Pursuit Denali 2865
Length overall  31'2"
Beam  9'6"
Draft (outdrive up)  1'11"
Draft (outdrive down)  3'
Displacement  7,600 lb
Fuel Capacity  148 gals
Water Capacity  30 gals
Freeboard forward 6'6"
Base price  $93,850
Standard power  Volvo 8.1 375hp 

The helm console tilts out for access to wiring, and lots of room on the dash for flush-mounting electronics. (below) The bench seat across the transom covers the hatch which lifts to provide almost total access to the single Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi 375 HP gas engine.

The Pursuit's aim is to build first-class, solid boats that are as pretty to look at as they are dependable to run, and they've certainly lived up to their reputation with their new 2865 Denali. Its mid-sized dimensions belie the big-boat feel. As David Glenn, Pursuit's marketing and communications manager explains, "'Denali' is what the Inuit tribe in Alaska call Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. It means, 'the Great One.' We picked that out for the first Denali 24, and we built that line on it."

Pursuit based the 2865 on their popular 2860, he explains. "We made this boat more friendly for cruising overnight, adding storage, upgrading the seating, added room in the cabin and more room in the head itself. It's a good combination of weight and balance," he says. "It's a nice, comfortable boat."

The cuddy cabin below features a V-berth that wraps around an oval dining table, a galley station with a good expanse of countertop for work space, a small oval stainless-steel sink, a microwave and a little AC/DC fridge. There's adequate headroom while sitting at the table, and there's headroom while working the galley with the companionway hatch up and the wooden step folded up against the bulkhead. A hatch behind the step leads aft underneath the helm deck, where there's loads of storage and access to the fuel and water tanks. The enclosed head is small but comfortable, with a stainless wash basin and a toilet with plenty of elbow room. You won't find a shower here, but there is a hot/cold hand-held unit mounted at the transom for rinsing off after a swim or bathing al fresco.

The helm deck is enclosed under a bimini top suspended from an optional forward-raked welded aluminum radar arch. Upcoming models will be available with a hard top, which will be a nice option. The wrap-around windshield has an attractive brushed aluminum frame, and the two big front panes open up for ventilation. The only problem here is that the companionway hatch lifts on a gas-assisted piston, and stays up, blocking the view forward, unless you close the bi-fold companionway door. That's something that could be easily modified.

The helm console to starboard tilts out for access to wiring. It boasts a faux burled dash with stainless-rimmed analog gauges, room beneath that for VHF, GPS and fishfinder, and then a handsome sport-car-like steering wheel. The single seat is adjustable, and it's comfortable to run standing or sitting, though the top of the windshield is just a little low to suit this 6' 2" boater while standing at the wheel. There's an inviting L-shaped settee to port, and aft of the helm seat, there's a bait-prep station with a stainless-steel sink and fishing tackle drawers behind a cabinet door. Two bench-style seats, a single and a double, face aft into the cockpit. Another bench spans the transom on top of the engine hatch.

The single Volvo Penta.8.1 Gi 375 hp gas engine sits beneath the hatch, which lifts up for almost total access. A Volvo KAD300 285 HP Diesel with outdrive and Duoprop is optional, though twin engines are not available in this model. A comfy bench seat is molded into the hatch. The cockpit has gunwale bolsters and rod holders built in. The swim platform is extra wide and easy to reach through a hinged door. A swim ladder is built to fold into the transom.

Access to the foredeck is nice, via molded in steps on either side. The side decks are nice and wide, and protected by high stainless-steel rails. There's a deep anchor locker and an optional Simpson Lawrence windlass.

Running out of the mouth of the Mystic River from the Noank Shipyard with my host, Ken Ludington of Seaport Yachts, we maneuvered easily around the lobster pot buoys out onto Fisher Island Sound and ran the Denali through its paces. It's got a big and solid feel, cutting through the wakes on this otherwise placid June day.

The hull is a modified V, fairly sharp in the bow, flattening out aft to 21 degrees of deadrise at the transom. Hard chines and lateral strakes running bow to stern help with the Pursuit's stability and tracking ability, and the recessed Bennett trim tabs keep the nose down and the speed up, not to mention the ability for fine tuning by adjusting level of the outdrive.

Powered by the single Volvo Penta, the boat sprang up onto plane, and ran smoothly and comfortably at a cruising speed of about 22 knots at 3200 RPM. Top speed seemed to be just under 38 knots with the throttle wide open and the tachometer reading 4400 RPM.

Factory tests under similar conditions, show similar results, running on the North Indian River near the Pursuit plant in Fort Pierce, Florida. Their fuel economy stats show a rate of 2.23 miles per gallon at cruising speed for an effective range of 297 miles between fill-ups. At wide-open throttle, they got readings of 4600 RPM and 1.43 MPG.