Dormant since 2009, the Superhawk line has come soaring back.
In the 90s a flock of Sunseeker Superhawks ruled the seas. From 34- to 38-feet, they regularly graced the silver screen with cameos in the James Bond franchise. Sleek and sporty with luxurious accommodations below, they epitomized 007-cool with a nod to the go-fast boats that captured the imagination of the American milieu.
With a 40-ish knot cruise, these bad boys with a heart of gold boasted accommodations for long weekends and struck a chord with the Miami Vice faithful until 2009 when the line was suddenly discontinued.
Now 14 years later, Sunseeker has re-hatched the Superhawk line with a 55-footer that stole the recent Miami boat show. Huge hull-side windows and an aggressively raked profile topped with U.K. flags made many along the docks stop to take in the sight, this included our own columnist and yacht designer Bill Prince who I almost literally bumped into when walking into the Sunseeker display. After days of waiting for the line to dissipate, Prince and I were able to finally climb aboard.
One of the most interesting features of this boat is what greets you first; a massive swim platform and sunpad. Beneath that sunpad is a dedicated space for SeaBobs and beneath that a Williams Jet Tender. The versatility of this space, and the ability to jettison a small boat and a pair of underwater scooters feels very on-brand and Bond-esque but it comes at a cost, namely access to the power-plants in the engine room. Regular inspection and basic maintenance with the tender aboard will require a contortionist. It’s that tight.
Luckily, when done right, most of your time will be spent on deck, where a series of smart, easy sliding pieces of furniture convert a massive sunpad into a modern cockpit with a table and pair of lounges. I’d estimate that you could have as many as two dozen guests aboard without the boat feeling overcrowded.
Access to the side decks is via a pair of amidship doors beside the helm—a configuration that lends maximum beam to the entertaining level (calling it a cockpit feels inadequate). That level will likely be swarming with guests who will circle a wet bar with a grill, pop-up TV and plenty of cold storage.
Up in the bow is an interesting and luxurious lounge. I say interesting because to enjoy this social space you need to step over a small bulwark that ensconces the space. Prince and I stood and took in the space for a minute. “It’s not good or bad, it’s just different,” he said. The more I think about that space, the more I like it. With a boat like this, you’re likely to have friends coming out of the woodwork for a ride, and keeping guests and their kids in a safe space away from the working side decks when docking or dropping the hook seems like a winning concept.
On the topic of winning concepts, the interior of this so-called day boat is comparable to that of other motoryachts in this size category in terms of accommodations and finish. There’s a VIP stateroom forward and a full-beam amidships master with a galley, head and lounge in between. The lounge down a few steps is both private yet bright. You’re safe from prying eyes dockside but a large overhead window/atrium lets light flood in. Call this a dayboat, call it a weekender but I can foresee a family spending weeks aboard at a time if that was their desire.
The best seat(s) aboard this bird of prey will undoubtedly be behind the wheel. Facing the clean and modern helm is a trio of bolstered seats behind a three-quarter windshield. The windshield height gives me some pause, when standing and sitting it’s just about at my eye level (I’m 6’2”); perhaps when underway a bit of bow rise will take care of that issue.
Twin 725-hp Volvo Penta IPS 950s should lend the 55 a top end near 38 knots, according to Sunseeker. Having tested a number of models from the company’s Predator line, they’ve earned my trust that it’s going to be a driving machine, but I’ll have to be patient as I wait to confirm that; less than two months after hull number one debuted in Dusseldorf the company has taken a record 50 orders. 50! It appears absence truly has made the heart grow fonder on both sides of the pond.
Sunseeker 55 Superhawk Specifications:
Displ: 57,500 lb.
Fuel: 476 gal.
Water: 114 gal.
Power: 2/725-hp Volvo Penta IPS-950
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