Princess X95 motor yacht Underway

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X95: On board the space-age superyacht from Princess

20 January 2022• Written by Kevin Koenig

SUPERYACHT DIRECTORY

Motor Yacht

PRINCESS X95

Princess ·  29 m ·  2022

The Princess X95 has a forward-thinking design and a layout that allows room for comfort and creativity says Kevin Koenig, who steps on board hull 14.

The 29.1-metre Princess X95 looks like no other Princess before her. Introduced via a digital launch in summer 2020 at the height of the pandemic, the X95 follows industry trends toward building boats in this size and class with a plumb bow, without quite going the full monty. Instead, the yacht has a wave piercer that extends her waterline and which also lines up with the peak of her bow deck. 

This article features pictures of an X95 sistership
All images courtesy of Princess Yachts

Negative space in between the two is a function of design. “A true plumb bow can generate quite a bit of spray,” says Andy Lawrence, Princess’s director of design. “We have a more relaxed angle [as the bow approaches the waterline]. It’s inverted and diverts the water more efficiently.” What Princess has done here is effectively combine the best of both worlds.

The look of the X95 is at once striking and unexpected, particularly for the comparatively staid British builder. On display at the Fort Lauderdale boat show and surrounded by her more conservatively drawn sisterships, the X95’s aggressive styling stands out.

On the main deck you can walk in the aft door and see 18 metres straight ahead

“This is a bit of a departure for us,” Lawrence says. “There is a different look and feel aesthetically going on here. It takes a while to accept that for some, but it feels like this is the way the market is going right now. These boat profiles are going to change because people want more living space. The design of this boat [done by Pininfarina and Olesinksi, in conjunction with Princess] was really about trying to maximise the amount of usable real estate, and floor space.”

The galley is up and forward on the main deck, reflecting an American penchant for using the cooking space as an entertaining space as well

The yacht also uses a notable amount of glass in her construction, which pays dividends when capturing the elusive goal of bringing the outside in. “There are 85 pieces of glass used on this boat,” he says. “They’re big pieces too, three metres long by 1.5 metres wide, so to physically maneuver it is a challenge from a manufacturing perspective, but we are used to dealing with it now. The factory has H-frame lifting rigs with suction cups to lift the glass up, and then beam cranes overhead to manoeuver them around the factory floor. They’re simply too big to be manually handled. It’s a good bit of work of course but we think it is worth it, and by that I mean for visibility. We want as few mullions as possible.”

On hull number 14, the owners took a different tack by placing the master cabin amidships on the lower deck

From glancing at the X95, one could be forgiven for wondering if the entire superstructure is made of glass. It is not of course, but it does appear that way. Regardless, Lawrence explains that the structural integrity of the X95 is not up for debate. “The glass is very strong,” he says. “It’s subjected to the same load pressures as the rest of the hull, but the hull itself has structural reinforcements that support it whether the glass is there or not.”

Besides the space-age exterior aesthetic the glass affords the boat, there are of course other advantages. Natural light is abundant, and can be felt perhaps most keenly on the main deck. On the first 13 iterations of this hull, that space encompassed both the saloon and the de rigueur owner’s cabin on main deck.

However, the owners of the 14th hull took a different tack, placing their cabin at amidships on the lower accommodations level. The galley is up and forward on the main deck, reflecting an American penchant for using the cooking space as an entertaining space as well. It’s a layout option Lawrence expects to become popular once it is photographed and publicized. “What’s been done with that main deck on that boat is simply incredible,” he says. “You can walk in the aft door and see 18 metres straight to the front, so it feels absolutely enormous.”

A feeling of enormity was important during this vessel’s design. “We really wanted to pack as much in as possible,” Lawrence says, yet “we didn’t want to crest that 24 metre (at load line) mark for various reasons. For example, you can make the boat 1.5 metres longer, but then you need more crew, and corresponding crew space, so you really end up with the same amount of boat. And if you go three metres bigger well, that’s a different size boat, isn’t it? Plus, by capping the boat at the length she is, we put a cap on the price. But with all the glass we use, and a beam that carries well forward, we think people will be impressed when they step aboard and see just how big she really is inside.”

It’s a difference Princess is betting will be a massive success.

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