As the sizes of new saltwater fishing boats grow at prodigious rates, the new World Cat 260CC-X represents a welcome departure. At 25 ½ feet in length and with a 9-foot beam, the 260CC-X is easy to trailer, easy to handle and easy on fuel.
Yet this center-console cat serves as a capable offshore fishing machine, thanks to the proven multihull that slices through rough seas and provides great stability. At the same time, the twin-outboard 260CC-X drafts just 14 inches, in case you plan to fish bay waters.
“We knew there was a market need within our own model offering for this new 260CC-X,” says Chad Armstrong, vice president of sales and marketing for World Cat.
During my test in the waters off Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I not only reveled in the seakeeping ability of the 260CC-X, but also imagined how the angling features aboard this cat could enhance trips offshore for pelagics and wreck fishing.
Live bait serves as the beating heart of many offshore trips today, and the 260CC-X accommodates with a 30-gallon covered transom livewell in the starboard quarter, with a light that helps keep your pilchards or goggle-eyes milling merrily inside. There’s also a 30-gallon insulated fish box in the port quarter.
The 260CC-X offers plenty of rod stowage, including four stainless-steel gunwale rod holders in the aft cockpit and two additional gunwale rod holders forward. The leaning post has a rack with four rod tubes, and there are two holders in the transom that double as drink holders.
World Cat designed an inventive aft cockpit. Most notably, a 50-inch-wide transom bench seat and backrest fold down to create a slightly elevated stern casting deck. This lets you fish unfettered off the back, while side rails, combined with the retracted tilt-up boarding ladder, serve as handholds for safety. When your crew is ready to take a load off, the bench seat and backrest easily flip back into position.
Residing below the aft deck is a pair of wide, watertight hatches that provide easy access to bilge rigging, and there’s a Yeti Tundra 65 slide-out cooler beneath the leaning post.
A standard wraparound lounge in the bow converts to an elevated forward casting deck. Underneath the forward deck lies abundant stowage for safety gear, tackle bags and more. The forward console features seating, and a door behind it leads to a generous console interior with 53 inches of headroom and space for a marine toilet. This area also offers a lot of dry storage and access to the helm rigging.
Skippers will love the wraparound glass windshield. A manual front vent is integrated into the aluminum hardtop frame to usher in a cooling breeze. A stitched brow over the dash minimizes glare. For navigating as safely as possible, communicating and finding fish, the 260CC-X’s standard electronics include a Garmin 12-inch 8612xsv multifunction display and a Garmin VHF radio. Also standard is a Fusion Apollo 670 stereo feeding six JL Audio 6 ½-inch speakers to rock the tunes.
Optional features on the 260CC-X include a hardtop-mounted LED forward light bar, removable/foldaway bow-seating backrests, quick- release fender holders, an electric marine head with an 8-gallon holding tank and overboard discharge, hardtop rocket launchers with a ski-tow frame upgrade, and an RGB LED upgrade, including lights for the hardtop, cockpit, console, speakers, under the gunwales and underwater.
How does the 260CC-X run? Seas in the Atlantic were running about 2 feet as we pushed out of Port Everglades. Powered by twin Mercury 200 FourStroke outboards with Dometic Optimus 360 joystick steering and Merc DTS controls, the cat displayed plenty of oomph out of the hole, accelerating from zero to 30 mph in 7.8 seconds.
Cats sometimes display distinctive handling characteristics. For example, the 260CC-X tended to corner flat or lean slightly outward on turns at speeds below 20 mph. However, at higher speeds, this cat displayed more V-hull-like handling, leaning inward during lateral maneuvers and lending a comfortable feeling of confidence while behind the wheel.
With three adults on board and the fuel tanks full, the new World Cat achieved a top speed of 48.5 mph at 4,950 rpm with 19-inch pitch propellers.
However, in later testing by Mercury Marine with 18-inch pitch props, the 260CC-X was able to achieve a top speed of 50.3 mph at 5665 rpm, which told me the 200 hp V-6 engines, which are rated to rev between 5,000 and 5,800, were a just bit over-propped in my testing.
Still, the 260CC-X posted excellent fuel efficiency, achieving its best economy of 2.34 mpg at 3,000 rpm and 27 mph. That equates to a cruising range of nearly 380 miles based on 90 percent capacity of the twin 90-gallon fuel tanks. That kind of range can take you to virtually any offshore fishing area, give you plenty of confidence to troll all day, and take you home safely with fuel to spare.
|Weight:||6,750 lb. (w/ outboards)|
World Cat – worldcat.com