If you’re going offshore fishing no matter the seas, and you’re in the market for a boat, a catamaran should be on your research list. That’s our feeling after testing World Cat’s new 320CC. it has the soft ride boaters seek from cats but offers better performance than many, due to its semi-displacement hull. Our test boat topped out at 52 mph but cruised softly at about 18 mph while getting nearly 2 mpg. The 320CC’s handling characteristics are among the best of any cat, keeping its lines in confused seas and turning comfortably without the awkward outward roll so characteristic of some.
World Cat executives give some of the credit for the superior ride to the infused-resin molding process that World Cat employed on this hull. Through a complicated process, the hull is covered with a vacuum bag fitted with suction pumps that pull resin through the glass cloth from bottom to top of the hull. Properly done, the process delivers uniform hull thickness with the appropriate balance of flex and strength throughout. World Cat claims the new system also lets it build 20 percent lighter than hand-laid hulls do. Reduced weight always translates into better fuel efficiency and more speed, characteristics I appreciate most.
The wide stance of the catamaran gives an enormous working deck that’s as enjoyable for cruising and playing as it is for playing fish. The doublewide helm and leaning-post seat also accommodate a jumbo workstation for rigging baits. The trick I found and liked is a storage compartment that folds down, from the helm seat back, and doubles as the rigging shelf or, in my case, a note-taking desk. Instead of being waist high, it hits just below chest level so anglers can plant their feet in seas and work without bending. Below the console is an enormous compartment — take two steps down to its sole — that houses a flushing head, tackle storage and convenient access to the electrical workings of the rig. Comfortable forward seating and a large aft boarding platform make this smooth-riding workhorse a pleasure cruiser as well.
Comparable model: Glacier Bay 3065