Get the low down on the new Princess sportscruiser from MBM's editor, Carl Richardson

After some 10 years of magnificent service the old Princess V42 has finally handed over the baton to a new model, which can be seen for the first time ever at the London International Boat Show .

Though it bears the same name and sterndrive power, this is a massively different sportscruiser to its predecessor. Offered with a hard top option, one that is typically sleek and subtle, it feels bigger, bolder and, in parts, better than the old boat but it also frustrates in places, especially below decks.

The cockpit is a winner. Finished in a chic mix of chocolate fabrics and ice white mouldings, it is deep and chunky with a real big boat feel every bit the equal of its big sister, the V45.

A sunpad and tender garage run forward from the bathing platform, clever integrated stowage intelligently placed along the way. The seating looks good while sidedeck access is near excellent. Add in a claimed top speed of 38 knots from the twin 370hp diesels and life from the helm looks promising.

But sadly this is not a smaller V45 below decks. Princess has delivered the more minimal, linear style many buyers had been calling for. Finished in light oak, the saloon does look suitably contemporary but also a little lightweight and synthetic and includes none of the skylights or feature windows we might expect at this length.

Another issue is the mid cabin. Access is good but the height above the twin berths (these slide to form a neat double) is restrictive and the whole cabin falls short of the space delivered by much of the competition.

For the owner’s cabin up forward, the picture brightens considerably with a big, stylishly appointed cabin. There is no day head door to the ensuite but instead you get a large separate shower stall, a trade-off many buyers will be happy with.

Overall this is a smart, sexy and sporty V with a great deck but a compromised interior. The competition is strong, with the likes of the Sessa C43 way ahead in terms of interior design, but then this new V is yet to play its trump card – price.

Starting at around £330,000 inc VAT with twin 370hp diesels, it comes in some £100,000 less than the Sessa. That is a massive saving, money that could well buy a whole lot of forgiveness for this new V42.