Boating: Soaking Up the Sunseeker
When boat owners upgrade, they typically do so in incremental steps, acquiring only marginally larger boats that still feel familiar and comfortable. However, one owner of a 68-foot Sunseeker, a Mexican businessman, was not going to follow this traditional progression. Instead, he wanted to leapfrog as much as 40 feet up the boat ladder, while remaining loyal to the British boatbuilder. This left him with two options: He could commission a Sunseeker 105, a yacht built for leisurely cruising that the company calls “a palace,” or he could acquire Sunseeker’s new Predator 108, a model with as much interior space as the 105 but with vastly greater power. Not surprisingly, he selected the Predator 108, a stately but sleek $9.6 million vessel. Sunseeker completed his Predator—the company’s first—last year and displayed it last fall at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Sunseeker offers a base-model Predator powered by twin MTU diesel engines, but the initial model includes an even more robust package. It features three MTUs and triple Arneson surface drives that give the yacht a top speed of nearly 50 mph—a rapid rate for a vessel that weighs more than 80 tons. In terms of size and speed, the Predator is comparable to Pershing’s new 115-footer, a sport-tuned cruiser that is the largest model ever constructed by the Italian builder. When equipped with twin MTU diesels, the Pershing will match the Predator’s top velocity, and when fitted with an optional 5,100 hp turbine, it will exceed speeds of 65 mph.
While Sunseeker acknowledges the performance capabilities of Pershing’s boats, it touts its vessels’ interiors for offering more refinement. With the first Predator 108, Sunseeker designed a spacious interior for its owner, who plans to use his yacht as a floating office where he can conduct business and host clients, and as a recreational vessel for entertaining his family and friends. The centerpiece of the Predator is the saloon. It has a 20-foot, 8-inch beam and seems even roomier because of the natural light that floods into the space. The saloon also is equipped with a retractable roof that can be opened to let in even more light. For entertainment, the saloon includes a 42-inch LCD TV and CD and DVD systems.
Belowdecks, the Predator can sleep eight and house four crew members. The owner’s office is adjacent to the full-beam master stateroom, which includes a 42-inch pop-up LCD TV. The VIP guest stateroom is placed forward and is furnished with a queen-size bed. The two other guest staterooms have twin beds and en suite baths.