The Sunseeker Predator 57 has plenty of party tricks but how does it perform on the water? Read our exclusive sea trial review to find out
When the design team behind the Sunseeker Predator 57 endowed it with cockpit doors that disappear into the deck and one of the largest retracting roofs you’ll see on a boat this size, they probably didn’t envisage it happening on a bitter February morning in Poole Harbour.
Yes, whereas the ice in the brochures is bobbing gently in a fresh G&T, the ice on our test was being scraped off the foredeck.
Never mind though, this gave us the opportunity to see the other side to the Predator 57’s character – the shut-the-door-and-go winter cruiser.
As easily as you can peel back the outside and expose yourself to the elements you can also shut everything tight, turn the heating up and insulate yourself from them.
Not only was the winter chill kept at bay but so too was the rumble of the twin Volvo Penta D13 900hp engines, meaning we could maintain conversation at a civilized volume even when charging along at the top speed of 34 knots.
If that’s not fast enough there is a 45-knot, Arneson-propelled twin MAN 1,200hp version and you can also have it with IPS.
Power and performance
So performance is typically Sunseeker but what about the looks, also crucial to the charms of a Predator? My personal view – and styling is totally subjective – is that from some angles, namely rear 3/4, it looks great but from front on and profile can look a bit tall and stubby.
Part of that is down to the sheer height of the tender garage structure but on the flip side this gives you space for a Williams 325 and you can almost stand up straight in the garage itself, which is great if you’re lugging heavy kit in and out.
Below decks it’s striking how solid and high quality the interior feels. This is no massive surprise, Sunseeker is a prolific boat builder, but sometimes this quality is overshadowed by the more obvious attributes like styling and performance.
The master cabin is totally gorgeous and boasts a flat floor, which is something that a lot of rivals don’t. The best part is the decision to resist the urge to fit a chaise longue, which looks great in brochures but is next to useless in reality (if I want to lie down I’ll use the bed) with a small breakfast dinette.
You can read the full report on the Sunseeker Predator 57 in the April 2015 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.
As well as being stylish and punchy on the water, the Predator 57 is also an extremely versatile, year-round cruising machine