New Boat: Pursuit OS 445
Pursuit unveils its new flagship, a boat born to fish or cruise in comfort.
Of all the impressive features contained in Pursuit’s new OS 445 Offshore—the IMAX-quality window views, the copious and brilliantly-positioned coolers, storage and hatches, the luxurious and highly-functional staterooms, the rail-encircled and comfortable bow—what impressed me most was the quiet. Chugging along at 40 knots with the hatches battened against a looming Tampa Bay squall, the 33,000 pound, mini-yacht was not as subdued as, say, a Bentley Continental GT, but considering the windchop and a trio of 425-hp Yamaha’s out back, the cabin was a place where a normal conversation was undisturbed. Quiet and rattle-free ain’t easy and that airtight lack of noise was among the most obvious indicators of the comprehensive engineering behind Pursuit’s new flagship.
Pursuit’s VP of engineering Chris Gratz and his crew revealed this now largest of all Pursuits to a scrum of fellow marine journos on a drizzly late August morning. “It’s one of my favorite parts of the job,” he said. “Starting to try to convey the passion that the team puts in—the thought and the arrangements and the details and the execution and trying to convey to you guys what goes into the design and the build of the 445.”
It’s easy to imagine though, this is among the more nerve-wracking parts of the job too. The OS 445 represents an 18-month deep dive that took Gratz and his fellow engineers and marketers through scores of mock-ups, focus groups and configurations. He now faced a phalanx of critics whose job was to nit-pick all that work.
He needn’t have worried. The boat fills a perfect niche between pleasure cruiser and offshore fishing and adventure rig.
Starting at the spacious aft deck, Pursuit’s Director of Engineering Molly Ditzler launched the reveal with a nifty motorized fold down starboard door that Pursuit calls its “Beach Platform.” When lowered, the platform creates deck-level ingress/egress for easy launch of a diving excursion or landing a big tarpon.
Adjacent to the Beach Platform is a deck-level rinse station, hot/cold shower and a massive 82-gallon cooler (with an identical port side cooler, the boat boasts 239 gallons of refrigerated fish storage). Beneath the handsome, no-skid, faux teak flooring, Pursuit made mechanical systems from its Seakeeper to fuel filters to the 12 kW Fisher-Panda genset easily accessible through both a massive floor hatch and an added hatch beneath the stairs.
Because the OS 445 was built to bridge the worlds of fishing, recreation, cruising and entertaining, Pursuit wisely made the entire front deck accessible from both sides via full railing guarded walkways that serve a foredeck equipped with a massive bed of retractable, recliner-served cushions and a bow-situated loveseat perfect for watching the sunset—or a lazy afternoon casting light tackle. The walkway/railing setup also means you circumnavigate the deck to keep a fish on, or devote one side to secure underway storage for kayaks or paddleboards.
It’s arguable that the 445’s most striking feature forms the transition between the cockpit and the cabin/helm. The first is a massive, stainless-framed inch-thick window that raises and lowers hydraulically between the cabin to the cockpit. The second is the even bigger stainless-framed full-glass rear door. With both opened outwardly, and combined with sliding windows at the starboard and port helm seats, the cabin essentially becomes one with the outdoors.
Pointing out belowdecks features from the full-bath, flat-screen, desktop, deck hatch and queen-bed-equipped bow stateroom to a guest stateroom with 6 feet 10 inches of headroom, Gratz said the primary influence of the boat’s design was a series of intense focus groups. “They were looking for a boat that they could stay on for an extended period of time, cruise with a couple and have accommodations they could be proud of, and their guests could be comfortable with,” he said.
Power-wise, he added, the triple Yamaha 5.6L 425-hp setup is the only one available—or called for: “This customer base is more interested in cruising and range and less on top end, so our top end target was 50 miles an hour (43 knots) whereas on our sport line, we’re typically shooting for 60.”
Ample opportunity was given to test that power on the waters of Tampa Bay. Laden with 600 gallons in her full fuel tanks, (which give 350 miles of range at 26 knots and add 3600 pounds) and 100 gallons of water (nearly 1000 additional pounds), it wasn’t surprising that the OS 445 didn’t perform a holeshot leap of the water. What was a surprise was how quickly and imperceptibly she actually reached a plane at a mere 17-knot cruising speed. With the trio of Yamaha 425’s steadily winding up like a locomotive, she reached a comfortable 100 gph 39-knot fast cruise and with trim optimally adjusted hit just under 43 knots against a stiff headwind with minimal bowrise. Turning hard over at speed, she barely slowed and maintained a perfect, tight arc—even when plowing back through her substantial wake.
In between speed-runs, we tested the remarkable fine-point maneuverability wrought by her HelmMaster joystick control (she features a 5-hp bow thruster too) and ooohed and ahhhed as her twin 22-inch Garmin screens relayed every kilobyte of information livestreamed by her engines and navigation system. It should be duly noted too, that the OS 445 can also be equipped with a portside co-pilot’s MFD. As Gratz pointed out, not only did the focus group spouses demand this feature, that third screen serves a vital navigational function when paired up with the OS 445’s Garmin radar and astonishing,color-enabled FLIR thermal camera.
I could go on and on: The soft hued LED lighting throughout the cabin and staterooms. The ample power outlets. The powerful dual air conditioner/heat pumps. The massive additional storage underneath both the main and guest stateroom bunks (long enough to hide dive gear or a slew of fishing rods). The expertly routed—and easily accessible wiring looms and control boxes. The jaw dropping assortment of JBL speakers. The massive cabin wraparound sofa that easily converts into a third berth for the grandkids. The retractable hardtop awning that slides out over the cockpit. And last but not least: That borderline unbelievable inch-thick double pane front windshield. The heat-shielded glass provides an panoramic view Watching the world approach through all that glass is fairly mesmerizing—as is the quiet.
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