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More than the sum of its outboards

S2 Yachts began revealing its new design and marketing philosophy several months before the launch of the Tiara 50 Coupe at last year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The Pursuit SC 365i's contemporary styling on deck and below should appeal to the whole family.

In the fall of 2012, the company unveiled the Pursuit SC 365i, a sport coupe with a pair of concealed outboards and contemporary styling.

“The reception has been outstanding,” says George Hetzel, vice president of sales and marketing at S2 Yachts, the parent company of Tiara and Pursuit. “It has been one of the strongest new-model introductions we have ever done.”

The 365i marks a significant course change for Pursuit, the fishing/cruising brand established in 1977. Pursuit has been known primarily for its center console, express and walkaround boats. The Fort Pierce, Fla., company powers the 365i — the “i” represents “integrated outboard technology” — with twin Yamaha F350s that are mounted in an engine compartment accessed through a single hatch. The boat tops out at 47.3 mph and cruises at about 33 mph. Best mileage is about 1 mpg at the cruise speed — not bad for a good-size boat with a superstructure.

The builder incorporates an aft-facing bench seat into the engine compartment’s backside, and an integrated swim platform extends past that. “With most outboard boats you cannot walk behind the engines,” Hetzel says. “With the 365i you have a platform aft that you can traverse when you’re at the dock or use when you are out on the water. It’s fully functional, which a lot of people don’t yet realize.”

S2 Yachts CEO Tom Slikkers wants boaters to know that the SC 365i has much more to it than a clever engine compartment. “There’s real legitimate innovation,” he says. “It’s the sum of all the innovation that creates a real wow factor for the customer. We didn’t take an existing model and put a blanket over the back end of the boat.”

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The 365i’s highlights include a resin-infused radiused windshield that delivers a gin-clear view and a cabin with all of the cruising amenities you would expect to see on a larger boat, including a full galley, a head with a separate enclosed shower and a V-berth that converts to a dinette table. And with the outboard installation, the midcabin is big, bright and inviting. “That extra space stands out as a big selling point for the boat,” Hetzel says.

Since its introduction, Pursuit has changed some of the interior design, easing up on the contemporary components and bringing more wood back to the cabin. “Ultimately our customers went back to some of the core characteristics of S2 boats, like real wood soles,” Slikkers says. “They wanted to have that strong natural material in the boat, so we changed some of the interior with lighter wood and more wood, and it has been a home run.”

See related article -

- Tiara goes bold

March 2014 issue