Try to disregard the amazing styling for a moment and view the Manhattan 44 dispassionately as an ordinary flybridge powerboat.
Try to disregard the amazing styling for a moment and view the Manhattan 44 dispassionately as an ordinary flybridge powerboat. It faces some very stiff competition these days. There are boats fighting in the same arena which are faster with the same engines (the Fairline Phantom 42), bigger inside (the Sealine F44), and far less expensive (the Princess 430 ). And there are things that could be improved on the 44: flybridge stowage and helm ergonomics for instance, and noise levels.
But the Manhattan 44 is a tough competitor itself. On the plus side three things stand out and they’re significant things. Firstly, the standard of finish and attention to detail is as good as it gets there are only a few other builders who rival Sunseeker here. A second point is that the quality of the engineering installation is similarly impressive just because boats are CE marked now, don’t kid yourself that they are all built to the same standards. And if you’re inclined to take full advantage of the Don Shead hull in wild conditions, it may be comforting to know that the internal structure is the most substantial I’ve seen on this size of boat.
There are things that are difficult to quantify or not immediately obvious. Most boatbuilders claim to offer exceptional after sales back-up. However, unless there is a Sunseeker owners’ misinformation conspiracy, the feedback I’ve received does suggest a remarkable service. For instance, in Palma, which is home to over 2,300 Sunseekers, the British agent Malcolm Andrews leaves his mobile phone switched on permanently it even goes to bed with him. During our test in Puerto Portals, he disappeared to rescue a customer whose car had broken down.
So what of the dispassionate view? This is, of course, very difficult boats arouse strong emotions in people. Take the boat’s owner, for instance, ex Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell. Here is somebody who understands that “boating is about people, not boats”. And yet I’ve rarely seen anyone so inspired by a boat he oozed genuine passion for his new Manhattan 44. When I asked him to explain the source of his feelings, there was no hesitation: “It’s the amazing and dramatic styling. We’re in the most fashionable marina in Palma, but there’s nothing here that looks like her.”
He’s right of course. If you are looking for a radically styled 44ft (13.4m) flybridge boat, this is about as revolutionary as they come.
LOA 44ft 0in (13.41m)
Hull Length 43ft 0in (13.11m)
Beam 13ft 9in (4.20m)
Draught 3ft 3in (1.00m)
Air draught 15ft 1in (4.60m)
Displacement 13.9 tonnes (light) 15.4 tonnes (loaded)
Fuel capacity 264 imp gal (1,200lt)
Water capacity 110 imp gal (500lt)
RPM Speed Trim GPH MPG Range
1,800 12.4 6.0° 13.9 0.89 188
2,000 15.6 6.0° 16.8 0.93 196
2,200 18.9 6.0° 20.4 0.93 196
2,400 22.4 6.0° 24.8 0.89 188
2,600 25.3 6.0° 31.7 0.80 169
2,800 28.8 6.0° 39.6 0.73 153
Range figures allow for 20% reserve, 50% fuel, 75% water, 6 crew
Flat water. Wind strength: Force 2
Maximum Speed 28.8 knots
Maximum Range 153 miles @ 2,800
Cruising Speed 25.3 knots
Sound levels dB(A) Saloon Cockpit Flybridge
Cruising @ 25.3 knots 82 93 85
Maximum @ 28.8 knots 83 95 87
Price from £306,675 ex VAT Price as tested £349,615 ex VAT
Sunseeker, Don Shead, Ken Freivokh