BOAT TEST: PRINCESS 62 FLYBRIDGE MOTOR YACHT

By: JOHN ZAMMITT

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  • Trade-A-Boat

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JOHN ZAMMITT walks the red carpet on the Princess 62 and discovers the British class that befits her owner’s business portfolio

BOAT TEST: PRINCESS 62 FLYBRIDGE MOTOR YACHT
Princess 62 Flybridge Motor Yacht

You've got the Louis Vuitton wardrobe, the De Beers diamond ring on her finger, the vintage Moet Chandon swinging in a leather case by your side. Where to now? When conversations turn to quality, luxury and refinement these are among the brands that spring to mind. But the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) Group has another ace up its sleeve - Princess- and she is anything but short on luxury.

According to the LVMH Group's mission statement, this special collection of luxury brands represent the most refined qualities of western art de vivre around the world. Having now spent time testing the Princess 62 on the glamorous Gold Coast, I must concur. The stunning UK motoryacht has cachet. But beyond the class there's a lot else to like about this boat. 

Of course, the British have been building boats for centuries so you would assume they know what they're doing. That they do and I don't think anyone does coachwork like the English. But everything about the Princess says refinement, from her graceful swept-back profile, through a stylish, well-laid out interior, to the quality of the engineering down below.

The distributor in the Antipodes is Princess Yachts Australia (see box story. Dealer principal Alan Paterson has a long association with the marquee, having previously managed the distribution of Princess Yachts in Australasia via Riviera. Now located at Hope Island on the Gold Coast, he has appointed dealers in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland. Tellingly, when the 62 pictured hereabouts sashayed into Marina Mirage to sweep us of our feet, we also assumed it was a brand-new boat. But she turned out to be a customer's boat, a current model that was 18-months young and meticulously maintained. Such is the longevity of the marque.

 

 

LIGHT WORK OF HEAVY WEATHER


On the day, it was blowing 25 to 30kts with a strong current running. But no worries. The skipper made light work of a potentially worrying situation. Fitted with bow and sternthrusters, and an optional remote Yacht controller, he operated both engines and thrusters, wirelessly, and brought the boat in to the dock singlehandedly while standing in the cockpit. Very impressive! Despite her impressive size, an owner/skipper or just a couple can handle the 62 comfortably.

Making our way down the go-slow Gold Coast channels provided an opportunity to refresh ourselves with the marque. Princess has been building boats since 1965 and makes a range of V Class Sport Yachts from 42ft to 85ft, as well as a range of Flybridge Motor Yachts from 42ft to 130ft. In the last three months they've sold four new boats in Australia and are presently gearing up for the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show next month (see box story).

 

 

REGAL INTERIOR


As I stepped through the wide, sliding, double glass doors from the cockpit into saloon, there was an immediate sense of refined luxury, light and space. Fitted out with deep and inviting sumptuous leather lounges, and a high-low electric fold-up table to starboard, the saloon gushes style and sophistication. The not inconsiderable 5.03m (16ft6in) beam adds to the sense of space.

Going forward and up two steps, you'll find the galley located starboard with a dinette to port. It has everything you would expect to find on a motor yachts of this standard, including a four-burner cooktop, Corian benchtops, microwave oven, full-height refrigerator with pullout freezer doors, even timber privacy blinds fore and aft for discreet dinner preparation.

Ahead of the galley is the lower helm and adjacent a portside staircase leading to the accommodation below. With hip hugging, adjustable, twin leather helm chairs, a woodgrain, tilt-positioning steering wheel and a well laid out timbergrain dash console, the helm feels almost limousine-like.

But for me, one of the things that gives a boat a ship-like air is a substantial helm door. The Princess 62 doesn't disappoint here. She's fitted with a top sliding door perfect for those occasions that the skipper needs to access the sidedecks quickly.

The luxury theme continues with the accommodation, where eight adults are catered for in four cabins. The full-beam owner's suite, with king-size bed and en suite, is vast with a sense of light and space accentuated by huge vertical portholes on either side that open to provide a nice cross breeze. There is an alarm fitted to the portholes and warn the skipper they are still open when the boat is underway. Nice touch!

Forward of the master stateroom is a VIP cabin with en suite, a twin cabin - also with en suite - to starboard and a twin-bunk cabin opposite. Each cabin, as well as the bathrooms, has opening portholes, and there's excellent storage and hanging space throughout. You'll also find a European laundry housing a washer/dryer combo neatly tucked away in the hallway. Oh, and I nearly forgot, there are crew quarters aft of the cockpit comprising two bunks, a shower and head. If not needed, you can use the space for extra storage. 

 

 

ECONOMY CRUISING


Fitted with two CAT C18 ACERT 1015 hp engines (there is a selection of engine options), our test boat cruised beautifully at around 23kts and 1800rpm with the trim tabs about a quarter of the way down - I prefer the bow down slightly when driving from the lower helm. She was up on the plane at 12.5kts at 1400rpm and in her current configuration, she's good for around 32kts. She would cruise comfortably between 20 and 25kts all day. In fact, if you weren't in any particular hurry, you could amble along very economically at 9 or 10kts using about 40lt/h of fuel all up.

For a relatively big boat I found the 62 easy to handle - predictable and responsive - not only while cruising but even when given a burst of speed and thrown around in a series of tight turns. She arcs about effortlessly off the wheel like a true aristocrat.

The hull, designed by Bernard Olesinski, is a modified deep-vee entrance forward with a moderate deadrise aft incorporating prop tunnels. There are moulded spray rails that keep the boat dry even at high speeds in the strong winds during our test.

 

 

INHERENT SUBSTANCE


Looking over the Princess 62 it's obvious she's well engineered. Stepping down into the full-height engineroom, accessed via the cockpit floor, I was surprised to find just the twin engines, associated fuel filters, water intakes, and a bank of air-conditioners.

There is a watertight bulkhead aft of the engines and beyond that a separate lazarette - which you get to through a separate cockpit hatch - housing the generator, battery banks, watermaker, hydraulic pump for the davit, and the mains circuit-breaker board. Separating the ancillary gear makes it a bit easier to get around the engines and the other individual components, plus it adds to the safety aspect of the vessel.

 

 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS


The thoughtful design continues outdoors the covered cockpit, via plush, built-in seating along the stern, overhead downlights, and steps to the swim platform. The test boat had a Williams jet tender fitted to its platform and an optional concealed 350kg davit in place of the standard passerelle.

The high siderails running from the bow continue well back into the cockpit and, with the raised bulwark and upper grabrails, make it safe and easy getting along the sidedecks. Incidentally, I couldn't help but notice the nice big cleats, always a sign of a serious boat - as with all things quality it's the little touches that make the difference. The foredeck houses a sunbed and it would be a nice place to catch some rays at anchor or even idling along.

The Princess 62 was fitted with a stainless steel anchor and 60m of chain. Actually, I noted that 40m of chain is standard, which I personally don't think is anywhere near enough for a boat this size. I also suggest that 60m isn't enough, either.

Built-in steps from the cockpit lead to the flybridge and, on a nice day, it's the box seat. Driving here gives the skipper good all-round vision, but the areas also comes into its own as a social setting. There are three separate seating areas as well as another sunbed and a fully equipped barbecue and wetbar with fridge. There are also loads of storage lockers and, for those days when the sun is beating down, you can kick back under the bimini for a nice bit of shade.

Thanks to an extensive options list, you can create a Princess to suit every wish and whim. By all reports, Princess Yachts is also financially strong and in a good place right now. With the marque already well established here, Princess Yachts Australia is now working on a raft of Owner Experiences. The next cruise in company is to Yamba, NSW.

Then come the cross-promotional functions with the other luxury brands in the LVMH Group's stable. After all, when you're in the company of a Princess only the best will do. Now, where's that Moet? The champagne flutes, on the other hand, come gratis on the 62!

 

 

Princess in Australia

 

Princess Yachts has confirmed its commitment to the Australian and New Zealand marketplace with the announcement of a new factory-backed distributor for the region. Princess Yachts Australia is headed by marine industry stalwart Alan Paterson as dealer principal and backed by his handpicked after-sales support team.

Now owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and Groupe Arnault (LVMH Group), Princess Yachts says it has an absolute commitment to its discerning owners in the region. "This commitment will provide peace of mind for prospective buyers of our luxury 45 to 92ft boats," said Paterson. "New owners can feel confident that they will receive the support and service they expect. It's a little-offered commodity by many boat brands after the turmoil of the past 18 months."

Princess Yachts Australia is also forging ahead with the establishment of a new national dealer network with expert personnel at major boating destinations. Together, the dealerships will provide current and prospective Princess owners with first-class support when cruising interstate or just parked at home.

Meantime, the latest Princess styling, technology and finishes will be featured in four new models due in Australian waters over the coming months. The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (May 20 to 23) will see the local debut of the Princess P78 in what is described as the most amazing display of Princess vessels ever seen in Australia. Along with the P78 will be the P62, which is available for inspection at Princess Australia, Hope Island Marina, Gold Coast.

The ultra-impressive and high-performance V Series will adorn Australian waters in the lead-up to the Sydney International Boat Show in July, with the new V52, V62 and amazing new V85-S making a big splash. "The V85-S is simply the most stunning sports-type vessel to ever arrive in Australian waters," says an excited Paterson.

"Many luxury boating brands have been heavily impacted by the turbulence of the past couple of years, but Princess, with the backing of LVMH has maintained its commitment to owners and our partnership will provide further confirmation for why owning a Princess is the only choice in the luxury boating segment," he said.

For further information, contact Alan Paterson, phone 0418 759 926 or visit www.princessaustralia.com.au

 

 

 

Specifications- Princess 62 Flybridge Motor Yacht

 

 

PRICE AS TESTED


$2.95 million

 

 

OPTIONS FITTED


Sternthruster, wireless remote docking, extensive electronics package, upgraded Bose sound system, 350kg concealed davit in lieu of passerelle, Williams Jet tender with cover, Foxtel satellite TV, additional 20m of anchor chain, 1800W inverter, 95lt/h watermaker, and more

 

 

PRICED FROM


$2,947,710

 

 

GENERAL


Material: Handlaid GRP and enhanced performance gelcoat
Type: Modified deep-vee monohull
Length overall: 19.30m
Beam: 5.03m
Draft: 1.45m
Displacement: 30 tonnes

 

 

CAPACITIES


Berths: 8 + crew quarters
Fuel: 3409lt
Water: 909lt

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: 2 x Caterpillar C18 ACERT 
Type: Electronic six-cylinder turbo-diesel
Rated HP: 1015
Displacement: 18.1lt
Weight: 1905kg (dry)

SUPPLIED BY

 

 


Princess Australia,
Suite 3, The Boardwalk,
1 Rialto Quay Drive,
Hope Island, Qld, 4212
Phone: (07) 5514 1900
Email: info@princessaustralia.com.au
Website: www.princessaustralia.com.au

 

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