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 finish inside and out
- Strong performance
- Generous cabins, spacious saloon
- Quiet runner, smooth ride
- Multiple entertainment options
With 3200 staff based in Plymouth, Princess Yachts is the largest builder of recreational vessels in the UK. It’s also one of the biggest in Europe, building up to 300 boats a year with an average length of 60 feet.
Founded in 1965, the company has built a reputation for quality and high-tech innovation. In the last five years Princess has released 13 new models and there are more to come, says Sport Marine’s Scott Williamson. Sports Marine was appointed New Zealand agent for Princess Yachts last year.
Princess is a premium manufacturer owned by luxury brand conglomerate LMVH (Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy – 75 companies/brands in all) which also owns Feadship. Princess Yachts undertakes every aspect of boat manufacturing in-house, including cabinetry and upholstery, engineering and electrics at its ultra-modern 100,000m2 facility.
The V60 sits in the middle of the Princess V Class range of luxury sports cruisers. This is the first V60 in New Zealand, but Sports Marine already has orders from Kiwi customers for an F55 and a V65 model. The F55 has already arrived here.
It might not be the largest Princess in the V Class, but the sedan-style V60 is still an impressive vessel in every respect. It certainly looked right at home among the luxury craft in the inner sanctum of Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.
The V60 has a galley-aft layout, which is very much in keeping with New Zealand (and Australian) tastes. There’s good flow between the stylish galley and the cockpit entertaining area and I like the way Princess carries over the cockpit’s metallic paint finish into the galley to visually connect the two spaces.
The galley features stone counters, high-end fittings and appliances by Fisher and Paykel and Samsung. Cooking is electric, including the convection microwave oven, and cupboard/locker storage is generous, including overhead units.
There’s a very open feel to the saloon, which is finished with luxurious satin walnut timber panelling. This is a stock boat and walnut is also used for the flooring, but other finishes are available ex-factory. The saloon is divided into two zones. On the lower level flush with the cockpit, the galley is aft on the port side with a comfortable cream leather settee and large table with folding leaves flanking it to starboard.
On the upper level is the helm station and entertainment centre with a raised, deeply cushioned fabric-covered seating area offering excellent sightlines through the large windows. The windows are a distinctive styling a feature of the V60, but they also provide excellent visibility and admit lots of light. All that satin walnut could potentially make the saloon feel dark inside, but it doesn’t thanks to clever use of contrasting upholstery, light-coloured ceilings, large windows and of course the Princess signature skylight window panel.
Comprising four separate glass panels within a full width sliding roof element, the electric sunroof glides back to open fully half the saloon to the sky. Some of the side windows are also electric, so there’s no shortage of fresh air, or close everything up and use the multi-zone air-conditioning, individually controlled for each cabin.
The V60 has a three-cabin layout (plus crew cabin aft), so the accommodation has generous proportions. The star of the show is the full-beam master cabin. With windows and opening ports either side it features a queen-sized island berth, a luxurious daybed seating area, a large screen TV, plenty of inbuilt storage and a luxuriously appointed ensuite bathroom. Once again, satin walnut is used extensively, especially in the bathroom.
The other cabins comprise an island berth VIP cabin in the bow with a semi-ensuite bathroom shared with a twin-berth guest cabin off the atrium landing on the starboard side. All the cabins are spacious with premium finishes and enjoy luxurious carpets with thick underlay. The washer and dryer are tucked away behind walnut paneling in the hall.
On a 60-foot vessel there’s room to create different zones. The teak-covered foredeck is dominated by forward-facing seating under the windscreen and a huge sun-lounger upholstered in waterproof Sunbrella fabric. Like the rear sunbed, it has adjustable backrests and plenty of drink holders. There’s stowage for fenders and covers beside the seats.
Sitting in the side-by-side custom leather helm seats, there’s excellent vison over the bows. The Volvo glass cockpit helm console is dominated by a pair of 16-inch Raymarine MFDs, with various other controls
and displays sensibly arranged where they’re easily seen and easy to reach. The leather-clad wheel is adjustable up and down along with the seats, which also slide fore and aft. The uncluttered helm station makes a statement, looking both stylish and functional.
Unlike a lot of the vessels I’ve reviewed recently, the Princess V60 has conventional switching, with the main switch panel in the companionway. It misses out on the convenience of pre-programmed modes perhaps, but there is still plenty of scope for configuring the vessel’s systems according to the circumstances.
This Princess is shaft-driven by a pair of Volvo Penta D13 1000hp engines. The propellers have plenty of bite, which was useful entering and exiting a tight berth in Viaduct Harbour, but variable-speed thrusters at the bow and stern (with ‘hold’ function) greatly aid close quarters manoeuvring. A cockpit helm station comes in useful for final approach when docking the boat.
The engine room is accessed by a ladder from a hatch in the aft deck. Extremely spacious, it’s impeccably clean, well-lit and offers full headroom and ample space around the machinery. Aside from the engines, it contains a Cummins Onan genset, batteries, chargers and inverters, Dometic air-conditioning units for each cabin, a Fireboy automatic fire suppression system, water pumps and much more. Exhausts are carbon-weave wrapped to minimise heat build-up in the machinery space.
With 2000hp available, performance is excellent. Top speed is around 33 knots, but the V60 is also offered with twin 1200hp MANs, which boost that to 37 knots. The boat displaces nearly 30 tonnes dry, so it has quite some presence on the water, travelling through choppy seas with minimum fuss.
Bennet trim tabs keep the bow level and underway the V60 is very quiet. Cruising at 26 knots with a total indicated fuel burn of 282lph, we could hold a normal conversation with the saloon doors open and the sunroof slid all the way back. There’s no draft with the roof open either.
The Princess V60 is impressive in so many ways, not least its contemporary styling and versatile layout. Although clearly European in concept, with its luxury liveaboard accommodation and multiple recreation options it fits the Kiwi boating lifestyle very nicely. Oozing quality and refinement, the Princess V60 should appeal to discerning Kiwi boaters with the experience and knowledge to take the next step.