Boat Review Date: July 2009
Author: Mike Brown
It’s no wonder the Sunseeker Predator 64 has a 13KVA genset, considering the number of electrically operated devices on board. From the obvious air conditioning and bow and stern thrusters, and the slightly less obvious washing machine and dish washer, to the telescoping gangway and cockpit awning: almost everything seems to spring into action at the touch of a button.
Luxury, of course, is a relative word, but there is not much in WA to relate the 64 to; let’s just say outright luxury. And surprising amounts of practicality. The cockpit, for instance, has the kind of room we usually don’t associate with imported boats. At first glance it looks more medium sized, but that is because of the plentiful sofas around its edge. If space rather than sitting is the day’s priority, they are all removable to make dancing room on the laid timber.
The door from cockpit to saloon is special too. Three glass panels, flush when open, slide to end up parallel parked with the sole fixed panel. One, two or three can be opened, with a choice of whereabouts the remaining panel or panels are left.
The saloon, and the rest of the interior, is trimmed with large amounts of satin-finished walnut, a medium-pale coloured timber that adds to the interior lightness. Not that the saloon is short of natural light: as well as a large glass area it has a large sliding panel in the deckhead – powered by electricity of course.
With a beam of 4.66m the saloon naturally has space, and the builders chose not to clutter it. The social area has an L-shaped lounge to starboard around an infinitely adjustable table. To port, among the entertaining items like a retractable 42 inch TV, Bose sound system, cocktail cabinet and wine fridge, is apparently another lounge. It is actually in two pieces and portable, so it can be moved to the table when numbers are dining.
The galley is well capable of supplying them. It is forward on the accommodation deck, lit and ventilated by an opening window backed up by a range hood. A triple-hotplate stove, convection microwave oven and coffee maker provide the hot materials, supplied from a large over-and-under fridge-freezer. Self-closing drawers house the Royal Doulton crockery and Sunseeker cutlery.
The cockpit electric barbecue unit is likely to supply the breakfast fry-ups and informal dinners for family-sized groups. For bigger numbers you would mount the large marine barbecue on the boarding platform.
The sleeping accommodation comprises two double cabins and a twin, all with en suites and all large, especially the aft master cabin. This is actually huge and given the impression of even greater size by its large mirror area. Headroom is generous too, helped by the lowered deck. Lying on the queen size bed (tested and found supremely comfortable) occupants can look through large windows that have opening sections. Or they can look at the TV that, like those in the other cabins, receives Foxtel.
There is actually a fourth cabin – for the deckhand if you have one, or for a junior passenger. Right aft, below the garage (which has a power-lifting door), it is smaller than the others but still has an en suite. To feed all these en suites, a 130L/hr water maker automatically tops up the 700L water tank.
The garage could house a jet ski or tender, but the buyer of the review boat will rig it with racks and shelves for storage. The tender will live on the boarding platform that will hydraulically lift it.
Driving the 64 is as pleasurable as everything else on board. The seat has a double alongside it to ensure it is not a lonely experience, but the driver’s seat has the extra of power tilt, slide and elevation. Alongside is a power window so he can get a clear view when backing into a pen. Vision is good anyway, but it is assisted by CCTV cameras at the anchor and facing aft in the cockpit, as well as one looking at each engine. If you really want all-round vision you could take the remote docking station and sit on the roof.
The 64 has serious manoeuvring power. Each thruster has 10.7hp, and each MAN main engine has 1100. Whatever the orientation of your pen, very small squirts of throttle and toggle will dominate the wind and get you in or out with ease. Which is definitely what you want with a boat of this size although, probably in testament to how well set up it is, it feels smaller than its dimensions.
Get moving and it feels even better. It is extraordinarily dry and quieter than almost any boat I have been in. The 2200hp gives the kind of performance you might expect, or even a bit more for 31T displacement part load: 32.5 knots flat out, and a fast cruise of 26.5. At that speed range is about 260 miles. If you are planning a trip to say the Abrolhos, and you need a deckhand to inhabit that aft cabin, call me.
Price from AUD $3.2m
Length overall 20.67m
Hull length 19.30m
Motors 2 x V10 MAN, 1100hp ea
Fresh water 700L