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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The 5 Best Features of Prestige Yachts

The 5 Best Features of Prestige Yachts
Prestige 550 is a Clear Winner

At the 2014 Norwalk Boat Show, I had the unique pleasure of seeing the Prestige lineup from 40 to 62ft.  The quality of these yachts, the incredible styling, and the thoughtfulness of design was not surprising all the way through the fleet.  What was surprising, however, was that Prestige really nailed it on the 5's.
The Posh Interior of the Prestige 550
The Posh Interior of the 550
What do I mean by that?  Well, savvy boaters know that some boat interiors work, and some just don't.  This is a function of a very simple principle, which is that although boat interiors come in all shapes and sizes, humans comparatively stay within a narrow range.  Furthermore, we all need the same functions - living room couches, kitchens, bedrooms, etc. - so it becomes a matter of cramming a consistent set of functions into an inconsistent amount of space.

The Beautiful Kitchen Aboard the Prestige 550
Speaking of space, this kitchen on the 55' is awesome.  Notice the walkout to the cockpit.
Don't get me wrong, all of the Prestige builds are extremely human-friendly in design and functionality.  They clearly have a design team that thinks in a 360-degree way about the practical usage of space.  But on the 5's - including the 45 and 55 - they downright nailed it.

The multifunction head aboard the 45'
The multi-function head aboard the 45' 
Popup television aboard the 45'
Popup television, anyone?
Innovative Step-Down Features aboard the Prestige 450
Innovative Step-Down Features aboard the Prestige 450
The Prestige 550 is spacious enough in all the right places, and cozy enough to make you feel like a rough sea would not leave you bouncing around a vacant interior like a pinball.  Its walk-through master shower in the master head is a thing of pure beauty, along with its hide-away master suite that completely separates it from the rest of the accommodations.  The galley is large enough to entertain, but again small enough to hold you steady while you prepare sandwiches in a busy anchorage.

Master Head Aboard the Prestige 550
Master Head-Room, Anyone?
Bed aboard the Prestige 450
Positioning the bed on the centerline gives you walk-around space with stand-up headroom...
Port Window Prestige 450
...and gives you a view out the port-side window when you wake up in the morning.  Nice.
Don't get me wrong, the Prestige 400, 500, and 620 are very nice vessels.  But, when compared to the 5's, you just get the sense that there is either not enough space to have a natural fit, or that there is too much space between elements of the yacht.  This is perhaps something that can be sensed when you board one of these yachts on its own, but when you can hop from model to model it becomes readily apparent.

Galley in the Prestige 450
Go from the cockpit deck at sunset, past the refrigerator for a drink, then down to your master bedroom.
Split galley on the Prestige 450
The galley occupies both sides of the salon in the Prestige 450, but doesn't interrupt flow.  Clever.
Washer/Dryer on the Prestige 450
The washer/dryer on the Prestige 450
Tender Storage on the Prestige 450
Tender Storage on the Prestige 450 will delight any owner-operator.
I find Prestige Yachts to be very well-designed with appropriate materials.  They don't stuff the yacht with elements that only the .1% can afford; rather, they make intelligent choices to convey elegance while stamping down weight and excess cost (the Prestige 550 is just over a million, while the 450 on a boat-show special was just around $840,000 - markedly less expensive than nearby competitors).  I would call their designs 'Minimalist Chic,' with neutral colors, soft fabrics, and thoughtful applications of common sense.  Although these vessels are relatively light - and therefore not as durable as a Viking Princess, for instance - they are still wonderful options for those who want to traverse the Mediterranean or Long Island Sound through 4-5 foot chop without a worry, and who want to avoid having to sell all of one's life possessions in order to afford the payments.  

With the impending launch of the Prestige 750, Prestige will be entering a luxury yacht market that is ripe for a buyer who understands the concept of value.  I picture a Silicon Valley entrepreneur selling her company and purchasing one of these to motor off into the sunset.  With thoughtful choices, exceptional execution, and a fantastic value for the money, any savvy entrepreneur would have a lot in common with these yachts.  Since the 750 falls on the 5's, it's bound to be a big winner.

The Prestige 750
The Prestige 750 is sure to be a winner in the small superyacht category.
Although the entire lineup is stunning, the 5 best features of Prestige Yachts are all in the 5's.  Check out the Prestige 450, 550, and 750 for a truly beautiful vessel that will make a statement both at the dock and in your wallet.
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