Alex Smith heads to Plymouth for the world’s first sea trial of the mighty Princess X80...
When the Princess X95 first hit the water in 2020, it certainly wasn’t quiet about it. With its confrontational elevation, fulsome forward superstructure and full-length ‘super flybridge’, it didn’t just feel like a radical tangent from the gentlemanly motor yachts of the Princess Y Class.
It felt like a radical tangent from the rest of the players in its sector. But while the upright trawler-cum-expedition aesthetic was challenging for some, the fact that it delivered around 30% more volume than most boats of a comparable length won it a lot of fans.
Couple that with the fact that it was able to integrate some authentic superyacht-style luxuries into a sub-100ft platform and a couple of things became inevitable. Firstly, it would go on to sell extremely well, shifting more than 30 units in just three years. And secondly, Princess Yachts would attempt to transfer that same winning concept onto a more compact X Class model.
The smaller boat’s approach to the X Class ethos differs markedly from that of its big sister. In spite of the fact that it measures 13ft shorter and 2ft narrower, it replaces the full-beam superstructure with a more conventional walkaround main deck layout.
That of course narrows the main deck accommodation but it still employs an extraordinarily long superstructure with an inverted screen for maximum volume. More to the point, it makes best possible use of that volume by side-stepping a main deck helm station and using the space instead for a forward dining area, that can also be specified as a second master cabin, in addition to a permanent port day heads and a versatile starboard galley.
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The impact of all that is not to be underestimated. The fact that you have a proper main deck day heads enables every one of the four lower deck cabins to retain its own private ensuite facilities for the sole use of those guests.
The galley meanwhile can be integrated with the main saloon space by means of a set of stools at the bar; or it can be cordoned off for extra guest privacy thanks to a push-button screen, while still retaining easy access to the starboard side deck through a pantograph door.
And ahead of all this, the fact that you get the option of a main deck forward cabin with vast sea views and private access to the bow dinette feels like an item from the aspirational wishlist of a much larger custom superyacht.
Read Alex’s full review of the Princess X80 in the June 2023 issue of MBY, out now.
Princess X80 specifications
LOA: 82ft 7in (25.18m)
Beam: 19ft 11in (6.06m)
Draft: 5ft 10in (1.78m)
Displacement: 62.5 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 7,000-8,800 litres
Engines: Twin MAN V12 1650s, 1900s or 2000s on straight shafts
Test engines: Twin MAN V12 1900 24.2-litre diesels on straight shafts
Top speed on test: 31 knots
Fuel consumption: 498lph @ 24 knots / 31lph @ 8 knots
Cruising range: 339nm @ 24 knots / 1,817nm @ 8 knots
Noise: 60 d(B)A @ 20 knots
RCD Category: A for 20 people
Price as tested: £7.8million (ex. VAT)