With Sunseeker’s Predator range continuing to grow in popularity in Australia and beyond, I recently had the opportunity for a virtual walkthrough of the highly anticipated Predator 65 model with Technical Sales Executive, Ross Donohoe.
The Predator 65 is truly impressive and distinctly Sunseeker, attention to detail given to both interior and exterior spaces throughout the design process. The 65 is a revolutionary yacht for the Sunseeker brand, and certainly a boat for the 21st Century.
The origins of the Predator 65 start with the 65 Sport Yacht, the two vessels in many ways very similar, the major differences with the Predator being the expansive sunroof and impressive use of carbon fibre.
The Predator is an ISO category A yacht, equipped to be a safe offshore vessel capable of withstanding strong sea conditions. Her hull is fully vacuum infused with carbon fibre elements used throughout, Sunseeker saving around 2 tonnes overall during the construction process, without compromising on quality.
According to Donohoe construction on the Predator 65, “is hydrodynamic and lightweight, her rigid hull capable of standing up in any level of sea conditions, and the construction directly compliments her expert performance.”
The Predator’s smart IPS system onboard certainly benefits from the lightweight construction. Not only is the system silent, but it is also fully integrated with the Garmin Volvo navigational display onboard and comes equipped with Volvo’s impressive Assisted Docking technology too.
“IPS doesn’t like weight, so that is why the construction process was particularly important for us. Comparatively to the Sport, the Predator 65 should be capable of reaching around 35.5 knots when she goes into sea trials.”
Volvo Interceptors are also standard onboard the 65, complete with auto-trim adjusters which get you out on the plane faster. Couple this with the Seakeeper 16 Gyro and owners have a complete stabilisation package onboard, the 16 boasting up to 90% roll reduction at anchor.
Outside, the Predator 65 continues to impress. Decks are constructed from sustainable flexi-teak, with steps moulded into the transom, sloping down and finished with LEDs underneath, creating the illusion of a waterfall of light.
“Usually, we focus heavily on the vessels profile in the design stage, never focusing too heavily on the stern,” Donohoe said, “so with the Predator we wanted to create a vessel that from a stern point of view, would really wow owners and onlookers.”
The double width garage onboard is also impressive, housing a 345 Williams Jet Tender and still leaving room for ample service access or for further storage of toys or gear – space you wouldn’t usually see until you reach an 80-foot plus vessel.
Cockpit options on the 65 are also flexible, with three differing options available to the owner. The standard breakfast seating option allows for seating at the galley window, and with the saloon doors and sunroof open, creates an impressive indoor-outdoor feel.
According to Donohoe the option with wet bar and barbeque in place of stools is ironically less popular, as a result of the cockpits proximity to the galley, however this option I feel would certainly appeal to Australian owners. The most popular option however is the U-shaped social seating arrangement as seen previously on the Predator 60, 67 and 58, comfortably seating up to eight guests and creating an unbeatable social entertainment space at the stern.
This attentive level of design expertise can also be seen throughout the interior spaces, the galley onboard being expertly and ergonomically designed, equipped with ample storage and refrigeration. It is centrally located with easy access from the cockpit or the saloon.
The saloon also puts major emphasis on social seating space, featuring an electric high-low coffee or dining table arrangement and the option for either a TV on display or on the rise behind seating. With the sunroof open the saloon looks to be another great space onboard in which owners can socialise, relax and unwind. The 65 has also been designed with no steps throughout the main deck and cockpit, the area feeling open plan and expansive.
The single piece windshield forward provides uninterrupted visibility when sitting at the helm station, the windscreen itself being double curved, laminated and 18mm thick. “A huge amount of engineering power went into the windscreen, and it is very impressive,” said Donohoe, “The windscreen and the sunroof combined allow the saloon to be flooded with light and make the Predator a very comfortable and airy boat.”
“One thing that is astounding on the main deck is the level of quality and attention to detail throughout the design and production process; it is probably one of the most complex boats I’ve come across in terms of design and build. A lot of attention has been given to the small details onboard: the fabrics, finishes, materials, handles, moulds and panels, and it all comes together to create what is a perfect modern and contemporary space.”
Below deck the Predator 65 continues to impress, making use of all the available space, and giving the feel of a vessel much larger. Customisation options continue here with up to five differing layout arrangements for the lower deck, giving potential owners real flexibility for accommodation.
One of the more impressive options is that for a grand master, the door below deck leading directly into the master stateroom and giving owners one of the largest master cabins in the 65-foot market.
Galley down, lower saloon and storage options are also available for the passageway below deck, with the option for a fourth bunk also proving to be popular thus far according to Ross. Every cabin has its own en-suite and there is a fourth day head accessible as you go below, making this boat perfect for a family, the lower areas onboard again feeling expansive and spacious.
Overall, the Predator 65 is a truly complete vessel, Sunseeker catering to all the needs of any modern motor yacht enthusiast. From an engineering perspective, the Predator is safe, efficient, and reliable, owners able to take advantage of the performance features the 65 has to offer through the cleverly crafted and intelligent interface.
The exterior profile is sleek and sophisticated, complete with Portuguese bow, and solar absorption paint to make your time onboard luxurious and comfortable. The 65 comes with an array of separate social spaces, creating an impressive indoor-outdoor feel and emphasising the impressive use of space onboard, the carbon fibre sunroof an excellent feature that would certainly be appreciated in Australian waters.
“We have had a recent surge of sales in Australia,” remarked Donohoe, “we’ve just delivered a Predator 60 and we now have a 74 in build too.” With orders for the latest Predator already beginning to arrive at Sunseeker, we may see a 65 hit Australian shores earlier than we think, Sunseeker continuing to expand in the Australian market and around the world.