What’s your boating history?
I bought my first boat in 1992 – an 18-foot cathedral hull, fibreglass boat with a 35-horsepower engine and I’ve had many boats since then which have got progressively larger. I’ve got a new Princess F45 flybridge boat at the moment and I’ve also owned other Princesses, including a V52, which is probably my favourite boat of all of those I’ve owned! I keep my boats in Loch Lomond in Scotland.
Why did you choose Princess?
I have owned lots of different brands of boat and what I particularly like about Princess is the level of attention to detail, which is incredible: the boats are very well built. You can be polishing the boat on a sunny day and you come across a component and it’s got the little Princess crown stamped in there – which shows you that it’s not just a generic component, but is really personalised and high quality. My F45 was the first one made as a demo boat, and is one of the smaller ones in the range, but is still finished to a fabulous standard.
Why did you select the Princess F45?
I chose the F45 because of how much I liked my previous Princess which was a V52. It was a fabulous sea boat – she had a 30-tonne weight and you could take her out in rough water and you would feel totally confident in the boat’s abilities. The new boat I have is a lot lighter with smaller engines, meaning that it is also much easier to manoeuvre and park in the marina, thanks also to her IPS pod drive.
How has it performed?
My new boat is much lighter on fuel and is very well balanced compared to my previous boats. It is also very well set up and the trim tabs are automatic – and there are IPS docking stations on the upper and lower helms. The boat is a dream and so easy to manoeuvre even in quite windy weather. I have to say, my previous boat, the V52 had so much power, which I loved! It was just a little bit more demanding when you came into the dock to park it, but this wasn’t really much of an issue for me.
What have been some of your recent yachting highlights?
I keep the Princess F45 at Cameron House, Loch Lomond, which is a five-star hotel and is wonderful for hosting social events. There is an annual event called the Convoy Cruise during which the marina members are invited to take part in a cruise which covers the length of the loch and back again. When we reach one end, we have a barbeque at the hotel, and then when we come back again, we have a ball. Everyone is in fancy dress and it’s an absolute riot! I also recently hosted my friend’s 50th birthday on my yacht when it was brand new, which was so much fun.
What are your cruising plans for the future?
I’m actually looking at buying a new Princess V55 at the moment. Once that is all settled, I’ll probably put her in the marina in Largs. The Princess V55 has a top speed of 37 knots and two powerful engines, so the sheer power and delivery are going to be absolutely phenomenal. When I’ve got my V55 in the sea, I plan to head to the north of Scotland, to the Caledonian Canal and then I’ll probably cruise down to the west coast of Ireland with her. I am really looking forward to it!