A must-discover flybridge
YACHT CLASS N°10 (Sept-oct-nov 2017)
Just after her launch, the brand new Manhattan 66' had immediately received resounding reviews.
To get to the bottom of this, we went to Majorca to discover her assets and evaluate the merits of this spontaneous interest. This four-cabin flybridge has arguments to seduce yachtsmen in love with cruising, modern comfort and performances.
Text : Alain Brousse – Photos : DR
Sunseeker executives and design department can boast introducing the brand new 66' in its Manhattan flybridge family, a unit entirely different from her namesake created in 2003. Only five months after her world debut at the London boat show 2017, followed the same month by Düsseldorf, thirty-six units were commissioned. Who can say better ? Still in the Manhattan family, the 52' had booked eighty-five orders before summer, less than a year after her world premiere in Cannes 2016. Hence, the optimism of the brand marketing manager, Brian Jones who welcomed us near Palma, in Porto Adriano marina, where a Manhattan 66' was ready to comply to our journalist-tester's demands. But first, let's get acquainted with the relatively modern and dynamic lines conceived by Sunseeker design department in Pool. As Phil Popham, the shipyard CEO, likes to remind : "we have many talents in-house to avoid calling upon external architects and designers". Q.E.D. Plus this is a way to swiftly and surely ensure an overall consistence in the design and arrangements of the various models. One thing is certain, the brand was able to create a unique style, in particular thanks to its rather personal glazed surfaces design. And this is even more obvious on units over 80 feet.
Pleasant and easy piloting
So, we are aboard a three-deck that offers a lower and a main deck, plus the flybridge. Since we decided to pilot with the outdoor commands, we head first towards the latter, via a staircase with wide and deep steps… perhaps too wide and deep as they take up space in the cockpit, but at least, the climb is safe. There, the optional hard-top with its central opening section is highly recommended for some shade, especially at anchor. The helm station features two comfortable armchairs, whose seating portion partially rises for those who choose to pilot in a standing position. As for the engine configuration, this Manhattan comes with the usual twin 1 200 hp MAN diesel engines, coupled with shaft drives. However, she is also available with pods : 2 x Volvo Penta IPS1250. A less powerful configuration (2 x 1 000 hp) that should offer a better yield and a slightly faster speed. Our test model is a "standard" Manhattan. After easily leaving our berth to go off Majorca, a slightly choppy Mediterranean gives us the leeway to carry out our tests without fear of impacts… although, according to captain who conveyed her from Southern England to the Balearics, her hull has a good stability in the waves. Powered by two MAN, this "nearly" 21-metres-long only needed 18 seconds to go from standstill to her cruising speed of 20.3 knots at 1 800rpm, which corresponds to a 321 miles range. Her maximum speed is more than honourable : 30.1 knots. Crossing the 30 knots threshold is undoubtedly an asset for this type of flybridge unit. At the helm, our impressions remain constant at any speed : a pleasant piloting, a good visibility, no annoying vibrations, no unusual sound level (61 to 76 dbA in the wheelhouse with the sliding bay window open). The Manhattan turns quickly with a decent gyration angle. We easily get accustomed to the ergonomic dashboard. Note that the lateral door, near the armchair, allows the captain to quickly reach the forward technical area or the extra helm station in the cockpit.
A four-cabin, perfect in every way
Everything is provided to ensure outdoor relaxation, starting on the foredeck with its dinette for six and its sunbeds with headrests. But for a barbecue-type meal, the perfect place is the 23 m2 flybridge. Its salon can accommodate eight guests while the slightly prominent kitchenette (grill, sink, fridge and cabinets) is perfect to prepare "holidays" snacks. Entirely shaded by the flybridge, the cockpit also performs two functions : a lounge for snacks or a dining room with a stunning sea view. Its bar - an option chosen by the owner - is unnecessary in our opinion since it significantly reduces the cockpit surface. It also partly conceals the interior galley (that can also be fitted below decks), right between the cockpit and the indoor dining tables, in the main common area gathering the wheelhouse, the saloon and the co-pilot sofa. Opposite the galley, a staircase leads below deck where is located the en-suite master cabin. No promiscuity then for the shipowner. As for the guests, they will take the staircase left of the wheelhouse to discover a forward VIP and two twin cabins. For this production model, the owner can, however, choose the fabrics and wood species (stained oak or walnut).
Exhibited during the upcoming Cannes Yachting Festival, the Sunseeker Manhattan 66 deserves to be visited and tested. She should confirm once more her undeniable success, in front of the Palais des Festivals.
- Overall length : 20,81 m
- Max beam : 5,26 m
- Draft : 1,80 m
- Fuel : 4 000 l
- Water : 900 l
- Material: polyester
- Displacement : 38,5 t
- Engine : 2 x 1 200 ch MAN
- Max speed : 30,1 nds
- Cruising speed : 20,3 nds à 1 800 tr/min
- Cruising range : 321 milles
- Architect & designer : R & D Department
- Builder : Sunseeker Yachts (Poole - Angleterre)
- Importers : Sunseeker Monaco (Monaco) et Sunseeker France (Mandelieu-La-Napoule)