Sunseeker Predator 115
The Predator 115 is the latest in the performance range from Sunseeker’s burgeoning superyacht business, and there’s a good reason for it – owner comfort
Looking at the new Predator 115 – the latest superyacht in Sunseeker’s performance range – it’s not hard to see why four of these yachts have already been sold into the Asia-Pacific. They look cool: Predatory, in fact.
Start with the plan. Sunseeker sought to square the circle somewhat with the creation of the 115, after her big sister the Predator 130 also encountered good success (three were sold into Hong Kong on the announcement in early 2010). The 115 reduces the size of the Predator 130, but cuts the price substantially more. At the same time, plenty of flybridge and foredeck space leaves one feeling that they are aboard one of the slower Yacht series from Sunseeker.
Start with the lines. As we cruised past Hong Kong’s Central District in Victoria Harbour, you can see the aggressiveness inherent in the design. The high freeboard at the bow combines with a big rise in the sheerline that’s extended all the way aft. This creates a huge amount of space that is given over to an enormous forward master stateroom that might be found on a yacht 15 or 20 longer.
It also opens up a huge line for the angular windows that have become a trademark of the Sunseeker Predator series. The lines are accentuated on the Predator series, thanks to the black hull and white superstructure. With the forward angles on the first set of windows, which mark the master cabin, you get a real sense of aggressive, forward motion. This is helped by the fact that the windscreen is very raked, with the main wheelhouse actually located mid-way between the main deck and the flybridge. This is a yacht made to look like a predator.
Our test day aboard the Predator 115 Little Mermaid didn’t have the likely conditions for a day of cruising aboard such a yacht. The fantastic sun and cool breezes of a Hong Kong early December had given way to Force 5 breezes, some rain and a fair bit of chop. Nonetheless, the Predator 115 showed herself well. Stepping aboard and heading into Repulse Bay, our camera crew was greeted by a comfortable interior main saloon. This area is quite large, though there are some interesting segmentations here. The main aft deck area features the standard circular settee pattern, but rather than leaving this area open with easy passage into the main saloon, there was a large wet bar placed directly across the main aft deck door. This created a very distinct socialising area.
Stepping into the main saloon, one finds the arrangement of furniture is such that this area is to be a distinct social area from the aft deck. Moving forward, a console area with a retractable TV divides the saloon from the dining area, which seats up to ten guests with plenty of elbow room at the table. The whole area is capped by a mirrored wall that, combined with the large windows of the saloon, creates a huge feeling of space, despite the creation of discrete social areas.
The galley is perfectly placed forward of the dining area and to the port side. This creates ample opportunity for crew to provide meals direct from the big, well-equipped kitchen. Here, one finds enough storage with huge fridges and freezers to store supplies to last at least week, feeding a very hungry group of people.
This is also the main entrance to the crew quarters down below, which have been located forward in the lower deck. There is also access to the wheelhouse from this area, which makes the separation of crew from guests both simple and effective. Guests can quickly relax amongst themselves, or be tended to as per a dining experience in one of Asia’s finest restaurants.
Heading forward from the main saloon/dining area down a short hallway, one finds the real treat of the Predator 115 – the full beam owner’s suite. This area is brightly lit and very roomy, thanks to the headroom and big windows created by that high sheerline.
Forward of the main cabin and down a few steps is the spacious and inviting main ensuite. Here, one is descending into private luxury. This is a fantastic spot to unwind, complete with a huge shower stall with side spouts and a big bathtub with water jets that could seemingly hit you from nearly every angle. Natural light still makes its way into this private sanctum, though it is very much a private place for the owner.
The hallway connecting saloon with main cabin on the starboard side also reveals what amounts to a central staircase, with downward access to the guest cabins, with a access to the raised wheelhouse, and then on to the flybridge.
Going down, one finds a wonderful feature that lends the Predator 115 well to short-range charter service – the fantastic layout of the guest cabins. Descending to the small lobby, there is a nicely divided area for up to four cabins, which can be doubles or twin cabins. The amidships cabins on the Little Mermaid are arranged in diagonal fashion, which creates plenty of space around the bed, while the forward twins were running fore and aft. It is possible to merge two of these cabins to create another master suite. All the cabins are ensuite and have walk-in closets.
Heading up past the wheelhouse to the flybridge, one finds an expansive space that lets the beaminess of the boat shine. The flybridge helm offers the captain a vastly improved view (the view from the main helm being very limited owing to the huge sheerline rise and steeply sloping main screen).
It’s on the flybridge that the Predator 115 excels. The helm station offers a clear view all-around, and for the owner who wants a bit of a thrill, this is the place to take the reins and rev up the engines. There is a very extensive wet bar and grill service station on the port side, set against a huge settee that can seat very large parties. Aft, there is a centrally-aligned Jacuzzi with a glass side facing forward – an interesting party treat. This is surrounded by aft sunpads. The whole of the flybridge on Little Mermaid is covered over by hard top frame with a soft canvas cover that can be retracted in case more sun or stars are desired
The Predator series is part of Sunseeker’s performance yachts, and though the 115’s top speed of 26 knots is not the fastest in this size range, it is very respectable. On her standard engine fittings, the 115 can manage a very nice cruising speed of 20 knots.
According to Sunseeker, the maximum range of 1250 nautical miles can be achieved with a speed of 10 to 12 knots, depending on engine options. That’s enough to get the 115 from Hong Kong to the Philippines, or to Sanya, with plenty of fuel to spare. Conservative use should even allow the 115 to make the journey between Hong Kong and Singapore, thus opening either end of the South China Sea to cruising.
Sunseeker’s claims of reducing engine noise and vibration also seem well-founded. Shutting the main aft deck door left the main saloon area quiet cozy and quiet, even while underway. At anchor, there was virtually no sound on the main deck from the generators, which were working to keep us warm on a rather cool day. Equipped with zero-speed stabilisers, the Predator 115 proved comfortable even while being buffeted by strong gusts and some mild waves.
Sunseeker partnered with Ken Freivokh, in conjunction with Armani Casa, to let buyers choose a more personalised interior. For an extra £100,000, you get the benefit of Freivokh’s extensive experience in superyacht interiors, which includes the modernistic 88-metre Maltese Falcon and the classically styled Sycara III from Burger Boats. A Predator 130, purchased by the chairman of Canada’s Bombardier Group, has had the benefit of such services.
The gelcoat and paint on yachts from Sunseeker come with a five-year warranty. Sunseeker Asia has also set up a crew training facility, which helps prospective owners find the people they need to make sure the yachts are in good kit. Another interesting feature on the larger Sunseekers – yachts over 28 metres all come with RINA certification as standard. Owners of the Predator 115 thinking to put their yacht on the charter market in order to defray running costs (not a bad idea in a place like Hong Kong, where the market is relatively thin on luxury charter) an additional £500,000 will get you MCA LY2 short range charter classification (necessary for Europe, not for Asia, yet).
There are now two Predator 115s in Hong Kong and another in India. Purchasing of Sunseekers in Asia is now pushing along the development of the Sunseeker superyacht business. According to Gordon Hui, managing director of Sunseeker Asia, talks are proceeding for the purchase of a 40 metre tri deck superyacht from a Hong Kong buyer, while the Indian owner of the Predator 115 is now looking at a new 50 metre, which would be the largest yacht ever built by Sunseeker. Buyers in Shenzhen and India are also looking at 48 metre projects.
At £9.1 million, the Predator 115 provides a very economical superyacht solution. With the Predator 130 coming in at £13.7 million, and the 40 metre tri deck weighing in at £14.5 million, buyers of the 115 get a lot for their money.
- With special thanks to Sunseeker Asia
In Asia: www.sunseekerasia.com.hk
Technical specifications – Predator 115 (Little Mermaid)
Beam (maximum): 7.39m
Draught (full load, incl props): 2.38m
Displacement (at normal half load): 135,300kg
Fuel capacity (standard): 14210 lts
Optional extra fuel capacity: 5050 lts
Fresh water capacity: 3900 lts
Black water capacity: 1250 lts
Grey water capacity: 1250 lts
Propulsion: twin fixed propellers
Generators (standard): 2x 40kW @ 50Hz 400/230v 3-phase (EU)
2x 55kw @ 60Hz 400/230v 3 phase (US)
Engines (aboard Little Mermaid): 2x MTU 16V 2000 M94 series
Range (at 10-12 kts) 1250 nm
Maximum speed (at normal half load): 26kts
Cruising speed (at normal half load): 20 kts
Guest Accommodation: 10
Crew Accommodation: 5