Let’s face it. As much as you think a new saltwater fishing boat is a basic necessity, not everyone sees life through the same pair of polarized sunglasses. Some might call a new fishing boat a luxury. (Gasp!) If this group includes your doubting spouse, you’ve got some splainin’ to do.
Instead of talking, try walking her through the newly redesigned 290DC Dual Console from World Cat, which combines what she likes and what you love aboard a stable, soft-riding catamaran hull.
Focus her attention on the softer side of the 290DC, starting with the wraparound seating for six in the open bow. While you ogle the integrated bow pulpit, anchor roller, Lewmar free-fall windlass and 225-quart forward fish box, point out to her the comfortable cushioned backrests and four stainless-steel drink holders.
Next, walk her slightly aft and open the 23-inch-wide acrylic door to reveal the head compartment inside the port console; then stand back as she admires the mirror and vanity with Corian countertop and stainless-steel sink, as well as the privacy of an enclosed privy with 15-gallon holding tank. Avoid mentioning that the head also provides access to the lockable rod locker, lest you reveal your ulterior motives.
Continue the tour with the helm deck, inviting her to nestle into the custom captain’s chair with its twin flip-up bolsters. Don’t get sidetracked by the huge area for flush-mounting a large multifunction display. Point out the full-width windshield that protects her from wind and spray, and the fiberglass hardtop to shade the family. You’ll like the hardtop’s six rail-mount rod holders and dual overhead electronics boxes. You might drift away thinking about the 185-quart fish box under the starboard seat or the 30-gallon livewell under the port seat.
Tell her about the cushions that fit the topsides of both the livewell and fish box, as well as the wraparound backrests and folding footrests. As the tour moves farther aft, show her the fold-down, cushioned jump seats in both corners of the cockpit. And if she asks about the six gunwale rod holders and cutting boards with knife-and-pliers holders on either side of the transom, quickly set up the optional pedestal dining table in the middle of the cockpit. That should distract her.
Next, walk her out to the swim platform. Don’t tell her how this lets you work a fish around the stern, but instead how the integrated handrails will allow the family to access the folding swim ladder to take a dip.
Pitch the tackle cabinets in each inwale and in each seat pod as great places to store her goodies like sunglasses, cell phone and sunscreen (as if she could find room amid all your fishing gear).
Both of you will appreciate the 290DC’s easy handling and seakindliness. We ran this 29-footer in stormy seas off Key Largo, Florida, with a pair of Suzuki’s new DF250AP V-6 outboards. Even in the rough stuff, it was delightful to skipper, thanks in part to the Teleflex SeaStar power-assist hydraulic steering.
The ride was pleasingly smooth in all sea directions on our blustery test day, though the 290DC rolled a bit more than I expected in the trough. Cats also have the odd tendency to pound a bit when idling up-sea, and the 290DC was no exception.
In calm waters, the 290DC accelerated from zero to 30 mph in 7.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 46.45 mph. Best fuel economy came at 3,500 rpm, where we achieved 1.83 mpg while cruising at 24.5 mph. We attribute the outstanding fuel efficiency in part to the Lean Burn Control technology in Suzuki’s new 4.0-liter 250 hp V-6s.
Looking for a comparable model? Grady-White’s Freedom 285 ($160,825 with twin Yamaha F250s) also combines fishing and family features in a dual-console design. It also has a similar top speed (46.97 mph) but achieves it as a V-hull.
The biggest downside of a dual console is the inability to move along the rail while fishing. But don’t be too disappointed; this might be the compromise you need to make to convince your spouse that a new fishing, uh, I mean family boat is more than just a luxury.
Comparable model: Grady-White Freedom 285