Pres­tige 520, Bos­ton Whaler 380 Out­rage, La­goon Seventy8

Power & Motor Yacht - - CONTENTS - Daniel Harding Jr. Pres­tige Yachts, 410-280-2775; pres­tige-yachts.com

When walk­ing var­i­ous boat shows I’m al­ways in­ter­ested to see what boats are res­onat­ing with boaters. One quick and easy way to tell if a model is new and pop­u­lar is by look­ing at the shoes on the dock be­side it. It may sound like an odd trick, af­ter all, to quote Mor­gan Free­man in Shaw

shank Redemp­tion, “How of­ten do you re­ally look at a man’s shoes?”

Some­times you’ll see a nice selec­tion of de­signer shoes (think pol­ished Ital­ian loafers). Other times you’ll spot a cou­ple pairs of flip-flops. Ev­ery time I walked passed the Pres­tige 520 at the Cannes Yacht­ing Fes­ti­val in Septem­ber I saw piles of shoes of all shapes and sizes: boat shoes, dress shoes, de­signer shoes. The point be­ing the 520 was packed with vis­i­tors dur­ing the en­tire du­ra­tion of the show. I set up an ap­point­ment with Pres­tige Amer­ica’s Pres­i­dent Nick Har­vey to see what all the fuss was about.

The fuss, he ex­plained, was ex­pected. The 520 is the evo­lu­tion of the brand’s pop­u­lar 500, of which, co­in­ci­den­tally, 500 have been sold in the six years since its launch. “We’re still of­fer­ing the 500 be­cause it’s still re­ally in de­mand and at a slightly lower price point,” ex­plained Har­vey as we ducked past a group tour­ing the boat.

In­deed, the 520 is essen­tially the same hull as the 500, but with up­dated fea­tures and styling that re­flect years of cus­tomer feed­back. The changes start in the hull, where the fiber­glass for the 500 is hand-laid, and the 520 is resin-in­fused.

From the hull up there are tweaks to the lay­out that take a care­ful eye to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate. Things like the L-shaped sofa in the cock­pit, a more mod­ern/an­gu­lar helm on the fly­bridge, a re­designed radar arch, a sun- pad on the bow with a new ad­justable seat­back. It seems ev­ery­where you look, Pres­tige has up­dated some­thing.

One of the ma­jor changes Har­vey pointed out was the sit­ting area in the sa­lon; it’s to star­board just be­hind the helm. It’s a clever lit­tle seat­ing area that is raised to al­low for bet­ter views un­der­way. The helm it­self—with a bench seat for two—has an elec­tri­cally ad­justed seat­back that ac­tu­ally raises and low­ers at the push of a but­ton. Push up and you’re sit­ting squarely at the helm with the ocean be­fore you. Push down and it low­ers, and sud­denly you’re fac­ing as many as 10 seated guests shar­ing the space with you.

In be­tween these two seats is a side door that cus­tomers de­manded. I walked through it a cou­ple times and noted how easy it was to get in and out, no morn­ing cal­is­then­ics or gym­nas­tics ex­pe­ri­ence re­quired.

I’ve learned from ex­pe­ri­ence on other Pres­tige mod­els that this builder puts a pas­sage­maker-level pre­mium on stowage. Ev­ery nook and cranny is used, which means there’s usu­ally a cre­ative space so­lu­tion on each model. The 520 is no dif­fer­ent. In the cor­ner of the mas­ter state­room is an an­gu­lar closet that Har­vey walked into for ef­fect. On many boats it’s a space that would go un­used or be ded­i­cated to wire runs. Here you could hang enough clothes for a week or two un­der­way.

Many of the dif­fer­ences be­tween the 500 and the 520 may seem small, but in many ways it’s the de­tails that were im­proved. When you add up all those lit­tle de­tails, you re­al­ize this is a new model with a moun­tain of shoes be­hind it and a full or­der book ahead.

LOA: 52'9" BEAM: 14'9" DRAFT: 3'5" DISPL: 43,000 lb. FUEL: 344 gal. WA­TER: 169 gal. STAN­DARD POWER: 2/435-hp Volvo Penta IPS 600s CRUISE SPEED: 22 knots TOP SPEED: 26 knots PRICE: Upon re­quest

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