They say the two happiest moments in a man’s life are:

  1. When he gets a new boat
  2. When he gets rid of his old money pit boat

If that is indeed the case then this has been a stand out month for me! 

When i moved back to the US i did a lot of thinking about what type of boat i could get that would serve all my needs of  taking the family out, fishing and be inexpensive (versus my last boat which taught me a lot about the importance of being able to swim!) and came up with a large open bow deep vee. 

The boat i got was Sun Runner 21 with a Volvo 305 Chevy.  

I really liked this boat and by my criteria (see below) it was a complete success

  1. Inexpensive
  2. Family friendly
  3. Fast enough to ski behind/get out the fishing grounds
  4. Able to handle the open ocean (but small enough to tow)
  5. Fishing platform

Unfortunately i didn’t really stack rank my criteria into the correct order -as a matter of fact i probably stank ranked them in the exact opposite order! –Which left me with a boat that wasn’t exactly what i wanted. This being the case Pilar (my lovely wife) let me get one of the premier walkarounds in the world a Pursuit 2350 (22.5 foot) with Twin Yamaha 115 4 strokes.  

 

Side2

2350 Pursuit

 

My SunRunner i gave to my Mom and her husband.

boat

21’ SunnRunner

Since these two boats were relatively closely matched i thought it would be interesting to compare them for other would be boat buyers.

 

Hull:


I have been blessed to have spent 100's maybe 1000's of hours in LOTS of different offshore boats (Blackwatches, Bertrams, Haines Patriots, Pro Lines, Trophies etc) and the hull on the Sun Runner is arguably the best I have ever fished. Just looking at it you can tell the boat was born from a lineage of Offshore racing hulls. It loves rough water to the point you push harder than you probably should, it climbs onto a plane like it was meant to be there, turns like sports car, has a mile of freeboard and despite being a an open bow super dry.
The pursuit is good- climbs on the plane without squatting, will do 49 mph!, but hard turns tends to cavitate the outer motor and the flatter bottom tends to smack the water a little more.

Winner Sun Runner

 

Interior Ergonomics:

The pursuit is a dream with it being wider (102 inches versus 96 inches) and having outboards it almost feels i could put the Sun Runner on the deck. The kill tanks opening to the ocean and automatically draining is like a gift from god. Accessibility to the batteries etc is awesome - this is a fishing boat that was designed for fishing and maintenance in mind! The cuddy is perfect for locking up fishing rods and getting tackle from getting under foot. - If i was going to make any suggestion it would be to make the walk around path wider(yes i realize this would decrease the cockpit space) or remove the starboard the walk around path and make the Port one twice as wide
Sun Runner covered the interior in Carpet -the bane of all Fisherman, used unglassed plywood for partitions in the subfloor storage, used understrength fasteners -for instance i have torn the entire instrument console loose from the floor, the entrance to the bow is through the center of the boat (like all open bows) so you can not easily fight a fish forward. While working on the motor isn't awful its not real nice.

Winner Pursuit:


Drive Train:

The Sunner is running a Small Block Chevy. Unfortunately the Chevy has difficulty idling down slow enough for Salmon trolling and loading up when it is trolling as slow as it will go. The Volvo outdrive doesn't use the outdrive to trim (just lift) and i have had problems with the lifting motor. While the deck on the Sun Runner isn't small the big V8 does take up a lot of the room
What can i say about the 4 stroke 115hp Yamaha? Whisper Quiet, strong, super easy to start! The fact i have twins makes the my confidence in the Pursuit 400% better. Not certain how much that counts to other people but i know i fish better/more aggressively when i don't have to worry about my gear failing leaving me to walk 35 miles over open ocean

Winner: Pursuit


Summary

This probably seems like a weird comparison - a 21' all purpose family sport boat compared to a ~23' purpose built fishing machine. But I thought long and hard about building up the Sun Runner Hull to be the boat of my dreams (Twin Outboards on a bracket, Hard Top, Radar etc). I had i done this i know i would have a boat i would be happy with -But it would have cost me much more than i paid for the Pursuit!  -And of course when it comes to offshore boats size matters so while the Outboard bracket on the SunRunner would have probably given me a comparable length the Pursuit is simply a bigger boat- one that I am very happy to have upgraded to!