When trying to picture how the World Cat 235 CC runs, draw this picture in your head: dragging a spoon through the water, and then dragging two side-by-side knife blades through the water. Which feels more resistance? Obviously, the spoon does. Now picture one fat hull slamming into a wave, versus two sharp knife-like entries slicing right through that very same wave with a fraction of the impact. Now, you understand why dedicated anglers who like to fish whenever they have the opportunity come heck or high winds opt for a powercat.
Full disclosure: I’m a serious cat fan myself, and I own a 22-foot Glacier Bay. So, some folks might call me biased. To them, I’d simply say yup, I am, and you should go for a ride on one when there’s a bang-your-teeth-out chop on the Bay. You may decide the boat’s layout isn’t your favorite, you may decide you don’t like the way it looks, or you may decide you’re not impressed by how it’s equipped. Fine — but after the ride you’ll almost certainly agree that the vast majority of the boats out there simply can’t run as smoothly. And for an angler with a bad back like mine, that makes the boat-choosing process one heck of a lot easier.
Like other World Cats, the 235 CC is a fully-planing boat that rides on two hulls with a compression tunnel between them. The tunnel grows smaller as you move aft, so as the boat runs it compresses the air between the hulls. When running at planning speeds, this creates an air-water slurry which acts as a shock-absorber. So not only do the two “knives” meet waves with less resistance, the slurry between them cushions the blows even more.
Unlike other World Cat models, however, the 235 CC needs just 230 or so horsepower to enjoy this sort of ride. With twin 115s on the transom, it cruises at right around 30 mph and breaks 40 mph at top-end. And if that’s not fast enough for your taste it can take 150s.
The bottom of this boat may be unusual, but what you see inside of it will look very much like a standard center console Chesapeake Bay fishing machine. The forward seats house 38-gallon insulated, overboard-draining fishboxes; the console houses a head compartment; the leaning post has four rocket launchers on the back; there are under-gunwale racks for two rods per side; a 30-gallon livewell lives between flip-up jump seats in the aft deck; and the T-top has five more rocket launchers across the back.
Standing on the bowdeck, however, you’ll realize that all is not “normal” above the waterline. There’s significantly more room up forward than there is on other boats of this size, so much so that an angler could stand up front while two more anglers could stand up on either side, and all three could cast from their elevated positions without hooking any ears or snagging any jackets. What gives? Remember, the boat doesn’t come to a point at the front. As a result, it enjoys nearly the full beam right up to the stem. It seems bigger than any other 23-footer because there’s a lot more physical space that can be occupied forward of the console.
Okay: jump up front and take a few casts. In addition to the extra elbow room the next thing you’ll notice is that it’s easier to maintain your balance. What gives? Powercats have enhanced static stability when compared to monohulls. With the weight widely spaced, it takes a much bigger wave to knock the boat out of balance than it does to get a similarly sized monohull rocking and rolling.
Wait a sec — if cats are so great, why isn’t everyone on the Bay running around on them? The number-one reported complaint about powercats is also the silliest: that they look strange. Setting that aside there are some valid downsides to having two hulls. The boat handles a bit differently in turns and doesn’t bank in the same way as a monohull; it takes more fiberglass to build them so foot for foot they tend to cost slightly more; and in certain conditions at certain speeds they can throw a puff of mist out of the tunnel now and again (commonly called “sneezing”) which can blow back into the boat.
For an angler with a bad back who’s most interested in having the smoothest, least-bumpy ride possible, these are all small prices to pay. So if you plan on shoving off the dock come heck or high winds, ask yourself: will it be a spoon, or will it be a pair of knives?
World Cat 235 CC Specifications
LOA – 22’7”
Beam – 8’6”
Displacement – 4600 lbs.
Draft – 0’9”
Fuel Capacity – 89 gal.
Max. Power – 300 hp
Area Dealers – Bosun’s Marine, Grasonville, MD, (443) 347-6108.