Spotlight – Princess Yachts X95
The new X95 from Princess breaks boundaries, while dramatically increasing onboard space and range
Princess Yachts enjoys a reputation for stability and conservatism, with a line up of yachts that are stylish and well made, but that didn’t necessarily rock the boat. That reputation got a serious jolt with the launch of the X95, a yacht that borrows heavily from the design ethos of the automobile world’s many SUV series.
Princess Yachts’ Executive Chairman Antony Sheriff, who made a name for himself helming supercar maker McLaren, joined the company in 2016 and in that time, experimentation has become a focus for the company, even as profits rose and hiring increased.
In 2018, the yard released the R35, an open sport boat with a top speed of nearly 50 knots, a first for the yard.
The experimentation continues with the launch of the X95, which was first showcased in 2019. Sheriff recruited Italian design firm Pininfarina from the earliest stage of the development to create a new look for the X95 that matched its performance credentials (Sheriff is a board member of Pininfarina).
“Borne from our aggressive investment strategy into new technology and world-class design, the X Class creates an entirely new segment, representing another significant step in our new product programme,” Sheriff said in a statement.
The X in X95 indicates expedition, according to Princess Yachts Sales Director Will Green, who says the X95 should have a range of 2,000 nautical miles at 10 knots, thanks to its new hull design.
The hull of the X95 features a new wave piercing bow that extends the waterline forward and provides a fine, high deadrise entry. The hull surfaces are extended aft under the swim platform. This boosted fuel efficiency by about 18% compared to a similar sized yacht on an existing Princess hull, according to Princess Yachts Director of Design, Andy Lawrence.
The results of this hull shape are good news for buyers wanting range and a turn of speed if required. The hull can transition from low cruising speed to a maximum speed of nearly 26 knots, with a maximum cruise speed of around 22 knots.
The other major innovation in the new X95 is the looks and the layout. Lawrence says that the main change was eliminating the main deck helm station completely, moving it up to the skylounge. That required finding ways to blend an expanded upper helm station into the exterior lines of the yacht.
According to Lawrence, the X95’s striking looks were derived from the layout changes, in particular finding ways to style the expanded main deck and flybridge.
By moving the helm station out of the main deck completely, the whole deck could be opened up for guest use, and bigger range of layout options could be available to match the needs of various markets.
“This is a global yacht, in the sense of appealing to emerging markets and established markets alike,” says Lawrence.
Princess decided to use the open main deck to offer buyers several different layout options. Andy Lawrence says that the lower deck is “pretty much standard”, but with three crew layouts, three main deck layouts and three layouts on the flybridge, buyers can optimise their yacht quite well – essentially choosing from 27 possible layout options.
One option for the main deck includes a forward master cabin with fantastic views over the bow. The other two offer forward lounge areas for guests. Princess says that the X95 offers 10% more outdoor space and 40% more indoor space than a traditional, similarly sized yacht.
The flybridge was a major design point on the X95. By extending the main deck forward, Princess was able to also extend the skybridge to nearly the full length of the yacht. The result is a fly bridge that is nearly a complete deck in its own right. The helm station can be completely enclosed or left open. Guests can easily move from the fly bridge aft through the helm station area to the forward fly bridge area.
The aft fly bridge area has a covered dining zone for eight and a large flexible space for free-standing lounge furniture. The forward flybridge features a U-shaped seating area and a sunbathing area or even a spa bath further towards the bow. In total, the flybridge on the X95 stretches almost 22 metres, which Princess estimates is twice the length of a flybridge on a yacht this size.
The helm station area has been turned into a separate lounge that can be climate controlled, while offering the commanding views of the flybridge. Guests can enjoy drinks service with comfy lounge seating right behind the helm.
Descending from the forward flybridge, guests can access a private space at the bow that can be used for private meals while at anchor.
On the lower deck, there’s storage for a Jetski, along with crew quarters, bathroom and a mess to the rear. In the centre is the ensuite master stateroom. Additional port and starboard guest cabins can each be configured as two single beds or one double bed, both cabins are en suite. The forward stateroom includes a walk-in wardrobe and en suite bathroom.
In its new X95, Princess Yachts under Antony Sheriff is setting a new direction for the company. Lawrence says the brief for the new yacht was to create “a new class of yacht” for the brand. “When we had the design idea, we braced for pushback,” says Lawrence. “But it’s been interesting to see, everyone likes it.”
Princess Yacht says that nine of the new X95s have been sold so far, with one due to arrive in Asia. The good results are likely to encourage even more experimentation from Princess, with a X80 in the works, meaning the X series will be a new hallmark. “Internally, we are all excited by it,” says Lawrence.
Length Overall: 29m
Maximum Beam: 6.7m
Maximum Draught: 2m
Displacement (half load): 104 tonnes
Fuel capacity 13400 l
Engines: MAN V12 (2 x 1900mhp)
Naval Architecture: Bernard Olesinki
Cabins (Max): 5
Crew cabins (Max): 3