Yacht design 101 for the flybridge on a 42-foot cruiser: Plop a helm station forward of the bridge, put a guest’s seat next to it, and add a dinette aft. Sure, that sounds vanilla, but there’s not much room for an abundance of creativity on the flybridge of a midsize yacht.
Well, unless it’s the bridge on the Prestige 420 Fly.
Rather than having a centerline helm that dominates the bridge, there’s a compact, low-slung steering station to port. You won’t find a standard-issue guest chair, either. Instead, the entire starboard-side of the forward half of the bridge is dedicated to a double-wide lounger/sun pad with flip-up backrests. Which do you think is better for entertaining guests: seats behind a console or a lounger with room for a couple to stretch out in the salty breezes and warm sunshine?
Behind the sun pad is a console with a grill, refrigerator and sink and, abaft that, an L-shaped dinette. When I got aboard the 420 Fly, I had plenty of elbow room with a half-dozen people around me.
Prestige maximizes the square footage up top by extending the bridge over the cockpit and pushing the mast to the very back of the brow, abaft the L-shaped lounge and rail. But the real space saving comes from the yacht’s compact helm. There’s not an overabundance of room for electronics, nor is there much elevation over the deck, but there sure is space all around.
For skippers who want multiple displays, a double-wide helm seat, and the full suite of buttons and switches, there is the lower helm station. This area of the boat is also laid out to enhance socializing. The salon has more space than on Prestige’s previous 42-foot models, thanks to the way the builder eliminated a second staircase to the bridge. Abaft the helm, there’s a settee and, to port, a raised dinette with a tricked-out table that folds, spins and drops to turn the dinette into a double berth when needed. The galley is aft and to port, just forward of the sliding doors to the cockpit.
Out on the water, the 420 Fly cruised at around 25 knots and hit a wide-open speed of 30.7 knots with the optional 425 hp Cummins 6.7 diesels (380 hp Cummins are standard). With 16.5 degrees of transom deadrise and almost 23,000 pounds of heft, the yacht crushed a 1- to 2-foot Chesapeake Bay chop. The 309-gallon fuel capacity provided a range just slightly over 220 nautical miles at cruise speed, allowing for a 10 percent reserve. That’s more than enough for runs across the bay and weekend voyages, but if you plan on making extended runs, you’ll want to plan fuel stops accordingly.
The V-drive propulsion is also a reason why the belowdecks layout is creative in terms of space. The full-beam master stateroom extends surprisingly far aft because the machinery takes up less room than other configurations. Of course, this model’s additional 4 inches of beam and 6 inches of length overall expanded the master’s footprint too. Hullside windows add natural light, and niceties such as a vanity and bedside tables with reading lamps are built in.
And there’s another spot on this yacht that’s prime for relaxing with friends: the cockpit. It has an L-shaped settee with a dinette, access to the swim platform, and bulk stowage in the transom. Equally as important: The extended flybridge offers shade and protection from the elements for most of the cockpit area.
There’s yet another mingling spot for guests forward. The entire front of the cabin top is used for a triple-size lounger with flip-up backrests. The width of the lounge is aided by the shape of the bow, which carries more beam forward than usual before coming to its angular forepeak.
If you’re tired of seeing the same layouts on 40-foot yachts, then the Prestige 420 Fly is worth a look at the next boat show. From the vessel’s flybridge to the master stateroom, yachstmen will notice creative ways of thinking—and, soon, everyone on board will too.
Take the next step: prestige-yachts.com