After a long hot-dog-and-protein-bar-fueled Ft. Lauderdale boat show, all I could think about was a cup of Bahamian conch chowder and a cold Kalik. I did my best to dutifully run Sunseeker’s new 74 Sport Yacht through the rpm range. I took sound readings. I carved S-turns and inspected sightlines (they were excellent), but looming just beyond the horizon—across miles of glistening, sun-drenched sea looking like a yellow brick road—was Bimini. The daydream of running the boat there was so real I could practically taste it.
The first thing I noticed as I strolled up to the 74 was a versatile swim platform area that you could rightfully get away with calling a beach club. Fold-down seating is becoming more and more standard in the Sunseeker lineup; it was a good spot to rest my weary boat-show feet. An accompanying fold-down grill is an adequate size to keep your crew fueled. (There’s an entrance here to a small, yet manageable, crew’s quarters.)
I eventually summoned the strength to inspect the salon. Standing in the cockpit and gazing into the exceptionally bright interior, I started to realize that the British builder’s Sport Yacht line might be one of my favorites. It features the racy exterior lines of their Predator line (in fact, this 74 shares the same hull as her Predator sistership) while also blending the wide-open living spaces that their motoryachts are known for.
Dividing the cockpit and salon is a fairly common disappearing window-and-door combo: The cockpit/salon window fully rises and retracts in 10 short seconds. What’s uncommon about the window and door is their size. At nearly 4 inches thick, they offer a sense of solidity and strength that anyone who spends time on the ocean can appreciate.
Stepping past the modern helm to get down below, I was greeted by an unconventional galley layout, and I mean that in a good way. Just forward of the actual galley and countertop space is a breakfast nook where a few people could have a cozy cup of coffee and breakfast. “Private space” can sometimes be marketing speak for “dark and cavernous,” but that’s not the case here. Its placement just down from the helm lets light from the windshield turn this space into an atrium. I like these more private dining options, especially when the on-deck salon and cockpit are so open to the possibility of prying eyes. (Hey, when you own a boat like this, gawking happens.) The nook can also be used as an office or fourth cabin, but my guess is that the extra dining space will far and away be the most popular option.
The rest of the accommodations are fairly standard in arrangement, with a VIP forward, guest stateroom to starboard and a full-beam master aft.
The 74 didn’t have quite as much heel in turns as I was expecting, but she offered a ride that was more than worthy of the title Sport Yacht. She was sure-footed in turns and sported excellent 360-degree sightlines that somehow made it feel like you were driving a boat of 54, not 74, feet.
Pushing the throttles to wide open allowed me to summon every horse from the 1,900-hp MAN engines and reach a top speed of 37.2 knots; 1,550-hp MANs are an option that should lend the boat a more-than-respectable 34-knot top end. —Daniel Harding Jr.
Displ.: 103,396 lbs.
Fuel: 1,268 gal.
Water: 211 gal.
Power: 2/1,900-hp MAN V12
Cruise Speed: 26 knots
Top Speed: 37 knots