Pursuit Boats enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a builder of high-quality fishing and cruising boats, which come assembled with top-shelf materials and sport impeccable fit and finish. But most of these vessels are 30-plus feet, some as large as 38 feet. Until recently, a 23-footer served as the smallest Pursuit.
But at the recent Miami International Boat Show, Pursuit showed a new face to the boating public — a 20-foot center console, the smallest boat ever produced by the company. Though this diminutive craft may be smaller than what we’ve come to expect from Pursuit, it comes with the same legacy of quality craftsmanship found in even the largest boats the company builds.
I ran the new C200 out of the marina at Caribee Boat Sales, the Florida Keys Pursuit dealer in Islamorada. As is Pursuit’s typical practice, the C200 comes loaded with a lengthy list of standard equipment, including a plumbed livewell, a raw-water washdown, and hydraulic steering with a stainless-steel steering wheel.
Caribee owner Bill Gilbert and I put the C200 though its paces in Florida Bay and were both pleasantly surprised by the boat’s performance with a single F150 Yamaha four-stroke outboard. The C200 jumped on plane quickly, with a slight bow rise, and settled into a nice running attitude and a cruise speed of about 34 mph at 4,500 rpm, burning only a little over nine gallons per hour.
A strong east wind had Florida Bay whipped into a short chop, and once again, the little Pursuit surprised us, giving a soft and dry ride you would expect to find on a bigger boat. Predictable and sure high-speed handling made driving the boat easy and enjoyable, and the optional trim tabs helped control the angle of attack to ensure the best ride. In addition, the boat’s 8-foot-3-inch beam enabled it to remain steady in a beam sea when drifting. Altogether, the C200 put on an outstanding show during the sea trial.
Back at the dock, Gilbert and I looked the boat over closely. The optional T-top on our test boat provided plenty of shade at the helm, and the C200 comes with an innovative seating arrangement that quickly converts from a seat to a leaning post, as the seats tilt forward at the pull of a knob to provide a comfortable and secure surface against which to lean while steering.
The boat comes with two integrated passenger seats in the aft deck, with cushions and padded backrests for comfort. An insulated storage box lies beneath the starboard seat, and the boat’s 19-gallon livewell sits beneath the port seat. The freshwater fill sits atop the transom bulkhead, along with the freshwater shower. A hatch on the forward edge of the bulkhead affords easy access to the inner hull and all pumps and through-hull fittings.
The compact console features an acrylic windshield, with a port-mounted helm and the throttle binnacle on the centerline. Gauges sit squarely above the wheel, and there’s ample space for mounting an LCD sonar-plotter unit. The biggest surprise came when we looked beneath the console through the starboard side door and found a standard porta-potty below. All the comforts of home, although the claustrophobic need not apply.
The raised forward deck offers lots of casting space, and the entire sole comes finished with Pursuit’s molded-in, aggressive diamond nonskid surface for sure footing. Beneath the forward deck, a 203-quart insulated fish box will hold as many fish as you’re likely to catch, and it drains overboard for easy cleanup. A one-piece welded stainless-steel bow rail surrounds the bow for a sure hand grip even in rough water.
Like all Pursuit boats, the C200 comes with the Pursuit Protection Plan, a strong five-year hull/deck structural warranty, plus a five-year blister-free warranty and a two-year limited warranty. This all adds up to your being able to get into a Pursuit, complete with all of the company’s notable quality and prestige, in a smaller, more affordable package. The new C200 will likely lead to a whole new generation of dedicated Pursuit owners, as those who purchase the smaller boats will discover what the owners of larger Pursuits have known and appreciated for years.
LOA……20’2″ (without pulpit)
Hull draft……13 1/2″
Dry weight……2,787 lbs. (with a Yamaha F150)
Base price……$39,095 (with a Yamaha F150)
Pursuit Boats: 772-465-6006 • www.pursuitboats.com