The catamaran concept has worked for nearly 2,000 years, maybe more, for traversing large bodies of water safely. Building them is not as easy as a mono hull, something that made them rare among powerboat builders during the last century, but that is changing. Today, from the U.S. Navy to both commercial and recreational boat builders scattered all over the world, powercats of all sizes are more in evidence than ever before.
The leading builder of recreational powercats in the U.S. is World Cat and its sister company, Glacier Bay, both of which are owned by the PowerCat Group. The cats that they are building are versatile vessels able to be used as fishing boats, dive boats, or cruising boats and perform all needed functions very well. The World Cat 320 EC is a prime example of such a boat.
|Max Headroom||N/A||Bridge Clearance||
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
2 x 300-hp Suzuki four-strokes
2 x 300-hp Yamaha four-strokes
Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
With a LOA of 32’2” (9. 8 m) the 320 EC is roomy enough for spending the night at the canyons, or the islands. It all depends on who’s onboard. The family or the fishing buds.
The mission of this boat is plain and simple. Combine fishing and family features into a single boat that also happens to kick butt in offshore conditions. From what we’ve seen of this boat, and how the rest of the World Cat line handles, I think it’s safe to say that World Cat can hang the “mission accomplished” banner off the transom.
Here is where the 320 EC is right at home. In the snotty conditions, and the snottier the better. Our tests have even shown that slowing down is not necessarily the correct choice for a better ride in World Cats.
As with any boat, there are certainly items that standout on this boat vs some of the others in class. Let’s go over some of the most obvious…
Cat Schmatt – Yes it’s got twin hulls but I think we’ve clearly proven that there’s no need to differentiate between cats and monohulls offshore anymore. Aside from the fact that these boats are incredible in rough water, and they’re roomier, and have completely redundant systems… ok, so maybe the differences are still worth mentioning.
Massive standards list – Again, once you’ve seen a thousand “standard features” lists you quickly get to weed out the pieces that do nothing but add another line to make the list look longer, with items that every boat in the world has. These are things like drink holders, helm seat, and navigation lights… yada yada yada. But when you see things like Pro series freefall windlass with 300′ line, 15′ chain, 22 lb anchor, and foot switches at the deck, Cruiseair 12,000 BTU reverse cycle heating/cooling unit, and Fischer Panda 4.2 kW diesel generator with 10-gallon fuel tank… then it quickly becomes evident that you’re bringing more to the table.
The trunk cabin makes a great place to sit while in the foredeck. Rails are 316-grade stainless.
Designed for offshore- When a boat is made to run with the big dogs, you can quickly spot the amenities that it needs to compete, and they’re all here. Big deck drains, channels to direct water away from the cockpit, and an abundance of grab handles. Just head offshore in one of these boats and see how comfortable you feel, and you’ll get the idea. And to date, I’ve never been able to stuff a World Cat in a following sea.
Ok, so let’s go for a little stroll and take a look at the features. Now first off, this isn’t a new boat. It’s been around for a while, but there are some features that have been redone and for the better. Let’s start where boaters start… at the helm.
The 320 EC center mounted helm has been completely revamped, and for the better. This is a major improvement over the previous models.
The helm seat is fully adjustable and even has a flip-up bolster.
World Cat completely made over the helm on the 320 EC and it’s clearly a direct response to customer feedback, if not obsessive/compulsive test captain feedback. I had my share of complaints over the previous helm version, but not with this. It is impressive.
Instrument panel. The panel no longer has gauges down each side that only served to limit the space allowed for putting in electronics. And let’s face it, if you’re heading anywhere in this boat, you’re going to need at least two good-sized (12”/30.5 cm) displays. Here, you have the room and then some.
By embracing the digital engine displays offered by both Yamaha and Suzuki (you can choose 300-hp four-strokes from either) the old analog gauges are a thing of the past and now you can shop for the panel displays that suit you, and not just a limited panel.
Even if you opt for a single display, you still have room for options like an autopilot and VHF.
Engine controls. Anyone that is a veteran of my reviews knows that I love to pick on engine control ergonomics. Just get lazy and mount your controls on a vertical panel so that you lift up to accelerate the boat, and try to shut me up. Engine controls need to move fore and aft. World Cat has gotten the word and how! My hand fell naturally to the controls and they move forward easily as they should. Now I’m happy and I’ll bet you will be, too.
The helm seat. Gone is the lame plastic framed ladder-back seat that didn’t even have a footrest, and in its place is a luxurious, plush, faux-leather wrapped, six-way adjustable seat that you just may want to sleep in. And what’s that underneath? Yes, it’s a footrest! Frankly, I’m ready to stop looking at the rest of this boat and have a party at the helm, but I know you will need more so let’s continue with the tour.
The wraparound safety glass is a nice touch and is a lot better to look through than isinglass. I’d still like to see the supports for the overhead deal with visibility better. Look at the toerails in the cockpit deck.
Helm Deck and Cockpit
The helm deck has opposing lounge seating that seats 4-6 people, with a 90 qt (85.2 L) cooler to port and access to the standard generator to starboard. A 75-gallon (284 L) fishbox lies in the center of the deck right at the single step that takes you down to the cockpit deck.
Comfortable seating has raised padding under your legs and access to storage beneath.
An insulated cooler lies under the seat next to the helm makes convenient spot to grab a drink while underway.
The fishbox lies just behind the helm seat and between the two loungers in the helm deck.
There’s a lot going on in this 58 sq ft (5.4 sq m) cockpit. There are two aft facing jump seats that are the easiest I’ve seen to deploy and store. Fresh and raw water washdowns are standard. A 40-gallon (151.4 L) insulated, lighted livewell with 1100-gph (4163 Lph) magnetic drive pump and starboard bait prep station with sink, cutting board highlight both flank the heavy duty RTM fiberglass transom door. The bait prep station can be swapped out for an optional second 40-gallon (151.4 L) livewell.
Of course there are the usual flush-mounted rod holders, and under gunwale rod storage, but I also like that the 320 also has small toe rails to tuck your feet under giving you just a little more stability when fighting the fish in a rough sea way.
Flip-out jumpseats are a great use of space, and allow full use of the cockpit when it’s time to fish. See the toerails?
The standard transom livewell has rounded corners. A second one can take the place of the bait station.
Having twin hulls has its perks and one of them is the huge dual anchor lockers. They’re quite deep with gutters around the opening to channel water overboard via a drain. Rails are beefy, and in between the hatches is a standard, that’s right… standard, windlass with foot controls, chain, and 22 lb (10 kg) anchor.
The Pro series freefall windlass is standard, and notice the foot controls.
The Delta anchor, chain, and 300’ (91.4 m) of rode are all standard. Notice the dual cleats, in addition to the docking cleats outboard.
Notice how the gutters all drain overboard via a hose plumbed through stainless fittings. The bottoms are still fitted with 500 gph bilge pumps with auto switches, one for each side.
An opening skylight is included in the, now standard, hardtop. Notice the clunky electronics box is a thing of the past since so much space has been opened up in the panel.
Now would be a good place to discuss the options. First has to do with the hardtop. While it's now standard, there is an option to color match the underside to the hull color and a second operating station can be added above as another option.
The hardtop, with an opening skylight, can also be fitted with Rupp custom sidemount outriggers with 15' fixed poles or Taco 370 Grand Slam outriggers with 18' telescopic poles. And of course there are the rocket launchers and spreader lights.
The optional upper control station also features a Bimini top. Notice the rocket launchers at the supports as well as behind the upper station, and the outriggers are side mount.
And here’s a look at the 320 EC without the second station, but still with the hardtop.
Of course the family probably won’t give a fin over the fishing accommodations. As long as the cockpit remains roomy and spacious the great equalizer then becomes the cabin accommodations, and the 320 EC has that covered, and then some.
There are two doors flanking the center-mounted helm. To starboard is the wet-head. It is fully fiberglass lined for easy cleanups and roomy enough for even my fattest fishing bud (we all have at least one) to be comfortable whether sitting or standing. From here, a door leading forward goes to the main cabin.
Here is the head with a view out to the helm deck. Notice it’s fully lined with a deck drain for showering or cleanups.
A second door from the head leads to the main cabin and berth.
The main cabin is also accessible directly from the companionway to the port side of the helm. A galley is right at the bottom of the stairs, and while it may be small, it’s just the right size for this boat and its weekend overnights mission. Besides, it’s quite well equipped with the standard galley package consisting of a refrigerator, microwave, electric cooktop, and stainless sink, so no one’s complaining.
The small but functional galley lies just at the base of the steps from the helm deck, port side.
Which brings us to the berth. As this is a cat, the cabin is quite wide, spanning the twin hulls. This allows World Cat to add the luxury of a roomy queen-sized berth, with plenty of storage underneath for a weekend away from home. In case you brought the kids along (you fools) then there’s an LCD TV pre-wired for cable and a standard DVD player as well. That’s if the optional stereo with MP3 jack isn’t enough.
The master berth is queen-sized thanks to the cabin spanning across the twin hulls. A night table is on each side with storage underneath.
Additional storage is under the master berth. Notice the faux teak and holly sole.
There’s also another cabin just aft. While you and I may call this a mid-cabin, World Cat calls it a quarter cabin and that’s probably more appropriate. It takes up the space of one hull, as the head occupies the other, and it holds one person, or two close friends. In other words, if four guys are planning an overnight fishing trip, then some will be on deck unless they’re really good friends (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course).
The quarter berth may be a bit cramped for more than one person, but the kids will love the feeling of “camping out”.
While we haven’t tested this 320 EC to verify, World Cat tells us that they do have some performance figures to share. With a Yamaha 300 four-stroke doing the heavy work they report a top speed of 45.6 mph. At that speed they were burning 52.7 gph. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 21.2 mph. Now the fuel burn was down to 13.1 gph and 1.62 mpg.
Clearly World Cat had their act together when they came up with the 320 EC. In my opinion, it meets all the requirements of a fishing and family-friendly boat, and then some. They even managed to add luxury into the mix. And let me say it again… if you have any doubts about how well these boats handle rough seas, then you only need to get out into it just once to be convinced. It’s like nothing you’ve experienced if you’ve only been in a mono hulled boat. Try it.
|Washdown: Fresh Water|
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= 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.|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!