You like to haul dozens of prerigged skirts, lures, and rigs? Pounds and pounds of lead weights? Enough hooks to outfit a longliner? Me, too, which is why my eyes nearly popped out when I saw the glory of the new Pursuit C-310 Center Console's integrated tackle stowage design.
Stow and Go
This boat is built for the serious offshore no-holds-barred angler. Just glance at all the places provided to house your goodies: There's a standard hook/pliers/knife holder at the transom; a four-box tackle center also in the transom; a compartment on the starboard side of the leaning post with three more tackle trays; and a compartment on the port side with bulk tackle stowage. Still can't cram all your gear onboard? Okay - there's also an aft slide-out tackle center and a bait prep station with molded-in rigging cutouts.
You need to stow enough rods to compete in a billfish tournament one day and a kingfish tournament the next? Of course you do! That's why the C-310 CC has four gunwale holders, locking rodboxes for eight big rigs, four under-gunwale rodracks, four rocket launchers in the leaning post, four more launchers on the optional ($12,555) hardtop, and another optional ($830) quartet along the transom. I couldn't live without the transom holders because they allow an angler to expand his spread with more flat lines. On the downside, they should be shifted or the transom killbox hatch should have a gas-assist strut added to restrict its movement, because as iT is the hatch interferes with the holders.
More in store. Need a stowage spot for live baits, too? If you're a diehard live-baiter, then you know that Pursuit produces some of the best livewells afloat. The C-310 CC continues that tradition, with a circular, multi-inlet 52-gallon well that's baby blue on the inside, which keeps the baits calm and happy. Other manufacturers have copied the idea of using color inside a livewell, but remember that Pursuit was the first to go to marine biologists to research and develop this bait-calming blue color.
Fish stowage is also a home run on this boat, with two insulated boxes under the forward seats, two in the deck, and one in the transom. Yes, that transom box forces you far forward of the powerplants, and as in most modern outboard boats, you won't have a prayer of working fish around the props. Deep Impact figured a way around this with its fold-down motorwell cover (which turns the well into deck space) and walkaround transom (which lets you access it). We can only hope that other builders will pick up on this tremendous angling advantage. If you want it today, you'll have to pay megabucks, because the Deep Impact 33 starts out around $200,000, and once it's customized to your liking, it comes in closer to $250,000.
Edgewater's 318 CC is a much closer competitor cost-wise, coming in right at $150,000 with twin Yahama F-250s. It's also a bit larger at 31'10"-by-10'2", but it has livewells at the transom, which make it just as far a reach to the props. And because it's designed with more family comfort in mind than the Pursuit, it doesn't match it for overall tackle and rod stowage and similar fishing goodies.
Sea, sea and more sea.
If you truly care about tackle stowage, livewells, and other fishing features, you're probably one of those guys who plans to fish come hell or high water. Nothing short of a hurricane will squelch your offshore adventure? Then get ready to chalk up a few more points for the C-310 CC. This boat has a steep 24-degree deadrise, and you can feel that V go to work running through the waves. We ran full tilt through a minor-league bay chop, and the cup of coffee I left in a cupholder didn't lose a drop.
Performance is enhanced by the way this boat is put together: The hull and deck are vacuum-infused for maximum strength, hullsides are balsa-cored, hatches are vacuum-bagged, and the stringers are vacuum-infused glass bonded to the hull with Plexus. Plus, Pursuit does the stringer bonding while the hull is still in the mold, which ensures a perfect match. The net result? A solid, vibration-free feel when the hull meets waves. One caveat - on our test boat the aft tackleboxes weren't fitted perfectly and they rattled a bit. This boat was the first of its kind, so future C-310 CC's probably won't exhibit this problem, but when you check one out, give those tackleboxes a shake or two to be sure.
One other item that stands out on the C-310 CC is the anchor locker and anchor stowing arrangement. If you're into chunking or wreck fishing and you spend a lot of time on the hook, you'll appreciate the large access hatch over the rope locker, which was wide enough for me to get my shoulders through. That made for easy access to the bottom of my test boat's windlass ($3,710), a spot that needs good access that many other builders fail to provide. The anchor rides on a stainless-steel strike plate on the bow. And the locker itself is huge, with plenty of space for a rode you measure in fathoms, not feet. In fact, it's so big you could even stow a tacklebox or two in there…not that you'd ever need to.