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Performance Art

Sunseeker's semi-custom 82 Yacht is a successful blend of functionality and luxury.

October 4, 2007
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The British may have a long seafaring tradition, but aside from a few notable exceptions, they also have an equally long tradition of what can kindly be called frumpy boats without many of the amenities taken for granted by luxury-hungry Americans.

Sunseeker, however, is an anomaly that draws heavily on European design influences to create yachts such as this Sunseeker 82, the latest iteration of its successful Yacht line. This is a yacht more Italian than British, more Portofino than Poole, more icy Moet than warm Guinness. The Sunseeker 82 Yacht seen on these pages is the first to arrive in the Colonies and, like other Sunseekers in the Yacht line, demonstrates the yard’s ability to satisfy each owner by offering a surprisingly wide range of interior (and exterior) arrangements, equipment and power systems. In this case, the result is a luxurious, voluminous performance yacht that will surely satisfy her owner’s cruising schedule.

For instance, a semi-custom arrangement resulted in a master suite that would be spacious on a 100-footer, let alone a yacht with a waterline of just 64 feet. That suite, in fact, was one of the features most appealing to the owner, who had enjoyed several Predators from the Sunseeker line of performance-oriented hardtop express cruisers. Equally appealing was the expansive view from the large living area that stretches aft from the cockpit to the wheelhouse forward, incorporating the saloon, galley and formal dining area.

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The saloon’s oversize windows descend past the settees to provide the superb view that intrigued an owner more used to portholes in the Predator saloons. Two built-in settees are curved to provide a conversation area as well as face the Panasonic plasma-screen television in the forward port bulkhead.

That small bulkhead, which separates the galley, is the only obstruction in a deckhouse that has a feeling of great openness and visibility. Just forward to starboard is the dining area, with a banquette against the bulkhead and loose chairs on the inboard side of the exquisitely inlaid cherry table.

In the galley, a double-door Whirlpool stainless-steel refrigerator is aft, and all the usual appliances are tucked under the counters, along with beautifully finished dedicated plate stowage and stainless-steel pantry racks. The chef has a pleasant view, but counter space is somewhat limited.

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The forward portion of the deckhouse is devoted to a space-age helm with twin helm seats. Engine monitors and electronics are set into a recessed walnut fascia, so once again, there is no obstruction to the sight lines through the steeply raked forward windows. Opposite the helm is a double-wide leather companion seat with a full chart table, also cherry.

The standard 82 Yacht layout provides access to all the cabins via stairs forward from the pilothouse, but this 82 was customized to have a private stairwell to the master suite from the saloon. This is achieved at the expense of some of the seating area, but the result is well worth the loss.

The usual 82 Yacht configuration of the owner’s suite has a island berth mid-cabin, but this 82 has the king berth angled to the starboard corner, which leaves room for a large club chair as well as a walk-in locker. The port side is devoted to built-in bureaus and a desk/vanity, all with flawless joinery. In fact, the entire stateroom is an example of woodworking excellence, from the tambour locker doors to the subtle circular overhead treatment.

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The master head is best described as hedonistic, although, with typical British understatement, Sunseeker refers to it as the “jacuzzi option. An entire corner of the head is filled with a swoopy double-wide jacuzzi with a curving Lucite enclosure that turns it into an immense shower with a bulkhead of nozzles and controls.

The VIP stateroom is in the bow but, once again, it’s surprisingly large for a yacht this size. Though the hull entry is a sharp V-shape, the berth is set at a normal height, which is a pleasant change from the lofty berths often wedged into the confined bow sections. There is a raised platform for access to each side, a settee is to port, a vanity to starboard, and an en suite black-marble head with shower. But the crowning touch is that Sunseeker has managed to find room to fit a full walk-in locker large enough to be a dressing area, complete with a lovely cherry bureau. The result is a VIP suite in which no guest will ever feel slighted.

Just aft and to port is a bunk-bed cabin sized for kids or crew, while a larger cabin with twin beds is to starboard, both sharing the day head with shower.

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The teak-planked flying bridge has gentle stairs from the afterdeck, since the expected inner stairs were omitted to maximize the saloon space. A double-wide helm seat is behind the unusual port-offset helm pod, which leaves room for a wide sunpad behind the venturi windscreen. A wraparound settee with table is aft to port with a facing settee behind the helm companion seating. The area under the low electronics arch has been left open on this 82 in the standard layout. A spa is optional, as is a crane for a tender or PWC. The 13-foot Nautica RIB on this 82 is carried on the wide swim platform, which lowers hydraulically for launching and retrieval.

Tucked under the afterdeck, which has the usual wide bench seat as well as a wet bar, is a separate crew cabin with a single berth and separate head with shower. This cabin also has the washer/dryer and provides direct access to the engineroom.

Standard power is a pair of MTU 2000 V12 1,479 hp diesels, with an options in the same horsepower range from Caterpillar, giving the 82 a top speed of 32 knots, according to the builder. Twin 32kW Kohler generators are standard.

You might expect a yacht with this styling to be flitting from Cannes to Nice, or at least West Palm to Lyford Cay, but the immediate future for this 82 is more intriguing.

The owner plans to take his new yacht into Middle America, cruising the rivers and waterways from the Gulf of Mexico to as far as the Great Lakes. With spectacular views from the saloon, a comfortable flying bridge for good weather, and a clever layout that provides expansive living quarters, this is the perfect yacht for such an adventure.

Besides, she will introduce Mediterranean styling to areas more conversant with houseboats.

Contact: Sunseeker, (011) 44 1202 666060; [email protected]; www.sunseeker.com. For more information, contact: (866) 922-4877

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