Erwin Bamps, General Manager of the French brand, has introduced us to the Prestige Yachts world, which has rapidly become a global leader in 40 to 60-foot cruising yachts
by Geoffroy Langlade – photo by Francis Guillard, Jean François Romero and Dominique Chiron
Prestige Yachts saga began in 1989 on the Atlantic coast in Vendée (France). A specialist in small motorboats and sailing boats, the Jeanneau shipyard (which later joined the Bénéteau group in 1995) wanted to tackle the luxury yacht market and launched its first model: the Prestige 41. A cruising yacht designed in collaboration with the Italian studio Garroni Design, which would become inseparable from the brand’s success.
Then in 2000, the French brand expanded and inaugurated an ultra-modern production plant in the city of Les Herbiers and launched its first flybridge model, the Prestige 36. The series quickly became a brand in its own right and in 2010 the Prestige 60 was launched, a luxury yacht powered by the famous Volvo Penta IPS pods, before launching the Prestige 500 collection in 2011. This model remains one of Prestige Yachts’ bestsellers, with more than 400 units sold worldwide.
The 70’ is the first wide-body launching the new X-Line range. Designed by Garroni Design.
In the meantime, the motor yacht brand has become the world leader in the 40 to 60-foot cruising powerboat segment. It has around 110 dealers all over the world, in Europe, in North America, a key market, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. Dealers can count on the financial strength of the Bénéteau Group, factories with high production capacity, a constantly renewed range, and, above all, loyal customers. In terms of renewal, according to Erwin Bamps, General Manager of Prestige Yacht since 2018, more than ¾ of the Prestige units would be sold to a customer of the shipyard.
Passionate clients and fans of the brand are used to meeting every year for the Prestige Exclusive Days, in the heart of the shipyard in Les Herbiers, a town located 75 kilometres from Nantes in France. «During the three days of the Prestige Exclusive Days, we welcomed more than 300 customers and dealers from all over the world. What’s special about this event is the fact that people can exchange with the designers, with the entire support team and the management behind the brand and get to understand the values the philosophy, the strategy of the brand», said Erwin Bamps. «For us also it’s very special because we get the chance to have a return from these facts. Clients and dealers do come to spend most of the day here and that gives us a richness of information that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to obtain. Of course, this year it was extra special not just because it was the 10th edition, but because we have unveiled the X60, which is the latest addition to the X line».
THE PRESTIGE 500, PRESENTED IN 2011, IS ONE OF THE PRESTIGE YACHTS’ BESTSELLERS, WITH MORE THAN 400 UNITS SOLD WORLDWIDE.
The Prestige X60 takes up the stylistic codes and spirit of the X70. «For us, the X Line was an exciting concept because you saw something coming into the market three or four years ago. We saw other types of uses, other types of boats, and other needs that the clients add. We have our traditional flybridge market but we felt that there was something else. This is the natural evolution of the flybridge towards a new concept with more space and more lights», said Erik Stromberg, Power and Motoryacht Product Director. «The idea was to try to blend that concept into a new architecture a new type of boat».
The yard in Les Herbies has a covered surface of 50 thousand square meters and an outdoor service area of 350 thousand.
Designed by Garroni Design, the X60 makes its entrance with a modern line, an inverted windscreen, and a 90° opening of the saloon windows, forming a veranda on the sea. And an asymmetrical circulation plan was imagined by the designers. The flybridge, which is 30% larger than a traditional one, is a fully equipped living space, which also offers a unique view of the horizon.
The aft beach club features a large sundeck, shower, lighting, and independent sound system for unforgettable moments of sharing and entertainment. Inside, the X60 reinterprets the layout with an open central galley fully equipped with new electrical storage at the heart of life on board. Near the cockpit, there is a small lounge where you can relax or accompany the pilot.
The master cabin offers completely private access from the main deck. The lower deck includes the guest and VIP cabins. The Prestige X60 is powered by two 600 hp Cummins engines in shaft line or Pod Zeus. Finally, Prestige Yachts has created a surprise M-Line series (M for MultiHull), thanks to its first motor catamaran M48.
(Prestige Yachts, a worldwide success – Barchemagazine.com – July 2022)