Sunseeker Ocean 182 Yacht Review

Sunseeker Ocean 182 Yacht Review

The English are a hardy sort, and they have to be to enjoy boating on the English Channel. That can be one seriously nasty piece of water—I know, I’ve sailed there. The Channel has also kept a long list of generals from invading across it, from Medina-Sidoña to Napoleon onward. But here’s my take on this new Sunseeker: if Mr. Bonaparte had a fleet of Sunseeker Ocean 182s, they would be speaking French in London today.

Sunseeker Ocean 182

I don’t normally start with a sea trial but, in the case of my outing on this U.K. builder’s latest model, the Gulf Stream was doing its best to imitate the English Channel. Square-edged northerly swells marched steadily against the flow, and the remains of a low front provided buckets of wind—not my favorite weather to run to Bimini or Nantucket or Catalina or wherever.

But the 182 cleared the washing machine slop of the inlet, hunkered down and then devoured everything the sea threw at her. We, on the other hand, were lolling in the skylounge (the Brits call it the Upper Deck—so British) talking quietly and enjoying a panoramic view of the greybeards marching past, outside. No muss, no fuss.

The Ocean 182 is not a harbor queen, or even one of the yachts designed to flit along the Riviera with a payload of bikinied crumpets and Dom P. This is a yacht for someone who wants to go adventuring in grand style. From dockside and in profile, it reminded me of a giant lawn dart with all the rakish wings and slashes along the topsides, albeit with a slightly blunted bow (perhaps to keep kids safe when tossing the dart).

But inside, oh, my! Let’s continue out of the usual order by descending to the lower deck, where four staterooms offer lordly accommodations. The stairs both down to the cabins and up to the skylounge could be a welded steel sculpture on display at the Met: simply beautiful! The owner’s suite is slightly forward of amidships, with everything needed for a pied a terre away from your guests: king berth, curved settee on one side, built-in table and two seats on the other (morning coffee and croissants? Backgammon and port after noon?), plus a pair of capacious hanging lockers (full length, silly!) set into a mirrored dressing area. The ensuite has twin vanities and a stall shower measuring 40 inches by 46 inches with a rain jet overhead.

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Forward, the VIP is very civilized with private stairs from the salon, a queen berth and ensuite head with (sorry) only a single vanity. Aft of the master are two more pleasant guest cabins with single berths that slide together on tracks to become doubles, each ensuite. This is a big boat, so the crew is treated well with their own cabin further aft, consisting of a mess area with dinette, mini-galley, and two private single cabins sharing the head with shower.

The main deck is pure entertainment, starting with a cockpit with tables and seating that morph into multiple forms as needed. Through the quad sliders is a seemingly endless couch (14-feet plus), facing a pair of airline chairs with a toadstool-like table. A day head separates the formal dining table for eight, which is open to the L-shaped galley on the port side, although it can be enclosed Euro-style so you don’t see the chef drop your steak on the floor. That chef, by the way, will be very happy with his workspace: one counter stretches more than seven feet. All the amenities are present in Miele appliances, and a pantograph door in the galley to the side deck allows the crew to load bags of goodies (and crates of wine) without trekking through guests in the salon.

My preferred destination on the Ocean 182, at rest or underway, would be … OK, call it the ‘Upper Deck.’ I suspect this is where guests will gather, too, if only to watch the skipper at work. Fully enclosed, there is a large couch to starboard with a cocktail table, facing a massive pop-up TV of the owner’s choice. In fair weather, quad sliders open the bridge to the aft deck, with an L-shaped settee and space for loungers or movable couches. Again, owner’s call.

Sunseeker Ocean 182

The aforementioned skipper lives in lonely splendor on the high-backed pedestal chair that looks to have been nicked from an Aston Martin. He has a largish dash with an eyebrow to prevent reflection on the two Garmin monitors. An L-shaped wet bar for guest use wraps around behind the skipper as a divider, and has the usual sink, fridge, and icemaker. Underway, methinks the sound of ice clinking into a guest’s glass followed by the glurk-glurk of an adult beverage might be distracting. But that’s me. I did appreciate the flat chart table next to the helm for a folded chart, because I’m not the only Luddite who likes paper charts.

On the foredeck, a sunpad with tilting backrests, two lounges, and a settee provide a place for sundowners at anchor, and getting there (or returning after sundowners!) is safe with the 42-inch coaming bumped to 48 inches by a stainless steel rail.

As mentioned, the Gulf Stream was pretending to be the English Channel, but we still managed to hit 25 knots which is close to flat out at 27 knots. And it was a comfortable and real life sea trial, with 3,300 gallons of fuel aboard.

The Ocean 182 reminded me of Ernest Hemingway’s last (and posthumous) tale: A Moveable Feast, which was about his days in Paris. It occurred to me that the 182 might be similarly titled, A Moveable Villa, because it is more than just another motoryacht. It is truly a villa on the water, reminiscent not of Paris, but St. Tropez or Cap d’Antibes. This yacht is not just another pretty face—and she’s ready to face the English Channel with aplomb.

Sunseeker Ocean 182 Specifications:

LOA: 88’1”
Beam: 23’6”
Draft: 6’5”
Displ: 181,440 lb.
Fuel: 3,434 gal.
Water: 400 gal.
Power: 1/ 1900-hp MAN V12
Cruise Speed: 12 knots
Top Speed: 27 knots

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This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.


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