Princess F65 sea trial review: World’s first test of this brand new £3m flybridge

Fear not, fans of Princess’s F Class flybridge motor yachts – the replacement to the F62 is updated, improved and refined in every area. Hugo Andreae drives the Princess F65…

December in Plymouth doesn’t sound like the ideal time and place to test the new Princess F65. The air is cold, the mid-winter afternoons are short and the surroundings, while pretty enough in the right conditions, are a far cry from the sun-baked Mediterranean bays that are likely to be this boat’s natural habitat.

On the other hand the whole point of a flybridge craft is that it’s a floating home from home with plenty of inside and outside space that can be enjoyed all year round in almost any climate.

As it happens the sun is doing its best to add some glamour to the proceedings, bathing the new Princess F65 in a soft orange glow that helps accentuate the subtleties of its styling.

As ever with Princess Yachts’ popular F Class range, there’s nothing wildly different or innovative about the way it looks but long, flowing window lines, careful sculpting of the flybridge overhang and details like the royal blue ‘styling blade’ and gunmetal grey accents add an air of polished refinement perfectly in keeping with the yard’s reputation for understated elegance.

It’s not that they don’t know how to make big, bold statements (the foiling Princess R35 sportsboat and Princess X95 superfly proved as much), it’s just that when it comes to its bread and butter flybridge offerings, Princess knows better than to mess with a winning formula.

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Instead, the Plymouth boatbuilder picks up where the previous boat left off, in this case the five-year-old Princess F62, looks hard at what it could improve and then creates something usefully better in almost every regard.

Space is a key part of that. As the name suggests, the Princess F65 is just over three feet longer than the F62 (66ft 7in v 63ft 5in) but only 3in wider (16ft 9in).

You wouldn’t think this would make a big difference but as well as liberating extra volume in all the key living and entertaining areas, it brings one much bigger win – a fourth cabin. Admittedly this has bunk beds rather than twins and has to share a bathroom with the third cabin opposite but a whole extra cabin is a major win.

The other three cabins all have their own ensuites and are every bit as spacious, comfortable and beautifully finished as you would expect, especially the midships owner’s cabin which now has a similar walk-in wardrobe and near full-width bathroom to the larger Princess Y72.

Read Hugo’ full review of the Princess F65 in the April 2023 issue of MBY, which is out now.

Princess F65 specifications

LOA: 66ft 7in (20.30m)
Beam: 16ft 9in (5.10m)
Draft: 5ft 4in (1.63m)
Displacement: 40.2 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 4,100 litres
Test engines: Twin 1,200hp MAN V8s
Top speed on test: 32 knots
Cruising speed: 21 knots
Cruising range: 252nm
Fuel consumption: 274lph
Noise: 65 d(B)A
RCD category: B for 18 people
Price as tested: £3.3m (inc. VAT)


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