Belowdecks, the full-beam master stateroom, like the rest of the Prestige 60, has a direct connection to the outside world with an immense window on each side with opening ports for fresh air. Too many master staterooms are just for sleeping, but this one is a getaway without the away. Tired of the kids or the guests or just want to read a good book? The long chaise below one window has recliner pads for comfort. Need to do some work? The combination vanity/desk under the opposite window tempts you with a fabulous view.
The queen berth is on centerline with built-in nightstands and a nubby headboard; there is stowage everywhere including two full-height hanging lockers. The master head has a pair of vessel sinks, plus a comfortably sized shower with seat.
Guests are treated nearly as well in the forward guest cabin, with a raised queen berth, spacious en suite head with shower, two hanging lockers and built-in bureaus. Like the master, this stateroom also has oversize windows to connect with the outside. The midcabin has a pair of single berths and private access to the day-head and shower with its foldaway Lucite enclosure that eliminates the dreaded curtain.
Back in the teak-soled cockpit, a concealed helm station is tucked in the starboard wing with joystick and thruster, making it perfect for backing into slips or alongside piers. A warping winch is on the port side, there are line stowage bins under the after cleats, and I particularly liked the rollers in the hawses to eliminate chafe on dock lines. Our test 60 had the optional Besenzoni passerelle, which doubles as a davit to lift a tender onto the wide swim platform. An alternative choice is a lifting platform if you don’t need a gangplank.
Up the open teak stairs with stainless steel rails is the bridge, and the only word that fits is immense. It is so open that it seems even larger than it is, but it’s all usable space. The helm is a centerline pod with a double-wide bench seat on the forward side of a mini-galley console with barbecue. Aft, a large settee wraps around an oversize table for dining under the stars, and an oh-so- French touch is the cold-plate-chilled wine rack close at hand.
One particularly sensible amenity is the abundance of protection for those of us wary of too much sun. A Bimini top unfolds both fore and aft from its hiding place in the electronics arch to cover the entire flying bridge. Another cleverly engineered awning extends from the overhang above the cockpit to shade the table, and even the bow settee gets a folding “buggy top” for ultraviolet protection.
The Prestige 60 has only one choice for power, and that’s the pair of 700-horsepower Volvo IPS 900 diesels with pod-drives for which the yacht was specifically designed. The engine room is very large, with headroom for basketball pros and room on each side of the engines for access. Stainless-steel fuel tanks and the 17.5 kW Onan generator are forward, the electrical panel is behind a Lucite door aft, and the batteries are tucked away neatly in acid-proof boxes.
Under way, it’s easy to forget that you’re herding along 26 tons of luxury yacht because, when you spin the wheel, it feels like a sport boat on steroids. I’m told that Prestige and Volvo “detuned” the steering ratio so she wouldn’t turn as quickly as the system might have allowed. And the response to the throttles is also that of a much smaller boat. To say she handles like a sports car seems trite, but, in this case, it’s true.
Our test boat had been fitted with the Volvo Dynamic Positioning System. It’s now standard equipment, although even with an upcharge it’s worth every penny. In essence, DPS holds the Prestige 60 precisely in place, using a pair of GPS receivers for accuracy. You can use it to hold position effortlessly while waiting for a bridge to open or for the fuel dock to clear, but there’s one situation in which DPS makes itself invaluable.
When we returned from tearing up the Gulf Stream off Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we had to moor in beam current and wind. Our skipper paralleled our 60 just a couple of feet off the dock and hit the DPS button, and the yacht might as well have been bolted to the bottom. The skipper strolled around without rushing, got the lines ashore, set the spring lines and adjusted the fenders. It was magic!
As I said, I’m in love with a French beauty. She’s well-built, stylish, comfortable and surprisingly affordable.
How do I tell my wife?
Displ.: 52,029 lb.
Fuel: 741 gal.
Water: 212 gal.
Deadrise: 17 degrees
Engine Options: None
Engines Tested: 2 x 700-hp Volvo Penta IPS 900
Base Price: $1,400,000 (approx.)
Prestige Yachts, 410-280-2775; www.prestige-yachts.com