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March 05, 2004

Pursuit 3370 Offshore

If you want a midsize outboard-powered, offshore fishing machine with quality and class to spare, this is it.

Hard to imagine, but the weather dawned entirely too nice for fishing. Outside Fort Pierce Inlet on central Florida's Atlantic coast, seas ran a calm 1 to 2 feet with a gentle wind out of the northeast. As far as my eye could see, the sky and sea presented a slate as clean as a list of Republican environmental protections. Nor did the conditions provide much of a challenge for a boat capable of handling gale-force winds and seas.

Performance
Idle speed was out of the question while running out the inlet. An incoming tidal current blasted down the channel at a good 6 to 7 knots, dragging buoys mostly underwater. The conditions forced me to run the twin 300 Yamaha HPDIs at 1,800 rpm just to move forward at idle speed. Once past the no-wake-zone signs, 4,000 rpm pushed the 3370 to 34.3 mph, burning 30.5 gph total. Accelerating to 40 mph significantly increases fuel consumption - up to 40 gph at 4,500 rpm. Top speed at 5,200 rpm touched a most respectable 47.3 mph but gulped 50 gph. Offering nearly the performance but with more modest fuel consumption, Yamaha 225s are available for the 3370 - and will probably be the most popular option.

One thing I could accomplish in the calm conditions was hard-over turns. The 3370 leans way over in a turn and really changes course quickly - 180 degrees in less than two boat lengths without producing the least feeling of insecurity. As far as I can tell from crossing large wakes and from the wind picking up slightly in the afternoon, this Pursuit will handle rough seas with every bit the same good grace that its sister ships display.

Fishing
We came across a textbook edge 15 miles offshore. With two people aboard, both fishing the color change, I found the 3370 to be a breeze to run and fish at the same time. In the space of an hour, we released one big sail, caught several dolphin and lost a wahoo before things started to slow down. Thanks to the truly excellent cockpit, with a rack for tools, rigs and knives on the transom, padded coamings and easily accessed livewell and fish boxes, our two-man team went home happy. I had no difficulty moving to the bow with a fish on as the hardtop and bow rail offered sufficient handholds.

I did have an interesting thought while fighting the sailfish, though. As I looked back in wonder at the two huge 300-hp outboards hung on the integral transom bracket,

I remembered the days when nobody wanted outboards on a fishing boat. "Give me a nice clean transom," they all said. Well, outboards don't seem to have stopped any of us from catching fish after all.

I also particularly liked the individual foldaway seats on the forward end of the cockpit. They make ideal spots to sit while watching the trolling spread, but they quickly disappear when a fish strikes and you want the work space.

Design and Construction
A hand-laid fiberglass hull that includes fully encapsulated, foam-filled stringers and a vinylester resin barrier layer to prevent osmotic blistering allows Pursuit to offer with it a five-year warranty.

If you're looking for a bare-bones fishing vessel with an almost workboat flavor, look elsewhere. Pursuit takes interior decor very seriously as the rich fabrics, beautiful joinery and finishes attest. Amazingly, this 35-footer can sleep five in a double berth forward, another amidships and a single formed by the drop-down table and settee in the salon.

Out on deck, like other Pursuits, the 3370 has a tilt-away helm allowing access to all the instrumentation wiring. Being of larger-than-average size, I like things that look and feel strong and beefy. For example, I found the helm seat sturdy and comfortable. The new monocoque, wraparound windshield frame with tempered safety glass showed absolutely no distortion even in the curves, affording driver and passengers unobstructed visibility.

About the only shortcoming I found concerned the fills for the outboard oil reservoirs. They're mounted in a vertical bulwark back by the transom; you must use a funnel to fill each reservoir. No matter how careful you might be, you will spill drops, suffer runs, make a mess. I'd much prefer a means of accessing the large-mouthed tops of the reservoirs and pouring directly into them. I found remarkably little wasted or unused space aboard the 3370. There's great storage everywhere you look. The 3370 comes with an Armstrong ladder.

The price without power is a bit misleading. Add twin outboards, generator, anchor windlass, deluxe comfort group (TV screen, ice maker, air conditioning, fishing gear such as outriggers, in-cabin rod holders and curtains to enclose the express bridge and your total will be closer to $246,000. Then add navigation electronics. That still makes this 35-footer extremely competitive with boats in the same general size range. But with Pursuit, you never have to worry about quality. You get what you pay for.

Specifications
LOA 35 ft. 1 in.
BEAM 10 ft. 6 in.
DRAFT 2 ft. 6 in.
WEIGHT 9,520 lb.
DEADRISE 21 deg.
FUEL 310 gal. (std)
MAX POWER T300-hp OB
MSRP $159,250 (w/o power)

NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT

  • Hardtop
  • Grounding/bonding system
  • 45-gallon livewell
  • Teak and maple cabin sole
  • Three foldaway cockpit seats

IMPRESSIONS
If you want a midsize outboard-powered, offshore fishing machine with quality and class to spare, this is it.

Pursuit Fishing Boats
772-465-6006
www.pursuitboats.com

YAMAHA 300-hp HPDI
TYPE 76-deg. V-6
DISPL. 204 cid (3.3L)
MAX RPM 5,500 rpm
HP/LB RATIO 0.55
FUEL SYSTEM High Pressure DFI
GEAR RATIO 1.75:1
WEIGHT 543 lb.
ALT. OUTPUT 50 amps
MSRP $18,750

This engine is the first 300-hp nonracing product available to recreational fishermen. It's not as quiet or as economical as smaller DFI or four-stroke engines, but it goes very fast and won't load up while you're trolling.