With its Skyhelm concept, Sunseeker has transformed the driving experience from the flybridge, but is there more to the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht than its brilliant helm station? Jack Haines joins it on a trip from Southampton to Poole to find out.
Where do you start with the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht? The way it looks, maybe? Sleek, muscular and proportioned to perfection, it might be the best looking model in Sunseeker’s current range.
Or maybe the accommodation? Three beautifully appointed cabins with access to their own equally impressive bathrooms. Then there’s the cavernous tender garage, which can swallow a Williams 345 and a Seabob but, with a teak-laid floor, optional overhead shower and a hi-lo bathing platform that elegantly glides down diagonal tracks into the water, could also be used as a beach club.
Let’s not forget the power. Volvo Penta IPS1350s (or 1200s, though it’s unlikely many will be built with the smaller engines) with a combined total of 2,000hp, which will propel this 38-tonne sportsbridge to a top speed a whisker shy of 35 knots.
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The price? Well, all told, the one we tested came in at just under £3.1 million including VAT, which is quite punchy if you’re of the opinion that you’re getting half the amount of flybridge deck compared to a Manhattan.
This boat had some high-ticket items on board, though, like the £200,000 Mediterranean Package and £140,000 worth of Seakeeper 16 gyroscopic stabiliser.
The sportsbridge design may mean that you have less space to enjoy on the top deck but in this instance it is also home to the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht’s trump card, the ace up its sleeve and a piece of fresh thinking design that is so successful it’s hard to believe it’s not been done before.
I’m talking about the ‘Skyhelm’. This consists of a pair of slender, bottom-hugging Besenzoni seats bolted directly to the deck and bisected by a robust aircraft-style central console that is home to the throttles, VHF, a wireless charging pad for a smartphone, an MFD and, at its peak, a pair of beautifully integrated bezelled instruments with analogue outers and configurable digital screens in the middle.
This means that in front of the helm seat there is simply a steering wheel (adjustable and the perfect size and thickness) and to the left of that, the IPS joystick; to the right the control for the Sleipner bow thruster.
You sit low – supercar low – with your legs stretched out in front of you and feet rested on a pair of foot plates. You can sit right back in the fabulous helm seat and grasp the wheel, which thrusts towards your chest, and it’s an easy reach to the stubby Volvo Penta throttle heads.
This is how you should sit to drive a boat. It feels natural, it feels right and it makes you wonder why manufacturers arrange dashboards with everything in front of you when having the controls between skipper and navigator makes so much sense.
Read Jack’s full review of the Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht in the December issue of MBY, out November 4.
Sunseeker 65 Sport Yacht specifications
LOA: 67ft 2in (20.5m)
Beam: 16ft 8in (5.1m)
Draught: 5ft 3in (1.6m)
Displacement: 37.8 tonnes
Engines: Twin 1,000hp Volvo Penta IPS1350
Top speed: 34.5 knots
Cruising range: 280nm at 20 knots
Fuel consumption: 200lph @ 20 knots
Noise: 63 dB(A) @ 20 knots
Fuel capacity: 3,500 litres
Water capacity: 800 litres
RCD category: A for 18 people
Starting price: £2.48million (inc. VAT)
Price as tested: £3.09million (inc. VAT)