Inside the Development of the New OS 405
You’ve seen our brand new OS 405. You probably also marveled at its gorgeous lines, high specification levels and trademark Pursuit luxury.
But one thing you likely don’t know is the story behind its creation. For this article, we spoke to Project Manager Lee Baumann and Mark Taiclet, Director of Brand Management at Pursuit Boats, to go below the deck of what it took to bring this beautiful, luxurious, high-performance new model to our portfolio (Spoiler: Lots of people, lots of expertise, and lots of effort!)
But First: Let's Talk About the OS 405
The Pursuit OS 405 is one of the newest boats to grace our portfolio, and the latest one in our ever-popular Offshore series. Launched in late 2023, the OS 405 raises the bar not only for what our teams are capable of but also for the competition.
Following hot on the heels of the launch of the OS 445 - our new flagship yacht - the OS 405 benefits from our decades of design, engineering and manufacturing expertise. And that’s important because, as you’ll find out in this article, it’s replacing another highly successful model in our range.
If its impressive 43’ length didn’t grab your attention, then one of the OS 405’s most noticeable features that might do so is its large wrap-around windshield. And while the windshield will protect you and your crew from the elements, the captain and their companion will enjoy the further protection and comfort offered by the stylish, robust Stidd seating on the bridgedeck.
The helm puts all of the boat’s controls at your fingertips thanks to a pair of 22” Garmin Multi-Function Displays, while triple Yamaha 450 XTO outboards are ready to take you wherever you decide to go.
Before we began designing the OS 405, the first and most important step at that stage was collecting some important customer feedback, as our Director of Brand Management, Mark Taiclet explained. “Even though we had the customer feedback data from the OS 445, we hosted a specific customer focus group in which we spoke with OS 385 and OS 355 owners. We asked them what they’d like to see in the next larger boat specifically for this project. We then took their input and rolled it into the design phase of the project. The info that we received from them drove a lot of design aspects of the boat both in the bridge deck area and in terms of the cabin space.”
The design phase was a crucial step because, as Mark pointed out, the OS 405 has some big ‘boots’ to fill. “One of the things that was top of our minds was the fact that this boat would be replacing the OS 385, which has been in our lineup for twelve years and has been very successful, with a good number being sold each year.
“We knew that the OS 385’s styling had to be brought up to date, as well as a number of other items. But we also understood how important the styling was because we had a number of people buying the OS 355 because they preferred the styling to the OS 385. We had to bolster that sleek styling; that was a big deal for us,” he added.
At the same time, the customer feedback received from the focus groups had to be taken into account. “We had to ensure that we were accommodating the way that our customers use the boat, ensuring that we gave them what they needed in order to make their journeys more successful and enjoyable. And finally, we had to incorporate the next evolution of products and systems, especially in terms of electronics and gyro stabilizers.”
From Mockups to Manufacturing
With all of their design ideas and customer feedback in hand, it was time for our teams to move on to the next stage: Building mockups.
“We build the whole boat and interior space out of cardboard and wood,” said Mark. “Then we get inside, sit in and get the whole feel of the space before we move to production. There’s usually a lot of back and forth between the various teams at this stage as we make decisions about the layout.”
Meanwhile, the engineering teams are busy prototyping the mechanical spaces, which as Mark noted, also benefit from the customer feedback rounds. “We ask the customers a lot of questions about how they use that space so for example, if there’s a ball valve in the outgoing model that’s hard to reach, then we’ll try to relocate it in the new boat. The batteries also need to be easy to reach.”
Lee Baumann, Project Manager at Pursuit Boats, agreed. “Yeah, for the OS 405, we put the batteries on slides so that you can slide them out to service them.”
The prototypes of the boat’s mechanical spaces help the teams decide how those areas should best be utilized and laid out. “We spent at least a week in this phase, laying out the mechanical space. We went through three or four iterations before agreeing on the final version,” said Lee. “The customer’s access into and within that space is the number one factor that we account for when planning that space,” he added.
Making Difficult Decisions
When the teams from the various departments responsible for designing a new model get together to start the development cycle, it’s inevitable that difficult decisions about what to keep and what to omit from the new boat will have to be made. “Standard features and optional feature lists drive all of the decisions we make,” said Lee. “It’s a lot of give-and-take and collaboration. We figure out what we are able to fit in, then we get the whole group in - including Mark - and we decide what to do and where we need to make a compromise.”
But what happens when the teams can’t reach an agreement regarding a particular feature? Is it a flip of a coin? A vote? We asked the pair. “We hash it out a lot,” answered Lee. “In some cases it’s a majority vote.”
Mark agreed. “Compromises in terms of decision making are normal,” he said. “Every little inch of the boat is a give or take, because you always have these competing opinions and factors to take into account, for example some people wanting more space for fuel to be able to go further, but that then comes at the expense of bigger fish boxes and a gyro stabilizer, which is also a popular option. We also have a sort of needs hierarchy that helps to guide decisions, such as, ‘Will this affect the boat’s safety or negatively affect the accessibility of a component?’ Over time, I’ve personally conceded a lot of my wishes and desires for features on new models, because the reality is that implementing them could potentially have made for impractical results.”
Slide into Bed
Following eighteen months of intense development work, the Pursuit Boats factory production team got to work building the first example of the new OS 405.
One of the features that made it into the final version, and of which the Pursuit Boats team is especially proud, is the new boat’s unique forward berth. The island-style berth is mounted on an electrically-actuated sliding mechanism that is able to move the whole berth fore and aft.
When the berth is not in use, it can be slid into its forward position to free up some extra space in the cabin. The backrest simultaneously rises, allowing you to lounge back and watch TV or read, for example.
When it’s time to sleep, a button press slides the berth slightly aft from out of the bow, making it longer and allowing you to stretch out. “That whole feature is the most unique one on the OS 405 but it was a real challenge for us!” said Lee.
The OS 445, pictured above, is the Flagship of the Pursuit Boats Offshore line.
The OS 405 also benefits from a number of trickle-down design ideas and engineering from the flagship OS 445. For example, the main, front windshield section is very similar on the OS 405 to the OS 445’s windshield. The foredeck sun pad is another idea inherited from the OS 445.
“The air conditioning in the bridge area and the integration of the Seakeeper gyro are two other aspects,” said Lee. “We looked at what we do on the 445 and improved it for the 405. The refrigeration tubs and electronics are similar, too.”
“While the OS 445 has extra features, the OS 405’s lounging capabilities are very similar to the 445,” Mark added.
Furthermore, on the bridge deck, the Stidd seats and the large 22” Garmin MFDs are also carry-overs from the OS 445.
Reflecting on another successful new model launch, both men had fond memories of some of the challenges and triumphs involved in bringing the stunning new OS 405 to life. “The combined effort to make the mechanical space as good as it is, was a very memorable moment for me,” said Lee. “So is the windshield system, which we’ve done on other boats but here it was an especially fun challenge that I think we’ve executed very well. Making the windshield look sleek while ensuring all of the angles look just right and having it all go together and function as it should, was the main challenge. It had to rake back and have all of the proportions right. It was fun!”
“It’s great to see some of the ideas come together and work exactly as we planned,” said Mark. “At the beginning of the project when we said we have to have an island berth, some people would say we were crazy. But we were able to make it work, and it was cool to see that. From my side, I pushed for certain things such as the cabana space on the foredeck that we introduced on the OS 445. I think we all embraced that idea and watched it take shape on the 405. In fact, this boat was designed around that from the very beginning. We’ve also done some things with the rod holders to make them easier to access than in the past. I think we’ve improved the experience on the boat in general.”
In closing, Lee - who has been with Pursuit Boats for 26 years and has worked on almost every aspect of the production line - revealed his love for the work that he and his teams do at Pursuit Boats each day. “I really enjoy taking these ideas and concepts of what the boat needs to be and making it happen. It’s our hard work and ultimately our customers are really enjoying it - it’s their dream. We like to make their dreams happen!”
Design Your OS 405 Today
The new Pursuit Offshore Series OS 405 is ready to make your and your family’s boating dreams happen. Featuring loads of space, luxurious yacht-style finishing and plenty of power, the OS 405 is ready to deliver effortless fun on the water.