The new 72 from the Princess line yields plenty of power in a package that can be suited for family fun, or for corporate cruising
Celebrating over 50 years of building fine motor yachts and cruisers, Princess has produced yet another masterpiece with this 72-foot yacht. This is a challenging size of yacht for designers and builders, mainly because of the variety of uses that an owner might have in mind. It could be a family yacht with the owner doing the driving (this is about the top end when it comes to owner/operator boats), it might be used for charter work, or even as a fully-crewed corporate yacht.
For each usage, there is a specific style and design required. It can be a delicate balance getting this right. Princess have shown themselves to be good at finding solutions, and with all the options that are available for this 72, it should meet the demands of clients looking for a dignified but relaxed way of going boating.
You will not find any styling gimmicks in this design because that is not the Princess way. Rather, the design of the 72 concentrates on sound and sensible solutions that will stand the test of time and which will provide reliable yachting pleasure for years to come. The Yacht range from Princess does tend to focus more on comfortable seagoing performance rather than performance alone so here you have a well proven hull design that will perform when the going gets rough, combined with a level of comfort that embraces and cossets. This should not come as a surprise when you consider that Princess is part of the LVMH Group of luxury brands.
It is the saloon that sets the pattern of this fine yacht. This is fully open plan with a view from front to back, which is great for the visibility from the helm but it is also very inclusive and helps to make this yacht such a fine family boat. The double sliding glass doors to the saloon open to reveal luxury in the form of the white leather settees and practicality in the form of good leather covered handholds in all the right places. There are nice touches like the wine cooling cabinet built into the saloon bar area and the etched glass screen that is used to partially separate the galley from the lounge area without leaving the cook isolated.
The saloon is arranged with opposing settees, with the starboard settee being the dominate one as it faces the rising TV on the opposite side. Forward is the dining table, a solid wood unit with seats to match. This is served by the galley opposite, where a counter provides a partial separation. The galley is practical, with a four burner electric hob and a microwave oven/grill and the strong catches on the full height fridge/freezer unit provide security at sea.
It is a step up to the helm station on the starboard side where two seats provide for comfortable driving. Twin Raymarine hybrid touch screens meet all the navigation requirements and there are dedicated displays for the engine and auxiliary monitoring. There is even a dedicated space for the paper chart, which is becoming rare in this electronic age, but which shows the Princess traditional approach. Visibility from the helm is restricted a bit by the wide corner mullions of the windscreen but is adequate for most practical purposes.
The dashboard is laid out mostly in a practical way but there is a long row of switches that can make it hard to find the one you want and the autopilot is not the easiest unit to use. A bit more focus on the layout of the dash and the selected instrumentation could help to improve the driving experience.
Down below the huge side hull windows in the master cabin are uncluttered by mullions and fully enhance this space and connect it with the open seas outside. The cabin itself is quite compact and the bathroom across the aft end is very long and narrow but it should all work well and provide very adequate comfort for the owner. On the port side under the window there is a combined desk and vanitory unit and inside the opposite window there is a small settee.
Supplementing the master cabin are two twin-berth cabins and the normal VIP cabin forward. The two-berth cabins look very cosy and comfortable but the bed in the VIP cabin is unusually high and so rather dominates the space in the bow. This forward cabin has good natural light from the overhead skylight and side windows and there is plenty of stowage space. Large door mirrors are used throughout the accommodation to enhance the feeling of space. The master and the VIP cabins each have their own en-suite bathrooms with showers whilst the twin cabins share a bathroom that is also an en-suite for the starboard cabin. Princess offer a good selection when it comes to the interior décor.
Up on the flybridge there is generous space for open-air enjoyment. A large teak table is surrounded by a settee and this can be serviced by the bar and barbecue counter on the opposite side. Aft, there is a sun bed aft and right at the back there is an open space that is dedicated to stowage of the tender with a crane supplied for launch and recovery. This top deck is a practical area that is dominated by the arch mast where a canvas Bimini can fold out to offer sun protection. There is a commanding view from the two-seater helm station in the forward area where the dash provides a good spread of navigation information.
From the swim platform, a transom door gives access, first to a compact two-berth crew cabin with its small ensuite bathroom and then on via a watertight door to the engine compartment. This engine room looks and feels crowded because the fuel tanks are located on each side of the compartment which tends to squeeze the engines and auxiliaries in towards the middle but there is good access to all of the service points. One generator is in the aft end of the engine compartment itself and the second is located right aft opposite to the crew cabin.
One option is a pair of C32 1655 hp Caterpillar diesels which are mounted horizontally and connected to the shafts via a down angle gearbox. The alternative engines are a pair of MTU diesels from the 2000 range each producing 1523 horse power. With the propellers recessed into semi tunnels in the deep vee hull the draft is reduced. Both of these engine combinations offer much the same performance with a top speed of 36 knots when the yacht is light and 33 knots when fully loaded. Effortless, all-day cruising is possible at a speed in the high twenties, and for a yacht of this size, that is spirited performance.
Up above the engine compartment there is an inviting cockpit with a settee nestling into the transom and a table to match. There is sun shelter provided by the flybridge extension overheard and the whole cockpit can be enclosed by canvas screens. The swim platform can be raised and lowered and this provides for an alternative tender stowage or as stowage for water toys.
With winds forecast up to storm force nine, the English Channel was not in a cooperative mood for a sea trial, but there is no reason to doubt the sea-going capabilities of this fine yacht based on long experience of the Princess designs. A bow thruster comes as standard and there is the option of a stern thruster so there should be no problems in manoeuvring this large yacht within the tight confines of a marina.
This 72 is a tidy package embracing superyacht standards in a yacht that is still compact enough for family operation. It ticks all the right boxes and with the Princess pedigree it will provide years of elegant and comfortable yachting. Princess has a knack of getting their designs just right for the purpose for which they were designed and this 72 yacht fits in well with the 50 year heritage of Princess Yachts.
Technical Specifications – Princess 72 Yacht
LOA: 22.35 metres
Beam: 5.49 metres
Draft: 1.68 metres
Displacement: 45 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 5000 litres
Water capacity: 1,320 litres
Engines: 2 x 1622 hp Caterpillar C32 diesels
Optional engines: 2 x 1523 hp MTU 2000 M93 diesels
Propulsion: Shafts and propellers
Design: Hull – Bernard Olesinski design/Style – in house