Princess S65 review

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The first model from the Plymouth yard built from the hull upwards to be a sportsbridge, the Princess S65 could be the best example of genre yet

The S72, Princess‘s first foray into the world of sportsbridges, was so successful that the yard has wound back production of the V72 sportscruiser from which the S model sprung.

So in order to keep the bandwagon rolling on it seemed sensible to build a smaller boat with the same ideals, hence the Princess S65.

The S65 is one of Princess's more striking designs

The S65 is one of Princess’s more striking designs

The S65 was introduced to the world at last month’s Southampton Boat Show and feedback has generally been very positive, especially regarding the way it looks.

Related content:

MBY put the Princess S72 to the test in the Miami heat

See the S65 walkaround from the 2015 Southampton Boat Show

Sleek and poised with far more visual impact than Princess’s range of regular flybridges, what it lacks in downright deck space it more than makes up for with beautifully sweet proportions and a tight physique.

Though the flybridge is only about the size of the one on the yard’s own 43 the cockpit and foredeck offer plenty of living space to supplement the top deck’s compact dimensions.

The flybridge may be small but it is well laid out

The flybridge may be small but it is well laid out

The cockpit is sportscruiser-like with a generous sunpad atop a tender garage large enough for a Williams 325 and, at the bow, there is a useful bench running across the beam as well as the raised sunpad.

A bonus of the dinky flybridge is that there is space above the lower helm for a GRP sunroof infused with three large panes of glass, useful when it’s too cold to be up top.

Strong performance

Performance is an important part of the S range’s ethos, hence why our test boat was fitted with a pair of thumping great MAN 1,400hp V12s. And they have the desired effect, topping out at a comfortable 37 knots during our speed runs.

Two big V12 diesels yet still plenty of space in the engineroom

Two big V12 diesels yet still plenty of space in the engineroom

That’s some pace and though it doesn’t do much for the fuel efficiency the beauty of these top spec motors is a) the mid-range grunt, which never gets boring and is great in a heavy seaway and b) the subsequent ease with which the S65 will clip along at just over 30 knots.

The engines aren’t working all that hard at this speed and therefore progress is rapid yet laid-back and refined.

The ensuite in the master is aft of the headboard, adding extra insulation from the motors

The ensuite in the master is aft of the headboard, adding extra insulation from the motors

There are two other engine options, the V8 MANs with 1,200hp apiece and the smallest 1,150hp units from Caterpillar.

Neither of which are sluggish in themselves, the latter good for a quoted 35 knots and even the Cats will manage around 34 knots.

For the full report on the Princess S65, pick up the January 2016 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

Contact See Princess website for dealers

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Pros

  • 37-knot performance
  • Four good cabins
  • Excellent master cabin
  • Sumptuous detailing
  • Flybridge and sunroof

Cons

  • Small flybridge
  • Pokey crew cabin
  • Erm, I'm struggling...

Price as reviewed:

£1,984,308 for inc UK VAT

Verdict

What we have here is a boat with the Princess strongholds of quality and refinement with the added glitz of those striking looks and barnstorming performance.

Despite the sportsbridge design the interior spaces are excellent and, if you are on board with the smaller flybridge, there is a serious amount to like about the S65.

Details

Length: 66ft (20.12m)
Beam: 16ft 9in (5.08m)
Draft: 4ft 9in (1.47m)
Displacement: 30 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 902 imp gal (4,100 litres)
Water capacity: 192 gal (873 litres)
Test engines: Twin MAN 1,400hp
Top speed: 37 knots