The Princess V50 really stands out for the enjoyable driving experience and is great fun to steer, despite not being extreme in any way. It also features brightly lit, practical interiors, and great attention to detail
by Luca Sordelli – photo by Quin Bisset
Sitting at the helm of a boat and feeling completely at ease is something that happens very rarely, but when it does it’s a truly wonderful sensation. It’s a very rare combination because being a “yacht tester” makes me hypercritical and sceptical, or in other words rather tricky to please. Defects and things that “could be done better” are always the first things I see.
However, cynicism sometimes makes way for real passion. This is what comes to mind at the helm of the new Princess V50, on a day when everything seems to go perfectly. It is a warm sunny day in Palma de Mallorca with just myself and the sailor on board. It’s out of season and there’s no one else at sea.
The double leather pilot seat is a real masterpiece. It is welcoming and perfectly designed for enjoying the experience. The lounge all around me is very brightly lit: 360° glazing, very slender uprights and a hard top that can be opened in just a few seconds. In fact, even when it is closed, three large glass panels allow the Balearic sun to enter. In short, everything outside seems to be inside and I feel like I’m at the centre of the seascape, part of the seascape.
I slowly lower the thrust levers, heading south. The engine room houses two Volvo Penta IPS 600 engines. The start-up is very smooth. As the rpm increases, the V50 rapidly goes from displacement to level planning, climbing at a fairly steep angle for a moment before the fun begins at 2,300rpm.
It has the same hull as the V48, which I know very well and love. I really like this design and this type of boat: no flying bridge, not too heavy and, at fifteen metres, not too long, making you feel very close to the sea.
These hulls are not only created for cruising pleasure, but also for an enjoyable driving experience. It is very easy to feel in harmony with them. It becomes immediately apparent that all this has been developed in the best possible way.
At 2,500rpm the boat begins to race, gliding smoothly over the water, and I am particularly impressed by the silence all around me. My sound level metre records 69 dBA at 16.5 knots, an excellent level that is maintained as the rpm increases, recording 76 dBA with the thrust right down. There’s no creaking and no irritating noise. Just the sea and the wind. I can’t help but think of another next-generation Princess I tried recently, the V65, when I experienced exactly the same sensation of silence. It’s like travelling on a kind of flying carpet.
I go up to 2,750rpm, just reaching a speed of 21 knots, which is the economy cruising speed consuming 110 litres/hour. It is interesting to note how the performance curve is practically flat from this point on, always close to 5.2 litres/mile, even with the thrust right down, at 3,600rpm.
We reached a top speed of just under 32 knots, but it was still a very pleasurable experience, which is the sign of an efficient hull and a boat designed not to go too fast. This speed does not consume excessive amounts, is surprisingly quiet and makes the most of the agile body.
I found the trajectories to be extremely accurate and the response to commands to be very rapid and never jumpy. The boat follows you and “bends” just enough to make itself felt at the helm, but without ever causing problems.
PROJECT Shipyard Technical Department (Design and Naval architecture)
HULL LOA 15.49 m • Length 14.07 m • Maximum beam 4.11 m • Draft 1.14 m • Ligh mass displacement 14,200 kg • Fuel tank volumes 1325 l • Water tank volume 408 l
MAIN PROPULSION 2 Volvo Penta IPS 600 • Outlet mechanical power 320 kW (435 hp) • Number of cylinders 6 • Bore & Stroke 103mm X110mm • Total swept volume 5.5 l • Maximal rotational speed 3500/mi • Weight 901 kg
PRICE Starting from £580,000 (Excl.VAT), V50 (Open Model) with Twin Volvo IPS 600 (2x 435 mhp)
Princess Yachts Limited
Newport Street, Playmouth, Devon, UK PL13QG
Marine Group – Princess Yachts Italia Portosole Via del Castillo 17
I-18038 Sanremo (IM)
tel. +39 0184 990770
(Princess V50, gliding over the water – Barchemagazine.com – Aprile 2019)