Boat Review – by Pat Carson
Princess Yachts are manufactured in Plymouth, England and distributed in the United States by Princess Yachts America in Palm Beach Florida. Silver Seas Yachts is the West Coast representative for Princess Yachts and has provided this fabulous, fresh from the factory, Y72 Superyacht for our review.
The “Y” class yachts have meticulously detailed finishes utilizing the finest materials, bathed in space and light and create a compelling conversation between every area of the boat. A sophisticated experience with the power to thrill. The 72 is the latest design of this series and is also the smallest. Her larger siblings are the Y78, Y85 and the new for 2022, Y95. The Y72 was introduced in 2021 at the Fort Lauderdale boat show and replaced the F70, which was the flagship in Princess’s Flybridge line. Check out my June 2017 review of the technically advanced Princess F49 to get a feel for the “F” class yacht.
The new 72 mimics the Princess’s designs from the larger Y’s and was orchestrated by the Princess Design Studio in collaboration with naval architects Olesinski and Italian design house, Pininfarina. Our Y72 is the four-stateroom layout with a VIP forward and a full-beam amidships master. Two more guest staterooms are between the master and VIP with one to port and one to starboard. The master and the VIP staterooms each have their own private head while the two guest cabins share the day head. The master stateroom is accessed from a private circular companion way from the saloon.
Three Days With A Princess
On a beautiful Thursday afternoon, we picked up our Princess in Ensenada, Mexico after her long voyage from Plymouth, England via Ft. Lauderdale. Although a little dirty from her lengthy voyage as deck cargo on a bulker, and a bit low on fuel, she was ready to head to San Francisco.
When you step aboard the oversized swim platform, with the already fitted yacht tender, the access to the crew quarters and engine room are thru the large aft door.
The crew quarter’s is very comfortable for the full-time crew of two with berthing to port and a full-size shower and head to starboard. You certainly know you are on a Superyacht when the crew quarter’s is comfortable for a crew member larger than a 12-year-old. The crew quarters on the Y series are so generous and comfortable the owner could invite guests to stay overnight and not apologize in the morning.
From the crew quarter’s and through the fire safety door, we enter the engine room and find our twin 1650HP MAN V12’s tucked neatly in the corners and our oversized 29-kilowatt generator aft.
As you would expect, the machinery space layout is neat and clean with the available space well used. Daily checks and routine maintenance are easily accessible for the crew. Our challenge was to find the breaker panel and engine battery switches as they were not obvious. All switches are tucked neatly inside locking cabinets with the DC breakers forward in the engine room and each system well labeled. The 240-volt AC systems are also inside a locking cabinet just outside the machinery space between the crew quarters and engine room. Access is tight as you maneuver around the optional water maker, but this area is only accessed if you need to power down one of the systems for service.
Access to the aft deck and the main entrance door is via a couple of steps up from the swim platform and boasts a gorgeous cockpit table with seating for eight. Next to the sliding entrance door is a fold up window that opens to the galley allowing the chef to participate in the cockpit entertainment space.
When entering the saloon, to starboard there is a large dining table across from the granite galley countertops covering the dishwasher, trash disposal, extra-large refrigerator, freezer, ice maker, cooktop, convection microwave and dual basin sink with disposal. There is quite a bit of storage in the over-sized cabinets above and below.
Continuing forward from the nearly full beam saloon to the starboard helm station with dual settees is the private circular stairwell leading to the master stateroom to port and the entrance to the guest quarters midships. In the saloon you will find seating for a dozen and bar stools at the galley counter for guests vying for a chance to chat with the chef.
The vast window area provides spectacular views for guests whether relaxing on the port settee or the starboard abundant sofa and cocktail table.
Moving forward to the lower deck, six guests are provided with three beautiful staterooms each with excellent light from the full-length hull windows. The forward guest VIP stateroom has a private head and shower and the two cabins to port and starboard share the day head and shower.
The side cabins have dual bunks that can slide together with the push of a button to transform to a full-size berth. There is ample storage under the bunks and a convenient hanging locker in each of the side cabins.
The owner’s private stateroom is furnished with a king size berth, a sofa for relaxing while looking out the waterline windows, a dressing area and vanity/desk wrapped in leather.
The master head is equipped with dual basins, a more than generous shower and an abundance of storage.
Our new yacht had the optional underwater lights with 4 bright multi-color LEDs on the stern and two more on port and starboard just under the master stateroom windows. At night the view from the settee is stunning with the sea life illuminated by the underwater lights.
Need more social spots, make your way to the upper deck complete with ice maker, refrigerator, grill and seating for a dozen more guests.
Access to the upper level is via an extra wide companionway from the cockpit and you land in the middle of the party at the beverage preparation area. A large lounger is aft, and the upper helm is forward and to port.
Also on the upper deck we find a complete helm station for operating the vessel when the weather is nice and you desire a view from 15 feet off the water. There is seating for two at the helm with more seating and an aft facing lounger on the starboard side.
Need another entertainment space? Head to the foredeck and find a sun pad with a teak cocktail table and convertible loungers.
Too much sun for the sunbathers on the foredeck? The sunshade installs in minutes and provides relief while maintaining the great views.
While this Superyacht is about style, comfort and beauty, I have to say a few words about performance. Our yacht, equipped with the twin 1650HP MAN V12’s, you would expect performance and yes indeed does it perform. On our voyage from Ensenada to San Francisco, we cruised easily at 28 knots for extended periods in varying sea conditions. At wide-open throttle she easily sprints north of 34 knots. The speed was achieved and easily maintained in an ocean with 3 to 4-foot beam swells and 2- to 3-foot head wind chop.
After fueling in Ensenada the day before departure and getting underway shortly after sunrise, we arrived in Ventura in time to top up the fuel tanks in preparation for our final leg to San Francisco the next day. We made the first leg of 194 miles in under 8 hours, and that included slowing near San Diego to clear customs while enroute. That gave us an average SOG of nearly 25 knots in mostly calm seas. The weather forecast for the Santa Barbara channel was calling for late morning winds in excess of 30 knots and deteriorating sea conditions in the afternoon. As we arrived in Ventura the winds were already gusting as we located our assigned berth. Shoehorning an 18-foot wide boat into a 20-foot wide berth is challenging enough without wind, but when you have steady wind of 15 and gusting to 25 it is downright difficult. Fortunately, we had the variable speed hydraulic bow and stern thrusters to assist with keeping any dock rash from finding its way onto our new yacht.
After an overnight stay in Ventura, we departed at O-dark-thirty with intentions to make San Francisco before sunset. Making the 275-mile voyage in 12 hours meant that we only needed to keep and average SOG 23 knots – a realistic plan with this stallion or should I say impatient mare.
The early morning run from Ventura to Point Conception was short and fast. Once past sunrise we cruised at 28 knots in flat calm seas. Coming around Point Arguello the seas started to build as was forecasted and we now had beam seas of five to seven feet but our Sleipner (Sidepower) vector fin zero speed stabilizer kept the boat on an even keel and we hardly felt any roll. When underway, the fins are driven by an engine powered hydraulic motor and when the engines are shutdown, they are driven by an electric motor powered by the generator. During my three days I did not have the opportunity to test the zero-speed performance, save that for another day.
With the added long-range tank, we had an extra 211 gallons of fuel which gave us a safe range of 280 miles with a 20% reserve. Just enough to make San Francisco without a fuel stop.
We delivered the yacht to the Silver Seas docks at Clipper Yacht Harbor in the late afternoon with greater than 20% fuel remaining. After completing a two-day voyage of 480 miles, I had a lot of time to experience the Princess Y-class yacht and am quite impressed. The choice of material, the fit and finish, the design and the performance all combine to make a compelling package for an owner looking to jump into the Superyacht class. If you would like more information or to arrange a tour, give Rob Newman at the Sausalito Silver Seas Yachts office a call.
Princess Y72 Specifications:
- LOA: 73’2”
- Beam: 17’11”
- Draft: 5’8”
- Displacement: 117,506 lbs.
- Fuel: 1,189 gallons plus 211 gallons in long range tank
- Water: 240 gallons, holding 106
- Power: 2/1,650HP MAN V12s
- Cruise Speed: 28 knots (75% load)
- Top Speed: 35 knots (observed)
- Generator: 29 KW Onan
The Y72 is instantly recognizable as a member of the Y Class and reinforces the British brand’s focus on elegance, beautiful design and attention to detail across the range.