No sector in boat design has been more revolutionised by the introduction of Volvo Penta’s IPS pod drive system than the sub-50ft sector – and there’s no greater ambassador for the layout changes wrought by wholesale adoption of IPS than the Sunseeker Portofino 48.

IPS was already available in this boat’s predecessor, the Portofino 47. What changed with the 48 was that IPS became the sole drive option.

With no need to accommodate the shaftdrive layout that pushed the engines forward in the hull on the 47, a whole 3ft of extra space opened up in the centre of the boat and Sunseeker’s first sub-50ft sportscruiser with a full-beam master cabin was born.

Designed by Don Shead and launched in 2010, the Portofino 48 continues Sunseeker’s bent for sporty-looking boats – certainly it’s a sleeker-looking profile than the V48 that Princess launched three years later. Unashamedly sportscruiser in genre, the Sunseeker’s upper deck is pure cockpit, there is no deck saloon version.

It’s that eminently sporty nature that attracted James Eyre, the owner of this boat, to it. He bought it from Sunseeker Torquay to replace a Jeanneau 390 Sport that he kept
in Torquay Marina.

“We were deciding between a Predator 62 or a Portofino 48 for  the next boat. What swung it for the Portofino was firstly that it’s a more useful size for the smaller UK harbours we go into, such as  Salcome or the Helford River. But  we also preferred the open-backed hardtop rather than the deck saloon arrangement of the larger boats. It means that when the kids finish swimming, they can come straight into the hardtop area of the boat yet it’s still outside of the cabin so there’s no issue with wet clothing and towels.”

Watch the video above to see more on the Sunseeker Portofino 48 and San Remo and read the full Used Boat feature in the June 2017 issue of the magazine.