World Cat 400DC-X
The new flagship World Cat 400DC-X lets owners select the features that best support the way they plan to use their boat.
Let’s face it—not everyone uses their boat the same way. Some owners spend all their time on board fishing; for others, their boat is a platform for swimming, snorkeling, or diving. Some will head out to explore the waterways, while others prefer to entertain friends at the dock and for others still, it’s a vehicle to take the family to a beach or sandbar for a day of fun in the sun. With the World Cat 400DC-X, you don’t need to choose.
As a boatbuilder, it’s a challenge to accommodate these diverse passions, especially in a single model, but with the recent launch of its flagship 40-foot 400DC-X Dual Console, World Cat has pulled it off. The North Carolina-based builder designed this innovative new boat to have different interchangeable transom “modules” that let owners personalize it to suit their lifestyle on the water.
New Division, New Boat
“This boat is the first of a new division for World Cat, which is the World Cat Custom Yacht Division,” says Alexandra Flora, the company’s marketing director. She and Michael Myers, director of operations for World Cat dealer Sara Bay Marina in Sarasota, Florida, were on hand for our sea trial of World Cat 400DC-X Hull No. 1 on Sarasota Bay.
Each 400DC-X has space for two composite modules that integrate into its transom, one on either side of the centerline transom door. The boat I sea-trialed on a gorgeous day
in Sarasota Bay had a “summer kitchen” in one of these modules. Under its lid was a pop-up barbecue grill, sink with cutting board and refrigerator drawer. On the other side of the door was a module containing a 25-gallon livewell and fish box/cooler. Our boat, in other words, was equipped to let you catch your dinner and cook it, too.
Other transom modules available for the 400DC-X include a bait-rigging station, chiller box, dive tank storage, and additional rear seating. Owners can “mix and match” modules when they order their new boat and select from a variety of vinyl, fabrics, hard-surface materials, and hull colors to customize it further.
Capitalizing on the recent rise in popularity of large outboard boats, the World Cat 400DC-X is powered by twin 425-hp V8 Yamaha XTO Offshore engines. “The great thing about these outboards with electronic steering is that we don’t have to have motor wells,” says Flora. Instead, you step through the transom door onto a solid, 30-square-foot swim platform covered in Flexiteek synthetic marine decking. There is also a huge, flip-down swim ladder and a transom shower—an ideal launchpad for watersports. Divers and snorkelers also will love the heavy-duty dive door on the port side of the cockpit.
Essentially a day boat (although it does have a berth in the port console), the 400DC-X has an open, one-level layout that makes full use of the nearly 13-foot beam afforded by its twin-hull platform. The cockpit, which is lined with coaming and studded with rod holders, is large and uncluttered. If you push the backrest for the aft settee forward, it creates a rear-facing cockpit seat that will let you watch baits or swimmers behind the boat. You can order an optional electronic sunshade that extends from the hardtop to shelter the cockpit.
Beneath the sole are two large equipment rooms that provide easy access to the batteries, the standard Glendinning shore power reel, and optional Seakeeper gyrostabilizer. “We’ve had a lot of World Cat owners who have said the cat is stable enough that they don’t need the Seakeeper, so it’s optional,” says Myers.
The 400DC-X’s huge hardtop creates a semi-enclosed bridge deck seating area with atleast six-foot, eight-inch headroom protected by the wraparound windshield. The styling is clean, modern, and gives off the vibe of an upscale waterfront home. The U-shaped settee with adjustable backrest and table, along with the single seat opposite, create an inviting spot for dining and entertaining. There is 12,000-BTU air conditioning for those muggy days afloat, and the boat comes with a standard 8 kW Fischer Panda genset with a 24-gallon diesel tank to fuel it. Owners who want to keep the cool air inside can order an optional Strataglass enclosure.
The hardtop incorporates a Webasto electric sunroof. It also conceals a hatch holding a large, flat-screen TV that, when lowered, turns the bridge deck into a comfortable media room. The World Cat 400DC-X comes with a marine audio soundbar with JL MX speakers and a colorful LED lighting package. It’s clear from the boat’s standard equipment list that World Cat has sourced all the latest “must-have” amenities for its new flagship.
The 400DC-X is the first boat to feature TaylorMade’s new windshield with a panel that slides open rather than a heavy door you have to flip out in order to gain access to the forward cockpit. This is one of those great innovations that when you see it, you say, “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”
The forward cockpit is another huge lounge area. Instead of the typical bowrider layout, it has two dinettes with facing seats on each side. The adjustable tables can lower all the way to the deck or put them at mid-height to form the base of a sunpad. High gunwales make this a safe area for kids to hang out. Another optional sunshade, this one with support poles, is available for the forward cockpit.
You’d expect the consoles in a 40-foot, dual-console boat to be full of amenities, and the 400DC-X doesn’t disappoint. First, both consoles are cooled by a different air-conditioning unit than the one that chills the bridge deck. The starboard console holds a head, vanity, and spacious separate shower stall. The port console is a cuddy cabin with a raised berth that’s just shy of a queen, a cedar hanging locker, drawers, and TV. There is a window, which on the prototype for this model was partly obscured by cabinetry, but World Cat is big on soliciting feedback from its customers and dealers, and changes already have been made to keep the cuddy window clear.
Another sign that World Cat is in tune with its customer base is the abundance of storage found throughout the 400DC-X. Just about everywhere you turn, there are hatches, cabinets, drawers, or lockers. My personal favorite is the tip-out trash can built into the bridge deck entertainment center. Having a dedicated trash bin on a boat is a good sign that the builder cares about the ownership experience post-sale.
World Cat enjoys a lot of repeat business, and part of the reason is its ultra-stable catamaran hullform. The 400DC-X represents the latest generation of World Cat’s unique cat hulls. “We did a lot of tank testing at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey,” says Flora. “They created a six-foot model of the boat and simulated different sea conditions.”
“The older World Cats will lean outboard in a turn,” adds Myers. “It takes some getting used to. This one leans in like a monohull.” The 400DC-X is offered with just one power option: the 425-hp Yamaha XTO Offshore outboards. “All our cats are that way,” explains Flora. “We know what to expect with fuel efficiency and performance, and we select the best power for it.”
Out on Sarasota Bay in calm conditions with about a two-thirds tank of fuel and four people on board, the boat came on plane at about 15 mph (2,900 rpm) and hit a sweet cruise speed at about 30 mph (4,300 rpm), consuming fuel at a little more than 35 gph. Thanks to the twin cat hulls, trim tabs were unnecessary, and thanks to the Yamahas’ pleasant purr, we could easily carry on a conversation at cruise. Even with the windshield open, it wasn’t overly windy at the helm.
We saw a top speed of about 43 mph at 5,700 rpm. The World Cat brochure lists 46.3 mph as a “Typical WOT” (wide open throttle) speed and as mentioned above, the boat did indeed “lean in” to turns at speed and (excuse the cliché) spun as if it was “on rails.”
The helm station has a comfortable double seat and excellent sightlines of the water around the boat. The dashboard has room for twin, 17-inch multifunction displays, part of the optional Garmin electronics suite that was on our boat, along with an optional Yamaha Helm Master system with joystick control for easier maneuverability while docking.
Our 400DC-X also was equipped with a CZone monitoring and control system that lets you manage the boat’s electrical system from the helm. CZone also allows owners (with the help of a dealer) to pre-program different settings, such as All Off, Day Cruise, and Night Lighting.
“If you bought the boat and said, ‘I entertain at the dock a lot,’ you can have a ‘night entertaining’ setting with cockpit lights, etc.,” says Myers. “Whereas a fisherman might want the livewell, pumps, etc., on a pre-set.” Owners have their options.
Which brings us back to the high degree of personalization customers can expect from World Cat’s new Custom Yacht Division…and the 400DC-X.
LOA: 39′ 8″
Beam: 12′ 8″
Draft: 2′ 1″
Dry weight with power (approx.): 15,000 lbs.
Power: 2x Yamaha XTO Offshore @ 425-hp Range efficiency: 1.02 mpg @ 30 mph
Fuel/Water: 464/60 U.S. gals. Base
By Louisa Beckett, Southern Boating August 2019