Princess V39 Owner: Neil Coates and his family
Join us as we speak to Neil Coates, Princess V39 owner based at Mercury Yacht Harbour on the River Hamble, Southampton. He talks us through his and his family’s experience on board, especially through the pandemic.
What’s your boating history?
My dad had a little boat down in Devon when I was growing up, so as soon as I could afford one, I bought a RIB. But getting soaked through on cold winter days nearly put my family off boating for life, so after that my wife insisted on something more comfortable. The V39 is the first ‘posh’ boat we’ve ever had!
Why did you choose the V39?
When the V39 was first released in 2012, we went to the London Boat Show to see it – and from that moment forward, it was the boat we dreamed of owning. It looks fantastic and with the rollback roof, it still has an open feel to it. You can keep yourself sheltered or you can open it up and feel like you’re outdoors. I’m happy to say my wife’s fallen in love with the whole experience now.
How have you been using your boat?
Before the pandemic, I wasn’t attuned to how great it is to drop the hook and spend a day in the same spot, just having lunch or a swim and watching the day roll by. Normally, we would get down there and head for a destination but in 2020, we were happy just to be on board. It was so nice to live life from moment to moment rather than constantly having a grand plan. For us, that’s become the beauty of boat ownership – the fact that you can go where you want, when you want and not feel tethered by a plan or by the clock.
What was your 2020 yachting highlight?
Every time we used the boat, we had a great time. Whether we anchored in Osborne Bay or Colwell Bay, we were able to remove ourselves from the stresses and strains of everyday life. And it’s been a good opportunity to get other members of the family involved too. I’ve had my sister and her family on the boat. My mother-in-law comes out sometimes and I’m trying to get my dad out as well this year. So it’s been a really good way to connect with loved ones.
How has your Princess V39 owner performed?
The seakeeping is amazing – so agile and soft-riding. It feels like a RIB and it’s been lovely to be able to cruise at speed in real comfort, often in conditions that you would expect to be uncomfortable. It’s also a gorgeous-looking boat and very high quality. I really don’t think there’s an awful lot you could improve on it.
What are your cruising plans for 2021?
We’ll certainly be seeking out some new anchorages. And when we’re allowed to go further afield, we’ll be looking at France or the Channel Islands. We’d also like to go further west, where I’m from – spend a couple of weeks cruising down to Cornwall and get in and out of some of the quiet little harbours and estuaries around Falmouth. That could be the perfect replacement for a holiday abroad.
The Princess V39 was later replaced by the Princess V40, which you can view here.