On Board the Princess V48

Princess Yachts' V48 is a midsize cruiser offering timeless lines, a solid ride and a flawless finish.

Princess V48 Running

The Princess V48 is the only boat in her builder’s line with Volvo Penta’s IPS setup (see Insider’s View in this story), and the company has taken its time developing this craft. She is going head-to-head with several similar-size models from other U.K. and Italian builders with IPS engines, so Princess had to come up with something exceptional in terms of performance and styling. It did, but in an understated way. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Port Profile

There is nothing glitzy or ostentatious about this Princess. Her profile is more straight-edged than curved and certainly more conservative than some other boats’. But the V48 should hold her classic look longer than some contemporary designs. The same can be said of her interior: All of the woodwork is beautiful and meticulously finished, with leather and stone accents that add substance rather than glitz. My test boat in Plymouth, England, had a serotina cherry interior while a second V48 I saw at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show in February featured walnut. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Lower Salon details

Princess incorporates many tactile and visual details like leather pieces on cabinet knobs, faux textured leather on rails and small, backlit pillars inside of a drawer where the china is stowed. The yard uses the same components and hardware as on its 131-footers. It shows in features like galley drawers on tracks that close softly instead of slamming. In Miami, I overheard two couples discussing how much they liked the leather handrails and size of the Samsung TV in the master. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Galley

The portside galley below allows in natural light thanks to an open, atriumlike connection with the upper deck. This galley has a floor-to-ceiling Waeco fridge/freezer, stainless-steel sink and three-burner Trident convection stove. To starboard is the 44-by-89-inch lounge with a 24-by-80-inch table that converts to a berth. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Master Suite

The spaciousness continues in the aft master suite. Substantial 22-by-52-inch windows and 6 feet of headroom give it a sense of expansiveness, while the full beam allows for a lounge, full-size bed and large dresser. An en suite head has an enclosed shower, Dometic toilet and signature Perrin and Rowe ceramic sink. Princess used Avonite composites to good effect on the galley countertops as well as the head soles. Her VIP suite, with scissor berths that open up the space, also has 6 feet 7 inches of headroom. It connects to another large, full-feature head doing double duty as a day-head, with a separate door to the galley. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Stateroom

The V48 rides high on the water for an express-style yacht, mainly because of the interior headroom Princess designed into both the upper salon and lower staterooms. This extra height didn’t affect her running characteristics, however, as I discovered on a brisk sea trial in Plymouth Sound. The 4-to-6-foot seas were evenly spaced rollers, pushed in by 20-knot southeasterly winds, outside the harbor’s centerline breakwater. My test boat handled the seas with authority, tracking true in the chop with no rattles or shakes when she came off a wave top. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Profile

Just outside the breakwater in Cawsand Bay, we found some calmish water to run the speed figures. The V48 accelerated well, coming on plane in about 10 seconds, reaching a top end of 29.9 knots on the GPS. Princess says the V48 can make a top speed of 32 to 33 knots, and in ideal conditions (flat water, little fuel, two people on board) she probably can. We had six people on board and 80 percent fuel load along with strong winds and tide -in other words, a typical English day on the water- so I could see spotting them a few knots on top end. The V48 turns well at speed, doing a circle in about four boat lengths. We also backed down and turned with the joystick in Cawsand Bay, and she responded well in a 2-foot chop. The modified-V running surface, measuring 15 degrees at the transom, was the right match for these power plants. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Helm

Princess designed the helm as an all-weather station that can be buttoned down in rough weather or opened up on warm days. A large sunroof (5 feet by 8 feet 8 inches) slides open, and the driver’s side has an opening window for ventilation. Her helm has a double seat- two bucket seats abutting each other- that makes a stylish alternative to a bench seat setup. The helm station is well laid out with good visibility through the windshield and side windows, and with a minimalist black console with a large Garmin multifunction display on the left. A tilt steering wheel sits on the right with the Volvo Penta engine monitor on a tier above the wheel, and analog gauges on a tier above that. The IPS joystick is on a shelf to the right at elbow height for easy access. Princess will configure the boat with any electronics package an owner prefers. My test boat was equipped with Garmin’s GPSMAP 5212 chart plotter, GMR 404 radar, GHP 10V autopilot and GMI 10 depth sounder, Simrad’s RS87 VHF and optional Side-Power bow thruster. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Main Deck

The V48 also has a teak swim platform with hydraulic lift to float the tender (up to 11 feet length overall, 880 pounds) into the water. Her transom features a sizable stowage locker. This vessel’s cockpit is accessed from the starboard side of the swim platform via three steps and a 21-inch-wide door; the steps on the port side lead directly to the port deck. Princess’ competitors use a variant of the same single-entry configuration, figuring the trade-off of having a line handler climb over the lounge to get to the portside lines and fenders is worth a larger J-shaped lounge (instead of a straight bench if both sides were open to the swim platform) and more intimate cockpit area. The lounge measures 6 feet 7 inches by 7 feet 10 inches, with a teak table in the center. On the starboard side is an integrated wet bar/grill/freezer. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Salon

The salon, with a lounge to port and console (with a pop-up TV and entertainment center) to starboard, was made for socializing. Six people were on board during my sea trial, and it felt like we could add six more before it would even start to feel like a crowd. The engine room also has great space for getting around the Volvos and the 13.5KW Onan generator (standard size for U.S.-spec’d boats for running serious air conditioning) and doing line-of-sight checks. The V48 should be a strong midsize-market contender for Princess, a fast, all-weather boat with the interior space of a 52-footer and the fuel efficiency of a smaller sport yacht. Good things do indeed come to those who wait. Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Lower Deck General Arrangement

Insider’s View Compared with other builders, it looked like Princess was taking its time launching an IPS-powered boat, but, in fact, the V48 was thethird Princess with the IPS. It’s just the first one that boaters are seeing. The other two boats, a 42 Flybridge and V45, didn’t meet the U.K. builder’s rigorous performance and handling standards, so Princess shelved those projects and designed a new boat and hull around the twin 435-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS600 D6 diesels. This boat was spot-on, straight out of the box, and she made her U.S. debut last fall. I sea-trialed the first U.S.-bound V48 in Plymouth, U.K., near the company’s headquarters. I initially had mixed feelings about the boat. She got a thumbs-up for a solid ride in the tempestuous seas outside the Plymouth breakwater and maneuvered well with the IPS joystick around the wind-swept Mayflower Marina, but the interior was wrapped in plastic, including a camouflage-covered helm seat, for her transatlantic-shipping, so it was hard to gauge her fit and finish. I had another good, long look at a ready-for-prime-time V48 at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show this past February, and this time in a near-tropical setting where the sunroof was open. I came away giving her two thumbs up. Princess Yachts, 877-846-9874; Courtesy Princess Yachts

Princess V48 Running Speeds

Specifications: LOA: 49’11” BEAM: 13’6″ DRAFT: 3’9″ DISPL.: 30,900 lb. FUEL: 330 gal. WATER: 96 gal. DEADRISE: 15 degrees ENGINES (tested): 2 x 435 hp Volvo Penta IPS600 D6 diesels PRICE AS TESTED: $1,400,000 (approx.) Test Conditions: Speeds were measured by GPS off Plymouth, U.K., in 4- to 6-foot seas and 18 knots of wind with 80-percent fuel, 100-percent water and six people aboard. Fuel consumption was measured with the Volvo Penta electronic engine-monitoring system. Sound levels were measured at the lower helm with doors and windows closed.