UK, Plymouth. Following the launch of Princess’ third 40m hull and with construction underway on a new semi-custom 35m expected in 2015, adding to its range of M-Class cruising yachts, we met with director Richard Lambert to hear more about the range.
SuperyachtDesign: How has the market responded to the newly announced 35m?
Richard Lambert: The response has been very positive. Existing clients, brokers and distributors have all expressed how much they like it. It is a good volume boat that is just under 250gt. It has a super flybridge, great foredeck area and people like the exterior look – she’s a pretty boat to look at.
SYD: How have the past 12 months been for Princess?
RL: Very good. We’ve seen a number of positive signs, such as a pick up over in the US but there has been an increase in interest globally. Both the Cannes and Southampton boat shows this year were incredibly successful for us and the general attitude is very positive. We have a big range now from 39ft up to 40m and the interest expressed in the range is strong across the board.
SYD: The 40m is a great achievement for Princess but is this the biggest we’ll see from the shipyard?
RL: At the moment, it is the biggest we will build to, as it is what our facilities can accommodate. However, we have funding in place to redevelop our South Yard facility, which when complete, will be the best facility of its kind in the UK in my opinion. So there are some exciting times ahead.
SYD: What does the 35m bring to the M-Class range and how much interest has there been in the 40m?
RL: Before the 35m there was a bit of a jump between our 32m and the 40m in terms of size and price. So the 35m gives our clients another step without having to jump to the 40m. That said, the 40m is doing really well with the first hull over in the US, we’ve delivered the second hull and we’ve got hulls three, four and five in build.
SYD: How much involvement have you had from designers within the industry on this particular model?
RL: There are a few designers who have been involved such as Bannenberg & Rowell Designs, which worked on the first hull, and Mark Berryman worked on the second hull. However, we have some interior designs that have been created by our in-house team who are based in London. For instance, hull number four is purely a Princess design, where the owners have worked closely with our team to achieve the look they wanted.
SYD: Where do you see Princess in comparison to competitors such as Sunseeker?
RL: Naturally we are compared against Sunseeker. However, people are starting to compare us to other brands such as SanLorenzo and I think it is interesting that some of the product developments that we’ve done, especially on the larger yachts, are grabbing the attention of the market. What we have been successful in doing is creating a lot of volume out of the hulls through the strength of our designs and our state of the art resin infusion system, which produces very strong, lightweight hulls. This process also means we are able to build further out towards the edge of our hulls and that’s how we get such good interior volume. This all comes from the development we’ve done to ensure we produce a great quality product.
SYD: How do you see the design of the M-Class developing as the range expands?
RL: We have a very talented design team that works hard to ensure we produce something special. We launched a new 88 at the Southampton Boat Show, and the interior design ideas that went into that are going to follow through into the new 35m. All of that work is being done through our own in-house design team. It is important to highlight that Princess has always been about evolution rather than revolution, but the designs that are produced are more timeless than some of our competitors.
The English shipyard has also announced plans to showcase its new V48 Open sports boat at the 2014 London Boat Show, which runs from 4-12 January.