Capt. Mario Viego Tomás commands Sunseeker’s new 90 Ocean yacht, M/Y Bandazul, presented at MYS in September 2021. Born in Germany but of Spanish descent, Capt. Tomás cut his yachting teeth in the sailing industry, joining the superyacht brigade in 2000. “From 1985 to 2000, I worked on sailing boats and classical schooners; I began my career racing yachts,” he says. He worked aboard yachts such as S/Y Orianda and S/Y Isla Ebusitana. Previous motor yachts include M/Y Alcor and M/Y Aquarius. “I’m the first sailor in my family and we lived far from the sea but I loved it,” he says. “I was sixteen years old when I first went sailing with my friends.”
The 90 Ocean claims a 20 percent increase in overall volume and up to 30 percent more deck space compared to the Sunseeker 88. The project began back in 2018 and was largely managed by the owner; M/Y Bandazul is his 18th Sunseeker. She launched on January 21, 2021. “I became involved when we met in Denia Harbour, sixty miles from Ibiza, three years ago. At the time, I was working on charter boats,” the captain says. “The owner saw me around and wanted to meet me. I started working with him on a Princess 30; the owner loves getting involved with yacht build projects. He did it with Princess and now with Sunseeker. He changes the boat every two to three years. He decided to build this boat in the middle of 2018 — he wanted to go back to Sunseeker because he likes the speed and this is 60 tonnes lighter than his last boat,” says Capt. Tomás.
He spent little more than one week in the yard during the yacht build. “I always really enjoy discussing things with the engineering team but this time we couldn’t go to the yard because we had problems with COVID. And so feedback was only by phone or email. And because of this, I decided a few things for the project, but nothing very important though. This is a new concept by Sunseeker, it has a different, stronger GRP hull. There’s also more volume in the boat,” he says.
Decisions Tomás did make were related to technical aspects such as sound systems. “We have Sonos and Fusion so you can radio stations and your playlist, for example. It would have been really great to have been more involved. I was working on the Princess at the same time and we got information and drawings about distribution and fuel tanks, water tanks (we have a double watermaker), type of engines,” says Capt. Tomás, describing Sunseeker as a very experienced company, which made the handover easy.
Points of note on board include the six- by four-meter beach club with a gangway ladder allowing easy access to the water. A hydraulic platform is spacious enough to house and launch a Jet Ski, a Williams SportJet 460, and two SEABOBs, housed in dedicated self-draining lockers. The flybridge is also substantially larger than a comparable yacht.
The captain is particularly impressed with the foredeck, which can easily accommodate 10 people. “Crew can work with the windlass and have no problem with the guests when they are on board. This [is] a new concept; it’s like an open boat but really it’s a superyacht,” he says. “The cabins are very quiet and furnished with four or five different types of wood paneling. I think a lot of thought went into the best materials for the boat.”
He is also impressed with the cockpit and salon: The boat is designed with a seating area facing aft. “So even if you are anchoring, you can watch your family in the water so you don’t have to keep looking around to check they are okay,” he says. “On other boats, you are too high up to do that. When you are in the cockpit you can see everything and everyone. You don’t lose any detail about your family swimming or at a party. Easy to keep a look out on the children when they are playing and you spot problems very quickly.”
Looking ahead, Capt. Tomás envisages plenty of sea time for Bandazul as the owner has more time to cruise compared to previous years. “Right now, we are 500 miles from our home port and it only took 24 hours to get to Monaco, so we’ll be able to move around the Med quite easily and the family can join by plane,” he says.
As for his own career, he reckons he’s got another 10 years ahead of him and he plans to stay with his current owner. “Life goes round and round,” he says. “I have no family. If I did, I might want to stop, but I don’t!”
This article originally ran in the January 2022 issue of Dockwalk.