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September 21, 2007

World Cat 330 Tournament Edition

This rugged, rock-steady cat is primed to prowl the offshore grounds

Head offshore and most of the boats you'll see on the bluewater grounds will be monohulls. With the introduction of the new 330 Tournament Edition by World Class Catamarans, however, the numbers will no doubt start to change. With its impressive performance and emphasis on fishability, the 330 TE is sure to win the respect of many big-game anglers.

The advantages of the catamaran design quickly became evident during a recent outing on a choppy Sarasota Bay in Florida. Our test boat, provided by Sara Bay Marina, delivered an extremely smooth and soft ride, regardless of sea direction. The twin semi-displacement hulls sliced through the waves softly and effortlessly. The boat's Vectorflo design traps air underneath to create lift, which in turn raises the bow for less drag, more speed and greater fuel efficiency. As the compressed air is forced aft, it reduces the "sneeze," or spray effect, common with some catamaran designs. The 330 TE is also extremely stable, and World Cat says load levels can be increased up to 20 percent over a comparable vee-hull boat.

The 330 TE can certainly handle Mother Nature in the nastiest of moods. It is built with wood-free composite construction and heavy glass-to-resin ratios for extra strength and durability. Hull and deck joints are bonded and reinforced for added security. Other quality components include high-grade stainless steel, welded and through-bolted bow rails, tin-coated wiring and water-resistant connectors and switches. In addition, World Cats are backed by a ten-year transferable, limited hull warranty.

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SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 34'
Beam: 10' 6"
Draft: 1' 4"
Weight w/o power: 6,300 lbs.
Water: 20 gals.
Fuel: 300 gals.
Max hp: 600
Base price w/o power: $104,670

With a 300-gallon fuel capacity and a maximum horsepower rating of 600, the 330 TE offers an ideal blend of speed and range. Our test boat was powered by a pair of quiet four-stroke 225-hp Honda outboards and loaded with 170 gallons of gas. Yet it still turned a top speed of 41.8 mph at 5800 rpm. Even more impressive, it cruised easily at 28.5 mph at 3600 rpm. With one engine, the boat ran at 19 mph, a definite plus when you're 40 miles from the inlet.

As its name implies, the 330 World Cat is built for bluewater competition. In addition to the stability inherent in a 10' 6" beam, the aggressive diamond non-skid and high cockpit freeboard provide peace of mind in rough water. The molded toe rail and thick coaming pads add to that assurance. The 330 comes with a walk-through transom and several convenient hand rails. Our test boat was equipped with the optional fiberglass T-top, but Bimini or Sunbrella T-tops are also available options, along with a Grand Slam outrigger package. The fiberglass top includes an overhead electronics box, and the large center console features a lockable electronics mounting area as well.

The fiberglass T-top comes with ten welded rod holders. Eleven custom stainless-steel gunwale rod holders are standard, plus there is more lockable rod storage in the forward berth. The 330's standard leaning post is outfitted with a sizeable tackle center, including stackable trays and a rigging station. If that's not enough storage, there are two more enclosed tackle lockers with more trays under each gunwale.

Keeping bait fresh or the day's catch chilled is also easy aboard the 330. Three large, insulated fishboxes (with 828 quarts total capacity) and twin 45-gallon lighted live wells with overflows are standard. All three fishboxes drain directly overboard. Raw and fresh water washdowns are standard, as are four twist-lock 12-volt plugs to accommodate downriggers or electric reels. A standard porcelain head is enclosed in the port berth area.

Bottom line? The 330 TE is a pedigree in terms of performance and construction, but it's definitely an alley cat in the fishing department. You won't lose too many bluewater battles in this one. World Class Catamarans, Tarboro, NC; (866) 485-8899; www.worldclasscats.com.