Find me a used boat: Three-cabin flybridge

We task Nick Burnham with finding a fantastic used boat bargain, this time it's a three-cabin flybridge cruiser

Princess 45

Princess 45
2004 – £229,000
Princess 45
Princess revived the model number of its classic 1980s flagship for this mid-40ft three-cabin boat, but the reality was very different and far more modern – and at the time of launch in 1999, it was one of the smallest three-cabin aft-cockpit boats on the market.

The original 1980s Princess 45 had the option of three cabins, or two plus a dinette next to the galley on the lower level. Launched on the eve of the millennium, the ‘new’ 45 only offered a three-cabin layout, and the galley was pushed up on to a half deck between the saloon and lower level.

Princess 45

The reason is simple: the later boat is a physically smaller craft, 45 referring to the length to the tip of the integral platform rather than to the transom as was the case with the earlier boat (actually succeeded by the Princess 480). Nonetheless, interior packaging had so improved over the intervening 16 years (for example, the third cabin beds extend under part of the galley units) that you barely feel the reduction in size.

The teardrop lower saloon window line is as much a part of the millennial Princess look as the high-gloss cherry interior and extended bathing platform, large enough to take a small jetRIB (the hull extends beneath it to lengthen the waterline). The conservative design is rewarded by failing to age significantly – this is still a very good looking boat.

On launch, buyers could choose between Volvo Penta in TAMD 74L or 75P (430hp-480hp) guise, or opt for Caterpillar 3126TA diesels (a much rarer choice). In 2004, Volvo Penta’s D9-500 came on stream and became the default option. Figure on just south of 30 knots with a pair of 74L motors, the rest nudging the speed over that threshold.

Bernard Olesinski penned the hull, as he did all Princess yachts post 1990. The result is a planted, polished, steady ride with good rough-water capability.

Length 45ft 8in (13.9m) Beam 14ft 0in (4.3m) Draught 3ft 7in (1.1m) Displacement 14.8 tonnes Fuel capacity 360 gallons (1,636 litres) Engines Volvo Penta TAMD 74 480hp diesel Contact Princess Motor Yacht Sales

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