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Will Sunseeker make a trawler style?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by jonrd463, Jun 7, 2021.

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  1. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    Hi all. First post here. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's contributions and am taking a lot of notes. I'm very, very early in exploring the idea of getting a yacht for coastal, Great Loop, and Bahamas cruising as a part-time liveaboard. Right now, I'm just learning all I can about what's out there, old vs. new, different hull styles, etc.

    One thing I've noticed is that Sunseeker seems to focus on go-fast boats in the sub-100' range. Unlike, for example, Azimut, they don't produce a trawler-style (key word being "style". I understand the Magellano isn't a true trawler in the KK & Nordhavn sense of the word) craft with beefier hulls and extended displacement range. Is anyone aware of of any plans for them to come out with a longer range competitor to the Magellanos, Swiftrawlers, and Navettas of the yachting world?
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    No. It would be very strange for them to do so. Their Manhattan's are excellent for cruising the Bahamas, the Loop, and spending extensive time on. I just see no likelihood of them departing from who they are. In fact, they've added a performance outboard recently, a 38' capable of 62 knots.

    Other than that, they're just building more larger boats. Either of their Manhattan's is a good choice. We had more aboard so we did the loop in a Manhattan 65. Don't let their numbering fool you as the new Manhattan 68 is no larger than the 65 was.

    You are correct that their 52 and 55 are range challenged.
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  3. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    Thanks for the response, Olderboater. How does the Manhattan perform at displacement speed in terms of sea handling and range? All I ever hear about is their 300ish nm range at planing speed.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Any planning boat will get its best economy at hull speed. Typically a 60 footer will burn about 12gph at 10kts... a 70footer about 18gph and an 80/85 about 20/22 GPH at 11kts. The 116 I run now Burns about 25fph at 11.5 kts

    Yes engines and hull shape may result in 10% + or - but you ll get at least twice the range at hull speed.

    Note that the bigger the boat the more shallow water will affect your fuel burn at hull speed. Usually under 10’ and you ll loose 10-15% hull speed at a set RPM / burn.
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  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Excellent. In most normal seas, at displacement speeds, I'd rather have been on the 66' Manhattan with her curved stabilizers than any rolly poly displacement hull trawler at 8 knots, that's pitching and rolling in every direction. I did an overnight on the manhattan in 6-8' seas off of our stern quarter at 10.5 knots and it was stabile enough that everyone slept well. I've done a lot of miles on a 52' Manhattan and a 66' Manhattan (as well as a 62' predator and a few others). On the 66' we burned 12 gph at 10.5 knots.
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  6. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    Thanks Pascal & Capt J. I must admit, I've only admired Sunseekers in pictures, video, and from afar and as, what I'm starting to learn, wrongly as marina queens. At this point, they're priced out of my range for now, but as I said before I'm still early in the process. I've got a tentative 5 year plan, and I know a lot can change between now and then, but I figure my time right now is best spent learning all I can.
  7. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    [QUOTE="...but I figure my time right now is best spent learning all I can.[/QUOTE]

    Congratulations on your 1st post and welcome to YF!

    I come from a bit of a different philosophy than Pascal & CJ. I believe a yacht should be used in the way for which a naval architect and builder designed her (including hull shapes and engine selection). Why not look for a vessel that has your intended cruising in mind rather than selecting a style that will always be a compromise?

    There are plenty of quality semi-displacement and displacement vessels that are designed and built for just your type of intended cruising. It sounds to me like a trawler or "fast trawler" might be a better selection for you.

    Learning about the basic hull forms (displacement, semi-displacement, planing hulls, and catamarans) will serve you well as a basis for selecting the right yacht.

    Judy
  8. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    And I think I can add counter-point -- just for thought -- to Judy's post.

    A faster boat will at least go faster when you want it to. A slower boat may be much more limited when it comes to top-end speed, so the "go faster" option isn't there for you.

    Latter isn't necessarily overly-limiting, as long as your intended boating style -- and your day-to-day planning -- takes all that into account. But it does mean that you've eliminated part of the potential speed curve that might be available on a faster boat.

    And then OTOH, unstabilized planing hulls and slow speeds don't mix well with all sea states. IOW, sometimes Neptune makes your decision for you.

    Disclosure: we yutz along slowly, much of the time. We prefer having a planing hull and a higher speed capability, and we use that from time to time, but then again we also like to smell the coffee at slow speeds, wifey can spot turtles and so forth along the shoreline, etc.

    -Chris
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I'll join Chris's counterpoint. We ran our Manhattan 65 mostly at cruising speeds of 26-28 knots but there are places you can't do that. We couldn't in the Erie Canal with all the 5 mph and 10 mph speed limits. We didn't on our run down the Illinois and then the Mississippi and Ohio to Green Turtle Bay. We even slowed down for parts of the TN Tom.

    I love a boat that can do many things excellently. Our loop was made far more enjoyable by speed as we covered areas many don't. I'd hate to do the loop at 7 knots.

    Capt J mentioned consumption at slow speed. Our Manhattan 65, at 1200 RPM used 21 gph at 12 knots and at 1000 RPM used 9 gph at 10 knots. This was with the optional 1200 hp MAN engines. As to tracking at low speeds, it was excellent. We had the same Side Power Vector Fins Capt J refers to.

    To talk about the way the architect and builder designed her is not at all accurate in this argument. The architect and builder of a Sunseeker design them to go faster but also slower. They don't declare that this boat shall not be run slow. We run our Westport at 20 knots but the majority of owners run mostly around 12 knots, does that mean this is in some way a sin?

    Let's go a bit extreme for a moment. The boat we're on right now will hit 56-57 knots with a light load and runs 54 knots loaded. A couple of days ago we cruised at 40-45 knots. Then Monday night we ran 2 hours on 2 of the three engines at 16 knots and 2 hours on 1 engine at 12 knots. Both absolutely within the design of the boat and it's powering. In those four hours we covered 60 nm and used 120 gallons of fuel. Then early this morning (7 hours ago our current time) we returned to all three engines and did a short full throttle run and then docked using all three engines. Nice to know it performs at speed, but also to know it runs fine with two or one engine and you can do so. We did so during the 4 hours of complete darkness each of the last two nights on our 50 hour trip from Croatia back to Italy.

    I only agree that if I never intended to run more than 10 knots I wouldn't get a planing hull.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Everyone is different. But I've delivered enough trawlers that there were plenty of times I WISH I had the ability to run at 20 knots or so cruise to make up time, to either get into an inlet before dark, or a marina before they closed so I had assistance on the dock. I've also gotten into some rough stuff, that I wish I could've outran and was miserable in. I've gotten into current enough times with displacement hulls that they slowed down 30-50% in speed. To me, the ride at hull speed in a planing hull or semi displacement is much better than displacement in a moderate sea.

    If a displacement hull is designed to do 8 knots. They won't go any faster, no matter how much power you give them. And, 8 knots is 8 knots OVER THE WATER. 3 knots current against you and you're doing 5 knots SOG. I also don't like how they ride in a sub 70', they just tend to wallow around in every direction in a moderate sea. Now if you plan on crossing oceans, that's totally different. But in reality what percentage of yacht owners do that. Also the trawler interiors are generally much different.

    In addition to what Olderboater said, I don't mind doing 10 knots all day, BUT there are areas you just want to cross quickly and there's nothing to see. Such as the Gulf stream......run across it, as soon as you get to the bank slow down to hull speed and enjoy the ride. Crossing the great lakes is another example if a storm is supposed to pop up or has.
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  11. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    Out of the +/- 300 yachts I have sold, approximately 100 have been full displacement yachts. Not only do I disagree with some of the opinions expressed, but I'm sure I could get about 100 yachtsmen to do so as well. Numerous trawlers are designed to cruise more than 8 knots. I have never sold a yacht, full displacement or otherwise, under 70' that "wallows around in every direction" - why would someone buy a boat that does that?

    I am not bashing planing hulls as they are the best choice for a boater whose priority is speed. I suggested to the OP that he research the different hull forms including semi-displacement and "fast-trawlers" which can achieve speeds in the 18-22 knot range.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Judy....your suggestion is good as that was his starting place, but he also asked about Sunseeker and so we went there and then he asked about Sunseeker at slow speeds and we answered. The part of your post I disagreed with was the "I believe a yacht should be used in the way for which a naval architect and builder designed her." I've heard that statement before and disagreed then because it's a bit holier than thou that god proclaimed you only use this boat like this. I saw an old video of a lady when man first landed on the moon and she proclaimed for the tv cameras that she didn't think we had any business in space travel, we should stay at home and watch television as god intended. lol. I've never talked to a designer of builder who didn't also consider slower running in their design. Now, perhaps Cigarette, Fountain and boats of that type don't.

    As to 100 yachtsman and such, this isn't a vote, it's not right and wrong, it's opinions. There will be no winner proclaimed. Don't turn it to a contest. Most US Sunseeker owners run under 20 knots the vast majority of the time with ICW travel, much like the fast trawlers indicated. They have all the benefits of fast trawlers plus the added speed when needed. For that matter so do Hatteras. So does the new Grand Banks even though it will run 31 knots and cruise at 22. On the east coast the vast majority of boating is ICW and then some brief runs outside. I know a lot of South Florida boaters who only run at slightly above hull speed on the coast and in the Bahamas, but sure are happy to be able to go faster crossing to the Bahamas.

    He mentioned Magellanos, Swift Trawlers, and Navettas. Do you have other fast trawlers you'd recommend him considering?
  13. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Using what for steering, the bow thruster?
  14. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Having the option to run faster is important.

    When I repowered by old 53 hatt, I considered using smaller engines but ended up choosing the 6CTAs. Not that the boat is fast, tops at 20 and cruise at 17/18kts, but having the option is nice.

    On all the boats I ve been running for the past 15 years, I d say 60% of the times I ran at hull speed. Not just in the ditch but also on the banks in the Bahamas. As capt J said... up on plane to cross the stream or the TOTO and hull speed on the banks. It s a nice relaxing speed, less noise, less wear n tear, less fuel.

    Best of both world
  15. jonrd463

    jonrd463 New Member

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    I seem to have sparked a lively discussion :)

    Point of clarification-- while this topic was started with Sunseeker in mind, I'm not narrowing my focus on them. Indeed, I was interested in trawler style semi-displacement boats such as the Swiftrawler and Azimut Magellano, and I was curious if that was a hull style ever considered by Sunseeker. I did mention Great Loop cruising, but I imagine I'd be doing the bulk of my cruising in the Florida Keys and Bahamas. Something about that turquoise water. As an uneducated assumption, I figured the gulf stream would be the most boisterous section of water I'd be traveling over, so seakeeping and comfort, along with a robust enough hull would be my greatest concern. I know there are stabilizer solutions available that would assist with the former, but the latter is all on the OEM of the boat.

    Like I indicated before, I never really considered Sunseeker's current lineup in the 50-80' range as much more than expensive "see and be seen" boats that do best at planing speeds and 300nm range, so thinking of them in terms of range cruisers wasn't anything I considered before reading Olderboater's first reply.

    I'm far from making a purchase at this point, but I do have preferences. I lean more toward the European styling vs. traditional. I like the idea of having a little get up and go when needed, but also an 800-1000 nm displacement speed range to allow for a bit of Bahamian island and cay hopping without having to fill up at every other marina.

    I've read the comments about the substandard build quality of the Swiftrawler, so I've all but written them off. I've also read that Azimut is notorious for electrical issues so that puts the Magellanos down a bit on the list. Others that I've read a little about include the Absolute Navetta, and I believe a similar craft from Cranchi, but I know next to nothing about them. Regarding the more traditionally designed boats such as those from Hattaras or Fleming, I'm not completely opposed to them. I appreciate they're quality boats, but not really my style. Subject to change, of course.
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We were basically going in a straight line. Needed very little steering. You are correct though that using the single jet is only good for fairly straight travel.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are many happy Swift Trawler and Magellano owners though so don't completely write them off based on what you've read. Specifically, ST are lower quality builds and that is accompanied by a lower price. However, they're very functional boats enjoyed by many. The Azimut/Magellano problems could be easily corrected except Marine Max just doesn't do so very well under warranty.

    I would look at the new Grand Banks, but if the styling doesn't interest you, then Palm Beach, their other brand. Even Nordhavn has entered this market with a coastal boat built in Turkey. KK has done so with Summit, but done so horribly. You may find a Maritimo or Riviera meet your needs. Of course, all this changes periodically too.
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  18. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Fairenuff. I was just wondering if you specced three steerable waterjets, which would be unheard of, on high performance boats.

    In fact, reading comments along the lines of Manhattans being better than a trawler at displacement speed, or naval architects designing planing boats also for low speed, made me chuckle, for the very simple reason that they are so untrue to be not even funny.

    I mean, yeah, of course 50+ kts boats powered by three waterjets can run on just two or one of them, and still be relatively efficient.
    Well, not really, when comparing apples with apples, but let's say they are.
    The point is that this is due to the inherent nature of the propulsion, not to the boat being designed for that purpose, as proved by the fact that you can't even keep the boat on course with the autopilot when on a long passage, if running on just one engine...?!? o_O

    I also disagree on a planing boat (ANY of them - it doesn't matter one iota if it's a S/skr or whatever) being better at displacement speed than a trawler.
    @Capt J: I'm sure you know (as well as most other folks here do) that if in that overnight passage with a Manhattan 66 you would have had a 6-8' HEAD sea (rather than off your stern quarter), you would have kept slamming on every other wave like there's no tomorrow, as opposed to any half decent trawler, that would have ploughed into waves with minimal resistance and surely less pitching.
    Rolling being practically irrelevant, when comparing boats which are both stabilized. It could actually become VERY relevant in the event of malfunctioning stabilizers, but this is another matter, and not so critical in coastal cruising, which is the league where planing boats are really designed to play.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  19. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Sorry for having focused on a sort of side debate so far, but here's my take on your main question.

    Firstly, nope, S/skr never considered entering this segment of the market so far.
    I think it's safe to say this, because we would have seen some boats by now, if they would have.
    It's not like they couldn't build a Swift Trawler if they wanted to, obviously.

    But also looking forward - having said that I can predict anything but the future - I don't think they will.
    In fact, the S/skr CEO, in an interview of last summer, declared that in the immediate future they were going to focus on the heritage associated with the brand.
    And the type of boats you are interested in, which I like to call "wannabe trawlers" because I find it appropriate (even if I'm sure no builder of these boats would be happy to subscribe it! :)), could dilute of the S/skr brand/image to some extent, if you see what I mean.

    In fact, your perception of their 50'-80' range (best at planing speed and 300nm range) is essentially correct.
    And mind, also your "see and be seen" description is quite appropriate - you just shouldn't think of it in a derogatory way.
    That has always been a relevant factor for selling boats, which is the only thing that matters from a builder's perspective.
    Which is the reason why builders' capacity to exploit/sell this factor has always been important in this industry.
    Some builders succeeded more than others, and of course it's more relevant for some types of boats than for others.
    But it's hard to blame S/skr for sticking to what they achieved so far in this respect, which is remarkable.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I never said Manhattans were better than anything. Perhaps that was aimed at someone else although shown as an answer to me. I did say naval architects design for low speed on planing boats. They realize they will often be run at slower speeds and do consider that when designing. They don't design to limit you, but design to empower you. Is their greater focus on speed? Yes, but doesn't mean they ignore going slower.

    I also never said any combination of engine use could make the jet boat as efficient at slow speed as different boats. Just that it could be run slowly a variety of ways and the builder does talk about running on one or two engines and when and how you might find yourself doing so. We did so for a few reasons. We wanted to see how it did it while having a builder rep on board. We were running at night so slow was fine and gave us more fuel excess to run harder during the day. We were on a 50 hour run with a boat with only 70 hours or so on it and resting and checking the engines along the way was nice. We were running a straight line for hours and could easily make any needed adjustments along the way.

    I'm not arguing about trawlers or fast trawlers or other, but simply addressing the question of running a planing boat at slow speed and even more specifically the OP asked about the loop and responded as to our experience doing the loop in a Sunseeker Manhattan 65 and that it tracked and functioned very well, which it did.

    I also suggested the OP reconsider some models he was rejecting and left some additional boats he might want to consider based on his preferences. I'm here just to answer the OP, not to debate the entire industry. You've criticized other posts in this thread, but not offered the OP one bit of advice or suggestions of other boats he should consider.

    Pascal runs regularly at hull speed in Lazzara's and Hatteras's. My wife and I don't like hull speed and only run it when require by law or rules or location. However, we've never had any problems doing so in planing boats, which the OP wanted to know. It's fine to say you prefer full displacement, but the key question on the floor was how planing boats, and Sunseeker specifically, would run at low speeds.
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