Pursuit OS 385 Offshore Review

Bass-boat acceleration gives the “express” in this sport-fisher real meaning.

April 20, 2012

If I could have only one more boat in this lifetime, it just might be the new OS 385 Offshore. Why? Because it has the acceleration of a bass boat, an easy outboard-maintenance regime, plus the fishability and onboard comfort to accommodate long-range cruising and fishing.

On the coastal waters of Florida’s east coast, I braced myself for the first acceleration test. I leaned into the inertia I expected from the short movement of the Yamaha Command Link digital throttles and triple F350 outboards, and it still me pushed back. I caught myself with a backward step, regained my footing and jotted 4.6 seconds to planing speed, 5.9 seconds to 30 miles per hour. Go-fast boats don’t step up like that. This was a nearly 10-ton ­fishing-and-cruising machine with the agility of a runabout.

At 30 miles per hour, I spun the helm into a hard turn to port and held it there, forming a 180 within the narrow banks of the Intracoastal Waterway. I fed in throttle and it came around even sweeter.


Outside the inlet, the seas rose six feet and came in close together, forming a backbreaking network that the test boat sloughed off at 18 to 20 mph. Not one crackle from the hull, groan from the cabinetry below or rattle behind the helm distracted me from piloting these confusing seas.

The boat could have taken it at 40 mph or even its top speed of 54 mph. But I knew as a prudent captain I should take these seas with an easy, loping speed that let us enjoy the ride, sipping from bottled water.

This sort of toughness and performance pairs well with all of the hard-core fishing features I found on board. You can take this rig far offshore or deep into the Bahamian out islands, and have a range of 300 miles on a 370-gallon fuel supply.


Gunwale height is just right for bringing fish aboard. Tuck your toes under the rod-locker doors (one each, port and starboard) to give added ­security to your footing.

If you boat the fish, don’t worry about the ice supply. A huge freezer locker on the transom and another on the mezzanine keep your catch fresh until you return to home port. Pursuit added a weather-resistant tackle station with Plano-box holders, and three drawers under a bait basin and sink.

A generous 50-gallon lighted ­baitwell to starboard on the transom means you’ll have enough freebies to make a bite instead of wait for one.


Design and Construction
The hardtop fastens to the sturdy, lightweight, stylish, infused-fiberglass windscreen. Also noteworthy, steps to the hardtop are standard, showing that Pursuit planned ahead for the captain who’d want a bridge.

Comfort doesn’t compromise ­fishability in the OS 385. Twin lounges hidden in the transom provide an enjoyable ride to the fishing grounds before you battle your prey.

Maintenance is made easy by careful design. The console panel unsnaps and hinges aft, giving unfettered access to the electronics and instruments. In the cockpit, solid hatches on double-duty hinges lift away to reveal easy access to all seacocks, fuel/water separators and the low-carbon-monoxide diesel genset — a feature that leads to worry-free and comfortably air-conditioned sleep, should you equip with AC.


Belowdecks the main salon is also easy to keep. A fiberglass headliner and wood-soled fiberglass cabin is sturdy and easy to clean. The Corian counter had a gold-dust and sandstone look that sparkled deeply. Hidden mood lights glowed through the Corian. Even the head was warmly finished with a wood sole and sported a separate shower with a frosted-glass door. Throughout the cabin, courtesy LEDs softly lit the way.

The standard salon option includes a convertible V-berth that doubles as a dinette area and features a closet near the aft berth. The optional configuration offers a more open plan by moving the V-berth forward, and arranging it beam-to-beam rather than fore and aft. The starboard galley is forward of ­amidships, and the dinette lies to port.

I want my last boat to come with rugged, long-lasting good looks. Pursuit seems to agree with me.

LOA: 39 ft. 5 in.
BEAM: 13 ft.
DRAFT: 25 in.
DEADRISE: 18 deg.
WEIGHT: 18,422 lb. (w/ power)
FUEL: 370 gal.
MAX POWER: Triple 350 hp Yamahas
MSRP: $535,730 (base w/ engines)

Pursuit Boats / Fort Pierce, Florida / 800-947-8778


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