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It’s not only the scale of everything that makes its mark, it’s the feeling that Sunseeker really understands what people want from a boat this size

can be drawn close to the helm to bring the wheel and throttles within easy reach. The helm is set quite far back from the windscreen to allow space for a sunpad ahead of it which can make it quite breezy, but they’ve thought of a solution by fi tting a pull-up wind defl ector. It’s a lot of fun from up here though, the

extra bit of elevation, low driving position and positive steering making for a bigger grin factor than the quiet, refi ned lower-helm position. Just as it looks tall from the outside, it feels tall from up on the fl ybridge, the lean exaggerated by the height at which you sit. There’s good reason for these proportions though, and that’s to house its spacious interior.

ALL ABOUT THE SPACE There’s a reason the Manhattan feels big and that’s because it is. Forget the 52 nomenclature, this boat measures 56ft 5in from stem to stern and a whisker under 16ft across the beam. That’s longer than a Princess 52 (54ft 8in) and wider than a Princess 56 (15ft 7in), so any comparisons with the all-new Princess 49 have to take this signifi cant advantage into account. It feels that way too from the moment you

step on board, not just in terms of the physical dimensions but also the big-boat features that come with it. Hydraulic bathing platforms are nothing new at this size, but the mini superyacht-style beach club transforms this area into a waterlevel socialising space with its own aft-facing bench, fold-down wet-bar and fl ip-up shower. It also provides access to a very comfortable crew cabin with plenty of natural light, a good-sized bed, a washing machine and a separate toilet and shower compartment. Two tall steps lead up to the cockpit and a

conventional U-shaped dinette with a chunky teak table and leaves that fold out to cater for six diners with ease. However, it’s the way the cockpit and galley combine to form a single, seamless entertaining space that helps make the Manhattan feel even larger than it really is. Instead of a simple Ferretti-style fl ip-up window at the aft end of the galley, Sunseeker has gone for an electric drop-down one that disappears under a hinged countertop. This then folds out to create a small bar counter where guests can rest their drinks and shoot the breeze with whoever’s in the galley while perched on the two adjacent cockpit stools. Helping to blur the lines between inside

and outside spaces are a pair of glass cockpit doors that slide and then fold to one side, leaving an uninterrupted aperture all on one level. Fiddled galley drawers with customised slots for every cup, glass and plate add to the impression of a well-thought-out craft. Further forward, the saloon’s large windows allow light to fl ood in from every angle as well

as providing panoramic views out from the raised dining area. With comfortable seating on both sides (thanks to folding helm seats that free up additional space behind them) and the vast pop-up television to starboard, it makes for a bright, spacious and sociable place to hang out during the day. Elegant LED strip lights in the headlining and spotlights casting pools of light down both sides ensure it’s equally cosy at night. Of course if the sun’s shining, chances are

you’ll be spending most of your time up on the fl ybridge or chilling out on the foredeck lounge rather than tucked away inside, however nice the saloon may be. Draughty driving position aside, the fl ybridge is as good as it gets at this size with wide, shallow steps for easy access up and down, acres of seating and sunlounging space, a big table and a really sociable layout with plenty of forward-facing seats in close proximity to the helm. The foredeck lounge moves the game on even further with full-height seats, proper backrests and yet another solid teak table, making it the perfect private spot for a candle-lit dinner à deux.

COMFORT AND JOY When the time comes to retire for the night, you’d expect to fi nd a proper full-beam owner’s suite waiting for you below decks. What you wouldn’t bank on is one as roomy as this. It’s not just the fact that even tall people can walk around the bed without having to bend or duck an inch, it’s the complete absence of intrusions in both the fl oor and deckhead that put it in a different league to most of its rivals. It also means uninterrupted views out through the big hull windows and enough room for a proper breakfast dinette on one side and a full run of drawers and lockers down the other. The VIP cabin forward fares almost as well,

with excellent headroom and ensuite access to the exceptionally large bathroom it shares with the guest cabin opposite. The one thing it lacks is the option of scissor-action berths due to the deck moulding which forms part of the fi xed double berth. The third cabin is a proper twin with a pair of slender single berths rather than the usual cramped bunks.

VERDICT It’s not only the scale of everything that makes its mark, it’s the feeling that Sunseeker really understands what people want from a boat this size. In the past, it sometimes felt as if its interior designers went overboard in their efforts to impress, resulting in a rather fussy, fl ashy interior. This boat feels a bit simpler, calmer and in my opinion, all the better for it. The money has been spent on the things that really matter like good-quality lighting, fabrics

The full-beam owner’s suite boasts a fl at fl oor and full headroom all around the bed

Both the heads compartments are unusually spacious

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