It used to be that an offshore center console boat was a winner if it could take on rough seas, move at a decent clip, and had enough rod, bait and fish storage. Now it must also offer a wealth of conveniences to make not just the fishing but also the downtime on the water enjoyable for the entire crew. Pursuit’s S 328 accomplishes that and more.
The new 32-foot center console boasts clean, inviting looks and performance definitely worthy of a top-notch offshore model. It seamlessly intermingles a long list of creature comforts and stylish design elements without forgetting to incorporate any of the fishing-specific features that strike a chord with serious anglers.
The hull is hand-laminated with vinylester resin and engineered fabrics. To ensure structural soundness and rigidity without excessive weight, the transom is a five-ply, resin-infused composite system with a reinforcement grid, and the stringers are an infused fiberglass structural grid with an integrated bilge water-management system.
Taking full advantage of the boat’s nearly 11-foot beam, Pursuit endowed the S 328 with an optimum layout dominated by a sizable console — forward of midship — with a getaway below that houses a head with a sink and vanity, and a two-person berth that easily converts to an aft-facing sofa bookended by open storage to port and starboard, ample for customization, and dedicated racks for four rods.
At the bow, a top hatch opens to the anchor locker with a horizontal windlass with remote and helm switch, through-stem anchor roller, and stainless-steel, plow-style anchor with chain and 200 feet of rode, plus convenient raw- and freshwater washdowns.
Just aft, bow seating hides insulated compartments underneath. Electric actuators push backrests into position to convert the seats into symmetrical forward-facing lounges, each with an integrated end table complete with drink holders, 12-volt and USB outlets, stereo remote and storage locker. A pair of removable pedestals support filler planks with cushions that bridge the gap between the seats to form a roomy sun pad. When it comes time for snacks or drinks, the filler planks are easily replaced by twin tables, the tops of which store flush against the gunwales, and set up side by side on the same pedestals, bringing the forward console seat into the fold to turn the entire front of the boat into a social zone.
Arm-, back- and headrests add comfort to the forward console seat. A tempered-glass windshield incorporates a center vent that moves up and down with the push of a button and keeps rain and spray off the helm, which is off-center to port to allow step-down entry to the getaway. The dash has enough real estate for two 16-inch displays and multifunction gauges, with rocker-switch panels, steering wheel, throttle, trim-tab switches and optional joystick control just below. An integral footrest on hinges lies down to let vertically challenged skippers stand tall for better visibility.
A full-beam fiberglass hardtop — with an acrylic hatch for ventilation plus spreader lights, electronics-mounting surfaces, and horizontal racks for four rods — shades not only the two fully adjustable bolster helm seats but also the entertainment center with sink and freshwater faucet, cutting board, cooler with Corian lid, drawer refrigerator, 12- and 110-volt outlets, and dedicated storage, plus a nifty fold-down, aft-facing bench behind it. Ample space between the gunwales and console makes unobstructed thoroughfares connecting the bow and the cockpit, where a second social zone takes shape once you pull out the aft-facing bench and the folding transom seat, and set up between them the same removable pedestal table configuration used up front.
An elaborate entertainment system features a Bluetooth-compatible stereo, seven speakers, and zonal remotes to make the ambience more lively.
A pair of large, in-floor fish boxes have plenty of capacity to ice down the day’s catch, while a portside door simplifies boarding and pulling in big fish, and a starboard transom door with a telescopic boarding ladder makes hopping on board a breeze for swimmers and divers.
Five flush-mounted rod holders on the transom stand rigged outfits at attention. Two holders on the starboard gunwale and two more on the opposite side are perfectly situated for trolling. Racks under covering boards cradle another six rods, and a lighted 24-gallon livewell with an acrylic window on the hatch holds plenty of bait in the port transom corner. Raw- and freshwater washdowns keep the cockpit clean.
On the water, the turning radius of the Pursuit proved excellent, and maneuverability going forward and in reverse rivaled that of top big-game day boats. Visibility at the helm remained unimpeded, even during takeoff. Spray seemed inconsequential at all speeds, and the boat felt steady yet nimble through a wide range of maneuvers.
Twin Yamaha F300s on the transom provided all the juice the S 328 needs to jump on plane quickly, reach 30 mph in 10 seconds, and hit 50 mph at wide-open throttle, which the 32-footer does smoothly, slicing through waves in its path without jolts, creaks or noticeable vibration.
Pursuit puts a premium on owner satisfaction, and it shows. I found the S 328 eye-pleasing, built to last, and designed to fish hard and put smiles on the faces of family and friends invited to come aboard. It embodies the new breed of offshore center consoles, and if you’re looking for a boat in its class, it definitely deserves serious consideration.