It's amazing how much boats have come on in just ten years, says David Marsh in Motorboat and Yachting. At the end of the 20th century, the idea that you could have a 50ft flybridge boat with "palatial full-beam sleeping cabins amidships with huge picture windows entirely below the saloon, and still offer full standing headroom in the cabin", you would have been hooted at with derision. These days, "it simply beggars belief how much our designers can squeeze into a reasonably streamlined shape".
And the Princess 50 is particularly impressive. Its main rivals from Azimut, Fairline and Sealine all have full-beam mid-cabins, but none have a third cabin that is anywhere near as good or roomy. The people you put in there will not feel like second-class guests. And it's not just the space: the fit and finish, trim quality, design and practical detailing are all "first class".
Given all this, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the boat must handle "like a block of flats", says Marsh. But you'd be wrong. The Princess is fast and smooth to drive, making 26 knots in five-foot head seas in comfort, and that "is quite something".
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
In short, this is "the aquatic equivalent of an Audi A8: refined, comfortable, understated and well put together". It's not the most exciting of boats "speed freaks" should go for the Sealine T50 but it offers an "enticing cocktail of benefits" for year in, year out use.
Price: from £636,145 incl UK VAT. Length: 50ft 5in (15.37m). Test engines: twin 670bhp Volvo D11. Accommodation: sleeps six. Top speed: 30.2 knots. Contact: Princess Yachts, 01752-600657, www.princessyachts.com.
A cheaper alternative for watersports weekenders
It's also solidly put together, and is the only boat in the Flyer range to include accommodation and a fully functional interior for short stopovers. The cabin below is surprisingly spacious, with about 5ft of headroom, a useable galley and toilet, and a convertible sofa. The helm seats in the main cockpit swivel around to make a sociable space, with plenty of room for four on the sofa. The boat is let down only by a slightly stingy spec surely fenders and mooring lines should be fitted as standard? but all in all, this is an "exhilarating" and affordable dayboat.
Price: £36,372 for basic boat. Length: 23ft 7in (7.2m). Engine: single petrol 250hp Suzuki 4-stroke. Contact: www.beneteau.com.
Who is the richest person in the world?
The top five richest people in the world have a combined net worth of $825 billion. Who takes the crown for the richest person in the world?
By Vaishali Varu Published
Top 10 stocks with highest growth over past decade - from Nvidia, Microsoft to Netflix, which companies made you the most money?
We reveal the 10 global companies with the biggest returns since 2013. One firm has posted an astonishing 9,870% return, meaning a £1,000 investment would now be worth almost £82,000.
By Ruth Emery Published