Engineers at Pursuit know a few things about boats designed for many purposes. This builder was one of the first to put cruising features on its center console models when demand for the combo really started to pick up steam a decade ago. “We’re well-poised to make boats that can do a lot of things on the water, in addition to fish,” says Christopher Gratz, vice president of engineering at Pursuit.
The builder’s newest model is the S 378 Sport (40’5” LOA; 12’ beam), a center console with some things not found on other boats. In the cockpit, for instance, there’s a fiberglass console with bait center that abuts the leaning post. Press a button and the unit slides toward the transom, opening up space for a crew member to stand and prep bait while facing aft, so he can keep an eye on the spread in the wake of the boat. Yet even with the bait center moved aft, there’s still plenty of room in the cockpit for anglers to work lines. “We call that uncompromised functionality,” says Gratz, “and it’s something fishermen will appreciate.”
But even avid anglers need time out of the cockpit and away from the sun, which is why there’s a cabin in the console, only this one feels like a space you might find on a dedicated cruiser. There’s a big U-shaped lounge that converts to a berth, an enclosed head with shower, and smooth wood veneers on bulkheads, but there are also relatively large windows, something you don’t often see on this type of boat. And those windows face more glazing integrated in the gunwales at the sidedecks, which means you can look out onto the water from the cabin. “When we design a center console, we think about the value of a person’s time. Sure, the owner wants a fishing boat, but he also wants a platform on which he. can enjoy every moment on the sea,” says Gratz.
The S 378 rides on a deep-V hull powered by triple 425-hp Yamaha outboards coupled to joystick steering. Triple engines as standard power on a center console? That was unheard of a couple of years ago. “It used to be that owners would start with a single engine then move up to twins when they bought a bigger boat. That was the process to upsize,” says Gratz. “That paradigm is broken these days, in large part because of joystick controls, which make boats so much easier to operate. The learning curve is different, and that’s very apparent in the center console market.”
High-tech engines, a good-size cabin and luxury details can drive up the price of a center console, but builders say consumers are willing to pay for a boat that can be all things to all family members. “It just doesn’t make sense for these boats to be purpose-driven,” says Gratz.
For information on other models in Pursuit’s S series of center consoles see https://www.soundingsonline.com/boats/pursuit-s-288