A very interesting boat of the sports cruiser category, which will soon be seen at the Cannes Yachting Festival.
In my opinion, attending a boat show is akin to going to the theater for a fashionable production, when you find out in advance the name of the director, employed actors and other details that can influence your decision: to go or not. So it is with yacht exhibitions. I am interested in what models the main shipyards are planning to bring, although the decision to go, for example, to Cannes or Dusseldorf, is hardly affected.
On my way to the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, I learned that the upcoming Sunseeker display – a fleet of eight ships – includes the Predator 50, first shown in Düsseldorf this year. There she also aroused my interest, and I am ready to explain what exactly.
The Predator 50 has quite a few of them. I’ll start with a spectacular look. It’s all about the shaping lines, proportions, interesting details, the totality of which is subordinated to harmony. The streamlined silhouette with the superstructure slightly shifted to the stern is distinguished by glazing with non-standard outlines in the hull and at the top. The windshield parabola flows smoothly into the roofline with an opening sunroof. The picture is completed by a famously thrown back radar arch and a neat transom … It is known that harmony cannot be trusted with algebra; I tried geometry and also, I’m afraid, didn’t succeed.
One of the main features of the Predator 50 is the formerly clear differences between the types of sports cruisers Open (open cockpit), Hardtop (with a superstructure, but without doors to the cockpit) and Coupe (with doors to the cockpit) here are erased, like the borders of the EU countries: they seem to be no, but you can also designate. The door to the cockpit on the starboard side swings open, the glass panel above the dinette sofa rises on gas struts, and instead of a coupe we get a hardtop. Next, open the sliding sunroof – and there you go.
All boats of the same standard size are somewhat similar and they are all different. This also shows up in the layout. In the cockpit of the Predator 50, the transom sofa is both a teak table seat and a sun lounger: the reclining backrest defines the desired function. The solution is familiar, but the sofa opposite, on the border of the salon, is great. The transom includes a hinged grill and a beachside seat, a Williams 325 Jet tender garage under the sunbed, a large aft platform hydraulically lowered … This entire Beach Club is Sunseeker’s award-winning concept. But there is a “beach” with a soft sunbed and a folding awning in the nose, however, it is not easy to sunbathe there on the go – it will blow away.
Sunseeker Predator 50 Dossier
2 × Volvo Penta D8-600 (600 HP)
The layout of the galley block provides for a bar counter
There are also many interesting things inside. Despite the seemingly traditional layout of the spacious salon with large-scale side glazing: there is a large sofa on the left side by the table (dining area), another one in front of it, a furniture module with a sink, cabinets and a “pop-up” TV screen (starboard side), a control post – the size of the elements, their configuration and finishing make the interior very, very attractive. And the all-in-black steering console with a double seat, two chartplotter screens and all the controls you need looks and feels great.
Predator 50 blurs the distinction between Hardtop, Open and Coupe sports cruisers
There are two cabins: the first is a “master” amidships, where, in addition to a large bed, there was a place for chairs with a table on the starboard side by a huge window, the second is a bright bow VIP cabin with two berths, which can be connected using the well-known mechanism of “scissors “. Between them is a dinette saloon (a third dining area 54 feet long – that’s the actual length of the Predator 50) and a full galley with bar and high chairs. Here options are possible: instead of a dinette, a cabin with bunk beds in two tiers is offered, and then the boat’s capacity increases to six or even eight people, if you use a sofa in the upper saloon. There are two toilets: in the master cabin and in the bow (it is also a day one – it has a second entrance).
Upper saloon interior (stern view). Left – seat at the helm
Moving away from aesthetics with comfort, an abundance of teak on decks and interesting overhead LED lighting, from leather, chrome metal, wood in decoration and carpets in the direction of functionality, we note a durable fiberglass hull, reinforced with stringers, bulkheads and floors, which are included in the overall strength of the structure. , an abundance of ship systems, an elegant rail along the entire hull for safety and lockers under the seats (wherever possible). All this will be very useful at sea.
This is the standard capacity of the boat (berths in two cabins), but it can be increased to six or even eight people
What awaits us at sea?
Predator 50 engines are not listed on Sunseeker’s official website. Only drive (shafts), speed (26 knots cruising, 32-35 knots – maximum) and range 350-400 miles are reported. A short search yielded results: on board this sports cruiser there are two newest Volvo Penta D8-6 600 diesel engines. from. – 4-stroke, direct injection, turbocharged, heat exchanger and Common Rail technology. In addition to a good power-to-weight ratio (0.72 hp / kg), the Volvo Penta D8 has a high torque of 1,755 Nm in the mid-range (1,700-2400 rpm); at full speed, it drops to 1400 Nm.
Master cabin amidships. Note the large porthole window and the overhead lighting solution
Power 1200 HP for a boat with a displacement of 19 tons (power-to-weight ratio 63 hp / t) is not so great to achieve high speed. Moreover, propeller shafts are used as a drive here, although these motors are often used today as part of IPS installations with bottom columns … But doubt away! Two years ago in Gothenburg, at the presentation of the Volvo Penta D8-600, I tested the Cranchi 48 Atlantique – a flybridge boat close to the Predator 50 in length and displacement with the same engines. It is slightly lighter than the Predator 50 and threw 34 knots effortlessly. Therefore, given the optimized half-tunnel lines and streamlined profile, I am confident that speeds of 32-35 knots are achievable.
The test showed other interesting results as well. The high torque across a wide rpm range gives smooth control during yacht acceleration (acceleration to 25 knots in less than 15 seconds) and in the cruising mode, which provides driving comfort and overall comfort on board. The maneuverable qualities were not satisfactory. At low speed, the boat, controlled by a joystick (option) connecting the engines (revolutions), rudders and bow thrusters, obediently followed a given trajectory forward and backward and almost lagged. All this, I believe, we will find on the Predator 50 during the tests.
The line of high-speed sports yachts with the big name Predator (predator) in previous years included models in a wide range of lengths, and almost all of them received prestigious awards at competitions in different countries. Recently, I will mention the Motor Boat of the Year award given to the Predator 57 in 2016 (nominated for Sports Cruiser over 45 feet) and this year’s Asia Boating Awards (nominated for Best Sports Cruiser under 55 feet) for the Predator 50.
Today the Predator line is three models: 74, 57 and 50 feet with a common innovative design. The latter is called the “entry point”, and it is difficult to agree with this: it is clearly designed not for beginners, but for people with experience and understanding, whose noticeable interest in this boat is the highest award.