April 16th 2013. By Sandy Lindsey.

Sunseeker Predator 80: Redefining The Performance Yacht

Sunseeker has built plenty of Predators through the years, but the new 80—which can roar through the ocean at speeds in excess of 50-mph—sets a new bar for aggressive performance combined with grace and elegance.

Have your eyes glazed over, after looking at yachts like the posh 187’ Lady Linda, the gorgeous HJB America’s Cup replica Rainbow, and the shockingly large 241’ Nobiskrug Mogambo?

When you look at one stunning yacht after another, it sometimes can be difficult to determine right away what makes the latest new build stand out in an industry that creates one masterwork after another. However, that is not the case with the new Sunseeker Predator 80. From the moment one sees its sleek, aggressive lines, it’s clear that this is a cutting-edge performance yacht. Add in the Sunseeker reputation and an unexpectedly wide range of interior, exterior and power options and the result is a yacht that allows buyers to craft the precise vessel they desire.

Sunseeker 80 running

The words “performance yacht” are not used lightly when referring to the Predator 80, which tops out at a pulse-pounding 46 knots when powered by optional twin 2640 hp MTU 16V 2000 M94’s with Arneson Surface Drives. The other three available power packages, which feature traditional propulsion systems, are no slouches either, offering speeds in the 35 knot range for long distance cruising.

The high-tech hull makes the most of the available speeds with handling reminiscent of a Porsche 911, especially on tight turns where it feels as if it’s running on rails. It is very obvious that Sunseeker’s design team found just the right balance between maximizing the layout and getting the best performance, without having to compromise on the generous, open feel of the yacht. 

 

The Predator 80 is awash in new design accents. The most visible are the panoramic hull windows, which give the exterior its ultramodern looks. Inside, they flood the saloon with natural light and offer a near 360-degree panoramic view. Further enhancing the indoor/outdoor connection are the expansive sunroof and the large sliding door in the saloon.

 

Though the collaboration between Suneeker and the Ken Freivokh studio goes back more than 20 years, the Predator 80 is a new contemporary design for Freivokh, titled the “Signature Look”. In the saloon, elegant wenge wood and expanses of lush leather highlight the streamlined interior, which is ideal for entertaining guests or just relaxing. Sweeping curves add to the modern, airy feel. 

 

Another notable design element of the yacht is the wenge wood and Amalfi hazelnut leather inlaid on the full-size dining room table that comfortably seats eight. An alternative to the full dining table is to shift the bar forward to create additional seating, and replace the full dining table with a folding leaf rise and fall dining table.

 

The sophisticated Freivokh styling continues to the state-of-the-art glass-bridge helm. Features include an optional yet strongly recommended Simrad navigation and autopilot system, an Airmar Sonic weather station, and the latest in systems/engine management technology. The JMS joystick maneuvering system makes this yacht virtually effortless to dock, even by owners moving up in size.

 

The four staterooms accommodate eight in sumptuous luxury. All are accessed via a floating staircase with skylight that brings plenty of light below. That bright airy feeling continues in the full beam master, with its oversized windows. For those who stayed up late the night before, there are optional blackout blinds that allow for a bit more rest.  

Bathing and grooming are a pleasure in the master stateroom en suite with its mirrored door stowage that accentuates the spacious feel and luxurious granite flooring. To starboard is a roomy walk-in closet, thoughtfully equipped with a safe to secure jewelry and other valuables.

 

The Predator 80 standard layout features four staterooms for the owner and guests. A fifth cabin located aft is typically utilized as crew quarters, but can also be used as an additional guest suite. A mid-size galley is included with the four-cabin layout. Other options include a layout with three up-sized staterooms and a very large galley. 

 

This may be a mid-size galley but it’s ready to turn out five-star meals and to easily cater large social events on board. The appliances are a Who’s Who of top manufacturers: Sub Zero fridge/freezer, Meile ceramic cooktop, Miele microwave/convection oven, and an integrated Slimline dishwasher. Easy-access cabinets maximize storage space while the efficient layout makes for easy food prep.

Specifications: • LOA: 81′ 8″ • Beam: 19′ 11″ • Draft: 6′ 1″ • Displacement: 123,200 lbs. • Fuel Capacity: 1,586 gal. • Water capacity: 317 gal.

Sunseeker is known for making yachts that are “production” only in the fact that they share the same deck and hull. However, the varied layouts and powerplants offered result in no two yachts being alike. The Predator 80 we tested—built for cruising the U.S. and tropics with its racy carbon fiber accents and optional tropical air conditioning and hot tub up front—both proves and improves on this philosophy. There’s no question this is going to be a very popular model for the venerable builder.

For more information, watch our Sunseeker Predator 80 50 Second Video Tour, or visit Sunseeker.



Sandy Lindsey
Sandy Lindsey is the author of Quick & Easy Boat Maintenance (International Marine/McGraw Hill), now in its second edition. She is also the author of The Women's Guide To Powerboating. A USCG licensed Captain, her FOWA and OWAA award winning articles have appeared in national, regional and international boating publications for the past two decades.