SUN­SEEKER PORTOFINO 31

BU ILT 1991 PR ICE £29 ,995

Motorboat & Yachting - - Find Me A Secondhand... -

LENGTH 32ft 3in (9.4m) BEAM 10ft 10in (3.3m) DRAUGHT 3ft 3in (1.0m) DIS­PLACE­MENT 5.1 tonnes FUEL CA­PAC­ITY 500 litres EN­GINES Twin Volvo Penta AQAD 41 200hp diesel

This is old-school Sun­seeker – the very foun­da­tion of one of Eu­rope’s most pres­ti­gious man­u­fac­tur­ers and a boat that’s gone be­yond be­com­ing slightly dated to es­tab­lish it­self as a full-on clas­sic. De­signed by leg­endary race boat de­signer Don Shead, it was hugely pop­u­lar. Sun­seeker made more than 300 of these be­tween 1986 and 1992 be­fore re­plac­ing it with the Portofino 32, which was the same boat but up­dated with a curved screen, in­te­gral bathing plat­form and tran­som door. IN­TE­RIOR There’s no ques­tion that this boat’s pri­or­ity is cock­pit space, but that said, there’s enough be­low the fore­deck for a com­fort­able week­end, with a small dinette, sep­a­rate mid cabin and a com­pact gal­ley and heads. EX­TE­RIOR Out­side is where it’s at, in the mas­sive sin­gle-level cock­pit. Two dou­ble helm seats mean that there’s space for four to sit to­gether un­der way and the oc­tag­o­nal seat­ing area aft will ac­com­mo­date eight in com­fort. Twin cock­pit ta­bles store be­neath the seats and you can turn the aft sec­tion into a sun­pad. But above all, it looks fan­tas­tic, hail­ing from a time where pro­por­tions took pri­or­ity, rather than max­imis­ing in­ter­nal vol­ume. PER­FOR­MANCE Sun­seeker of­fered a range of V8 petrol en­gines, all twin in­stal­la­tions, from 210hp Volvo Pen­tas up to a pair of 330hp 7.4-litre Mer­cruis­ers that pushed well past 40 knots. But the one diesel op­tion of a pair of Volvo Penta AQAD 41 200hp en­gines worked well, of­fer­ing a blend of sen­si­ble fuel econ­omy with a 35-knot top speed. SEA­KEEP­ING Sea­keep­ing is the Portofino 31’s ace in the hole. Don Shead hulls are leg­endary, and this boat clearly demon­strates why. The han­dling is bril­liant; as­sured, ca­pa­ble and fun, but the abil­ity to punch hard through any con­di­tions, with that sub­lime hull ab­sorb­ing the shocks, is fan­tas­tic. That slen­der beam and deep vee shape may limit the amount of space be­low decks but you won’t miss them when you’re romp­ing through the chop with a grin plas­tered across your face.

The helm may look dated but it still drives bet­ter than most mod­ern 30ft sportscruis­ers Head­room is lim­ited but the overnight­ing essen­tials are all in place for week­ends afloat

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