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October 26, 2001

World Class Cats 266 SF

Until now, cat-hulled sport-fishers were reserved only for people who appreciated funtionality and ride. Now, World Cat's offshore 26-footer adds styling and flawless design to the genre.

Bottom fishing in the Gulf proved a good test. As we dropped lines to some wrecks, the 266 drifted exactly beam-to the wind with only minor rolling motion. Moving around couldn't be easier with the wide-open deck space. Padded cockpit coamings hit this tall reviewer right above the knees.

One thing you'll never run short of on the 266 is storage space. In addition to the large fish box and bait well in the transom, midship in-deck boxes big enough to sleep in offer secure, lockable space including racks to stow rods and reels. An added fishing detail - a molded toe lip - will keep your center of gravity in the boat while you lean over to wire a fish.

Straight from the factory, our boat could store 27 rods: four on each side under gunwales, two in-gunwale rod holders on each side, four in the leaning post, five in the hardtop and another six in the in-deck locker.

Like all cats, the 266 still suffers a blunt, squared-off bow when viewed from above. However, the profile advances the aesthetics effort significantly. World Class has given the 266 the distinct sheer of a classic offshore center-console.

Significant changes have been made in the most basic areas of the old Sea Cat to get to the level of the 266. World Class trued (and patented) the hull, added a foot more in length, created a less vertical angle on the entry and added a half-inch to the width of each hull. In addition, the tunnel has more roundness in it and has been heightened by 1 1/2 inches. All these refinements have made the 266 a dramatically better boat.

You won't find a molecule of wood anywhere aboard. The 266 features a solid glass bottom; Corecell-cored topsides, bulkheads and stringers; biaxial, triaxial and stitched fiberglass laminated with expensive vinylester resins as well as a special Hydrex resin; and Magnashield skin-coat that does an incredible job of preventing osmotic blistering.

All the hatches have been reengineered with gasketing and tolerances so close they'll never make a sound while under way or when you drop them closed.

WCC uses a special metal treatment process that removes all the iron content from the steel, guaranteeing for life against rusting, puddling or discoloration.