious offshore fishing boats. There is an access panel on the port side and on the starboard side is a fold-out transom seat for two.

Also, in the cockpit are twin mechanical rooms under floor hatches, a 20 quart cooler and the test boat had attractive woven flooring that can be removed for cleaning.

Just behind the helm seat on the starboard side is a refreshment unit. The test boat was equipped with a stainless-steel sink, pressure water and an Isotherm refrigerator. Some will order the optional electric grill while others will get a separate BBQ, but the 280 DC-X has what it takes to be a great entertainer as much as a fishing partner.

The BowAgain, the catamaran design results in remarkable interior space. The bow holds up to 11 people and has a removable table, storage, drink holders and an impressive level of function.

Bow features


The World Cat is well suited to fishing and with the catamaran design, the forward deck is like a big casting platform with non-skid finish. The bow styling is very distinctive and with the sweep of gray accent colour up the sides and the stainless-steel breastplate (with integrated LED docking lights and the World Cat name across the front), it reminded us of a 1950s car (in a good way).

There are two bow hatches for access to the centre-mounted anchor and power windlass. There is also a raw water outlet up front so you can wash the boat down.

On-RampThis is the “On-Ramp” boarding ladder that folds out like a set of stairs to bring you up to the swim platform and through the transom gate. This is a great design.


But the main event in the bow is extremely comfortable seating for 6 people with folding armrests, drink holders, stereo speakers and a removable table that can fill in the centre to make a huge sunpad. Inboard mounted stainless-steel handrails add safety and comfort. The bow also includes big storage areas and the 180-quart port side compartment is insulated and has an overboard drain.

In Georgian Bay with so many islands, it’s easy to see the World Cat 280 DC-X as a great islander. There is major passenger and cargo space and that flat floor that gives such a convenient and secure feeling!

Then again, with the big head compartment, refreshment unit, amazing swim ladder and flexible seating layout, the World Cat 280 DC-X is an outstanding day boat. With an impressively smooth ride and great turn of speed, you could really go places with your gang!

The BowThe bow is very distinctive with what looks like an automotive-style grill in the stainless steel breastplate, stainless steel anchor out the centre and the words WorldCat lettering. Also, notice the substantial fl at deck in the front for fi shing and other activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POWER BOAT REVIEW SPECIFICATION FORM

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine (s): Twin Yamaha F200 outboards, electronic fuel injected dual overhead cam, 2.8 litre V6 engines, 200 hp each. Stainless steel props.

RPM MPH
1,000 5.0
1,500 7.1
2,000 8.6
2,500 11.4
3,000 18.4
3,500 23.5
4,000 29.7
4,500 34.4
5,000 38.5
5,500 43.4
5,850 45.8 MAX

Length overall: 27’6” / 8.3 m

Beam: 9’2” / 2.74 m

Dry weight (with engines): 7,250 lbs / 3,288 kg

Fuel capacity: 220 gal / 832 L

Fresh water capacity: 16.5 gal / 62.4

Holding tank capacity: 9 gal / 34 L

Price: [as tested, base, US dollars]

Test boat and pricing provided by: Central Marine Midland, www.centralmarine.ca

 

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