Never a company to rest on its laurels, Pursuit Boats sets a new standard with the recent introduction of the OS 355 express. Rather than spruce up the preceding OS 345, the design team built this one from the keel up, adding numerous significant — and stylish — improvements in the process. And the 355 is no slouch in the performance department either.
With a 12-foot beam and tipping the scales at nearly 17,000 pounds, the 355 is a formidable craft built for handling whatever King Neptune throws at you. Rated for 700 ponies, our test model was rigged to that max with a pair of Yamaha F350 four-strokes. We also had a real-world load of five big guys aboard, plus full tanks of fuel and water. Top speed was nearly 44 mph. And cruising at 4,000 rpm, the GPS recorded 28.6 mph while burning 29.1 gph. That delivers a range of more than 350 miles, a 7-percent improvement over the OS 345.
Like earlier classmates, the 355 handles well with a soft, sure ride thanks to meticulous construction and an aggressive 20-degree deadrise. The bow settles quickly upon acceleration to give the operator a commanding view. You won’t get any surprises when punching through waves or in sharp turns with this model. It’s also stable at rest.
Although the 355 is well suited for extended cruises to islands or new fishing spots, don’t let the comfort considerations fool you. This is still a fishing boat at heart. Twin fish boxes in the cockpit deck are equipped with diaphragm pumps to handle scales and other debris. The large tackle center houses all the gear needed for a day offshore. Pursuit was the first to tint its livewells blue in order to calm bait, and that tradition continues with the 28-gallon recirculating livewell here. Fresh- and raw-water washdown systems are installed in the cockpit and the bow anchor compartment.
Undergunwale rod racks are augmented by the rocket launcher on the standard molded-fiberglass hardtop. An aft spreader light, dedicated life-jacket storage and LED lights are also standard. Twin aft-facing seats are the ideal vantage points to watch the bait, plus they include insulated storage underneath. An entertainment center with a Bluetooth stereo system, molded sink, electric grill and cutting board complements the bridge deck’s refrigerator/freezer that provides quick access to cold beverages or snacks. A bench on the transom and an optional one to starboard offer plenty of seating for your guests and fold completely out of the way when the bite gets hot.
The helm on the OS 355 is especially noteworthy, starting with the custom windshield system with an optically clear laminated glass shield, tempered side glass and an electrically actuated center vent window. The result is a distortion-free view and a sense of open air without turbulence. Strataglass side curtains offer additional protection from the elements. The integrated wipers efficiently remove spray. The helm includes dual flip-up footrests to accommodate different heights, an expansive electronics panel, a Teleflex tilt helm with a textured stainless-steel wheel and a control knob, and a molded captain’s seat. Companion bench-style seating with storage accommodates guests and crew.
A sliding glass/screen door to port leads into the 355’s luxurious cabin, which rivals sport-fishers twice its size. Hull-side windows, supplemented by numerous LED lights and an overhead hatch, illuminate the space.
The cabin interior is highlighted by custom tongue-and-groove wood flooring, sound-dampening insulation and a nifty digital entertainment center.
A solid wood table on an electric actuator converts into a queen V-berth with fixed cushions, and a bulkhead rod rack stores more tackle. The 16,000 Btu air conditioner with reverse heat is standard, as well as a 50-gallon water tank with a 6-gallon hot-water heater. A Fischer Panda 8 kW diesel generator supplies plenty of power away from the dock.
The full galley has Corian countertops, plenty of pantry storage and every appliance needed for overnight stays, including a refrigerator, microwave and dual-burner glass cooktop. The head is roomy, bright, and equipped with a vacuum-flush toilet and a full shower.
As for digital connectivity and premium components, Pursuit has again done an amazing job. The OS 355 is a trendsetter for the express segment, and buyers looking to upgrade or move into this style should definitely add this beautiful, well-crafted ride to their shopping list.
Pursuit Boats: www.pursuitboats.com