|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||
|Std. Power||2 x 150-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboards)|
|Tested Power||2 x 150-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboards)|
2 x 115-hp Honda 4-stroke
2 x 115-hp Suzuki 4-stroke
2 x 150-hp Suzuki 4-stroke
1 x 150-hp Yamaha 4-stroke
Tested By Capt. Rob Smith
World Cat produces some of the most versatile and rugged fishing boats I have tested. Since the boat was tested in 2005, World Cat has added a better heavy-duty sealing gasket like you now see on most cars. They have added toe kick space in the bulwarks so you have a better hold when fighting a fish, which is especially important offshore. One other big change comes with the reworking of the livewells. The new livewells have the water entering at an angle at the bottom of the well with rounded corners, so that the bait will stay alive longer.
This photo reveals a lot about World Cat construction. Note how the inside of this stowage locker is finished off, the hose clamps on the channel drain, the rubber gasket and the gas-assist strut.
At the bow, the 230 SF comes equipped with a fiberglass anchor pulpit with roller, just like you find on far larger boats. Because of the twin hull design, there are two large lockers at the bow for lines, finders and gear. Getting up to the bow is simple with the large built-in steps up the center. By using the optional cushions, you can turn this into a family-friendly bench seating area when cruising around in the bays or lakes. Because of the beam of the boat the storage on the 230 SF is also noticeably larger than you will see on most boats in this class size. Most important, these compartments are lockable.
Under the center console is the porta-potti, fresh water tank, and the electrical panel. The designer has thoughtfully provided the occupant with an electrical system to contemplate instead of a magazine rack. We’d like to see the water tank placed somewhere else, say, a bit farther up stream.
The 230 SF has an optional T-top, which is almost a necessity for those of us that have spent too many hours in the hot sun offshore hoping to find that trophy fish. Underneath the top is zippered storage for throwables and other gear, and across the back are rod holders. Our boat also had the Taco Grand Slam Outriggers making this a much more serious fishing machine. Walkways from the bow to the stern offer a lot of space for working a fish, and under the gunwales you can store three rods on each side.
At the helm we like the adjustable steering wheel and the ss hand hold for the navigator to starboard. Note the expanse of real estate at the top of the panel for screens and other distractions. Regular readers know that we would like to see the throttles mounted on more of a horizontal surface for ergonomic reasons.
At the Helm
Inside the helm station, is a Porta-Potti. This space usually gets stuffed with gear for an offshore trip, but I can imagine it is certainly welcome for a family, or with mixed company onboard. The door is lockable, so it becomes a good place to stash gear when you’re not on the boat.
The helm station offers a lockable electronics box to keep your valuable electronics out of view when you dock your boat yet readily available when you need them. With the Honda outboards, we had Honda’s engine management system gauges which make keeping an eye on engine performance simple.
Fresh or raw water washdown under the helm seat.
A bank of soft-touch switches to the right of the hydraulic assisted steering wheel control the power to all onboard gear. I found the throttles a bit too close to the wheel on the test boat, but World Cat says it has not had any complaints about this.
On this version the battery control panel is mounted under the seat of the leaning post.
Over the helm on the optional T-top is a white or red light for night running.
A handy sprayer is mounted on the right side of the leaning post with a large handle to switch from raw to fresh water. The boat carries only 10 gallons (28 L) of fresh water, so use it sparingly. Across the back of the leaning post is a handy grab bar, four rod holders and a small tackle station.
The stern section has electrical connectors in the corners to plug in optional trolling gear or down riggers. Below are courtesy lights making it easier to move about at night. Bolsters around the stern area mean you’ll come home with fewer bruises and more smiles after the fight is over.
Across the stern is a 300-quart fishbox with a gravity-feed overboard drain. The livewell is 31 gallons (117 L), is lighted, and has an 1100-gph pump and an overboard drain. Both the fish box and the live well are insulated with foam. Our boat also had an easy-to-deploy ladder for getting back on board after a swim.
Lockable tackle drawer. Note the padded bolsters all around.
Specs and Performance
The 230 SF is 24-feet length overall on average and carries a beam of 8’6”. She carries twin 75-gallon fuel tanks for the twin outboards. Also, the electrical systems for each of the engines is separate. Because the fuel and electrical systems are independent of each other, the 230 has a built-in redundancy that can off peace of mind when your offshore if things begin to go wrong.
Draft on these boats is a skinny 12 inches with a weight of approximately 3,400 lbs. (1545 kgs.) The World Cat 230 SF is rated for up to twin 150-hp outboards and that is how we tested them.
We found her best cruise to be at 3500 rpm traveling 18.1 knots for a range of 297 nautical miles with a 10% reserve. When I opened her up, she topped out at 38 knots.
This archaic device is called a compass. It was invented for navigation about 1,000 years ago and comes standard on the World Cat 230 SF.
Aspects of Construction
There are several things about the construction of the boat which should be pointed out. First, the hull and the deck are 100% composite construction creating a solid, durable, rot-free platform for serious offshore performance and longevity. The transom is also 100% composite reinforced with aluminum backing plates to hold up the stresses of high-horsepower engines. All cleats aboard have aluminum backing plates.
Second, non-corrosive, polyethylene fuel tanks are used. This is important. Many boats use aluminum tanks which can rust with time. Since fuel tanks in a boat of this sort are almost impossible to check, World Cat has done the right thing in using polyethylene tanks.
Look at this simple, clearly-marked electrical switch display ( l. to r.) – Starboard, parallel, port, with the house battery on the top switch.
Third, World Cat prides itself on its electrical systems and wiring. Large PVC tubes are used as wiring runs to reduce chafe and to make aftermarket wiring easy as possible. All wiring systems are heavy-duty and meet or exceed all NMMA requirements and include tinned copper wiring, Deutsch sealed connectors, and wires labeled every three inches. The Deutsch connectors have done more so reduce electrical problems than any single thing we can think of. No matter what boat you buy, make sure you have them.
Finally, all cockpit and navigational lighting are LEDs for years of trouble-free boating. If you have every had the aggravation of nav lights going out, then you will appreciate the care, and added expense, that World Cat has gone to install the LED lights.
The boat’s hull has a ten-year limited, transferable, structural warranty. All hardware is 316 stainless steel and carries a lifetime warranty against structural corrosion. If you have ever owned a boat with “stainless steel” hardware that stains, then you will appreciate this one.
This is probably the largest 23’ boat you are likely to find. Note the high freeboard.
If you are looking for a versatile family-friendly boat that has both the guts and the safety to go out and chase fish, the World Cat's 230 SF should be on your short list. With twin power systems with separate fuel tanks, nice high sides inboard, and lots of room to sit or to work the fish, what else could you want in 23’?
Boaters are by nature very conservative, and anglers tend to be the most traditional boaters of all. If you find yourself staying away from the 230 because she is a cat, then you are probably one of those traditionalists. Our advice is that you go for a test drive on the 230 SF – not to buy the boat – but just for the hell of it. If you don’t like the experience you can tell all of your friends why. If the experience is not so bad, you can tell them that, too. But we’re here to tell you that there is a reason why this concept is growing in popularity among ardent anglers.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
= Standard = Optional
|Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.|
|Years||Ten year limited|