Plymouth based Princess Yachts International has won financial backing from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for a major investment in Plymouth’s Devonport dockyard.
Plans to create a world leading boat building facility at the company’s South Yard site were approved by Plymouth City Council last year, following which the company sought a Government contribution to help secure approval for this major investment from its French parent company.
The new production site will be used to build Princess M Class yachts, a range of 100-foot plus vessels developed to meet the growing global demand for craft of this size. The new facility is planned to be operational by early 2013 and will create or secure over 1,000 jobs both directly and indirectly in the wider Plymouth economy.
Princess Yachts exports 90 per cent of its production and has built a global reputation for quality and craftsmanship. It is already Plymouth’s second largest private sector employer, with just under 2,000 employees, and supports several hundred supply chain jobs.
Last month Princess Yachts completed the purchase from Defense Estates of a freehold interest in the 18-acre South Yard site within the historic Devonport Naval Base.
Chris Gates, Managing Director of Princess Yachts, said:
“I am delighted that the Government has decided to back our investment in a new production facility to meet the global demand for larger vessels. This recognizes the fantastic work being achieved by our company as it competes on a global stage from its Plymouth base. We are extremely grateful for the local support given to us during the application process, including our local MP’s, the leaders of the Council and the numerous business and community leaders, all of whom clearly recognize the significant contribution we bring to the City of Plymouth as a strong local employer.”
Vivien Pengelly, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said:
“We are delighted that Princess Yachts has won support from the Regional Growth Fund. The company is one of the biggest employers in Plymouth and is a local success story. Their ambitious plans will kick start the regeneration of South Yard within Devonport dockyard and create a focus for excellence in marine engineering.”
Princess entered the superyacht market this year with the launch to wide acclaim of the Princess 32M long range cruising yacht at the London Boat Show in January 2011. The company is already working on the new flagship Princess 40M, a 130-foot tri-deck yacht to be launched in 2012 and with a strong forward order book the company is confident of further growth in this market.
It is with great pleasure and pride then that we announce the launch of the Viking 66 Convertible, which premiered at the 2011 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. Sharing the sleek, aggressive stance of its new generation siblings, the profile of Viking 66 Convertible bespeaks power, speed and grace. The yacht’s interior is an expansive display of hand finished teak joinery with beyond custom quality workmanship including natural veneers that reveal warmth of beauty and detail rich in opulence.
In the salon, your senses are delighted with a spacious layout that is both luxurious and practical for tournament campaign living, as well as cruising for a month at a time, or longer. Space is conveniently appropriated for dining, cooking and relaxing with generous accommodations for all. Viking benchmarks abound including a granite-topped island with 360 degree egress, bar stools and under counter refrigeration in the galley opposite a roomy dinette. Aft, an L-shaped sofa with abundant stowage below is strategically placed to enjoy the sights and surround sound details from the 40-inch flat screen television that rises from the teak cabinetry. Special touches include a galley pantry forward with standing headroom, deep-pull-out drawers in the galley, and a day head aft conveniently placed immediately inside the electric opening fiberglass salon door.
Below, four staterooms, each with its own head and fiberglass shower stall teem with restful space with large, comfortable spring mattress berths for comfort and privacy. The master suite with its queen plus size berth flanked with end tables, and his and her maple-lined hanging lockers is particularly inviting. Cleverly designed crew quarters include private access to and from the engineroom. Note, too, that the offset companionway is thoughtfully designed to maximize traffic flow to the staterooms and laundry center, which includes a nearby linen closet.
The flying bridge is a proven tournament design featuring a center console helm with electronic controls, superb visibility, plus amenities that include Murray Products teak ladder back helm seats, port, starboard, and forward lounge seating, refrigeration, and an Atlantic Marine Electronics’ navigation and communication package. Viking’s winning ways on the tournament circuit also are incorporated in the 174 square-foot cockpit with an observation mezzanine protected from wind and spray by the flying bridge overhang, refrigeration and freezer space, tackle and gear stowage, insulated wells for fish and bait, a transom door with lift gate, rounded coamings, under gunwale stowage, and a nonslip fiberglass sole.
The new Viking 66 Convertible also benefits from advanced engineering and construction materials that deliver better performance, increased strength and reduced weight. The hull bottom is vacuumed-bagged end grain balsa skinned with high-tech knitted fiberglass laminates. Composite main engineroom and forward bulkheads also are vacuumed-bagged. The molded fiberglass salon floor/engineroom ceiling is foam cored to provide thermal and acoustical insulation. Interior teak cabinetry doors are cored for weight savings and stiffness.
Mechanically, the Viking 66 Convertible is equipped to live large in the wild. Viking’s proprietary VIPER power-assisted hydraulic steering features programmable independent rudders. At flank speeds the 66 Convertible will turn in two boat lengths with your fingertips on the wheel. The Delta-T engine room ventilation system uses thermostatically controlled supply and discharge fans for proper air circulation and water intrusion suppression. Pneumatically controlled air intake dampeners are integrated with the fire suppression system for added safety. A Moritz Octoplex touch screen power distribution system controls all AC/DC requirements at the salon main panel and at the helm on the flying bridge. Manually operated back-up systems are conveniently located throughout the yacht. When combined with its MTU V16 Series 2000 M91 engines, the new 66 C will provide 40 plus knot performance with horsepower to spare for better efficiencies and longer range than its competitors. Standard power is MAN V12 1550 CRM diesels. Engine packages are custom matched with S-class propellers to enhance performance and efficiencies.