Yacht Class n°15 (dec 2018/jan-feb 2019)
This novelty did not take long before finding her place in the “sportfly”. From her emanates what is known as an undeniable dynamism and she proves it with a performance of 33 knots. She also has justified claims in the field of conviviality and habitability. Her stated goal: cruising in modern comfort.
Written by Alain Brousse – Photos : Jérôme Kélagopian
The Sport Yacht family has only two models, the 68 ‘and the 74’. She appeared in 2009 with much larger units, 110 and 130 feet. But today, it designates sportfly boats, an open hard-top with a discreet flybridge that fits perfectly into a dynamic profile. Obviously, fans of exterior design will recognize at 74 a certain pace. The balance between the lines, mostly tense, gives her character. The leaders of the brand never fail to specify: “we design all drawings internally”. Congratulations to the Sunseeker design department who had the expert hand, and managed to combine the vast glass surfaces with the forms of superstructures, an exercise that is not easy. We reserve the best score for the flanks. Elegant, the 74 ‘Sport Yacht naturally expresses the performance, enough to attract us to its controls, not without having to check before the propulsion – of the classic – is a pair of V12 MAN of 1 550 hp each, in other words the standard power … Note that the access through the central hatch of the cockpit is not easy, the low headroom requiring a minimum of flexibility.
Very pleasant to drive
Once reassured on the mechanical assembly, we climb on the flybridge by a staircase well studied and reassuring. Two seats, typified “armchair”, ergonomic, position us in front of a dashboard neither too large nor too small. With a 360-degree view, the bow thruster and a joystick, the manoeuvre becomes a formality. Admittedly, on the day of our test, the conditions were ideal: clear sun and weak sea breeze, unable to generate dunnage with this yacht with contained superstructures. Past the lighthouse we address the two MAN via inverters: “let there be power!” In fact, in just 13 seconds the Sunseeker goes from 0 to 20 knots, which denotes the dynamism we suspected even before pushing her further. It is on a lazy Mediterranean sea that we will reach the maximum speed determined by the yard, namely 33 knots. Mission accomplished for this unit that, at 1,750 rpm, cruises, its route to 20 knots and provides a range of 335 miles. It is noted that from 2000 rpm, and that up to the maximum speed, the yield curve flattens, which reflects a more pronounced efficiency of the hull at high speeds. As proof, the range is around 275 miles when the unit is sailing at 25 knots or better at 33 knots. The on-board sound level test, conducted in the salon, revealed values between 61 dB at 1000 rpm (10.4 knots) and 77 dB at full speed (33 knots at 2360 rpm). The Sunseeker 74 ‘exists in an even more powerful version, namely 2 x 1,900 hp MAN, for a maximum speed of 38 knots. Whatever her engine version, she has two cockpits, that of the fly from which one enjoys a total visibility, or almost, but where one really should not rely on the protection of the windshield profiled. At 30 knots the lungs are filled with iodized air. At a temperature of 25 degrees it is very pleasant. At the slightest weather alert we will join the wheelhouse of the main deck that knows how to be discreet in this very bright reception area. We immediately become familiar with the screens and navigation instruments. As for the visibility, it remains correct. Just above the control station, the sky-light window opens but can also be obscured by an electric curtain.
The fly a good surprise
The opening of the smoke-filled window in the living room stops at the back of the cockpit bench, but the view to the outside does not suffer. In fact, the main deck lounge has good light. It feels immediately at ease. The dark oak floor is not a spoilsport, quite the opposite. The lounge-dining room on starboard (6 to 8 seats) faces a piece of furniture that hides a retractable TV screen. We will appreciate the storage, including those placed under the seat of the bench.
This 74 feet was designed with the open kitchen just down the stairs to the lower deck. It has all the equipment, including a wine cellar and a fridge-freezer, although a little visible. Adjacent to the stoves, we discover a small square that certainly enlarges the space but whose usefulness remains to be proven … As for the cabins, they are gathered at the waterline, with each of the large portholes and a sub-beam height largely sufficient. The master, full width, occupies the centre of the yacht, while the VIP is housed in the bow, in front of the guest cabin (twins). Each has its own bathroom with separate shower. At the end of this test, it is clear that the Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht testifies to all the experience of the English shipyard. Her pace will not fail to seduce, her liveability, comfort and ergonomics make her essential. Like her wake, her career seems all drawn.