Pursuit Boats is a brand of boats known for the quality of construction and customer service.
The company’s boats are expensive.
If you are looking into the brand, it is fair to ask, how good are their boats?
Here’s How Good Pursuit Boats Are:
Pursuit Boats is an upper-tier brand of offshore powerboats. They manufacture a center and dual consoles. They also have a line of offshore cruisers and a line of luxury sport yachts. Quality of construction, comfortable and practical layouts and top-notch customer service describe them.
A Brief History of Pursuit Boats
The Slikkers family went into the powerboat business by founding Pursuit Boats In 1977. They were initially made in the S2 plant in Holland, Michigan.
In 1978, the company expanded further, introducing the Tiara line of powerboats and the Grand Slam sailboats. A few years later, Slikkers reacquired the Slickcraft brand name from AMF.
In 1983, Slikkers opened up a 75,000 square foot facility in Fort Pierce, Florida, to manufacture Pursuit Boats exclusively. The other brands were still made in the Holland plant.
By 1987, the sailboat market had was experiencing a significant downturn, and S2 ceased its production of sailboats. Their other powerboats, led by Pursuit, set new sales records every year through the 1990s.
In 1994, the company won their first Customer Satisfaction index award from the Marine manufacturers Association; they continue to win this award every year, including 2021.
Record sales continued through the 2000s and 2010s, and in 2012 Pursuit entered the Sport Yacht market with a 30-foot hull. Their Fort Pierce plant was expanded in 2006 and 2017.
In 2018, Malibu Boats, Incorporated purchased Pursuit Boats from S2 for $100 million, adding the line to their brands of premium powerboats.
Since the acquisition, Pursuit has continued to introduce new boat models and expand its production facilities, most recently in 2020.
How Reliable Are Pursuit Boats?
While designed for offshore recreation, including fishing, Pursuit Boats are generally seen as being made with more “creature comforts” than other brands aimed more at the hardcore fisherman.
In particular, where another brand might have more space for livewells or gutting fish, the Pursuit will have longer, more comfortable seating or additional electronics.
Similarly, they are not as focused on top speed as they are in the ride’s comfort. While they are designed with being offshore in mind, the emphasis is more on relaxing and recreation once you are offshore than performance in getting there.
Since they have been partnered with Yamaha for several decades, the reliability of their engines is noted throughout the industry.
The wiring and the hardware are also recognized as being top-notch.
How Durable Are Pursuit Boats?
The durability of Pursuit Boats is seen as being among the best in the marine business.
They use the best materials and processes, which Leon Slikkers had emphasized since he left Chris Craft to form his own companies.
While Pursuit still uses wood in some of its construction – which turns some people off – all wood is enclosed in several layers of high-quality fiberglass, and all holes drilled for hardware are solidly bedded.
Their hulls are reinforced by their composite fiberglass stringer grid system, which leaves the bilge area finished rather than raw.
The hulls have a five-year warranty, and the gel coat also has a five-year warranty against blisters.
One owner, writing in 2019, summed up the durability of his Pursuit after 25 years:
“I’m running a 1994 26′ WA…The inside and outside of the hull is solid and has held up very well over the years…the non-skid is perhaps the best I’ve seen as far a how it has held up…I haven’t found any stress cracks anywhere except for two small ones in the hardtop.”
[Source: The Hull Truth]
What About Older Pursuit Boats?
S2 has an excellent reputation in the industry for quality manufacturing.
Everything from the design to materials to the construction process to the fit and finish is recognized as among the best in the industry. As Pursuit is a premium brand, there were no shortcuts taken.
This original commitment to quality established the brand as one of the best on the market.
One of the biggest concerns that the online community has voiced concerning Pursuit is how the acquisition by Malibu will affect the brand.
As it has all been very recent, planned changes have yet to take effect except for minor changes in the lines, and most owners of newer models report that the quality is still top of the line.
Do They Still Make Parts For Older Models?
Some older parts for boats no longer in production are still being made, but it is unclear from their website how far back their store of replacement parts goes.
Owners needing parts are encouraged to contact their dealer to locate such parts.
For parts that are no longer in production, the Pursuit owner has a couple of options. The first is the Pursuit Boat Owners Forum, which is dedicated solely to owners of the brand. It is an active and supported forum, with many inquiries concerning particular replacement parts.
Several online retailers exclusively sell replacement parts for all brands, including Pursuit Boats. The largest are greatlakesskipper.com, boatoutfitters.com, and boatseabass.com.
Pursuit Boats has owners manuals going back several decades to help identify older parts.
What Are Typical Problems With Pursuit Boats?
Given their emphasis on construction quality, there are not many problems considered typical of the brand.
That being said, there have been a few problems in manufacturing that have been identified in certain parts of their history.
Probably the biggest was some wood rot problems in specific hulls from the late 1990s and early 2000s. From the data provided by the few owners that had this problem, it seems that some of the thru-hull fittings leaked into the fiberglass, allowing water to get into the wood coring.
There is debate on whether this was some poor oversight during the manufacturing or whether it was a result of industry-wide construction standards.
In the late 2000s, there were some owners that had problems with fuel fumes. This problem was traced to some of the fuel tanks being plastic and seemed to be solved by changing the venting.
There was an issue on some cuddy cabin models in the late 2000s, with leaking in the top liner. These issues were tracked down to some of the wiper motors being defective.
Finally, 178 3400 Express models from 1997 were recalled in 2002 due to faulty electrical wiring. The recall was closed in 2005.
How Long Do Pursuit Boats Last Compared To Similar Brands?
Pursuit Boats build their craft to last, and their customer service is recognized as being among the best in the industry, should owners have any issues with their boats, warranty or not.
The main caveat here, as always, is the care that an owner takes in their boat. If they do not keep up maintenance and winterize, any ship will begin to deteriorate, regardless of the quality of its construction.
But Pursuit Boats are recognized as being exceptionally durable, as five decades of manufacturing can attest to.
It is not uncommon to see Pursuit boats from the 1990s or even the 1980s on the water, particularly along the east coast of the United States.
Do Pursuit Boats Hold Their Value?
Pursuit boats hold their value well, ranging from better-than-average to very favorable.
Their C 260 26-foot center console with a Yamaha 350 horsepower outboard was sold in 2015 for $132,970. That model has a current average resale value of $104,650, for depreciation of 22%. This is slightly above average depreciation.
The OS 345 36-foot offshore sport yacht sold new in 2015 for $401,490. Currently, that model has an average resale value of $350,950 for a depreciation of 13%, which is remarkable for a luxury boat in that price range.
Are Pursuit Boats Still Being Made?
Pursuit Boats are still being made in Fort Pierce, Florida, where they had moved in 1983.
Since the acquisition by Malibu Boats, they have been gradually changing their lines.
The boats are built with a variable degree of customization as a premium brand based on the particular model. They do not advertise any pricing online. Instead, they direct prospective buyers to their nearest dealers.
They currently only manufacture one model they refer to as a center console, the 24-foot C238. They make five models of dual consoles, from the 25-foot DC245 to the 38-foot DC365.
They make three models of their Offshore cabin cruisers, ranging from the 33-foot OS325 to the 40-foot OS385.
Their line of Sport Boat models is built around the center console concept. These run from the 27-foot S268 to the huge 43-foot S428.
Pursuit Boats has earned its status as a top-tier boat over five decades of quality boat-building and service.
As they move forward, the eyes of the marine industry will be on how the acquisition by Malibu will eventually affect them.
So far, there seems to be no drop-off in quality, and they are still manufacturing some of the most comfortable offshore boats in the business.