MBY reader Ian Pinder recalls the day he dropped into Swanwick marina to buy a lock and ended up buying a Princess V58 Open
Carole and I have been Princess owners for many years, enjoying our boats in their home marina of Chichester, despite living in North Yorkshire. We generally cruise in the Solent but also to the Channel Islands and Brittany.
Our Princess V53 is now eight years old and we were considering a change but were undecided as to what we wanted to replace her with.
This had been our first sportsboat after years of flybridge boats and we’ve definitely become accustomed to the comfort of having a big boat. The fact we can get out on the water and not get wet is a real bonus!
We’d been looking at options but couldn’t decide on the next boat. I was in the process of selling the medical IT company that I’d founded and when it actually sold, while we were boating in Brittany, we decided that was the time to get serious.
During our trip, the spring in the forward toilet door lock had failed and left us with a droopy handle and a door that wouldn’t shut.
On the way back home from holiday we had to drive past the Princess Motor Yacht Sales office at Swanwick Marina and decided to call in and grab a replacement lock. This was swiftly arranged and left us with a spare few minutes to look at boats.
Before we had gone on holiday, there had been a Princess V57 on display in Swanwick so we were keen for a tour.
To our great disappointment we were told it had just been sold and that the model was being discontinued. Our faces dropped.
Just then Princess’s sales director Roger Lipman appeared. He brought with him the news that a new Princess V58 was soon to be built in an open style and, later, as a deck saloon version.
He showed us drawings, an accommodation plan and the specification. We were immediately smitten with the superb looks and ordered one there and then – without even having seen one!
Never before have we bought a boat on such a whim. Usually it’s weeks and months spent poring over brochures and specifications, looking at countless boats and insisting on several sea trials.
But this time it was the day we walked in expecting to spend a few quid on a doorknob, and walked out the proud new owners of a 58ft boat.
We still didn’t know which of the versions we would prefer, so instead simply wrote ‘version to be confirmed’ on the order.
Roger told us that the first boat would be built as an Open model and displayed at the Southampton Boat Show. The show couldn’t come soon enough!
It’s show time
Finally we clapped eyes on our new baby and spent the next two days eyeing her up at the show and confirming the specification.
I’d forgotten how much needed to be done to specify a new boat!
My areas are engines and the technical stuff, which is relatively easy, but Carole had a much harder time choosing wood, furnishings and finishes.
We eventually decided on the Deck Saloon version, which is quite similar to our first boat, a Princess 30DS.
All we have to do now is be patient and wait for the new boat to be delivered in June 2016.
But please do bear this cautionary tale in mind next time you go to buy a replacement door lock, you just might come out with a brand new Princess V58!
Looking back on it, we should have asked Princess to throw in the door lock for free…
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