Pursuit S 310

Combat Zone. Come out fighting.

Add a touch of teak to a boat and-wham!-it gets an instant promotion. But to jump rank and earn those four stars, the boat's design has to be able to carry that classy look. Take one look at Pursuit's new S 310, with its thickly varnished teak seatback, under-gunwale rodracks, and bow cockpit dinette table with inlaid compass rose, and there's no doubt that it wants to be an officer and a gentleman. Net result: a handsome center console that looks the part whether you're eviscerating bluefin or entertaining bluebloods.

The S 310 includes all the features an angler needs-rodracks, a bait prep station, raw-water washdown, insulated 45-gallon livewell, tackle center with four trays, and two integrated, macerated fishboxes-while adding features for cruisers, such as a forward cockpit table, refrigerator/icemaker, sunpad insert, and roomy console head with sink. Even the hardtop is designed with an eye toward combined usage, with smart-looking, grab-providing gunwale supports, integrated lighting and stereo speakers, and spreader lights. Naturally, there's a tradeoff when you expect a boat to both fish and entertain: The gunwale supports mean it'll be tough to work a fish 360 degrees around the boat; the fridge takes up tackle stowage space; and those tables and cushions eat into your fishing perimeter.

Of course, you know that you have to look beneath the surface to be thoroughly impressed. And you will be. Slam down the throttles and the S 310 runs like an Olympian, breaking 50 mph. The S 310 I tested had a full load of fuel and five people onboard. Loaded more lightly, the boat should go notably faster. And no, sea state isn't likely to slow you down. I tried my best to get this boat to pound while zipping through a 1' to 2' chop and jumping boat wakes, but every landing was soft and vibration-free. A cut above the norm? Damn straight, in every way you measure it. Now stand still, soldier, while I pin on these new stars.