VIDEO: Pursuit debuts 36-foot sport yacht

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Pursuit Boats this morning unveiled its much anticipated sport yacht — a 36-footer with hidden outboard power and an expansive gin-clear windshield — that catapults the company into a new genre of the market.

In fact, leaders of S2 Yachts, Pursuit’s parent company, say the boat will define its own class of recreational craft.

"We really think this is a game-changer," S2 CEO and president Thomas Slikkers told me on Tuesday, a day before the official announcement at the Marriott Hutchinson Island Resort in Fort Pierce, Fla. "It doesn't mean we are going to go away from our core product because there are still a good number of people who want that utilitarian aspect."

Click play for a presentation on the debut.

Pursuit is known for its center console, walkaround and express fishing boats, but has been listening to consumers who want to use their boats in different ways and have more styling, said Slikkers, who met with me on Tuesday at Pursuit's headquarters about 30 miles north of the resort.

Also at the meeting were S2 vice president of sales and marketing George Hetzel, Pursuit vice president of operations Bruce Thompson and S2 marketing director David Glenn.

"We knew we had to make a statement — that we had to be different," Hetzel said. "The second thing was we wanted to make sure the propulsion didn't become an obstacle — by propulsion I mean looking at it, the aesthetics."

The twin Yamaha outboards are hidden in compartments in a streamlined, clean-looking stern.

Added Thompson: "We really think we hit the nail on the head," he said. "We'll set the standard for that category. When you see the boat, you tell me whether that looks like any other kind of boat you've seen [introduced] in the last 12 months."

Most noticeable, perhaps, is the yacht's huge front windshield, which is free of obstructions. Pursuit builds the windshield using the latest materials and methods, including resin infusion.

The Yamaha-powered SC 36 hits the market in a few days, Glenn said. Today's announcement will be followed by a dealer meeting, and then a special sales event this weekend, he said. (The company already has sold more than a half-dozen boats, Hetzel said.)

The 36 is just the beginning of a new fleet of boats, Slikkers said. The sport yachts will be built in models from about 28 to 40 feet, he said.

"Obviously it looks different from anything we've built, but the great thing is that from our standpoint a lot of the attributes incorporated into the boat are the same as what we do today with our current product line," Slikkers said. "We are delivering all the great Pursuit DNA to a new group of potential people who want that DNA, but packaged for a different [boating] venue."

Look for pricing and other details in a report in Thursday’s Trade Only Today.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 41 feet, 2 inches

BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 17,000 pounds

ENGINES: Yamaha (to be announced)

TRANSOM DEADRISE: 20 degrees

TANKAGE: 275 gallons fuel, 75 gallons water, 25 gallons waste

— Chris Landry

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