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November 07, 2008

Pursuit OS 375 Offshore

Serious outboard performance matched with plush accommodations distinguish Pursuit's new OS 375 Offshore.

Like other builders in its class, Pursuit Boats welcomed the news when Yamaha introduced the F350 V-8 engine last year. Not only did this new power plant boost performance on existing models, it also gave the company the opportunity to build a new express boat from the keel up: the OS 375 Offshore. Launched at the Palm Beach Boat Show this past spring, it is the company's largest outboard-powered offering. A couple weeks after its debut, I had the chance to see what it would do near Pursuit's facility in Fort Pierce, Florida.

After clearing the no-wake zone in the Indian River, I took the helm and fire-walled the throttles. The bow rose as the strakes provided noticeable lift before dropping to a level running attitude. From the comfortable, bolstered helm chair I had a commanding view through the unique - and stylish - infused-fiberglass/tempered-glass windshield that comes with a freshwater washdown system and integrated wipers. Reflected surface glare was non-existent due to the console's gray gelcoat finish, and the thoughtful layout allows easy scanning of gauges and screens.

Our test craft was rigged with triple V8s, which produced a top speed of nearly 55 miles per hour. That's pretty impressive for a boat of this size and weight. Equally noteworthy was the fuel economy (38.0 gph) while making nearly 34 miles per hour at 4,000 rpm. Pursuit design engineer Eric Hess told me that performance with twin F350s was projected to be 48 miles per hour, top end, with a cruising speed of 35 miles per hour. So there's not really a huge difference between triples and twins, although when we tried to get on plane on a single engine, we couldn't quite break over.

For its size, the 375 is very nimble. It responds quickly to the slightest course correction, and steering is effortless because of the power-assisted hydraulic system. Big swells from passing trawlers proved to be a non-issue for this brawny express. The sharp entry forward transitions to 18 degrees at the transom for a nice combination of seaworthiness and stability. When I leaned over the side to simulate releasing a fish, the waterline barely budged.