Princess 85 Motor Yacht (2011-) Captain& s Report

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Princess 85

Princess 85 Motor Yacht (2011-) Captain’s Report

On deck, the Princess 85 Motor Yacht has plenty of places to play. The flying bridge has seating and dining areas for the whole ship’s complement, and space for a hot tub, too. Yes, there’s a bar up here. The aft deck has lots more seating, and dual passages to the swim platform. Some folks will prefer the sunpad and bench seat on the foredeck – there’s more privacy when backed-up to the quay.


Single-Level Living

Princess has kept the 85 MY’s daytime living accommodations on the main deck; the lower deck’s for sleeping and showering. Her salon comprises a large seating/conversation area with direct access to both the aft deck and the formal dining suite (it will seat eight). The galley is on this deck, too, so the chef won’t have to carry platters up and down when serving. As you’d expect on a yacht like this one, the open-plan galley is fully equipped; boats destined for the U.S. have modified electrical systems and appliances to match American standards.

Huge windows and light-colored decor create a modern, inviting salon. In addition to the light oak shown, Princess offers cherry and walnut interiors, all with choice of high gloss or satin finish. The 85 MY’s accommodation plan keeps most daytime areas on this deck: A formal dining area is forward of the conversation area, and forward of that, an open-plan galley. There’s direct access to the large aft deck, and the spiral stairs (at right, above) lead to the flying bridge.

The primary helm station is also on the main deck, screened from the salon by joinery but easily accessible, too. Opposite the helm, Princess added a small dinette –it’s ideal for feeding the crew, but many owners might like to hang out here and watch the world through the windshield. Since the 85 is small enough for owner operation in most areas (check local regulations for licensing requirements and ofcourse read your insurance contract—you may be required to have a licensed captain), we expect this area will see lots of use, maybe more than the formal dining table in the saloon.

If we owned an 85 MY, we’d take our meals here, at the compact dinette opposite the lower helm, although we expect it’s intended more for crew. Why should they enjoy such a good view? The windshield and side windows open a panorama of the world ahead, and the skipper is near at hand for easy kibitzing.

We like to be left alone while steering, so we like the single seat behind the Princess 85 MY’s helm. Observers can sit in the nearby bench seat, or at the dinette. We also like the helm’s clean, modern layout and the excellent all-round visibility. Access to the deck is through a sliding door behind the photographer, and a second one on the port side, through the galley.

There’s no excuse for bad cooking aboard the 85 MY, whose galley has all mod cons, including a separate freezer and garbage disposal. Elegant joinery, a Princess trademark, hides lots of stowage for cooking tools, while china, silverware and glasses live in lockers near the formal dining table. An on-deck head is opposite, handy to the galley and pilothouse.

Belowdecks, Where the Sleeping is Easy

There are several different cabin layouts available on the 85 MY’s lower deck, but the one we prefer is standard. The master suite is amidships, stretches the full beam of the vessel, and is flooded with natural light through four tall hullside windows. There’s a large walk-in closet with enough hanger space for both the owner and his partner – but we predict the partner will take over the whole closet nevertheless.

Her 20′ 8 (6.30 m) beam makes the 85 MY’s master suite big enough to dance in, almost. The centerline berth is positioned fore and aft as it should be, and shares the space with a vanity/desk to port and a small dinette to starboard, seating two and handy for taking early-morning coffee or a late-night snack.

The adjoining master head can have either a stall shower or whirlpool tub. His and hers sinks are carved from marble. The 85 MY displayed by Viking Sport Cruisers at the recent Ft. Lauderdale boat show had radiant heating under the marble sole – that’s luxury.

Princess 85

A VIP guest stateroom and head are forward, with port and starboard twin-berthed cabins and heads just aft. These cabins can be converted to an office with Pullman berth and/or a second VIP stateroom with a walkaround berth. Crew’s quarters are all the way aft, with a double stateroom for the captain, upper-and-lower single berths for the crew, a head with shower, basic galley and dinette.

The VIP guest stateroom is almost as large as the master — its walk-in closet is a little smaller, and its ensuite head has only one sink.

The starboard guest cabin, with twin berths as standard, can be converted to a second VIP cabin with a walkaround double berth. Its mirror-image cabin to port can become an office, a very attractive option for a boat like this, where folks might be living aboard for long cruises. Add satcom and you can keep in touch with your office onshore.

Recommendation

Regular BoatTEST.com readers know we have great respect for Princess yachts, and the 85 Motor Yacht is no exception. She is just the right size in our opinion – either a big motoryacht or a mini-megayacht, depending on how you look at it – with all the quality and features Princess is noted for. We haven’t tested an 85 MY yet, but the builder says she’ll do 26 to 28 knots with twin 1,825-hp Caterpillar C32A diesels (standard power) and 28 – 30 knots with C32As bumped to 1,925-hp. Frankly we think these speeds are too fast for this type of vessel and we’d be happy with 1550-hp C-325 and cruising a 20 knots. We expect most owners will throttle back for a more genteel ride and longer range, but her deep-V bottom should provide a seaworthy ride even at top speed in most conditions. We strongly recommend folks ready to move into a yacht this size take a close look at the Princess 85 Motor Yacht.

Propeller pockets reduce the 85 MY’s draft to 5′ 5 (1.65 m), so she’ll be fine for exploring alongshore, too.

What’s the bottom line? Princess, and the boat’s American importer, Viking Sport Cruisers, are reticent about providing prices, but the 85 Motor Yacht displayed at the recent Fort Lauderdale boat show had a price tag of $8.6 million with the larger Cats, stabilizers, a hardtop with retractable roof, custom decor and lots of extra equipment. Our contact at VSC said most 85 MYs would run around $8 million. In the U.S. that includes building the boat with a U.S. electrical system, adding equipment Princess considers optional but most Americans want, and complying with USCG regulations, ABYC standards and NMMA certification requirements. Yanks looking to save money by buying offshore and importing a boat themselves should think first: Making these changes might cost more in the long run. We say, Let Viking Sport Cruisers do it. When something goes wrong, you’ll want a good friend on the west side of the Atlantic.

Published January 3rd, 2011

Princess 85
Princess 85
Princess 85
Princess 85
Princess 85
Princess 85

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