Sunseeker Predator 65 Reviewed

The Sunseeker Predator 65 evolved from the 65 Sport Yacht, removing the upper deck and adding a carbon-fiber-and-glass sunroof.

Sunseeker Predator 65
Even in an aerial view, the 35-knot Sunseeker Predator 65 cuts a sporty line. Courtesy Sunseeker International

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The Sunseeker Predator 65 is a 35-knot bundle of fun.

Based on the same hull as its sistership, the 65 Sport Yacht, the Predator 65 has an even purer profile. It eliminates features such as the 65 Sport Yacht’s upper deck, extra stairs, and sports-fly setup with a low-slung driving position, and instead offers a sliding carbon-fiber-and-glass sunroof—which means a proper open-yacht vibe on the main deck. There’s also a foredeck terrace and various cockpit furniture choices, along with a swim platform that can combine with the garage to create a beach club. Suffice it to say, during the day, the outdoors is awesome.

The standard cockpit setup includes a conventional transom sofa and a pair of bar stools to port. The stools help transform the aft-galley countertop into a bar, thanks to a drop-down electric window. Alternatively, an L-shaped sofa and bigger table to port can make the cockpit an even comfier alfresco hangout.

In addition to the galley aft, the salon has an amidships lounge and a two-seat helm offset to starboard. Amidships, flanked by full-height picture windows, the standard lounge area combines a booth sofa and an extendable table to port, and a two-seat sofa to starboard. An alternative layout loses the galley up so the lounge sofas to port can stretch all the way to the deck doors aft.

Sunseeker Predator 65
The master stateroom has ocean views via the hullside windows, along with a king-size berth. Courtesy Sunseeker International

Sunseeker’s interiors have the sort of refinement found in high-quality cars, and that’s rare aboard boats. Take the bridge area, which is beautifully detailed and ergonomically clever. All the usual information is neatly presented on two Garmin touchscreen multifunction displays configured with Volvo Penta’s Glass Cockpit software, but I couldn’t take my eyes off a pair of small, round digital displays beneath them, providing essential driver information. Skippers choose what these round displays show by twisting a knob; speed, fuel state and rudder angle are what I wanted to see.

Belowdecks, the accommodations include a standard three or optional four staterooms, plus a day head. The owners’ space is amidships aft, with a forward-facing king berth, a vanity to starboard, a chaise lounge or breakfast booth for two to port, and a shower room to starboard. The VIP stateroom is in the bow, and a twin-berth en suite guest stateroom is to starboard.

There are four options for the amidships area to port, which is effectively the area outside the owners’ stateroom door. A utility area is standard. The Predator 65 that I got aboard, which was headed for the US East Coast, had this layout, with plenty of linen stowage and space for the washer-dryer. Another option is for this space to become a galley down or a section of an enlarged owners’ stateroom with a study. Or it can be turned into a mini salon or fourth stateroom, albeit with room for just a single bunk.

Sunseeker Predator 65
The Predator 65’s hull form grips the sea and helps provide agile handling for helmsmen. Courtesy Sunseeker International

For power, owners can choose from twin 900 hp Volvo Penta D13-IPS1200s or 1,000 hp D13-IPS1350s. All 65 Sport Yacht and Predator 65 orders to date have included the larger powerplants.

Sunseeker’s Predator boats have enviable handling reputations, and this one doesn’t disappoint. There was a serious breeze for our English Channel jaunt on board, which meant we had to pick our moments for pushing the throttles to their stops. Flat out at just over 2,400 rpm, the Predator 65 hit about 35 knots every time. This was running the yacht at around half-load and with an empty garage.

The eco-cruise range, in theory, could be as high as 1,100 nautical miles at 7.5 knots or 580 nautical miles at 10 knots. But given the need for speed of most Predator 65 buyers, 325 nautical miles at 23 knots is the more interesting calculation.

Personally, I prefer the Predator 65 to the 65 Sport Yacht. As good as the SkyHelm is on the 65 Sport Yacht—and it is very good—I never spend much time in the upstairs driver’s seat. Whereas, with a Predator 65, the roof would only ever close with the setting of the sun. 

Sunseeker Predator 65
Volvo Penta’s pod-drive system helps the Predator 65 in overall performance and maneuverability. Courtesy Sunseeker International

Space to Spare

The Predator 65’s tender garage is supposedly 1.5 times wider than the Predator 74’s. It can house a 12-foot jet tender as well as several smaller toys. Fully decked out, it can help transform the stern into a beach club.

Inside Matters

Various light-dark schemes are available for the Predator 65. The boat I got aboard had the most popular combination: a dark, satin-sheen smoked eucalyptus with silver-oak soles. Other veneer choices include earth-gray oak, American black walnut and wenge, all in satin or high-gloss finishes.

Class Glass

The Predator 65’s double-curved, laminated windscreen is reportedly one of the biggest single panes of glass ever installed aboard a Sunseeker model.

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