A MERE GLANCE IS ALL IT TAKES TO CONFIRM THE 64 HAS THE STYLE CREDENTIALS SEWN UP. FREE OF GRANDIOSE HEAVY-HANDED DESIGN THE PRINCESS 64 IS SHARP YET SUBTLE. ELEGANT OVAL PORTHOLES GRACE STEEL GREY TOPSIDES WHILST LONG SWEEPS OF DARK TINTED SALOON WINDOWS ADD VISUAL LENGTH.
Topping the Princess 64 is a fixed bimini finished in the same grey as the hull, rearmost supports arcing forwards, the stainless steel forward supports lending it a floating effect. It’s a look that’s contemporary yet classic; stylish rather than fashionable. It’s a look that will never date. Boarding via two sets of steps either side of the gracefully sloping transom you are greeted by a generously proportioned cockpit. A central settee curves around a large table, creating a wonderful al fresco dining area or simply a sheltered place to relax. Of course it’s not the only outside space. The flybridge is huge, featuring a large sunpad aft, another big social area, and even a well equipped bar area, whilst further forward the upper helm provides a commanding vista. The overhead bimini allows this area to be enjoyed no matter how harsh the midday sun, or simply roll back the sliding central roof section to soak up the rays. But to really step up the luxury quotient, you merely need to step inside where an abundance of refined chic awaits. A feast of subtle fabrics and fastidiously crafted walnut woodwork create a cool haven of light and space.
Just like the exterior, simplicity is the watchword, nothing tries too hard. Two elegant and supremely comfortable settees face each other around a minimalist occasional table, those twin long runs of glass either side flooding this area with light. Moving forward, the galley provides a first class entertainment centre serving up delicious dishes to the dinette situated conveniently opposite. Or head past the lower helm, complete with side access door, to drop down to the lower accommodation.
It’s hard to know which is more impressive, the fact that the Princess 64 features a four cabin layout, as rare in this class as it is welcome, or the fact that there is no sign of compromise as a result. The en suite VIP cabin will ensconce your most important guests in the lap of luxury, but four more guests accommodated in the two further guest cabins are far from short changed. However the best is reserved for the owner. A simply palatial full beam mid cabin that’s more ‘boutique hotel’ than ‘motor yacht’ serves up a cosseting recipe of light, space and ambience. Lit by huge hull windows either side and served by a superb en suite, it’s the perfect retreat at the end of a perfect day afloat.
With style and luxury credentials so adroitly sated, there’s only one area left to explore. Performance. Two powerful Caterpillar 1,150hp engines provide phenomenal urge all the way to a top speed well over thirty knots, but power, as the saying has it, is nothing without control. Based in Plymouth giving immediate access to the challenging English Channel, Princess Yachts has always had the perfect proving ground right on its doorstep, allowing it to develop a range of craft with an impeccable reputation for sea-keeping. The 64 is no exception. From the moment the warps are slipped, the finger light hydraulic power steering, powerful bow and stern thrusters and precisely metered electronic throttle and shift controls place the helmsman in total command. But it’s once out in the churning melee of challenging sea conditions that the Princess 64 really shows its mettle. Slicing the curling white tops with the sharp forefoot of its deep vee hull, the 64 thunders through the challenging conditions like an express train, throwing huge swathes of spray up and out as it carves a confident path. Direction changes are instant and instinctive, putting the ‘sport’ into ‘Sport Yacht’ with fast, accurately metered course changes that make it a real joy to helm.
But above all it’s this magnificent yacht’s ability to cover ground that most impresses. With less than 2,000rpm on the tachometers, 25 knots is an effortless cruise, hull soaking up the aquatic topography with aplomb, engines a distant burble lost in the slipstream. And it’s this facet of this amazing yacht that really cements the Princess 64’s GT credentials. By combining so much style and luxury with such effortless and distance shrinking performance it is the absolute epitome of Gran Turismo.