Ease of operation is the default, hanging out the imperative
Let’s get one thing clear right from the start. There are no references to kings, queens or princesses in this review; nor are there other obvious monarchial monikers. Why? Because the Princess 82 Motor Yacht doesn’t need to be boosted by innuendo or crowning superlatives. The Princess 82 MY does an excellent job on its own hull, thank you. And the best realization I had during my time on board is that the 82 MY has an overarching feature: No matter where you are or what you are doing, ease of operation is the default concept.
Look For It
The 82 MY is easy to spot, even from the dock. A very large hydraulic swim platform affords easy boarding aft without the nervousness of the yacht dipping or jutting away. Two staircases provide access to the aft deck. If one staircase is busy, use the other, which is great for crew to get around guests.
From the dock, you’ll see the large staircase from the aft deck to the flybridge in the starboard corner. Sufficiently large steps make transiting a safe endeavor. The yacht offers boarding gates on either side, so when it’s docked side-to there’s no climbing over gunnels or contorting around a corner. Install a boarding ramp if necessary.
Full-deck walk-around access can take anyone from stem to stern without disrupting the interior activities. Go forward to handle ground tackle or dock lines with ease. High gunnels and solid railings ring the yacht.
A neat feature is the forward sunpad. Basically it’s a large raised deck that is divided by a pass-through walkway. The pass-through creates a lounge seat on the aft side and another one on the fore side, where cruisers can sit across from each other in a great viewing spot. An angled headrest from the large sunpad creates the back cushion for the fore seat. Crew or guests can walk around the sunpad or through it, so serving, cleaning up and retrieving cushions is that much easier. The point is, getting on or around the yacht is effortless.
Up top on the flybridge deck is a venerable oasis of comfort, thanks to a smart design. A low-profile helm with all the displays and controls needed for proper operation is centerline. And the low profile includes the helm seat, so you can enjoy the actual view and not the back of the captain’s head.
To port is a large U-shaped settee that easily seats eight or more comfortably. The split twin tables have a filler piece to create a large dining platform. The wet bar across includes a sink, a grill, an icemaker and a refrigerator. Lounge on the extra-large sunpad just aft of the dining area. The hardtop covers the helm and seating/bar areas, but the pad is in the open (because who wants a shade-pad?). The hardtop is a convertible with a soft material that fills the center and retracts for added pleasure. Farther aft is a 1,000-pound davit for a tender, PWCs or other toys. Or add lounge chairs and tables, as the area is plenty big.
Entertain Like A King
OK, I had to get one in. The 82 MY maximizes its interior space utilization and overall design to keep it simple. Large side windows allow for a panoramic view. Horizontal mullions in the middle of the windows break up the lines and help eliminate the “picture window” effect. Also, they allow for smaller individual window panes while adding some rigidity to the area.
Light and airy was the order in the salon on our test ride, and Princess fulfills that order with assorted fabrics and materials that tend to reflect light with soft contrasts. Low-profile seating doesn’t impede external light from entering. Polished walnut wood is used on the bulkheads and side walls, with light leather covering the port U-shaped settee and starboard couch. A wenge-wood dining table is forward with seating for eight. Leather artwork adorns the dining bulkhead. Textured fabric adorns the ceiling, which is a nice departure from vinyl or leather panels. Princess works with owners on semicustom furnishings, so if another style/material suits your desires, so be it. It’s that easy.
Salon entertainment systems include a hidden 50-inch LED TV on an electric mechanism and DVD/radio/MP3 players linked to surround sound. Starboard cabinets house a refrigerator, an icemaker and a climate-controlled wine rack. China and crystal are stored in their own drawers, complete with holders.
Galley accommodations are forward to port. The big surprise here is the galley door that allows crew to provision the yacht without having to walk through the owner’s space. Bring supplies down the sidedeck or hand them over if the yacht is side-to. Smart idea.
It’s all here, with the cooking and storage against the aft bulkhead and plating and cleanup along the forward granite counter space. Culinary delights await, thanks to the Miele ceramic four-burner cooktop, a Miele oven with a grill, a Bosch microwave, a Sub-Zero full-height refrigerator/freezer, twin stainless steel sinks with a custom cutting board fitted to the larger sink and a Hansgrohe faucet, a Miele dishwasher and plenty of over/under/side storage cabinets. Next to the refrigerator is a full-height pantry that pulls out. It’s a great size, but I would like to make it a twin pantry with top and bottom pulls; because it’s well built, it’s heavy and may be little too cumbersome when it’s fully loaded. Just trying to make life easier.
Across from the galley is a day head, centrally located so guests don’t have to go below to answer the call.
Forward of the galley is an informal U-shaped dining area. It’s convenient due to the proximity to the galley, and it’s right across from the helm station. Sit back, have your coffee, take in the views and converse with the captain. It may become the best place to hang out on board.
At The Helm
My captain du jour for the test was James Nobel, vice president and marketing director for Princess Yachts America. Don’t let the title fool you; Nobel handled the 82 MY like a seasoned pro. We spent most of the time running from the lower station, because the weather was back and forth between rain storms. From a helm chair that looked more like a bucket seat — there are two — Nobel had no trouble with the controls, gauges or visibility. The latter was due to the large forward and side windows and a wall cutout behind the helm seats that allows the captain to see all the way out the aft doors (an electric panel closes the opening for privacy). If you need to dock the 82 MY from inside, there really shouldn’t be an issue. Additional “ease” is offered by the side door right next to the helm, allowing the captain to gauge distance or grab a line. The 82 MY can be operated by an owner/operator if desired.
Fitted out with a full complement of Furuno helm toys, including twin Furuno TZtouch plotter/radar displays, depth/speed/temp logs, Navpilot and more, the helm station still has room for an ABT Trac display, bow and stern Side-Power thruster controls that can hold a yacht against the dock, Bennett tab controls and assorted rocker switches.
The 82 MY incorporates the Boning Yacht Management System. It can display, monitor and alarm pretty much any onboard system, with panels strategically located throughout. On the helm, engine stats are displayed on a Boning unit (port and starboard), and any other yacht system can be toggled there, too.
Four staterooms are below, with an amidships full-beam master. Large hull side windows are up off the waterline, to offer scenic vistas and not just a view of the spray. A vanity is nestled under the port window, a couch on the other side. A large double bed is on the centerline and separated from engine-room noise by the large head. It’s a simple setup: a large shower stall accented by tile walls and a marble floor, twin Perrin & Rowe washbasins and a toilet (opt for a bidet if desired). Four drawers and two cabinets will keep towels and essentials nearby. A walk-in wardrobe closet, hanging lockers, bedside cabinets, an LED TV/stereo, a wood and textured-fabric finish, and ample ceiling clearance lend an inviting air of rest and relaxation in the master.
Forward is the VIP stateroom with a large centerline berth, an overhead hatch and side ports, an en suite head with a shower stall and a 26-inch LED TV. Two additional staterooms are on either side, one with a large double bed, the other with two single beds. Each has an en suite head with tiled shower stalls, lockers and TVs.
If you don’t run with a crew, the aft quarters can be used as additional sleeping accommodations. There are twin bunks, a head with a shower stall and space for an additional full-sized refrigerator for additional provisions.
In the aft quarters is a locker that holds several systems, including the power-cord system. Too many times these systems are in lazarettes or other areas that may be exposed to moisture. Here, they are dry, easy to access and close to the engine room if tools are needed.
Princess is targeting owners who are stepping up from the 60- to 70-foot range but who may want to run the boat themselves or with a light crew. Although this is hull #7 in this model, it’s the first in the U.S. and gaining likes.
During our test runs, speeds dialed in at 14 knots at 1500 rpm while burning 52 gph; 22 knots at 2000 rpm and 102 gph; and a top speed of 28.5 knots at 2418 rpm while burning 166 gph. That’s not a bad cut of speed from an 82-foot yacht with twin MTU 10V2000 diesels with 1,624 hp each. The 82’s hull is definitely to thank for that speed. At the bow, you can see some seriously angled lifting strakes and wide chines, which get the hull up and out while knocking down spray. Princess practices weight savings by using laminates, lightening holes, creating smarter wire runs, improving resin-infusion tactics and more. Even though the yachts are manufactured in England, a U.S.-destined yacht is built with U.S.-supported appliances, so warranty concerns are a non-issue.