Families seem to just get busier and busier. We all work longer hours and must share our precious fishing time with soccer games, school meetings, late nights at the office, business travel, homework and a myriad of other distractions. That’s why so many anglers are moving from hard-core fishing boats to multi-purpose vessels. World Class Catamarans also makes Leisure Cats, very luxurious, comfortable family boats that just don’t fish. Finally World Cat has an intermediate boat that can both fish and family well.
Here’s a case when more is better. The twin Suzuki 140s pushed the 246DC perfectly well through the 4- and 5-foot seas outside Miami’s Government Cut. However, top-end in calm water resulted in an upwind/downwind average speed of 39 mph. The 140s sported relatively small 13-inch props. If you mount Suzuki’s muscle-bound 150s with 15-inch wheels, that extra 10 horsepower would boost your top-end to about 53 mph and, at the same time, probably offer better fuel economy at mid-range since the engines won’t have to work as hard.
Normally, I don’t suggest anyone sit down forward of the helm underway except in flat water since the ride gets bumpier closer to the bow. However, the World Cat’s ride in a chop proved so smooth that even our passengers in the pointy end thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Initially, the 246 banked slightly into a turn at speed, then flattened out, scribing a wide arc until you turned hard enough to drop the inside bow. Then speed bleeds off quickly and the cat turns sharply, but without dangerous centrifugal force. Since the Suzuki doesn’t offer counter-rotation in the 140-hp model, the cat turned more readily to the right than the left. Likewise, close-quarters handling and spinning on a fish would improve with engines turning opposite directions. An informed source says Suzuki may have an equivalent horsepower four-stroke next model year available with counter-rotation.
One thing I love about catamarans; no bow rise coming up onto plane. Put the throttles to the wall and a cat leaps forward.
As you’d expect, drifting in a beam sea, even as rough as on our outing, becomes ‘ore stable when you’re on a multi-hull. Roll moment is shorter.
The cockpit on the 246DC proved eminently fishable, and the addition of gunwale-mounted outriggers would make it even better. World Cat has also done an excellent job of figuring seating versus rod length. The only place the slightest bit awkward to get a rod tip around was at the bow pulpit. Rods shorter than 6 feet may require the angler to step up on the seat. Even walking to the bow through the windshield (between the’dual consoles) didn’t present a problem.
The 246DC makes wreck-fishing a cinch. Thanks to four bow cleats, we had a broad range of adjustability. Since the boat sits bow into the current, moving the anchor line from one cleat to the next causes the boat to move laterally. According to our sounder, we were able to cover almost half the length of the artificial reef by just switching anchoring cleats.
Unlike many catamarans, where storage for your catch comes at a premium, the World Cat boasts a large, 75-gallon fish box. An additional insulated box aft does double duty as drink cooler and bait box. Also unlike many family-oriented boats, this dual console model has rod holders in the gunwales. Add to that the built-in tackle box and loads of storage in compartments all around the boat and this family boat performs just fine as a fisherman, thank you.
Design and Construction
Unless you look at the 246DC from direct’y overhead, you don’t get the impression of it being rectangular. Following in the footsteps of its older siblings, the 246 profile will never be mistaken for anything but an offshore boat.
The 246 contains no wood. A solid glass bottom with Core Cell-cored topsides, bulkheads and stringers sandwiched between biaxial, triaxial and stitched fiberglass laminated with expensive vinylester and Hydrex resins assure maximum hull longevity.
Since the 246 claims to be a family fishing boat, let me quickly point out the console that swings open for access to the head compartment, heavily padded lounge seats, and optional fold-away jump seats aft that all conspire to make your wife and family happier about fishing. I also strongly suggest the optional Clarion 6-CD changer and outstanding multi-speaker stereo system. I swear that the entire Atlantic submarine fleet heard Bob Marley loud and clear when ‘e fished the 246. I’d also opt for the freshwater washdown/shower system. Nobody likes going home crusty with salt.
And finally, removing one of my pet peeves about most boats, World Class Cats’ special process removes all the iron content from its stainless steel rails, hinges, etc. – guaranteeing no rust, corrosion or staining.
World Class Catamarans has come a very long way since its inception’ CEO Forrest Munden’s perfectionist ways show in every model and’every hull. You won’t find many boats with better attention to detail than World Cat.