A Dual-Console with a Dual Purpose
I’d love to do some sort of parody about split personalities since the new World Cat 400DC-X is a twin-sponson catamaran, but that might be too obvious. Still, the new 400DC-X demonstrates a textbook case of duality.
Not only does it look like a family weekend-fun boat with its two consoles and spacious beam, but it also personifies a fishing battlewagon. I know many of you purists can’t say “fishing” and “dual-console” in the same sentence, but I urge you to read on: This might be a better boat choice than you think.
First among the standout family features, the wide beam of this near-40-foot cat measures almost 13 feet, providing excellent stability.
That steady platform at rest can be equally important to anglers who often fish at anchor or on the drift.The catamaran-style hull also means a softer ride through choppy seas. Even as we sped flat out at 46 mph this past May in the Gulf of Mexico off Sarasota, Florida, big wakes from nearby boats meant nothing: thump-thump, ho-hum.
But I found the best testimony to the split personality of my test boat at the transom. On the starboard side, World Cat installed an optional summer kitchen with a grill plus a sink, refrigerator and counter. To port lay a standard 22.5-gallon livewell and a 74-quart cooler with optional chiller plates. Down the centerline, a walkway to the transom platform and its swim ladder can accommodate scuba divers with all their gear. Cook burgers on one side, catch fish on the other, dive for lobster in the middle. How good does it get? Plus, an inward-opening side door in the cockpit eases boarding from floating docks and facilitates releasing big fish.
At the helm, a cleverly designed sliding windshield panel (with a pantograph wiper) seems a vast improvement over the finger-pinching hinged windscreens on some dual-consoles, and it provides easy access to the bow, where anglers can step atop the forecastle to throw a cast net. If it’s lunchtime, diners can electrically raise two tables from between two pairs of fore- and aft-facing bench seats at the bow to accommodate a sumptuous spread. In the heat of the day, tired kids or adults can descend into the air- conditioned port-console day cabin. The hull’s deep sponson permits a nearly queen-size berth and plenty of storage, as well as side-cabin rod storage. The starboard console features an electric head and a 3-by-4-foot shower stall with a door (so nothing gets soaked), as well as 6 feet, 5 inches of headroom. A 6-gallon hot-water tank will help soak away a long day on the water.
GET UP AND GO
The 400DC-X comes standard with a pair of Yamaha’s new 425 XTO outboards—the industry’s first, directfuel-injected four strokes. This engine, with its four valves per cylinder and dual overhead cams, comes with torque that perhaps should be measured in tons rather than foot-pounds. Yamaha conceived of the XTO specifically for the growing outboard-powered big-boat market. On the World Cat, that technology translated to a zero-to-30 mph time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 46 mph (while pushing 8 tons of boat). Even better, at about 20 mph, the engines sipped just 15.5 gph total, for fuel efficiency of 1.25 mpg. That translates, with a 10 percent safety margin, to a range of more than 500 miles. My test boat came with Yamaha’s Helm Master joystick, which, combined with the widely spaced Yamahas, allowed me to spin the boat within its own length and dock it in a tight space.
The 400DC-X features cutting-edge construction, including full resin infusion in the hull lamination to save weight and add strength. World Cat also uses carbon fiber to add strength in other high-load areas. A word about the helm: magnificent. The flat-black eyebrow eliminates reflections; the helm face features room for two 17-inch multi-function displays and the Yamaha gauge. The electric double-wide helm seat comes with bolsters for stand-up driving. A teak footrest lies exactly where you’d want it. Air-conditioning vents in the dash make this space livable even on scorchers, but a sliding sunroof in the sturdy fiberglass hardtop provides fresh air and sunshine when you want some rays. DIY guys and service techs will appreciate the easy access to batteries and systems through large hatches. I was happy to see that my test boat came equipped with a standard 8 kW Fischer Panda diesel genset (for AC and blenders), as well as an optional Seakeeper gyrostabilizer. The gyro all but eliminates side-to-side rolling offshore.
The 400DC-X truly impresses with its many cool features: from the hidden, offset anchor windlass forward to the C-Zone electrical controls (run from the dash or from a smartphone or tablet), and from the slide-out cockpit shade to the sprawling sunning and dining possibilities at the bow. Even better, you can tailor the 400DC-X to your needs with several optional modules that include features such as a 50-gallon fish box or a dive center. Whatever your choices, you still have wraparound dinette seating aft of the helm, under the hardtop, plus more seating forward. This is a fishing machine that will keep the family well-pleased, and might even double as an occasional home away from home. It’s well-worth the look— even for dedicated fishheads.