SUNSEEKER PORTOFINO 31
BU ILT 1991 PR ICE £29 ,995
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