PURSUIT DC 365: SPLIT PERSONALITY
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!