The Mission of the Princess 52
The new Princess 52 is a motoryacht designed for entertaining a large group of people both at the dock and underway. The boat can seat over 30 adults on two decks for a cocktail party. Her flying bridge is intended to be an observation deck as well as an entertaining deck and she can seat 18 people in three venues for a sit-down dinner party.
●Massive seating for entertaining ●Aft galley (the first time Princess has ever done it) ●Unobstructed view through salon windows ●Three staterooms ●Aft deck door on hinges and slides
Her Entertaining Venues
Let's start with her galley bar because that will probably be the most visited spot on the boat. Like a lot of things on this boat her galley serves double duty. Princess has placed it aft on the main deck so that it is central to both the large dining table in the salon as well as close to the al fresco dining table on the aft deck. To port is a sideboard that can be used to place plates of hors d'oeuvres, an ice bucket with a chilling bottle of champagne or white wine. Across the dark Wenge wood deck on the starboard side is galley proper fronted by a counter that can serve as a bar. It has a raised thick glass counter surface that makes an ideal place to serve mixed drinks. Stools could even be placed here. This is also the place where the catered finger food will be heated up or plated. There is a microwave/convection oven for just that purpose.
The galley is actually more than just the area behind the bar, because much of it is under the sideboard to port. The galley counter is made of Aztec Brown Avonite which looks like granite but is a lot more durable on a boat. There is a cutting board that goes over the single sink and the three-burner cooktop is glass.
Altogether, the counter area, counting the bar, there is over 23 square feet for food prep. Add in the sideboard on the port side of the galley and there is even more space. That is a lot of galley work space on a 52' boat.In the galley proper there is a below-counter 6 cu. ft. refrigerator with provision for a freezer, a microwave/convection oven, a cabinet dedicated to pots and pans, another with three drawers for flatware and other utensils, and a third cabinet for dry goods, jars and cans. There is room under the microwave for a drawer dishwasher.
Walnut Joiner Work.
The cabinetry in the galley and all over the boat is optional satin finished walnut. Oak and cherry, with either satin or high gloss finish come standard. We like the dark-colored walnut because it is elegant-looking wood on a yacht of this stature. Virtually all bulkheads, doors, and interior paneling are made of satin walnut which gives the boat a rich, dignified appearance. Anyone who has visited large motoryachts, megayachts and even superyachts will immediately recognize that satin walnut is the preferred wood on these multi-million dollar yachts.
Attractive African Wenge wood, that goes with most anything, and is easy to keep looking clean, is used on the galley deck as well as on the space from the galley to the sideboard. This treatment defines the galley space, is practical and has an upscale look.
Sideboard and "Cupboard"
Across the aisle to the port side of the galley area is a good-sized sideboard that has an Aztec Brown Avonite solid surface just like the galley proper. Below it are three cabinets -- one for the freezer, one for the icemaker and one for bottle storage. These spaces can be mixed and matched to suit any owner's preferences. For example, instead of the bottle storage, some owner might prefer a wine cooler, or want a second refrigerator.
Forward and adjacent to the sideboard are two drawers that we will call the yacht's "cupboard”. They are located under the raised dinette seating in the salon. It is here that dedicated space has been created for the vessel's stemware and crockery. Princess place settings for six come standard.
Up two steps going forward is the expansive salon with two sofas facing each other making a wonderful conversation area. To port is one of the largest U-shaped dining areas we have ever seen on this size boat. All of the seating is made of Ultraleather. Both port and starboard are huge windows with horizontal mullions for strength and style, giving everyone a great view.
An optional table lowers and swivels out into the center of the salon making a remarkable cocktail table. Opposite is a sofa that seats three and is a piece of free-standing furniture. Behind it is a flatscreen TV that rises at the push of a button from within a walnut cabinet.
As can be seen in the images here, the dinette is large and finely finished. Like virtually everything else on the boat there are several options, and this table is no exception. We like the optional base which allows it to swing around and lower forming a large cocktail table that is easy to get around and which can also be used by guests sitting in both sofas. Princess Yachts America says that consumers can choose from a myriad of materials and colors, virtually all upholstery, carpet, window treatments, and wood work.
Flying Bridge and Observation Deck
We can't think of a flying bridge in class that has more seating than the Princess 52 Fly. It is almost as if she was designed to hold the Royal Yacht Squadron's entire race committee for the Cowes Week Regatta with 800 sailboats participating -- or perhaps the next America's Cup in San Francisco Bay. No fewer than nine people can sit around the huge, standard teak table aft.
The Princess 52 Flybridge comes standard with a fiberglass radar arch, but the hardtop is optional. We like the hardtop because it allows the bridge to be enclosed in isinglass, thus creating a three-season venue on the boat which doubles the enclosed "public" space at very little added cost.
Just abaft the helm is a console for a mini galley that can be optioned out with an icemaker and electric grill. A sink is already installed. A standard cooler is fitted inboard of the companion seat forward, making it handy for those piloting the boat to grab a cold beverage.
Princess has thoughtfully placed a companion seat next to the helm seat and adjacent there is room for two to comfortably sit to port and chat with the skipper and navigator. There is a filler cushion for this position and the seats convert to a sun pad and chaise lounge for two.
The Master Stateroom.
The Princess 52 Fly is a three stateroom, two head boat. The master stateroom is directly below the salon and is full beam. Whereas some boats this size have the head as part of the full-beam area with the sleeping cabin, Princess has pushed the head forward. By doing so, the owners' stateroom is filled with light and has sensational views out of its large port and starboard windows. It also provides room for a dresser with six drawers to starboard and a stand-alone sofa to port.
The Princess 52 has two guest staterooms, the VIP in the bow, and a smaller stateroom with two single berths to starboard. Both share the same head which adjoins the VIP.
Virtually all boats in class have a bow stateroom with an island berth. There are four things that we think are particularly noteworthy about this cabin --
There are two stools, one under each aft corner of the bed. These are latched down to stay in place while underway. In port they can be used to sit on when getting dressed -- or undressed. These stools can also be used in the salon when the table is down.
Over the large, oval, opening portlights port and starboard are cabinets for storing folded garments. There is never enough storage on a boat and by using the bow flare Princess has added quite a bit. Having the cabinetry here also warms up the cabin.
Note that the builder has "framed out" the cabins’ two portlights creating a large window effect. With the wooden slates of the shades closed not only is privacy created but the wood also adds to the yacht-like look of the cabin.
Princess has built in port and starboard chairs and rail-like counters that are narrow forward and become wider aft. These are covered in rich-looking stitched leather. They are more decorative than functional and enhance the ambiance of the space. There is also a full length mirror which many boats in class neglect.
It is a bit unusual having a third stateroom in a 52' boat, but Princess has managed to squeeze one in. When two couples are cruising together for any length of time, this space will undoubtedly be used for storing bags and gear. When a family is cruising it will be a popular hangout for the kids. It has full standing headroom, a good-sized hanging locker, storage in cabins over the portlights, and the beds can be pushed together for a couple who wants to get cozy.
There is a small crew cabin in the stern of the boat with a head. A large window in the transom helps keep this space from becoming too claustrophobic. While this boat really does not need a full-time captain for most owners, occasionally it is pleasant to have a mate along to help wash down the boat, conduct morning checks and perform other chores aboard. This is an ideal place for him. Otherwise the space makes a handy and easily accessible lazarette.
A Look in the Engine Room
The Princess 52 Flybridge has a length overall of 53'8" (16.35 m), a beam of 15'7" (4.75 m), draft of 4'1" (1.24 m), and a dry displacement of 54,200 lbs. (24,585 kgs.). Our test weight with full fuel of 634 U.S. gal. (2,310 L), 160 U.S. gal. (606 L) of water, four people and equipment was 59,515 lbs. (26,996 kgs.) Power was delivered by twin MAN R6 6 cylinder 800-hp engines driving through ZF marine gears with 2:1 reduction with straight shafts to 26.5 x 45 5-blade props. The temperature was 70F with light winds.
At 2350 rpm we recorded a top speed of 30.7 knots burning 79.6 gph.
The nautical miles per gallon that we recorded from 2000 rpm to WOT at 2350 was virtually the same which results in the happy circumstance that from 23.5 knots (2000 rpm) to 30.7 knots (2350 rpm) the Princess 52 Fly gets virtually the same nmph -- .38 to .40. At 80% load, the 52 Fly went 25.7 knots, burned 67 gph for .38 nmpg. We would probably run the boat in light chop conditions at about 2000 rpm where she goes 23.5 knots (.39 nmpg) and has a range of 220 nautical miles, with a 10% reserve.
When the boat is being delivered or the owner is not in much of a hurry, then 1250 rpms and 10.5 knots is a reasonable pace burning 19.7 gph and giving the boat a range of 300 nmiles with a 10% reserve. See the "Test Results" table for the complete performance story.
With two helms it really was hard to decide which was more comfortable to operate from and that’s a huge point, because to us, having to wrap the flying bridge in isinglass would be a shame. Having an equally functional helm with the same high levels of visibility is critical. And it really differentiates this V52 Fly from others that add the lower helm as an afterthought.
When adding power,the bow comes up roughly 15 degrees which still keeps it below the horizon from the lower helm. Once the turbos kick in, then all it took was just a small amount of trim tab to bring the bow down a little more. Don’t go too much or there’ll be a drag and fuel penalty.
are accompanied by a modest 12 degree lean into the turn and she has a wide turning radius at cruise, nearly 6 boat lengths, but that keeps the ride stable and the guests won’t have their sandwiches sliding off the table.
With her flying bridge, one would expect that she would catch a lot of windage and present a difficulty at the dock. But that just wasn’t the case as she has plenty of weight to offset anything but a hard blow. Use the bow and stern thrusters minimally to control her direction and the mains to control momentum and just glide her gently into the dock. It helps that the thrusters are the new progressive type. Power can now be fluctuated rather than just going on or off. This will make the captain look like a pro even with a crosswind or cross current. Princess Yachts uses a "push-pull" resin infusion system instead of only using a vacuum to impregnate the glass materials. By using the "push-pull" system Princess feels that it gets a higher glass-to-resin ration therefore greater strength and lighter weight.
Princess Yachts has long had a reputation of being one of the finest builders of large production motoryachts in the world. Its consistent use of the best materials, components, and world-class scantlings have held the company in good stead allowing it to withstand the bumps in the world economy during the last four stormy decades. It has long been the benchmark in Europe for quality motoryacht construction.This construction process is not only used in the boat's hull as seen in the picture above, but also in the boat's superstructure. Because of this process, Princess is able to laminate in the large side windows that make both it's salon and master stateroom so bright and airy. Today Princess is a member of the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) which specializes in brands of distinction in numerous categories of product. With the financial strength of LVMH behind the builder we expect it to remain at the very top of the motoryacht game.
One of the most important reasons for the success of the Princess brand over the years is the depth of experience of its top management. Unlike many companies, Princess has been steered by essentially the same management team for several decades. That has kept the brand focused on long-term success built on the quality of its product, rather than on an expediency of the moment.
While both its exterior and interior design and styling tends to be more conservative than some of its southern European peers, we think that its steady approach has held its products in good stead for the long haul. By eschewing flavor-of-the-month styling, its boats seem to stay more in style over time, and therefore hold their value better.
Princess builds 9 models of flying bridge motoryachts from 43' to 98' (13.1 to 29.87 m). Given the fact that the 52 Fly is the second smallest model in this Series one can quickly see that even more luxury, room, and performance is available. Yet, functionally-speaking, the Princess 52 Fly is very nearly the same as its bigger siblings, until the 76' range, when greater beam and nearly twice the displacement produce a very different class of yacht.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Princess 52 (2014-) is 35.4 mph (57 kph), burning 79.60 gallons per hour (gph) or 301.29 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Princess 52 (2014-) is 27.1 mph (43.6 kph), and the boat gets 0.44 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 253 miles (407.16 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 800-hp MAN R6.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
|Oil Change System||Optional|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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