Few engine rooms we have been in can match the Ferretti's for sheer practicality - irrespective of size.

Few engine rooms we have been in can match the Ferretti’s for sheer practicality – irrespective of size. And the multilingual labelling of machinery and controls was a thoughtful aspect of a particularly impressive engineering installation.

Although the cockpit dining area is excellent, the internal dinette is marginal for a boat that sleeps eight. Galley facilities are good, but the workspace and stowage is limited for a 22m (72ft) boat. Improved safety often follows increased size, simply because of the bulwarks and a steadier motion, but lesser details such as effective handholds are frequently neglected on larger boats. This is not the case on the Ferretti, which provides a secure environment above and below decks.

There is usually no need to make a direct comparison with other boats because readers will be familiar with similar craft. However, there are relatively few production powerboats of this size around, and the new 22m (72ft) Princess provides an interesting yardstick. All the primary measurements are within 1-4% of each other: length, beam, displacement and horsepower, and there seem to be only minor differences between the two – the specifications are both very comprehensive, and internal layouts are similar.

The two biggest surprises are the standard of finish and the price. Although we have not examined the engineering installation on the Princess, we are familiar with the internal fit-out quality, so it was interesting to find that the British boat is at least as well finished as the superb Ferretti. As for price, sterling has helped the Italian boat considerably recently, but it’s still a surprise to discover that the Ferretti is marginally cheaper.

It is a mistake to assume that large, expensive powerboats always achieve perfection – bad design can afflict craft of all sizes and prices. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Ferretti. Apart from the galley, there is little to criticise. And if you say it quickly, £1.23 million sounds quite reasonable.