Pursuit Boats has achieved “yacht” status with the launch of its new flagship, the OS 445, which was unveiled to dealers and the media in Tampa, Florida, in August. While the Florida-based builder made its reputation with smaller center-console and dual-console fishing boats, this big (46’6” with platform), beamy (13’10”) vessel is designed to support cruising adventures lasting from a weekend to an entire summer.
The OS 445 is the largest model in Pursuit’s Offshore range of express-style fishing boats, which also includes the OS 325, the OS 355 and the OS 385—one of the most popular models in the Pursuit fleet for the past decade. “We have a lot of OS 385 customers who are looking for a boat to move up into,” said Pursuit President Bruce Thompson. He added that some of these owners signed up to purchase the new OS 445 even before it was built. “We’ve pre-sold quite a few of these boats. There was enough interest in it that people were willing to wait in line,” he said.
What sets the OS 445 in a class apart from its smaller Offshore siblings is its fully enclosed bridgedeck. Being able to shut the aft window-and-glass-door combination to keep out the cold will enable owners in northern climes to extend the boating season well into the fall and spring. If the recent rash of heat waves across the country continues next summer, owners will truly appreciate being able to enclose themselves in air-conditioned comfort. A 16,000-Btu air-conditioning system with reverse-cycle heat is standard equipment, as is a 12-kW Fischer Panda diesel generator.
On beautiful days, it’s easy to lock the hinged aft window beneath the hardtop overhang and open the door so both air and guests can flow between the cockpit and the house. This boat is built for entertaining, thanks to its wide beam and efficient space-planning. The OS 445 comfortably seated nine people during our sea trial in Tampa Bay with lots of room to spare.
Chris Gratz, Pursuit’s vice president of engineering who rode along with us, said the design process for the OS 445 began with concepts and sketches, then progressed to 1-inch scale models, followed by a full-scale mockup. “The entire house was a very big development process,” he said. “The goal was to fully enclose the bridgedeck, but at the same time, we wanted to be able to open it up.”
The galley is up, positioned in the aft part of the house for easy service to family and friends dining in the cockpit or at the large, raised dinette inside. It incorporates a sink, drawer-style fridge and freezer, microwave and two-burner glass induction cooktop. Another cooler-style fridge/freezer is built into the base of the dinette seating, and there’s a grill just outside in the cockpit. A yacht-level touch is the big-smart screen TV concealed in the headliner opposite the dinette that folds open at the touch of a button.
As we pulled away from the dock and headed out to Tampa Bay, the house’s large windows and windshield afforded nearly 360 degrees of views. A big selling feature for this boat is the huge, one-piece glass windshield—a real feat of engineering. “Structurally, there was a lot involved with the glazing and the fiberglass [framework],” Gratz said.
On our sea trial, the OS 445 delivered a yacht-level driving experience, particularly when we shut the windows and door to enjoy the ultra-quiet ride inside the house. The helm seat, an electric Stidd model, is raised for optimal viewing through the big windshield. The driver also has a multi-position footrest. The glass-cockpit-style dash is large enough to hold twin 22-inch multifunction displays; the standard Garmin electronics package includes Dual GPSMAP 8622 chartplotters.
The only propulsion package that Pursuit offers with the OS 445 is triple Yamaha F425 outboards, linked to the next-gen Yamaha Helm Master EX digital electronic control system with joystick. With these brawny motors, I only had to nudge the throttles lightly to accelerate, and almost instantaneously, we were cruising at about 26 knots at 4000 rpm. At this speed, Pursuit has recorded fuel use at a total of 47.1 gph, with the boat’s range at 349 nautical miles with a 10 percent fuel reserve. Top speed is 42.8 knots–fast for a big, beamy cruiser like this one. The boat’s response to the wheel felt steady and solid in keeping with its size, and it made tight turns at cruise speed while maintaining that big-boat feel throughout.
Although we only encountered light chop on the bay, the OS 445 is designed to handle rough conditions offshore. To ensure the comfort of all aboard, particularly anglers fighting fish in sloppy seas, the boat is equipped with a standard Seakeeper 6 gyro stabilizer. It also has a standard Zipwake Dynamic Control system that provides automatic pitch-and-roll control while under way.
On our test boat, the passenger seat, which is opposite the helm, had a nice feature—an optional Garmin GPSMap 1686 plotter mounted in the bulkhead to allow the co-pilot to navigate or simply follow along on the chart. As this boat was a prototype straight out of the factory, we found a few things lacking in this area, including a passenger footrest and drinkholder. Pursuit staff members assured us this would be remedied soon.
Belowdecks, the OS 445 offers two staterooms, both with large hull windows to bring in natural light. The interior décor incorporates textured wallcoverings and solid, book-matched wood veneers. The forward primary cabin features a walkaround island queen berth, and the mid-cabin has an impressive 6’10” of headroom in its spacious entry. “The design goal was to make the guest couple feel like they had good accommodations,” Gratz said.
The staterooms share a generously sized head, which has a second door to the primary cabin. Owners who need additional sleeping options can order an adjustable table for the bridgedeck that converts the dinette to a third berth.
Despite these luxury cruising accommodations, owners can rest assured that the Pursuit OS 445 is very much a fishing boat. In the cockpit, the aft settee folds up into the transom, leaving the deck clear for fighting fish. Standard features include plenty of rod holders, a 50-gallon lighted livewell, dedicated tackle storage and three large fishboxes, including one with 75-gallon capacity and fridge/freezer controls for preserving your catch. Our test boat also was equipped with optional outriggers, a must-have feature for fishing offshore.
The OS 445 also makes a great platform for a variety of watersports. Not only does it have a dive door on the port side of the cockpit, but the starboard gunwale folds out to expand the swim platform. “I think our customer appreciates being able to do the whole range of activities, including fishing, diving and extended cruising,” Gratz said. And they will be doing it in style on this new Pursuit yacht.
LOA (w/platform): 46’6”
Draft (motors up) 2’6”
Weight (approx.): 28,375 lbs.
Power: (3) 425-hp Yamaha F425s
Fuel: 600 gals.
Water: 100 gals.
Base Price: $1.43 million
This article was originally published in the November 2022 issue.