The 72 has been well-received in Europe and I expect that performance-minded yachtsmen on this side of the Atlantic will not be disappointed. I will admit that I am old school and find a lot of Euro-designs a bit over the top, but I have long had a soft spot for Princess’ products. Perhaps it’s British reserve, but this builder seems to know not to overdo it — the 72 is a perfect example. À la Euro-style, she has a fairly straight sheer, a rakish nose and a soft, shapely reverse transom. She is not complicated with side exhausts that serve as piling fodder, and while her swim platform has a teak-covered tender lift, it does not look like an open tailgate.
Other than fussing with oddly shaped hull windows, Euro-stylists seem to expend most of their passion on the superstructure — ergo, overdone. This is not the case with the 72. Her softly raked house/bridge face and cantilevered overhang are well-proportioned, and she is not cluttered with winglets or foolish faux vents. The segmented house-side window design is sufficiently interesting without being busy or confusing to the eye. The antenna arch adds a pleasing accent and is high enough that the radar does not sterilize the helmsman. Our test boat was fitted with an integral hardtop with a retractable canvas sunroof. All in all, she is a great-looking boat.
I’ve owned a dozen Land Rovers and I confess that I like the way the Brits think when it comes to engineering and production. It is my theory that, in a Henry Ford sort of way, they focus on perfecting the product by perfecting the process. At Princess this has meant bucking the European boatbuilding tradition of using subcontractors. Princess is vertically integrated, which is more typical of U.S. builders. By not relying on others for things like metal fabrication and joinery, a builder has more control over the process and the product.