Sunseeker Predator 50

Breaking from the pack.

by Chuck Warren
On the charts carried by the old-world explorers, the edge of the known world was often marked by the phrase, “Here, there be monsters.”

Specifications

  • LOA: 52'5"
  • Beam: 14'9"
  • Draft: 4'4"
  • Weight: 41,888 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 576 gals.
  • Water Capacity: 119 gals.
  • Power:
  • Price:

sunseeker.com

Those words signified the unknown, the ends of the earth, a place of mystery and surprise. A place where Britain’s Sunseeker Yachts has never feared to tread. 

Sunseeker was one of the early explorers into the world of sportboats, designing models that could provide comfortable accommodations for two couples and still tow a waterskier. Leading the fleet once again, Sunseeker has helped to usher in the sport cruiser era by building luxury vessels that can comfortably carry a family and guests at speeds previously uncommon with vessels in the 50-foot range. 

Sunseeker’s newest addition to its performance cruiser line, the Predator 50, puts the same high quality, craftsmanship and performance in an entry point to the Predator line that feels more accessible than its larger siblings. The Predator 50 also has some mysteries and surprises all its own. 

The Beach Club

As I walked down the Chicago Yacht Club dock, I had time to really appreciate the lines and contours of the new Predator 50. The exteriors is sporty, with hullside window accents that are reminiscent of shark’s teeth. The Predator 50’s windshield design presents a sharper, more streamlined appearance than many of its peers. The bow seems longer, but still sleek, with less of a bubble shape to the salon.

Stepping down to the teak swim platform, I entered the optional “Beach Club,” which includes a flip-down bench seat and electric grill, and outdoor transom shower. Beneath the transom is a surprise: A garage large enough for a tender that’s molded in so well that you might never notice it. 

Port and starboard entryways provide access to the cockpit, where fore and aft seating face a teak cockpit table that folds open to create a huge serving space. The aft seat backrest can transform into a large sunpad directly above the Beach Club.

For sunbathers who would like to skip Beach Club activities, the bow is nicely appointed and easily accessible. There are no steps along the way, just a smooth incline as the teak decking on the outboard walkways leads forward to another huge sunpad. 

The atmosphere up front is less “beach party” and more “cold drink and great book.” The sunpad can be converted into seats with backrests to make reading, lounging and napping an option. 

Sunlit salon

The salon’s entry door and rear window can be locked open, creating a patio atmosphere — especially when the massive sunroof is retracted. The salon itself is unusual by today’s standards; Sunseeker made its name by breaking away from the fleet and testing the limits of the known world. But here, the risk was in choosing a traditional design. 

Instead of today’s common galley-aft layout, the Predator 50’s galley is left below. The difference is immediately noticeable. The U-shaped dinette to port is big and comfortable but does not dominate the salon. Without the galley, the main entertainment space feels much longer and wider, and the extra floor space allows guests to stand around and talk without requiring breath mints.

The comforts are still there, along with plenty of counterspace on the starboard side. A sink, wine cooler and cold storage drawer round out the wetbar, but the cook surface and related accessories are below the horizon.

Throughout the boat, entertainment options are fairly standard for a boat of this class and size. Fusion audio systems with separate equipment for the main stateroom, Samsung LED TVs and zoned environmental controls are all available in the Predator 50. A hidden TV in the main salon tucks away to let in light and improve visibility. 

Below deck

Forward, and down a “user-friendly” stairwell, the galley makes its appearance. This was one of my favorite features of the Predator 50. The galley feels like a true kitchen workspace with its cooktop, preparation surfaces and serving area that doubles as a breakfast bar. There is even room for high-top bar stools on the outside of the counter. 

Across from the galley, a dinette with a breakfast nook-feel occupies the starboard space. A family of four can easily enjoy meals there or play board games in foul weather conditions. The dinette can also double as a workspace, where a laptop will leave enough room for paperwork. With the third stateroom option, this space becomes sleeping quarters with bunk beds.

Forward, the VIP stateroom features a scissor berth where close friends can share quarters without sharing a bed, or couples can pull the two halves together into a comfortable double bed. Large hullside windows pour sunlight into the stateroom and opening portholes let in fresh air.

Aft of the galley, access to the master stateroom leads past the main head before ending in a full-beam suite with plenty of headroom on either side of the bed. The large hullside windows flood the space with light and also provide a beautiful view from the starboard dinette; this is a nice touch that provides space for quiet meals or a private workspace for last minute projects. 

Both heads feature fine marble flooring and countertops, adding to the richly appointed feel of the vessel. Opening portholes are also a nice touch. The heads are roomy with plenty of space to get ready for the opera or a day at the beach.

Happy captain

At the helm, glass panel touch-screen controls grace either side of the dash. There’s another surprise here: The glass panels provide feedback from twin Volvo D8-600 shaft drives, not pods as one may expect. 

With Volvo D8s and shafts, it performed well, easily cruising at 23 knots. The boat once again held up to the Sunseeker standard with its incredibly quiet ride. At cruising speeds with the sunroof completely open, conversation is possible in the salon at normal levels. 

The difference in cost is the first and most obvious reason for once again breaking from the pack and staying with the tried-and-true shaft drives. Pods are incredible advancements in marine propulsion, but also come with the ownership and maintenance costs to match. 

Shaft drives are simple. But, without pods, maneuverability suffers, correct?

Standard two-lever controls with thrusters allow easy maneuverability from the Predator 50’s helm. However, Sunseeker mysteriously managed to provide an option for joystick controls that provide the maneuverability of a pod-driven boat, and did it with shaft drives, rudders, and bow and stern thrusters. 

On a boat marketed as the entry point for the Predator line, the shaft drive cost savings and simplified maintenance put a world-class boat in reach for many more potential owners. 

Never afraid of the unknown, Sunseeker has once again sailed for the horizon ahead of the fleet and, as ye seek, so ye shall find. Boaters seeking space, comfort, class and style at an attainable price will find it in the Predator 50. 

Here, there are no monsters; there is only Sunseeker. 


DEALER
Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales
St. Clair Shores, MI; Charlevoix, MI; Grand Haven, MI; Holland, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Chicago, IL; Catawba Island, OH
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