Sunseeker started building the Manhattan 60 in 2006 and it immediately became a popular seller for the Poole, England-based company. Sunseeker says on its website that the 60 is “A popular mid-range option...that family and friends can operate comfortably on their own.” We would agree, and while the Manhattan 60 might be “mid-range” for Sunseeker, for many yachtsmen, 60’ is about as big as they want to get. To keep things in perspective, the Manhattan 60, has a MSRP price tag of from $2.3 to $2.6 million, depending on engines and options, where in the world you buy it and, of course, the exchange rate.
A Popular Yacht in The City
For several years the Sunseeker Manhattan 60 was the vessel of choice for many young financial types working in The City who booked jets on Friday afternoon in London to blast down to Nice for a weekend of boating along the Cote d’ Azure. One reason for that has been the fact that the boat has a three-stateroom layout, which means it is ideal entertaining two other couples, clients, plus chums from the office. Another alluring aspect of the boat for such owners is the hefty rentals this 60’ boat was able to garner in the Med. Because it was sort of big, but not a megayacht, its price for rentals was in the sweet spot of the Med summer chartering market. It doesn’t take many weeks of $30k to $45k per week charters to cover a year’s payments on such a boat. Then the owner has the boat for the rest of the year for himself. Such a splendid watersports platform/cocktail party venue/waterside hotel room/fun palace was simply too good to pass up and scores of this model were sold over the years. But the Sunseeker Manhattan 60 was not only popular for those cashing in on the lucrative Med charter market, it was also popular all over the world, as well. Many of these boats found their way to the U.S., particularly Southern California where the weather is Med-like 12 months a year. The Manhattan 60 also proved to be just what the doctor ordered in other resort locations such as in Australia, and in the Persian Gulf where people were building houses on palm trees built of sand and rock in the water. But while the bloom might be off some of those roses, the fact is that the Manhattan 60 is a solid cruising vessel that can be used for far more than playing hostess to sun seekers. We like her because she has a somewhat unique layout that lends itself to family and friends cruising together and discovering new places. Yes, she is a good boat for charter, but she is also is good solid boat to own without chartering.
Designed for the Owner/Operator
Sunseeker intended their Manhattan 60 for owner/operators but was thoughtful enough to add a small crew cabin in the stern, next to the washer/dryer. That cabin also made the boat easier to charter because it had a cabin for the captain. This was a good idea, and even if it's not used by crew, that space becomes an ideal place for a scuba compressor and gear, or water toys of other kinds. It can even be used as a guest cabin for kids, and we’re sure they’ll love being away from the adults – sort of like camping out on water.When underway or sitting at anchor, our guess is that most people will want to be up on the flying bridge out in the air, getting the best views. By putting the yacht’s tender down on a standard hydraulic platform off the transom, Sunseeker has killed a couple of birds with one stone. First, knowing that everyone would want to be on the flying bridge, getting the tender off there meant that they could build in a large wrap around seating area with a large table. This is a great place for an al fresco lunch so long as you have some shade. Sunseeker will gladly provide a Bimini top or some other canvas overhead to your specification.
A Special Place Onboard
On the main deck, the aspect of the boat we found the most appealing and unusual was the area adjacent to the starboard helm. In some respects it is like the saloon wrapped around the helm. Take a look at the picture above and you can see that to port is a lounge facing the helm and then behind is another bench seat facing forward. Five guests can comfortably join the captain here and all participate in the piloting and navigation of the vessel while under way. At anchor, the helm seat and can be swung around and everyone can join in a debriefing of the day’s activities in a relaxed setting. We’ve never seen a helm area on a motoryacht executed quite like this one and there is something British about it, in our opinion, almost as if a retiree from the Royal Navy designed this as a counterpoint to all of the Italian styling elsewhere. It is cozy, yet nautical and practical.
The galley is down below and not taking up the valuable real estate on the main deck. Opposite the galley is the guest stateroom that has been shoehorned in. In the accommodations drawing and in the pictures there are two single berths, but we are afraid that the outboard berth is too narrow for most of our somewhat portly friends. This cabin is probably ideal for kids or skinny nannies. Perhaps a more suitable layout is to have one single bunk built in and a Pullman overhead, which Sunseeker offers as an option. In any case this stateroom has its own private head.
The master stateroom is full beam (16’5”/5.0 m), has a love seat to port and a desk/vanity to starboard, adequate storage, but just one small hanging locker. The VIP is forward and has a private head with a beam-me-up-Scotty round shower stall which are the greatest space-savers ever invented on boats. The crew cabin is aft, under the sun pad which is on top of the transom. These are not palatial digs, but our guess is that this cabin will not be used by a captain in most cases, but more likely by a young crewman, someone to schlep the fenders, wash down the boat at night, and check the fluids in the morning. Virtually no square foot of space has been wasted on this boat.
Sunseeker says that their Manhattan 60 can have a top speed of 32 knots and cruise at 27 knots with 900 hp engines. Sunseeker is one of the few builders we know of that does not disclose in its literature or on its website what engines it installs in its boats as standard. This is, perhaps, a good policy and keeps Sunseeker from being locked into any one vender. We note that the max hp rating for the boat is 1800 hp total and that MAN 900 CRMs have been installed in a number of Manhattan 60s on the market.
We know that Sunseeker has always appealed to the well-healed, fast crowd, but we would suggest that cruising at 18 to 20 knots in this size and weight boat (68,200 lbs./30.9 MT) would save fuel, be more comfortable, be safer, and only take 26% more time in getting somewhere even if the water is flat-calm. Sunseeker gives you that option, or you can go faster. Because the motoryacht has propeller pockets the yacht draws only 4’2” which means this boat can get into some pretty skinny water. Clearly, she is ideal for the Bahamas. Just make sure your A/C is working before you go.
Lots of Competition
There are a number of top-tier builders competing for the 60’ flying bridge motoryacht customer – too many in fact to keep all of the 60-foot production lines humming as they did in the glory days of the early 2000s. We have carefully compared the basic specs of five European builders – Sunseeker, Ferretti, Princess, Fairline, and Azimut -- and, frankly, there is not much difference among these five brands – on paper. While they range in overall length from 59’/18.3 m to 67’/20.4 m, their displacements are all within 5% of each other. The Fairline Squadron 65 is the beamiest at 17’2”/5.24 m, the Princess 62 has four staterooms, and the Azimut 62 has the largest standard engines, the Cat C-18 at 1015-hp. Otherwise in terms of numbers they are pretty much the same.Yet when you actually look at the accommodation plans and look at the boats in person there is a world of difference among these motoryachts – and the difference is in the details. Veteran yachtsmen, connoisseurs of motoryachts, and diligent consumers doing their research will discover those important differences.
There are just as many 60-foot motoryacht models being offered for next year as were available last year -- but there are a lot fewer buyers. The buyers that are still in the market are a different breed from the nautical bumpkins that stampeded into dealerships in the past 10 years with millions of dollars burning a hole in their pockets. Today’s buyers – like the people reading this report – are concerned about substance and not just about what looks pretty and which brand has the sexiest models at the boat shows. Details have consequences when it comes to boat ownership. Hopefully in the future we’ll be asked to do a full test on the Sunseeker Manhattan 60 to see what details truly set it apart from its competition.Visit Sunseeker's website.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Standard|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Helm: Second Station||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!