Princess 43 put to the test in Plymouth

The tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo provides a testing afternoon for the Princess 43

We’ve done it, we have finally tested the Princess 43. It’s been on the hit list for some time and with our colleagues in the marine press showering it with praise, we thought it was about time we had a go.

The one we tested was a bit special, too. Princess now offers the 43 with a pair of Cummins 6.7-litre 550hp engines, our test boat being one of the first to have this option. This gives you 230 extra horsepower over the standard Volvo Penta D6 435s but, more importantly, around 1,000lb/ft more torque in total.

The Cummins 550s provide mountains of torque

In the sloppy sea conditions we had in the wake of Hurricane Gonzalo that torque was very welcome indeed. The big swell and foaming crests had us down to the 15-knot trudge that planing boats usually hate but huge dollops of torque meant hoisting the boat out of troughs and up the back of waves was comically effortless.

In calmer water, the pick-up from standstill was sensational and would leave a fair number of rather shouty sportscruisers staring at the 43’s transom.

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Princess built over 300 of this boat’s predecessor, the 42, so it’s fair to say it is good at building these things by now and it shows in the execution of the build and attention to detail. It is an exceptionally well-rounded product.

Class and exquisite execution in the saloon

The two cabin, two bathroom layout is traditional and tried and trusted but still works well, even in an age when the competition are fitting full-beam master cabins to boats of this size.

Although the boat has been around for a while in one guise or another, this proved to be an intriguing test both thanks to the weather and the uprated engines. Read the full report in a future issue.

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