Sunseeker Manhattan 56 buyers guide: An unashamedly traditional flybridge

Our resident used boat expert Nick Burnham explains how to pick out a good Sunseeker Manhattan 56 on the secondhand market.

Brochures, particularly for large boats, are full of enticing analogies for their boat interiors. ‘Loft apartment styling’ is frequently used, ‘boutique hotel’ is another.

Which is all well and good, but it begs the question, what’s wrong with a boat interior looking like, well, a boat interior?

Welcome to the Sunseeker Manhattan 56, perhaps one of the last of an era that doesn’t try to be anything else.

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Launched in 2000, it wasn’t a direct replacement for an existing model, it slotted between the Manhattan 48 and the Manhattan 62 (previously the 58 until an extended bathing platform was added), both of which ceased production in 1999.

The boatiness starts on the exterior, there are no large hull windows on the Manhattan 58, just a run of traditional oval portholes.

The sheerline is relatively low compared with modern boats (you can reach the cleats without standing on tiptoe) and the superstructure is very Sunseeker of the era, plenty of curves and teardrop-shaped saloon windows.

It was love at first sight for Graham Mackie, who owned a Manhattan 56 for nine years – by far the longest he’d ever kept a boat: “We were in Calais on my Sealine 43 when I first saw a Manhattan 56. The look of it is stunning, it just has a stance and a presence to it, it’s like an Aston Martin.”

Gary Wilson, owner of the boat you see here, agrees: “I totally get the desire for big hull windows and the view they give. But I think there is something to be said for stainless rimmed portholes, it just looks more boat!”

Read Nick’s full used boat report on the Sunseeker Manhattan 56 in the April issue of MBY, which is out now.


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