50 Sunseeker Camargue | Denison Yacht Sales

29 Мар 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Sunseeker Camargue 50

50 Sunseeker Camargue

Source: David Lockwood, Boatpoint Magazine

Despite its British origins, the latest Sunseeker luxury cruiser to land in Australia wears its European influences on its sleeve. David Lockwood has the story

The lower delta and salt marches where the Rhone releases its payload in Southern France is called The Camargue. It s a fertile area where salt farms pump water year round, wild bulls and horses root and roam, and flocks of pink flamingos sieve the flats.

But I didn t need to pack the safari suit and travel to the south of France to find my own slice of Camargue. UK boatbuilder Sunseeker kindly sent the namesake boat, a 50-footer wearing the latest craze in electric sunroofs, via deck cargo to Sydney.

The luxury express cruiser is in the same league as another Camargue the one with four wheels dating back to 1975. The Rolls Royce Camargue was based on the Silver Shadow but styled by Italian Sergio Pininfarina. The mighty Med had a hand in Sunseeker s Camargue 50, too.

A real lifestyle boat, the svelte Camargue 50 has indoor and outdoor lounging areas, a big entertaining platform much like the company s brilliant Predator range, and an interior designed to pamper two couples. And the drive well, it will leave the old Rolls reeling. Think lively and lithe, not loping like a limo.

SUMMER LOVIN

Launched at last year s Southampton Boat Show, the Camargue 50 made its debut in Sydney in time for summer 03. The $1.65 million boat carried the first pair of the new-gen Caterpillar 700hp C12 motors to lob in Oz, too.

But of all the Sunseekers I ve driven this one has one of the best hulls afloat. The boat rides naturally level and has a very soft ride offshore. Unlike earlier Sunseekers, the view of the open road is unfettered and the optional (must-have, I believe) hardtop has heaps of headroom over the helm.

The hardtop with sunroof lets you cruise for views in fair weather and foul, and change the ambience from dayboat to champagne cruiser at the flick of switch. The 50-footer has other big-boat features: a garage for the jet-powered RIB, a superyacht radar arch, and an amenities centre along the entire starboard side of the cockpit. Chargrilled seafood, anyone?

A remodelled version of the original Sunseeker Camargue, the new boat has a remodelled superstructure, interior, engineering and engines. The result is a brighter and more open-plan boat with more luxuries, such as flatscreen televisions in both cabins. Performance has also been improved thanks to the latest Cats, which appeared very clean running.

DRESS CIRCLE

Coming aboard was no more difficult than stepping onto the full-width, teak-topped boarding platform and climbing the moulded stairs at the starboard side of the transom. En route I noticed a H/C handheld shower, concealed swim ladder, freshwater marina connection, shorepower lead and the garage.

Press a button and the lid lifts to reveal a 4m RIB with outboard rearing to be launched to pick up the Sunday papers, or perhaps tow the tykes on boards. But a kill switch should be fitted to prevent you opening the garage with the toggle catches locked down. Whoops!

A big sunpad graces the rear of the boat and there is an optional second sunpad for the bow, where access is surprisingly good thanks to wide sidedecks, moulded toe rails, handy handrails and a bowrail that appears to have grown in stature. The foredeck is flat to help with your footing, and the grabrails beside the sunpad, which used to be low-profile numbers, are now big enough to use for security at sea.

All the anchoring gear including a windlass that isn t concealed from prying fingers comes standard. So, too, fenders that live in baskets up front and mooring lines that attach to big-boat cleats dotted along the decks. Crew will like the fact this boat is accessible front-to-back.

CRUISING STAGE

The core of this boat, its inner strength, is its wonderful, sheltered, sumptuous single-level cockpit. The eagle-eye windows seem to have grown larger, leading to bigger views while foxtrotting on the teak decking.

But the layout is pure pragmatism. Portside is guests seating facing a full-length amenities centre. What could be simpler? The two plush, white-vinyl U-shaped lounges can accommodate eight people. Half the complement gets to ride opposite the skipper, but everyone can converse on the one level.

Evidence of Sunseeker s big investment in its new tech centre, which brought a lot of manufacturing back in-house, exists in the improved finish and details. The cockpit table hidden beneath a seatbase is an ingenious bit of work. The table extends on clever hinges and rams to create a setting for four people in the blink of an eye. Tuck the table away, pull on the dancing shoes on, and turn up the volume by night.

The all-important amenities centre is a long, white, moulded-fibreglass unit to starboard with a hip for looks. It harbours a wetbar with sink and H/C water, fridge, icemaker and griddle. Whack the grilled prawns in the bowl of Thai-inspired pla goong salad sitting alongside.

Hidden about the place are courtesy and cockpit lights and various storage recesses. Overhead is the terrific electric sunroof. Top down, the sun streams inside the summer cruiser. Top closed, wipers on, you can tour the waterways mid-winter if you want.

A hatch back aft leads into an engine room of generous proportions. Unlike most Sunseekers, the gearboxes are direct-drive models and not vee-drives. I noted big sea strainers and fuel filters nearby. The electrical system, 12/24V and 240V, looked to be well laid out with circuit breakers, coded wiring and a split charging system.

The master switches and battery isolators reside in a lockable hatch back in the cockpit. This way you can get going post engine-room inspection with a minimum of fuss. Further aft is a utility room with 4kW Kohler genset, batteries, freshwater pumps, air-con units and plumbing. You need to crawl through the engine room, or perhaps the garage, but there is plenty of servicing room inside.

OPEN SESAME

Down below I found a signature Sunseeker interior with high-gloss cherrywood joinery, brushed stainless-steel Italian doorhandles, and light-coloured leather upholstery and liners. However, this boat was more open plan and there appeared to be more natural light than in other Camargues I have tested. The removal of the galley return and bulky television has paved the way.

I noted oiled-teak steps and good grabhandles to help you move about the saloon, a vanilla-coloured U-shaped leather lounge to starboard, and pretty platinum curtains. There was room for six dinner settings around the cherrywood dinette if you pulled up a couple of loose chairs.

The saloon is air conditioned, of course, and also surrounded by timber storage lockers. A 50cm flatscreen television faces the lounge, as does a rather excellent galley, with a glass cabinet loaded with crystal nearby.

I like the fact that the galley amenities are hidden under fold-back timber panels. Full marks for the hard-wearing Amtico flooring, recessed two-burner hotplate that won t let a pot topple over, and the microwave oven in a cabinet where it s accessible and not prone to creating spills. The half-sized fridge and small freezer were adequate.

There were lockers with six Royal Dalton dinnerware settings, five drawers for utensils and supplied silverware, and various cupboards for victuals. However, there wasn t a lot of space for stowing pots and appliances and as far as I could see, no extractor fan. But there is a garbage bin.

TWO HEADS BETTER THAN ONE

The boat s accommodation is first class. There are two exception cabins at either end of the boat that enjoy privacy. Each has its own ensuite kitted out with monogrammed towels. Headroom in the cabins is generous.

Guests have it good compared with their options in a lot of other boats. The aft cabin is a ripper, with excellent access and no ducking or weaving necessary to find the twin single berths. These were covered with navy bedspreads and backed by a mocha-coloured man-made suede bedhead.

There is space at the foot of the beds for dressing and more room over the bunks than you will find in most aft cabins. I spotted opening portholes, air-con outlets, a flatscreen LCD television, bedside table, storage under the bunks and a big hanging locker with a full-length mirror.

The ensuite doubles as the dayhead. You step down into the shower and gain full headroom under the designer rose. The loo is a Vacuflush number and there are mirror-backed lockers and a vanity. However, I couldn t find an extractor fan and you can bang the bathroom door against the mirrored hanging locker outside.

Up front, a platinum-coloured metallic bedspread glimmered on the island double bed. A good night s sleep will be had in the master cabin unless you are troubled by water playing on chines. A double-width hanging locker, mirror, seven overhead lockers and an LCD television complete the picture. The owner s ensuite hasn t a freestanding shower stall, but rather one of those Dr Tardis-type perspex screens on rollers. And no extractor fan.

Sunseeker Camargue 50

HORSES FOR COURSES

I slotted behind the wheel as though the boat had been built around me. The comfortable helm seat and sports wheel are only part of the driving pleasure. Views are great and hands-free cruising can be enjoyed thanks to a Simrad autopilot and 10in Furuno Navnet plotter recessed in the dash.

Engine gauges were mounted in mock-walnut panels, but the electronic Cat panels were partly obscured by the wheel. Electronic shifts and bowthruster control fell to hand. Full marks for the new matt-black mouldings behind the windscreen that reduce glare.

The boat wasn t a handful to extract from its tight berth in a fair old gale. A bow that slices the waves and trademark off-the-wheel steering make this a lot of fun to command. A midweek free expression session was backed up by a short blatt out to sea. Nothing to fault, Dear Reader.

Cruising speeds were 21kt at 1750rpm, 25kt at 1880rpm and 28kt at 2000rpm. Top speed was a pretty useful 33.7kt with a 20kt tailwind, although the most efficient revs are 1900rpm.

Leaving 10 per cent in reserve, the modest 2000lt tank (and 425lt watertank) should give a safe cruising range at 1900rpm and about 25kt of 175nm. This isn t huge by ocean-going standards, but it s useful for the fast port-to-port passagemaking that owners of these kinds of boats are likely to dabble in.

Very much an owner-driver boat, the Camargue 50 is a good size for a place like Sydney. You can sneak into all the bays and anchorages and get up tight with the wildlife. You won t find a pink flamingo, but keep your eyes peeled for the birdlife.

A great drive with the fabulous hardtop and sunroof. Huge cockpit with amenities at hand.

Accommodation at either end of the boat and twin heads make for a private boat for two couples.

Finish has improved and significant refinements are coming through from the new tech center.

Needs a solenoid to stop you opening the garage door when the catches are locking in place.

CAT electronic panels are partly obscured by wheel.


Not much storage for pots and appliances.

No extractor fans and aft ensuite door opens back on mirror in cabin.

Boat Specifications: 50 Sunseeker Camargue

SUNSEEKER CAMARGUE 50

Options fitted: Engine upgrade, electronics and entertainment systems, air conditioning, teak cockpit, RIB, bowthruster and more

Material:Fibreglass with composite decks

Type:Modified-vee planing hull

Sunseeker Camargue 50

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