105 — By Richard Thiel — December 2000
A Vision Realized
|Part 2: Sunseeker 105 continued|
That extra ton probably caused Robert some concern. His target for Hull No. 1 was 28 knots, a fair accomplishment for a fully found, 100-plus-footer powered by a pair of 1,800-hp diesels. But any concern quickly turned to elation, an emotion still apparent when I spoke with him by telephone a month later. Robert reported that after tweaking the props, the moderately loaded (90 tons) 105 hit 31.8 knots. He also says her running angle changes little more than one degree from rest to plane and at a 19-knot cruise she is whisper quiet.
I knew none of this when I first laid eyes on the 105 at the Southampton Boat Show in October. All I knew was that she looked every bit a Sunseeker--fast--and yet different. John had borrowed just enough of the Sunseeker look to maintain a clear family resemblance yet toned things down enough to make her look distinctly like a megayacht. I remembered wondering if she seemed so beautifully proportioned because of the angle from which I viewed her, until a month later when on reviewing the photography for this issue, Sara Hylan, PMY's art director, commented on what a beautiful boat this was.
An important part of Robert's vision for the 105 was almost unlimited design flexibility, and the layout of Hull No. 1 (as of this writing, six 105s have been sold) illustrates just one of many options. The Snapper, as her U.K. owner (a former Sunseeker owner) christened her, is arranged with a VIP stateroom fully forward on the main deck, complete with flat-screen television, desk, and en suite head with shower. A starboard stair leads to an atrium on the lower level, from which you can access a pair of twin-bed guest staterooms forward, each with en suite facilities, and an owner's stateroom aft. The latter has a retracting flat-screen TV, refrigerator, desk/vanity, and, separating the sleeping space from the engine room, a walk-in closet and head with shower, twin sinks, toilet, and bidet.
The rather roomy crew's and captain's quarters are fully forward and below, accessed from the port-side galley via a stairway. Here are accommodations for four, a dinette, stereo, TV, cooktop, microwave, sink, refrigerator, and washer and dryer. Rounding out the design, The Snapper has a large transom garage capable of holding both a RIB and a PWC.
To give you some idea of the flexibility inherent in the 105, compare this layout to Hull No. 2, currently being built for a U.S. owner, also a Sunseeker customer. Here the crew's quarters have been moved aft, replacing the garage, and tender stowage has been shifted to the aft section of the flying bridge. The owner's stateroom now occupies the forwardmost part of the main deck, and a stairway leads down from it to a huge head where the crew's quarters are on The Snapper.
Offering a wide range of accommodation options is by no means a unique concept in a vessel of this size, but this degree of flexibility does seems to set new standards. The Snapper has a large pilothouse, well forward and one flight up from the main level for superb visibility, and a large flying bridge accessed only from the cockpit. Here are a Jacuzzi, wetbar, refrigerator, icemaker, electric griddle, sunpad, and six-person dining table, plus a helm with instrumentation nearly as complete as the pilothouse beneath it, right down to the MTU alarm panels and Raytheon GPS/chartplotter. Hull No. 3, also currently in build and going to a Swiss who is new to Sunseeker, will raise the pilothouse to this level, significantly changing the yacht's exterior lines (Robert says he's quite pleased with the result), and turn the erstwhile pilothouse into a master stateroom. To top it off, this yacht will be painted metallic silver with a dark-blue bootstripe and silver-tinted windows to match.
Such willingness and ability to accommodate customers' every whim sets this yacht apart in this size range, which it just so happens was also part of Robert's vision. Helping to ensure that the 105 will lure away its share of buyers from considering pure custom projects is a surprising (for this kind of style, quality, and performance) base price of about $5.8 million.
How does Robert feel about seeing his vision transmuted so faithfully into reality? He's not saying. He's too busy mulling over his next vision: a 125-footer.
Sunseeker USA Phone: (954) 984-2911. Fax: (954) 984-2913. www.sunseeker.com.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.