The Design Story behind the Princess S72

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Discover the design process behind the all-new Princess S72

Words by Heidi Hewlings, Princess Yachts

Starting a new project is always exciting, and the launch of a new addition to Princess Yachts’ S class range is no exception.

The 72-foot motor yacht takes its inspiration from the Y72 but follows the distinct personality seen on Princess’ sporty S Class range: powerful and precise – yet timelessly elegant and sophisticated, blending iconic design, exceptional engineering and unrivalled craftsmanship. “The Princess design team wanted to guarantee that there was no compromise in the new variant due to the fact that it’s built on the same platform as the Y72. In contrast to the Y class where it focuses on big interior, air-conditioned volume and a huge flybridge deck, the S class sees a little bit of reduced space up on the flybridge which gives it a sportier look and feel” says Andy Lawrence, Design Director at Princess Yachts. “We’ve also moved the patio door forwards about a metre and a half, and what that does is reduces the size of the interior upper accommodation volume and gives that space back to the cockpit deck area.”

Designing a new yacht is a lengthy process, with the concept phase alone taking three to four months on average. The first phase purely focuses on the philosophies behind the exterior of the new product. The process involves acquiring a 2D general arrangement from naval architects Olesinski, which is then refined by the Princess Design Studio with a key focus on styling. The team then work around ensuring all of the engineering works adequately, before moving onto creating a 3D model from the 2D design. This is where an emphasis on the style is considered, with concentration on how each element will flow into another, and how the proportions are looking.

Princess S72

Killian Scott, Lead Visualisation Designer at Princess Yachts, describes the vision for the S72 to be focused on proportion, visual weight, and maximising interior space.

“We have used automotive language throughout the design process as a main influence so that everything feels connected and streamlined.” 

S72 Interior Sketches

Following the initial phases, a range of images are rendered to be reviewed by Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman and CEO of Princess Yachts. This is the stage at which any design alterations and improvements are highlighted and implemented moving forwards.

“The final CGIs of a new boat are always how the concept team want it to look as they are our final deliverable,” explains Scott, “overall, I think the concept of the S72 and the finished boat look identical. I think the whole design team have done really well.”

S72 Aft Sketch

The design of the S72 is focused on ensuring people feel closer to the water via the expansive cockpit space and bathing platform, with easy access down into the water. Andy Lawrence describes the layout of the boat to be crafted around the aim to get people outside and make sure everyone is together. “Even when you are inside you should feel like you are connected to the cockpit area so no one is isolated. At the back of the boat, we have a huge sun pad, big U-shaped seating with configurable seat modules within the cockpit so it’s very versatile. We have a window that opens up and a patio door that folds right back so you can talk across the galley bar to your guests. Inside the boat there are huge windows, very few mullions and a big sliding roof getting lots and lots of lighting into the boat.”

S72 Cockpit

Once the final design process has been approved, and plans are finalised, the build stage begins at Princess’ major mould workshop at their main Coypool feeder site. Coypool houses all the components which are built and stored before being transported to Princess’ five other manufacturing sites around Plymouth. This unique site gives Princess the ability to have further control over the design and quality of their boats and be more bespoke to their customers; this sets Princess Yachts apart from other manufacturers in the industry.

Once the hull and canopy are moulded, each slot of the S72 is transported to Newport Street where interior fit out begins and the build process continues. Members of the team working on the Y72 line are brought over to the S72, transferring their basic knowledge of the Y and adapting it to the S variant, thus ensuring a smoother build process. After years of meticulous design and a thorough build, slot one of S72 progressed with few complications and hit the water at the beginning of 2023 in preparation for her launch.

Shot of the team involved in the build of the S72

The World Premiere of the S72 took place at boot Düsseldorf where it became one of the stars of the show through its dramatic unveiling. “The reception of the S72 has been fantastic” says Antony Sheriff, “it was designed to be a boat that had the beauty and the emotion of the first sketches. It’s not really until you see the boat finished with all the details, that you get the idea of the stunning sculptural beauty that she has. We’re very proud of our craftsmanship and we’re proud of the team of 3,200 people in Plymouth to see the boat completely finished with all the details. The first reaction was, ‘she looks just like that first sketch’ and so we’re really pleased with that.”

“We are absolutely delighted with the success of the S72” reveals Andy Lawrence. “It has been a product that we have had a lot of feedback on, a lot of people are really crying out for this boat since the departure of the original S72 some years ago which was actually the product which created the S class method for Princess. There has been a real gap in the market that we are filling with this boat and we are very excited about it.”

Andy sums up the S class as a slightly more emotional purchase compared to the other classes in the Princess range, with major consideration on the style and feel of the boat.
“It’s about being close to the water. The connectivity with the saloon, the galley, the cockpit and the platform space create a big family environment. On the S72, she offers the MAN 1800 engines so that gets her up to 34 to 36 knots really quite comfortably, and ultimately it’s about getting out there to the Bahamas before anybody else.”

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