— By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
— December 2003
|Part 2: If it weren’t for the manatee zones, the 37 could’ve gone fast enough to air-dry both of us.|
What the 37 was lacking in overall fishability, she made up for in performance. D’Agostino headed the 37 out of Hillsboro Inlet, and as the clouds thickened and rain began to pour down, I stood in front of the helm at the curved lounge to read speeds on my radar gun. D’Agostino punched the triple throttles, and she took off like a big blue bullet traveling down a rifle barrel. Her hand-laid solid-fiberglass hull bottom, which has twin steps for added lift and reduced drag and spray, was propelled across a flat-calm Atlantic at a neck-snapping average top speed of 54.4 mph at 5500 rpm. Her speed turned the falling rain into a painful freshwater facial (one word: isinglass). You can expect a comfortable cruise in the neighborhood of 39.3 mph at 4000 rpm.
I was surprised to find out this boat was not equipped with the optional Yamaha fuel-management system. As such, I was unable to get fuel-flow numbers on test day, although Sunseeker claims a WOT burn of 58.6 gph. Suffice it to say that her 400-gallon tank offers enough range to run across the ’Stream for a day or weekend jaunt. But if you do, carry a lot of oil; two-stroke engines ravenously eat it. There are three two-gallon reservoirs for the engines in the transom to starboard, and a stowage area just forward and to port of the helm has space for spare gallon containers. Maybe there’ll be an oil-saving four-stroke option in the future?
After completing my speed measurements, I worked my way back to the helm to get some wheel time. I found her Drive Master power steering so smooth that I tended to oversteer at first. The throttles sat directly under my right hand, with the smaller transmission controls to their right. It took me a few minutes to adjust to this setup, but once I got going, the 37 was criminal fun. Sightlines were excellent at all speeds. The sea state on test day was flat, so I can’t comment on her rough-water handling, but the 37 ran smooth throughout her engines’ rpm range. Rain-soaked and wrung out, D’Agostino and I made a beeline for the dock. If it weren’t for the manatee zones, the 37 could’ve gone fast enough to air-dry both of us.
Shaking out my wet head, I got ready to call it a day and pondered if this noted builder had hit the mark with the 37. I would say for a first entry into the center console sportfisherman market, yes. While I would not consider the 37 a hard-core fishboat—and ultimately I don’t believe that’s her mission—she’s solid as a hybrid sportfisherman-cruiser, takes the cake in fit and finish in her size class, and ranks quite high in performance. Her sexy lines also make her an attractive tender for a larger vessel. And though the center-console market offers stiff competition, the Sportfisher 37’s multitasking ability makes this English import a contender.
Suneeker Florida Phone: (954) 786-1866. www.sunseeker.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.