The designers of Prestige Yachts commissioned an in-depth survey of actual owners of large motoryachts to find out what they liked and didn’t like about their boats. Further, they asked them if they were designing a 72-footer, how would they layout the yacht? Prestige calls this process “VOC” — Voice of Customer. Today we take a look at the layout of the new Prestige 720 and there are some pleasant surprises.
Prestige 720 (2014-) Captain’s Report
First of all, the main deck plan is symmetrical. Prestige considered doing an asymmetrical deck in order to get more room in the main house, but by carefully designing the superstructure it was able to build an interior that was nearly 14′ (4.26 m) wide, which could handle not only the salon, but the galley and formal dining area as well — and still have adequately wide side decks.
Galley Placement. The trend that we have been seeing lately — that is of moving the galley aft and opening it up — was confirmed by VOC and Prestige has placed the galley on the port side next to the opening to the aft deck. By making the galley an L-shape, the designers were able to both separate it from the salon and have more counter space. An island adds even more counter space and separates the galley from the dining area to starboard. We like the island galley concept because it eliminates the “dead end” alley of a U-shape that makes it hard for two people to work there at the same time.
The location of the galley is handy to all four entertaining venues — the dining table to starboard, the salon, the seating area on the aft deck and the stairs ascending to the flying bridge.
Dining Area. The drawings seen here show six chairs at the table, but the folks at Prestige assure us that the table can seat eight — two for each the boat’s four staterooms. We like this layout because too many boats in the 72′ range — particularly in raised pilothouse vessels — do not have a formal dining table. Usually they have an L-shaped banquette next to the helm of the raised bridge deck.
Salon. The salon is up a small step from the galley. This area is about 14′ x 11.5′ (4.26 x 3.50 m) and can easily seat eight people in three sofas. The center of the salon is open which facilitates two-way flow through the house as well as providing room for a crowd during a cocktail party.
Lower Helm. The Prestige 720 is a flushdeck motoryacht with all of the advantages that design implies, but it has raised the helm itself on a special platform. The deck level itself was not raised. This arrangement serves several purposes: 1) it provides better visibility for the skipper; 2) the double-wide seat back and the large flat screen TV behind it facing the salon have the combined effect of serving as a half-bulkhead to separate the helm from the salon. When entering from the aft deck the first thing seen is the salon, not the helm; 3) it makes the use of the pantograph side door adjacent to the helm for the skipper’s nearly exclusive use rather than being a thoroughfare for general traffic.
Master Stateroom. Forward of the helm on the starboard side and down a couple of steps is access to the master stateroom which is essentially on the main deck. This placement is quite an accomplishment in a 72′ boat, and something rarely seen. This placement harks back to the Golden Age of yachting that emphasized the comfort and status of the vessel’s owner. Inside there is a lounger to port and a desk to starboard.
Forward is a walk-in closet and head with a separate large shower stall, double-wide single sink, toilet and optional bidet.
Aft Deck. The Voice of the Customer was heard on this subject as well. First, from the swim platform there are port and starboard stairs up to the aft deck instead of one side being blocked by a wraparound settee. Second, there is a large amount of deck space on the aft deck which aids traffic flow into the house and provides room for lots of people to stand during a cocktail party.
The aft bench seat is remarkably wide, over 7′ (2.1 m), and can obviously handle a large extended family or a small board of directors. The overhang of the boat deck above means that the aft deck can be enclosed with polycarbonate, making this space appropriate for three-season use.
Flying Bridge and Boat Deck
The flying bridge can be divided into four sections: helm and forward observation seating, sun pad, U-shaped seating area with table and boat deck. The 720 comes standard with an arch with the hardtop as an option.
Upper Helm. The helm seat is double-wide and can seat two people, but what we like most about this area is that on the starboard side three or four people can sit looking forward to enjoy the adventure.
Sun Pad. A dedicated sunning area is located near the starboard forward seating. This placement has the advantage of being protected from the wind when the boat is underway.
Entertaining Area. The U-shaped settee with table is as large as it should be for a 4-stateroom boat. Opposite is a large console along the port rail that can house a refrigerator, icemaker, sink and grill. Like nearly everywhere else on the boat, deck space is generously aiding flow.
Boat Deck. Behind the seating area is an hydraulic davit and a boat deck that measures nearly 14′ x 6′ (4.26 x 1.8 m). This will handle a good-size tender (3.25 m max / 400 kgs ). We would not be concerned if the outboard motor extended beyond the railing, which can be modified. When in port or at anchor the tender will probably be in the water, which means this space and can be used for chaise lounges so long as removable chalks are used for the tender’s cradle.
Below there are three guest staterooms, a VIP and two cabins with twin beds. In the stern of the boat there is a crew cabin with two beds. By having the master, plus three other staterooms, the boat becomes quite attractive on the charter market as the weekly rate, which might run from $20,000 to $30,000 or more, can be divided among four couples.
VIP Stateroom. This stateroom is full beam and would be the master on most boats this size. The VOC explained that most of the time owners of motoryachts this size cruise with just one other couple, so for that reason Prestige decided to give them the royal treatment. To port is a long chest of drawers and to starboard is a large walk-in closet. Forward is a desk that will be appreciated by most guests so they can check up on their email in private. The head has a large shower stall.
Guest Staterooms. Forward there are two nearly identical cabins, with the one to starboard having slightly more hanging locker space. These two staterooms share a single head that is located on the port side. Like all heads on the 720 it has a separate shower stall. It is noteworthy that the designers did not resort to the circular, “beam-me-up-Scotty” design with a curved plexyglass door in order to save space. These round tube showers can be problematical for portly guests. Rather, Prestige has created a large rectangular shower stall.
Crew Cabin. Aft there is a crew cabin with twin berths and a wet head. It is reached through a pantograph door in the transom, down a few steps into a passageway that leads to the engine room. In this space there is room for a separate washer and dryer. The stern is the best place for crew quarters, in our opinion, because not only are they close to the engine room for daily fluid checks and inspections, but also the large adjacent swim platform gives them a place to hang out and be away from the owners and guests. When anchored or in port on a voyage, typically the tender is tied up here at the stern which further gives crew a way to relieve cabin fever.