The Sunseeker Manhattan 52 is the smallest flybridge boat that the Poole yard has built in a decade. The timing couldn’t be better with fresh 50ft competition from the major British brands and more on the way from big players in Europe, too.

With so many new boats for customers to choose from it’s the little things that will sway them one way or the other and on the Manhattan that little thing might just be the clever mini “beach club” on the transom. This includes a concealed BBQ grill, flip-down bench seat and smart overhead shower system.

Combined with the optional hydraulic bathing platform it makes for a useful extra outdoor socialising space to accompany the cockpit, foredeck seating area and flybridge.

The cockpit merges smoothly with the saloon thanks to a drop-down window, bi-fold doors and a galley-aft layout makes serving the decks as easy as possible. The middle part of the saloon is the main socialising space indoors and is raised a touch to supply plenty of headroom in the full-beam midships cabin below.

Another neat feature sees the twin helm seats flip forwards over the helm to create more seating space opposite the dinette when the helm is not in use.

Below decks, aside from the spacious master ensuite, there is a double VIP in the bow that is ensuite to the day heads shared with the twin third cabin.

Designed to use Volvo Penta D11 725s on shafts or IPS950 Sunseeker claims the 52 will be good for 33 knots flat out. Our test boat was fitted with the former and topped out a knot short of Sunseeker’s quoted top speed but handling was tight and agile.

In days gone by the focus of a Sunseeker like this would be on performance and driver enjoyment but the market has changed so Sunseeker has delivered on what most customers really want today: living space. Every part of the deck and interior feels as if it has been maximised to provide as much space as possible.

You can read the full report in the November 2016 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

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