Princess Yachts have been gracing the waters around the world since 1965, and New Zealand and Australia are no strangers to the brand. The imposing new V55, with its vibrant exterior profile, reinforces the brand’s commitment to excellence.
The V55 features all the exceptional performance qualities synonymous with the Princess V Class range, which now encompasses six models. Starting with the V40 right through to the V78, the flagship of the V Series, there is a common theme and styling profile that flows accordingly to the model’s dimensions. Sophistication, style and strength are inherent in every Princess, but the layouts also have a sense of purpose.
Princess says that the V55 is athletic, dynamic and luxurious. Simply put, it is a great performer on the water, looks exceptional from any angle, and is exceptionally well-appointed inside and out. When I first saw the V55, I had to say it was a gold medal winner for exterior styling. The design bears the hallmark of Pininfarina, which worked on the deck in particular. Moored stationary at the dock, I saw that this boat wanted to go and was waiting for someone to cast off the lines. So after a brief walk-through with Jack Ludemann, Marketing and Sales Coordinator for Princess Importers, Sports Marine, we did just that.
As we idled out of the marina, the twin Volvo Penta D13s were humming quietly in the stern, ready to be unleashed. Being a sport sedan style, there is only one helm station, so any engine noise will likely be accentuated at the helm when you drive. In the V55, they have encased the engine room in sound-deadening material that keeps the decibel reading at the helm and even the master stateroom minimal. Full roar is around 70 dB, and at cruise, this drops to around 64db, which is acceptable. The V55 is a boat that loves to play, and what a pleasure it is to drive. It has just one power option, which is plenty; with 2000hp on tap through shafts, the V55 is good for around 35-36 knots. Pushing the throttles to their stops and dropping the Bennett tabs down, the deep vee hull slid quickly onto the plane and reached maximum rpm and speed quickly.
It handles the choppy water without any issues, with a positive, responsive helm and retains a level attitude when turning. This is also helped by the optional Seakeeper NG9 gyro we had on the boat. At around 2000 rpm, I did nearly 25 knots using 220 lph of fuel. That gives a range of approximately 250nm. At 30 knots, we used around 300 lph, and at top speed, 35 knots @ 2450 rpm. If you appreciate a good helm layout, you will love what Princess has done with the V55. The old word ergonomics comes to mind with everything, and there is much where it should be. Controls are all close to hand, and the pair of Garmin 16s MFDs and the Volvo Penta engine management displays dominate the dash. There are twin adjustable seats, with visibility from the helm excellent and with minimal bow attitude, you have an unobstructed view when underway. Need some fresh air. Then you have drop-down forward side windows and an electric opening roof with integrated blinds. I liked how Princess has kept all the cabinetry down low, emphasising big side windows to maximise your view outside. The galley, for example, is one long unit down the starboard side with all storage under the large white solid-state surface, which includes a convection microwave oven and fridge/freezer. A ceramic 4-zone white hob blends in with the bench top. I particularly liked the hi/low electrical operated glass and plate storage tower that pops up from the corner of the bench. With the help of a stainless steel framed drop- down patio door, the galley countertop extends through to the cockpit wet bar.
This blends the interior and exterior spaces, and with a flat wooden sole with no steps, it is a seamless transition from one to the other. Genuine teak is used on the cockpit, platform and side decks. Every aspect of the interior design has been well thought out. It’s practical and functional but with a touch of elegance. It is also quite contemporary with a perfect blend of light fabrics, Rovere Oak timbers and dark timber flooring. It is bathed in natural light, which gives you a real feeling of space. You can choose from an extensive range of upholstery fabrics, carpets and timbers. The U-shaped port side sofa has storage below, plus a high/low folding dining table that can be lowered to form an extra berth. Not that you should need it with three cabins forward plus a crew quarters aft. At the rear of the saloon, there’s a 50″ TV that’s both retractable and reversible.
The Princess V55 is the traditional three-cabin, two- en-suite arrangement, with berths provided for six. The master stateroom runs full beam, with a two-seat sofa, a sideboard unit to starboard with storage lockers, drawers and an integrated dresser. The owners have an en-suite with a generous shower and a washer/dryer unit on the opposite side of the companionway. The panoramic windows come with an opening port on either side. There are two guest cabins, a forward suite with a double berth that can be slid open to form two singles, plus a starboard side cabin with twin bunks. Each share a bathroom which also serves as the boat’s day head.
All cabins are of a generous size, with loads of natural light flooding in and plenty of storage. Should you need to accommodate more guests or family, you can turn the rear lazarette into a single berth cabin with a bathroom. Overall, if you count the dining table option, you can sleep nine people. Sounds crowded to me.
RELAX IN COMFORT
Regarding spaces to relax outside, the Princess V55 offers two areas, one on the foredeck and the other in the cockpit. The cockpit has an L shape settee to starboard with a fold-out dining table. Bring in a couple of loose chairs, and you can have 6-8 people dining. Opposite is the wet bar, complete with a bbq, drawer fridge and more storage. While the overhanging roofline extends a couple of meters back over the cockpit, a retractable soft sun shade extends to the sunpad. There is a rear bench seat with access on either side via transom gates to the high-low teak platform and the dinghy garage. The V55 garage is big enough for a 3.45m tender (in our case, a Williams Jet 345) and comes with a sunpad on top. Plus, if you need more outdoor seating, a walk-through lounge area is on the foredeck. The V Series has proven popular with Kiwis, and the V55 joins a distinguished fleet including a V65, V60 and V40, all of which share a common DNA and, while being very individual, all share the same design language. The V55 is ideal for day cruising, weekends away or a long summer cruise. It covers it all.
- Boat Design Name Princess V55
- Year Launched Nov 2023
- Builder Princess
- LOA 17.29m
- Beam 4.66m
- Draft 1.40m
- Displacement (half) 31194kgs
- Max Speed 37 knots
- Construction GRP
- Fuel Capacity 2500 litres
- Water Capacity 477 litres
- Engines Make/HP 2 x Volvo Penta D13 @ 1000hp
- Trim Tabs Bennett
- Gyro Seakeeper
- Bow Thruster Side Power
- Air Conditioning Dometic
- Watermaker Aqua
- Anchor Winch Lewmar
- Entertainment Fusion
- Flooring Teak
- MFD 2 x Garmin 16
- VHF Garmin
- Tender Williams Jet
- Base Price of Boat $NZ3.6 million
- Price As Tested $NZ4.3 million