Sunseeker Yachts and the modern Bond
No 007 movie would be complete without a Connery, Moore, Brosnan or Craig ending up finally wearing down the resistance of the female lead, regardless of the rogue superpower she works for. And in a lifestyle fit for a King, or should we rather say Queen, seeing that it is at her beck and call (and on her budget) that James travels the world, there has often been a luxury yacht readily available to spice things up. Car chases? They are so yesterday if you could have powerful yachts cutting the wake, flying through the air and exploding in massive balls of fire. Thank you Miami Vice.
There is more to the Bond franchise and yachts, though, than just the power thrills. In harking back to a more romantic era in the 2006 Casino Royale, Bond drifted gently between Montenegro and Venice with Vesper, played by actress Eva Green, in a bespoke Spirit 54’ sailboat with the most beautiful woodwork and white exterior finish. They were sipping no less than the famous Vesper Martini, first shared in the 1953 Fleming book and described as: “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?” This yacht now sits in Marmaris, Turkey, where it can be chartered.
Most spectacular is the “Sea Shadow” used in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) by the media villain, Elliot Carver. This yacht was and remains an experimental stealth ship of 50 odd metres, built for the US Navy by Lockheed to see whether the same low radar profile of the famous stealth bomber could be replicated on water. Brosnan and Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) sorted that one out quickly though. Nothing much has come of the stealth project since, and the prototype has floated around looking for an interested maritime museum.
The one yacht that did get a real life after the movie was the “Disco Volante” or “Flying Saucer,” used by villain Maximillian Largo in Never Say Never Again (1983). Known in the movie as the “Nabila,” she is a 282-foot Benetti FB116 yacht that was originally built for Adnan Khashoggi, eventually exposed as an arms dealer of Largo-esque proportion. The yacht was later sold to Donald Trump (some idiots still think he is one of the good guys!), who renamed it “Trump Princess.” Later Trump sold it to Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, who christened it the “Kingdom 5KR.”
For the last four movies though, top British yachtmaker, Sunseeker International has ruled the roost by supplying goodies and baddies alike with no less than seven different kinds of yachts, all of exceptional beauty and performance capability. In The World is Not Enough (1999) we encounter the first Sunseeker, the Superhawk 34. This yacht was upgraded to a Superhawk 48 in Die Another Day (2002). Casino Royale went maritime with the Sunseeker XS2000 and introduced the Predator 108, while Quantum of Solace (2008) saw Craig and friends scaring the daylight out of the sea world with a Sunseeker Superhawk 43, a 37-metre yacht M4 and a Sovereign 17. In the fast-moving and show-and-tell world of rich yacht-buyers, the pressure is always on to allow clients bragging rights with a new series, and only the Predator name remains in the modern Sunseeker stable. Yet, what a yacht series!
For those of our readers tired of living vicariously and set on mooring their own yacht in the Cape, Luanda, Mauritius or Seychelles, or even further off on the Dalmation Coast, Monaco, Ibiza or Bodrum, look no further than the Sunseeker Predator 130 or Sunseeker 105 yacht. Despite rumours that Daniel Craig’s chase yacht in the upcoming release Skyfall is a Wajer Osprey 37, Sunseeker’s Predator will remain synonymous with Bond and does more than justice to this reputation. The Predator 130 was chosen as a finalist in the interior design category for the 2012 Neptune SuperYachts Awards, generally known as the Oscars of the yachting world, where it shared the company of bespoke superyacht builders who work with clients that have it all, and more.
Sunseeker has a fantastic reputation in yachting circles across the globe and they will best advise you on the ins and outs of each possible mooring destination, added to a healthy dose of exceptional design, performance and service.
Bond is never wrong, is he?
By Charl du Plessis
Published in Playboy South Africa June 2012