Luxury Water Rocket


Portrait of Tammy Strobel


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I HAVE TO ADMIT, I’ve always liked Princess Yachts. There’s something about the British company’s craftsmanship, design, attention to detail and practicality that make a Princess boat so appealing.

Sure, the Italian boat builders offer avant-garde looks and sexy designs, but sometimes they just aren’t that practical. So when Princess announced its new S60, I had to take a closer look … and she didn’t disappoint.

Launched at the prestigious London Boat Show in January and a star at the Singapore Yacht Show in April, the Princess S60 is the third model in Princess’s sports bridge range of sleek and fast yachts.

The S60 is the smallest boat in the S Class range, alongside the S65 and flagship S72, and combines the looks of a sports cruiser with the double deck of a flybridge.

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Tropical weather

In Asia, many powerboat owners prefer to have a flybridge because of the tropical weather, providing open-air views and an additional helm and control station.

A flybridge also allows for a much better view of the ocean and where you’re going. In colder climates, a flybridge can be almost useless or even miserable. Still, if the sea gets too rough and bumpy, you can always go below and steer from the helm in the main saloon.

A sports-cruiser style yacht, on the other hand, has a single deck above the hull and living quarters below. The advantages are that the boat looks a lot sleeker without a towering superstructure. The Princess S60 managed to pull off both looks simultaneously.

She looks sleek and fast, and although she has a smaller flybridge than a traditional yacht, there’s plenty of spacious seating area aft with a small wet-bar and sunpad.

And like on all Princess yachts, you can easily see the rear of the boat from the helm, which makes reversing the boat a less daunting task.

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Resin infusion makes it strong

The S60’s sleek exterior styling with sculpted hull glazing generates a dynamic, agile stance on the water. One thing that helps Princess yachts stand out from the crowd is that they usually have larger windows than their competitors. That’s because of the hull’s inherent strength. A more rigid hull means it can accommodate bigger windows.

And the yacht maker’s hull is very strong due to the use of PVC foam cores and the use of resin infusion technology. The hull fibreglass is applied layer by layer with robots and then polyester resin is injected and the whole hull put under a vacuum.

The robot puts the glass down precisely, virtually eliminating mistakes that can happen when done by hand, while the vacuum assures there are no voids in the finished hull.

Other manufacturers, including Taiwan’s Horizon Yacht, also use this type of technology, but Princess seems to be the company that perfected it. The hull – and, in fact, the entire Princess line – was designed by renowned naval architect Bernard Olesinski.

His design provides for a comfortable, solid and reassuring feel when under way. Double strakes with a hard chine that rises above the waterline at the bow help to soften the ride in lumpy seas. And with a draft of just four feet, the S60 can go just about anywhere.

Strength aside, the S60’s optimised low dead rise hull form creates greater lift and less drag, leading to lower planing speeds and greater efficiency. And more efficiency means more speed.

Princess reports that with her larger twin MAN V8 1,200hp diesel package, she can reach speeds of up to 38 knots. Believe me, when you crank the throttles on this baby it moves like a rocket. At a little over 62ft (19.17m), she’s no lightweight.

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Luxurious cabins

When at anchor or dockside, the S60’s generous deck areas provide space for relaxation including foredeck seating and a sunbathing area, while a tender or jet ski can be quickly launched and stowed in the stern garage.

Her large main deck features a galley-aft arrangement with open- plan dining area and sliding doors leading out to the cockpit. Below deck, six guests are accommodated across an en-suite full-beam master stateroom amidships and two guest cabins forward that share a head.

The views in each of the cabins are stunning. Large toughened glass panels are positioned a few feet above the waterline. While at sea, you can see the ocean race by or by contrast look across the water while at anchor.

Princess even has an option for a crew quarters aft, which is great if you rely on help to drive and maintain your boat. The saloon has the helm located forward on the starboard side.

Twin buckets of leather seat the drivers of the boat. As expected, a wide array of navigational and engine controls are located on the console. Throughout the vessel, the look is modern with muted earth tones and accents. All finishes are of exceptional quality.

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Plenty of sunshine

Sunpads are something that the S60 is not short of. As well as the one up top, there are also dedicated sunbathing areas atop the tender garage and as part of the foredeck seating area. Because of its size, this yacht is ideal for entertaining or for long or short voyages.

Princess Yachts may be cutting-edge in their construction, but they have chosen to stay with ordinary shaft drives rather than join the rush to pod systems, for a couple of good reasons.

First, the shaft system doesn’t require any modifications to a well-proven hull. Second, shaft drives are easily serviced just about anywhere around the world.

After all, it can be annoying to have a new bit of technology that requires specialist help to set right in a faraway place. And lastly, it keeps the engine weight amidships to reduce the bow angle, providing a more stable cruise.

Overall, the S60 is a winner. The yacht has class, charm and is a solid performer. At a ballpark cost of £1.7 million, she isn’t cheap.

According to Michelle Ma-de Jong, Group Marketing Manager for Princess Yachts South East Asia, “the S60 has generated quite a lot of interest among potential buyers”.

After going through the boat and taking her on a short excursion in Singapore, it’s not difficult to understand why.

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Princess S60

Builder Princess Yachts (England)

Exterior Design Princess Yachts

Interior Design Princess Yachts

Hull Design Bernard Olesinski

LOA (inc. pulpit) 19.17m / 62ft 11in

LOA (exc. pulpit) 18.92m / 62ft 1in

Beam 4.87m / 16ft 0in

Draft 1.4m / 4ft 7in

Displacement 27.2 tonnes / 59,966lb

Fuel Capacity 3,250 litres / 859 US gal

Fresh Water Capacity 603 litres / 159 US gal

Black Water Capacity 73 litres / 19 US gal

Engine option 1 2 x Caterpillar 12.9 (2 x 1000mhp)

Maximum Speed 33-35 knots

Engine option 2 2 x MAN V8 1200 (2 x 1200mhp)

Maximum Speed 36-38 knots

Guest Cabins 3 for 6 people

Crew Cabin(s)* 1 for 1 person