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buying advice? Predator/ Princess/ newer/older?

Discussion in 'Sunseeker Yacht' started by rella, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. rella

    rella New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    phuket
    Hi thanks for having me, this is a great forum and any advice would be a great help-

    I'm working for a gentlemen who has several years history in boating however it has been many years (mid 1990's) since he last had a boat or has been on the water.

    He's looking to buy a boat again for personal weekenders and also to take clients out and entertain (not large groups). The boat would be based in Thailand and most of your cruising would be around the Phuket area with hired crew when needed.

    He's asked me to look at a few things and get any advice on boats available and other options in the 800k-1M USD range. I'm just asking here as I don't only want to rely on advice from dealers trying to sell a boat.

    He's viewed a 04 Manhattan 56 (58ft) and liked it however I'm trying to think of a few good options for him to look at...

    - Would a larger older Predator (68 or even the 75) give more entertainment space than a the 56 Manhattan and feel more open and spacious? I understand the Manhattan is a flybridge but in my view that sort of means two smaller spaces rather than a single larger more open space that you'd have on a larger express yacht. ???

    - Rather than aiming for a newer yacht would there be any sense in looking for a slightly older yacht, but one that's been already fully refitted and updated. My thinking here is that even if you get a 2006 boat it's going to look a tad tired and will need some serious overhaul within the next couple of years. Where as if you went with maybe an early-2000's boat that has already had a lot of work done effectively you can get a larger yacht that is "newer" due to the upgrades. ??? Just for example a boat such as this Leopard 75 seems like a good option-
    http://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...rency=USD&access=Public&listing_id=76945&url=

    - Or would a newer smaller boat have many benefits for what we want such as with a Predator 61?

    - (I may get a bias response here) Is there much in terms of build quality, finish, space layout and sea keeping ability (not speed as this is not important to us) with a early-to-mid 2000's Predator 68 and an equivalent Princess V65? What about other makes such as Leopard and is there any decent Asian made boats we should consider given the price range and size?

    - Are most Predator 68's and V65's from that era shaft or arnson drives and should we try to stay away from arnsons if we're not concerned with top end speed?

    - Do any boats of this era have gyro stabilizers for when at anchor?

    - Is it easy to enclose the rear of an express so the main saloon is air-con'd (and do they cool well) as this is a big factor as the boss likes to get out of the heat but below decks on these boats are a bit crap and only really useful for sleeping???

    - Or do you think a flybridge would still suit better given the requirements and if so what do you recommend to look at???

    Thanks any advice would be great and I'm sure I'll have more things to come back to you with...

    Rella
  2. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    I've been running several Predators, Manhattans and Viking/Princess sport cruises over the last decade for a couple of long term clients. First off, between the Manhattan and the Princess, I would choose the Princess. I feel sorry for the mechanics on it and I have to crawl on my belly to get to the front of the engines, but all in all, it's the better boat.

    The Predator is a completely different boat, and a lot more fun, but you give up a lot of "liveability" and lounging/privacy areas. I used to love hauling a$$ up or down the East river wide open, especially when downstream through Hell's Gate, and running between Beaufort and Norfolk. It would really cut turns. Of the Predators, I liked his 61 best, I think it was a 2004 or 2005. It was a convertible with interior trim in the cockpit with a small salon behind rather than the exterior type finish in the cockpit of his IIRC 02 or 03 58' soft top Predator. For as fun as the Predator was, he likes his 62 Viking Sport Cruiser (Princess) better. There are 5 zones of comunal privacy plus 3 State rooms, The Master midships stbd, The VIP (My room) in the bow and "kids room" double-single rack roop to port each with ensuite, kids ensuite also serves as day head. So it depends on which type of boat he wants as they serve different masters.

    If he decides he would like a 2007 single owner Viking Sport Cruiser, one of my guys has one for sale that I can give a full history on. He and I picked it up new in Atlantic City and I took him to Miami Beach on it LOL. "Oyyyy Never Again!".... Good boat, extras like a 1200 gpd water maker, S class props and a Nouvourania/Williams little insane jet boat on the back with the davit gear properly reinforced (the factory job was shameful). A great family boat/Batcave. For pure Batcave though, I'd suggest the Predator. (And yes, I would buy a Predator before a Mangusta. A Pershing with a turbine and an Arneson drive between two deisel jets.... mmmm.... tougher call. ;)
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,793
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Take your lead from the owner and guide him to the best boat rather than trying to move him in a different direction. It will make your life a lot easier and probably make him a lot happier. The Manhattan, Princess, etc. will be much better for entertaining giving more space out of the heat or weather as well as more space for sunning. It's also more impressive than an express with the over 40 set. Personally, I'd stay away from Arnsons, especially if speed is not a factor. It's not like what you're considering are slow boats. Is the buyer the type to change out electronics or interior decor? If so I'd go a bit older and use the savings to redecorate,etc. Otherwise stick newer.
  4. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    402
    Location:
    Bournemouth, southern England
    You really have to compare the layouts. The flybridge in question has a smaller aft cockpit than the Predators you mention, but it has the flybridge area that the Predators don't. The interior areas are a similar plus vs minus equation, depending on how your client wants to use the boat.

    Again, you need to start with the layout and go from there.

    :) No, not most.
    I would not recommend Arnesons if top end speed is not important. Surface drives lose out to shaft drives in several areas at the lower speeds, have a disliking to changes of LCG and hence trim, overall, not as 'forgiving' as shaft drives.

    Straight out of the box new, Feretti Group product were the first and only to fit Gyros back then. Obviously, there may be a few boats of that age that have had gyros fitted aftermarket.

    Depends on the boat...some have patio doors at aft end of main deck saloon, some dont, in which case the only option would be a camper awning or similar. Some 'express' yachts have opening roof panels, and / or glass skylights, which will to some extent make the air-con work harder. Whilst we are on this, larger window areas will heat up the enclosed volume quicker...flybridges offer some shade to aft patio doors and to a lesser extent superstructure side windows so this design feature should be thrown into the mix.
    :) 'Below decks being a bit crap' is too subjective to comment on. There are obviously different levels of 'a bit crap', depending on the boat...again, a quick comparison of layouts will give you an idea of just how crap each one is.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    10,120
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    The flybridge offers a lot more room in a lot of situations. When running at cruise, the aft deck on the expresses are useless in all but the best of weather (calm seas). Otherwise you get soaked back there. On the flybridge boat the bridge is a usable outdoor space while running and offers 2 groups to be split up if they choose to be. Also you have coverage from the sun on the aft deck whereas with an express you don't. I would also consider the 58' Searay sedan bridge.

    I run a 55' Neptunus express 2006, which happens to be for sale, with low hours and series 60 DD's. It is for sale and just under your price range. It has a beautiful high gloss cherry interior, bamboo flooring, a very nice 3 stateroom layout. It has 250 hours, is kept impeccably. This boat was custom built for a 5 boat Neptunus owner and has a lot of extra's. Chilled water a/c, subzero's, a 12' Brig dinghy with 15hp Yamaha and can be bought for just under your price range. E-mail me if you're interested and for pictures. I would choose this over a Sunseeker or VSC.

    If I had to choose between a Sunseeker or VSC, I would go for the VSC, I also find the factory support better. Take a look at the Fairline's as they are nice also and often get passed by for some reason. The only main issue with the VSC's are that they have Horrible access to a lot of the mechanicals. I would also look at a 59' Feretti and Azimut before considering a Sunseeker.

    In that class I've run and managed a 58' Viking SC, 50' Azimut, 2 68' Azimuts, 70' Azimut, 55' Neptunus, 2-58' Searays, 54' Searay, '59 feretti etc etc......

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