Prestige M8 sea trial: Game-changing £5m powercat tested

Is this Prestige M8 the boat that sees Prestige gain promotion to the boating world’s premier league? Alex Smith takes a test drive...

When Prestige launched its first power catamaran in the form of the Prestige M48, it felt like a promising, if imperfect, start.

With its capacity to offer the space of a 60-footer alongside the running efficiency of a 40-footer, it was certainly a boat full of potential, but there were a couple of minor elements that left you feeling it could have been just a bit more polished and complete.

So when Prestige invited us to Portopiccolo to sample the new 65ft flagship of that same multihull line, we headed to Italy full of hope that the new boat would deliver the results the concept merited.

The first thing to note here is the style. With its spiky pickle-fork hull windows, its broad muscular stance and its low-profile foredeck, this is a far better looking boat than the M48.

The second thing to consider is the beam. At 29ft, it encompasses 45% of the overall length, which is significantly greater than the M48’s 41%. That’s because Prestige wanted to factor in lofty headroom down below and flat, single-level decks on both the main deck and the flybridge.

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In order to achieve that, it had to create substantial elevation and in order to compensate for that, both dynamically and stylistically, it needed to expand the beam.

The result, of course, is a big boat – one that, according to Prestige, provides the same volume and the same order of experience as an 85-footer. That’s why (in spite of its LOA of 65ft) they have named it the Prestige M8.

In time, the M48 will follow suit by becoming the M6 and we will then see an M7 enter the fray, with a length of around 55ft and a volume comparable to that of a 75-footer.

For now though, the M8 is clearly a boat with aspirations of the very highest order…

Prestige M8 specifications

LOA: 65ft / 19.82m
Beam: 29ft / 8.85m
Draft: 2ft 10in / 1.64m
Displacement (light): 41,120kgs / 90,654lbs
Engines: Twin 600hp Volvo Penta D8
Top speed on test: 20.6 knots
Fuel consumption: 42lph @ 10 knots
Cruising range: 705nm @ 10 knots
Noise: 60 d(B)A @ 10 knots
Starting price: €4.75m (ex. VAT)
Typical on-water price: €6.4m (inc. VAT)


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