It seemed to be by far the bigger boat – a sleek new Sunseeker Predator moored stern to the quay at the Philippe Starck-designed Port Adriano marina in Mallorca, just a few berths along from another Predator, this one about fifteen years old. Taller, wider and looking altogether more spacious, the new model had substantially more dockside presence and, by the looks of things, considerably more internal volume.
The surprising thing, however, is that the boat that looked bigger was a Predator 68, while the older and apparently smaller model was actually a 75. Standing on the quayside, viewing them stern on, you would have sworn it was the other way round.
Boats have been getting more spacious inside. The 2017 Sunseeker Manhattan 66, moored to its strange Starck bollards at the end of the same quay, is no exception. With significantly more internal floor area and an increase in volume of 1.5 gross tonnage compared with its immediate predecessor, the Manhattan 65 of 2013, it is a truly substantial flybridge cruiser with 6ft 8in (2.03m) of headroom on its main deck, and not much less than that down below.
It’s not just generous headroom that makes the new Manhattan feel so big when you first step aboard. The cockpit leads seamlessly through to the deck saloon, as all three glass door sections slide clear to stow behind the flybridge steps. Standing in the galley area, which is perfectly placed to communicate both forward to the dining table and aft to the cockpit – where there is also the option of a bar – you can gauge the effect immediately. Wide floors and tall windows are only part of the story: low-level furnishings and clear sightlines bring the outside in, effectively banishing the boundaries and creating the effect, momentarily at least, of limitless space.
Momentary it might be, but some qualities of the 66’s interior outlast fleeting first impressions. Forward, past the dining table and the raised saloon seating, set between the helm station and the bench seat on the port side, sits the companionway that leads down to the guest cabins. That seems unremarkable until you notice that immediately to hand on the starboard side there is another, this one leading down to the owner’s suite. To have two separate lower-deck companionways would be a space-swallowing luxury on any yacht, but on the Manhattan 66 they provide irrefutable proof that this is one with space to spare.
The master suite lies smack-bang amidships, in the widest part of this voluminous hull, with 6ft 5in (1.96m) of headroom and a central, king-size double bed, insulated from the engine room by its own ensuite and the walk-in wardrobe. Up in the bows the VIP suite feels almost as spacious, while the two twin-berth guest cabins – one of which can be replaced by a low-level galley if you prefer, to create more seating on the main deck – share the head and shower compartment on the starboard side. The promise of those alluring geometric shapes in the topsides doesn’t disappoint – daylight fills every corner of the lower deck accommodation, greatly adding to the sensation of space, thanks to the impressive size of the hull windows.
There are three engine options available for the Manhattan 66, all playing to Sunseeker’s traditional strengths of performance and efficiency, while providing owners with a genuine choice between MAN’s V8 muscle, driving conventional shafts on V-drive transmissions, and Volvo Penta’s IPS drives. Our test model was fitted with the MAN 1200s, and with a Williams 325 tender in its chocks on the hydraulic aft platform, and a heavy load of fuel and water, the yacht achieved a comfortable top speed of 30.5 knots off Port Adriano, on waters mildly ruffled by the early summer breeze.
The hull exhibited exemplary balance and poise: the DNA of all Sunseeker hulls can be traced in an unbroken line to the studio of legendary English race boat designer Don Shead, and the shipyard has always prided itself on producing boats that are a pleasure to drive. With its taut handling, willing acceleration and exhilarating ride, the Manhattan 66 fulfils all expectations. So although the boats might seem a lot bigger than they used to be, with Sunseeker, some things never change.
- Length overall: 68ft 3in (20.81m)
- Displacement: 37,400kg – 38,500kg
- Beam: 17ft 3in (5.26m)
- Draft: 5ft 11in (1.80m)
- Fuel Capacity: 4,000 litres
- Water Capacity: 900 litres
- Engines: 2 x 1,200hp MAN V8-1200 / 2 x 1,000hp MAN V8-1000 / 2 x 900hp Volvo Penta IPS 1200
- Top Speed: up to 32 knots