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Pursuit S288 Review – Casting With Class

The Pursuit S288 has everything a serious angler needs, plus a dash of panache.

It’s very easy to find a center console fishing boat that’s family friendly. It’s easy to find one that’s designed to be a serious fishing machine(pursuits boats). And it’s easy to find one that’s rather gussied up with niceties you’d expect to find on a cocktail cruiser. You want a boat with all of these traits? Then you need an introduction to the Pursuit S288.

Whatever you feel you need in a center console, there’s a good chance Pursuit’s new S288 can provide it.

The very first thing you’ll notice upon close inspection of this boat is that there aren’t any flaws. That’s not the say the boat is perfect – there’s no such thing as a perfect boat, especially since what’s perfect for you isn’t necessarily what’s perfect for me – but we crawled all over the S288 at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and found its visible fit and finish to be essentially flawless. Then Pursuit goes and gives it some extra flair by including teak accents in the helm seat and arm rests, polished stainless-steel fittings and seat hinges, and cockpit upholstery with buttery-soft vinyls, Dri-Fast flow-through foam, and mesh backings. Is she officially a beaut? You make that call, but we say it’s a no-brainer.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well… behold.

One of the things we love about Pursuits is that they never fail to incorporate some serious angling armaments, even on their boats with a high glitz-factor. The S288 is no different, sporting a 24-gallon livewell in the transom with an acrylic see-through hatch, 45-gallon fishboxes integrated into the deck (fitted with hearty diaphragm pumps instead of the more trouble-prone macerators), four flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales, four more holders lining the transom, and six rocket launchers lining the hard top.

Pursuit S288 Specifications

  • LOA – 30’0”
  • Beam – 9’8”
  • Draft – 2’0”
  • Displacement – 8,220-pounds
  • Transom deadrise – 24 degrees
  • Fuel capacity – 230
  • Water capacity – 26 gal.

So, where do the accommodations to comfort begin to interfere with fishability? That happens on every boat fulfilling multiple missions, right? Well, of course it does.

But Pursuit does an excellent job of minimizing the impact. The transom seat folds out of the way, if not flush, and the bench seat built into the back of the helm station does as well. As a result of that aft-facing bench seat, however, there’s no rigging station built in where you might commonly find one. And from an angling perspective the bow cockpit is about the norm for any forward-seating-style center console. The seats are split so you can walk all the way up to the anchor locker, there’s a huge stowage compartment built into the deck in front of the forward console seat, and low-profile rails provide handholds without interfering when you need to swing a striper over the gunwales.

Pursuit boat review
All of the seating in the cockpit folds away, when it’s time to wet a line.

Another nifty feature found up forward is the console entry. Rather than design in the usual stoop-and-squeeze side console door, Pursuit went with a swing-open forward door that’s about three quarters of the width of the console itself. That makes getting into and out of the head compartment a lot easier.

More about the console itself: it’s fully integrated with the tempered safety glass windshield and the hard top. The powder-coated aft hard top supports are then integrated with the helm seating station. Overall it creates a structure that’s much stronger and stiffer than merely bolting on the pipework, there are no pipe feet on the deck to trip over or stub a toe against, and it looks a lot slicker than the usual arrangement, too.

pursuit s288
The integrated hard top and windshield is about as slick – and sturdy – as you’ll find on any boat.

Naturally, anyone buying a boat of this nature and price (plan on dropping around a quarter-mill for a new well-equipped S288) will demand top-end performance. No problem. Rigged with a pair of Yamaha V6 four-stroke F300 outboards, the boat posts a hat-stripping top-end of 55.3 mph. Best cruise comes at 3500 rpm, while making 30.8 mph and burning 17.6 gph for 1.75 miles to the gallon. Most of us will goose the throttle up closer to 4500 rpm as long as conditions allow, where the S288 runs at 42.3 mph while maintaining about 1.4 mpg.

Pursuit boats
Getting places fast is not an issue, on the Pursuit S288.

Whether you’re heading out for a cocktail cruise or coastal carnage is the goal – or if you want to enjoy both through the course of a weekend – the S288 will get the job done. With class.

For more information, visit Pursuit Boats.

Get more great boating information, tips and reviews from BD’s Lenny Rudow.

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Lenny Rudow …has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored seven books. He is currently the Angler in Chief at Rudow's FishTalk Magazine, is Electronics and Fishing Editor for BoatUS Magazine, and is a contributing editor to several other publications. His writing has resulted in 45 BWI writing contest and two OWAA Excellence in Craft awards. Volunteer positions have included NMMA Innovations Award judging, serving as president of Boating Writers International, and serving as the president of the Maryland Freshwater Foundation. Rudow is an alumnus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, and The Sea School. He boats and fishes as often as possible on the Chesapeake Bay and in the Atlantic Ocean.