Pursuit’s S 288 handles being the baby of the family quite well, especially since it will be compared to its larger Sport model siblings, the S 408, S 368 and S 328, not to mention the other 28-foot walkarounds in its class. Designer Chris Gratz was tasked with bringing the new Pursuit down to 28 feet without losing the proportions and distinct features that give it the unique DNA of the builder’s Sport series.
“People tend to think that designing bigger boats is harder, but the smaller ones can be trickier,” says Gratz. “We had to keep the boat’s tone but scale everything so it retains the family look.” The design team initially did a series of computer-generated designs, and then built full-scale mockups of the boat to make sure it stood out in the real world. “We need to be able to look at it from 20 feet away, then step up to the console and walk the side-decks to make sure we’ve got it all right,” says Gratz. “And it needs to scream Pursuit.”
The team accomplished its mission. The S 288 shares the same classic profile as its siblings, with a slight Carolina bow flare (or what Pursuit calls “Florida flare”) and soft-edged style. The boat has a sharp entry, traditional strake placement amidships and reversed chines that run the length of the hull. Transom deadrise is 24 degrees.
The cabin has 6 feet of headroom, quite a feat for the designers since it needed to retain the sleek profile. “We worked from the keel up to be able to achieve that kind of space,” says Gratz. “We’re very particular about headroom in all of our models. We’re careful to provide what a customer might need in terms of space.” Ditto on the amenities. The cabin has a head, a handheld shower and classy hardwood details.
The S 288 has been designed as a crossover boat with three social zones that do not compromise its fishing abilities. “We worked really hard to maintain that balance,” says Gratz. Pursuit included gunwale-mounted rod holders, livewell, in-floor fishbox, leaning post with tackle center and under-gunwale racks. Family features include facing, fold-down seats in the cockpit and lounges in the bow. A port-side dive door is ideal for kids taking a swim or anglers boating a fish.
The helm retains the Sport family resemblance, with the wraparound windshield (with black accents), full hardtop and double helm seat. Hardwood accents were included in the design to give it a classic Pursuit look. “We also had to design the console access to the cabin,” says Gratz. “We went from a traditional opening on the S 408 to a scaled version on the S 288; the door opens but doesn’t swing so far that it hits someone sitting on the front seat. We have to be very careful with details like that.”
According to Pursuit, the S 288 will hit a top end of 48 knots at 5800 rpm with twin 300-hp Yamaha F300s. A friendly cruise speed of 26.8 knots at 3500 rpm delivers a range of 346 miles. (It consumes 17.6 gph at that speed.) Running the boat at 3.5 knots offers a range of 634 miles.
The options list includes hardtop-mounted rod holders and Taco Grand Slam 360 outriggers. A complete Garmin electronics package, including its GMR 24 XHD dome radar, is also available. Pursuit also offers a bow thruster, a nice option when combined with Yamaha’s Helm Master joystick steering system. —Michael Verdon
Pursuit Boats, 877-344-8366; pursuitboats.com
Displ.: 8,220 lbs.
Fuel: 230 gal.
Water: 26 gal.
Cruise speed: 26.8
Top Speed: 48 knots