Prestige 550 Flybridge
All the Prestige Yachts have family resemblance along with big windows in top sides & profile that is over all timeless. Prestige 550 Flybridge looks pretty much poised for leaping ahead, thanks to te raked stem & transom. The standard power is the twin 600 hp Cummins diesels along with pods of Zeus.
The mission statement
Mission statement for Prestige 550 Flybridge is practically same as rest of line of Prestige. Build boat that is best possible, & make her really affordable by just focusing on the form & function & leave out all fluff. You’ll find really solid composite counter tops, wall-2-wall carpeting, & fiberglass over heads which maximize the interior room & utility. The prestige designers do stay away from the styling of “flavor of month”.
For 2011, the Prestige has earned some praise for Europe for 4 new boats brought in: 350, 400, 500 & 500S. The success does breed more success – in world of boating just like any where else. This company designed for 2 models on 58′ 10″ (17.92m) hull of LOA: 550 express & 550 Fly bridge motor yachts. All the 4 of new 2011 versions were pretty innovative in 1 sense or the other, & I think that the new ones are pretty interesting.
The distinguishing Features
- The engines are mounted on the forward. Instead of just putting Cummins diesels engine in front of pods directly, they are farther moved forward for evenly distributing the weight around this longitudinal center of gravity of this boat. It keeps 550 from giving excessive rise of bow & allows for this ride @ more sedate five degrees attitude of bow high. Zeus pods are well located aft, under berth of crew quarters, & jack shaft that connects these engines to pods.
- The low draft. Due to the pod drives which are in the tunnels & she is of moderate displacement the draft is just 3’ 8’’ (1.17m), which is a shoal for a boat of this size.
- 2 control stations are standard. Mostly we see standard fly bridge station of helm & optional station of control that is located below. A lot of builders use such a plan for creating roomier salon. The prestige feels & I agree for this case, that salon is pretty roomy & chooses for putting in lower station of helm as the standard. Apart from this, optional 3rd station in cockpit too is available.
- VIP Versatile sleeping. Virtually all boats in the market for this class have queen bed in forward cabin. It is pretty fine for one couple; however, if there are two ladies or gents, or any teenage children for accommodating then there might be a problem? Prestige has really thought of this & has built the queen bed in such a way that you can split it in to twins having each of the berths moved to hill sides. This design is really super.
- There is private entrance for huge master. A lot of yachts in this class have 1 access for all the accommodations. 1 problem with the design is that a lot of space is now wasted on long passage way. By making separate staircase for master state room Prestige gives not just more of privacy, but there is also more of usable space for walking in closet & a larger head.
- The price. At simply little more than one million dollars this is plenty of yachts for money. You should simply take one look around and you will understand what I am trying to say.
The major features
- 3 state room lay out. VIP guest state room is on the forward. Port side state room of guests comes with twin berths which you can easily convert in to queen.
- Cock pit access for fly bridge. It is only access for flybridge, which eliminates salon stair case which just takes up the space, in my opinion.
Handling and performance
With pair of the 600 hp Cummins QSC 8.3 engines of diesel that were powering my test boat I could reach top speed @ 3080 rpm up with 30.2kts. At this speed I had fuel burn of around 62.85gph for range of about 251 nautical miles. The best cruise had come in with 2500 rpm & 22.4kts. Now fuel consumption was dropped to 41.2gph giving me range of about 284 nautical miles. I reached planning speed in about 8.5 seconds & had accelerated to about 30 mph in just 21.7 seconds.
While accelerating, this bow roughly comes up eight degrees which means that the horizon does remain very clear in the view from lower helm. Once you are on the plane she will settle in to five degree attitude of bow high. Due to maneuvering characteristics of the pods, you will not find any of the break-neck turns on 550. Throw of pods is just limited at the speed so you’ll just get five degrees angle of bank which gives you really slow turns. It had taken about seventy seconds for 550 for coming around entire 360-degrees. This is really adequate for short maneuvers, like dodging occasional buoy of trap which pops up all over world. While taking the power off, this 550 settles back in to water & level attitude, again giving no loss of any visibility for horizon.
The considerations of steering
While on visibility subject, Prestige 550 Flybridge has some out standing sight lines. From lower helm you will find looking through bow rails, but bow it self is well below line of horizon. Naturally, from fly bridge you get almost unobstructed view of 360-degrees. Also, you get clearer view of port quarter through companion way hatch.
1 interesting feature for noting is that lower & upper helms are for the opposing side which lets you choose which of the helm should you operate from the based on which boat side you’ll tie up for. Of course to back in to slip or for med-mooring you can not beat optional cock pit station of control.
550 Fly gives you very solid feel for her. While I were saddled along with calm day I could pass through few sizable wakes which had showed that she throws the spray really well off to sides & down low to produce relatively dry ride. The hard chines gives excellent stability & she shoulders the beam seas off very nicely along with very effect for being felt from fly bridge helm.
The docking manners
According to me, combination of diesels of Cummins & the Zeus pods is really out standing, & nowhere can you feel this to the max benefit as compared to when you are maneuvering in the close quarters. I could easily bring in 550 in between 2 of other yachts with very close confines of med-moor to control from station of cock pit.
Even while you are standing with close proximity to pods and engines, there wasn’t any “clunking” in to gear & operation was really smooth. In fact, so smooth, that only indication which things were normally working was gentle response which 550 Fly bridge had for my slow movement of this joystick. More on this point, while making control movement on joy stick 550 precisely follows as opposed for making input of control, seeing where this boat goes, & after that correcting this movement for what you need it to be.
The accommodations deck
550 Fly bridge motor yacht is set really well for sleeping up to 6 guests for 3 cabins along with aft crew cabin that I predict will be serving as the added accommodations of guests for this boat which should be operator/owner vessel. The pods do make the handling very easy and the yachts of this size are, for most of the cases, operated by owner. If there is no crew then the aft cabin will surely get taken over 1 of the kids of the owner who yearn on sleeping as far from adults as it is possible. (also wash down this boat during nights)
While keeping practice of Prestige of making master state rooms really comfortable considering length of the hull that is available, cabin of mid ships on 550 comes with big bed of center line, tiny seating of booth type for 2 to the port, & closet of walk-in. There is big en suite head along with separate stall of shower. I really liked private access through curved companionway that is leading from salon. Forward 2 cabins do share head.
The main deck
Main deck has dinning and galley areas, making serving and preparing the food less of trial for cook. Tri-doors do open on to big aft deck that nearly completely was covered by flying bridge over hang may not be good for crowd that is sun tanning. However, it is over all more functional in different weather. You can also button it up along wing isinglass for proving for the living of three season.
On the forward, there is sun pad that is really big enough for baking together. Also, there is flying bridge. 15’6” or 475 cms big platform of stern is adjustable hydraulically as one option and this makes it very fine to carry tender.
On Flying Bridge
Access for flying bridge is stair way from port that is forward on the corner of aft deck. Bridget is a really sunning and seating space along with the after section that is taken up by U-lounge that is pretty shallow, large sun pad that is adjacent for help and the room for the chairs and table.