Did you know that when a killer whale hunts, it does so using coordinated attacks? In the Antarctic Ocean, the highly intelligent Orcinus Orca seeks out prey on floating chunks of ice. It then forms a plan, instinctively swimming in patterns that form huge swells until, eventually, its quarry is knocked into the water. It’s a masterful, meticulous system — and has much in common with the launch of Princess’ latest yacht; the formidable ‘Y80’.
Because initial ripples and rumours of a new vessel began last year, when the British boatmaker first floated an expansion of its ‘Y Class’ range. More waves were made this summer, when Princess teased sketches of the updated design. And the final splash came during September’s Cannes Yachting Festival, when images of the mighty 25.5-metre design finally sailed into view. With a bright white hull, black mesh sunscreens and distinctive window line graphics, it even has a touch of killer whale about its striking, sleek design.
It’s also kitted out with some pretty killer amenities — from four, well-appointed en suite cabins to a cleverly concealed crane for tender deployment. And, while the Y80 may not be an apex predator (its larger sister ship, the Y95, surfaced back in 2019), it remains an assertive presence in the water, and has comforts, conveniences and a division of space to rival any other vessel in its class.
It owes much of this to an all-new, technically pioneering hull. With significant volume and an increased beam, the new blueprint from Princess not only enhances floorspace — but also improves control, manoeuvrability and the vessel’s ability to adapt to difficult weather conditions.
A choice of three cockpit designs are also available: a traditional ‘U-shaped’ dining arrangement with storage for two SEABOBs; a central cockpit table with freestanding furniture; or Princess’ new ‘infinity cockpit’ (a layout that debuted aboard the Y85) with electrically sliding seating and a transforming table mechanism.
There’s also a sweeping glass balustrade aft, offering uninterrupted views across the boat’s submersible bathing platform — and beyond. This platform is just one of several sensational outdoors spaces aboard the Y80, with others including the flybridge, which features a relaxed dining area, large sunpad, convenient bar and stowage for a wetbike, and the foredeck, which has been devised as an elegant entertaining space where up to ten cocktail-sipping guests are guaranteed a whale of a boat-tripping time.
The spacious main deck offers even more in the way of luxurious touches. And, from the cockpit to the helm area to the vast, panoramic windows that encircle the saloon, each specific zone gives way to the next in an uninterrupted, seamlessly connected flow.
But it’s no great surprise that Princess has realised such a refined vessel. Designed and crafted in the brand’s home of Plymouth, this boat — like every other in the boatmaker’s 21-strong fleet — benefits from over half a century of nautical know-how, evident everywhere from the stitching of a stateroom’s starboard sofa to the choice of twin V12 ‘MAN’ engines to get the yacht going.
These dynamic engines generate a vigorous 3,800 horsepower, and deliver speeds in excess of 30 knots. That’s around 34mph, pace enough to cut through even the squalliest seas and — perhaps not coincidentally — the same swimming speed as the fastest, most mighty killer whales.
Want more from the British boatmaker? Here’s the homegrown, handcrafted history of Princess Yachts…
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