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The space inside the new Sunseeker Portofino 48 really does not seem credible.

How can it be that Sunseeker have taken their outgoing Portofino 47 (see MBY Feb 2008), a closely related sportscruiser with all but the same hull length and exactly the same beam, and produce a sportscruiser with a palatial full-beam owner’s ensuite where there once was just a body-hugging twin-berth cabin?

The answer lies with Volvo and IPS. Unlike the 47, there’s no shaftdrive option, so Sunseeker’s designers get their hands on the extra length used for the shafty engines, which would sit further forward.

With around three foot of extra hull length to play with, the huge light filled owner’s cabin became a reality.

Sunseeker Portofino 48 Owner's Cabin

Space aside, three things stand out. Just like shaft or sterndrive boats, not all IPS boats handle the same – some are good, some not so good.

Fortunately, this boat’s handling and dynamics are excellent, either flat out or manoeuvring around the marina – as good as any we’ve tried.

Secondly, the scissor-action forward berths, that allow owners the choice between a pair of single berths or a big double, add immeasurably to the 48’s flexibility.

The icing on the cake is the abnormally raised seating area to port, in the position where most builders plonk a sunbed to gain the necessary headroom for the cabin below.

But this seating is so much more versatile. Stand up on the elevated floor, head and shoulders clear of the hardtop, and it becomes a truly great place for rubbernecking.

Plus, with the autopilot engaged, it provides the perfect conning position for crew to help with safe pilotage into unfamiliar harbours.

For much more on this stunning boat, read our 10-page report in the August 2010 issue, out now.

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