Day In The Sun
Sunseeker’s 74 Sport Yacht combines characteristics from its Predator and Motoryacht line. The result might just be the best of both worlds.
After a long hot-dog-and-protein-bar-fueled Ft. Lauderdale boat show, all I could think about was a cup of Bahamian conch chowder and a cold Kalik. I did my best to dutifully run Sunseeker’s new 74 Sport Yacht through the rpm range. I took sound readings. I carved S-turns and inspected sightlines (they were excellent), but looming just beyond the horizon—across miles of glistening, sun-drenched sea looking like a yellow brick road—was Bimini. The daydream of running the boat there was so real I could practically taste it.
Gallery: Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht
Adding to my wanderlust was the fact that this sea trial was months in the offing. I first met the newcomer to the Sunseeker stable with Capt. Bill Pike when it debuted at the Cannes Yachting Festival.
The first thing Capt. Bill and I noticed as we strolled up to the 74 was a versatile swim platform area that you could rightfully get away with calling a beach club. Fold-down seating is becoming more and more standard in the Sunseeker lineup; it was a good spot to rest our weary boat-show feet. An accompanying fold-down grill is an adequate size to keep your crew fueled. (There’s an entrance here to a small, yet manageable, crew’s quarters.)
“The kids can swim off the back and the parents can watch them from the platform seating or the cockpit. It’s a pretty nifty social space,” offered Capt. Bill as we hushed our barking dogs for a minute. We eventually summoned the strength to inspect the salon.
Standing in the cockpit and gazing into the exceptionally bright interior, we started to realize that the British builder’s Sport Yacht line might be one of our favorites. It features the racy exterior lines of their Predator line (in fact, this 74 shares the same hull as her Predator sister ship) while also blending the wide-open living spaces that their motoryachts are known for.
Dividing the cockpit and salon is a fairly common disappearing window-and-door combo: The cockpit/salon window fully rises and retracts in 10 short seconds. What’s uncommon about the window and door is their size. At nearly 4 inches thick, they offer a sense of solidity and strength that anyone who spends time on the ocean can appreciate.
“One thing I really like about this space is all the light that comes through these really giant windows,” said Capt. Bill as he looked around the salon. “And those windows are held in place by some significant mullions and frames made out of aluminum, fiberglass and carbon fiber, so they’re strong.”
Stepping past the modern helm to get down below, Capt. Bill and I were greeted by an unconventional galley layout, and I mean that in a good way. Just forward of the actual galley and countertop space is a breakfast nook where a few people could have a cozy cup of coffee and breakfast. “Private space” can sometimes be marketing speak for “dark and cavernous,” but that’s not the case here. Its placement just down from the helm lets light from the windshield turn this space into an atrium. I like these more private dining options, especially when the on-deck salon and cockpit are so open to the possibility of prying eyes. (Hey, when you own a boat like this, gawking happens.) The nook can also be used as an office or fourth cabin, but my guess is that the extra dining space will far and away be the most popular option.
The rest of the accommodations are fairly standard in arrangement, with a VIP forward, guest stateroom to starboard and a full-beam master aft.
VIDEO: The Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht at Cannes
“I really like these portholes,” mentioned Capt. Bill as we moved into the massive master. It was a small detail that might be lost on an untrained eye. “The chrome-plated fasteners,” he said as he opened and closed them with a nod of approval. “It’s rare to see five fasteners on a port, but it should give it a really tight seal.” Stylish but not at the expense of seaworthiness: That was a theme we noticed time and again on the 74.
“There are more fridges and freezers here than you can shake a stick at,” said Capt. Bill, quoting one of his famous industry terms. But, once again, he was right. Sunseeker understands that fun on the water and staying hydrated (or otherwise) go hand in hand, so the builder placed clever fridge solutions in all the various social spaces.
We stepped back on deck, past where an owner could opt for a third helm station (which I believe will be another popular choice) and ventured up to the flybridge. When looking at this boat from the dock or the water you could almost be forgiven for not noticing this space exists. Especially without a bimini, it blends into the boat’s profile like a chameleon, yet it’s an enormous area that offers comfortable socializing space for at least 10 adults. We may or may not have rested our feet (yes, again) as we tested the aft sunpad lounge. Debate ensued as to whether it would be Capt. Bill or I testing the 74 when it came stateside. Sorry, Bill.
Three months later we slipped and slalomed our way through outgoing Ft. Lauderdale boat show traffic in search of open water. She didn’t have quite as much heel in turns as I was expecting, but she offered a ride that was more than worthy of the title Sport Yacht. She was sure-footed in turns and sported excellent 360-degree sightlines that somehow made it feel like you were driving a boat of 54, not 74, feet.
Pushing the throttles to wide open allowed us to summon every horse from our 1,900-hp MAN engines and reach a top speed of 37.2 knots; 1,550-hp MANs are an option that should lend the boat a more-than-respectable 34-knot top end.
VIDEO: Testing the Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht
It was an exhilarating ride that, after a long show, I can honestly say I didn’t want to end. Alas, my trip to the Bahamas wasn’t in the cards (this time). The boat was bound for Rick Obey & Associates brokerage for a final walkthrough, then to its lucky owner. I might not have gotten that Bahamian conch chowder I was craving, but I did get a taste of a craft that’s just as salty and every bit as satisfying.
Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht Test Report
Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht Specifications:
Displ.: 103,396 lbs.
Fuel: 1,268 gal.
Water: 211 gal.
Power: 2/1,900-hp MAN V12s
Cruise Speed: 26 knots
Top Speed: 37 knots
Price: Upon Request