We've got the climate for year-round boating and coastlines that stretch further than the imagination. We love the BBQ out back with cold drinks, and fresh tucker plucked straight from the sea. Life on the water is synonymous with the local lifestyle, it's an immersive and interactive experience that blends, socialising, adventure and sustenance, simple combination with regards to the rhythm of our boating. But it's precisely where northern hemisphere owner-operator boats have typically missed the mark.
The plethora of empty bays and remote anchorages mean we want to connect food, interaction and activity into an open plan living layout with a focus towards the pool deck. Princess has delivered their take on our favoured aft galley set up. They've added two more zones on the main deck, improved the foredeck, invited the sky to be a part of the saloon and finished it with fine furniture and fabrics.
Whether it's a dream realised or a reward for hard work, buying a luxury boat is no trivial pursuit. It's an important one, finding the right combination to not only function like a dream catcher but also be a platform for transportation. It needs to handle the rigours of going where our hearts desire — and transform into a private island with comfort and luxury with ease.
To get to far-flung bays in a multitude of conditions requires a decent approach to the hull design. The noticeably pronounced chines on this hull provide more lift and a drier ride, and also enable lower speed planing for a wide range of conditions. Below the waterline, the hull is a resin-infused laminate, above closed-cell foam-cored sides and topsides, robust and well insulated.
Power is provided by two MAN V8 diesel engines, each delivering 1200hp, driving straight shafts and capable of reaching 34 knots. Option up to the 1400hp MAN V12 and you have a sports yacht that can propel you up to 38 knots. The Seakeepers SK9 Gyro keeps the ride comfortable along the way.
Princess Yachts have a history that stretches back 55 years, and they're a familiar sight around the country. This V65 is a design of a new breed of vessels from Princess Yachts, this model first launched in 2018 and debuted in Australia at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show last year. The Deep-V hull design by Olesinski is quite capable offshore, according to Greg Haines who heads up Princess Yachts Australia. We didn't have the conditions to challenge the boat, but the heritage of the design is a reflection of the success of the design team.
Bernard Olesinksi designed his first Princess Yacht in 1980, the 30DS, marking the beginning of a design relationship that continues to this day, four decades later. Few yards can boast to such a cumulative effect of design progression. Olienski's design firm has developed and progressed their services into an all in one solution that handles the whole package. The naval architecture, computational fluid dynamics analysis, and the way all the design interacts with the finite elements. What does this translate to in terms of this boat? Not much. Not much noise from outside, not much spray and not much to worry about with regards to structural integrity.
AGE OF THE V65
In 2008 Princess yachts was purchased by Bernard Arnaut's group, the world's largest luxury-goods company, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy). Being part of this group has bolstered the progression of this luxury brand. There's detail in this boat that sets it apart from others.
The V65 is one of the new models released after Antony Sheriff took the helm in 2016. He took a close look at what the market wanted, and this design nicely aligns our lifestyle with high-end European panache and function.
The first very European feature when you step aboard is the generous sun pad with reclined backrests for four. Stretch out, read a book, have a snooze, grab some vitamin D or dry off in the sun after a swim, all these options are available without entering the cockpit. It's the perfect for an unimpeded view of the sunset or night sky as you lounge back and swing around the anchor.
The sun, which we spend so much time sheltering from, has seen moulded hardtops extend farther and farther aft to offer better protection from the elements. As hardtops migrated aft, the view receded to the horizontal plane, limiting the immensity of the stars to the foredeck.
The V65 solves not only the aesthetic element but also the all-important protection element. The must-have option is this one that allows the view in its entirety or the cockpit to be shaded completely. Any possibility in between is an option as coverage is only a button push away. The electric sunshade extends from the hardtop above the wet bar, all the way back past the back of the cockpit seats.
Our remote anchorages and glassy summer nights make the great outdoors look like a glow worm cave. What better way to enjoy it than having the ability to remove the ceiling, sit around the table or lounge back on the sun pad.
Staying on deck, the foredeck is another zone that is improved in the Sports Yacht market of this size. The walkthrough feature of the foredeck is a real bonus for the young and older people on board. Not only does it allow changing sides of the boat without having to head to the bow, but it also provides another seating option forward.
Back in the cockpit, the U-shaped seat for four with a well-crafted table that converts to a full-size dining table when needed is a cosy feeling space. Its well equipped with cockpit refrigeration, BBQ station and rear galley integration, creating a gastronomic blend of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The rolling procession of food and drinks is now so much better suited to the Australian lifestyle than on the new generation of Princess Yachts.
When there's two of you on board, the lower galley of older designs was not a harmonious dynamic for our style of boating. While we look for space and the ability to have separation of zones, a boat is like a beach house. You want that indoor-outdoor living, a connection with the water, outdoor dining and plenty of wiling away afternoons on the back deck.
The outdoor cooking station is connected physically and visually to the galley. The moulded and feature coloured cook station continues the lines, colour and finishes with a continuation of the galley bench. It's an excellent visual way to connect the indoors and the outdoors.
A practical approach to the galley design creates a workable space for two people that efficiently uses more floor space fore and aft than athwartships. It houses all the gear including a four-burner cooktop, full-size refrigeration and freezer space plus a practical corner with the cooktop and galley sink arrangement over on the outboard side of the galley.
The galley taking up less beam has enabled the design team to insert an extra seating and dining area directly opposite the galley on the starboard side—a convenient indoor dining option with enough space to seat three maybe four. Forward of the indoor dining table is the well-equipped bar area that conceals a sizable pop-up TV. Below it has an icemaker, a fridge, and storage for drinks and glassware.
Between the bar on the port side and the raised and comfortable U-shaped lounge to port is an exceptionally sized retractable roof. Switch the lights off in the saloon in a secluded bay for a planetarium experience on a clear moonless night.
The helm is one for the owner-operator, a clean layout with good vision and a couple of crucial features for shorthanded boating. Variable speed thrusters with a hold function plus direct access to the side deck via the opening helm door enable easy berthing and access to the foredeck for anchoring.
While Princess has done an outstanding job with the dynamics on this craft, they have done an exceptional job with the execution. Much like some of the grand residences, they are creating exquisite finishes and curves that are not easy achieved. They have done it because they can. The results are a beautiful finish with pleasing curves expertly crafted and blended with textures and fabrics that have been done by talented stylists. No longer the glossy finish and one fabric covering the soft furnishing but instead made of intricately layered and complementing tones that have a refinement and natural composition. Like a secluded bay with fringing grasses a tidal line peppered with shells and small stones, the soft dry, warm sand and matt finishes of local flora. The blend of tones and fabrics take cues from nature and do it well.
Down below, the sumptuous seaside retreat for the owners is inviting, stepping down into it is light-filled space is quite the reward for the occupants. Cleverly, the bed has been set more to the starboard side of the centreline, closer to the seamlessly crafted cabinetry. It gives more space to the higher used and port side. Affording ample space between the edge of the bed and the plump sofa on the port side, relaxing with legs stretched out won't impede the walking to the bathroom. The curves of the woodwork entice you to feel the contours and the sublime textures. The bathroom is functional and luxurious. The vanity boasts dual sinks ending in ample shower space with a view that will make showers last a little bit longer.
The bathroom adds another bulkhead of separation from the engine room, combined with the insulation prowess that Princess Yachts are known for, the cabin is quiet when underway. The type of calm with the engines running that you could sleep through a flatwater location change.
The accommodations are not all about the master cabin, there are three more cabins and that's why this is a viable choice for owners who want to accommodate a tribe. The forward cabin is dedicated to the VIP guests, stunningly styled, swathed in inviting-to-touch textures and complemented by its own impressively sized and equipped ensuite.
A third cabin on the starboard side has an almost full cabin length window with opening portlight. Standing room is ample for ninety per cent of the length. These beds are convertible from a twin to a queen; they slot together at the push of a button, it also has internal access to the third bathroom/day head.
The fourth cabin has over and under bunks to bring the total berths down below to eight, considering the five distinct zones on the main deck, it won't be a cramped feel if you desire some quiet time.
The more time you spend onboard gives more chances to notice the subtleties of the boat. Masterful curves with timber, counterweighted leather embossed logo on the steering wheel stays level like the logo in the wheel hubs of a Rolls Royce. It's touches like this that point to the grander approach to building quality.
A very sophisticated vessel, refined in terms of engineering and spatial design. With subtle and elegant luxury, Princess has created a superb Sports Yacht that is now well suited to the Australian lifestyle. If you are looking for a single level sports yacht with lots of space, good onboard dynamics and blue blood pedigree, this one should be on your list.
FACTS & FIGURES
Variable speed bow and stern thrusters
Electric Blue canopy highlight
Upgrade generator to 19KW
Electrically operated cockpit sun awning
Separate washer and dryer
Premium audio package
Australian electrical compliance
Electrically operated sliding berths
to starboard cabin
Seakeeper SK9 Gyro stabiliser
Dual Raymarine screens, radar autopilot
PRICE AS TESTED
AUS $4.39 million inclusive of GST, duty, shipping and pre-delivery
TYPE: Monohull power yacht
LENGTH: 20.32m (66ft 10in)
BEAM: 5.08m (16ft 9in)
DISPLACEMENT: 30,500kg (dry)
MAKE/MODEL Twin Man D2868LE436 (V8-1200)
TYPE V8, fuel injected four stroke turbo-diesel
RATED HP 1200 hp (each)
DISPLACEMENT 16.16L (each)
MANUFACTURED BY/SUPPLIED BY
Princess Yachts Australia
40 Quay Street
Phone: 07 5561911