Sunseeker Manhattan 68: Toy Story Proves a Winner For All Ages
Serious boat buyers, children and the young at heart have fallen in love with the toy store built into the transom of Sunseeker’s Manhattan 68 – and the first hull in Asia is expected in Thailand later this year.
What do you get the yachtsman who has everything? How about a yacht that can store it all. The aft end of the Sunseeker Manhattan 68 has been attracting serious buyers and ogling onlookers since the model debuted at Boot Dusseldorf earlier this year followed by its US debut at the Miami Yacht Show.
The Sunseeker Manhattan 68 debuted this year and a model has been ordered for Asia
In fact, I had to laugh when I crouched down to snap a photo of the grown-up toy cupboard when a kid, about 10 years old, crouched beside me to do the same thing. It appears the replacement for the Manhattan 66 appeals to boaters of all ages. (I’m still getting over the fact he had a newer phone and more than double the Instagram followers as me.)
The Manhattan 68 uses the proven hull of the 66, which sold well around the world including into Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. The larger model number is due to the enhanced Beach Club and longer swim platform, increasing the overall length by 10 inches to 69ft 1in.
The toy cupboard in the Manhattan 68’s Beach Club stores gear for water activities, with a fold-down bench and hydraulic swim platform improving the experience
Even before you even step inside, you notice the exterior has been refined with a new hull window line, larger saloon windows, carbonfibre over the engine vents and stainless-steel detailing, hinting at further improvements within.
The 68 also features new layouts, particularly on the main deck and flybridge and in the master cabin, as well as many new design touches and features. However, it’s Sunseeker’s prized Beach Club that steals a lot of the attention, both at shows and at sea.
The water-level locker can store and charge two Seabobs (up to the F5) or two iAquasThe transom door has a shower, lights and speakers – and provides shade
WATER TOYS BY THE WATER
Sunseeker has been among the first builders to shift their design focus to a space that previously was reserved for cramped crew quarters or storage. In fact, just two years ago I sat with a friend on the
Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht’s fold-down transom seating and asked: Why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?
I especially like that the 68 has a fold-down seat in the toy store where you can put your fins on without needing to balance on one foot like Karate Kid. You can get squared away comfortably, lower the hydraulic platform and be on your way to an underwater adventure.
The cockpit table can fold out for alfresco dining
Perhaps the most innovative trick in the transom is dedicated waterlevel storage for personal watercraft (PWC) that can hold and charge two units at a time, whether they’re Seabobs, iAqua or other models.
One downside to PWCs is that they’re surprisingly heavy and cumbersome to carry out of the water, yet Sunseeker has solved that problem with a system that allows them to simply slide in and out of
the locker just by raising and lowering the swim platform. Again: Why didn’t anyone else think of that?
The flybridge can be fitted with a hardtop and allows owners to choose how to use the clear aft area
Another party trick from the Beach Club is the door itself, which when raised can act as a huge sun shade over the platform area, a big bonus in Asia.
The underside features an overhead shower to allow for a rinse-off seconds after surfacing from the sea. Now, that’s a fresh touch. The door also reveals lights and speakers, making it fun to hang out here in the evening.
The platform also has functional uses and can carry a jetski or tender, such as a six-seat Williams Sportjet 345.
When you finally get past the swim platform, it’s a few steps up to the cockpit, where a C-shaped sofa provides seating around an adjustable table that has drinks holders on each side and can fold out
to become a long dining table. New for the cockpit is an optional sink unit with either icemaker and refrigerator, located under the starboard stairs to the flybridge.
The top of the staircase brings you to an all-new wet bar with icemaker and optional barbecue and refrigerator, all situated behind the twin-seat helm station.
To port is a forward-facing L-shaped sofa that connects to a huge, full-beam sunbathing area that stretches right across in front of the helm, which itself provides a double backrest. Any tables by the sofa are optional, while the standard design leaves almost the entire aft half of the flybridge as open space, allowing for creative input.
The upgraded foredeck features a forward-facing C-shaped sofa, adjustable table, flexible sunpads and plenty of drinks holders
Douglas Culverwell, Sunseeker International’s Regional Business Manager for Asia, says: “The flybridge was an area of considerable design focus in the upgrade. Our clients have been requesting the possibility of loose custom lounging sofas, sun loungers or a more traditional L-shaped seating area with a fold-out teak dining table.
“The latter has been the preferred choice in Asia on yachts sold so far. Importantly for the Asia market, this area is sheltered from the sun by the retractable shade in the hardtop or bimini.”
Finished in Eucalyptus, the model shown has the galley up, although the galley-down option creates more saloon space and could be popular in Asia
CHANGES IN THE MAIN
Inside, through full-width sliding doors, you’ll also find yourself in a thoroughly updated model from stern to stem.
Following the Predator 60 Evo, the Manhattan 68 is Sunseeker’s second yacht featuring a dynamic, sophisticated interior designed in collaboration with Design Unlimited. It has also resulted in a new selection of wood options complemented by a new fabric range.
Under CEO Andrea Frabetti’s leadership, there has been not only a huge emphasis on use of space and luxurious materials but also technology. One example is the Videoworks control app that allows owners to control many features remotely including lighting moods, airconditioning and electric blinds to create the right ambience on the boat, even in advance of arriving.
The Manhattan 68’s standard layout features the galley located aft, with dining table opposite and saloon forward. An option designed with Asia in mind is the galley on the lower deck in place of the portside twin cabin, with the ‘galley-up’ space used to provide more lounging space on the main deck.
“Like the flybridge, a considerable amount of design time was spent on the internal layout to meet our global market requirements,” Culverwell says.
“A key design criteria driven by client feedback was for us tokeep the four good-sized staterooms and gain a dining area opposite the galley, at the same time as making the entrance to the boat more inviting. We were only able to achieve this by moving the owner’s private staircase forward and integrate it into the space.
The forward guest accommodation includes a VIP suite (above) and one or two twin cabins (below), depending on whether the galley is up or down
“But for Asia, we have continued the tradition at Sunseeker of the galley-down option. This and all the other new features and designs have transformed this yacht, so we look forward to the model’s Asia
debut later this year.”
Looking ahead, the forward area is dedicated to lounging and features a large C-shaped sofa that faces a portside TV, which sits above a see-through base that offers guests an interesting view of the
water through a window by the stairs to the master suite.
Forward of this area is raised, L-shaped companion seating opposite the double-seat helm station, both areas sitting either side of the central stairs to the guest cabins.
The newly designed master suite benefits from long hull windows and offers portside options including a beautifully designed chaise longue
LOWER DECK UPGRADED
The lower deck was also revised, with the full-beam master cabin restyled to allow for the new location of the owner’s staircase. The room features some great design details from the feature TV panel to the clever storage shelves and very stylish chaise longue.
The three guest cabins up front comprise two large forward-facing twin cabins and a VIP stateroom in the bow with an aft-facing bed.
Subtle changes to this area include a larger lobby and easier access to the day head, which is shared by the port and starboard twins. A striking change is the bathroom finishes, featuring new stones that are both stunning and practical.
Compared to the Manhattan 66, the exterior of the Manhattan 68 has a new hull window line, larger saloon windows and carbon-fibre over the engine vents
A deck hatch in the cockpit accesses the engine room, where you’ll find twin Quick Gyro stabilisers, a change from the fins used in the 66.
Meanwhile, access to the twin crew cabin is by a transom door, which is hinged at the top to match the door to the beloved toy store.
Overall, the 68 is a remarkable new model, with many of the innovations, layout options, and improvements in technology and design beneficial for yachting in Asia.
Furthermore, the toy store and improved Beach Club is another reminder of Sunseeker’s new emphasis on the aft end of its yachts, most evident in the exciting options available on upcoming models like the Ocean Club Ninety and 42.
After all, innovation in these spaces makes it easier to enjoy being on – and in – the water with friends and family. And isn’t that what boating is all about?
The lower helm station features a bench-seat and access to the side deck
The original article first appeared in Yacht Style Issue 54 (Charter Issue 2020) – see below:
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