By Captain Steve
Mission for the World Cat 255DC
World Cat's design team set out to improve upon their already popular 250DC by adding even more space in the cockpit, creating more seating, and improving the helm. At its core, the 255DC's mission is to continue to be a versatile platform for offshore fishing, cruising, diving, and other watersports. Because she is stable, rugged, and seaworthy she strives to be the boat of choice of discerning offshore boaters.
Some of the distinguishing features are not so much specific to this boat as they are with catamarans in general. And the 255DC has made a good catamaran better. In the marketplace her competition will mostly be monohulls, so we will dispense with the obvious distinguishing features.
Completely Redundant Systems.
Having twin hulls allows one to separate all of the systems and effectively create a mirror image between the port and starboard hulls. Obviously, you've got two separate propulsion systems, but also two separate electrical systems, and two separate fuel systems (93 gallon/352.0 L each). It would be a very rare occurrence to have a boat like this get stuck offshore and not be able to limp home under her own power. In fact, World Cats can easily plane using just one motor.
Gobs of Space.
Catamarans have the roominess that no monohull boat this size can match. If one brings family and friends onboard, they can literally have the adults hanging out, and even dining at the bow (a realm normally reserved for the kids) while other members of the party can be swimming, diving, or even lounging around in the cockpit.
The fiberglass hardtop is no longer an option but relegated to the standard features and it includes courtesy lights, opening hatches, and gusseted double supports that also serve as functional handholds.
There's a sturdy swim platform centered between the two outboards and with the optional railing and heavy-duty ladder, World Cat makes it easy to get in and out of the water even with double tanks on. All that's missing is an option for dive tank racks. This kind of platform is only possible in a catamaran because the outboard engines are spaced so wide apart.
Here's where the World Cat 255DC has monohulls stopped cold. Because most offshore boats in this size range are deep-V -- usually with from 21-degrees to 25-degrees of deadrise at the transom, they roll when at rest, drift fishing, or slow trolling. Rock and roll is fun on the dance floor and most seasoned anglers have gotten used to it aboard monohull offshore fishboats, but most of their spouses haven't. Why put up with it if one doesn't have to?
Major Standard Features
If one is looking for a boat that can swap out between hard-core fishing and dedicated family fun, the World Cat 255DC fits the bill. Her fishing features are nicely hidden beneath comfortable cushions so when the owner is converting back to family fun it's little more than a matter of hosing her down, drying her off, and putting the cushions back.
More Electronics Room.
The helm has been re-designed to accommodate a 12'' (30 cm) multifunction display in addition to the multifunction engine gauges. In addition, this boat has the unique ability to add electronics in front of the observer's station with molded-in spaces mounted into the head door that are angled to face the captain. So go ahead and place a flatscreen fishfinder over there and let the observer have a hand in finding that favorite fishing spot.
Port and Starboard Bow Anchor Lockers.
With two anchor lockers, the boater can carry a small "lunch hook" anchor and a heavier one with 20' or so of chain for harder work.
Adjustable Height Bow Table.
This table is used for lunch on board and can be lowered to convert the area into a sun lounge with filler cushion.
Freshwater Electric Pump-out Head.
Instead of having a Porta-Potti as standard, the World Cat 255DC has a china bowl toilet and a 10-gallon (38 L) holding tank and overboard discharge.
Aft Fold-away seat.
Dual aft fold-down seats with backrest cushions provide seating for cruising and are out of the way when fishing.
100% Composite Hull.
No wood is used in the hull, deck or transom of the 255DC.
Performance and Handling
Upon acceleration, there's a minimal 12-degree bowrise which maintains a clear view of the horizon. With the hulls having such a narrow entry the driver can really feel the lack of resistance as they go through the water. Unfortunately, we tested on a flat, calm day and I say unfortunately because World Cat boats have a great reputation for being able to handle practically anything that Mother Nature throws at them. This isn't just talk; this has been verified by my previous tests on World Cat boats. Going through the wakes of passing yachts verified my opinion that this is yet another example of an outstanding offshore boat.
Speed Up When Rough.
The narrow entry of her hulls allows them to slice through the waves rather than ride up and over them, or pound into them. Because of this, my experience has been that when the going gets rough, slowing down is not necessarily the correct move. I have found that speeding up actually allows better penetration through the waves and the hull takes the flow much easier. Additionally, that speed also serves to carry the hull off of one wave and directly into the next while maintaining a fairly level attitude that I find exceedingly comfortable.
Monohull owners say cats lean out when turning, so let's address it. Cats turn differently than monohulls, how could it be the same? When you enter a turn in the 255DC she has a tendency to lean to the outside of the turn, and once the turn is established, she'll complete the turn at a level attitude.
That outside tilt might be a little disconcerting at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to it. In fact, after about 15 minutes it started to feel quite natural. If the driver enters a hard turn, then the 255DC will lean into the turn briefly, and then settle back into a level attitude again to complete the turn. The point being, that one will not experience the roll into the turn that they typically do with the monohulls.
The World Cat 255DC has a length overall of 26’ (7.9 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.6 m). With an empty weight of 6,500 lbs. (2,948 kg), half fuel and two people onboard, we had a test weight of 6,970 lbs. (3,162 kg). The twin 150-hp Yamaha 4-strokes reached a top speed at 5500 rpm which brought us to 44.8 mph. At that speed, fuel burn was measured to be 34.4 gph (130 lph) giving us a range of 249 miles (401 km).
Absolute best cruise
came at 3000 rpm and we were going 20.3 mph, getting 2.23 mpg for a range of 402 statute miles with a 10% fuel reserve. The speed that I think most owners will run this boat is more likely to be about 4000 rpm where we recorded 31.3 mph and got 2.02 miles per gallon for a range of 363 statute miles.
The lack of resistance in the narrow hull entry manifests itself with a quick time to plane of only 3.3 seconds and we accelerated 0 to 30 mph in 7.9 seconds.
Let’s begin our tour at the bow where the foredeck serves as an elevated casting platform. The bow rails are 12” (30.5 cm) off the deck and because the bow is so wide, one really has a lot of room to walk around on this elevated deck. Dual anchor hatches to either side of the foredeck allows access to the same anchor locker that spans the width of the bow. All of the hatches are Divinylcell foam cored and resin infused for light weight. They are held open by stainless struts and gasketed all the way around. The openings are guttered with drains leading overboard. An anchor roller resides in the molded pulpit, separate navigation lights are at the peak of the pickle-forked gunwales.
Our test boat was fitted with the Pro Series Freefall windlass that includes 300’ (91.4 m) of line, 15’ (4.6 m) of chain, and a 14 lb. (6.4 kg) anchor. Foot switches are on the foredeck, but I would like to see the addition of a handheld remote as not everyone will be inclined to stand on the spacious foredeck.
Bow Seating with Table.
The bow seating is spacious and luxurious. We’re not talking about wraparound bolsters here, but full cushion back rests angled back to provide a nice reclined feel. There's plenty of lounging space, but if the owner inserts the optional bow table they have an outstanding gathering area for six people to enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres. With the seats being 27 ½” (69.8 cm) apart, no one will be knocking knees as they sit across from each other. The bow table's height is adjustable, so in the lowered position it serves to form a base to convert the entire bow into a sun pad.
With the bow cushions removed, the seat platform serves as a lower, and more protected, non-skid surface for a casting platform. There are storage compartments under all three seats, with the starboard seat being able to hold 9 rods as the storage continues well back into the starboard console.
Walking space between the consoles is 19” (48.3 cm). The center windshield is held in the open position by gravity, and is gasketed to reduce vibration in the closed position. The helm console has storage underneath, and as stated before, this storage is a continuation of the under seat storage at the starboard bow.The door to the portside console is secured with heavy-duty 4” (10.2 cm) stainless steel hinges. The front of the door has spaces for mounting electronics, with one angled towards the helm. There's a glove box just beneath. The head door will open with the observer seat bolster lowered, but one has just a little bit more room with it flipped up.
The head compartment includes a freshwater electric pump-out head with a 10 gallon (38 L) holding tank and overboard discharge located on the port side of the console, all standard. One will find sitting room with 4'9" (1.45 m) of overhead clearance. The bulkheads are padded with the exception of the port hand side, hardware for the hinges is secured with capnuts, and overhead is a solar vent the keeps moisture to a minimum, thereby preventing mildew as well as reducing the heat buildup in the enclosed space. The stainless steel observer's grab handle is nicely positioned to facilitate one's egress from the compartment.
World Cat has gone with probably the most comfortable standard seats I've seen in class. Flip-up bolsters, flip-down armrests, and flip-down foot rests are all featured in addition to the overstuffed padding, and thick tricolor vinyl is double-stitched. A separate footrest forward is molded into the door to the head compartment. Between the stainless steel grab handle, windshield frame that carries well aft, and the drop down armrest this was a comfortable and secure position. I could easily envision being a part of the navigation with secondary electronics mounted to the head door.
The fiberglass molded helm console is elegant in its simplicity. Three multifunction gauges eliminate clutter and the wide open space for a 12” (30.5 cm) multifunction display. World Cat is not in the electronics business and leaves the selection entirely up to you. Nothing against the folks at Raymarine, but I find this a refreshing approach as there are many more choices offered to the public, most of which can be purchased and installed for much less than what builders charge. And yes, I know that even if the builder offers Raymarine products the buyer is free to purchase any other brand, but that rarely happens since often times the electronics are built into the boat ahead of time and the discounted price is usually negotiated for the boat including the electronics.The ergonomics of the 255DC helm are nearly perfect. A stainless wheel comes standard with power assist steering offered as an option that I would not want to be heading offshore without. Visibility has me looking directly through the windshield, rather than staring at the windshield frame. My only gripe with the ergonomics is that I would like to see a footrest molded to the underside of the console so that I can secure my feet forward rather than just on the retractable footrest under the seat.
And I'm happy to see that World Cat went with a standard hardtop. Usually this feature is an option and an easy way to tack on an up-charge to the customer. In this case, however, the only option is for matching the underside to the hull side color. There are LED courtesy lights that cycle between white and red, and spreader lights fore and aft. The entire structure is supported with double rails and gusseted for strength. Three rocket launchers are mounted to either side. Up above is a molded support for a radar antenna.
The cockpit is well suited for family fun with two aft facing seats, and two forward facing quarter seats. There are dual cockpit drains to either side that drain overboard facilitating an easy cleanup with the hose. White courtesy lights illuminate the deck. A swim platform is one step up through a transom door and heavy-duty rails with a reboarding ladder are optional. At the base of the steps is a hatch, allowing access to the battery switches. The transom has a freshwater shower.The caprails are all non-skid, and I'd like to see some sort of a flip-down step mounted to the bulwarks in the cockpit so that one doesn't have to step on the seat upholstery to enter the 255DC. There are pull-up cleats, including a midships cleat, pull-up fender mounts, and flush-mounted rod holders.
The cockpit is another area that supports an easy transition to a hard-core fishing boat. The aft forward-facing quarter seats easily flip up to stow flush into the bulwarks. The two aft-facing seats also have fishing functions of their own. The port seat houses a 200-quart (189.3 L) insulated fishbox/cooler, and to the side is a raw water washdown with the pump located inside an access door under the seat. The starboard seat box houses a 30-gallon (113.6 L) insulated, lighted livewell with an 1100 gph (4163 LPH) magnetic drive pump and overboard drain. There is also a freshwater washdown pump and storage under the seat.
World Cat offers a full 10-year Limited Hull Warranty, and a One Year Limited Material And Workmanship Warranty.
There's just so much space, that it's hard not to be onboard and picture how comfortable one's entire family would be, if not a group of fishing buddies. Moreover, if I were headed offshore, I can't think of another boat that I would rather be in should I suddenly find myself caught in unpredictable inclement weather. Everyone at the BoatTEST office likes to tell the story of the commuter who takes his catamaran from Long Island to Stamford, Connecticut -- 8 miles across Long Island Sound -- all year long, rain or shine, summer and winter -- and there's a good reason why he does this...because he can.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the World Cat 255DC (2015-) is 44.8 mph (72.1 kph), burning 34.40 gallons per hour (gph) or 130.2 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the World Cat 255DC (2015-) is 31.3 mph (50.4 kph), and the boat gets 2.02 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.86 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 363 miles (584.19 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 150-hp Yamaha.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Marine|
|Washdown: Raw Water||Standard|
(It's quick and FREE!)