Taking a look at the Princess F Class with Nigel James, our Sales Director in Mallorca.
If the Princess story has always revolved around the co-existence of advanced technologies and traditional values, the company’s most recent history represents a very convincing affirmation of that. On the one hand we’ve seen the emergence of some overtly radical designs like the foil-equipped R35 and the expedition-style X95. And on the other, we’ve seen Princess lavish more attention than ever on the ‘traditional’ mid-sized flybridge cruisers for which it has become so renowned over the last 50 years.
Following the launch of the F70 in the spring of 2018 came the unveiling of the F45 at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January 2019 – and after the F55 won the Motorboat & Yachting Award for ‘Best Flybridge up to 60 feet’, Princess added a fifth yacht to its F Class range in the form of the F50. As things stand then, the Princess F Class encompasses five boats from 45 to 70 feet, including the three smallest flybridge options in the Princess family and a more prolific choice of models than any other flybridge line. We talked to Nigel James, our Sales Director in Mallorca, for a deeper insight into what the celebrated F Class now represents.
What’s the F Class all about?
The F Class is what most people might see as Princess’s core business – the classic Princess. It’s all about family cruising, spacious interiors and sensible performance. Each of the five F Class boats uses a full-volume hull, designed to generate spaces where you can spend extended periods of time – and that matters, because it means that if you put an F Class boat into the Med, you don’t need to worry about a separate boat and apartment. It has sufficient volume to operate as your boat and your holiday home, all in one.
Does it aim to maximise the core strengths of the traditional flybridge?
Yes and no. It would be misguided to call F Class boats ‘traditional’ because they’re really quite cutting edge. But on the other hand, they still carry the DNA of the original Princess shape and the original Princess offering. Flybridge motoryachts from 45 to 70 feet have always been at the heart of what Princess does, so each F Class boat comes with a certain scale of design. Perhaps the fuller, more voluminous hull of the F Class won’t carry as much speed as those in the V or S ranges but it’s not really about outright pace. It’s about confident, user-friendly cruisability and the F Class delivers that to fantastic effect. It offers great space and durability in a hull that is both sea-kindly and capable of travelling long distances with outstanding comfort and sensible fuel burn. So for family cruising and extended passage making, it’s a truly outstanding machine.
Does the F Class lend itself to your home waters of Mallorca in any way?
Absolutely. It provides a large saloon area with lots of expansive glass, which helps bring the outside in; and yet it’s covered, so it can be air-conditioned or heated, enabling you to use it all year round and really make the most of your boat. On top of that, the F Class features colossal flybridges that generally run the entire length of the saloon, so you can have a whole new deck on which to enjoy the outdoor experience. That’s certainly something people tend to want in the Med.
Which is the strongest of the F Class boats?
That’s a hard one to answer, because it’s always relative to where you are in life, how much you have to spend and what you want to do – they are all equally strong but for different reasons. For example, if you want big boat interiors in a small platform, the F45 and F50 both deliver an amazing experience. The F45 achieves stunning space with a VIP cabin in the middle of the boat and that’s something you could only have dreamed of a few years ago.
So, what is it that makes the new F Class particularly special?
The F Class is the result of generations of development. David King, who started Princess Yachts in the 1960’s, was always very focused on doing things properly and that continues to shine through in the modern F Class. Yes, these are cutting edge flybridge motor yachts that offer wonderful spaces and high-quality living environments but they are also born out of decades of applied expertise and boat building heritage, and that makes them some of the most complete and perfectly resolved flybridge cruisers in the world.