Prestige Yachts, a key member of the well-known Jeanneau family, yesterday launched their flagship flybridge 60-footer in Asia. In town (Da Mei Sha, Shenzhen) were Jean-Paul Chapeleau, Jeanneau CEO; Jean-Francois de Premorel, Prestige Director of Product Development; and Vittorio Garroni, Designer/Architect.
The Prestige 60 was named ‘European Powerboat of the Year’ at the Dusseldorf Boat Show in January 2010 – very much ‘an award worth having’. Jean-Paul Chapeleau believes that the award was won through a combination of design and technology. For sure, when you step into the saloon of the elegant 60-footer the first impression is of huge space that comes from the one-deck, through-deck interior layout and the enormous uninterrupted wrap-around picture windows – that’s the design part. Underneath the cockpit sole a pair of Volvo IPS 900s have been moved forward a little – to improve weight distribution – and connected to their drive pods by a short shaft. The IPS units reduce noise and vibration, and are efficient – meaning that you can have the same top speed for less engine (meaning less weight, better fuel consumption etc). That’s the technology part.
The Prestige 60 sits on a deep-V hull that delivers excellent sea-keeping, and has a very positive yet gentle feel and response to the helm. The addition of a joystick-controlled slow-speed manoeuvering system linked to the IPS pods and a bow thruster makes for effortless parking even in the most restricted of spaces.
Building on a long and illustrious history of smaller powerboats, this is Prestige’s first foray into the ‘big boat’ market. 20 units have been sold and built in the last two years, and five units have been sold into China in the last ten months. This is the first boat delivered in this part of the world – ‘we hand over to the new owner tomorrow,’ said de Premorel. There are bigger Prestiges on the drawing board already, starting with a 70-footer. ‘That’s going to be tough,’ said Designer Vittorio Garroni, ‘as everyone tells us that we have already packed a 70-foot interior into a 60-foot hull. We have set our own standard very high.’ Having taken a look, we agree – the owner’s cabin is spacious, with big windows and plenty of light. It really looks as if it belongs in a much larger boat.
‘Asia and the USA is where we are looking at right now,’ says Jean-Paul Chapeleau. ‘In Europe we have an established name and a reputation linked to quality, performance, and competitive pricing. Now we are aiming to export that brand name to a bigger market.’