Let's imagine, for a moment, that you have a villa on the sea and you'd like to have a boat to use for running up and down the coast— enjoying the scenery, stopping in the marinas to dine, and anchoring in sparkling coves for an afternoon swim. It doesn't really matter whether you're on the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, or the Pacific. You need the right boat. You could, of course, buy one of the 30-to 40-foot performance sportboats that can carry you at a high rate of knots between your various destinations. No, those won't work because you want to take a lot of friends and you want the boat to be large enough so you don't get bounced around and wet.

On the other hand, you could order a luxury yacht and have plenty of space to carry all your friends in dry and stable comfort. No, that won't work either, because you'd need a large crew and, besides, yachts just aren't fast enough for the afternoon sprint you envision.

What you need is a "super sportboat"— one that combines speed, luxury, and size. Well, you're in luck, because that's exactly what a number of manufacturers are producing to fill just that niche.

Their thinking is much like yours: they saw a need for a luxuriously appointed yacht that didn't really act like a yacht. It would have speed enough to zip around between harbors, enough room so that you could carry everyone on your Christmas card list, and yet still have the sleek styling of a sportboat with a long foredeck, a spacious cockpit, and every possible amenity from champagne chillers to shower stalls for two. Unlike a large motoryacht, however, it wouldn't need a big crew and it would fit the casual lifestyle you have in mind.

Let's take a look at some offerings that range from 50 to 92 feet in length.

Sea Ray 630

This builder, arguably the largest boat builder in the world, has two versions of their 63' hull: the 630 Super Sun Sport and the 630 Sundancer. While the layouts vary somewhat, the deciding factor between the two boats is just how fast you want to go. The Super Sun Sport is the milder of the two, with conventional inboard engines, while the Sundancer has a pair of Arneson surface drives linked to massive 12-cylinder Detroit Diesels putting out 1040 horsepower each.

Both boats have cockpits that stretch 27', with sculptured lounge seating, built-in wet bars, and a stereo system that can entertain your entire marina. The Sundancer has comfortable staterooms at each end of the salon, assuring complete privacy with en suite heads with showers. The SSS has the owner's stateroom forward with a guest cabin nearby, which can replaced with a dinette if you don't feel overly hospitable.

Each 630 is luxuriously appointed from the Sub-Zero refrigerator to the leather upholstery, and Sea Ray has built their reputation on outstanding construction.

Magnum 71 Sport

The Magnum line has been a benchmark in performance sportboats since the earliest days of offshore racing, which is where their heritage was honed in the fire of competition. The 71-S is the latest incarnation and, as you'd expect, Magnum has once again upped the ante to bring a level of new performance to the large sportboat field. Styled by Pininfarina of Ferrari fame, the 71-S is available either with a traditional deck or a futuristic design that looks like something from Star Wars with sharp-edged, low profile lines and a spoiler-like electronics arch.

Regardless of the deck, several interior arrangements are available, with two, three and four stateroom layouts. Each features an airy and elegant master suite with private head and shower, and a spacious salon with formal dining area and comfortable built-in sofas for entertaining.

As you'd expect from a yacht that has become a "must-own" for everyone from European royalty to Middle Eastern potentates, the 71-S is finished in the finest woods, leathers and fabrics. The cockpit has a built-in dining area with table, wet bar with curved divider, and space for dozens of your friends to lounge in the sunshine on sunpads and settees.

While the earlier Magnum 70 was capable of speeds in the high 50s, the new version uses Detroit/MTU 1800-horsepower diesels to push it even faster. How much faster? It'll cost you about $3 million to find out.

Viking V55 Sport Express

In a unique collaboration, this well-known American builder of sportfishing convertibles and motoryachts is working with a British company to develop a line of Viking Sport Cruisers, with the V55 as the queen of the series. Long, lean and marked by a sweptback windshield and rakish radar arch, the V55 combines Euro-styling with American know-how. The teak-decked cockpit is immense, with a large dinette, wet bar, and oversized sunpad for lounging or tanning. The helm is equally innovative, with an electronics "pod" that raises at the touch of a button. There's also a "garage" for the tender or watertoys like personal watercraft hidden in the transom.

Below, the spacious salon has beautifully lacquered woodwork, a well-equipped galley and a dinette for entertaining. The owner's suite is forward with a queen-sized berth and private head with shower, and two more guest staterooms provide space for two couples.

Standard engines are a pair of 610 hp. Detroit Diesel Volvos, although optional power ranges up to twin MAN diesels of 800 horsepower each.

Pershing 72

New to American shores is this Italian stallion that has been fully equipped with U.S. systems for reliability and easy maintenance. The long foredeck blends into the sleek cockpit enclosure, which allows you to control the weather completely. The double-lined sunroof opens electrically and the side windows slide out of sight on sunny days, giving you the open cockpit of an express cruiser. You can also close up the cockpit and enjoy cruising in air conditioned splendor without risking sunburn.

The elegant salon is finished in fine leather and flawless burled woods, with a wrap-around lounge for entertaining or enjoying the complete entertainment center with television, VCR and stereo. The master stateroom spans the full width of the yacht amidships, with built in bureaus and a private head with stall shower. Forward, the VIP cabin has a queen-sized berth and a private head with shower, while a third cabin is off the salon, also with a private head and shower. Crew quarters are below the cockpit, which has a lounge and table inside the enclosed area, and another dinette and large sunpad outside the sliding doors. Standard power on the Pershing 72 is a pair of healthy Caterpillar 1350 hp diesels with Arneson surface drives, giving the yacht a speed of over 50 mph.

If the 72 isn't quite large enough for you, the Pershing 90 may intrigue you, with twin 1800 hp. MTU diesels plus a Lycoming turbine to give a top speed of over 70 mph!

Neptunus 54' Cabrio

New to the Neptunus line of luxury yachts (and still under construction at press time), the Cabrio is a stylish express cruiser that offers owners the choice of opening the sliding sunroof and side windows or closing up in air conditioned comfort. Inside what Neptunus calls the "upper salon" is a curved lounge facing an entertainment center and, outside the sliding doors, another lounge wraps around the stern for al fresco dining or entertaining.

Belowdecks, the layout is equally unique with the master stateroom offset to starboard with a private head with shower, while a guest stateroom is forward, also with a private head. The galley is to port, facing a dinette for casual dining. Standard power is a pair of 550-horsepower Detroit Diesels.

Guy Couach 92

From France comes this immense sportboat on steroids which, at 92 feet, is mostly teak-decked cockpit. From the helm, tucked behind the sweptback windshield with two companion seats, to the twin stairs to the swim platform, this yacht exudes elegance. The cockpit has a large lounge, a dining area with table, curved seating further aft, and a huge sunpad over the "garage" for watertoys. On-deck amenities include a full wet bar, barbecue, and fully air conditioned cockpit.

The master suite fills the bow with a private head with Jacuzzi tub, while two additional double staterooms are aft, each with en suite heads with shower stalls. The walk-in galley is equipped to cater large parties, and a formal dining area is also located in the spacious salon which also has a built-in sofa, entertainment center and wet bar.

With a pair of MTU 1800-horsepower diesels, the 92 will cruise at nearly 45 mph, and carries a price tag of $3.9 million.

Fairline Targa 48 Gran Turismo

Taking the Targa concept to the water, this British 48-footer is sleek, well-equipped, and uses the latest compact diesels to achieve economical cruising speeds.

The two-level teak cockpit has been designed for people to move around, from the helm area past the U-shaped dinette and wet bar to the oversized sunpad atop the garage that hides the tender and water toys. Protected by the curved windscreen, guests can move easily from the swim platform to the cockpit barbecue and forward to the cabin.

Below, the Targa 48 has a forward owner's stateroom with a circular stall shower in the private head, while the two guest cabins aft share a similarly well-equipped head. The salon is comfortable, with a leather sofa and a completely equipped galley. Standard power is a pair of Caterpillar 426 hp. diesels, giving a top speed of nearly 40 mph.

Sunseeker Predator 80

If you'd been expecting a stodgy little boat from England, well, think again. The Predator 80 is an aptly named denizen of the ocean that has the powerful look of a Grand Prix racer. The "deck saloon" is the primary living area tucked under the cockpit hardtop, but it's far from austere. There's a lounge area, a sideboard with ice maker and wet bar, an electrically adjustable helm seat, and an open-air "back porch" with sitting areas and a dining table.

Belowdecks, the glossy woodwork is either American cherry or birdseye maple, and the salon has a leather lounge, sideboard with wet bar, separate formal dining area, and an entertainment center. The owner's stateroom has a queen-sized double with cherry-planked shower, while the forward guest cabin has a double berth and similar head. A third guest cabin is standard to starboard, and a fourth cabin is optional. Standard power are three MTU 12-cylinder diesels linked to Arneson surface drives, for a top speed of over 46 mph.


If you'd prefer a one-of-a-kind offering, take a look at Starship, an 80-footer built by Picchiotti in Italy and sporting a pair of Lycoming 2500 hp. helicopter turbines! Offered by Sam Israeloff of Rex Yacht Sales, this yacht has a spectacular interior by Roy Sklarin that combines chrome, glass, and mirrors.

The upper salon features a tinted skylight between the twin winged air intakes, the flybridge sports a Ferrari red console, and three double staterooms are beautifully decorated and completely equipped. The yacht was completely rebuilt in 1990 and is guaranteed to turn heads in any harbor.

Whether your taste runs toward crisp American styling or European soft-edge lines, there's a super sportboat that should take you and your friends exactly where you want to go— in style, speed, and luxury.

Sea Ray 630 Super Sun Sport
Length 62'6"
Beam 15'9"
Draft 5'
Weight 54,500 lb.
Fuel 800 gal.
Water 200 gal.
Sea Ray Boats
2600 Sea Ray Blvd.
Knoxville, TN 37914

Magnum 71-Sport
Length 70'
Beam 17'
Draft 4'4"
Fuel 1200 gal.
Water 150 gal.
Magnum Marine
2900 N.E. 188th St.
North Miami Beach, FL 33180
(305) 931-4292

Viking V55 Express Yacht
Length 54'1"
Beam 14'4"
Draft 3'6"
Weight 32,000 lb.
Fuel 540 gal.
Water 107 gal.
Viking Sport Cruisers
Rt. 9
New Gretna, NJ 08224
(609) 296-6000

Pershing 72
Length 72'10"
Beam 16'
Draft 3'11"
Weight 72,000 lb.
Fuel 1136 gal.
Water 370 gal.
Regency Yacht Group
1497 S.E. 17th St.,
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 463-7700

Neptunus 54' Cabrio
Length 54'
Beam 15'7"
Draft 4'
Fuel 600 gal.
Water 120 gal.
Neptunus Yachts
8 Keefer Rd
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2M 7N9
(905) 937-3737

Guy Couach 92
Length 92'
Beam 20'6"
Draft 3'9"
Fuel 1585 gal.
Water 370 gal.
Rex Yacht Sales
2152 S.E. 17th St. #202
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 463-8810

Fairline Targa 48 Gran Turismo
Length 49'10"
Beam 12'11"
Draft 3'3"
Weight 22,000 lb.
Fuel 300 gal.
Water 100 gal.
Fairline Boats of North America
P.O. Box 21376
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925

Sunseeker Predator 80
Length 81'6"
Beam 19'5"
Draft 3'11"
Weight 100,000 lb.
Fuel 1320 gal.
Water 228 gal.
Sunseeker International
27-31 West Quay Rd
Poole, Dorset, BH15 1HX

Length 79'
Beam 19'
Draft 5'
Weight 130,000 lb.
Fuel 3500 gal.
Water 1000 gal.
Sam Israeloff
Rex Yacht Sales
2152 S.E. 17th St. #202
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 463-8810