Speedy Sunseeker

The 62-knot Hawk 38 takes Sunseeker back to its performance roots.

Sunseeker Hawk 38
Part of the Hawk 38’s performance pedigree is a triple-step hull form.Courtesy Sunseeker

These days, the Sunseeker brand is most associated with luxury motoryachts, but serious performance has always been a key DNA strand for the British company. There have been all manner and sizes of 50-knot Sunseeker Predators over the years, as well as various Superhawks and the Renegade 60—and, even further back, Hawks, Mohawks and Thunderhawks. The 39-foot XS 2000 from more than a decade ago is the closest relative to the British builder's new Hawk 38, the first outboard-propelled Sunseeker runabout since the Sportsfisher 37 of the early 2000s.

Owing to a frisky, short chop while I was on board, the Hawk 38 seemed to spend less time afloat than airborne. This boat has an anti-stuff bow, stab tubes and a triple-step hull, along with an optional G-meter for measuring acceleration—all features you’re more likely to find on a race boat than a dayboat. The twin Mercury Verado 400Rs howled as I shunted the metallic-red race throttles back and forth. In flat seas, she should max out at just over 62 knots. In the low 50s and chop, I was getting more than enough excitement for the prevailing conditions, but in the open ocean, I could imagine Evel Knievel using her to jump ferries.

Fabio Buzzi
Fabio Buzzi and his Italy-based FB Design deliver high-speed solutions, mostly to navies and coast guards. The company has also designed and built race boats and record-breakers.Courtesy Fabio Buzzi

Sunseeker’s design team used computational fluid dynamics to minimize air drag. Reportedly, this boat is the result of around 8,000 in-house design hours. And those hours exclude the development time from Fabio Buzzi’s FB Design team on Lake Como, Italy. That team was responsible for the running platform and lamination of the hulls and decks.

For strength at speed, those hulls and decks are post-cured vinylester, mated together with a technique that involves bonding compounds, longitudinal aluminum extrusions and ­polyurethane closed-cell foam. The result is an ­essentially rattle-free structure ready for the sea. She handled well, and I found it rewarding to trim her manually, although she will autotrim too.

Sunseeker Hawk 38
The Sunseeker Hawk 38 has a foredeck sun pad for catching rays. When shade is desired—or required—a sail canopy is optional. Just abaft the sun pad is U-shaped seating and a table.Courtesy Sunseeker

Her finish is on par with what Sunseeker fans expect, with fit-out at Supermarine Powerboats in the United Kingdom. What you see is what you get in terms of the layout: two-by-two bolster-bucket seats abaft a ­Simrad-dominated dash, with a wingtip carbon-fiber ­hardtop above, a rear bench, ­walk-around Flexiteek decks, and booth seating and a sun pad forward. A head is amidships, and a waterproof locker is in the bow for two Seabobs and chargers (or ­other gear of similar size). Notable options include metallic paint, electronics upgrades and a towing kit.

Look for Hull No. 3 of the Hawk 38 at the Fort ­Lauderdale International Boat Show this fall.

Take the next step: sunseeker.com