2021 Pursuit S 428
Tested by Boating's editors, the world's foremost powerboat experts. Pursuit’s S 428 is a top-notch, top-dollar center console that harnesses the latest boatbuilding technology to provide luxury, amenity, performance and fishability.
Pursuit’s S 428 is a top-notch, top-dollar center console that harnesses the latest boatbuilding technology to provide luxury, amenity, performance and fishability.
Yamaha’s quad 425 XTOs proved show-stopping. They boast the biggest displacement (5.6 liters) production blocks on a transom. And Pursuit built the S 428 especially with them in mind. They feature electronic steering and digital throttle and shift, plus Helm Master EX autopilot and full maneuverability joy stick control.
With EX, the 43-foot-9-inch ship handles like a sport boat, arcing through turns with the ideal amount of heeling and with minimal effort on the electronic helm. Feeding a little throttle sharpens the turn and the job is made easy by the ergonomic positioning and shape of the throttle handles. The electronic steering’s owner-customizable settings offer variable lock-to-lock turns from a quick-turning four revolutions at idle to other rpm stops of five, seven, nine or any combination helm revolutions. With the full maneuverability joystick, the boat crabs sideways easily, taking the stress out of narrow marina moorings. Need to wait in line for the fuel dock? Tap “Fish Point” on the joystick and the boat holds its position while you prep fenders and lines.
Garmin Marine makes the CL7 display, so the interface works beautifully with that maker’s navigation networks without the need for the CL7. But, the autopilot integration through Helm Master EX is Yamaha’s masterpiece and works at the touch of a small panel on the dash. Adjust course with the panel buttons or use the joystick to jog left or right. While most autopilots indicate that your approach to a destination, only this autopilot slows to a stop over the waypoint and engages Fish Point to hold station. It will stay there as long as the 547-gallon fuel capacity lasts.
The helm station is large enough for three custom bucket seats with special attention paid to foot rests with tilt out panels on the seat base and for shorter skippers, a foot rest folds down from beneath the helm to create a step up from the sole offering a better view through the optically clear, laminated glass windshield—you won’t see spots in it when wearing your Maui’s.
The hard top is large enough to shade the helm deck, mezzanine and offers ample protection from the weather. Add an optional electrically extended sun shade and the mezzanine pod is under shade even in the extended position. The hard top itself is more than just shade. It is shaped as much to complement the 428′s lines as it is to protect the occupants. It is integrated into the tempered safety glass windshield and supported by powder coated columns with integrated steps easing access to topside radar and antennae via convenient hatches. We expect–though it wasn’t promised-to see an upper station offered any day.
Interior and Accessories
Pursuit made the S 428 a luxury and fishing masterpiece. Four highly polished rod holders spread across the transom, a pair on each gunwale and two pair forward provide a delightful dozen, well positioned for trolling, kite fishing and bottom fishing. In-gunwale rod storage and a spot for tuna sticks in the salon complete the arsenal storage. Two of the three fish boxes are refrigerated, meaning no wasteful hauling of ice offshore. Two 36-gallon livewells are LED illuminated and set in the transom for easy access. Tackle rigging is provided in the mezzanine seating pod—and we call it pod for a reason.
The pod slides forward electrically on rails to snug up against the first-row leaning post seats. This opens the cockpit while maintaining mezzanine seating. A fold-out transom seat adds comfort for another pair of anglers. Rigging for tackle is in the sliding pod with a sink, utility tackle box cabinets and leader reel holders. A grill and fridge can also be placed in this area. A cocktail table is stowed behind the mezzanine seat and mounts nicely between the fold away transom seat and the mezzanine. The transom seat’s design in patented and is the only one we’ve spotted in the big CC crowd that offers a back rest high enough to qualify it as a couch, not a bench.
Slide the pod back and a second row of dual helm seats folds out along with foot rests for added comfort. Forward, a dual recliner can morph into two dinette seats facing the bow seating (divided at the forepeak offering access to the windlass). Coaming bolsters fold out and forward, converting the bow benches to reclining seats too.
At the helm there is a center walkway to the salon below. Instead of teak, there is rich, cocoa-colored African Wengar.
How We Tested
- Engines: Quad Yamaha 425 XTO
- Drive/Prop: Outboard/XTO 16 3/8″ x 21″ 3-blade stainless steel
- Gear Ratio: 1.79:1 Fuel Load: 500 gal. Water on Board: 63 gal. Crew Weight: 1,000 lb.
- Dual boarding doors replace the ordinary tuna door with easier boarding access.
- All plumbing and wiring access is generous.
- Anchor roller articulates to bring delta anchor snug to stem.
- Starboard deck fish locker is unusually shallow, one deck compartment and the 70-gallon transom compartment are refrigerated, eliminating the need for ice.
- Fold-out helm seat footrests are too high—adjustments are promised.
While the S 428 stands toe-to-toe with the Grady-White 456 in spite of this model’s longer length and 14-foot beam. The Grady salon steps ahead in styling. Certainly, the Pursuit salon is luxurious, and the fabrics are sumptuous. The head compartment is spacious and practical, yet there is a little something Grady brought below decks that’s hard to define. It could be the molded-in overhead LEDs hidden in the contours, providing cool-looking, soft, indirect light. It may be that Grady took the best advantage of its wider beam.
All that said, if I had a million bucks to plunk on my next center-console, I’d be flipping coins. Repeatedly. Or plucking daisies. I love you, I love you more.
Pursuit has been building top-shelf seaworthy fishers and day cruisers for decades and it has succeeded by staying close to the fishermen who buy its boats—as well as those who are sometimes more interested comfort.
Pricing and Specs
|Price:||$990,835 (with test power)|
|Displacement (approx.):||23,600 lb.|
|Transom Deadrise:||22 degrees|
|Fuel Capacity:||547 gal.|
|Available Power:||Yamaha outboards|
Speed, Efficiency, Operation
Pursuit Boats - Ft. Pierce, Florida; 800-947-8778; pursuitboats.com