Mind the Gap

De­signed as part fly­bridge mo­to­ry­acht and part luxury su­pery­acht, the Princess 30M de­liv­ers the best of both worlds.

Yachts International - - News -

They say you never get a sec­ond chance to make a first im­pres­sion. When I saw the Princess 30M, she was an­chored in a quiet bay a few miles west of Port Adri­ano on the south­ern coast of Mal­lorca, Spain. It was abun­dantly clear that her first im­pres­sion would do just fine.

Her rich, dark blue top­sides ex­tend to the top of her bul­warks, dis­guis­ing the pro­lif­er­a­tion of tinted hull win­dows. The top­sides ar­chi­tec­ture in­cludes an arch that rises grace­fully from her stem to the after tip of her fly­bridge. A sec­ond sweep bi­sects that arch, run­ning from the top of the pi­lot­house down to the stern, where it segues into the tran­som. Two years of de­vel­op­ment at Princess have paid off: The 30M is a very hand­some yacht.

The 30M, at a length over­all of 99 feet 11 inches, re­places the Princess 98 Mo­tor Yacht, but the new model is a ves­sel all her own. Whereas the 98 had a full-beam master stateroom on the lower deck, the 30M’s is for­ward on the main deck, in keep­ing with tra­di­tional su­pery­acht lay­outs. Win­dows on ei­ther side have cut­away bul­warks for un­in­ter­rupted vis­tas, and over­head glaz­ing throws yet more nat­u­ral light. The de­tail­ing is good too: I no­ticed it in the float­ing oc­ca­sional ta­ble and chairs. And the nat­u­ral light con­tin­ues into the en­suite, which is for­ward and lined in pale mar­ble.

Abaft the master stateroom is an en­closed gal­ley with ac­cess to the crew cab­ins, plus a side door to the port­side deck and di­rect ac­cess to the for­mal din­ing room. The setup lets the crew re­main sep­a­rate from the guest ar­eas while work­ing. Con­tin­u­ing aft is the salon, again with ex­ten­sive glaz­ing and nat­u­ral light—plus slid­ing glass doors to a drop-down bal­cony on the star­board side.

Princess Yachts says that 85 per­cent of the yacht is man­u­fac­tured and built in-house, at its yard in Plymouth, Eng­land. This fact be­comes all the more im­pres­sive when con­sid­er­ing such de­tails as the oval din­ing ta­ble. Fin­ished in high-gloss Makas­sar ebony with cream leather pad­ding be­neath, it could grace any high-end fur­ni­ture bou­tique. This piece, like al­most ev­ery­thing else from the hull mold­ing to seam weld­ing, ap­pears to be in­te­grated. Only the en­gines and elec­tron­ics are third-party sourced.

The Princess 30M comes with a stan­dard lay­out that is largely fixed, al­though own­ers can change the four equal-size guest state­rooms on the lower deck into two state­rooms plus one VIP suite. Fur­ther cus­tomiza­tion is avail­able on the fly­bridge, where the up­per helm is fixed and ev­ery­thing else is up for grabs. My test yacht had an op­tional hot tub for­ward with a cus­tom 1.2-ton Opac­mare crane aft—to lift a be­spoke dis­play case of stain­less steel and glass, con­tain­ing a prized mo­tor­cy­cle.

Some of the Princess 30M’s fly­bridge-cross­over ap­peal can be seen in her spec­i­fi­ca­tions. The load line length is just be­low 78 feet (24 me­ters), mean­ing that an MCA MGN 280 des­ig­na­tion, for small ves­sels in com­mer­cial use, is all that an owner would re­quire to put his yacht into char­ter. The Princess 30M also has a draft of 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 me­ters), ideal for shal­low ar­eas in­clud­ing the Ba­hamas. The ten­der garage for a 15-foot (4.5-me­ter) Wil­liams Diesel­jet should make gunkhol­ing fun and easy.

But to re­ally un­der­stand the dual-pur­pose na­ture of this yacht, you need to fire up the twin MTU 16V 2000 M94 en­gines and

un­leash their com­bined 5,000-plus horse­power. They trans­mit their power through V-drives, and thrust-bear­ing cou­plings al­low gear­boxes to be soft mounted, con­sid­er­ably re­duc­ing noise and vi­bra­tion, even in the lower-deck after state­rooms. At 10 knots the Princess 30M sips diesel at just over 26 gal­lons per hour, for a range of more than 1,000 miles. Ease the throt­tles for­ward, and the re­sult is de­cid­edly sporty, with the Bernard Olesin­ski-de­signed plan­ing hull lift­ing its 100 tons and run­ning with alacrity. Princess Yachts In­ter­na­tional claims to have seen al­most 30 knots out of this boat, which is en­tirely be­liev­able, given that she nudges 27 knots fully loaded.

The Princess 30M de­liv­ers in spades on her cross­over prom­ise. The builder nailed the fly­bridge ben­e­fits part of the brief while al­low­ing su­pery­acht fea­tures to shine through.

For more in­for­ma­tion: princessy­achts.com

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