The first Sunseeker 76 Yacht in Asia, Susan doubles as a showboat for the British yard’s new dealer in the Lion City and is a fun-filled example of why the 77-footer has sold 35 units globally.
By John Higginson, Asia Pacific Boating, Sept/Oct 2018
SUNSEEKER HAS A STRONG TRADITION of showmanship and swagger, and the British shipyard’s newest dealer in Southeast Asia appears to share its DNA.
Sunseeker Singapore – which also covers Cambodia – was launched in spectacular fashion at ONE°15 Marina, Sentosa Cove, where a lion dance, football freestyling, a female DJ and several Lamborghini cars were among the attractions.
However, the first 76 Yacht in Asia was the star of the show, even if Susan was given a run for her money by the head-spinning array of toys tied to or whirling around her and the many models smiling, swimming, sliding and generally showing how much fun yachting can be.
Susan is owned by Cambodia-based Martin Chen, the Chairman of Sunseeker Singapore, who named the yacht in tribute to his late grandmother, Su Zhen.
Chen, who hails from mainland China, has already used the yacht extensively, mainly for day trips and dinners, and his mother is among those who have enjoyed the yacht in Singapore since its arrival in May.
Vincent Lim, Sunseeker Singapore’s General Manager, is the dealer’s day-to-day contact with the Poole shipyard and oversaw the order for the 77-footer, as he has done for all other subsequent sales.
“My boss had owned and used yachts for only a few years, but he’s incredibly interested and very detail-oriented, and is constantly looking at and comparing models, even from other companies,” said the Singaporean, who has worked for Chen for two years and was Captain of his boss’s smaller yacht in Cambodia.
“He ordered Susan for himself and has since helped sell four more Sunseeker yachts, so the company has started very strongly.”
Lim, who’s also a PADI Divemaster, proudly discloses that Susan has reached 34 knots in Singapore powered by twin 1,550hp MAN V12 engines, admittedly with only 20 per cent of fuel, five people on board and in calm conditions.
Still, that’s two knots faster than the 76’s published top speed, which is still very quick for a yacht of almost 54 tonnes, double the size of the popular Manhattan 52, which has the same top speed of 32 knots.
Susan was initially bought for enjoyable days out and entertaining, but following the confirmation of the new dealership earlier this year, she has also been cast into the role of showboat, which she does very successfully, supported strongly by yachting’s version of Toys’r’us.
Lim was in charge of ordering the yacht’s awesome line-up of extras, with the power menu including two Yamaha WaveRunners, two Seabobs (F5 S), a motorised surfboard (Jetsurf Motor GP) and a Zapata Racing flyboard, brilliantly demonstrated by Lim’s brother Jason at the launch.
Among the inflatables are a 10m-long slide that reaches 6m above water onto the flybridge, a ginormous 24sqm blob, a Super Mable towable tube and a 4-m long jetski pontoon. There’s also an Airhead Cruise stand-up paddleboard for those who want to work out while having fun.
Desperately seeking Susan
The 76 is already one of Sunseeker’s most successful models. At least 18 hulls were sold before its world debut at last year’s Southampton Boat Show in September and by June this year, sales had reached 35 units for an estimated retail value of GBP110 million (ex words, ex VAT), topping even the revenue generated by hugely popular Manhattan 52.
Following the 86 (2014) and the 95, 116 and 131 (all 2016), the newcomer is the entry level model for the revamped Yacht range and once aboard, the 76 immediately feels like she belongs in the 24m-plus superyacht category – and in fact, has an overall length of 5in or 23.6m.
Roomy, beamy, she feels a world away from the Manhattan 66 and has more in common with the 86 Yacht that even the Predator 74, a model of a similar length.
Boarding the large swim platform and walking up five steps brings you to the large cockpit, which features a wide C-shaped sofa around a long rectangular table, although this can fold up to make a smaller table with easier access to the seating.
The sofa features the same grey covering as seen on most of the outdoor furniture on the flybridge and foredeck, while teak flooring is also used for all the outdoor areas.
To port, by the saloon doors, is a right-angled sofa-cum-chaise longue, which can extend the outdoor social area, although the footrest can be moved to create a clear path to the saloon. The flybridge stairs are starboard and underneath is a handy washbasin, icemaker and storage.
The doors can slide behind the stairs and offer a welcoming entrance to a large, light saloon that stretches far further forward than expected, with enormous windows along both sides.
Susan’s interior features walnut flooring, light silver-oak panelling and cream-coloured ceilings and curtains, a colour matched by the main L-shaped sofa to starboard. The wenge coffee table can also house the removable footrest from the cockpit when necessary.
A two-person couch to port completes this large social area, one of three distinctive zones in the saloon.
Midships is a wenge dining table to port opposite a U-shaped kitchen that features wenge cabinetry, a dark marble countertop for preparation and serving, Smeg appliances, a wine fridge, lots of storage and a large window.
Forward is the helm station, which has three Simrad screens, but only one pilot seat. “We chose a single helm seat to create more space, as we drive most of the time from the flybridge,” Lim explains.
After all, the forward area is a social area in its own right. To port, up a step, is an L-shaped couch that offers great views through the forward and side windows, and the entire saloon. A retractable glass skylight above this forward area is an option, but Susan does without.
The 76 offers a large range of options, from the overall layouts on each of the three decks, galley up or down, and the number of cabins, to upholstery, furniture, hardtop, retractable roofs and skylights, engines and much more.
To illustrate this, the second 76 ordered by Sunseeker Singapore and destined for Malaysia features the galley down and will have two rows of sofas and two TVs on the main deck, with only three guest cabins downstairs. “It has been designed like a party boat,” Lim says.
An elegant staircase forward of the dining table leads down to a hallway that has two huge mirrors and leads aft to the full-beam master suite, one of four guest cabins in this area that each feature an en-suite bathroom with shower, a Samsung TV and hanging cupboards.
Lit by large windows on both sides, each featuring a porthole, the master suite has a forward-facing, 2.2m-long bed, which is 20cm longer than the standard – as per Chen’s instructions – and features a custom-made mattress.
Lim admits his boss is a discerning customer and describes his attention to detail on many aspects of his yacht including the 1,000 thread-count sheets.
The suite also features two bedside tables, a sofa and a side table on starboard side, and vanity desk and drawers to port.
Aft of this are three cupboards featuring hanging space, shelves and drawers. This area also leads to the bathroom, which has his-and-her sinks and a shower room featuring both a traditional shower head and a fixed rain shower in the ceiling.
Forward are guest cabins on both sides, each with forward-facing beds. The starboard one is slightly larger and usually has a double bed, but Chen has chosen twins that can slide together when needed.
The cabin has a good-sized window with porthole while forward is an en-suite bathroom – the largest among the forward three cabins – that also doubles as the day head.
The portside guest cabin is slightly smaller, but also has twin beds, a window with porthole, a cupboard and an en-suite with shower forward.
The VIP cabin in the bow benefits from decent windows – and portholes – on either side, which is not always the case in this room on other yachts, while it can also benefit from a skylight in the foredeck.
The double bed has aft-facing drawers at the bottom and looks surprisingly high, but that’s because the floor on each side is raised one step. The room has a hanging cupboard to port, a small vanity and an en-suite with shower to starboard.
Aside from the choice of twin beds in the starboard guest cabin, the lower deck generally follows the standard layout presented by Sunseeker.
The great outdoors
The 76 is a great all-rounder, but it’s the winning outdoor areas that seem to make it such a good fit for the region’s tropical climate.
The flybridge is outstanding, has an in-built speaker system and could comfortably entertain 20 people, the limit for daytime use in Singapore waters, versus 12 overnight.
From the cockpit, the starboard stairs lead you straight to the bar, which features a barbecue, cooler, fridge, ice maker, sink, preparation/ serving area and storage.
Chen declined the option of two fixed bar stools near the top of the stairs and this frees up a lot of space and prevents bottlenecks. After all, the top deck is not short of places to sit.
The enormous E-shaped seating area – all covered by a hardtop with retractable sunroof – is similar to that on the Manhattan 66, except that is doesn’t start from the back, as the aft area is left clear on Susan.
There’s fixed seating on three sides of the 8ft-long rectangular dining table, which can be folded in half. Add three or four loose chairs on the starboard side and you can comfortably fit eight for dinner, 10 at a squeeze and 12 if a couple aren’t eating.
And when the plates are cleared, you can get even more around. “We’ve had 14 people around this table,” Lim admits.
As on the 66, the clever seating layout features a ‘horseshoe’ design with backrest in the middle, also forming part of the L-shaped seating that connects to a full-beam forward sunpad area that continues across in front of the helm.
The sunpad area can even be expanded by lowering the coffee table and ‘filling in’ cushions on top to create one vast lounging area, measuring about 8ft by 6ft plus a little extra in front of the helm.
The twin-seat helm station has two Simrad screens and is where the majority of driving takes place.
One of the main options on the flybridge is how to use the aft area. Susan, which doesn’t have a tender, uses the area for a davit and to stow its jetskis, while other options include sunbeds or a jacuzzi.
It’s the only non-covered area on the flybridge, although a built-in bimini can be extended from the hardtop so the entire deck is covered.
Back down the stairs and two comfortably wide side decks lead to the foredeck, where Chen likes to fish and which is arguably a better designed area than on the 86 Yacht.
In front of the windscreen is a huge, wide C-shaped sofa around a long table – this one doesn’t fold – while forward are two huge sunpads with backrests on each side, so people can sit and face the main sofa while others lie down and sunbathe. The backrests are removable, so you can increase the lounging area.
The passageway between the sunpads has a skylight for the VIP suite, giving it more natural light, fresh air and a potential escape hatch.
As on the flybridge, you could fit 20 people in this area alone and if it’s too sunny, a large umbrella can be fitted on the starboard side.
And there’s more. Walking down from the cockpit, the swim platform welcomes you to a transformer-style beach club of sorts.
This is also the entrance to the fifth cabin, which can used for crew although on Susan it has the furnishing and finish of a guest cabin.
Accessed by a starboard entrance, the cabin features an en-suite bathroom and shower, a sofa-cum-bed that faces a large Samsung TV, and a portside double bed with a porthole. There’s also a hanging cupboard beside the door to the big engine room, which has excellent headroom and a ladder leading to a hatch in the cockpit.
“This boat is ‘specced’ for five cabins,” Lim says. “The crew cabin is actually finished like a guest cabin. It’s really nicely done out, with full carpeting and so on.”
Outside, the swim platform is about 5ft deep, providing plenty of space for people to pass each other and make the most of this area, which includes a neatly designed foldaway ladder for getting out of the water.
The swim platform itself is submersible to about 2ft under water, while Susan’s range of extras includes a T-shaped jetski pontoon that extends the on-water zone and brings the power toys into play.
Susan has added Sunseeker’s iconic Beach Club, an option introduced on the Manhattan 52 two years ago. It includes a pair of fold-down seats and, above those, a fold-down barbecue with preparation area and space for drinks, as well as a flip-up shower on port side.
For his first Sunseeker, Chen appears to have chosen wisely, in terms of the model, specifications and its many fun-filled extras.
“My boss is very particular about the yacht and can spend hours talking about details,” Lim says. “He’s relatively new to yachting, but is always looking closely at details. I’m really impressed.
It sounds like Susan and Sunseeker Singapore are in good hands.
|Sunseeker 76 Yacht (2017)|
|Builder||Sunseeker International (UK)|
|Exterior design||Sunseeker International (UK)|
|Interior design||Sunseeker International (UK)|
|Naval architecture||Sunseeker International (UK)|
|Length overall||23.6m (77ft 5in)|
|Hull length||14.5m (47ft 6in)|
|Beam||5.95m (19ft 6in)|
|Draft (full load w props)||1.7m (5ft 7in)|
|Displacement||53.7 tonnes (118,140 lbs)|
|Fuel capacity||6,000 litres (1,585 US gal)|
|Fresh water capacity||1,400 litres (370 US gal)|
|Black water capacity||435 litres (115 US gal)|
|Engines||2 x MAN V12 1550hp|
|Propulsion||Twin fixed-pitch propellers|
|Maximum speed||Up to 32 knots|
|Cruising speed||Up to 25 knots|
|Cruising range||Up to 1,000nm at 10 knots|
|Guest cabins||4 to 8 people|
|Crew cabin (s)||1 for 2-3 people|
SUNSEEKER SINGAPORE SETS SAIL WITH FIVE ORDERS
SUNSEEKER SINGAPORE was only formally announced in mid-June as the dealer for Singapore and Cambodia, working under the umbrella of Singapore Asia. However, the company led by Chairman Martin Chen had already been hard at work and was soon able to confirm that it had secured five orders ranging from 52-95ft.
The company has offices and service operations in both Singapore – in Shenton Way and Changi Business Park – and Cambodia, in Sihanoukville.
Many of its staff have visited the Poole shipyard where they specified and witnessed the construction of Susan – the first of two 76 Yachts ordered by the dealership – and also attended Sunseeker’s technical training school.
The story began when Chen, who is based in Cambodia, tasked his Singaporean boat Captain, Vincent Lim, to help him choose a new, larger yacht.
This soon led to the order for a 76 Yacht from Sunseeker and the opportunity to establish a two-country dealership based largely on Chen’s network, Lim’s yachting experience and the financial backing to establish full-service operations.
Susan, which is registered in the Cook Islands, was initially intended to be used by Chen in Cambodia, but following conformation of the dealership, the decision was made to keep her in Singapore, at ONE°15 Marina, Sentosa Cove. She has since been well used for day trips and dinners, while also acting as a showboat for potential clients.
She’s also the first of two 76 Yachts and five orders, representing a strong start for the dealership.
The second 76 Yacht is set to arrive in Singapore in October for commissioning and has been ordered by a Singaporean client who is expected to keep it in Port Dickson, Malaysia. A Manhattan 66 (Spotlight, May-June 2018) could arrive by December before heading to Cambodia.
A Manhattan 52, also for use in Cambodia, is slated for August 2019, two months before the anticipated arrival of a 95 Yacht, which has been sold to a Singaporean owner who’s expected to use it predominantly in Singapore but also Taiwan.