When you have a large, extended family of boaties, the best way to celebrate special occasions is on a comfy, spacious platform that accommodates everyone’s needs. The Leopard 43’s a sleek solution.
- Luxury cruising with sporty styling
- Owners' cabin has separate access
- Every cabin has an ensuite bathroom
- IPS plus bowthruster affords stress-free docking
- Gyro stabiliser improves comfort at rest and underway
The pride and joy of an Auckland couple whose last boat was a Prestige 500, the Prestige 630S Serenità (Spanish for serenity) is the largest Prestige S-line model imported to New Zealand so far.
The 630S (SportYacht) is a coupe-style launch featuring a stylish Sport Flybridge that’s exclusive to larger models in the S-line range. You can also order the 630 in a full-sized flybridge version, without the stunning opening roof panel of the 630S. The more compact (though still expansive) Sport Flybridge moves the helm aft and gives the vessel a more rakish and sporty profile.
This stylish vessel looks fast, but the emphasis is on cruising comfort. Twin Volvo Penta IPS 950s give it a respectable top speed of almost 30 knots with excellent throttle response and a sporty feel, though the boat is quiet inside and out. Cruising at 24 knots with the Volvos spinning at 2,250rpm, Serenità is even quieter, and with her gyro stabiliser, progress is steady as she goes in a seaway.
Prestige’s 630S utilises space extremely well. It has a roomy three-cabin layout, plus a crew cabin aft, accessed from the swim platform. Serenità’s owners use the crew cabin for storage, but it is fully-appointed with two bunks and a separate head and shower. Engine room access is either through the aft cabin or via a ladder from the cockpit hatch.
Twin 725hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels are linked to IPS2-C pods by jackshafts. The drives are positioned beneath the forward of the two berths in the crew’s quarters aft. This arrangement lets the builder make the most of the IPS system, while still maintaining its design parameters for centre of gravity.
Engine room accessibility is good, with standing headroom and plenty of room for auxiliary equipment such as the batteries, water maker, hot water cylinder, Cummins Onan generator, inverter, air-conditioning and all the other gear a vessel of this size and quality is fitted with. The owners ticked quite a few boxes on Prestige’s long options list, so Serenità is well specc’ed.
The vessel’s wide teak swim platform is raised and lowered hydraulically, making easy work of launching and retrieving a Southern Pacific RIB tender secured there – there’s no tender garage, since that space is taken up by the crew cabin. Orakei Marine added the platform’s stainless-steel U-bracket supporting the bait table and rod holders (or BBQ), a feature it adds to most of the boats it supplies, given the Kiwi proclivity for recreational fishing.
Serenità’s cockpit is well protected by the flybridge deck overhang, with a lounging area and seating arranged across the transom, a large cockpit table with folding leaves and provision for occasional chairs. With the transom seating in lounging mode, you can lie back and soak up the sun, but foldaway backrests convert the area into more conventional seating for socialising around the table.
While the aft lounger is clever, the lounging area on the foredeck is both clever and huge, encompassing three luxurious sun pads, handy storage bins, drink holders and four front-facing bow seats with fold-up backrests. The foredeck’s also home to the deep anchor locker containing an all-chain rode connected to a serious 40kg Fortress stainless steel anchor on the pulpit. A Quick capstan deploys the ground tackle.
The aft galley is oriented towards the cockpit, with easy access via the wide, sliding glass and steel doors and vertical folding awning window with a handy countertop over the insulated locker that makes up the rear bulkhead. The galley with an adjacent entertainment area to starboard is part of a super-spacious, open-plan saloon. The galley is a step lower than the main saloon, which helps define both spaces.
Bold, modern design cues give the boat the feel of a chic urban apartment, but unlike a city apartment, you can drive the Prestige 630S to any anchorage you fancy. Grey oak timber, warm-white macro-suede trim, white leather and neutral-colored fabrics combine with carpet-over-timber laminate flooring to create a relaxing environment inside the saloon. The spacious saloon’s angular joinery is very chic, but take care when the boat’s underway, as none of the corners are radiused.
Perhaps it’s the high ceilings and large windows, but the light, bright saloon looks and feels vast, especially when the full-width electric sunroof is open to the sky. There’s a huge white leather L-shaped settee, saloon table and easy chair to port, a large settee to starboard with a large flat-screen TV hidden behind it that emerges at the push of a button when required.
The galley could also be lifted from an upscale apartment, with good quality, all-electric appliances, plenty of storage and generous black marble work tops. There is a cradle to retain pots and pans on the Siemens induction cooktop for cooking underway, but most owners will wait for a calm anchorage.
One of the attractions of this boat is that every cabin has its own bathroom. The ensuite bathroom for the midships master cabin is a lavish affair with a double-width basin, roomy separate shower box and partially screened toilet. There are mirrors galore with surprise storage lockers behind them and the bathroom is separated from the cabin by a sliding cavity door, to maximise space.
The bow cabin is almost as big and luxurious as the master, boasting a queen-size island berth with heaps of storage underneath, a desk/dressing table, windows and portlights, plus two overhead hatches for light and air. All three cabins feel light and fresh, benefitting from luxurious, creamy-white macro-suede lining, carpet and grey oak cabinetry and trim.
There are plenty of options for helming this boat. The main helm station is downstairs in the saloon, dominated by an almost sculptural stitched leather console pod with room for three large 16-inch Raymarine MFDs side by side and a distinctive dual helm seat with t-style backrests, bolsters and adjustable footrests.
Serenità’s owners have ticked the Sidepower bowthruster option, which augments joystick control of the IPS, making shorthanded operation easy. Using the cockpit helm station at docking time, with its IPS joystick and bowthruster toggle, provided perfect control.
Stylish and imposing, the helm station is a thoroughly modern, sleek design with everything logically positioned within easy reach. Sliding side windows are electric and a pair of oversize windscreen wipers/washers keep the vessel’s raked windscreens clear. A Marinco spotlight is useful when approaching an anchorage at night.
The main helm might be in the saloon, but whenever the weather is good the favourite will undoubtedly be the helm station on the flybridge. The flybridge is reached via a teak and stainless-steel ladder from the cockpit. A hatch closes off the ladder when the boat’s underway.
The upper deck, protected from the sun by an electrically operated canopy, is as much an outdoor lounge as it is a bridge station. There’s lots of seating, a table that drops down to create a massive sun lounge, plenty of spare deck space, a wet bar with fridge and grill and a fully featured helm console (two more Raymarine MFDs) and two comfortable, side-by-side swivelling helm seats.
Upstairs is where we chose to drive the boat for most of our time aboard, though we tried both helms for the purposes of this story. Both are very comfortable and relaxed, with good vision, especially from the flybridge.
In the lovely conditions we enjoyed, cruising was a serene experience that belied the fact the boat was travelling at a decent clip, notable especially in the saloon. With the rear doors and window closed, it’s very quiet in the saloon. There’s a thick layer of sound insulation around the engine room, which is evident when you open the cockpit hatch, and it does an excellent job of muffling mechanical noise. Of course, the exhausts exit through the pod-drives, which are tucked up well forward of the transom, so exhaust noise is barely noticeable.
Serenità is quick to climb onto the plane and bow lift is nicely controlled. Using either of the sporty, leather-trimmed wheels is a satisfying experience, but there’s no need most of the time – just engage the Raymarine autopilot and turn the dial as required to change the heading. We enjoyed making wide, leisurely turns on autopilot, but even when turning the boat more aggressively using the wheel, the heel angle was moderate and the hull tracked and gripped well. The handling feels very secure.
The 630S is for now the largest Prestige in New Zealand, complementing smaller models already in the hands of New Zealand owners. With this vessel, New Zealand agents Orakei Marine hope to further raise interest levels across the Prestige S-line range.
Who knows? Serenità might one day lose her place as New Zealand’s largest S-line, perhaps to a Prestige 680S, or even a 750 should Prestige produce an S-line version of its flagship flybridge model. But for now, she’s New Zealand’s premium Prestige/>