You’ve never seen a Princess like this.
How do you comfortably fit a wildly styled, tri-deck motoryacht into a 95-foot envelope? Good question!
Let’s face it. There’s an aura of fantasy, even unreality, around big—or more to the point, strikingly big—highly-designed yachts. When you combine an extraordinary variety of shapes, angles and curvatures with an extraordinary variety of fiberglass-comprised immensities, what results is often slightly, albeit excitingly, mystifying. A vessel like the X95 from Princess Yachts, for example, certainly captures the eye, and even if the eye is quite experienced, it is almost immediately and irrevocably forced to do a double take. Is that main deck actually encased in what appears to be full-height phalanxes of plate glass panels? Is there an opening, a sort of see-through trapezoidal aperture, up there in the bow area where the wind can simply blow through? And what about those sinuous, S-curved things—Princess calls them “flying buttresses”—that swoop down from the stylized canopy over the pilothouse into the rear of that miles-long flybridge, the signature feature behind the 95’s ‘Superfly’ designation? Is all this for real, man?
Gallery: Princess X-95
“Obviously,” said Andy Lawrence, chief designer for Princess, during a recent virtual press conference showcasing the launch of the first 95, a vessel that was already in the hands of her new owner and cruising the salty shores of Merry Ol’ England. “We are continuing to push the boundaries of yacht design with this boat. You might even say we, as well as our partners at Olesinski Yacht Design and our Italian friends at Pininfarina, are actually re-writing the rules.”
The statement’s not as hyperbolic as it sounds. In addition to the full-height wraparound windows, the trapezoidal hole in the bow and the flying buttresses that augment her profile, the 95 also sports one of the longest, most open salons in her class—indeed, sightlines stretch almost a full 60 feet from the cockpit to the giant forward window if an owner chooses the open plan with chef’s kitchen, one of three optional layouts for the main deck. And, at 72 feet from one end to the other, the “super flybridge” above the main deck is also a full-length affair, or close to it, with a rear bridge area (with a dining table and other furniture), a forward bridge area (with sunbathing area and spa) and a climate-controlled skylounge (with pilothouse) in between. Belowdecks, options abound as well, although the standard issue seems to include a full-beam master amidships, a VIP forward, two fully configurable guest staterooms in between and either a crew’s quarters astern or a beach club.
According to chief designer Lawrence, the Superfly is, bottom line, a lofty, relatively heavy tri-deck motoryacht with the interior volume of a 115-footer, all superimposed upon a 95-foot LOA. So, to ensure that the head-turning vessel demonstrates the seakeeping prowess Princess expects of its yachts, as well as the stability characteristics that guarantee said seakeeping ability, the team at Olesinski and the in-house Princess design team had to come up with some fairly novel ideas concerning underwater hull form.
More to the point, the 95’s waterline beam was made proportionally wider than the waterline beams of most other vessels in her size range, and she was given substantially less overhanging, top-heavy structure. The running surface sweeps all the way aft so that it undergirds the huge fixed swim platform at the stern. Thanks to the inventive engineers at Opacmare, however, swim platform hydraulics—and the fun they engender—were not forgotten. The fixed platform contains a transformer-type second platform that arises mechanically from “a cartridge” in the first (complete with stairway) and deploys all the way aft, thereby providing the up-and-down, in-the-water movement necessary to easily deploy and retrieve watertoys and dinghies when the boat’s in the beach club mode.
The performance numbers that Princess was touting during the press event were impressive. With MAN V12-1900 diesel inboards in the basement, the company reports a top speed in the 24- to 26-knot range. Throttle back to a 10-knot cruise and, says Princess, and you can expect a range of approximately 2,000 nautical miles, thanks to a whopping fuel capacity of 3,540 gallons. Of course, it’s very likely that stretching the waterline length of the 95 by extending the running surface beneath the swim platform has a good deal to do with the implied efficiency here, as does adding a wave-piercing (bulbous) bow. Hull forms with longer waterlines are almost always slipperier when traveling at displacement speeds.
“To conclude,” said Princess executive chairman Antony Sheriff as the presser drew to a close, “what we have here is a stand-alone styling statement as well as a sort of SUV, a sport utility vehicle of the sea. There’s no doubt she is capable of genuine exploration, hence the ‘X’ in the designation. You have a very great range, an immensely open, comfortable interior, with several different social zones where people can get away if they want. And you have great convenience. Essentially, as someone said earlier, you can drive the boat yourself and, when you’re done, you can tie it up, turn it off and walk away.”
Princess Yachts X95 Superfly Specifications:
Beam: 22’ 2”
Displ.: approx. 210,560 lbs.
Fuel: 3,540 gal.
Water: 475 gal.
Standard Power: 2/1900-hp MAN V12-1900 diesels
Cruise Speed: 10 knots
Top Speed: 26 knots