New Princess Motor Yacht Successfully Handed Over to Her Owner.
Our Director Robert Hawkins has just finished his latest European contract overseeing the completion and handover of the new 78ft Princess motor yacht. Below he is sharing his experience.
“Whether you are a regular boat buyer or purchasing a boat for the first time, it is always an exciting time, especially when choosing your preferred yacht and specification to fit your requirements. Most production boats are built to a good standard, and the basic specification will suit general requirements. However, in today’s changing world, there is an endless list of optional extras. So whether you go for the extras, or stick with the standard features, the one thing that needs to happen is that your boat is well tested.
Over the years I have offered our clients a personal and bespoke yacht consultancy service that allows us to discuss the best specification for their needs, a thorough pre handover testing service, along with a cruising and management guide to ensure the owner and crew have a full understanding of the onboard systems.
In 2021 our services were requested to oversee the completion stage of a new 78ft Princess motor yacht. The agreement was to make any changes to the standard specification based on the owner’s usage and the yacht’s cruising area. Once these changes and upgrades were completed, I was to carry out sea trials to ensure all systems were operating correctly and to activate warranties on the engines, generators etc.
The boat was being built in the UK’s west country famous for its cruising waters. The shipyard’s skilled craftsmen carried out the onboard finish touches and the required changes. I must say to be based there for testing and sea trials was no hardship.
Once we completed testing and trials, it was now time to ship the motor yacht to the Mediterranean Sea. Like many things, this year shipping was a little restrictive owing to the lack of deck space available. Delivery by sea was another option but we did not want to be delayed along the way should quarantine be required for the crew. Luckily our trustworthy shipping agent was able to secure us a spot onboard the next ship to Europe.
The cruise from Plymouth to Southampton on a calm clear day onboard a large powerful motor yacht can only be described as very enjoyable. Over the years I have delivered hundreds of boats over thousands of miles through many countries. It is always a great experience, and more so when the boat is running so well, with many dolphins joining us for part of the trip, and there are views like the famous Jurassic Coastline.
Once alongside the ship in Southampton the lifting procedure went smoothly. The well-rehearsed loading team know their job. I stayed with the boat whilst she was lifted onto the deck and secured. I then made a final yacht inspection to make sure all was secure and nothing was going to move whilst the ship was at sea. Next time I was going to see the yacht and the ship would be in Palma de Mallorca.
Shipping time from Southampton to Mallorca is around 7 to 8 days. I flew to Palma a few days early to check the berth I have booked for the boat. I knew the marina very well having previously berthed here on other yachts that I had shipped in. The place is situated close to the main town, with easy access to great restaurants and shops which the owner would enjoy.
The ship arrived on time. As soon as the yacht was off the ship and into her berth the cleaning and preparations began. The all-female cleaning team worked hard for several days. The teak work was treated, the superstructure and hull washed and waxed, the interior cleaned and bedrooms prepared. Once completed the boat looked fantastic!
Another reason for the stop off in Mallorca was to get an additional water filter system fitted. I have had previous experience with this system on other boats. It proved to be pretty amazing. With the water tanks being filled with this treated water, there were no more calcium spots on the yacht’s fibreglass or windows, and no freshwater system blockages internally.
The yacht’s next destination was Monaco. I had agreed with the owner that I would stay with the boat until then. This would give us a chance of running her together.
The captain and crew came to the boat a couple of days before the owner which gave us time to go through the systems together.
At last, it was the handover day. The owner and his wife arrived in Palma. They had been waiting for this boat for 2 years, and finally were free to step aboard and enjoy their very own yacht. Seeing their first reaction was priceless. The owner told me that the end result was 200% better than he had imagined.
After a couple of days of familiarization with the boat, and several visits to the shops and restaurants we set off to Monaco. Whilst the owners have had another boat for some years here in Thailand they had never done a long passage like this. They were excited but also a little apprehensive. I had been following the weather forecast very closely, and for the next few days it looked perfect. We planned for an overnight stop in Menorca to top up the fuel and try local restaurants. This turned out great and the following morning we set off early, slowly increasing our cruising speed at sunrise.
The passage from Menorca to Monaco was very smooth. Trips across the Gulf of Lion can be a little uncomfortable but this time the sea conditions were perfect. Sightings of whales, dolphins, turtles and other large fish all added excitement to the trip. The owners also enjoyed lunch at the outside dining area at 25 knots while crossing the Gulf of Lion. That does not happen very often.
With a marina berth booked on the French/Monaco border our arrival was easy. After a hassle-free passage, the next couple of days we spent checking if all systems were normal. When it is a new boat, spending time on board at the beginning is very important. It allows one to check the boat thoroughly and prepare her correctly. Leaving this beautiful motor yacht I was satisfied that I had done a good job and that the owners were happy.
This was not the end of my work with them. I see all of my clients as long term associates. I always keep regular contact with them advicing on cruising and operating their boats. Same with this boat, I will be returning onboard very soon catching up with the owners.”