|Power:||Twin 900hp MAN CRM dsls|
|3 Staterooms, 3 Heads, Captains Quarters with Head.|
Sunseeker Manhattan 60
On this gray San Francisco Bay morning as I walk down the docks at Marina Village in Alameda I see it, there, on the end tie, that blue-hulled beauty, just waiting to go out for a spin. The Sunseeker Manhattan 60 has a stunning profile with sleek lines, large ports, and just the right amount of shiny stainless to catch the glint of sun that is just now peeking through the sky.
To fill out the range between the Manhattan 52 and 70, Sunseeker added the 60-foot Manhattan to their popular line of flybridge motoryachts in 2006. Our test model today is the first Manhattan 60 in Northern California and is an ideal design for our area.
Sunseeker Yachts headquarters is in Poole, England, and the Manhattan series is designed for the sea and weather conditions of the English Channel, which are very similar to Northern Californias conditions.
Whether your desire is a weekend trip to Monterey, lunch in Bodega Bay, overnight at Angel Island, or a week in the Delta, this boat was designed to fit the bill. Today in San Francisco Bay we have NE winds at 12 to 15 knots and a light 2- to 3-foot chop ideal conditions for a sea trial.
The engine room is accessed via a hatch in the cockpit. I climb down the ladder and find myself nestled between the main engines and have better than six feet of headroom. Fluid checks are made easy and routine service should be straightforward as there is plenty of room to move around and inspect all critical systems.
After a complete systems check and a tour of the rest of the vessel, we get under way from Alameda with a plan to head down the estuary, under the west span of the Bay Bridge and tour along the San Francisco waterfront.
Stationed On The Flybridge
We start our day operating from the flybridge helm. The bridge is a wide-open expansive area with comfortable seating for two at the helm, which is on the starboard side. This layout works well as one person operates the vessel while the other person has the large Raymarine E15 displays directly in front of them and can operate the RADAR, chartplotter and VHF radio.
There is also a large sunpad area to port where several guests can easily stretch out and enjoy the sun, as well as seating for another six guests around a U-shaped table just aft of the wet bar.
Im joined at the flybridge helm by Capt. Bob Allen, who is the full-time captain for Sunseeker Yachts. Capt. Bob brought this Manhattan 60 up from Newport Beach last year and he has hundreds of hours running vessels in many different conditions; this is his baby and he knows how she handles.
Cruising down the minimum wake zone of the Alameda Estuary there is lots of flotsam in the water everything from small 2-by-4s to barely visible floating railroad ties for us to dodge. I realize immediately the handling characteristics of our Manhattan 60 are that of a sports car. At 6 knots she tracks straight and true and turns quickly with minimal rudder input. There is no bow wandering or stern wallowing; she just goes where you point her.
After we clear the Bay Ship & Yacht docks and the Alameda ferry terminal, it only takes a small amount of nudging from Capt. Bob for me to open it up and get the show on the road. We dial in a few degrees of down trim tab, another quick check around for other vessels, and I bring the throttles up to full. At 1500 RPM the turbos kick in and in less than 8 seconds those big MAN diesels are climbing north of 2000 RPM and we are at our 23-knot cruise speed.
A few seconds later we are passing 27 knots and Bob reminds me that if we want to keep accelerating I will need to back off the trim to 0. The performance is astonishing: from a 6-knot idle to nearly 30 knots in fewer than 15 seconds with no discernable bowrise, no vibration, and the sound level from the engine room hasnt changed. I know Im smiling and as I glance over I see Bob with a touch of a smile as well. Guess this never gets old!
As we exit the Oakland Inner Harbor on a heading for the Bay Bridge, our powerplants are turning 2000 RPM and according to the electronic engine management system are at an 80 percent load. Now that we are settled in at a comfortable cruise speed of 23 knots, its time for a few high-speed maneuvers.
Normally, when you want to make a high-speed 360 you would back off the power a bit, ease the helm over, and add power as necessary to keep the desired turning radius and speed. Not in this boat. With just a bit of encouragement from Capt. Bob I snap the helm hard to port and our Manhattan 60 responds immediately, carving a nice tight radius and just a few knots drop in speed.
As we complete our first 360 turn in just over a boat length, I bring the helm hard to starboard and the boat transitions smoothly into another tight 360 degree turn in the opposite direction. We slice right through our own wake and bring the boat back on our original course leaving a nearly perfect figure 8 in the water behind us.
A quick glance at the gauges and I see that we have only dropped a few knots in speed and are climbing quickly back to our cruise speed of 23 knots. With a little more practice and judicious use of the throttles, I know that I could perform this maneuver with no loss of speed and a prettier figure 8.
After a few more high-speed maneuvers along the San Francisco waterfront, the camera boat finally catches up with us and is ready for a few beauty shots. Even with a 15-knot breeze and wakes from the commercial traffic, it is easy to perform slow-speed twists and turns and keep the boat on station.
A ferry on its way from the terminal leaves us a nice six-foot wake, but it doesnt upset our course or stability at all. However, I look over at the camera boat and it is bouncing wildly with everyone holding on tight. Sure glad Im not on that boat.
Moving To The Lower Helm
After a short time we get the radio call from the camera boat that they have everything they need so its time to head back to Alameda. For the trip back, Capt. Bob and I move below to enjoy the warmth and comfort of the lower helm. We make our way down the molded-in steps at the starboard aft part of the flybridge to the large full-beam cockpit.
You enter the main salon through large double slide stainless steel doors and move forward to the lower helm station. I bring the boat up to cruise speed again and am astonished by the lack of engine noise. At a 23-knot cruise there is less background noise on this boat than there is in many cars driving at freeway speeds. The folks at Sunseeker have done an excellent job of taming the sounds that emit from these large engines.
As we maneuver our way down the estuary, the visibility from the lower helm is nearly as good as that from the flybridge. With an unobstructed view aft and large glass area forward, safely operating the vessel from this location is easy. Additionally, the nearly floor-to-ceiling large and stylish windows to port and starboard allow for good visibility all around us.
Just as with the flybridge, the lower helm is set to starboard, and just to the left of the helm chair is a settee large enough for three persons. Though the lower helm is a wrap-around design and intended for the captain to operate the vessel and perform the navigation duties, the settee is situated such that passengers sitting here have a good view and, if desired, can be part of the operation of the ship.
The layout of the Manhattan 60 integrates the main salon with lower helm with the large salon and dining table just behind the helm area and down a few steps. Here there is enough room for six to sit comfortably around the table for dining, conversation, or using the integrated entertainment system that consists of a large, flat-screen TV and Bose surround sound system.
As Im operating the vessel from the lower helm station, I cant help but notice the exceptional quality of the captains chair. It is comfortable, supportive and, as with all seating material in this area, is covered in genuine leather. The lower helm is well laid out and has the same electronics as the flybridge with fully integrated Raymarine E15 multifunction displays, autopilot, VHF, and MAN electronic information system displays for each engine.
Just at my right hand are the electronic engine controls with the bow and stern thruster controls just below. From this seat, control of all propulsion and navigation systems is within easy reach.
With all this glass around the helm one might be concerned with sun reflections, but Sunseeker has a nicely applied anti-reflective coating all around the helm that is both effective and attractive and provides for good visibility of all instrumentation.
Down To The Galley And Staterooms
From the main salon on the port side we go down six steps to the galley and have access to the three staterooms. When thinking of a galley down design many folks think dark, narrow, and away from the action. Not in this yacht. The galley is large and well lit with natural light from the large windows in the salon. Conversation with guests seated next to the helm or in the salon is comfortable so even when in the galley you are part of the action.
From this lower level there is access to each stateroom with the third bunk room off to starboard and under the helm. This is a good-size cabin with two berths and has its own head that would serve as the guest day head.
The VIP stateroom is forward and features a centerline island queen with lots of storage in drawers and hanging lockers. There is a private en-suite head and shower that is accessed on the port side. There are ports that open both on port and starboard sides as well as a deck hatch that opens and provides natural light and ventilation.
The master stateroom is aft of the galley and down a few steps. Here we find a centerline island queen berth with a large dressing table to port and hanging lockers to starboard and a private en-suite head and shower. One thing that you notice immediately on entering the master stateroom are the three large rectangular ports on both the port and starboard sides. Not only do these ports provide good views of the outside activities, but the center ports on each side open to bring fresh air into the cabin.
Nice Touches - Inside And Out
With our Manhattan 60 secured at the dock in Alameda, I take a walk around the foredeck. Here you find sturdy rails, another sunpad, large cleats, and an anchor windlass. As I look around, my impression that this is a dry boat is confirmed by the lack of salt on the stainless or windows. After a day of running there is almost no evidence that spray has reached above the gunnels. More kudos to the architects.
Everywhere you look there are nice touches that show Sunseekers attention to detail. From down deep in the bilges where you find double bilge pumps with alarms and a flood control system to the rope lockers next to the aft cleats for easy access to the dock lines, the features are almost endless. Every cabin has its own entertainment system with iPod docks and Bose sound systems.
The list of features includes a galley with a double refrigerator and a wine cooler nestled among the solid surface countertops, built-in crystal and china storage, a washer/dryer combo, and underwater exhaust for the generator so you dont disturb the neighbors when anchored out. If there is a feature you think a boat should have, its a good bet the Manhattan 60 does.
Sunseeker offers several different lazarette options on the Manhattan 60. Our test boat has the captains quarters design with a twin bunk, large seating area, head and shower, AC/heat, and entertainment system all in a nice-sized cabin that is entered from the swim platform. Im told that other options for this space are a combination laundry room/workshop or tender garage.
After putting the Manhattan 60 through its paces, it is clear that the naval architects at Sunseeker have achieved their goal of providing a best-in-class, mid-range motoryacht. The company motto, When only the best will do, clearly influenced the design and outfitting of this stunning vessel.
Each yacht produced by Sunseeker is semi custom. That is, they are built to order and the customer has many choices to have the vessel their way.
The hull of our test model was laid in 2008 and the finished vessel delivered to Orange Coast Yachts of Newport Beach, CA., in 2009. She was brought up to Alameda shortly after arrival in the U.S. and has recently been placed in service as a fractional ownership yacht under the management of SeaNet Co. Inc.
If you think that a Sunseeker Manhattan 60 is in your future, there are at least three ways to acquire one. First, just contact Orange Coast Yachts and order one from the factory made especially for you. Second, contact SeaNet Co. and learn more about their fractional ownership program that allows use of company yachts in their other locations such as the Mediterranean, Florida, the Caribbean, and Southern California as well as your home location. Or you can check the resale market, as there are a few Manhattans listed.
Its been said that every beauty has a blemish. I searched hard to find one on our Manhattan 60 and finally did. The cigar lighter is located at the lower helm and there is no way I would let anyone light up a cigar inside this vessel. The lighter belongs on the flybridge, which provides the perfect spot for that evening cigar and glass of port after a fun day on the water.
To arrange for your own Sunseeker experience, contact Rick Peterson of Orange Coast Yachts, 1070 Marina Village Pkwy, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510/523-2628.
Pat Carson is a USCG-licensed captain and operates commercial passenger vessels in the San Francisco Bay and Delta area. He is a partner with Bay Area Yachting Solutions, a company that provides instruction, local and coastal deliveries, and maintenance of recreational vessels.
To contact Pat, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
06 April 2010 BAY & DELTA YACHTSMAN www.YachtsmanMagazine.com