Pursuit enjoys a stellar reputation as the builder of high-quality boats that do many things well. From center consoles to walkarounds to express boats, Pursuit covers a lot of bases, but the new 3480 Center Console, unlike anything we've ever seen from this conservative company, represents an exciting addition to a solid line.
The 3480 blew the collective socks off both the fishing public and the marine press when introduced last fall at the Fort Lauderdale boat show. With a pronounced bow flair, a 24.5-degree deep-V hull, relatively narrow beam and well-thought-out fishing amenities, it became the talk of the show. It's sure to please hard-core anglers who demand aggressive styling and performance, as there's no chance of mistaking this for a mild-mannered family cruiser.
I ran the 3480 on a very windy day off Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. Twin Yamaha 300-hp HPDIs pushed the 3480 onto plane with almost no bow rise, and in a matter of seconds we were cruising at just under 36 mph burning only 26.5 gph. At this speed, the Yamahas didn't even begin to break a sweat.
I pushed the throttles forward (hang on when you do), and the 3480 rocketed to a top speed of 52.9 mph, with a fuel burn of 56.7 gph. The narrow beam gives the boat speed, combined with excellent economy.
It also provides a superior ride. We headed out Indian Key channel straight into a stiff southeast breeze and a nasty 4-foot chop. I pointed the bow straight at Alligator Lighthouse and put the hammer down. By carefully adjusting the trim tabs and the engine trim, we were able to knife through the chop at speeds up to 40 mph with no worries. The only spray we took came when we made the inevitable U-turn to head back toward shore.
Drifting in a beam sea, the boat showed no tendency to snap roll, with a comfortable and predictable motion at all times. When we throttled up and took off down-sea, she displayed her good manners once again. The sharp V at the bow sliced the backs of the waves with ease, and although the boat threw large sheets of water off to the side, none landed on us. All in all, a great ride.
Pursuit did its homework when designing the 3480. The boat comes with a 55-gallon livewell in the leaning post; a second, 35-gallon well is available as an option in the transom bulkhead. There's plentiful storage for tackle and gear in numerous compartments in the leaning post and along the transom, where there's also a handy bait-prep station with a cutting board.
Four gasketed fish boxes beneath the sole, two forward and two aft, drain to macerator pumps and will hold more fish than most people can legally catch in a month. If you're really intent on bringing home a big one, an abovedecks "coffin box" (built by Frigid Rigid) is available as an option, although most people will use this box for dry storage and seating. Our test boat featured the coffin-box setup, but you can also opt for forward seating if that better suits your needs.
The console offers a large vertical surface above the helm for mounting electronics, and even the biggest 10-inch units will have plenty of room here. Pursuit designed this boat with lots of rod storage, always a plus, and the optional factory T-top even sports the Key West design (Pursuit calls it a "surfboard" top), narrowing in the center to accommodate rods stored in vertical holders alongside the console.
Design and Construction
The boat's one-level deck design is arguably the most important fishing feature. With no step up or down from bow to stern, there's nothing to trip over, so moving around while fighting a fish is a snap. A recessed bow rail forward provides a sure handhold without obstructing fishing; likewise for the recessed pop-up cleats throughout. Additionally, a solid transom gate to port opens and closes under a hinged section of covering board, a design you usually don't see on boats this size.
Coaming pads run 360 degrees around the interior, and the innovative leaning-post seating arrangement provides additional comfort by converting from conventional seats to stand-up bolsters with a simple flip of a cushion. Pursuit also provides both a recessed toe kick and a footrest, making it almost impossible to be uncomfortable when driving this boat.
A cavernous space beneath the console can house a marine head, as well as oil tanks, four batteries and the main breaker panel. Like all Pursuits, the 3480 boasts exemplary fit and finish and unusual attention to detail. It features solid-fiberglass hull construction with reinforced foam-cored stringers, all backed by Pursuit's five-year hull/deck structural and blister-free warranty, with an overall two-year limited warranty.
If you thought Pursuits didn't have that hard-core fishing image you wanted, take a second glance. This boat looks great, and will change the way you view Pursuit forever.
Notable Standard Equipment
- Coaming bolsters
- Boarding ladder
- Cockpit courtesy lights
- Clarion AM/FM CD player
- 52-gallon leaning-post livewell
- Bait-prep station
This represents a radical departure from the status quo for Pursuit, but one that is sure to be embraced by serious fishermen who have long hoped the company would someday build this boat. Their day has finally arrived.