The concept of a 'pocket superyacht' has been around for a while, but few have really had great appeal or stood the test of time. Princess has joined this movement and is forging ahead with new designs, updating its fleet to meet the demands of today's discerning owners reaching top speeds that are expected to be reached with smaller engines, therefore ticking the boxes for a more environmentally friendly boat that takes less of a hit on your wallet.
The wow factor on this yacht has to be the superb top deck, complete with opening roof, which echoes the sophistication and style of the al fresco living area on her bigger sister the Princess 40M.
Much of the improvements in this modern Princess is due to what the builder describes as the “all-new infused long-range hull.” The hybrid deep-V hull design was developed thanks to lessons learned from the World Superyacht Award-winning Princess 40M.
The 88 replaces Princess’s 85 Motor Yacht, which had a hand-laid hull. Adopting resin infusion gives 10 percent more volume over the 85 yet achieves the same speed with the same engines.
Designs can often be too chunky with a too-high superstructure or over-designed to squeeze in more accommodations than realistically works. As the next generation of long-range cruising yachts under 30 metres starts to emerge, it is clear that designers are getting a hold on how to incorporate volume into a boat to create a successful pocket superyacht with many features borrowed from larger yacht models.
Interior design The interior is very contemporary in style with new finishes covering everything from the walls to the furnishings: high-gloss lacquered panels, walnut, granite, marble and leather artwork. On this yacht the owner has opted for the fold-down veranda on the starboard side, which adds a whole new dimension to the saloon/dining area; it’s a fabulous place to perch while at anchor.
A curved staircase with laser-cut leather feature accents leads you down into the well-structured lower deck lobby, complete with a second washing machine and storage area for linens and towels. Forward is the very roomy VIP and two further cabins, which can be configured with a double or twins. The master is full beam and here you appreciate the huge windows that envelop the room with light. Personal touches abound such as the shagreen leather-covered dressing table, a drinks refrigerator, funky chairs and a marble-dressed bathroom with dual sinks and a bath where you can lounge in bubbles while looking out over the sea. A five-cabin version is also offered, and if you want to make further changes you can.
The intelligent influence of the Princess 40M on the 88 is evident. The ratio of length to height is well executed; the hidden detail on the starboard topsides conceals a drop-down balcony; up top there is an elongated flybridge, complete with spa pool and all the trimmings for alfresco living; forward is a cozy, open-air sunken seating area and sunpads.
Engineering and performance
On boats of this size the engineering of crew accommodation is always tricky due to space constraints, but Princess has really worked on this and created an area that allows for servicing of the boat without displacing owner and guests. Aft below decks there is a captain’s cabin and room for two more crew, plus a small mess and washing machine and dryer. I particularly like the direct access to the roomy and well-laid-out engine room and the starboard side deck access, so crew can go about their business without tramping through the saloon. Performance from the Caterpillar C32 A engines was listed at 27-28 knots maximum speed.
Princess 88 superyacht specs
LOA (incl. pulpit): 26.8m
Displacement: 74 tonnes
Engines: 2 x 1,825-hp Caterpillar C32 A
Speed: (max) 27-28 knots
Owner and guests: 8
Crew: 2-3March 2014 issue ShowBoats International magazine