Pursuit executed the installation of outboard power in its new SC 365i in an elegantly simple manner. This cruiser also boasts a self-bailing cockpit and a bottom designed for rough-water running. The SC 365i’s kit includes a hardtop, single-level cockpit, luxurious accommodations and loads of light belowdecks, yet it offers the low-slung sleekness and elegance of line typical of day boats. Hop aboard.
The SC 365i conceals twin 350 hp Yamaha F350 outboards inside a well that reduces the noise of these already quiet power plants, allows the boat’s lines to resolve themselves fluidly aft, and provides the owner with the ability to emblazon the stern with a name and hail. The “i” model designation means “integrated outboard technology.”
Pursuit’s installation differs from that aboard Sea Ray’s 370 Venture ($391,745 with twin 300 hp Mercury Verado outboards; see Boating November/December 2012). The Pursuit’s engines breathe the air required for combustion through vents incorporated into the cover, in addition to a through-the-transom cutout that allows them to be tilted clear of the water. The cutout is fitted with a skirt that filters salt particles before they concentrate inside the enclosure. Note that the Sea Ray outboard enclosure is topped with twin sun pads, a feature the SC 365i lacks, and so can’t be readily vented — thus the Sea Ray’s use of special cowls with snorkels plumbed belowdecks.
The SC 365i’s outboard enclosure includes a door in the transom walkway that allows walking across the beam of the boat in front of the motors. We found it easy to remove the cowls aboard the SC 365i for servicing the engines.
With no engines inboard, there’s more room for accommodations and stowage. Outboards are the quietest internal combustion marine engines. Outboards are virtually smoke-free, another pleasantry, and, because they tilt clear of the water, they make viable destinations of anchorages unavailable to inboard and sterndrive craft. The corrosion resistance of outboards needs no amplification from me.
With a test crew of two aboard, the boat achieved 47.3 mph at wide-open throttle and cruised most efficiently at 32.7 mph burning 35.5 gph, netting 0.92 mpg and a range of 249 miles. During another trial, we ran with a crew of six and full tanks and recorded 43.5 mph at WOT and a cruising speed of 30 mph that burned 39 gph and netted 0.76 mpg. In both cases, speed and economy are superior to those of similarly sized cruisers with sterndrives and V-drives by 10 to 15 percent, as a review of Boating’s boat-test archive shows.
To see tests pitting various propulsion types against one another, click these links:
The Sea Ray 370 Venture, which we tested laden similar to our heavily loaded trial of the SC 365i, produced a top speed of 42.15 mph and a 30.9 mph most efficient cruise, burning 31.8 gph for an economy of 0.84 mpg and a range of 175 miles (note: the Sea Ray carries 100 fewer gallons of fuel).
Numbers don’t tell the whole story. The Pursuit achieved plane with even more authority, accelerated even more powerfully at midrange speeds, and delivered an even more confident feel at the helm than did the Sea Ray. I credit the larger displacement and increased torque of the Yamaha F350s — which swing larger-diameter props than the Mercury Verado 300s — more than I do the 100 hp disparity. The Yamahas are thirstier for any given boat speed.
The SC 365i offers a hardtop complete with a full-beam retractable sunroof. I was impressed with the windshield. It’s a single, curved piece of chemically tempered laminated glass. I noticed no distortion looking through it. It is unique and integrates seamlessly with the hardtop.
From transom lounge to the capacious wet bar and helm deck with its lounge, the single-level cockpit allows for fluid pedestrian traffic paths. I judged side-deck access to the bow for line handling or use of the chaise lounge sun pad safe: sturdy handholds, wide decks, and just enough deck camber to ensure drainage without compromising footing.
A well-built Pursuit boat is no surprise. But stepping through the companionway, I was startled. The decor eschews Pursuit’s traditional simplicity in favor of luxe digs modeled after larger yachts. A design imperative to incorporate at least two sources of natural light in every space was achieved with skylights, opening ports, deck hatches and long, narrow hull-side windows port and starboard, ensuring a great view and welcoming ambience.
The salon seating converts to an island berth electrically. The aft stateroom features a door, walk-in headroom and a pair of single berths that convert to a queen. The head is all fiberglass for easy maintenance, yet the glass-basin sink and the Coke-bottle-green shower door imbue elegance. Throughout, the mélange of varying color, texture and materials screams posh.
Seeking a state-of-the-art sport yacht? Demo Pursuit’s SC 365i.
Comparable model: Sea Ray 370 Venture