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Predator 74, Nods – Performance and Economy

Powered by MAN 1550 engines, top speed onboard Predator 74, Nods, is typically around 32/33 knots depending upon tank loading, amount of fuel, equipment and the number of people on board the boat.  However the boat is sensitive to the cleanliness of the bottom and a dirty bottom can reduce the speed significantly. At the end of the Mediterranean season, I was struggling to get 20 knots out of the boat Рflat out. Clearly fuel economy is substantially damaged in this position.

In terms of economy, I found that the Sunseeker Predator 74 consumed around 300-380 litres per hour giving something between 19-24 knots of speed with a relatively clean bottom. Flat out, fuel economy takes a sharp dip with maximum consumption heading skywards to around 615/620 litres per hour – Clearly unless your wallet is particularly deep, ¬†you wouldn’t want to go too far at those levels of consumption!

A rougher sea state slows things down a fair amount with the tightly pitched propellors not always able to effectively push the boat ‘up the hills’ which can result in periods of high performance when heading down waves followed by a struggle to get above 13 / 14 knots when trying to climb a wave. This was particularly noted in the Caribbean where the considerably bigger sea state made life frustrating or even slightly nerve wracking at times. Perhaps props that were pitched differently would help? Any experts on props out there?

So with 3,800 litre fuel tanks and an assumed consumption of 380 litres per hour, we have a maximum running time of 10 hours (although it wouldn’t be safe to run the Predator 74 for this period), in reality 8 hours would be the longest that you would want to run for, you have a range of just under 200 miles. Go a little slower and the range is similar – but expect a rougher sea state to make a real difference.

All in all none of this is bad for a boat of this nature, although I would personally be thinking about the realities of the Predator 74 in regions such as the Caribbean where sea state is of much greater significance than a run around the Med in the summer.