Sunseeker Predator 55 Evo
The latest Predator offers an alluring combination of seaworthiness and panache.
Since Sunseeker splashed its first vessel in the late 60s, the company has always relied on performance and style to build a reputation. You can see this ethos from the shard-like hulls of its raceboats from the builder’s nascency to its famous and long-running association with the James Bond franchise. Simply put, if it’s not fast and sporty with a stately elegance that is noticeable at a glance, it’s not a Sunseeker. The latest launch to take the baton for this storied brand is the Predator 55 Evo.
The 55’s lines are recognizable from afar. The yacht is built with a low profile and employs details reminiscent ofa trompe l’oeil artistry, most notably a dark superstructure imposed upon a white hull and sharp hullside windows resembling steak knives that further heighten this vessel’s aesthetic appeal. The Predator’s slick exterior is matched by her chic onboard offerings.
Twin aft stairways to port and starboard lead up from a hydraulic swim platform to a cockpit that features a sunpad that converts to transom seating along with a teak table. A portside console with a Kenyon grill, sink, refrigerator and icemaker helps keep guests fully refreshed.
The express cruiser’s salon is surrounded by windows, save for two stanchions aft. The helm has twin black-leather seats by Selto that are adorned with red accents reminiscent of a race car. Twin Simrad screens and joystick controls are within arm’s reach of the captain.
Sunseeker Predator 55 Evo
Across from the helm to port is a settee with comfortable, L-shaped seating for two so the captain won’t get lonely. A U-shaped settee rounds out the seating. Sunseeker has decorated the interior with geometric shapes that echo the striking lines of the hullside windows. For example, a teak parallelogram-shaped railing at the top of the stairs leads down to a second salon with a small table suitable for breakfast on the accommodations level. That space is well lit by the Predator’s steeply raked windshield, and serviced by the portside galley. The overall feel is that of a modern apartment, with crisp lines and an admirable level of fit and finish, which is particularly noticeable in the snug joinery. Both the en suite amidships master and the forepeak VIP with scissor berths benefit from thoughtfully designed stowage compartments and a roominess that might not be expected from a package this sporty.
And sporty she is. The Predator 55 Evo scoots along nicely with its twin 725-hp Volvo Penta D11s, which live in an orderly engine room that offers enviable access to all the yacht’s systems. While the Predator 55 Evo isn’t a rocketship (top speed is 32 knots), she handled with real verve in the confused 4- and 5-footers off North Palm Beach, Florida, on our sea trial. I cruised her at 2,200 rpm, hitting 28 knots with a range of 233 nautical miles. The hull performed so well in the sizable chop that sea conditions were an afterthought. I’ve had some other boat companies call off an offshore sea trial because of the conditions that the Sunseeker found fit to toy with. I splashed her up sea and down sea, and hardover in two boat lengths, but I couldn’t find anything to nitpick. She felt remarkably safe, sturdy and responsive. She tracked like she was on a rail, and she did it all in stoic silence. It was a performance with flair and an effortless cool that was obvious at every turn of the wheel. And it also made it obvious just why the Predator line has been so popular for Sunseeker. I expect the 55 to expertly carry on the tradition.
Sunseeker Predator 55 Evo Performance Numbers:
Sunseeker Predator 55 Evo Specifications:
Displ.: 41,888 lbs. (half-load)
Fuel: 476 gal.
Water: 119 gal.
Power: 2725-hp Volvo Penta D11s
Cruise Speed: 28 knots
Top Speed: 32 knots