Pursuit’s S310 Sport is ready for just about anything. Amenities like the stand-up head, refrigerator, sink and comfortable bow make it a platform to entertain and the abundance of plush seating ensures its success as a runabout to beaches or even as a yacht tender for those of our readers in that type of playground. But, armed well for her heritage, she is equipped with a livewell, fish boxes and a complement of hidden rod racks since the Pursuit is actually designed to be a craft for the hunting of big game fish!
This Pursuit is a boat I’ve had my eye on for some time. At 31 foot in length (9.5 metres), it’s hard not to notice this fully-imported beaut. The S310 Sport is as good for catching fish as it is for catching rays – as well as the envious stares of fellow boaters. The sheer amount of quality, features and extras are some of the things which make this craft shout “Hey! Look at me!” After one demo ride, you’ll be absolutely sold on this craft. And, when the wife wants to give you a mooring for your latest purchase, even after spending the budget for the new kitchen, you can simply say ‘no thanks!’, since this Pursuit is rested on a premium aluminium trailer when she’s not in the water – saving you the harbour costs as well as maintaining her good looks.
In her resilient red colour, I think that she looks terrific – like she’s the patrol boat in the Florida Keys. The cushioning in the interior brings the colouring from out- to inside the boat, tying the package up nicely, and really adding to the look and feel of the layout.
Starting at the front, there’s enough space for three comfortably in the bow, as well as a further two on the seat built onto the front of the helm station. Naturally, there’s plenty of storage area below these seats. The Pursuit S310 is built for comfort – and if you’re going to spend all day fishing or entertaining, a neat head compartment is located in the console and is accessed from the starboard side. In addition to the porcelain throne and accompanying sink, a stainless porthole allows fresh air to be streamed in and you’ll find some compartments for keeping various smaller items. However, the only thing to really note here for serious fishermen – the heads compartment is a full size one which means you’ve got ample storage space…
At the helm, you command the S310 from a huge captain’s chair – and there’s space for a companion alongside; even two if you’re the type of guy that has a moustache and wears an open floral shirt to show off chest hair… The helm binnacle is kitted out to the max with all the toys you could ever need – on this S310 you’ll find a Lowrance HDS5 as well as a large NSS12 Simrad touch-screen which combine to offer you radar, a 1kW echo sounder, and autopilot. Of course, there is the full complement of chic engine gauges to give you the boat’s vitals as you cruise.
A thick, curved, acrylic windscreen on the helm stops the oncoming wind, and the racy, forward-raked tower arch with hardtop provides ample shade for six passengers in a mid-day sun. Looking the part of a sports fisher, there are stainless rod holders on the aft of the hardtop canopy.
Everyone will appreciate the onboard refrigerator, found below the skipper’s seat; but for the buyer with angling on his mind, look forward to a clear-top livewell at the stern, a stowage locker (most suited for keeping the deck free of fenders and open for angling), and plenty of rod storage in the gunnels. If you want to rinse off the deck, crew or your gear, a strong freshwater shower is found on board. As for other finishing off items, there is the neat use of wood around the craft, such as at the skipper’s feet and on the console between the skipper’s and the rearfacing double seat, and subtle stainless and Pursuit logos make for a fancy touch.
For this review, we travelled to our local ground, Hout Bay harbour in the Western Cape. A rolling swell in the bay was estimated at around two metres in height with little space between them. Fitted with a pair of 250 HP Suzuki 4-Strokes, this package is quieter than Malema after a tax scandal – and that’s deafening to a church mouse! Strong latches and compressed gaskets keep compartments and lids closed and rattle-free and the sturdy canopy doesn’t clatter. But, perhaps it’s not so surprising since a good riding hull like the S310 keeps boat noise to a minimum by softening the blows. We left the bay area and headed out past Kommetjie where the swell became a bit more intense. The craft settled into an easy rhythm as we made way. Maintaining the plane, the Pursuit ate its way through the waves, slow enough to stay level but fast enough for confident steering. The 310’s head-sea ride and following-sea and attitude could be described as just right. With its 24-degree deadrise, slim length-to-beam ratio and resin-infused fibreglass stringer grid, she’s more than capable of handling a beam-on sea and feeling super-strong.
Now, I’ve been exactly one Captain Kirk away from warp speed on smaller boats with a combined 500 HP, and I wouldn’t expect it from a hulking big 31-foot craft like this. At full throttle it required a firm grip and steadying stance, but the boat didn’t seem to care about the conditions. The fastest speed I can prove we achieved by picture, was 40.8 knots. Normally, 75 km/h in a two metre swell is a nightmare for any photographer, but my picture is crystal clear – which goes to show how smooth, stable and comfortable the ride is on this craft. In all honesty, the boat’s ride had some pounds to it – but so few; even less than a super model with an eating disorder – and these were only when you launch off a swell at rocket-speed and land on a chine rather than slicing it with the sharp V. This craft performs sweetly, and I’m just going to come out and say it – it’s probably my new number one favourite ride in a boat of this size, simply because it’s super comfortable. And when you ask it to corner, it REALLY leans into it, making you feel safe and confident.
Excellent performance in rough water is the reason boaters in this segment of the market of sport craft now look at owning a boat like the S310. Throw in the fact that this Pursuit offers more than just being one-way inclined, and you’ve got a winning combination.
Starting at R1.1 mill for the particular model you see in these pictures, or R2 mill at the current exchange rate, there are quite a few hardcore sportsfishers you could look at before the Pursuit 310. Maybe it would be leaving the best for last; but it if you’re looking for a boat with not only a multitude of uses, but has minimal compromise and outstanding rough-water performance, Pursuit’s 310 is tough to beat! For more information, contact Atlantic Suzuki on (021) 555 1977 or 082 443 9111.