Anything But Fishing
The Princess 50 Flybridge looks to us like an ideal boat for cruising with the family – if the family numbers six or fewer. Marina-hopping along the Gold Coast (any Gold Coast will do), seeing and being seen in the poshest ports in the world, or just having fun on the water: the 50 will let you do it all. She's not the best boat for fishing – actually, she doesn't look good for fishing at all – but she will take care of most other on-water needs. And Princess does an excellent job of fitting a lot of accommodations into the boat, but without making her feel cramped.
Living is Easy on the Main Deck
In addition to the large flybridge, the 50 has a posh salon that segues smoothly into her full pilothouse helm and adjacent dinette – a Princess trademark – that lets the whole crew gather near the skipper while underway. We think most meals will be taken here: The view is panoramic through the windshield and side windows.
The salon has a large U-shaped lounge with a low table, ideal for relaxing and taking in the view through the large cabin windows. When that gets boring, there's an entertainment center with TV and stereo system, a refrigerator and bottle and glass stowage. A stainless-steel-framed sliding door leads onto the afterdeck, where there's more seating and access to both the flying bridge and swim platform.
On the lower deck, there are three staterooms, two heads and a well-equipped galley, plus crew's quarters aft. This is a lot packed into a 50-footer, thanks to the V-drive engines. The galley, as you'd expect, has all appliances, including a full-sized refrigerator (that's the third one we've counted aboard the 50), an electric cooktop, microwave/convection oven and stowage for pots, pans and bottles of vitamins for cloudy days.
Opposite the galley is a cabin with upper and lower single berths, a welcome addition to the accommodations plan for folks with kids or friends who don't want to share a double berth. We'd like an option that turns this cabin into an office/den, with a lounge that can convert to a berth. There is also a head accessible from the galley and from the VIP stateroom forward; it also serves the third stateroom.
Almost Everything is Standard
Princess equips the 50 Flybridge with a long, long list of standard equipment, but American buyers get even more: Viking Sport Cruisers, the U.S. importer, adds the options they feel stateside buyers will want -- air conditioning, a U.S. electrical system, a heavier rubrail for side-to, rather than stern-to, docking and so forth -- and includes them as "standard." Viking ensures that boats sold in the U.S. meet the requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard and recommendations set forth by the American Boat and Yacht Council, and are certified by the National Marine Manufacturer's Association. Boats built for distribution to other countries won't necessarily meet these standards, but will be built to CE standards.
Except in the U.S., Princess offers the 50 Flybridge with either twin Volvo Penta D11 diesels, 670-hp each or twin Caterpillar C12 ACERTS, 715-hp. We haven't tested the boat, but the builder claims speeds of 29 – 31 knots with the Volvos, 30 -33 knots with the Cats. Don't hold us to these numbers. Volvo power is available if a customer prefers, but the CAT engines are the standard in the US.In the U.S., the Cats are the standard power choice. Viking Sport Cruisers is maniacal about maintenance and customer support: Caterpillar has an extensive network of dealers and repair facilities in the States, so no Princess owner in America will have to look far when he needs parts or service. Owners handling their own maintenance will appreciate this.
Cost and Recommendation
Because of differences in equipment and power from one country to the next, contact your local Princess dealer for pricing; in the U.S., contact Viking Sport Cruisers. Viking's modifications and extra equipment increase the 50's base price in the U.S. vs. the rest of the world, but American buyers would add this gear anyway. No matter where you are, expect the bottom line to fall near the top of the market for a production boat this size: Princess is one of the world's finest boatbuilders, and you pay for what you get. On the other hand, you get what you pay for, which in this case is a very fine yacht, one we will not hesitate to recommend.
Yes, you can find other boats the same size, or larger, for less money, but they won't have the panache of a Princess. In the U.S., buyers also get the after-sale support of Viking Sport Cruisers, an extra that many importers of European boats do not, or cannot, provide in the States. Base MSRP in the U.S. is $1.6 million.In short, we think if you're looking for a flybridge yacht around 50 feet, one that can entertain a boatload of family or friends, you'd be shortsighted not to include the Princess 50 on your list.
Standard and Optional Features
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!