Capt. Steve Says...
Twin hull boats are not new so I really didn’t care about the hull design. It’s bound to be dry, stable and good performing, but those articles have been done before. I was here to check out the functionality of this World Cat 290EC and see if it lives up to its billing as both a bluewater fish boat and a family weekender. As a career fisherman and now a family man, I had my own ideas of what the combination should consist of, so if this boat was to make the grade at BoatTEST.com, it had to get past my list of requirements. Let the games begin.
I’m a boat captain, so no matter what boat I step onto, I make a beeline for the helm. So far I like what I see. A center console helm in an express fishboat. Not only does this give better all around visibility than a helm off to one side, it gives the walk-around functionality that I like. You can approach or step away from either side.From there I just kept checking off the “good” side of my list that I was checking twice. There was ample room for a single 12” display or dual 8”. A quad set of multi-function gauges lines the top of the panel for minimal clutter and maximum info. Stainless wheel with turning knob, windlass control to port, the row of rocker switches below the wheel all had circuit breakers right above, thank you very much, and there was only one emergency stop lanyard right between the dual ignitions. Too often I see two lanyards whenever there are twin engine installations. Why? To satisfy the rare captain that might get launched overboard and still want to keep one engine operating? Just above the windlass control was the wiper control that has a washer standard. Great for clearing spray off the glass, and something that is usually an option if available at all! I also like the dual seats with separate flip-up bolsters. For the “Opportunities for Improvement” side of the list, the throttles weren’t mounted on the horizontal. They were on a separate molded mount, so why not have them level for even movement fore and aft? The hardtop mounts were all over the place. They were certainly insight, but I can’t say they blocked visibility. I think World Cat could do better with the placement though.
Center console versatility...
Having the console in the center was really put to good use on this boat. Study the below shot carefully and follow along. On the sides, we have padded bolsters. World Cat didn’t forget that the boat pitches and rolls and that occupants will get tossed into the bulkheads now and then.The array of storage drawers is so vast that, just to keep track of them all, a label maker should really be included in the standard list for this boat. In the deck, to either side of the center console, there are two 250-qt fishboxes to port and starboard that are both macerated. Aft of the helm seats was an aft facing jump seat. It’s padded with stainless grab handles to either side, there’s a flip-down footrest, and a padded area behind your legs for when it’s used as a leaning post for fishing. And all this is on top of a 42-gallon livewell with 1100gph magnetic drive pump and overboard drain.
So how about the livability...
So it fishes great, but World Cat said that this boat is a wonderful family weekender, too. Let’s step down below and see. Well, first, there are two entrances. That’s rare, and certainly safer from an emergency exit standpoint. My first glance to the V-berth was a bit of a surprise as well. There isn’t one. With no V bow, there is no need for a V-berth. This boat has an island berth complete with drawers below on both sides and end tables with storage.
The galley isn’t too Spartan either. Corian countertops highlight the stainless sink, refrigerator, microwave, and as I pull out a drawer… a wine locker. I’ll store white here… we’re having fish for dinner. So much for the simple cabin.
Your World Cat 290EC has a LOA of 29’1” (8.8 m) a beam of 9’6” (2.9 m) and a hull draft of 15” (38 cm). She’ll hold 250 gallons (946.4 L) of fuel and her dry weight is roughly 9,700 lbs (4,400 kg) with max power and typical equipment. Your engine choices will be either twin Honda or Suzuki 4-stroke 225’s, or twin Suzuki or Yamaha 250-hp four strokes. World Cat reports that with max power the 290EC has a top end of 44 mph and a best cruise of 26 mph. We haven’t done a test on this boat to verify those numbers yet, but given my opinion of the comfort and ergonomics of this boat, I don’t intend to let a test run pass me by, so stay tuned. This only touches on the perks the World Cat 290EC has to offer. It’s a sure entry to your short list that will not only keep the diehard fishermen happy, but true to its marketing hype, the wife and kids will love it as well. If it performs even half as good as it wears, then World Cat better rev up the production line. If you are a dyed-in-the-wool monohull guy – and most anglers are – I suggest that you do yourself a favor, and just get on one of these boats at a boat show or in a dealer’s showroom. It will be an eye-opening experience.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
10 year limited
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