How fitting it was that Prestige Yachts introduced its new M-Line flagship, the M8, at Portopiccolo, a picturesque yachting village outside Trieste, Italy. Formerly a quarry, the cliff-side area had been chiseled into a clean site rife with eye-catching vistas, much like the French builder’s 65-foot power catamaran and its nearly 3,000 square feet of usable real estate.
Take, for starters, the M8’s 344-square-foot cockpit. Apart from flybridge-bound stairs to port and a wet bar to starboard, this space (as well as most of the yacht’s living areas) is an open deck with modular furniture. This setup allows owners to choose how they spend their time, whether watching sunsets on the hook or relaxing underway. Aboard Hull No. 1, which will debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this month, there were four movable square-shaped sofas and two accompanying side tables.
Aft-deck space is further enhanced by the M8’s versatile swim platform (14 feet, 5 inches by 4 feet, 11 inches) that Prestige describes as a “balcony on the sea.” When it wasn’t overlooking the smooth waters of the Adriatic Sea, the 1,102-pound-capacity platform lowered into swimming-pool mode at the push of a button, allowing access to the garage, dinghies and water toys.
The M8’s modular-furniture concept continues in the salon, where there is 6-foot-6-inch headroom, and on the flybridge. Between both spaces, the only fixed furniture is the 538-square-foot flybridge’s three-person sun pad to starboard, abaft the staircase leading to the salon. The flybridge also has a wet bar with a grill abaft a two-seat centerline helm station with two 22-inch multifunction displays. To port, there is a dining table with seating for eight; aft and to starboard, there is another lounging area with an L-shaped sofa to starboard and two-person aft-facing seating on centerline with room for two loose tables.
As for this hull’s 511-square-foot salon, it had two free-standing chairs to starboard, a sofa on centerline and another to port. The salon connects to the cockpit via an opening centerline window with a service bar that has a wine chiller for 18 bottles, a sink and stowage. Forward and to port, there is a dining area with a table for six, and the galley is to starboard (a galley-down layout is also an option). Appliances are by Miele, including a three-burner cooktop, a microwave and a dishwasher, and there is a 132-gallon, triple-door fridge/freezer by Fisher & Paykel. This M8 also has the optional Surround View system by Garmin to make maneuvering in tight spaces easier; its console is nestled between the galley and centerline stairs leading to the owner’s stateroom. Owners can also opt for a lower helm station with a pedestal seat for all-weather cruising.
The 323-square-foot foredeck lounge is where the M8 diverts from its free-standing-furniture style the most. A sun pad consumes nearly the entire width of this space. Down two steps and forward, there is forward-facing straight-line seating on centerline across from an aft-facing C-shaped settee.
Accommodations can include four or five staterooms, with options for a VIP suite that consumes the portside hull and the galley down in the starboard hull. The 323-square-foot master stateroom is forward and nearly spans the yacht’s 29-foot beam, with its athwartship berth across from a console with a rising TV. There’s also a head with his-and-hers sinks to port, and a customizable space to starboard for a gym, a lounge, a gaming area or whatever else the owner wants.
Power for the M8 is twin 600 hp Volvo Penta D8 diesels. With the throttle all the way to the pins, I observed a 20.5-knot top hop as the diesels burned a combined 63.4 gallons per hour at 2,900 rpm. At 7.7 knots, reported range is 1,583 nautical miles; at 17 knots, it’s reportedly 350 nm. Turning the M8 felt smooth, running like it was on rails, and the wheel was real-time responsive to input.
The Prestige Yachts M8 is worth a look for power cat enthusiasts seeking adaptability, customization and a notable master stateroom that’s akin to one inside a small apartment. This new flagship has plenty of potential to be a desirable home on the water.
The M8’s furniture is provided by four brands: Reflex Angelo, Pininfarina, Roda and Foglizzo. Regardless of where I decided to lounge while on board, there was always a place to get comfortable and take in the views.
In addition to two stairways leading to the flybridge (one in the cockpit, one in the salon), the Prestige M8 has two side-deck doors. One is forward and to port, and the other is aft and to starboard. A portside day head is accessible from the side deck.
Hull No. 2 of the M8, which debuted at the Cannes Yachting Festival last month, has the optional “Silent Mode” package: 10 lithium batteries powered by 258 square feet of solar panels, which should allow two hours of silent operation sans generators and with zero emissions.