Sunseeker Ocean 182 review: £9m superyacht heavy weather sea trial

Sunseeker’s tri-deck sibling to the Ocean 90 offers exceptional living space, particularly in the new enclosed upper deck. But how does a boat with such a broad footprint perform at sea? Hugo Andreae finds out

Before you think we’ve lost the plot and suddenly started testing 55m superyachts we should probably explain that the Sunseeker Ocean 182 is not 182ft long. It’s not even close. Its actual LOA is 88ft 11in – exactly the same as the Sunseeker Ocean 90, with which it shares a hull and drivetrain.

It’s only from the main deck upwards that things start to differ, making it all the more confusing why these two closely related siblings use such different model designations.

The reason comes down to consumer expectations; based on length alone the pricing of the Sunseeker Ocean 182 looks out of kilter with 90ft models from rival brands but switch the measurement to volume (182 gross tonnes) and thanks to its wide beam and enclosed upper deck, it looks much more competitive. The only trouble is that most people have no idea what gross tonnage is and few other yards quote the figure in their literature so it’s all a bit academic anyway.

The key thing you need to know is that the Sunseeker Ocean 182 (and Ocean 90) is an exceptionally beamy boat; at 23ft 6in it is 15in wider than a Princess X95 and over 2ft wider than a Riva 90 Argo.

The new upper lounge is unexpectedly large for a craft of this length. The glass aft doors are optional

Thanks to a near vertical stem, it also carries that beam a lot further forward than normal, creating valuable extra cabin space in the bow. But the real game changer is the new enclosed upper deck that doesn’t just create another entire ‘room’ up top but enables the main helm to move up there too, freeing up yet more space on the main deck.

That all adds up to a lot of extra interior volume, but the bigger question is what that space is used for and how it affects performance, because unlike the Princess X Class or Ferretti Infynito, the hull was originally designed as a two-deck flybridge boat and it was only when customers started asking whether the upper deck could be enclosed that it was adapted into this tri-deck model.

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The result is not one of Sunseeker’s prettiest boats but to be fair to its designers the end result looks remarkably well integrated if a little top heavy – an unavoidable consequence of its relatively short LOA. It’s not as if either of its key competitors are world renowned beauties after all, even with the advantage of being clean sheet designs.

Any misgivings you may have about the Sunseeker Ocean 182’s exterior soon evaporate once you step onboard. All the things that made the Ocean 90 so appealing, such as the expansive two-tier beach club, clever X-tend seating and four large cabins are as impressive as ever, but the inside entertaining areas have been transformed.

The main deck saloon has space to spare, even with an inside staircase to the upper deck

Swings and roundabouts

With no need for a lower helm station, the whole of the main deck is opened up to form one continuous living space from the sliding aft cockpit doors all the way to the windscreen. The extra width really comes into play here, avoiding the feeling of a long, thin space that afflicts so many boats of this length.

It may be a cliché but the Sunseeker Ocean 182 really does feel like a beachside villa complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding doors onto the side deck ‘veranda’ and a very cool kitchen/dining area taking pride of place under the windscreen. There’s even a handy little cloakroom (day heads) tucked discreetly on the starboard side, and a very architectural looking glass and steel staircase that spirals up from the opposite side to the new upper deck.

This is the only route up for both crew and guests – the 90’s external staircase has been removed – but it is safe and easy to negotiate in all weathers and thanks to its stylish open tread design it doesn’t feel visually intrusive.

The open plan kitchen/diner takes pride of place on the main deck

Climb the steps and the good stuff keeps on coming, this time in the shape of a surprisingly big skylounge. Unlike the Princess X95, whose raised side decks limit the width of the skylounge, the Sunseeker Ocean 182’s spreads across the full beam and extends a fair way aft, too, resulting in a large square space with a television on one side and a vast spread of seating opposite.

Forward of this is an almost unnecessarily long L-shaped bar whose main purpose seems to be to separate the lounge from the helm rather than serving a particularly useful function.

The downside of this layout is that there isn’t much room left for outside space up here, just a rather small aft deck with a compact wet bar on one side and some freestanding furniture. The X95 doesn’t just have a much bigger aft deck with room for an outside dining table, plus sofas and sun loungers, there’s a forward one too with yet more lounging space and a hot tub.

The owner’s cabin enjoys the full width of the Ocean 182’s substantial 23ft 6in beam

The other benefit of moving the helm up top is the imperious view it allows. A tall and fully adjustable helm seat right on the centreline enjoys unbroken sightlines forward with only the chunky rear roof supports (a carry over from the 90’s hard top) providing any kind of obstruction to the full 360-degree vista.

Perhaps the only real compromise is that being a whole deck up from the action and with no opening windows to communicate with the crew, you’ll have to rely on two-way radios or headsets to liaise with them from up here, although there is of course an option for extra controls in the cockpit for berthing stern-to.

The forward VIP benefits from the extra volume of that full upright bow

Helming impressions

On the plus side, being so far removed from the engines results in an exceptionally refined cruising experience with almost no discernible noise or vibrations making their way up to the bridge. We recorded only minimal increases in sound levels from 800rpm up to its 2350rpm maximum. Talking of maximums, the 182 displays an impressive turn of speed.

Conditions were far from perfect during our sea trial, with a stiff breeze, a very considerable swell and almost full fuel and water tanks. Despite this it still romped up to top speed of 26.5 knots courtesy of the mid-spec 1,900hp MANs (1,650s are standard) – slightly down on the 28 knots we recorded on an Ocean 90 with the same engines but considerably faster than a similarly equipped X95.

Curiously, it never feels that quick from the helm, being so far removed from the action, but drop down to deck level and you’ll see from the size of the wake just how much weight is being shifted by those monster props. Use all that power and you’ll pay for it at the pumps but thanks to a very generous fuel capacity of 13,000 litres you’ll still get a cruising range of around 370nm at 20 knots with a 20% reserve or nearly 2,000nm at 7-8 knots.

There’s enough width amidships for both guest cabins to face across the beam of the boat

The one benefit of those lumpy sea conditions is that it provided an excellent test for the hull and shone a revealing light on the effect of that extra weight up top. Thankfully, it’s not as noticeable as you might think.

With the CMC electric stabilisers switched on and running at 14 knots for extra dynamic stability, it maintained a comfortable running attitude at all points of the compass; only when we slowed right down to displacement speeds with the waves on the beam did we start to notice a bit more of the pendulum effect.

Even at rest with the stabilisers switched off and the 1m swell rolling us quite dramatically from side to side, it never felt remotely alarming, perhaps because that wide beam provides more static roll resistance than a skinnier design would.

Lofty helm position gives exceptional visibility for the captain

The flip side of a fuller bow is that it tends to result in a firmer ride upwind but the 182 seemed quite happy yomping over the waves at full revs, sending clouds of spray exploding out on either side.

It did feel quite a bit firmer than the 100 Yacht we sea trialled in similarly challenging conditions, with the occasional shudder as it dropped into the deeper troughs, but this is still a well-founded boat that performs and handles better than you might expect of something so tall and wide. It’s no sportsboat but it responds well to the helm, turning in 2-3 lengths without losing too much speed.

The rest of the boat, including all four guest cabins, the crew area and engineroom are all identical to the Ocean 90 so there seems little point in repeating what we’ve already said in our previous report; suffice it to say that the wide beam works its magic once again, not only making space for generously proportioned full beam owner’s and VIP suites but also two unusually large double guest suites facing across the beam of the boat rather than the more usual fore and aft arrangement.

Sunseeker Ocean 182 specification

LOA: 88ft 11in (27.10m)
BEAM: 23ft 6in (7.16m)
DRAFT: 6ft 5in (1.95m)
DISPLACEMENT: 82.3 tonnes
FUEL CAPACITY: 13,000 litres
WATER CAPACITY: 1,500 litres
PRICE: from £7.7m ex tax (with 1,650 MAN)

Price as reviewed:

£7,700,000.00 Base price ex. VAT


We had feared that adding an extra deck to a boat that was never designed to have one might end up looking and feeling like a hastily thrown together afterthought. The truth is that the Ocean 182 is a surprisingly different and polished alternative to the 90. You do sacrifice quite a lot of outside entertaining space in exchange for that enclosed upper deck but in parts of the world where extremes of heat and cold make climate control a necessity, that’s likely to be a sacrifice worth making. And the transformative effect it has on the main deck is the icing on the cake. We’re still not convinced by the naming policy but in every other regard, the 182 is a capable and worthwhile addition to the burgeoning Ocean range.

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