It is the smallest of the range of boats without fly bridges made by the English yard. It is designed for untroubled usage, but has an excellent performance in terms of speed, and also good fuel consumption figures
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Quin Bisset
Princess V Class boats don’t have fly bridges, and the smallest one used to be the 55’. So the V40 project was created to fill the gap for a smaller one, which would be the entry-level model. The hull has once again been created by the Olesinski design studio which can claim to have been behind many sports motor yachts, the first of which date from a long time back. So Olesinski certainly doesn’t lack experience. And neither does Princess, which has done the layouts and set-up on the deck and the interiors. Nor is the yard’s technical department new to the game either, and is boosted not just by all of the boats that have been produced, but also by an established dealer network that extends all over the world and provides a lot of feedback. A modern dealer has to be able to deliver pre and after-sales assistance, which is what the Marine Group of Sanremo does. The outcome of knowing both the product and the buyers is that you don’t have to improvise much. And the feeling at the helm lives up to expectations.
There are side windows, portholes and a transparent companionway hatch which ensure that the natural light is excellent, even on the lower decks.
THE DECK IS EXCELLENTLY ORGANISED. THE LAYOUT MEANS YOU CAN HAVE A LOT OF CHAIRS, A LIVING AREA AND A SUN PAD, WITHOUT PROBLEMS IN GETTING AROUND ON BOARD.
The sea off Sanremo was calm, and so I started with a series of turns to work out how well it manoeuvres. There are two 380-hp Volvo engines, and the stern drives mean it can turn tightly even at thirty knots without any difficulty. The only way to try out the V-bow was by going over the waves I was producing. They weren’t particularly big waves of course, but we went through them without any shocks, and the feeling I got was that it would be that way even when the sea got rougher.
One of the characteristics that are most appreciated is the constant delivery of thrust from the throttle. It is always very progressive, without any gaps, but it is also lively and agile, so it is very easy to get to the speed you want. That can be very important when you are on moderate seas. The boat is nicely set in the water, not least because of the Volvo automatic trim. It doesn’t sit back to the stern, nor is the bow too low. And visibility from the driving position is always excellent. But the lateral tilt concerned me slightly more, although there are flaps to correct it.
AT 25 KNOTS, LESS THAN 100 LITRES PER HOUR IS USED BY BOTH ENGINES, WHILE AT TWENTY KNOTS AROUND 80 IS ENOUGH.
The helm station is rather different, in the sense that it is perfect for driving from seating, but hasn’t got enough room to do that if you stay standing. But from the pilot’s seat, the visibility, ergonomics and distance to the wheel have been perfectly done. You don’t feel the need to stay standing, not even when you are manoeuvring to go into port. And having a joystick also simplifies things when manoeuvring so that you don’t want to jump to your feet to ensure that mooring is going right. In terms of performance, it’s good in many areas. There are three areas worth noting: top speed, the wide choice of cruising speeds and low fuel consumption.
With the throttle right open the GPS showed 35 knots, a speed that is more than enough even for people who like to go fast. To start planning, just over thirteen knots are needed and so there is a decidedly broad choice of cruising speeds: from 13 to 35 knots means that there is a 22-knot range to choose from. And finally, low fuel consumption. With a twelve-metre hull displacing nine tonnes, you need between four and five litres per nautical mile.
Snapshot consumption goes from 68 to 156 litres per hour, for both engines. The perfect speed is, I would say, around 25 knots, where it uses only 100 litres per hour and four litres per mile. That’s a figure similar to that produced by a maxi-RIB of the same size, but the Princess V40 is a yacht that is a good deal heavier and has space below decks that an inflatable can’t provide.
There are two cabins and a large bathroom. Every room has a good amount of space and a size that is sufficient to ensure comfort, even during long stays on board.
The interiors have a master cabin in the bow, with direct access to the only bathroom, which does have a separate shower cubicle. The guest cabin is in the stern, below the deck in the cockpit. The headroom is good, and the two single berths have been located across the beam to minimise the feeling of reduced height. The lower deck is not just an accommodation area, because there is also the galley, a U-shaped sofa and a dining table. There is a comfortable amount of space, including in the kitchen, and the layout has been put together to optimise the rooms. It’s got everything, and in a size that is more than enough. And that, it is worth remembering, is although we are talking about a 40-footer. There is plenty of natural light, in part because of the portholes and side windows, which are joined by the companionway hatch in transparent plexiglass.
It is very easy to handle, and reactive, and it never gives the impression that it is difficult to helm. The hull, which delivers speed and good fuel consumption figures, is excellent.
Up on deck, the layout is traditional, but always very effective: there is a sun pad in the bow, midships has the console with seats for skipper and mate, while to port there is a chaise longue. In the cockpit, a mobile bar is to starboard, while to port there is a U-shaped sofa with the dining table in the middle. The only optional feature is the fold-down sofa back, which gives you a second sun pad in the stern (not offered on the standard version). So the distinct impression that you get from the Princess V40 is of a yacht for people who want to get out on the water even without being especially expert, and for people who are looking for a boat that is not too large, and which is easy to the helm, and to handle.
Volvo engines are again used, along with a transmission with stern drives, but you can choose between a pair of 330 hp engines or two of 380 hp
PRINCESS YACHTS INTERNATIONAL
Newport Street, Plymouth
Devon, United Kingdom PL1 3QG
Studio Olesinski and Princess Yacht Studio
LOA 12.98m • LOA without the pulpit 12.65m • Maximum beam 3.81m • Draft 1.02m • Displacement 9,100 kg • Fuel tanks volume 730 l • Water tanks volume 322 l
2xVolvo D6-380 • Outlet mechanical power 280 kW (380 hp) • Swept volume 5.5 l • Maximal rotational speed 3500/min • Dry weight 760 kg
455,000 GBP Excl. VAT (as standard) (September 2022)
(Princess V40, who gets off to a good start… – Barchemagazine.com – September 2022)