Issue: April/May 2006
With 2100hp below her deck, this elegant lady has the power to perform.
A top speed of 31 knots (35.7mph) at 2300rpm may not sound all that impressive to anyone used to flying around in a 1900kg bowrider capable of doing almost double that speed. But put into the right context (a Manhattan 66 Flybridge weights almost 40,000kg fully loaded) and this boat displays awesome power.
Twin C18 1050hp Caterpillars provide the grunt for this Sunseeker. Running her flatout chews up the fuel, but pull the throttles back a tab and run her at a pleasant cruising speed of 24 knots (1800rpm) and her 3400lt fuel load will carry you around 300 nautical miles. And having driven many Manhattans in a variety of conditions, I can confidently say they’d be damn comfortable miles!
The power steering on these boats can’t be faulted. This 40-tonne, 72ft 6in motoryacht has lighter steering than my Toyota sports car. As with all Sunseekers, it’s a case of turn the helm a few centimetres and watch the bow move a few centimetres – you can turn the wheel with your little finger!
Looking at the sleek design of the 66’s hull, some may think this is a boat more suited to the French Riviera than the waters off Australia’s east coast. But they’d be wrong. While the bow doesn’t feature the classic Carolina-flared bow many associate with good bluewater boats, modern design allows it to handle the rough stuff with consummate ease.
Obviously, there’s a certain amount of flare in the bow, but it’s the boat’s extremely wide and aggressive chines, which she carries well forward, that throw waves and spray down and away from the boat. Her beamy amidships section also helps by forcing water away from the hull, so spray is not thrown or blown into the aft cockpit.
Like her sporty stable mates in the Predator Series, the Manhattan 66 has her twin FP props mounted in mini tunnels, which gives them a positive ‘bite’ on clean water. This set-up aids her ability to turn without any loss of forward momentum. Her extra beam and massive chines allow the hull to plane quickly and cleanly, which increases fuel economy.
Entering the main saloon is like walking into the foyer of one of Europe’s grand hotels. Embrace the luxury and let your senses succumb to the opulence. Highly polished timber, plush leathers and deep pile carpet surround you, but Sunseeker’s also made a few subtle changes to this new model. It’s opened up the saloon by replacing the L-shaped lounge opposite the galley with a straight one. Sunseeker’s also moved the pop-up plasma TV and its cabinet away from the internal stairs onto the port dash area. This widens the walkway between the dining area and the port lounge. These are only small changes, but it’s surprising how much more open it feels.
The helm area is built to Sunseeker’s usual high specifications and includes the top-of-the-line Raymarine E120 chartplotter/sounder/radar packages to its full array of instrumentation.
But it’s here at the helm I found a problem with this vessel; visibility directly behind is obstructed. It’s one of my idiosyncrasies. I like to be able to see well astern before making a turn, but it didn’t seem to worry the rest of the team and you normally drive from the flybridge anyway. Forward and side visibility from the lower station was good. As you’d expect, the opulence is carried into accommodation areas and the owner amidship’s stateroom and en suite is to die for.
Topside might be the best place to drive from, but it’s also an entertainer’s dream. It is open plan with plenty of seating and an excellent barbeque, making it the ideal place to crack a few ‘Crownies’ and drink the odd glass of Champers as you watch the sun go down over calm seas.
The crew have also been catered for with larger quarters under the aft cockpit and there’s now a Pullman cabin option, if more accommodation is required, which increases her sleeping capacity to 10. The Pullman cabin can be sited in the laundry alcove to port, opposite the day head. It features two single bunks and is a bit squeezy, but it’s still useful as extra sleeping accommodation and the kids won’t mind.
What was it the brochure said? “With her flowing lines, perfect proportions and intersecting curves, the Manhattan 66 heads up Sunseeker’s flybridge range.” And she does it with all the style and elegance boaters have come to expect from a $4m Sunseeker.
But there is another side to this boat potential buyers may not realise. This 72ft 6in motoryacht can be easily handled by a husband and wife team. No skipper is required, unless you want one. Her super smooth and responsive electronic throttles and gearshift levers, coupled with the electric bow thruster, make slipping this girl sideways into even the tightest of berths a breeze.
BIGGER THAN EVER
Heading up the Flybridge Motoryacht range, the Sunseeker Manhattan 66 was developed with scale in mind. Here, the designers have extended the limits of space and luxury.
The development of new layout configurations means the accommodation areas are bigger than ever, with plenty of room to specify fittings and finishes to suit your personal tastes.
Living areas on the main deck are also large and light, the wide beam creating plenty of space for family and friends. The aft cockpit further extends this airy living space and is an ideal place to sit in the cool of the evening and share a drink.
Twin C18 1050hp Caterpillar diesels power the Sunseeker Manhattan 66.
Under full load the Manhattan 66 will cruise effortlessly at 24 knots pulling 1800rpm and has a top speed of 31 knots at 2300rpm.
LOA: 72′ 6″
HULL: 69′ 9″
WATERLINE: 54′ 6″
BEAM: 17′ 1″
HEIGHT: 18′ 8″
(Half Load): 35,000kg
+ Open plan saloon; Two-man operation
– Nothing to report
WORDS IAN MACRAE