The Princess S78 Is The First Ever Yacht To House A State-Of-The-Art Naim Audio System
The Princess S78’s central stairway from the swim platform is one of many design innovations that make this 39-knot beauty so popular. And this flagship of the British builder’s sports yacht class, is the first-ever to house a state-of-the-art Naim audio system.
[Words Kevin McDermott Photos Princess Yachts] The Princess S78 looks gorgeous from behind. Even when lined up alongside her fellow Princess models and yachts from other builders, she’s the one that catches the eye and makes you want to jump on. That has a lot to do with the fact she has just one central stairway from the swim platform to the cockpit, instead of one each side as is seen on the vast majority of yachts. And it’s not just change for change’s sake – this novel arrangement looks great and functions beautifully.
Princess S78 Is The Current Queen
Depending on how the modular furniture in the cockpit is arranged, this central pathway can extend all the way through to the saloon, creating a completely fresh look and feel to the aft of the yacht.
Princess’s new R35 may have garnered a lot of attention this year as the first yacht in the new Revolution class, but the S78 has caused quite a stir of its own since its premiere at Boot Dusseldorf in January.
The 79ft yacht – which tops out at a seriously impressive 39 knots – is built on the same assembly line as Princesses Y75 and its sales have outperformed all others to the pleasant surprise of senior management.
“The S78 is leading the way – by far,” says Kiran Haslam, Princess’s Marketing Director. “We thought 75 per cent of resources in that assembly line would be focused on the 75 Motor Yacht and 25 per cent on the S78. However, it’s proved the other way around. The sales success of this product is simply extraordinary.”
Walking up from the hydraulic swim platform to the cockpit, you pass between two double sunpads with adjustable headrests, so you can read while facing out to sea. Aft-facing sunpads at the back of the cockpit are proving increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why.
In the main cockpit itself, a modular furniture system opens up layout options for seating, with the chairs fitted into floor sockets or left loose. A logical layout is a large C-shaped couch around the folding teak table to port with a corner sofa to starboard, but its fun to play around with new arrangements. With the sliding doors pushed to the side, the cockpit and saloon blend into one huge covered area, brilliantly by the cockpit countertop design merging into the aft gallery, which faces an L-shaped sofa and a sliding glass dining table.
Moving further inside the saloon and all the winning Princess features are on show – full-length windows, beautiful woodwork, metal inlays, recessed lighting, immaculate finishing.
A large C-shaped couch to starboard is the main lounging area, but the fact that the small portside couch hiding the TV opposite is just slightly at an angle shows that the designers let their creative juices flow on this model.
It’s also worth noting the fantastic impact of the forward skylight – a feature not found on the Y class – and how much the saloon benefits from the natural light that comes in. Along with the central passageway from the swim platform, one other breakthrough on this yacht is that it’s the first to have a Naim audio system fully integrated into its design. For those not so familiar with audio brands, Naim sits at the very top in terms of quality and pricing.
“This was our first-ever boat where we collaborated with Naim, so they were fully involved at the design stage. It’s not us buying Naim product and just adding it on,” said Haslam, who also worked with Naim during his time at Bentley and was a professional musician earlier in his career. “Naim designed an acoustic engineering solution and we then had to build this into our yacht design. They gave advice on everything, such as enough cubic litres of volume behind certain speakers. They even tested multiple speaker cables until it sounded just right.”
Naim’s four-piece Uniti Atom system is fitted as standard in the cockpit, saloon, up on the flybridge and down in the master cabin – so across all three decks – while a Mu-so Qb wireless system is installed in the forward VIP cabin. A Naim app can control the audio in all four areas. At the design stage, once the system was installed, each of the musical zones was fine-tuned by a Naim acoustician, who even ensured sound didn’t bleed into the next room if different tracks were being played.
Having witnessed it live, it’s fair to say the sound is awesome. Furthermore, there’s even a premium package on offer that features eight Uniti Atom units plus a Uniti Star. Naim audio aside, the lower deck is more familiar territory as it takes its cues from the Y75, so there’s a private portside staircase to the full-beam master cabin midships, which has full-length glazing and a porthole on each side.
This gorgeous room has a forward-facing double bed, a long sofa and storage to starboard, and a dressing table and drawers to port. Aft is a walk-in dressing room and an en-suite bathroom with his-and-her sinks and a shower to starboard that also benefits from a porthole. Back on main deck, access to the three guest cabins is by central stairs located between the twin-seat helm station and a corner sofa to port.
The lower-deck hallway leads to a forward VIP cabin with aft- facing double, plus a double cabin to starboard and a convertible twin to port, all with en-suites and all beautifully appointed.
The exterior areas feature some nice new design touches. The foredeck has a C-shaped forward-facing sofa and a large sunbed that features adjustable pads that can be raised to create aft-facing seats and a proper social circle with the sofa. The flybridge is another winning area, with seating either side of the two central helm seats, and a large L-shaped sofa aft that can convert to a sunpad. There’s also a wet bar with electric barbecue, sink and top-loading coolbox.
There’s also plenty going on in the stern. The swim platform can be lowered into the water by an electric-hydraulic mechanism, while there’s also a foldaway swim ladder and a transom shower. This area also accesses the portside garage, which can house a 4.45m tender, as well as the starboard twin crew cabin, which leads to the engine room. This is where you’ll find the twin 1,900mhp MAN V12s that drive this 53-tonne beauty up to 39 knots, supported by the remarkable seakeeping and handling that Princess is renowned for.
With ingenious design, top-line performance, lovely lines and even stunning sounds, it’s no wonder the S78 is the current queen of the Princess order books.