Pursuit’s S 428 is a top-notch, top-dollar center console that harnesses the latest boatbuilding technology to provide luxury, amenities, performance and fishability.
Yamaha’s quad 425 XTOs proved show-stopping. They boast the biggest displacement (5.6 liters) production blocks on a transom. And Pursuit built the S 428 especially with them in mind. They feature electronic steering and digital throttle and shift, plus Helm Master EX with full maneuverability joy stick control that includes an integrated autopilot.
With EX, the 43-foot-9-inch ship handles like a sport boat, arcing through turns with the ideal amount of heeling and with minimal effort on the electronic helm. Feeding a little throttle sharpens the turn and the job is made easy by the ergonomic positioning and shape of the throttle handles. The electronic steering’s owner-customizable settings offer variable lock-to-lock turns from a quick-turning four revolutions at idle to other rpm stops of five, seven, nine or any combination helm revolutions. With the full maneuverability joystick, the boat crabs sideways easily, taking the stress out of narrow marina moorings. Need to wait in line for the fuel dock? Tap “Stay Point” on the joystick and the boat holds its position and heading while you prep fenders and lines.
Garmin Marine makes the CL7 display, that displays Yamaha engine diagnostics. But there is no CL7 here. Instead Pursuit integrated the CL7 display into the 22-inch displays via the network bus. This allows foregoing the CL7 and saves dash space. But, the autopilot integration through Helm Master EX is Yamaha’s masterpiece and works at the touch of a small panel on the dash. Adjust course with the panel buttons or use the joystick to jog left or right. While most autopilots indicate that your approach to a destination, only this autopilot slows to a stop over the waypoint and engages Stay Point to hold station. It will stay there as long as the 547-gallon fuel capacity lasts.
The helm station is large enough for three. I liked the custom bucket seats served by footrests integral to a fold down panel, plus a third fold-down footrest for crewmembers seated to port. Notably, the helm seat is adjustable vertically, one of the only helm seats to have this feature that we’ve seen aboard similar boats. Sightlines through the optically clear, laminated glass windshield proved great during testing—you won’t see spots in it when wearing your Maui’s.
The hardtop is large enough to shade the helm deck, mezzanine and offers ample protection from the weather. Add an optional electrically extended sun shade and the mezzanine pod is under shade even in the extended position. The hardtop itself is more than just shade. It is shaped as much to complement the 428′s lines as it is to protect the occupants. It is integrated into the windshield (the front pane of which is safety glass; the side wings are made from tempered glass) and supported by powder coated columns with integrated steps easing access to topside radar and antennae via convenient hatches. We expect–though it wasn’t promised-to see an upper station offered any day.
Interior and Accessories
Pursuit made the S 428 a luxury and fishing masterpiece. Four highly polished rod holders spread across the transom, a pair on each gunwale and two pair forward provide a delightful dozen, well positioned for trolling, kite fishing and bottom fishing. In-gunwale rod storage and a spot for tuna sticks in the salon complete the arsenal storage. There are three fish boxes: a transom fish box that is enormous and an in-sole box port and starboard. Coil-wrapped refrigeration chills or freezes contents of the transom box and one of the in-sole boxes (refrigeration for the third box is optional) allows you to set chill levels at refrigerate or freeze. This can mean less wasteful hauling of ice offshore. Two 36-gallon livewells are LED illuminated and set in the transom for easy access. Tackle rigging is provided in the mezzanine seating pod—and we call it pod for a reason.
The pod slides forward electrically on rails to snug up against the first-row leaning post seats. This opens the cockpit while maintaining mezzanine seating. A fold-out transom seat adds comfort for another pair of anglers. Rigging for tackle is in the sliding pod with a sink, utility tackle box cabinets and drawer stowage. There is a coil-style tub refrigerator/ freezer here and a built-in electric grill, all standard. A cocktail table is stowed behind the mezzanine seat and mounts nicely between the fold away transom seat and the mezzanine. The transom seat’s design is patented and is the only one we’ve spotted in the big CC crowd that offers a back rest high enough to qualify it as a couch, not a bench.
Slide the pod back and a second row of dual helm seats folds out along with foot rests for added comfort. Forward, a dual recliner can morph into two dinette seats facing the bow seating (divided at the forepeak offering access to the windlass). Coaming bolsters actuate out and forward, converting the bow benches to reclining seats too.
At the helm there is a center walkway to the salon below. Instead of teak, there is rich, cocoa-colored African Wenge.
We also noted these features aboard the Pursuit S 428:
- Hull side windows (ability to see all the way through the cabin to the outside world, and a wow factor when viewing from the cockpit)
- Huge amount of natural lighting in the cabin via large cabin house side windows, skylights, and translucent cabin door
- LED lighting in the cabin proved bright and just where you’d want it.
- Class-leading cabin headroom in both standing position and seated positions at the opposing seating
- Large fold-out beach platform
- Separate enclosed head compartment with full stand-up headroom, shower fixtures, and elongated household-style toilet
How We Tested
- Engines: Quad Yamaha 425 XTO
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/XTO 16 3/8″ x 21″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.79:1 Fuel Load: 500 gal. Water on Board: 63 gal. Crew Weight: 1,000 lb.
- Dual boarding doors replace the ordinary tuna door with easier boarding access.
- All plumbing and wiring access is generous.
- Anchor roller articulates to bring delta anchor snug to stem.
- All refrigerated stowage spaces are coil-wrapped boxes (rather than plates) for optimal surface cooling and easier cleanup.
- Starboard deck fish locker is unusually shallow, due to the coil-wrapped design of the refrigeration system.
- Fold-out helm seat footrests are too high—adjustments are promised.
While the S 428 stands toe-to-toe with the Grady-White 456 in spite of this model’s longer length and 14-foot beam, the Grady salon steps ahead in styling. Certainly, the Pursuit salon is luxurious, and the fabrics are sumptuous and the décor impeccable. It may be that Grady took the best advantage of its wider beam.
All that said, if I had a million bucks to plunk on my next center-console, I’d be flipping coins. Repeatedly. Or plucking daisies. I love you, I love you more.
Pursuit has been building top-shelf seaworthy fishing and day cruisers for decades and it has succeeded by staying close to the fishermen who buy its boats—as well as those who are sometimes more interested comfort.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$990,835 (with test power)|
|Displacement (approx.):||23,600 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||22 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||547 gal.|
|Available Power:||Yamaha outboards|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Pursuit Boats – Ft. Pierce, Florida; 800-947-8778; pursuitboats.com