Motorboat & Yachting: A new Hardy 62 with a whole host of changes, including an updated interior, will hit the water in 2016.
We stayed on board for a night, took it in and out of marinas, charged along at 25 knots and dawdled in single figures. We got under the skin of the 62 and came to the conclusion that there was a fantastic boat begging to get out.
The first boat, the Southampton show boat, was designed for a Russian owner who as well as specifying a gun cabinet in the master cabin settled for a solid if rather drab and uninspiring interior and seemed to want a boat that felt more rugged than refined.
Hull number two, though, which is currently in mould at the factory in Norfolk is going to hit the water with a whole host of improvements, that will hopefully transform the 62 from a good boat to a great one and one that can comfortably go head to head with the best.
So, what’s changed? Firstly the traditional interior is out in place of what Hardy says is a far more modern “but not glitzy” effort. This is good news and if the rendering below is anything to go by the new interior should be really rather special.
There’s a vibrant mix of grey woods and more traditional walnut, stylish fabric wall panels, improved lighting and, thankfully, Hardy has finally succumbed to using large hull windows. Okay, they aren’t quite at Princess’s level but they’re a start and, crucially, the interior looks to be more fitting of a boat with a seven figure price tag.
Another area of the original boat that needed some attention was the flybridge, which was sparse and lacking in creature comforts. No such problems on the new one, which has a radar arch in place of the mast with a wet-bar at the bottom containing a fridge and electric BBQ grill.
Seating options are far better, too, and Hardy has sensibly made use of the enormous aft section of the flybridge by fitting a U-shaped dining area with a hi-lo table so you can transform it into a sunpad. Of course there is still space for a decent RIB and the crane to lift it with.
There have been tweaks to the helm on the top deck, too, with increased wind protection and more adjustment on the seats and steering wheel. This particular build lacks the very useful internal staircase that we found so useful on our trip from Southampton to Ipswich but Hardy would include one if you wanted it.
Motorboat & Yachting: Sunseeker’s latest superyacht design has been revealed in the form of the Sunseeker 131 – the second largest model to date to bear the Poole brand’s livery. The Sunseeker 131 Yacht will be launching next year, with accommodation for up to 12 and a cruising range of 1,500nm.
And although it is not due to launch until Spring 2016, the first four Sunseeker 131 hulls have already been sold, so any further buyers will have to wait until November 2016 to get theirs.
On-board accommodation features five double cabins as standard, although owners can increase this to 12 should they desire.
The stand-out feature is the trio of vast hull windows that should let huge amounts of light into the master suite, saloon and upper saloon.
Building on the same platform as the 40M Yacht, the Sunseeker 131 boasts an extra two metres of upper deck space, which means a new bar and seating layout is possible in the cockpit.
Meanwhile, the cavernous garage can swallow up a six-metre tender and a pair of PWCs. In keeping with Sunseeker’s latest big launches, the 131 is designed with long-distance cruising in mind.
Although the engine options haven’t yet been revealed, the company claims that it will do 1,500nm between fuelling stops when cruising at 10 knots. Should the owner want to go flat-out, for whatever reason, the notional top speed is 23 knots.
Sean Robertson, sales director at Sunseeker International, added that this is just the first of four new models that Sunseeker plans to roll out for the 2015/16 model year.
Motorboat & Yachting: This year’s Southampton Boat Show is starting to shape up, with organisers confirming that the Red Arrows will be making a special appearance.
The famous Royal Air Force stunt team will be performing their aerobatics above Mayflower Marina from 15:40 to 16:00 on Saturday July 12.
Apart from the Red Arrows display, other key attractions include the 100ft Ferris wheel, which is returning for the second year in a row to offer visitors panoramic views of the show.
Meanwhile, the historic tall ship Earl of Pembroke will be open for visitors to climb aboard throughout the ten-day event.
Visitors will also be able to try out boating through various initiatives. Get Afloat will provide dinghy sailing and stand-up paddleboarding taster sessions for 8-16 year-olds, while Wet Wheels will be offering catamaran rides for wheelchair users.
The show, which is now in its 47th year, features a purpose-built marina to house the hundreds of models that are displayed on the water.
Advance tickets to the 2015 Southampton Boat Show are on sale now, priced at £15 per adult. Two children aged under 15 can go for free with each paying adult.