Is this your first Princess?
Yes but I have been looking a buying a Princess for some time. The Princess V52 was our choice.
Previously, you owned a Fairline Targa 44GT?
My last boat was a Fairline Targa 44GT which I bought from the London Boat Show in 2010. I was very pleased with the Targa but wanted a larger boat with more room and comfort.
Why choose Princess?
I was very impressed with the build quality and style of the Princess range and the level of equipment which was standard on the boat.
What other boats did you consider when researching your latest purchase?
I looked at the Fairline Targa 50, Sunseeker Portofino 48 and Predator 53. None of these had the right layout to suit myself and my family.
What features of your new boat do you particularly like?
The best features of the Princess V52 are the two superb cabins, both with en-suite shower rooms. The large lower and upper saloon and the fact that the upper saloon is fully enclosed with sturdy sliding doors makes the boat very comfortable to use all year round.
Please comment on the buying process from your first enquiry to handover of your new Princess.
My first contact with the Princess salesman was at the London Boat Show. We kept in touch after the show and by April with the option of a part exchange deal we ordered the new boat. As the boat was ordered at an early stage with the delivery date late September we were able to choose exactly the options and colour scheme we wanted which was interesting.
Where do you keep the boat?
The boat is moored at Mercury Marina, on the River Hamble in the Solent. The facilities and staff are excellent and berths are larger than in most Marinas. The Solent is the best area to be based in for places to visit even when the weather is inclement. With the shelter of the Isle of Wight you can always go somewhere, even with gale force winds.
Has the boat lived up to your expectations?
In the last 5 weeks we have been away every weekend, in rain, mist and last weekend head on, in to a force 7 for a short trip to Bucklers Hard. The boat handles really well and the two large relatively low revving Caterpillar engines together with the stable ride gives us stress free boating with confidence.
Has the after sales service lived up to your expectations?
In the short time we have had the boat we have only rung the Princess after sales department once, which was on a Saturday. Within 3 hours the minor problem was fixed and we were on our
What other expeditions do you have planned?
We will spend the New Years Eve on the boat somewhere in the Solent and in the summer next year spend a couple of weeks on the Cornwall and Devon coast. Our favourite places include Dartmouth, Salcombe, Fowey and the River Yealm. We also plan to visit the Channel Islands and the Northern French coast.
You were asked to help with a training exercise with the coast guards? Can you please tell us about it
On the 20th October at about 11.00am after spending the night in Yarmouth Harbour enjoying the local hospitality, we decided to motor to the Needles and round to the southwest side of the Isle of Wight. What had started off being a grey overcast day started clearing and on a spur of the moment we decided to take a run round the Island and back clockwise to Cowes. Just before St Catherine point we suddenly noticed that the Coast Guard Rescue helicopter was above us at low level and holding a sign to call them up on channel 67 on the VHF. This I did and they asked me if we would take part in a training exercise where they would lower a man and board my boat whilst still underway.
We were running at about 28 knots with the tide and they requested we remain at the same speed and course. We agreed and turned on the V52 auto pilot and as one of us kept a good lookout ahead the helicopter skilfully lowered a rescue coastguard directly on to the rear bathing platform. Once on, he unclipped and came in for a chat. After about 5 minutes he thanked us and returned to the bathing platform and the helicopter returned and lowered the cable which he caught , clipped himself on and was winched back up.
They then followed us at close quarters (which seemed only about 4m away from the top of our boat) for about 15 minutes which we assumed was to practise close hovering at speed for both the pilot and co pilot. Then they called us back on channel 67, thanked us for our help and co operation and were gone. It was a fantastic experience and the noise and close proximity I will remember for a long time.
How do running costs compare to your last boat?
As the Princess V52 is a larger yacht, the mooring and fuel costs are higher but as the Princess is a shaft driven yacht instead of IPS the servicing costs should be cheaper.
KEEP IN TOUCH!
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