Sunseeker Yachts builds composite luxury semi-custom sport boats and performance motor yachts from 12.9 to 47.24 metres in Poole, UK, and a 50m in aluminium at Icon in The Netherlands. With about 2,000 employees, it is the UK’s largest maritime industry employer and has dealerships or dealer affiliations in 74 countries. Average annual output is approximately 150 units.
History of Sunseeker
Luxury yacht builder Sunseeker Yachts finds its roots in Poole Power Boats, a small shipyard founded by brothers Robert and John Braithwaite in the county of Dorset on the southern coast of the UK. Renamed Sunseeker Yachts in 1985, the motor yacht builder collaborated with racing yacht designer Don Shead, who developed Sunseeker Yachts’ signature performance hull. In addition, luxury performance yacht builder Sunseeker adopted innovative propulsion technology such as surface drives and water jets. In the 1980s, luxury yacht builder Sunseeker also began collaborating with renowned yacht interior designer Ken Freivokh to upgrade its yacht interior styling. Sunseeker entered the superyacht market with the launch of its Sunseeker Predator 80 model in the mid-1990s and, in 2001, with the Sunseeker 105. In 2013, the Wanda Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, acquired Sunseeker Yachts. According to the BBC, £320 million bought Wanda Group a 92 per cent stake.
In September 2020 Wanda Group announced it was investing over £38 million in new product development for Sunseeker between 2020-2023 with the goal of its product range doubling to 22 models, quicker than originally planned. In 2020, for example, the brand will add the following models: 90 Ocean, 88 Yacht, 65 Sport Yacht, Manhattan 55 and Predator 55. Sunseeker has made a successful transition from fast dayboats to comfortable performance cruisers and modern large luxury superyachts. Demand for the company’s larger models continues to grow with over 130 yachts of at least 100 feet in length delivered.
Notable Sunseeker Yachts
Sunseeker has not been shy about going in new directions. With it’s Offshore 28 inboard powered yacht, it launched sales in France, Span and Germany and added the word International to its name. The Tomahawk 37 in 1989 with its iconic forward slanting arch, cemented Sunseeker’s name with performance, and larger yachts also big on style such as the twin jet drive Renegade 60 with Riva Calzone water jets linked to V12 MAN engines, which eventually led to the Sunseeker Predator line. They celebrated its aggressive performance with a triple-Arneson surface drive package in a Predator 80 in the early 1990s, its first with an integrated hard top. At the same time the builder launched the Sunseeker Manhattan series for its flybridge motor yachts with the Manhattan 58 styled by Ken Freivokh. In 2000, Suseeker broke the 100-foot barrier with its 105 Motor Yacht.
In 2014, luxury yacht builder Sunseeker Yachts also launched the 40-metre tri-deck superyacht Thumper, which received international acclaim for its highly detailed interior design, created by Sunseeker’s in-house design team. The current flagship, the 47.24-metre Sunseeker 155 Yacht Blush, was also launched in 2014. This tri-deck superyacht, which was commissioned by Formula One commentator and former team owner Eddie Jordan, accommodates 12 guests and 10 crew.
The first 50m aluminum Sunseeker 161, a sub-500GT superyacht being built at the Icon facility in The Netherlands, is due for delivery in Sept. 2022. It will feature a Fast Displacement Hull Form design developed by Van Ossaanen Naval Architects.
Returning to it’s performance roots, in 2019 the builder unveiled its 70mph Hawk 38with a triple-stepped hull developed in concert with Fabio Buzzi Design, centerline helm console, twin 400hp Mercury outboards and racing seats for passengers.
As a British icon, Sunseekers have a way of popping into James Bond films. Perhaps the most touching cameo was made in the 2006 film Casino Royale when a fully restored vintage Sunseeker Sovereign 17 (actually build on the mould for an Owens runabout) was used to drive Daniel Craig to an appointment. At the helm was none other than Sunseeker President Robert Braithwaite, CBE. In the same film, a Predator 108 is owned by the villain and moored in the Bahamas. Sunseeker built full-scale sets of the Predator 108's deck saloon, aft cockpit and master stateroom, duplicating every aspect of equipment, luxury and style in the finest detail. Once created, the film sets were dismantled in the UK, transported and constructed in Prague, and mounted on a giant hydraulic platform to simulate the movement of the sea during filming. The World is not Enough features a Superhawk 34 and a Superhawk 43 appears in Quantum of Solace, while a Superhawk 48 features in Die Another Day.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman and her country music star husband Keith Urban own a Manhattan 74 named Hokulani, or heavenly star in Hawaiian.
The brand got another media boost in June 2020 when Irish MMA and boxing star Conor McGregor instagrammed about his retirement while aboard a charter 36.8m Sunseeker superyacht called The Devocean.
Yachts for sale
Yachts for charter
Specialisations of Sunseeker Yachts
Superyacht builder Sunseeker Yachts specialises in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom and semi-custom luxury performance yachts built in moulds utilising carbon-fibre and GRP composite materials, with the exception of the 50-meter 161, which is custom built in aluminium. Sunseeker operates its own dedicated Design & Technology Centre, a unique facility that integrates every detail from the initial yacht concept designs through to the finishing details including furniture, electrical systems, helm consoles and soft furnishings. Sunseeker produces these components in its own dedicated facilities. The various model lines are:
Yacht (100, 95, 87 Ocean Club 86, 76)
Sport Yacht (74, 65)
Predator (74, 60, 55, 50)
Performance (Hawk 38)