As I ran the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht from what the builder calls the SkyHelm on the flybridge, one word came to mind: fun.
This yacht, powered with optional 1,000 hp Volvo Penta IPS1350 diesels paired to pod drives, streaked across the Gulf Stream’s 3- to 5-footers at just shy of 35 knots. As we left Florida in our wake, the 40-ton yacht maneuvered like a sports car. No matter how hard or fast I cranked the wheel, it just banked solidly and asked for more.
The Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht is aptly named—for more than one reason. Designers penned the flybridge layout from a blank sheet to create a youthful, chic style. They studied today’s supercars, such as England’s 217 mph Aston Martin Valhalla. Two low-slung bucket seats are separated by a carbon-fiber, silver-lacquered console that would look at home in the latest Gulfstream G700 business-jet cockpit, right down to the throttles under the skipper’s hand.
To me, the coolest feature—an idea clearly borrowed from personal watercraft—is the steering pod that hinges up and locks in position. Yes, it has a steering wheel instead of handle bars. And, it allows the skipper to do two things: gain easy access to and from the bucket seat, and stand next to the SkyHelm, with its joystick controlling the twin pod drives and Side-Power bow thruster, providing an unrestricted view of the vessel while docking. It is a brilliant setup.
Stepping into the salon, I found coolly serene styling similar to a Cannes, France, penthouse overlooking La Croisette or a top-floor Miami suite on Biscayne Bay. Nearly 360 degrees of glass, low and comfortable furniture, and calmness exude from the smoked eucalyptus woods and nubby upholstery. The salon is designed for entertaining, with a settee to port around a folding/sliding table and a couch opposite. A notable feature is the single-level sole from the transom to the windshield, with no steps. The 7-foot-3-inch headroom adds to the feeling of spaciousness.
Aft is an optional teak hydraulic swim platform that can lift a Williams 345 SportJet. If owners don’t want the tender on the transom, they can use the garage that’s tucked in the transom; it can handle that same 11-foot-3-inch tender, with the rollers and chocks offset to port, so there is also room for Seabobs, paddleboards, dive gear or other toys.
The cockpit has a settee with a table. The yacht’s aft-galley arrangement helps the space blend with the salon. Doors framed in stainless steel slide away, and the galley’s electric window drops for pass-throughs.
The galley has a Miele three-burner cooktop, undercounter convection oven, dishwasher, ice maker, and stowage for glasses, dishes and silverware, all fiddled to prevent rattles. Rather than a full-height fridge that would block views, the 65 Sport Yacht has twin fridges under the counter to starboard.
The lower helm station has a pair of bucket seats with arms, as well as twin 15-inch Garmin displays. The design team injected a retro look on the console with round, analog gauges reminiscent of older Corvettes, and provided niceties such as stainless-steel footrests and an opening window next to the skipper.
Owners have several choices for the accommodations deck, including a galley-down layout, but I particularly liked the three-stateroom plan on this yacht. Each stateroom is en suite with Villeroy & Boch vessel sinks and Tecma heads. There is also a day head, so the staterooms remain private.
Access belowdecks is via a foyer that really should be called an atrium lobby because it is voluminous and opens to the windscreen above it. To starboard is a guest stateroom with twin berths and a full-height hanging locker (no crumpled clothes) with the en suite just forward. The VIP stateroom fills the bow with an island queen berth, drawer stowage, a hanging locker and more stowage below the berth.
The master stateroom uses the yacht’s 16-foot-8-inch beam to house a centerline berth and, on this yacht, a settee to port with a vanity/ desk. Windows with opening ports bring in light and a view, and the 6-foot-6-inch headroom adds to the airiness. One interesting option is to close off the passage to the master stateroom (this boat had a washer/dryer there) and add a desk or fourth stateroom with a bunk.
Access to the crew cabin is via a hatch from the cockpit under the bridge ladder. This cabin could be a teenage hangout; it has a single berth, sink and head, but no shower. The stairs to the bridge fold into an overhead recess.
The Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht should prove a willing partner for whatever the mood: quiet entertaining in the cockpit and salon, gracious nights in the staterooms, or a playful romp across the ocean waves. The options are almost as endless as the horizon ahead.
Fortress of Quietude
With its resin-infused construction, the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht emitted nary a creak or groan while running across the lumpy Gulf Stream. Solid insulation meant that at full throttle, my decibel meter in the salon barely registered 75, which is about the level of a vacuum cleaner. With the engines off, there was no way to know if the 17 kW generator was even running without looking at the instruments.
A Glazed Look
Sunseeker uses windows and ports to deliver light to the interior and create panoramic views from inside. Windows that are 6-by-4 feet line the salon, so seated guests have uninterrupted views on all sides. From the exterior, the glazing uses automotive technology for frameless flush mounting, turning the dark-tinted window shapes into rakish styling lines on the hull sides and house.
Take the next step: sunseeker.com