31' Pursuit ST310
How long is 31'? If five adults stand side by side in a line with their arms extended, touching the ends of their fingers, that's just a little shorter than 31'. 31' is just about half the distance from the baseball pitcher's mound to home plate or just one foot longer than three times the height of the basketball hoop.
If you're cruising along at around 50 mph on the Gulf of Mexico in a Pursuit ST310 you'll find that 31' is a whole lot longer than one may have imagined. I was fortunate to have run the ST310 with twin Yamaha 300's pushing us across the waves. Yes, when you're out on the ocean, can't see land and 3' waves are considered a light chop you start to think that 31' isn't real big. But this 31 is bigger than it looks.
The ST is considered a Sport Tender. That means it is the boat to take you out to your bigger boat. But it's not just limited to that. This is a great fishing machine and would make a solid dive platform or just a very nice, comfortable vessel to cruise a long way in solid comfort. The Tender part lets you know you'll go where you need to get in style and (again) comfort. It's open and extremely roomy. The layout makes use of every inch of space and incorporates innovative ideas to find even more.
There's plenty of room to board on either side of the twin Yamaha 300hp outboards and get in to the fender storage locker forward of the engine well. The Yamaha's are fuel efficient four-strokes that will make the most of the 260 gallons of onboard fuel.
Their installation is neat and clean. You have to do a double-take to see if those two power houses are really idling as you walk past. They are quiet and smooth.
Immediately as you enter through the aft bulkhead you're greeted by cushy seating for five and beverage serving area that you shouldn't call a galley but could. There's a refrigerator and iced beverage storage area that is part of the back of the lounge and help seating. There's storage under the seats that can also be used for icing beverages, holding or cleaning the catch of the day. Removing the tub provides access to below deck equipment. Another innovative idea developed by boaters and anglers who make the most of limited amounts of space. Just about everything opened or lifted or moved to expose another feature or provide more storage space. One might get the idea the Pursuit engineers watched the Transformers movies too often.
Lifting the starboard, aft-facing seat provided access to a rod locker with plenty of room for storing other gear.
As you walk past the galley you'll step on one of the several below-deck storage lockers large enough to be considered basements.
Even though the ST310 is considered a center console boat, the helm is a wrap around design. You can only access the bow around the port side of the helm. There's easily seating for three at the helm. The hard top bimini is contoured to provide plenty of shade and is packed with room for entertainment, communication or navigation electronic equipment, rod holders and more.
Breakers and switches are out of the way and well protected no matter how much you're bounced around on rough-water days.
For installation of new electronics or servicing anything behind the helm you'll appreciate what Pursuit engineers did with the helm station. It opens up like a clam making you or your service tech's happy as a clam.
Going forward of the helm delivers you to one of the most comfortable bow rider bows you'll ever sit in. Because this is a big boat the tops of the seat backs are at shoulder height. And below your backside is even more storage.
For those all day fishing trips or long open water cruises there is a head built in to the forward part of the helm station that is accessible through a garage door size hatch that also features forward facing seating.
The head is surprisingly large. Remember, this is still only a 31'boat. Even with the hatch closed, for privacy, you'll have room to move about.
Below that bowrider bow is one of the secrets to the smooth ride from this 31' boat. The 24 degree deadrise helps keep your fillings in your teeth by knifing through waves, not slamming in to them. That higher bow helps keep you and your passengers dry.
How fast will 600hp push a 31' boat? We were doing the low to mid 50's at WOT on the way out from shore.
One of the great features of new four-stroke engines truly is their sound; or lack of. Doing 50+MPH I could easily carry on a conversation at normal voice volume levels. No yelling required. Yes, the windscreen was helping a lot but there was no howling from the 600 Yama-horses attached to the back of the boat a mere dozen or so feet away from us. With 260 gallons of fuel on board, about 20 gallons of fresh water and two people, the mid-50's is pretty good speed. At 50MPH with engines drinking 20GPH we could keep on going for about six and a half hours to cover around 325 miles.
Pursuit packed a lot of boat in to just 31'. It's fast, fun, smooth, very comfortable and loaded with features a fishing crew or family can enjoy. At 31' and around 8,900 pounds, it's still a trailerable boat. It doesn't have to just live on one lake or at one port of call. Check out this Pursuit and other models and find your local Pursuit dealer in the New Boat Showroom section of our site http://www.iboats.com/New-Boats/.
(Bill Gius is a three-plus decade marine industry veteran with extensive, hands-on accessory, boat and engine experience. Bill has been working with iboats.com for six years to help manufacturers and dealers use iboats online marketing, advertising and lead generation services. Bill can be reached at 800-869-1686 x199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)