The Princess V48 has the pedigree and power to suit an upmarket lifestyle, writes David Lockwood.
Princess yachts, from Plymouth, keeps company with a cache of prestige brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, De Beers and Krug. This is not surprising since the British boat builder is now majority-owned by the LVMH Moet Hennessy Group, an investment vehicle of luxury-brand collector and connoisseur Bernard Arnault, the world's fourth richest man (according to Forbes) and a superyacht owner.
Evidently, the association has borne fruit, as Princess has been busy building bigger, better and ever-more-luxurious boats while some compatriots and competitors have been trimming sails and sales.
The latest V48 continues this journey on pleasure-boating's Park Lane. Flaunting new levels of cruising comfort, the V48 is a worldly and, well, very Sydney boat. It reflects discernment, fine taste and the fact you have gained more than a modicum of success in your life.
After lattes with the glamorous locals at Rose Bay Marina, we saunter down the gangways of the brand's local home to begin our dalliance. Clearly, here is a boat that's eager to please, with new levels of user-friendliness.
Importantly, the V48 is the first Princess with pod drives. The twin Volvo Penta IPS600s are based on D6 engines producing a modest 435hp a side. Of course, one of those de rigueur joystick docking devices is included to shortcut your captaincy skills before the aforesaid clique look on from the marina deck.
We leave the landlubbers behind, cast the lines, tweak the joystick and find ourselves immersed in the Princess boating world. Point Piper's ritzy abodes give us the nod, as we increase the throttles towards the Opera House at 32 knots.
Described as a sport yacht, the V48 rides high and skips along. There's an enlarged electric sunroof and electric side-opening windows, unfettered views from the double-helm seat, and a lots of driving pleasure from the handling and sports wheel.
Alternatively, dial-up the 56,000 BTUs of reverse-cycle airconditioning, which is among the $239,600 of options chosen to create a special boating experience. The purpose-built dash harboured Raymarine electronics, while the audio-visual upgrades spanned four LED televisions, Bluetooth and a Fusion IP600 with iPod and MP3 compatibility.
The V48 was furnished with optional saloon stools, rugs, leather helm seats, and stone galley and bathroom counter tops. A second door to the second bathroom facilitates its communal use, while optional scissor berths in the VIP forward cabin can convert from singles to a double in seconds.
The hydraulic swim platform comes with a 400-kilogram carrying capacity for quick dispatch of the tender. Or dine aboard using the supplied fine china, David Mellor cutlery and Princess glasses.
The interior is almost-minimalist. Satin light-oak joinery and flooring add to the chic, while the fit and finish have been lifted considerably.
Outdoors, the U-shaped cockpit seating converts to a sun lounge, opposite an amenities centre with barbecue and icemaker. Sliding saloon doors with a robust Italian stainless-steel frame open into the saloon where a pop-up television also faces the dinette and lounge.
The dinette will seat four and converts into an impromptu berth to boosts sleeping capacity to six.
Galley highlights include a full-sized fridge and freezer, Franke sink with Hansgrohe mixer, drawer dishwasher, convection microwave oven/grill, three-burner 240-volt ceramic cooktop with exhaust fan and soft-close drawers.
The full-beam stateroom has a queen bed flanked by hull windows. Owner's digs don't get much better than this in a 48-footer.
The V48 has a resin-infused hull to ensure a favourable power-to-weight ratio. Nimble and sporty, upmarket and seriously smart, the boat now covets an owner in Sydney. More from Grant Torrens International Marine at Rose Bay Marina or see princessyachts.com.au.