The Princess S72 may be based on the Y72 but it feels very different. Sleeker and more powerful, this 50-tonne, four-cabin cruiser will reach a top speed of nearly 40 knots and look very good while it's doing it.
The sportsbridge design incorporates both a large flybridge deck and a sizeable glass sunroof over the saloon with a cabin arrangement that is shared with the Y72 and incorporates private access to a full-beam owner's suite. Powered by the largest pair of 1,800hp MAN V12s it will cruise comfortably at 32 knots and cover over 350nm at 25 knots. We think it might be the best S Class model and possibly the best Princess product ever. Read on to find out if it is.
Princess S72 Key Facts
- LOA 23.09m
- Model Year 2022
- Cabins 4
- Crew 2
- Max Speed 38 knots
- Status In Production
- Generations 2
- Yacht Type Sports Yacht
- Use Type Cruising
Test & Review Video
Around the Marina
The S72 is a big old beast but once you get to grips with its dimensions, it's an easy boat to control at slow speed. With two helms and an optional third station in the cockpit, you should get a good vantage point for various berths. From the flybridge, for example, you have a great view forward and can see the bathing platform through the deck hatch, so most manoeuvres will probably be done from up there.
An experienced two-person crew should be able to handle her just fine, though as always on a boat this big it could be the handling of lines and fenders that could prove trickier than the physical handling of the boat. It's an easy boat to move around on, though, and there is good stowage for mooring equipment.
It may not have the joystick intuitiveness of the triple IPS Azimut S7 but there is plenty of slow speed control thanks to the meaty 1,800hp MAN motors and Sleipner's brilliant proportional thrusters. There's so much grunt from the motors that even with just one in gear you'll be pushing along at over 7 knots so you'll be in and out of gear quite a lot for some marina approaches.
Unleashing all 3,600hp is quite the experience. There is no way the S72 should be able to surge onto the plane and obliterate the 30-knot barrier with such ease. Keep the throttles pinned and this 50-tonne beast tops out at close to 40 knots in such a relaxed fashion you can't help but raise a smile. The astonishing thing is the second surge after 25 knots. Bury the throttles at 1,600rpm and there's a secondary launch as the bow lifts a touch and the S72 charges like a rocket towards the horizon.
It simply devours nautical mileage because if you top out at 40 knots, a 25-knot cruise feels positively lazy and with a 4,500-litre fuel capacity it has over 350nm of range at this speed. It will never be boring to drop the throttles and 25 knots and feel something this big surge towards its 40-knot top end. Necessary? No. Fun? Oh yes. And if you don't want to travel that quickly then the planing hull is very happy to drop back to displacement speed where at 10 knots the range extends to well over 2,000nm. The flexibility of cruising performance aboard the S72 is amazing.
Our test boat required a few too many turns lock-to-lock, which took the edge off the handling. It's still mightily impressive, though, and much like the straight-line performance it defies physics the way that Princess has made something so large and comfortable as agile as it is.
We didn't get to challenge the hull in rough conditions but any waves we did cross were dealt with as if they weren't there. It's so quiet from the lower helm that you would hear any squeaks, rattles or slams but there were none. The S72 feels like a robust, high-quality machine that will look after you in big seas. Similar to its Mercedes (S Class) namesake travelling at high speed down the fast lane of an Autobhan. Utterly unflustered luxury.
Our Test Speed & Range Data
2,228 nm @ 9.9 knotseco
321 nm @ 28.5 knotscruise
245 nm @ 38.7 knotsmax
Princess S72 version 2022. *Data collected by Yacht Buyer during testing.
View Full Test Results
The S72 is based on its flybridge cousin, the Y72. The similarities are limited to the hull and accommodation layout, though, because the S Class feels like a very different boat to be on board.
The S Class range is a stylistic triumph but we reckon the S72 might be the best-looking boat in the current Princess range. It hides its size so well thanks to that beautifully sleek profile but there is a muscularity and a poise to it out on the water that is so appealing. They've even managed to incorporate a little hard top without upsetting the flow (it does look better without it, though).
The lower deck accommodation may be the same as the Y72 but the S has a tender garage at its aft end to keep the bathing platform clear of obstructions and maintain those sweeping lines. The compromise is a smaller crew cabin with two bunks and a separate bathroom, though this style of boat is less likely to be run with crew than the Y Class on which it is based.
The inherited Y Class layout is a good one because it includes private access to the full-beam owner's cabin from the saloon with a forward companionway to the three ensuite guest cabins.
The real beauty of the sportsbridge design is that you get both a flybridge and a sunroof over the saloon, in this case, a glass one that peels back to bathe the helm station and forward seating positions in sunlight. At this size the flybridge, though smaller than a regular flybridge, is still a really good size with all you need to serve guests on the top deck.
There's nothing revolutionary about the layout of the S72's saloon but it's so beautifully put together. Princess Design Studio has done it again with an interior that is inviting, restrained, softly curved and beautifully appointed. At the production boat level, it doesn't get better, in our opinion.
The U-shaped galley is arranged aft with a pop-up window that fires up to the ceiling to link the cockpit to the galley and create a bar area in between. The benefit of having the galley aft is that it's part of the action so whether you're rustling up breakfast or shaking some cocktails you can still be part of the conversation in the main saloon. The dinette is well-placed opposite the galley and its table opens up so you could comfortably serve six adults at the internal dining table if you needed to.
Amidships, the deepest part of the side windows align with the saloon and main seating area. It's a lovely space which benefits from the luxury of floor space and some gorgeous detailing, such as the armchair that is perfectly integrated into the cabinet opposite the sofa. It's a glorious spot to sit and take in the remarkable views through those massive windows.
A very positive hangover from the Y72 is the raised pilot station to port, opposite the helm. It provides space for two - maybe three - people to sit and enjoy the ride on the main deck and the pop-out laptop table enables someone to work from this area, too. Quite the spot to fire off some emails...
The beauty of the S72's layout below deck is the levels of privacy. Guests have access to their three cabins forward, two of which are ensuite, while the owner enjoys private access on the port side of the saloon to a splendid full-beam suite. It's a special cabin with acres of space and a particularly impressive ensuite that runs nearly the full width of the boat. Located behind the bed, it also acts as a useful extra layer of insulation between the engine room and cabin spaces.
The cabin isn't just good to look at, it's practical too. There are big wardrobes adjacent to the bathroom and a dressing area that is separate from the bureau positioned beneath the hull window. Even the staircase down to the cabin has wine bottle storage neatly integrated behind it and there's a big laundry cupboard in the lobby.
Forward, there are two near-identical twin cabins, both with the option to have electric sliding berths, which is useful. The only difference between the two is that the port side cabin has direct access to the day head, whereas those in the starboard twin will have to cross the lobby to use it. Forward there's a lovely VIP suite, with a private bathroom and enough storage to keep guests happy on longer cruises.
The driving position from the upper helm is excellent. It's a big dashboard with lots of kit but it still feels intimate and all of the major controls are within easy reach. The helm chair is close to the centreline so the all-around view is very good and there is space between the two helm seats so the navigator can slip out without disturbing the skipper.
It's a helm position that suits the boat's performance. You want to engage with it because its performance is so engaging but equally, if you want to sit back and relax at what feels like a relatively relaxed 25 knots it's a comfortable place to sit for longer cruises. With twin Raymarine MFDs flanking a Böning digital command system, you have great oversight of all of the boat's systems and navigation software.
If anything, things improve at the lower helm where the comfort of those at the helm has clearly been a primary focus. The seats are gorgeous and have a Bentley-like look and feel. They're adjustable and have tall backrests so you can position yourself close to the helm but sit right back in them when you're cruising. It's the same triple-screen arrangement as upstairs but there is a remote control for them on the lower dash as they're more of a stretch to use the touchscreens.
It's a very easy helm to ventilate, too. Between the sunroof, windows on both sides and the helm door you can fine-tune the amount of natural breeze depending on conditions and, of course, the side door makes communication with crew and passage onto the side decks when berthing very easy indeed.
It's incredibly quiet, too. Bearing in mind that there is 3,600hp roaring away in the engine room it's remarkable that at a 25-knot cruise, we were seeing sound readings of around 73-75 decibels. It's one of the most refined cruising machines in the sector and this hushed cruising progress is a major reason why.
The tender garage informs the design of the S72's stern and allows it to gently curve towards the hydraulic bathing platform. All of this boat's key rivals (see Rivals, below) have tender garages and the S72's is large enough to swallow a 3.9m tender. Atop this is a decent sun pad, which backs onto a U-shaped dinette with modular end seats that can be unpinned and moved around the deck.
The cockpit feels more protected than those of the Azimut S7 and Sunseeker 75 Sport Yacht and there is less seating. If you want sheer living space on deck then the other two are probably a better bet but the Princess has a more spacious feeling saloon. As an option, you can have either a unit with a fridge up against the saloon doors or a small L-shaped bench if you want a little more seating in this area. It does have much better protection because the flybridge overhang covers more of the cockpit than is usually the case with a sportsbridge design.
Teak is optional on the side decks and it's one that our test boat had. It's not cheap (see Value for Money, below) but it brightens up the deck spaces and adds to the feeling of quality, especially on the foredeck. It's an important part of a sportsbridge design given the smaller footprint of the top deck and Princess has done a good job here.
Again, it's not doing anything new but it's well executed. There is a broad bench running beneath the windscreen separated from a pair of adjustable sun pads by a walkway. A low table provides a space to serve drinks and snacks and deep storage bins on either side take care of the boat's fenders.
There are no level changes in this area and the wide side decks with tall railings and substantial toe rails make the S72 an easy boat to crew, despite its size.
At this scale, the top deck may be smaller than a traditional flybridge but the amount of living space is still really good. The port side is dominated by seating and split between a sizeable dinette, aft, and some additional seating opposite the two-person helm, forward. A wet bar with grill, sink and fridge is neatly incorporated into the aft corner of the deck with a separate storage unit at the top of the flybridge steps, which offers easy passage between the two decks.
The hard top is an option that the market demands but it's a pricey option which does little to improve the sleek profile of the S72. It doesn't have a sunroof, either, so is less flexible than the cheaper bimini option.
The base price for a Princess S72 is £5,156,285/$6,505,000 ex VAT (correct at the time of writing). This is in line with its rivals, which are all mainly from high-quality production shipyards in Europe. You don't expect a bargain from Princess but the build quality and attention to detail more than justify the elevated price and the boats tend to come with a healthy standard spec. That said, there are some key cost options that we think are worth adding, detailed below.
Our Options & Pick
The Seakeeper isn't a must on this size of boat but if you plan to spend a lot of time away from the marina it will make life a lot more comfortable. And if you have resale in mind then most secondhand buyers will be looking for this on the kit list so they don't have to go to the hassle of retrofitting one. It's the best part of £150,000 to add as an option at build and it is worth it.
The (£66,000) hard top is another option you may want to choose for the same reason. There's no question that the cheaper bimini is a more flexible option that has less of an impact on the boat's looks but many customers won't even consider a boat of this size without a hard top.
The sunroof is a £23,000 option that should be standard as the whole point of a sportsbridge is that you get the combo of sunroof and flybridge. Either way, it's a must-have.
Teak is standard in the cockpit but the £25,000 spent on the teak side decks and foredeck is worth it as it elevates the feeling of luxury as you move around the boat. The boat just looks a little plain without it, too.
Some options, like a passerelle for example, will depend on where the boat is going to be kept but air-conditioning is a wise investment. It's a split gas system with 162,000 BTU that is suitable for ambient temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius.
The S72 is a bit of an engineering marvel. Something this large and luxurious should not be able to travel at such high speed and handle with this amount of tenacity and grace. Looks are subjective but we reckon it might be the best-looking boat in the current Princess range and quite possibly the best-looking boat that Princess has ever made, though we'll reserve judgment until the S80 arrives. It's not just aesthetic, though, the S72 is well-thought-out, high quality and has excellent living accommodation both above and below deck. In the world of big sportsbridges the Princess, quite appropriately, wears the crown.
Reasons to Buy
- The way it looks
- Storming performance
- Quality and finishing
- Cabin layout
Things to Consider
- Crew space is limited
- Cockpit is smaller than its rivals
Rivals to Consider
There are a few big, tasty sportsbridges on the market that offer some competition to the S72.
The Sunseeker 75 Sport Yacht shares a platform with the sportscruiser Predator 75 and it's a modern example of Sunseeker doing what it does best. The 75 Sport Yacht is a big sexy thing with a long pointy bow and massive power thanks to the same MAN engine options as the Princess. Expect performance from the twin shaft drive setup to be very similar, too. It has a decent tender garage, like the S72, but its cockpit feels quite a bit larger thanks to the wraparound seating and shorter flybridge overhang. Inside, it's more flexible with the possibility of having the galley up or down and three or four cabins on the lower deck. It's not quite as pretty as the Princess but it stands out more.
Talking of pretty, for a fairly hefty price premium you could step aboard the frankly outrageously gorgeous Riva 76 Perseo. It's smaller than the Princess and the top deck is much more of a traditional sportsbridge than the scaled-down flybridge of the Princess but if it's exclusivity you're after then look no further. There's more form over function going on here but it's a Riva, so what do you expect? The interior is a festival of polished wood, stainless steel and sharp corners but it has a style all of its own. It's available with two or three cabins and it's also a member of the V12 MAN club, promising 37 knots with the twin 1,800s.
The Azimut S7 is not a member of the club as it runs triple IPS1050 with 800hp each. The power-to-weight ratio is preferable according to Azimut and it also delivers easy joystick docking which, as good as shaftdrive joysticks are these days, is still the best if you want single stick control. It's a smaller boat than the Princess so there isn't the cabin space on the lower deck - though it still has the same number of cabins - but it still has space for a full beam owner's suite and a tender garage out back large enough for a Williams jet RIB. It's a great-looking boat, too, with a Yachtique interior that really stands out.
Specifications & Performance
Princess S72 version 2022. *Data collected by Yacht Buyer during testing.
Test Engines Twin MAN V12-1800
- Liters Per Hour
- Liters Per Mile
- Range (nm)
Yacht Load: 5 members of crew air temperature of 2 °C