PUR­SUIT DC 365: SPLIT PER­SON­AL­ITY

Soundings - - Contents - By Gary Reich

Pur­suit’s lat­est dual con­sole is its big­gest ever. We ran it for a day off Mi­ami to see if the builder got the fish­ing/fam­ily mix right.

The Pur­suit DC 365 is the builder’s big­gest dual con­sole yet, and she’s as com­fort­able as she is fish­able

The ex­po­nen­tial growth of dual con­soles in the fish­boat mar­ket is un­de­ni­able. They prom­ise a blend of fish­ing and fam­ily fun, a claim that Pur­suit Boats let me put to the test off Mi­ami aboard its DC 365 — the largest dual con­sole in the builder’s range. I’m not a big fan of the dual con­sole con­cept, which I feel some­times fails to get the fam­ily-to-fish­ing ra­tio right, but I walked down the dock to­ward the 365 with an open mind.

She looks dif­fer­ent com­pared to other dual con­soles. In­stead of re­ly­ing on a metal- sup­ported wrap­around wind­shield to pro­tect the bridge deck, Pur­suit wrapped the area with glass pan­els set in a fiber­glass struc­ture. The de­sign gives the DC 365 an at­trac­tive look and a com­fort­able, se­cure feel­ing for bridge-deck guests.

Our skipper, Capt. Chase Cor­nell, backed us out of the nar­row slip us­ing ca­sual in­puts to the Yamaha Helm Mas­ter joy­stick steer­ing sys­tem, which was part of an in­te­grated dash/helm pack­age. Data from the triple Yamaha F300s were shown on one of two Garmin mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays, along with radar, chart and fishfinder data. Con­trol switches, en­gine con­trols and other essentials were within easy reach, and the beige-gray dash re­duced glare and won’t show scratches as eas­ily as black.

It was cold by Mi­ami stan­dards, so we but­toned up the bridge deck and closed the hard­top’s power sun­roof, then mashed the throt­tles down to slice our way through Govern­ment Cut. Once we were clear of traf­fic and in the open ocean, we achieved a top speed of around 43 knots with the en­gines trimmed up and only a bit of tabs ap­plied. Through­out the day, I found the DC 365 to run most ef­fi­ciently around 30 knots, with a fuel burn of about 36 gal­lons per hour. With 325 gal­lons of gas on board, that cal­cu­lates to an ap­prox­i­mate range of 261 nau­ti­cal miles — plenty for canyon-hop­ping or shoot­ing over to the Ba­hamas and back for a day of wa­hoo fish­ing. And our ride was com­fort­able, with smooth tran­si­tions from swell to swell.

Just off Key Bis­cyane, Flor­ida, is a com­plex of real and ar­ti­fi­cial wreck sites that hold good num­bers of fish. Since the weather was un­usu­ally calm that day (and based on the morn­ing’s medi­ocre fish­ing re­port), we tar­geted wreck species in­stead of kit­ing for sail­fish.

As we got rigged up, it be­came clear that the er­gonomics of the DC 365’s cock­pit were just right for fish­ing. The tran­som pro­vided easy ac­cess to at least six rods, a ca­pac­ity that’s ex­pand­able with alu­minum rocket launcher in­serts. Four of us were in the cock­pit han­dling rods and bait, with a pho­tog­ra­pher don­ning his wet­suit, and things never felt cramped. No doubt some an­glers might miss a ded­i­cated rig­ging sta­tion, but there were plenty of tackle stowage draw­ers, and we made good use of the 28gal­lon live well, which kept our pilchards and gog­gle eyes wrig­gling all af­ter­noon. The star­board-side dive door, I thought, would make it easy to get in and out of the wa­ter, and to boat large catches.

We drifted over wreck af­ter wreck with­out a bite, so I put my rod in the holder and checked out the DC 365’s ac­com­mo­da­tions. Just for­ward of the helm to star­board was a full-size, en­closed head/shower with a sink and stow-

age for toi­letries. A clever slid­ing mech­a­nism on the en­try door pulled a translu­cent cover over the head when it was closed, pro­vid­ing light and pri­vacy.

For­ward of the C-shaped com­pan­ion lounge and ad­ja­cent to the helm were sleep­ing quar­ters that should work well for long week­ends, overnighters or crew rest. There was a sit­ting area, a for­ward berth with open­ing ports, a flat- screen tele­vi­sion, a mi­crowave, and stowage for gear and rods. The larger, pri­mary berth was aft un­der the bridge deck. While ver­ti­cal clear­ance was tight at the feet, I didn’t get claus­tro­pho­bic when ly­ing down. I imag­ine most par­ents would sleep back here and tuck the kids in for­ward.

Things con­tin­ued to be slow fish­ing-wise, so many of us ended up sulk­ing on the DC 365’s lounges and benches, scat­tered through­out the boat. For­ward in the bow was a C-shaped area that could be ex­panded for snacks and din­ing with a drop-in ta­ble. The af­ter end of the area had twin for­ward-fac­ing chaise lounges. Deep, stain­less-steel cup hold­ers were pro­vided to con­tain happy-hour li­ba­tions.

Un­der the hard­top at the helm was a twin bench seat with sturdy footrests. A C- shaped com­pan­ion lounge was across from it to port. Five of us en­joyed lunch here with­out be­ing on top of one an­other. Ad­di­tional seat­ing was in the cock­pit, cour­tesy of two flip-up benches and a fixed, aft-fac­ing lounge. For those in­ter­ested in fresh meals aboard (think grilled mahi-mahi) there’s a pull-out re­frig­er­a­tor, elec­tric grill and sink abaft the helm seat­ing.

Af­ter my self-guided tour, I picked my rod back up for a bit. Two o’clock turned into 2:30 p.m., and we had only a shark to show for it. A few min­utes later, my bait got aw­fully ner­vous, and a steady pull started on the line. I opened the bail and waited. Af­ter about 30 sec­onds I closed the bail and lightly lifted the rod, and it was game on. I imag­ined what might be on the end of the line, hop­ing I’d nab a new species of grouper I’d never caught. Then a small sail­fish (about 4 feet) shot out of the wa­ter like a rocket booster, tail­danc­ing its way across the smooth ocean.

None of us were ex­pect­ing that. The bill­fish fought for an­other four or five min­utes be­fore com­ing along­side. We re­leased it, sadly, be­fore I had a chance to get a pic­ture.

Now I had a se­cret to keep. I know well the tra­di­tion of hav­ing to take a dunk in the wa­ter af­ter catch­ing your first bill­fish, and this was my first. I kept quiet for 10 min­utes be­fore any­one asked, and I fessed up, adding, “But I have no change of clothes, and I am not driv­ing an hour and a half to the air­port in wet ones.”

As soon as the dock lines were cleated, I hopped up on the dock, thanked every­one for their hos­pi­tal­ity and bolted to­ward my car. I’m not sure what deny­ing that bill­fish an­gling tra­di­tion will do for my fish­ing karma, but I left hav­ing found the DC 365 to be a pure joy. If you’re like me — not a tra­di­tional dual con­sole buyer but look­ing for a boat with fish­ing and en­ter­tain­ing per­son­al­i­ties — I whole­heart­edly rec­om­mend giv­ing the DC 365 a look.

For those of you with a dif­fer­ent fish­boat bent, we’re in­clud­ing quick looks at other ca­pa­ble, well-built fish­ing boats that have hit the mar­ket dur­ing the past six months. Go test your fa­vorites!

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