World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review

A talented cat designed to tackle offshore game and indulge family and friends.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
Specs: Length: 27'6" | Beam: 9'2" | Draft: 14" | Fuel: 220 gal. | Water: 17 gal
Weight: 7,300 lb. | Max HP: 400 | Price: $199,999 w/ twin Yamaha F200s | worldcat.com Test Conditions: Weather: Sunny Location: Sarasota, Florida Wind: NE 11 knots Sea State: 2- to 3-foot chop Test Load: Two adults, 165 gallons of fuel
Courtesy World Cat

World Cat dedicated more than two years to designing and fine-tuning its new flagship, the 280CC-X, the first X design in its lineup of power catamarans. The payoff was a head turner of a center console that, along with dazzling looks, offers the latest in marine technology, a wealth of creature comforts and well-thought-out fishing features, and the smooth ride that has become World Cat’s hallmark.

Looking at the 28-footer head on, the twin-hulls design with a tunnel and the sports-car-like grille nestled between forward-protruding stems give the boat the ­appearance of a Formula One roadster and set the tone for its dynamic styling.

The radiused tunnel enhances overall strength; meanwhile, a lip at the underside of the tunnel serves to direct spray downward and keep the crew dry and comfortable. To take on big waves, the sheer line starts high at the bow and slopes gradually toward midship where it levels at a gunwale height of 25 inches, affording enough aft freeboard to tread offshore safely and still let the designated gaffer reach the water to haul in fish.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
The race-car-like front sets the tone for dynamic styling and ergonomic design.Alex Suescun

The bow, with its U-shaped lounge seating for seven, is the designated gathering spot. A recessed grab rail traces its contour, coaming bolsters — that extend the length of the boat — serve as port and starboard backrests, and four cup holders and weatherproof plug-in stations for mobile devices are tucked underneath, out of the way yet conveniently at arm’s length. Under the forward seats hide a 36-quart center cooler, a pair of 6-quart coolers, and two large, insulated compartments with overboard drains with 180 quarts of storage capacity each. Just forward, two hatches provide access to a sizable anchor locker housing a raw-water washdown, 300 feet of rode, and a through-hull anchor setup with a windlass, a first in a power cat of this size.

Apropos of the sleek design, the ergonomic console with a swept-back glass dashboard accommodates dual Garmin 12-inch multitouch widescreen displays with the customizable CZone digital switching system, plus digital multifunction gauges, a Fusion marine stereo and more. Atop the console, in a nod to tradition, sits a compass, enabling old-fashioned navigation and bearing reference.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
Bow seating hides a 36-quart cooler and two large insulated boxes with overboard drains.Alex Suescun

Below the dash, the steering wheel to port and the throttle at the centerline leave room for electronic steering control, two cup holders and a handy glove compartment. Farther down, the integrated footrest harbors additional dry storage. In the front of the console, forward seating with a backrest is attached to the door that provides access to a step-down head compartment with a marine toilet, Corian counter, mirror, storage cabinet, and access to wiring and electronics, plus room to stash extra gear.

A surfboard-style fiberglass hardtop with powder-coated frame, radio box, rear- and forward-facing spreader lights, LED underside lighting, and built-in glass windshield with Pantograph-style wiper provides shade for the skipper and a companion at the helm, where the seating module with dual adjustable bolster seats with fold-down armrests doubles as a leaning post complete with a rigging station, tackle and tool storage, and a 30-gallon livewell with a clear lid in back.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
A swept-back glass dash holds two 12-inch displays with digital switching, gauges and more.Alex Suescun

In the cockpit, raw- and freshwater washdowns are smartly located under the opposite covering boards, and twin 355-quart in-deck fish boxes stretch to port and starboard. They both have diaphragm pumps and, thanks to foldout racks inside, double as rod lockers capable of accommodating four outfits each. Additional rod storage comes via eight flush-mounted holders on the covering boards and transom, plus an optional five-tube rocket launcher on the aft side of the hardtop.

On the transom, a fold-down bench seats two to starboard. Adjacent, offset to port, a transom door is perfectly situated to bring aboard trophy fish or welcome returning swimmers. Just forward, symmetrical in-floor hatches afford access to the bilge and other mechanical systems.

Other standard features include integrated LED docking lights and a swim ladder, with Sea Vision LED underwater lights, Taco Marine top-mounted outriggers with 18-foot telescopic booms, and an Edson satin-finish steering wheel with power knob listed among the many available options.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
Twin bolster seats double as a leaning post over a 30-gallon livewell and tackle storage.Alex Suescun

Upon finishing our detailed survey, we took the new World Cat out for a spin. Takeoff was swift, and we jumped on plane without any squatting, a trait of top power cats. Between runs, pitch and roll were negligible, despite the 2- to 3-foot chop, and so was sway during our various maneuvers. In classic cat fashion, the 280CC-X remained pretty flat on the curves, with a slight outward lean as the only palpable surrender to centrifugal force during tight turns at speed.

The twin 200s pushed the boat from zero to 30 mph in a quick 8.5 seconds and crossed the 50 mph threshold at wide-open throttle, a power advantage typical of catamaran hulls. At 3,500 rpm we achieved the best speed (26 mph) to fuel consumption (11.1 gph) ratio, which, under similar conditions and with both 110-gallon gas tanks full, should yield a range of 520 miles, surely music to the ears of tournament anglers and island hoppers. If a boat under 30 feet is in your plans, give this World Cat a close look. The well-rounded 28-footer is built to last and designed for comfort, safety and fuel efficiency, with eye-pleasing looks and loaded with everything you’d expect in a top offshore performer.

World Cat 280CC-X Boat Review Test
The 280CC-X is quick, efficient and requires less horsepower (400) than many other boats its size.Courtesy Yamaha