The Princess Yachts Story February 2003 Boat News, Review & Advice

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Cruisers Yachts 3650 Aft Cabin boat

The Princess Story (February

Trade-A-Boat editor Dudley pays visit to British builder Yachts, where trend in motoryachts is

When it to factory the people Princess know to save best till Towards the of a day visiting British boatbuilder’s with Sales Manager Clive I’m feeling impressed, but weary. And when Brooks out the guns. We at the Yachts International on the of Plymouth, modernised and Brooks ushers down a towards a covered area suddenly we’re in front a Princess Metre, the largest model, from a ton travel-lift is fully

The boat just returned the day’s trials and are at all around lower helmstation other parts the luxurious Equipped with 2000hp MTU the craft delivered a speed that of 32kt, to the busy working the dashboard.

tells me is hull nine of 25 Metres, production of model running around four year. The of a over the — an adding almost tonnes to overall weight the craft indicates to that this is destined a North owner; the are happy a bimini, says.

Inclusions a jacuzzi chilled water say custom-built rather than boat. Yet to our is a assembly area another four five of biggest models various stages completion.

It more like shipyard than boatbuilding factory; boats are big, and the 25 alone valued around 2.6million the accumulated is pretty too.

But is indeed production boatbuilding With annual currently around boats across 15 motoryacht (the company builds the range of cockpit cruising and 50-60 under construction any one Princess has space in schedule for building, although says the to meet buyer’s specific for modifications with the of the

By opting include luxurious as standard, and with upmarket options offer, the Princesses might well be craft, a contributing to company’s current on the market.

THE

It wasn’t this way. Clive Brooks it, the Yachts story 37 years in Plymouth, David King, of the founders and its Managing decided to a boat for himself to defray chose a that would suitable for work.

King out the to a and the was a called the 31 (the was originally Marine Projects). someone offered 5000 for boat, and more orders Some 140 sold in next two three years, King to production of own boats than contracting work out, with the 32.

Traditionally flybridge boatbuilder, company’s models increased in and then into two ranges with introduction of sportsyachts.

The models span flybridge motoryacht from the 38 to 25 Metre 70ft, Brooks the nomenclature from feet metres to the European factor), and V Class range from V42 to V65.

That two new models for (the 21 and the while three introduced last (the 23 and the and V58

Brooks says model tends have a to seven lifespan before replaced by new, updated Each model its own hull and he says. regarded English designer Bernard is responsible this side the equation.

TRIALS

The Princess hulls always had reputation for Stressing the of its program, the makes a of its location on south-west coast, the border Devon and — a or four drive by from London.

is situated a vast beautiful sound opens onto Atlantic and approaches to English Channel, well as inland along Tamar River. an area in maritime It was birthplace of Francis Drake, reputedly played on The Hoe in while the Armada approached. Mayflower set from here 1690 carrying pilgrims towards new life America.

It’s the you sail at the of the Fastnet Race, it retains importance in naval life the site the Royal Base.

Beyond that, it’s place where takes its craft to Every boat through six 25 hours in-water testing, says, before company is that the propellers are correctly and other equipment functioning to

Very rarely we get glass conditions so the need to good seakeepers, says. We in up Force Six. our first-of-line we wait rough weather, Eight or

The hulls propeller tunnels, the intention in Princess’ materials) being increase efficiency forward thrust, to keep boats more in the period from to planing better visibility control. Curved design is to give softer ride less vibration.

company invests development where is concerned; the new Metre, for Brooks says new design has been with a at the to move rudder further for better

Meanwhile the and flat at the are designed build up underneath the to lift out of hole onto plane, which at around on a like the Metre.

PRODUCTION

Besides seakeeping Princess has enjoyed a for the of its reinforced plastic mouldings.

The currently has 1400 employees across six sites scattered Plymouth. Three these facilities new in and total space is than 75,000sqm.

work in Some 96% the workforce tradespeople, such carpenters, Brooks We take about 20 per year it’s a competitive process the city; get about applications for 20 jobs.

work from to 4.30pm to Thursday, 7.30am to on Friday, any overtime. work is out. A called Fairweather does some the larger for example, outside companies other services; supplies all props, rudders, shafts, etc, provides the decks, while upholstery is contracted out.

Boats are across the sites; the V58 and models are together with Moody yachts, the V42s V46s are a separate facility, for

All hulls handlaid using not chopped mat. Hull joins are rivetted and inside. Iroko is used the engine stringers are foam.

Laminators trained for months before set to in that We haven’t an osmosis for 25 30 years; believe it’s we get the air of the Brooks says.

internal structure most hulls several large tray moulds up to smaller individual The monocoque principle means the company not cut tray moulds customise an on the that it jeopardise the of the There is room to with the moulds.

The uses new wherever possible. Axis CNC are used produce various boat moulds dashboards. Curved used for doors, etc, formed using frequency technology, Brooks describes basically a microwave.

The metalshop produces stainless steel stemhead rollers, storage pods, fuel tanks, so on. tanks are made on using polypropylene, it’s lighter, corrode and taint the of the

Wiring looms made up too, in loom department. size of intricate colour-coded of wire, those for larger boats, to be to be

The company the MRP2 system to and control production processes. 50ft model generally a assembly after moulds have produced. Assembly a 25 requires a slot.

No are built stock. Every is ordered, sell our before we Brooks says. can mean times for boats. The V46 has popular enough new orders not be until the quarter of Brooks says. figures for production are 38 V42s, V46s and V58s.

MOVING UPMARKET

in the that the has experienced major seachange the past Fifteen years the boats a bit Brooks says. 10 years the company the decision improve the

Today the feature stylish furnishings and Interior timbers cherrywood, offered natural or (darker-stained) tones. selection currently at around in favour the lighter tones, Brooks

Multiple coasts varnish are on to interior timbers provide a gloss, high finish. Features as marquetry and quartered panelling are to heighten

Worktops in and bathrooms Avonite.

It’s just in interiors that boats reflect values and The V65, example, has garages, one a jetski another for jet RIB. essentially a speedboat; only owner so has stipulated optional hardtop.

who is these boats? how can meet them?) says they’re self-made businessmen. people who well informed the boats the market.

description doesn’t extend to owners. While in the boat-assembly shed, transpires that of the new craft the assembly will become royal yacht a European

Cruisers Yachts 3650 Aft Cabin boat

POWER OPTIONS

is an part of modern Princess equation, particularly the V sportsyachts. Powered twin 1300hp MAN diesels, instance, the can do full of water and Brooks says. is around at a speed of 20kt (Princess estimates cruising to leave fuel capacity reserve).

The with twin MANs can up to

The new Metre flybridge 33kt with 1300hp MAN while the to have MTUs will available next

Up to the most engines are over 60ft MAN, Brooks The US wanted Cats, these days taking Volvos. the Far Volvos had reputation for service for time, but working on now.

We look worldwide service engines and It’s no having the engines in world if no local — then the worst in the As for by customers engines not by Princess, says Normally try to people, but won’t jeopardise boat with that are or overpowered.

works closely its suppliers produce the up to boats possible. 25 Metre the travel-lift for example, new Rexroth that produce audible bleep the engines in neutral, an aid tight manoeuvres.

AND ABROAD

part of relatively recent into the North American the Princess Boat range being rebadged marketed there Viking sportscruisers. explains: Some of the market is US, We’ve been selling in the six years. we sell 16% of production there.

biggest market still the — our distributor sells 115 boats year — that includes who’ll keep boats in southern Spain,

The company has 24 around the Generally we like to more than per country, says, stressing importance of local sales to the success of marque. It matter what you have boats are in an environment and need good

Although customers’ dealings are local representatives, Yachts welcomes too, says We’re completely to customers; they come they can what’s under skin. We get involved them — technical support the sales

With sales Australia growing around six seven boats year, Brooks this is significant market Princess, particularly the fact the boats to be larger models.

FUTURE

These company founder King remains driving force, ownership of Yachts International passed wholly the hands the Renwick a large African company international interests.

competitors Sunseeker Fairline are based in It’s good us to so much here,’ Brooks comparing the companies to Mercedes and in terms where they their markets.

An issue the company the current of certification around the Princess boats CE certification the Italian RINA, but any non-CE are put a boat which is the case a boat built for US buyer it cannot issued with CE certificate.

this does stop the from meeting requirements, it be a when it to resale, for bigger where the market remains Brooks would to see worldwide standard recreational boats, there is the aircraft

Meanwhile the is certainly ever-larger models, buyer demand as technological allow production bigger and GRP boats. sales of company’s smallest the Princess flybridge, are

The bigger boat, the it is sell, Brooks That has the company’s with the yachts, including introduction of new 64 As for motoryachts, Sunseeker introduced a So how are we to see go?

The plant on water is to hold boats to Brooks says. he adds have no for a Metre.

Vanessa visited the Yachts international in Plymouth a guest the Australian Euroyachts Pty


Published. Saturday, February 2003

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