Sunseeker Portofino 47

Power surge, don't hold back.

While running Sunseeker's Portofino 47 in 3' to 4' seas, all the usual superlatives came to mind, including "dry ride," "solid feeling," and so forth. Then I pushed the levers to advance the engines from 1800 to 2100 rpm and felt acceleration that made me sit up and take notice. Even my copilot said, "Whoa." Running in the troughs, the Portofino 47 peaked at 36.8 mph at 2400 rpm, and in maneuvers, it responded crisply to directional changes.

The biggest change in the bottom design of the new 47-footer from the old Portofino 46 is that the bottom now has a constant deadrise from about amidships all the way aft. The older model had a warped deadrise that didn't provide as much lift. Add to this the extra power of the Volvo Penta D9-575s and you have a big improvement in performance. Even with the higher-output power, the engine compartment was user-friendly. There is 2' of space between the motors, and all frequently maintained items are easily reached.

Another improvement over the 46-footer is the Portofino 47's convertible sunlounge/backseat. It transforms from a one-person model to one that three or four people can lounge on comfortably while leaning against the backrest and facing aft. An L-shaped lounge wraps around to starboard and offers a huge 3'-by-8' locker in the base. The clever cockpit table folds into the lounge for safe travel. For convenience the cockpit wetbar has everything you need to whip up lunch.

Thanks to a folding footrest and seat bolster, the driver can adjust his position numerous ways. Instruments are in good view and I could handily reach all the controls.

Belowdecks, the raised foredeck improves headroom in the salon and forward master stateroom. The kids will be comfortable in the midship stateroom, and each of the two heads is equipped with everything you need for a weekend away. And with the way the Portofino 47 performs, you might want to add a day to that weekend.