I gotta be quick,” I tell myself, as I reach for the two-stroke oil. The sun was already starting to break the horizon; we had a 20-minute cruise to get to the chumming grounds; and the stripers had been biting strongest in the first hour of daylight. I ripped the cap off a one-gallon bottle and jammed it into the fill.
Does this haste sound like a surefire way to spill stinky, nasty, hard-to-clean two-stroke oil all over a beautiful new boat? Sure does-in any other boat. But as the oil tank on the Pursuit 3370 Offshore neared full, a red warning light illuminated. I yanked out the nozzle, screwed on the cap, and shouted “Okay, let’s go.” No clean up necessary.
BRAIN FOOD. That oil-fill light is a simple little detail. But why doesn’t everyone build one into their boats? Once they see how well it works on the 3370 Offshore, they will. And this isn’t the only display of ingenuity you’ll find on the 3370 Offshore. In fact, it’s the most minor one. Consider hull construction, for example. To make a 33′ boat run well with twin outboards, you have to build it light while maintaining strength. So here’s what Pursuit did: It used a vacuum to resin-infuse the entire hull. You’ve heard of vacuum bagging, right? The vacuum pulls resin through the laminate, eliminating excess resin and boosting the strength-to-weight ratio. Pursuit’s process is similar, but it sandwiches perforated balsa between solid glass, then uses a vacuum to pull the resin through the perforations in the balsa at 28 psi. The net result is a hull that’s every bit as strong as traditionally built boats, but the 3370 Offshore’s displacement is only 9,520 pounds compared to your average express that weighs 12,000 to 15,000 pounds.
One other weight-saving technique Pursuit used to boost performance was to eliminate wood-cored stringers. Instead, a molded grid is bonded to the hull with Plexus adhesive, then pumped full of sound-deadening, impact-reducing foam at 7 psi. Want to get a gander at just how beefy this stringer system is? Remove the insulated, macerated, liftout fishbox in the cockpit deck-noting, of course, that it’s big enough to hold a 100-pound tuna-to check it out. You’ll be impressed.
After learning about these construction advances, the next question anyone who’s ever owned a Pursuit will ask is, “Does it ride as well as Pursuits built with wood-cored stringers?” I say, “Yes.” After running to the striper hot spot at 39.9 mph while turning 4500 rpm through a one-to-two-foot chop, the 3370 Offshore admirably squished waves, reacted quickly and predictably to the Lenco trim tabs (which reset themselves every time you turn off the ignition key), planed at low speeds for comfortable cruising through rough waters, and-get this-planed on one motor. In fact, I cruised at 18 mph with one of the 300-hp Yamaha HPDI outboards tilted up.
Grady-White’s Express 330 ($236,250 with twin 300 HPDIs) also cut weight by using foam-cored stringers and eliminating the usual wood; it weighs in at 9,500 pounds. When we tested it, speeds from cruise to top end were 4 to 6 mph slower than the Pursuit, but that was with twin 250-hp outboards. Adding 300-hp HPDI powerplants should narrow the difference. Buying the Pursuit would save you more than $26,000, but note that the Grady-White has 1’1″ more beam and a more comprehensive standards list, which slims the real-world pricing gap between these two boats significantly.
Abovedecks and below, this boat is a looker that will make you a fish cooker. Top end: 48.4 mph.
HOOK ‘N COOK. If you’re intrigued by what you’ve read so far, one thing is obvious: You like to fish. And if you’re a live baiter, you’ll love the livewell Pursuit came up with for this boat. Because fish don’t like radical changes in lighting, the livewell hatch is clear so the baits always have natural light. Now think about being a fish inside a traditional livewell’s shiny, white, gel-coated interior. You’d likely freak out. The 3370 Offshore’s livewell is buff blue on the inside. And most livewells use a single water inlet that creates dead spots; Pursuit counters that with a “vertical flow velocity” system that has two inlets to keep the water mixing evenly. What if you’re cruising from inshore to offshore, and there’s a big temperature change, which is another thing fish don’t like? Pursuit put in a recirculation system as well as the circulating one. That means you can decide when and how much raw water is added to the livewell, allowing for slow changes in water makeup rather than sudden ones, which stress live baits. Capacity, of course, is also a high point, with a grand total of 45 gallons of living space for your livies.
Other fishing features include a rigging station sink over a large stowage compartment behind the helm and a huge cutting board with righolders on the transom. Plus, there are two built-in tackleboxes per side in the cockpit, but they’re covered by plastic hatches that look cheap. Worse are the two poly hatches, one on either side of the cockpit-they’re a different color and material and detract from the boat’s otherwise good looks. Fortunately, Pursuit says it plans to re-engineer these hatches and get rid of the poly.
Each gunwale has a pair of rodracks underneath, one long enough for a rod and the other sized for a gaff or mop. The gunwales are ringed with coaming bolsters, and although they weren’t present on our prototype test boat, Pursuit says it’ll add overhead rodracks in the midcabin berth. Need more? How about three drawers in the transom to complete the fishing accouterments? Wait a sec-what about spreader lights and rocket launchers? Yup, they’re included on the standard hardtop, no extra charge.
INDULGE. Spend big bucks on a boat like this, and you expect custom luxury inside and out. You get it on the 3370 Offshore. The teak dinette table has a brass-inlaid sailfish, and each one is handmade and thus unique. The sole is solid teak and maple. The galley is fully equipped with a sink, microwave, refrigerator, and one-burner stove, but the stove cover doesn’t match the countertop’s imitation-granite color. My favorite belowdecks feature is, however, the midcabin berth. Usually these caves are uninhabitable by anyone bigger than Mickey Mouse. But by opening the area under the helm, Pursuit gave the midcabin a small sit-upright section. It even sports an opening port and has a privacy curtain, so you won’t have to feel guilty when you toss the kids down there.
Although I usually don’t dwell on eye appeal, I must say that the 3370 Offshore’s looks deserve a mention. Both inside and out, this is one beautiful boat. And fortunately, you’ll never have to worry about marring those good looks with oil stains-just fish blood.
EXTRA POINT: Before designing the livewell, Pursuit engineers went to the experts at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to learn how to keep live baits alive longer.