Acting as a bridge between the builder’s smaller offerings and superyacht models, the Y72 melds classic design with forward-thinking details.
The Princess Y72, which debuted at the 2021 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, was at first glance remarkable for what she was not. Many motoryachts in this class are big and bulbous, sacrificing the grace of time-tested lines to the almighty gods of interior volume. But the Y72 is different. Her designers managed to slyly pack her with unexpected amounts of space, while appealing to a yacht classicist’s eye for a sleek profile.
“The Y72 is one of my favorite boats at the moment,” says Andy Lawrence, Princess’s director of design, from the builder’s Plymouth, England, headquarters. “It does everything a Princess should do, in my opinion. It’s back to the more traditional profile you’d expect from us. And what’s more, we really went to town on the exterior design of this boat.”
Lawrence is referencing the boat’s outer surfacing, which plays with both gentle and swooping curves in a symphony of architectural movement. “There are a lot of sculptural elements to this boat’s exterior, and you don’t see that much in the marine industry anymore,” says Lawrence. “Boats tend to be quite flat. But with this boat, look at [the superstructure] for example, there’s loads of curvature and shape. It adds a lot of time to the build process, but in the end, it’s worth it, because the quality is so much higher and it shows.”
And quality on this yacht is paramount. The Y72 replaces the F70, which was the flagship in Princess’s Flybridge line, and as the smallest offering in the Yacht series, the 72 is effectively a bridge to the builder’s upper echelons. The difference between the two lines is palpable in the Y72’s details.
“There’s a big change in specifications when you cross that line,” Lawrence explains. And when touring the boat, I could see what he meant. When you enter into the Y Class, there are some immediately noticeable upgrades. The galley uses real granite counters and accents, which were kept cool by a standard air-conditioning unit that is an option on most smaller builds. The handrails are no longer round but oval, a shape found on megayachts—harder to make as they require CNC tube benders, but much more ergonomic. And the interior is replete with teak. Whereas on the F models white gelcoat is a common sight, here those white spots are covered with teak for a chunkier, sturdier and fancier look. Lastly, a crew cabin is standard. That’s important, because this is the model in Princess’s larger line that connotes the jump from owner-operator boat to fully crewed yacht.
Crew is expected to be two people, full time, and there is easy access to the engine room through their quarters. The engines on the boat in Lauderdale were a pair of gleaming 1,650-hp MAN V12s housed in a spacious engine room with access points that outshine other European competitors in this class. With the hammer down, the MANs reportedly get the Y72 up to a more-than-respectable 34-knot top-end, while a fast cruise at 2,100 rpm has you cooking at right around 29 knots.
“There are loads of little tweaks to this hull,” Lawrence says. “It has a smooth ride, and customers may notice the bow angle is slightly different, five degrees steeper, more upright. It helps to give us more space down below. You’ll really feel it in the forward cabins. It’s a design language that works for us, and you’ll see it in some other boats of ours.”
The Y72 has a four-stateroom layout with a VIP forward and a full-beam amidships master. Two further guest rooms are to port and starboard, while there are three heads down below as well. The accommodations level also has dual-staircase access, which aids with privacy and the overall easy flow of the space.
“She has quite a bit of volume for a boat that’s just under 44 tons at half-load,” says Lawrence. “She may not have that enormous bow some boats have these days, but she certainly isn’t lacking.”
And with that combination of roominess and easy-on-the-eyes design, she certainly won’t be lacking for attention either.
Princess Y72 Specifications:
Displ.: 117,506 lbs.
Fuel: 1,189 gal.
Water: 221 gal.
Power: 2/1,650-hp MAN V12s
Cruise Speed: 29 knots
Top Speed: 34 knots