show time is one of the few times we get to compare
many boats all assembled in one place. In the case of
the Ft. Lauderdale show at the Broward Convention Center,
we had the unique opportunity to see a gang of fish
boats all crunched together in one large room. There
were the Gradys, Contenders, Robalos, Centurys, Prolines,
Stamas', and Regulators all polished up and showing
split console design
then there was Pursuit. What first attracted our attention
was that the display was mobbed, attracting more attention
than any other exhibit. True, the exhibit was nicer
than all the others, and the boats clearly were polished
up and gleaming better than the adjacent Grady-White
boats on display.
But crowds and boats
specially spruced up for a show is not what interests
me; it's what lies under that tenderly polished gel
coat, that we both know is going to look like a coat
of flat white paint in a couple years, that interests
me most. And the fact that S2 Yachts has moved their
Pursuit line of boats into new territory, away from
the well known Tiara style boat and into something
to rival and compete with the higher end mini sport
fishermen. The name Intrepid immediately comes to
door entrance to head compartment
The 3070 is a boat
that comes in two styles, the open center console
and the Offshore, which has what we might call a cuddy
cabin, but is a bit more than that, and is rather
similar to the Intrepid 30 CC. Both these boats, despite
their size, are dedicated outboards and do not come
with other power options. I instantly fell in love
with the 3070 CC for a variety of reasons, the first
of which is the sheer size, followed by the style
and a wealth of practical considerations. Like the
oversize console, which you would not be wrong if
you called it a center deck house, for when you open
up the door on the side you will see, what I knew
was the inevitable evolution of larger and larger
consoles . . . viola! a cabin inside. Actually, it's
a head compartment and general storage room that is
remarkably well finished off with a full inner liner.
Next, S2 designers
seem to have a thing about tall windshields, and I'm
glad they do, because on a boat like this, with such
a fancy helm panel, the windshield is needed. Yes,
while it is awkward looking and does detract from
the overall line symmetry of the boat, that is a small
price to pay for the protection from wind, spray and
rain it offers, coming up within inches of the optional
hardtop, but leaving a bit of room for ventilation.
Yet, ultimately, it
is good engineering, quality materials and superior
workmanship that leads me to call this boat the
Best in Class. With a show price special tag of
$141,700 hung on her, we compared this to the eye-popping
price of the Grady-White Marlin 300 of $155,000 and
I had to wonder if they didn't have the wrong tag
on either one of these boats. That it was the Pursuits
that were drawing the crowd was not hard to understand
since, to merely outward appearances alone, these
boats were leagues apart - the one greatly overpriced,
the other a bargain for what you get.
included such things as an integrated DC control panel
that is water tight, that includes indicator lights
for primary circuits that are energized, keyed on/off
switches (for theft prevention, turn the power off
and take the key with you), and external battery lugs
on the outside of the box for ease of disconnection.
That, compared to the other boat that has three battery
switches located under a seat locker where they can
main DC panel
Next up is the engine
mounting. A pair of 250 Yamahas set an amazing 40"
on center of prop shafts to allow for maximum low
speed control, permitting control almost as good as
a twin inboard boat. The engines on the other boat
were but 24" apart and you can bet it will handle
much like a single engine boat. We never understood
why anyone would want to mount engines so close together.
That's part of the reason why we end with boats that
want to lay over on one side at higher speeds. You
loose the stability when the trust is centered.
are a full 40" apart.
Again, the S2 line
has the superior guard rails of hard vinyl overlaid
with stainless edge banding as compared to softer
rubber with a rubber center insert that you know what's
going to happen to that: a year later it will be hanging
like an abandoned clothes line. Like the days when
GM glued moldings on the sides of cars and we'd see
those wonderful GM vehicles going down the road with
moldings flapping in the wind. Next we noticed recessed
cleats on the Grady where the recess was so small
that it makes it hard to get a line on the cleat.
That's a big help.
The usual S2 non skid
has been mercifully changed. The typical pointed diamond
pattern has the tips of the diamonds removed so that
the decks are no longer quite like walking on a rasp
The large cast Edson
wheels are catching on with many builders, but S2
has always given you a large wheel, but they've changed
from the usual stainless destroyer wheels to the faux
Rybovich wheels by Edson. Has an interesting textured
finish that should hold up well. Plus you can get
it with a knuckle-knocker knob. I thought that was
dumb, until I tried one. They're only dumb on cars,
on boats they're great.
One thing disappointed
me about this boat was the lack of foot coves. It
only exists in a four foot section of the cockpit
behind the console. Otherwise, you have those inward
sloping liner sides that give you that awful sense
of falling over because you don't dare rest your thighs
on the gunwale and lean over. In addition to
that, I got a sense of more useless space between
the liner and the hull. But a closer look shows these
spaces are not wasted, for there are a number of storage
lockers built into those voids. That's cool for quick
temporary storage for stuff like sunglasses and all
those things you usually have no place to put on a
The design of the bow
seating is neat. Here, not only does the seat base
lift up to yield storage beneath, but the seat backs
also fold out for rod storage within. That's a heck
of a lot better than attempting to store them under
deck, or along the gunwales where they'll surely get
A first glance reaction
at the faux transom area was, yuk! It's covered with
Starboard on top and the forward face is as plain
as the workbench in my garage. But then you realize,
that's what this is . . . . a work bench for chopping
bait or filleting fish. Then you realize that the
lack of fancy detail is what is going to make cleaning
up the resulting mess a lot easier.
On the technical side,
the hull is cored on the sides as usual and SOLID
glass on the bottom. Save the foam for coolers and
insulation, I want some solid FRP between me and Davy
Jones. Down below decks, the hull detail work is as
good as ever with fully glassed plywood stringers
and frames (plywood is best for the added strength
it gives). Foam cored is fine, though it unnecessarily
drives up cost. No "high tech" grid liners
designed by CAD operators who haven't a clue as to
what they're doing. Tried and true olde tyme methods
that work is what we find here, so if you buy one,
you're not the beta tester of a $141K product.
Also notably lacking
was the post-molding repair of the gel coat finish
that we found on so many boats on display. Under fluorescent
lighting, patch ups in gel coat become glaringly
obvious. You'd think that if they're going to put
a boat in a show, it would be one of their finer examples
that didn't require repair after it was yanked out
of the mold. But then, most of the exhibitors were
dealers, not the builders, so you know that what you
see is what you get, warts and all. We didn't see
any gel coat repair on any of the
Pursuits. The disturbing aspect is that patch ups
will discolor over time, leaving all that blotchiness
that looks like repair of damage after the boat was
purchased, but actually was done by the builder. This
is but one of the things that distinguish quality
from the run-of- the-mill boats, and why real quality
costs more (in most cases).
section of Nida Core in a Pursuit deck. Note
the completeness of lamination even on these
difficult to laminate corners, as compared with
the typical sort of stuff found in lesser breeds.
Nida Core has found
it's way into the decks of all the S2 boats and that's
good stuff. It's honeycomb of all plastic, so
there's no deterioration problem whatever. In fact,
the stuff is used for the cargo decks of airliners
and helicopters. The Huey UH1H was the fist to use
this stuff, and it's been doin' good ever since. It
does, however, require a lot of skill to use the stuff
right and the photo at left showing a deck cut up
reveals that these folks know what they're doing.
are deck cut outs from two "price"
boats. The lack of quality is obvious with all
the voids in the laminate.
The hull is a conventional
V with no slots or any of that nonsense. Chine flats
are fairly wide and the keel bottom is rounded back
aft. Trim tabs are recessed. The deck is bonded together
along with the inner liner and screwed together so
that the screws are running through about 5/8"
of material and not be prone to shearing, as most
simple deck to hull joints are.
The attention to detail
and the "little" extras are fairly admirable.
One such is the stainless railing over and above the
plexi windshield that prevents people from accidentally
grabbing the plastic and breaking it. The console
design exhibits the usual thoughtfulness but for the
under panel switches which are bound to be frustrating.
You've either got to stand on your head to see the
labels, or memorize the switch positions. The upper
panel is made for an array of flush mount electronics.
The adjustable helm seat is far preferable in my view
than the usual modified bolster types.
I suppose the console
could be called a "split console" design,
as it consists of a forward and aft part, the later
of which facilitates not only the seating, but the
tackle cabinet as well as providing the mounting for
the optional T-top that gets most of the supporting
bars out of your field of view.
I haven't begun to
cover everything that could be said about this boat.
If you're interested, I'll leave the rest for you
to discover for yourself.