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September 21, 2007

World Cat 226SF

World Cat has recently added to its line of fishing catamarans by introducing this new 22-footer to complement the company's 24- and 26-foot models. But even though it's smaller, the 226 still packs all of the innovative features that have placed World Cat among the top cat builders in the business.

These features include World Cat's innovative Vectorflo hull design, which the company says requires 50 percent less horsepower than monohulls of the same size. The 226 is built without any encapsulated wood, instead relying on a proprietary synthetic polymer as a core with multiple layers of multi-directional fiberglass for superior strength.

The 226 also boasts lots of storage space, starting with a large transverse box in the bow beneath a padded, aft-facing seat. Two smaller bins forward can be used to hold dock lines and loose gear. Remove the cushion in the bow and you have a handy casting platform.

Roomy Console

World Cat 226 SF specificationsThe helm area features a molded footrest insert for comfort, and a large electronics flat to port for flush-mounting electronics. This space is big enough to accommodate an impressive array of devices, more than you'll find on most 22-footers. Gauges are clustered to starboard, and the console comes with two drink holders and a standard stainless hand rail.

The optional fresh water tank resides beneath the console, which is accessed through a door to starboard. Our test boat was outfitted with an upscale T-top featuring six rod holders and a single spreader light. Additional electronics can be housed in a molded electronics box mounted under the hardtop.

The cockpit is surrounded by coaming pads aft of the rocket launcher, and provides a surprising amount of room for a boat of this size. A 25-gallon live well sits in the transom bulkhead to port. It's positioned at waist level, so you don't have to get on your hands and knees to fish around for a live bait. Next to the well, a massive 300-quart insulated fishbox will hold large quantities of both fish and ice. This is more fishbox capacity than you might expect to find on many 30-footers.

Rod storage consists of racks beneath the gunwales for two outfits per side, with room for three more in the rocket launcher. Four stainless gunwale rod holders come as standard equipment. When added to the T-top holders, this brings the total rod-storage capacity to 17 outfits!

Like all World Cats, the 226 rides great in a chop due to the twin Vectorflo hulls. These boats glide through waves, and ride dry and level in conditions that would send many 22-foot monohulls scurrying for the nearest inlet. The fuel-efficient cat cruises at 23.3 mph at 4000 rpm, and tops out at 41.1 mph at 6100 rpm with twin 115-hp Yamaha four-stroke outboards.

Cats may not be for everyone, but the new 226 will surely convince a lot more people that two hulls are better than one.

World Class Catamarans, Greenville, NC; (252) 754-1948; www.worldclasscatamarans.com