• The Pursuit S 288 Sport is a center console fishing boat, with copious seating, a large console head compartment, and a “social zone” designed into the cockpit.

  • A special perk found on new Pursuit models like this one are the platform extensions, which extend back to create swim platforms on either side of the outboards.

  • The hard top, tempered safety glass windshield, and console are integrated into one super-strong part. With a pair of 4.2-liter Yamaha F300 Offshore V6 outboards, this boat can cruise in the low 40s and tops out at over 55 MPH.

  • See Pursuit S 288 Sport listings, or read a similar review on the Pursuit DC 365.


When we reviewed the Pursuit DC 365 last year, we noted that Pursuit has become as good as any builder at splitting the difference between comfort and fishability. That point was proven once more, when we stepped aboard the S 288 Sport. Yes, this is a center console. So naturally, the cockpit is kept wide-open. Until, that is, you swing down the transom bench seat and the aft-facing seat behind the leaning post. And while the console head compartment isn’t exactly what one would call a cabin, it’s trimmed in hardwoods and has a double-wide front swing-open entry for uber-easy access. Yes, it is a seriously fishable boat, and yes, it does have a serious dose of luxury to offer between casts.

 

Some other nice perks Pursuit planed in: a pull-out freshwater shower, teak accents on the flip-up bolster helm seats, removable forward-facing backrests for the bow seats, and a five-speaker JL Audio Bluetooth entertainment system all come standard. As is often the case on high-end boats like the S 288 SPORT, however, the biggest impact on your comfort aboard comes from something you can’t see, touch, or hear: hull design and construction.

The Pursuit S 288 Sport runs on a 24-degree deadrise deep-V hull, which is laminated with vinyl ester resin (the type that’s less water-permeable, though more expensive). The transom is a five-ply resin-infused all-composite structure, and the stringer grid is foam-filled infused fiberglass. The console, windshield, and hard top construction are another great example of how the boat’s built with strength foremost in mind. These three parts are integrated rather than being screwed or bolted together, which is the norm.

The windshield and hard top are integrated into the console, maximizing strength and rigidity.

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So, what’s the net result of all these construction techniques? When you nail the throttle and go airborne off a steep four-foot wave at eye-watering speeds, you’ll feel this hull land with the solidity of granite. Vibrations are reduced as you cruise, and those spine-compressing impacts often felt on lesser-built boats this size are done away with. As a result, at the end of the day you feel less wear and tear in your own body.

You want to go blasting through the ocean at high speeds, in comfort? Not a problem.



So what do you have to give up, to get the kind of fishy luxury this boat delivers? In a word, cash. The starting point for the S 288 Sport is $223,325 and that’s before you start adding goodies like the electronics, outriggers, and hard top rocket launchers. (Those options alone can push you over the quarter-million mark). Aside from cost, however, the sacrifices are few and far between. Anglers do lose a bit of cockpit fishing space to the seats, even when folded up. And those aft swim platform extensions may make it a hair tougher to work a large, uncontrollable fish around the transom of the boat. But Pursuit goes one better than many center console designs by recouping some of the bow fishing space lost to loungers, by splitting the bow seats so you can walk all the way forward while casting. They also offer a bow filler you can drop in to turn the area into a casting deck. Or, when tanning takes priority over fishing add the cushions and turn the whole bow into a sunpad.

In the bow, yet again Pursuit finds a nice mix of comfort and fishability.



Other perks anglers will want to know about include a 24-gallon livewell in the transom, four flush-mount rodholders in the gunwales and four more in the transom, and a pair of 45-gallon fishboxes integrated into the decks. Note that the boxes are evacuated with diaphragm pumps, which are much better at sucking down fish scales and bones than the industry-standard macerator pumps.

So: you say you like to fish but you want to do so in comfort? You want a boat with plenty of cushy seating? You also want to be able to run hard through rough seas without beating yourself to a pulp? Then all you need to make it happen is enough cash for a Pursuit S 288 Sport—and whoever says money can’t buy happiness is crazy.

Other Choices: Those in search of a more die-hard fishing machine in this size range, but still want a forward seating arrangement, might look at the Contender 28 Sport or the Regulator 28 FS. Boaters who tilt a bit more towards day-boating and less towards fishing, but still want the ability to wet a line now and again, might be interested in something more along the lines of a Chris-Craft Catalina.

See listings for the Pursuit S 288 Sport.
Specifications
Length30'0"
Beam9'8"
Draft2'0"
Deadrise24 degrees
Displacement8,220 lbs
Fuel capacity230 gal.
Water capacity26 gal.

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