Parker Sorrento 100 review: 50-knot cruiser with a killer aft cabin

Capable of sleeping up to six people, while also providing a huge cockpit, plenty of performance, lovely looks and a tempting price, it's no surprise that Alex Smith walked away from the Parker Sorrento very impressed

When cold 30-knot winds roll in unchecked from the east, Essex can be a sobering place to go boating. It was with good reason then that the guys at decided to confine our drive of the new Parker Sorrento 100 to a more placid test zone, tucked safely away from the raging sea on the gentle waters of the Crouch.

At least we I would get out in the water and see if the combination of a stepped hull and twin 300hp Verados could deliver on Parker’s promise of 46 knots – and although we have no wish to ruin the suspense, it absolutely does.

Right from the start, pick-up is urgent, handling is agile and, in spite of those winds lashing at the elevated structure of the new Parker Sorrento 100, control over trim is very easy.

It’s the simplest thing in the world to throttle on to 46.8 knots, and when you want to play, there’s loads of heel available, as well as unrelenting grip from the props.

Of course, none of this should come as a great surprise. After all, outboard-powered sportsboats are what Parker is all about. But when you think how much this boat packs in, both for the cruiser and the day boater, its gregarious light-footed potency starts to seem all the more impressive.

There’s much more to the Parker’s drive than just speed

Do-it-all deck layouts

The Sorrento uses a hard-top design with huge windows and a massive sunroof to combine some of the most welcome elements of both open and closed boating. Better still, there are no side decks, so the entire 10ft 4in beam is made available for internal volume and you absolutely feel that in the cockpit.

On the starboard side, behind the single helm seat, a tapered wet bar uses a lid that slides aft to create an additional work surface. Opposite that, a huge raised dinette uses a reversible backrest at the twin co-pilot bench and a sliding backrest at the aft sunbed so you can rig it for six or seven people.

It can also be converted into a large double guest bed and cordoned off from the outside world thanks to integrated canvases that zip around the aft end. And there’s still space for a broad companionway that works its way across to the port side where a door in the screen takes you safely forward to the bow lounge.

The beamy foredeck sun lounger is much more accommodating than you have a right to expect

That bow lounge is a feature of genuine merit too, thanks to a raised three-man lounger with integrated backrests, drop-down armrests and built-in storage with charging points. But it’s the back end of this boat that’s likely to win the most admirers, courtesy of an elevated sunbed that conceals a really effective aft cabin.

Now we know what you’re thinking. An aft cabin on a 34ft boat will only ever be a quirky little space with novel camping vibes where you can whack the kids for the odd night’s sleep. But by running the bed fore-and-aft beneath the raised mouldings of that big port dinette, the space down there is really outstanding.

There’s plenty of room to sit up in bed, plus good views past the outboards thanks to a panoramic transom window. There’s also a welcome extra window out onto the cockpit deck and, in stark contrast to most cabins of its type, there’s a decent changing and storage area at the access point, as well as additional storage beneath the bed.

All of this makes such a key difference because, while a lot of people are reluctant to sleep their kids in the aft cabin for security reasons, this boat enables you and your partner to pop the kids forward and take the aft cabin for yourselves.

The dinette uses reversible backrests fore and aft

That’s not to say that the bow cabin is the poor relation though. On the contrary, some generous beam at the bow plus some decent elevation at the helm and foredeck creates space for a good size of bed with plenty of peripheral shelving.

There’s lots of storage again too, thanks to a port hanging locker and a very cleanly moulded compartment beneath the bed, ahead of the bow thruster. And the starboard heads compartment also comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s large enough for a proper toilet and sink and it’s lofty enough for lots of high-level storage, plus a separate shower with full standing headroom and its own moulded seat.

Critical compromises?

No boat is perfect and the compromises Parker has decided to make inevitably have consequences. For instance, in common with a lot of compact modern sportscruisers that aim to deliver as much usable volume as possible, the fuel tank is pretty small.

A separate shower with seat is very welcome on a boat of this size

In fact, at 465 litres, it’s a shade smaller than that of the Aquador 300HT – and that’s in spite of the fact that this boat uses twin 300s rather than 200s. It’s good to see then that the Sorrento’s cruising efficiency looks quite positive.

Fuel flow of between 2.7 and 2.9 litres per mile at everything from 25 to 39 knots nudges the range just beyond 130 miles. And while that might not seem like much, there are very few circumstances when the average family boater is going to require more.

In terms of practicalities, you could also argue that the starboard side of the cockpit works so hard that it begins to flex the boundary between generosity of features and ergonomic common sense. For instance, you have to adjust the helm seat forward in order to lift the wet bar lid, and you have to adjust it back again in order to lower the helm’s drop-down foot brace.

The absence of opening side windows and side decks also means that single-handed helming is likely to prove quite awkward from that relatively ‘contained’ helm. But in fairness to Parker, a side window option is on the way and the fact that you can stand up and peer over the screen rim to communicate with people when coming alongside also helps.

The fact that the aft cabin will happily sleep an adult couple makes the Sorrento very practical for a family of four

Quality also feels really good throughout and with that stepped hull, allied to neat little angles in the tinted windows and lots of topside glazing to help take the weight out of the profile, it’s a really lovely boat to look at too.

In short then, the Parker Sorrento is one of those rare boats that provides a bit of everything without failing in any critical regard. It takes the volume of a cruiser, the deck layout of a day boat and the power of a performance boat and then adds a full-beam cockpit and a huge aft cabin to the mix.

It shelters all of that with a wraparound glass structure, opens it up with a big overhead sunroof and uses sufficiently raised bow and helm mouldings to factor in a proper forward cabin and a heads compartment with separate shower.

The port companionway does steal a bit of headroom from the forward cabin

Parker likes to call it “the ultimate day boat and weekender” and that is of course a pretty bold claim. But even in a world that contains brands like Axopar, the degree of recreational versatility the Sorrento provides feels way out of proportion to its scale and price.

Parker Sorrento 100 specifications

LOA: 34ft 5in (10.48m)
BEAM: 10ft 4in (3.15m)
DRAFT: 1ft 5in (0.42m)
ENGINES: Twin 200-350hp Mercury Verado outboards
RCD: B10
PRICE: £299,950 inc VAT

Price as reviewed:

£299,950.00 inc VAT

Latest reviews

Latest videos