Quite simply, the Princess 42 sets the benchmark for others to follow...
The new Princess 42 sets the benchmark for other 40ft flybridge cruisers to aspire to, partly because it excels in accommodation and style, but also because it has been built with at least a nod to budgetary awareness.
Firstly there is the cockpit, which manages to feel both spacious and protected. A long bench seat extenuates the extra beam while the tall flanks and a full flybridge overhang prevent over-exposure to the elements.
On entering the saloon, the feeling of space and style the designers have created is, to our minds, unequalled in the class. Each compartment is subtly separated from the others by clever use of materials (satin cherry wood and leather), colour (cream and charcoal), light and shade.
But if there has to be one outstanding feature of the boat, it must be the lower helm. It exudes a business-like air that lets you know this is the true focus of the boat.
Each area of the dash and console is compartmentalised, with engine instruments, navigation aids, chart space out before you, twin cherry-framed bucket seats pamper the skipper and navigator and all the gauges are angled for maximum visbility.
Underway, the hull’s manners could not be more polished if it had enrolled at a Swiss finishing school. Admittedly, the conditions during our trial were far from testing, but the response to trim was excellent, the steering smooth and the view from the lower helm very good, especially to the aft quarters.
Tested November 2003
The brochure proclaims this to be ‘The essence of a fast motoryacht', and we are not arguing. The Phantom 40's market-leadership has been cut short, and the Princess 42 is now the 40ft flybridge boat to aspire to. The only question mark is whether £265,000 is simply too high an entry-level price to seduce buyers to the marque.