Sunseeker is swinging back into the yachting world’s spotlight with not one but five new models showcasing this spring. As per the new normal, the global premieres will be held online and will be supplemented with Asia-specific presentations reflecting the British builder’s new-look regional network, which includes NextWave as its distributor in the key market of Hong Kong.
In Poole, Sunseeker’s home base since the 1960s, the first units of each of the five new models have been in the water for a head-spinning mix of final fitouts, fine-tuning, testing, sea trials, video and photo shoots, and client visits.
Not only is Sunseeker simultaneously orchestrating five global debuts while most shipyards typically release one or two new models a year, but the builder’s new models are notably varied. They span in size and range from the Manhattan 55, Predator 55 EVO™ and 65 Sport Yacht to the immense 88 Yacht and 90 Ocean, the latter the builder’s most exciting new model of recent times.
The new Predator recently appeared at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, yet the first of the ‘Famous Five’ models out of the blocks was the Manhattan 55, which already has units as far as the US – the exterior photographs seen here are from California – and at least two orders from Asia.
Already, the 55 is following the success of its big sister, the Manhattan 68 that debuted last year and has at least four orders in this region.
“We’re delighted with the initial demand for the Manhattan 55 as owners and prospects are seeing the same advancements we made on the Manhattan 68,” said Douglas Culverwell, Sunseeker International’s Director of Distributor Development. “We expect many more sales across Asia and the rest of the world for the Manhattan 55 and other models among the ‘Famous Five’.”
As well as sharing the 68’s popularity, the 55 also features the same interior styling as its big sister. It’s part of a complete upgrade in interior design, décor and detailing that Sunseeker has incorporated in all new models since the Predator 60 EVO™ premiered in September 2019, reflecting the design influence of CEO Andrea Frabetti, who earlier that year became the first Italian to head the yard.
Structurally, the Manhattan 55 builds on the platform of the hugely popular Manhattan 52, although it’s quicker than Sunseeker’s fastest-selling model, reaching 32 knots with two Volvo Penta D13-800 engines.
Subtle exterior upgrades include a second, thinner stainless-steel bowrail around the yacht that’s stronger, safer and more elegant than the guard wire it replaced. Aft, the air-intakes have been upgraded from composite to a lighter carbon-fibre weave, its dark offset matching the hull glazing.
AFT, FORE AND FLY
The yacht’s fun features start by the water, where the full-beam hydraulic platform offers access to a treasure chest of compartments as part of Sunseeker’s popular Beach Club package. The drop-down barbecue is a winner and benefits from being well clear of any interior spaces, in case you slightly burn the steaks.
When it’s play time, a wide beach seat folds down to let you watch the kids, rest after a swim or put on or pull off flippers with a lot more grace than if you were standing up. To starboard is a pull-up door, which doubles as an overhead shower along with providing access to a good-sized storage locker for anything from ropes and fenders to towels and toys.
To port is the door to the optional crew cabin with ensuite and space for a washer-dryer. Alternatively, this aft space can be used as a storage room. Heading up three steps and through the lift-up side gates brings you to the cockpit, which has a big C-shaped sofa and a foldout teak table.
Useful details include a small locker for lines by the cleat and optional capstan on each side. To port there’s a chest-height locker for a third helm station, where a Xenta joystick and other controls can be fitted.
The side decks lead to the foredeck, a relaxing area that combines a sofa with two loungers around a high-low table. It’s an ideal area for sunbathing, reading or intimate gatherings in the evening, when the built-in lighting and sound system can set the mood.
The flybridge is accessed from the cockpit by a starboard stairway that’s topped by a see-through hatch, which shields the rain and even acts as a type of safety net in the case of accidental falls at the top of the steps. The stairs come out by the twin-seat, twin-screen helm station, where a wireless phone charger is among useful features.
Aft is a huge C-shaped sofa aft that comfortably fits six or more around a foldable table. Add a couple of loose chairs and you can have up to eight dining al fresco, which is made more appetising by the barbecue option in the portside wet bar. Below the seats are fitted speakers for an AV system that can play the same or different music to that in the foredeck or saloon.
Forward of the wet bar is a C-shaped sofa and a coffee table, although the best views are offered in front by the full-width sunlounger, which has convenient backrests on both sides. Shelter options include a foldable bimini or a hardtop with a sliding sunroof and which can also fit a bimini extension aft.
NEW MANHATTAN STYLE
Back on the main deck, the cockpit’s seamless connection to the galley and saloon is one of the highlights of the Manhattan 55. You only need to open the starboard cockpit door then watch as the galley ‘window’ automatically slides down at the push of a button, to see the interior open to the outside and create a huge communal area.
Furthermore, fold out the bar counter and you’ve got a solid reason to perch on the cockpit bar stools (optional) and relax with drinks and snacks.
Look inside and you’ll soon notice the showpiece ceiling, where LED lighting runs along perpendicular and diagonal lines and panels, as seen on the Manhattan 68. The overhead lighting is supplemented throughout the main deck and cabins by elegant wall lamps, also seen on the bigger model.
Almost disguised beneath the height of the bar and the raised saloon, the aft galley is a wonderment of design. Step inside and to the left and you’re surrounded on all four sides by surfaces and storage, both of which you can never have enough of in a kitchen.
By the port window is a Miele oven and four-hob induction burner plus a double sink, while above is a wide bank of head-height cupboards plus extractor fan. Aft is a large prep area above an optional dishwasher, while forward is an elegant storage area for cups, crockery and glassware, lit from within.
Head back into the ‘hallway’ and the treats continue with a wine cooler and full set of drawers. As an option, this forward section of the L-shaped bar top can also remain open underneath to store two loose galley bar stools that turn the area into a breakfast counter.
To starboard, Sunseeker has designed a full-height corner unit with shelving, enclosed storage and more power points – coffee machine, anyone? Under the countertop are two large refrigerator drawers, plus there’s the option of an extra cabinet forward featuring another two fridge/ freezer drawers topped by an elegant serving area.
Two steps up bring you to the saloon, where the large, three-sided sofa can comfortably sit six people and a designer table replicates the angular detailing of the ceiling. To starboard is a side cabinet with a huge, 55in TV and surround-sound system, while there’s also an ottoman that can be used for storage and moved to the starboard side of the table to complete a full dining set-up.
“Like the Manhattan 68, the 55 features elegant, sophisticated interior styling, yet which is clearly distinctive, for example, from the curvy, sporty interior of new Predators,” says Culverwell. “The detailing in both ranges has gone to another level in these new models.”
The helm station is up a step and features a leather bench seat with adjustable bolster and multi-functional steering wheel. The console has the option of two touch-screen Simrad displays, plus wireless charging, USB ports and a display for Sunseeker’s Cm8, which manages and monitors a range of systems from power, fuel, tanks and engine data to lighting, air-conditioning, AV and more.
CABINS AND STORAGE
Down the stairs and it’s straight ahead to the VIP cabin, which benefits from light through side windows and a deck hatch. There’s overhead storage, hanging cupboards and drawers on both sides, as well as ensuite access to the portside bathroom that doubles as the day head, shared with the twin cabin to starboard.
The master suite is back down a couple of steps to midships, where this full-beam stateroom stands as another example of the huge upgrade in styling, décor and detailing that personifies the new Manhattans.
The entrance lobby brings you first to the ensuite bathroom to port, then it’s another step down to the bedroom, which benefits from great headroom and large windows either side. The bed faces a huge TV and soundbar, while beside them is a cabinet topped by elegant shelves with recessed lighting, ideal for books and other display items.
There’s storage all around, from the full-height cupboard on starboard to the huge cabinet that occupies the port side of the room and is packed with drawers, shelving and cupboards. Add in the bedside cabinets and there’s a place for everything.
There’s room for even more storage, if you wish, as the space under the starboard window is offered in several arrangements including a mirror of the portside storage cabinet, a sofa, a dinette or a chaise longue, the latter three all including some storage below.
“The Manhattan 55 has taken a proven layout and really stepped it up another level in terms of practicality, finish and detailing, right throughout the yacht,” Culverwell says. “I can’t wait to see the first yachts arrive in Asia so people can hopefully see for themselves.”
The first Sunseeker Manhattan 68 in Asia will soon arrive in Thailand before further hulls head for Singapore and Hong Kong.
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