Offshore fishermen with bad backs and sore knees love center console boats like the World Cat 320CC. The twin hulls smooth out those spine-compressing bumps on choppy days, the squared-off powercat bow nets you a ton of extra fishing space, and catamaran efficiency means you spend a bit less bait money on fuel as compared to most of the anglers in similar-sized monohulls.
The biggest thing that sets the 320CC apart from other power catamaran fishing boats is, well, how big it is. The vast majority of the production center console cats out there sit under the 30’ mark. Part of this is due to cost (cats tend to have a higher price tag than monohulls); part is due to the size of the catamaran niche (it’s never hit even 10-percent of the powerboat market in the US); and part is due to the diminishing returns of catamaran ride advantages as the size of the boat grows. Yes, as a general rule of thumb powercats do run more smoothly than monohulls, and we explain why in our Boating Tips: Why do Powercats Tend to Run Smoothly? video. But as boats becomes larger and heavier, the difference in smoothness becomes smaller and smaller.
Remember: speaking in generalizations is always dangerous, especially when it comes to boats. Some cats ride rougher than some monohulls, build quality differs between brands, and operator input can make quite a difference in how a cat (or any boat, for that matter) rides. Still, considering this big World Cat in specific, the proof is in the pudding. Spend a few days offshore in one, go through many different conditions at many different speeds and with different loads aboard, and over time it’s easy to reach the conclusion that 32’ is not too big to reap serious rewards from its twin hulls.
We stake this claim after making multiple offshore runs totaling over 100 hours at sea on a World Cat 330 TE, the 320CC’s predecessor, as well as spending an afternoon aboard the more recent version. The major difference between these models lies above the waterline in deck lay-out, so the rides are essentially the same. But the 320CC does have some major advantages, starting with its leaning post configuration. While the older models had a bench-style seat, the new version has a pair of comfier flip-up bolster seats. The rigging station behind it gets a sink to port and a 45-gallon livewell to starboard, tackle drawers underneath, and a grab rail all around. There’s also a recess molded in at the bottom, creating a toe-rail under the edges. T-top supports, which used to flank the tackle station and mount to the deck, are now mounted to the top of the post itself. This makes it easier to access the top of the rigging station and gives the boat a much cleaner look, although it also means you lose the four rocket launchers running down the sides of the supports.
Beyond the improved post, other fishing advancements include: adding swing-out doors to the under-gunwale rodracks; including 12 gunwale-mounted rodholders as a standard feature; and replacing the (regularly failing) macerator pumps in the massive 300-quart in-deck fishboxes with (nearly bullet-proof) diaphragm pumps.
The forward console seating is also improved, with flip-down arm rests. That may seem like a minor thing, but when you’re making a two hour run to the canyons, those arm rests make a huge difference in your comfort level. Seating gets a boost in the bow, too, with a U-shaped seat added where there used to be none. And in the stern, flip-down jump seats have been added on either side of the transom. One final seat that’s been moved is the porcelain throne, which used to be in one side of the bow mini-cabin on the 330 TE, and is located inside the center console of the 320CC.
If you prefer the older version, don’t worry—you’ll find several pre-owned World Cat 330 TE listings on boats.com at this very moment. But we’re guessing that most anglers will feel that the re-vamped version holds gobs of appeal. Either way you can expect to cruise the boat, fully loaded, in the 30 MPH range with a pair of 225 HP outboards. Top end will reach into the lower 40’s. And if you get a new 320CC with a pair Yamaha F300 outboards, you can look for a cruise in the mid to upper 30’s and a top end of around 50 MPH.
Remember the earlier mention about increased catamaran efficiency? Most 32’ or 33’ deep-V offshore fishing monohulls with 600 HP will get 1.7 or 1.8 MPG while cruising at 30 MPH, but the 320CC gets 1.9. Ease the throttles back to a 20 MPH cruise, and you’ll be getting 2.2 MPG. Compare that to 1.9 or 2.0 for most monos. While that may not seem like a huge difference at first, think about what it means to get another tenth or two of a MPG over time—essentially, knocking five or 10 percent off your fuel bill every time you leave the dock. Plus, it increases the boat’s range to the tune of another 30 or so miles.
If long runs to offshore blue water hotspots usually leaves your back or your knees—and your wallet—in pain, a power catamaran may be the solution. And if you want one of the biggest, baddest production fishing cats that currently prowls the ocean, the World Cat 320CC is a boat you need to experience.
Other Choices: The Ameracat 31 is a bit smaller and isn’t finished quite as well, but it also isn’t quite as expensive. You could also consider the Twin Vee 35, which is even bigger than the 320CC but is only available in a hydrofoil version.
For more information, visit World Cat.
See World Cat 320CC listings.
|Fuel capacity||279 gal.|
|Water capacity||20 gal.|