In September 2018, Sunseeker International announced a momentous step into the world of metal-built yachts. Looking to capitalise on the British yard’s success in the superyacht market while responding to client demand for larger Sunseeker vessels, the British doyen of luxury powerboats needed to build bigger. The challenge was finding the right yard specialised in metal superyacht construction to partner with on its largest vessel to date: the Sunseeker 161 Yacht.
Sunseeker spent nearly three years looking for a partner to build its first aluminium-hulled yacht in the all-important 50m sector. Although finding experience and expertise in metal build was relatively simple, the challenge was in finding a yard that shared the same progressive, innovative spirit as Sunseeker. Not only did the prospective partner need to be able to create something unique but critically, provide the flexibility to build a true Sunseeker motor yacht.
Innovation, quality, experience: ICON Yachts
Cue ICON Yachts. Opening its doors in Harlingen in 2005, the Dutch shipbuilder ICON Yachts has been making waves throughout the superyacht sector since its inception. Matching Sunseeker’s innovative and forward-thinking mentality, ICON specialises in effective, modern construction methods, building high-quality, comprehensively engineered vessels in steel and aluminium with every detail – however minute – carefully considered.
Challenging traditional building methods, the renowned Dutch builders have fundamentally modernised the building of superyachts. From day one, they created a hyper-efficient system that combines extensive pre-planning with an innovative modular construction technique. This reduces the time to delivery, guarantees build quality and offers infinite customisation according to a client’s specific needs and desires.
ICON’s experienced team was another deciding factor for Sunseeker when looking for the perfect collaborator for the step into large, aluminium yacht construction. The ICON Yachts team is built on expertise, skill and craftsmanship, with each employee defined by a passion to excel. From the foremen to the project managers and executive team, ICON delivers an unparalleled package of design, engineering and construction talent.
Heavily investing in the latest shipbuilding equipment and facilities, in 2019 the yard completed a new 130-metre floating dock, increasing its refit capacity by 100 per cent and cementing ICON’s position as a leader in the northern European superyacht manufacturing and refit business. ICON is also dedicated to maintaining its reputation as one of the world’s greenest shipyards. Every ICON new build benefits from its Green Yacht Plus standard, outfitting each yacht with equipment to help reduce its environmental impact.
ICON’s unique, world-class facilities are located on reclaimed land just outside the historic port of Harlingen in the Netherlands. Surrounded by unrestricted open-water, ICON Yachts is Holland’s only boat builder with no limitations from locks and bridges, making the Harlingen yard a key location for superior superyacht builds.
The Sunseeker 161 Yacht
Measuring in at <500GT, this new tri-deck yacht follows the iconic Sunseeker exterior lines and offers exceptional space and volume. Her interior can be styled to each owner’s unique taste via Sunseeker’s unique ‘Bespoke’ service. The theme throughout is one of space and flexibility, maximising volume and providing compelling features to enhance enjoyment on board. The plunge pool on the main deck is one such feature, as well as the generous beach club that creates an incredible space for a day near the water.
The Sunseeker 161 Yacht sees ten guests accommodated in five cabins in the standard guest configuration, with scope for up to 12 guests dependent upon the chosen general arrangement.
Speaking of the collaboration with ICON Yachts Sunseeker CEO, Christian Marti, says: “We have built a great relationship with ICON, and this collaboration is going to be very special. We are bringing together two world-class builders to produce a brand-new superyacht that will not only look incredible but will be truly unique in her design, efficiency and comfort.
“Since the launch at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2018, the response globally to the 161 Yacht project has been exceptional among the media and prospective customers. The new yacht will be built in the ICON yard in the Netherlands using a proven fast displacement hull design, but its innate look and feel will be unmistakably Sunseeker.”
Jen Wartena, CEO of ICON Yachts adds: “This is just the beginning of a long, bright future at ICON. We’re incredibly proud to become a strategic partner with Sunseeker, a brand well known for its success in the luxury performance motor yacht market. With our first collaboration on the Sunseeker 161 Yacht, we’re merging the best of both worlds: the experience, sales and marketing power of a strong brand such as Sunseeker with the innovative shipbuilding capabilities of ICON Yachts.”
The first hull in the Sunseeker 161 Yacht series is scheduled to launch in 2021.