Based on the brilliant 90 Ocean, Sunseeker has found a clever way to make a very different yacht from an existing design platform.
The lower deck, hull and engine options may be shared with the 90 but the Ocean 182 feels totally different on board and is designed to appeal to alternative clients and geographies to the boat upon which it's based. The question is, can you simply transform an existing shell into an enclosed flybridge and expect to hang together as well as the existing model? Is this stretching the idea of platform sharing to its limits? In our in-depth sea trial and review, we hope to answer these questions and many others.
Sunseeker Ocean 182 Key Facts
- LOA 27.1m
- Model Year 2023
- Cabins 4
- Crew 4
- Max Speed 27 knots
- Status In Production
- Yacht Type Enclosed Flybridge
- Use Type Cruising
Test & Review Video
Around the Marina
The enclosed flybridge is what sets the 182 apart from its open cousin and it presents a unique environment for slow-speed work. You are beautifully isolated from the surroundings in this quiet, raised pod but it makes communication with the crew difficult around the marina. There aren't any opening windows at the helm so verbal communication is next to impossible. Cameras around the boat give a good indication of proximity to objects but talking to each other isn't easy.
For that reason, the second station in the cockpit is an essential addition. With the sink and ice maker fitted on the port side of the cockpit, the second station controls can only go on the starboard side but they put the skipper in a much better position to see and interact with those on deck. The position is particularly good for stern-to-docking and side-to docking on the starboard side but coming alongside on the port side will be tricky without really good comms from those on deck. A portable device, such as a Yacht Controller, which gives remote control of the engines and thrusters, might be a good investment as it means you can control the boat from wherever you like.
You may look at the 182 and wonder why what it's like to drive at slow speed matters because that will be a job for the crew and captain but with a sub 24m load line length (LLL) you don't need a commercial ticket to run this boat and hull number one is being run by the owner without crew. So it does happen.
At both the helm and second station you can specify an Aventics joystick with combines the engines and thrusters to provide push and twist control. This includes a hold function (much like Volvo's DPS system or Mercury's Skyhook), which frankly is more useful on a boat like this. Even without the joystick the combination of throttle inputs and Sleipner's excellent proportional thrusters make light work of shifting the Ocean 182 around.
Engine options are identical to the 90 Ocean, which gives the choice between twin MAN 1,650hp V12s on V-drives or the same block with 1,900hp per side. Of all the 90 Oceans and Ocean 182s built to date only one unit has been fitted with the smaller engines, the first 90 Ocean. The 1,900hp version is a great engine and it gives the 182 very flexible cruising performance, with a range of 2,000nm at 10 knots but a top speed of 27 knots (identical to the 90 Ocean) where the range is still 500nm. You can even fit trailing pumps as an option, which feed oil to the dormant gearbox so you can run on one engine and boost the range to 2,800nm at 10 knots.
Compare the 182's performance to its close rivals (see below), and you'll note that their displacement or fast displacement hull forms give them a 20-knot top speed, the Sunseeker will happily cruise at that speed for well over 500nm.
The enclosed flybridge may feel a bit isolated when it comes to docking but that isolation is splendid at speed. Being in a sealed box with a couple of decks between the helm and the engines makes for very low sound levels indeed. It's freakishly quiet and remains well under 60 decibels even at full throttle with 3,600hp roaring away inside the engine room. This creates a very relaxing atmosphere at cruise and you can't help but sink back into the fantastic fully adjustable helm chair and admire the view from the raised, central driving position.
You're isolated from the noise but with so much boat below you, there is also isolation from the sea state. It wasn't a particularly rough day for a test but going over our own not insignificant wash, it romped over it like it wasn't there. It's likely guests will travel on the top deck, too, so you can be pretty certain that their ride experience will be just as comfortable as the skippers. It's a boat that eats up the miles really easily and with such staggeringly low sound levels. The single helm seat is great but the optional second one will mean the skipper can have some company during long passages and the owner or guests can also enjoy the ride from in front of the helm. The downside is that you lose the fridge drawers in the wet bar because the second chair blocks their travel.
The fly-by-wire steering masks the 182's size. It shouldn't be this easy to flick such a large boat from side to side but it is and the big Sunseeker reacts amazingly well to inputs from the wheel. Quick adjustments to the boat's heading are very easy and if you need to swerve to avoid something there's enough agility here to do so. It's a remarkable feeling to steer this thing from on high and feel it carving out turns beneath you. The CMC zero-speed stabilisers don't dull that sensation, either, yes they limit roll but they allow the boat to heel a bit in hard turns and don't deaden the driving experience. There is the option to have a Seakeeper fitted but no boats built have had one yet and with an already busy engine room that's probably no bad thing.
First things first, let's clear up the name. The Ocean 182 isn't, shockingly, 182ft long, that number relates to the boat's overall gross tonnage. You guessed it - 182 GT. The point Sunseeker is making with this nomenclature is that the major benefit of the 182's enclosed flybridge design is the significant boost in interior volume over the 90 Ocean upon which it is based.
The 182 shares an engineering platform and lower deck arrangement with the 90 Ocean, which allows Sunseeker to enjoy the efficiencies of creating two very different yachts off the same blueprint, much like Princess does with the (albeit larger) X95 and Y95.
From the main deck, though, it's all change, with no lower helm on the main deck (and therefore much more living space) and an enclosed flybridge available with or without aft doors. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing treatment on the outside but the awkward moulding between the lower windscreen and flybridge is too important to the boat's structure to be made of glass and it's the same with the curved shafts of glass fibre that run up either side of the upper saloon. They are part of the structure but there's an argument that they could be slightly better disguised within the overall profile of the yacht. From some angles it looks great, from others it's not quite right.
Cleverly, the 182 inherits some of the very best bits from the 90 Ocean, such as the X-TEND seating arrangement in the cockpit, which produces one of the best living areas in the sector. It also suffers from the slightly cramped engine room, though, where the motors on their V-drive shafts feel crowded by the ancillary equipment within the space. There can be no complaints about quality, though, the installation and engineering are top drawer.
The quality of fit and finish on the inside is excellent, too. The woodwork is top notch and little details like cupboard catches and door handles are finished with satisfying tactility. It feels like a high-quality machine throughout and the attention to detail is impressive.
The big story aboard the Ocean 182 is the main deck, where without a lower helm the living space in this area can stretch right forward to the windscreen. This additional space has been used wisely, too. The amidships galley of the 90 Ocean has been moved forward and onto the port side where it sits opposite the dinette. Both of these areas benefit from the natural light pouring in through the windscreen with a side door on both sides so the crew can enter and exit without going through the saloon.
Speaking of crew, though the gallery works well in its Amercian-style open-plan layout, there is the option to add a partition so there is a bit more privacy afforded to guests if the crew are working in the kitchen. The galley is possibly a touch smaller than the 90 Ocean's but it has all of the equipment you would expect with plenty of refrigeration space and high-quality cooking appliances. It also gains quite a lot more storage as the area beneath the windscreen no longer plays home to a lower helm.
Sunseeker talks of a penthouse apartment vibe on this deck and it's hard to argue with that analogy. With the galley and dinette forward there is so much space to play with, with the aft end of the deck free for a huge sofa opposite and an equally large TV. Amidships, a neat day head is integrated on the starboard side with space for free-standing furniture opposite, inside a pair of sliding doors that lead out to the port side deck.
The only staircase leading to the top deck curves elegantly down to the saloon level just forward of the main seating area. It links to another run of stairs that leads down to the bulk of the sleeping accommodation, more on which later.
Up top, the expansiveness of the main deck is replaced with a cosy upper saloon fitted out with a bar and another TV. Though the styling lines on the outside obstruct the view out in places, this elevated sky lounge enjoys a great panorama with the only helm station at its forward end and an open deck aft.
As an option, you can lay teak flooring, lose the aft doors and install a sunroof to create more of an enclosed flybridge arrangement but, for us, that somewhat misses the point of a yacht like the Ocean 182. The intimate upper saloon is the big selling point, especially if you cruise in a region where climate-controlled internal spaces are more attractive than open deck areas. If the latter is what you want then say hello to the 90 Ocean. Naturally, the compromise is a reduction in deck space, but we'll cover that in greater detail in the sections below.
There is also something rather interesting on the drawing board. Sunseeker has plans to offer a version with an owner's cabin on the top deck. Separated from the helm with a bulkhead and sliding door, this would give the owner their own private deck with a terrace and leave four further cabins on the lower deck. Now that's an interesting concept.
The lower deck arrangement is identical to the Ocean 90's, which means you have split access from the main deck to a VIP ensuite, forward, and three further cabins - including a full beam owner's suite - amidships. It's a layout that works well and offers good levels of privacy. If the owner is on board with their family and has guests on board, they have their own private "wing" forward and away from the owner and their kids or, alternatively, the owner can use the VIP as a master and give over the accommodation amidships to their guests.
Further flexibility comes from the sliding berths in the starboard guest cabin, which can quickly switch between twins and doubles at the push of a button. If you're after a yacht for charter, the Ocean 182's layout is well suited to this use. With the two largest suits located forward on the deck, they should be well insulated from the engine room because the two other guest cabins and the crew accommodation act as extra buffers.
The crew accommodation is aft and connects directly to the engine room. There is a crew mess area and small galley plus two cabins with a pair of bunks and a well-proportioned separate head compartment. Access is via a door on the port-hand side deck.
The central helm takes up a commanding spot overlooking the undulating moulding of the coachroof. An upright dash is home to a suite of MFDs and physical controls for the boat's systems with a useful chart table positioned to the left of the main helm. There is the choice between Garmin and Simrad electronics and our EU spec test boat had the latter with a pair of 24in MDFs on the upper dash and MAN engine screen and the CM8 digital switching system lower down. The Simrads are hybrid touch but there is a control pad to the left of the steering wheel so you don't have to lean out of the helm chair every time you want to control something on the screens.
The dashboard is imposing but the major controls fall to hand really comfortably and there's so much adjustment in the chair that any size of skipper will be able to find a position that suits.
There is a smattering of cubby holes for loose items and it's good to see a couple of induction chargers dotted about the place in secure trays so guests and crew can charge their phones in this area.
Natural light isn't an issue but, as with downstairs, it's a shame that some sort of sunroof (or even some glazing) couldn't be worked into the roof above the helm seat. Some sliding windows would allow for some natural ventilation and, as discussed above, allow the skipper to talk to the crew on the foredeck from within the top deck.
If there is any model well suited to conversion to an enclosed flybridge, it’s the 90 Ocean. The reason? You can afford to lose some open deck space on the flybridge when you have such a spacious and well-designed cockpit space.
The X-TEND seating was a bit of a game-changer when it was launched and it still has a wow factor today. Effectively it gives you the option to have oversized recliners at bathing platform level or, at the push of a few buttons, at cockpit level facing into the boat. It is quite brilliant and teamed with the extended bathing platform with a built-in lifting section for a tender, pop-out BBQ and sink, creates a truly fabulous two-tier living space that guests will naturally gravitate towards. Some can get splashy at water level with the water toys while others can observe from the elevated safety of the cockpit mezzanine.
There is no stair access in the cockpit to the top deck, which means you get a full-height storage area in place of where the staircase is on the 90 Ocean.
The sheer width of the Ocean 182’s saloon eats into the side deck space but though the foredeck is quite stubby the design team have done a great job of maximising the available space. The central sun pad with a sofa behind, flanked by tables, works really well and creates a lot of lounging space in an area of relatively low square footage.
The trade-off with this boat is the reduced outdoor space on the top deck. There is still enough room for some seating and a wet bar, though, and it enjoys a great view over the stern of the boat to the action below. As an option, you can have a hot tub out here, too. It feels like an apartment balcony, which is sort of the point.
The base price for the Ocean 182 is £8.2 million ex VAT (correct at the time of writing), which is approximately £500,000 more than the 90 Ocean. Value for money is relative, of course, but given the space on offer here and the boat's potential cruising capability that feels a reasonable price amongst Sunseeker's close competition.
It's a semi-custom yacht so there isn't endless customisation on offer (if you want that, head to Sanlorenzo or Horizon) but there is flexibility, certainly when it comes to colours, materials and certain limited aspects of the layout.
Most of the major optional upgrades are clustered into packages and there are few that will improve life on board and make sense from a resale perspective. The Options Package, for example, includes items like CMC fin stabilisers, upgraded twin 35kW Kohler generators, proportional stern thruster, fuel polishing and an electric sun awning on the flybridge aft deck, among other things.
The 1,900hp engines are a must for the performance they provide and the resale value - boats with the base engines are likely to be overlooked.
The fully enclosed flybridge is an option but it somewhat misses the point of this style of boat if you don't go for it and with the reduction in deck space on the upper deck, the X-TEND seating system becomes a must-have in our book.
It shouldn't really be an option as it's imperative for the safe operation of the boat but the second control station in the cockpit is essential. The joystick may not be but its hold function could be invaluable with a small crew on board and takes a lot of hassle out of waiting for bridges or fuel quays.
It is a masterstroke to produce such a unique boat off the back of an existing platform. They may share a lot but the 90 Ocean and the 182 feel so different on board and they offer disparate boating experiences. It's a shame the enclosed flybridge couldn't be more neatly integrated into the design but the benefits inside are numerous and if you want a yacht that you can also live on throughout the year the 182 certainly delivers the floating penthouse vibe. It benefits from the best of the 90 Ocean, too, with its punchy performance, impressive displacement range and brilliant cockpit. With more enclosed flybridge models in the pipeline, it appears this is only the beginning for Sunseeker's Ocean series.
Reasons to Buy
- Main deck living space
- Cosy enclosed flybridge
- Versatile accommodation layout
- Flexible performance
- Brilliant cockpit
Things to Consider
- The styling
- Cramped engine room
Rivals to Consider
This is a genre that's getting quite a lot of attention and there's some real innovation in this corner of the market. None more so than at Ferretti Yachts where the Infynito 90 represents one of the most radical designs ever to carry the famous Italian marque's logo. It's actually slightly smaller than the Ocean 182 but it doesn't look it thanks to that towering bow that is home to a semi-enclosed forward cockpit that can be fitted with a dining table, sofas or a hot tub. Its main deck is a little more flexible, too, with the option to have a main deck owner's suite in place of the dinette. It has similar engine options to the Sunseeker and a comparable range at cruising speed but it can't match the 182 at the top end, where it will do 20 knots.
The Horizon FD90 is designed in a similar vane, with a fast-displacement hull designed for range and comfort over top speed. The interior volume of the FD90 is extraordinary and the layout is much more customisable than the Sunseeker's. That said, they have similar options on the top deck where you can have either a fully or semi-enclosed arrangement. The FD90 doesn't have the fancy seating to compete with the X-TEND system but it does have a brilliant beach club with direct access to an excellent crew space and immaculate and spacious engine room.
The Ocean Alexander 27R uses the extra space in its main deck to house a spectacular forward owner's cabin with glass cascading down towards the deck at its forward end. It's an amazing cabin but the main deck doesn't have the open-plan feel and easy flow of the Sunseeker and the guest cabin spaces on the lower deck are more compromised. It does have a great beach club though and its styling is more cohesive.
The Princess X80 is a couple of metres smaller than the Sunseeker so it's not quite a fair fight but its design is so brilliantly executed it deserves to be in the conversation. This is a well-packaged 25m boat with five ensuite staterooms if you opt for the main deck owner's suite instead of the country kitchen. That's pretty extraordinary sleeping space for a boat of this size and the main deck cabin is rather special, with private access to the bow via sliding doors inside the cabin. For charter, it's a great option too. It's a match for the Sunseeker's performance as well, with a top speed of 31 knots thanks to the same MAN V12s.