Morning air temperatures hovered near 50 degrees F as I stepped into the expansive cockpit of the new Pursuit S 408 Sport at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce, Florida, and greeted David Glenn, marketing director for S2 Yachts, parent firm of Pursuit Boats.
“It’s a bit chilly,” I said, pointing out the obvious.
“A little breezy too,” Glenn responded. “But that’s OK. We have the right boat to get the job done. Let’s go fishing.”
Big Center Console with a Big Cabin
Indeed, the S 408 ranks as one of the best center-consoles you could choose for fishing offshore on a blustery day in late February. The big, brawny 42-footer abounds with angling and family features that make it both an effective and comfortable fishing machine.
Take for example the spacious and exquisitely appointed step-down cabin within the console, accessible via an acrylic pocket door on the port side of the helm deck. The cabin is the height and width you might expect on an express cruiser.
New S 408 Sport from Pursuit Boats
This is where I found our three other crew members — Glenn’s teenage son Daniel, Bonnier publisher John McEver, and his teenage son Porter — enjoying the warmth from the onboard air conditioning/heating system before we cast off. All three relaxed on the V-shaped forward lounge, which quickly converts into a berth with cushion inserts for overnighting. A skylight ushers in natural light, and there’s a 28-inch flat‑screen television for entertainment.
A galley on the port side with a fridge and microwave serves as a handy place to prepare meals. A standard 8 kW diesel generator powers appliances when you’re away from shore power. The enclosed head to starboard features a VacuFlush porcelain marine toilet, a sink with fresh-water faucet, a Corian countertop and a shower.
Pursuit S 408 Helm Seats
I returned to the bridge deck to join Glenn as we left the dock and wound our way toward the Fort Pierce Inlet. The helm area is so wide that I had to keep reminding myself this was a center-console. The 13-foot beam on the S 408 allowed the designers to build a wide console while also offering plenty of walk-around deck space on each side. This boat featured a joystick for a standard bow thruster for docking in tight quarters. You can also get the optional Yamaha Helm Master system with joystick low-speed steering control for Yamaha outboards.
As a north wind whipped across the water, I appreciated the laminated-glass windshield that integrates almost seamlessly with the hardtop to completely shield the helm. An electric vent at the top lets in a cooling breeze on sultry days. A row of three helm seats — each with lumbar supports, flip-up bolsters and fold-down armrests — made for superb comfort. Two tiers of footrests at the base of the console let you brace yourself in choppy seas. For extra height while standing, the footrest panel folds down to become a nonskid deck that adds 6 inches of elevation. Atop the console is a handy glove box with a USB charging port for cellphones.
As we cleared the no-wake zone, Glenn advanced the digital throttles for the triple Yamaha F350 outboards that powered this tester and used the twin Garmin GPSMAP 7616 multifunction displays to navigate toward our first stop, a bell buoy outside the inlet, to catch bait.
Waves ran about three feet at tight intervals, but the deck remained relatively stable. The diamond nonskid sole offered great traction as the two teenagers jigged sabiki rigs for bait while Glenn manned the wheel.
Beautiful 6-inch blue runners bit almost immediately, and I stepped aft to unhook them. Teamwork allowed us to quickly fill the 44-gallon transom livewell in the starboard quarter. Once we were done, I closed the self-latching lid, which features an acrylic window to monitor the liveys. In the center of the covered transom is a 47-gallon locker with refrigerator/freezer coils for frozen bait or other cold goods.
Two 61-gallon fish lockers flank the aft deck. The starboard box also has fridge/freezer coils. The transom features a sink with fresh water, an electric grill and a Corian cutting board. A transom door in the port quarter leads to the stern platform, which extends well aft on each side of the motors in a design unique to Pursuit. A boarding ladder telescopes from the port platform.
Before we left the area, Glenn suggested we slow-troll one of the runners on a wire leader to see if any king mackerel were feeding nearby. Shutting down all but one outboard, he ran the engine at idle, which resulted in a trolling speed of about 2 mph.
Pursuit S 408 Center Console Boat
Porter manned the rod, and within a couple of minutes, a big fish grabbed the bait. He put the reel in gear and the line came taut. The S 408 deck layout let Porter follow the fish around the boat, and coaming pads encircling the interior cushioned his legs in the rolling seas.
Porter’s quarry turned out to be a big barracuda. Glenn swung open the beefy, inward-opening boarding door on the starboard side to wire the fish and remove the hook. We snapped a few photos and released the toothy critter.
Glenn put the S 408 on a course for the waters outside Bethel Shoals, about 10 miles off Vero Beach, where he hoped to find mahimahi or sailfish. Waves built to four feet at four-second intervals farther offshore, but Glenn dialed in the Lenco trim tabs and outboard trim to keep the big V-hull knifing through the waves at 4,000 rpm and around 30 mph.
The ride felt solid. Pursuit ensures durability with its reinforced, infused one-piece stringer grid and patent-pending transom reinforcement grid, as well as a mechanically fastened hull-to-deck joint.
Pursuit S 408 Mezzanine Seating
On the way out, I perched on the ultrawide aft-facing mezzanine bench seat and found it remarkably comfortable. I especially liked the teak footrest. It’s also great for watching the trolling lines. To escape the sun, extend the electrically operated SureShade from the aft edge of the hardtop.
Once we reached the fishing area, Daniel deployed the optional Rupp Revolution outriggers from under the hardtop while McEver took the wheel. Glenn and I pinned on baits to slow-troll from the outriggers and two flat lines.
While we waited for a bite, I walked forward to check out the bow seating, using the recessed stainless-steel bow rails for an extra measure of security. I found an inviting three-person lounge with individually sculpted backrests and fold-down armrests on the forward console.
U-shaped seating wraps around the bow, but you can also convert each side into a lounger thanks to the tilt-and-lock angled backrests. You can also remove the filler cushion in the middle of the forward seating for clear passage to the bow and a cavernous anchor locker.
Pursuit S 408 Bow Design
Proof of the S 408’s Performance
Alas, after three hours of trolling, our time offshore came to an end without another bite, so we secured the deck. I took a spell at the helm, putting the S 408 Sport on a course back to the Intracoastal Waterway inside Fort Pierce Inlet. The boat handled marvelously as we quartered down-sea at speeds in the high 40s.
Turning Yamaha XL 17-inch-pitch stainless-steel three-blade propellers, the triple Yamaha 350 hp outboards vaulted the S 408 to 30 mph in eight seconds and achieved a top speed of 51.4 mph at 6,000 rpm, where the three engines burned 101 gph for 0.51 mpg in the sheltered bay waters off Fort Pierce.
The most efficient cruising speed came at 4,000 rpm and 32.7 mph. Here the triple F350s burned 39.1 gph for 0.84 mpg, which translates to a cruising range of more than 300 miles.
With the S 408 Sport, Pursuit has created a boat that weaves the fishing prowess and versatility of a supersize center-console with the comfort and overnighting amenities of an express cruiser. No matter how you view it, this bold new model from Pursuit offers a winning combination.
Pursuit Boats S 408 Sport Performance Specifications
POWER Triple Yamaha F350 outboards
LOAD 300 gal. fuel, five crew
TOP SPEED 51.4 mph @ 6,000 rpm
TIME TO 30 MPH 8 sec.
BEST MPG 0.84 @ 32.7 mph (4,000 rpm)
Pursuit Boats S 408 Sport Hull Specifications
LOA 42 ft. 10 in.
BEAM 13 ft.
DEADRISE 20 deg.
DRY WEIGHT Approx. 19,000 lb.
DRAFT 2 ft. 11 in.
FUEL 370 gal.
MAX POWER 1,050 hp
Base MSRP $643,940 (w/ triple Yamaha F350s)
Fort Pierce, Florida