Princess Yachts R35 performance yacht review

The new Princess R35 performance yacht appears to have pulled off the rare trick of combining agility and elegance in a single package. The backstory of the British-built boat may involve the skills of legendary Italian design house Pininfarina allied to technology derived from the Americas Cup racing team BAR, but arguably its most exciting feature is the sheer enjoyment to be had from piloting the vessel at speeds that might unsettle lesser yachts while keeping one’s cool and looking good.

The R35 is almost 11 metres long with a half-load displacement of nearly six tonnes – and this correspondent is far from a yacht-racing expert – but the ease with which it is possible to accelerate up to 50 knots, then steer and turn sharply in a manner that doesn’t scare your passengers, feels incredible, and incredibly safe.

The secret behind the 860hp R35’s high-speed composure is hydrofoil technology, albeit used in a different way to something you might have experienced on a channel crossing where the foils help lift the boat out of the water to reduce drag. Instead, the R35’s Active Foil System, developed with BAR technologies, doesn’t lift the boat up but uses two independently-adjustable foils below the waterline to channel water around the yacht. This ensures the boat always has the most effective contact area according to computer analysis of the boat’s pitch, speed and acceleration characteristics. Calculated 100 times a second, the carbon fibre foils at port and starboard move b....

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