Prestigious Pedigree by: Capt. John Wooldridge

This article appeared in Power & Motoryacht Magazine’s May 2017 issue.

This new addition from Prestige blends contemporary styling, sterling performance, and room for a couple of families to enjoy cruising.

It’s early, but not too early, as you quietly slip out of the large double berth in the master cabin of the Prestige 630. You climb the stairs of the private entry on the starboard side and emerge into the saloon. Large windows all around give you a nearly 360-degree view of the fog-bound anchorage where you have been on the hook overnight. A glance at the electrical panel, and the feeling of a cool, dry environment on your face, confirms that the chilled-water air conditioning is functioning perfectly and that the genset is running smoothly, even if it is not immediately obvious to your ears. And even though there’s a distinct swell rolling around in the anchorage, the optional Seakeeper is silently keeping the yacht stable and steady for your family and friends—a priceless convenience.

You quietly exit the saloon through the three-panel sliding glass door, climb the teak and stainless stairs to port, and make your way forward to the flybridge helm. Powering up the twin Raymarine MFDs at the port-side helm console, you check the anchorage for other boats while a pot of coffee is brewing in the galley just to starboard and abaft your double helm bench seat. Targets on the radar remain in the same position relative to your position as when you put the yacht to bed, and this morning’s weather overlay shows a bright, clear day ahead. You open the large sunroof in the hardtop overhead and, even now, the fog seems to be thinning above the anchorage.

Grabbing a mug of coffee, you ease down onto the starboard-side double bench seat that faces forward, stretch your legs out, and exhale. This is your time, that special time of day when you can read, plan, or simply look outward, taking in the details of an interesting shoreline or tracking a distant boat on some new horizon. This is why you got into boating, and the flying bridge is in no small way a reason why the Prestige 630 was your choice for a family cruiser.

First and foremost among those reasons is the Prestige 630’s concept and design, another masterful blend of contemporary lines and comfort features from Garroni Premorel Concept, a trusted Prestige partner. You are sure the look of this boat will still be pleasing to your eyes in five or 10 years. Another one of your favorite features: the long, uninterrupted hullside windows that flood the accommodations level with light and provide great views from each stateroom. Outside, there are three distinct living areas, more than enough for some separation and privacy on longer cruises. Inside, you like the large open-plan saloon, with a galley aft and to port, and a lower helm forward and to starboard—it’s perfect for cruising when the weather is less than cooperative or comfortable.

Accommodations on the lower deck are also appealing and they include a voluminous VIP stateroom with an island double in the bow and a guest stateroom with twin berths to port, both en suite. More importantly, the full-width master stateroom has private stairway access from the starboard side of the saloon—a hallmark of the larger Prestige models. You take another sip of coffee and remember that you chose this layout because it is perfect for two families that enjoy cruising together. Even now, your best friend and his wife are sleeping in the bow, the girls are sharing the guest cabin, while the two boys have taken up residence in the crew’s quarters located aft of the engine room at the transom.

When the crew is up and about, you’ll join your mate in the galley to prepare breakfast, first opening the gas-cylinder-assisted bulkhead that swings up and locks, eliminating the barrier between the aft deck seating and the saloon. You liked the galley placement from the beginning, since it gives the chefs equal access to seating fore and aft, and because it makes meal preparation and service to both those areas—as well as to the table and L-shaped seating area situated aft on the flying bridge—relatively convenient.

Since the distance to your next planned destination is short, only a couple of hours running in open water, there will be time to get in a bit of sunbathing, maybe a quick swim off the optional hydraulic platform that lowers to make reboarding (and loading the dinghy) so much easier. Or maybe the youngsters will want one more ride on the tube, towed behind the RIB, before you secure it in place aft and raise the anchor.

I had a chance to run and evaluate the Prestige 630 recently, and I can tell you that it is one of the more comfortable yachts of its size I’ve had the pleasure to operate. Power is a pair of 725-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS 950s, which are twin D11s matched with IPS 2 pods. The engines are located aft between the crew’s quarters and the master stateroom, to create better balance for the boat on plane, as well as maximize the amount of available space below. Accessed through a door in the crew’s quarters or through a hatch on the aft deck, the engine room is truly spacious, allowing good access to engines, the optional genset, and other primary systems.

The hull is from J&J Design, with engineering by Prestige. It features a modestly raked stem that is deep enough to cut water at slower cruising speeds, but shallow enough to climb above the water at higher speeds. Three sets of lifting strakes join spray strakes that begin well forward above the waterline and morph into submerged chines just ahead of amidships, helping the Prestige 630 get on plane more quickly and effectively directing spray well away from the hullsides. The hull changes from a deep-V forward to a semi-V aft, finishing with a 16-degree deadrise at the transom. During my sea trial, the hull made for a ride that was comfortable despite the washing-machine-like water conditions.

Running on a closely spaced, 2-foot chop on a windy day on Sarasota Bay was instructive. Winds were 10 to 14 knots, gusting to over 20 knots out of the northeast—very good conditions for a series of boat-handling maneuvers. We ran south with the wind on our starboard quarter, then north on the port bow, gathering engine speed, velocity, fuel-burn, and sound measurements. The resulting numbers conformed very closely to the performance figures furnished by Prestige, and handling on all points was superb—which you should expect from the fly-by-wire, hydraulic power-assisted steering that is standard with Volvo Penta’s IPS system. It is important to point out that the boat I tested, which was Hull No. 2, was loaded with options that might have affected performance, but did not in my view.

There is so much that will appeal to a cruising family in this design. On the flying bridge, there’s a massive sunpad ahead of the twin forward-facing benches. The back cushion of the port-side bench removes to fill in the footspace and enlarge the sunpad. An optional hardtop with sunroof allows the owners to choose just how much sun they want. The upper helm can house two Raymarine Glass Bridge gS165 displays (although it looks like you might be able to mount another one, duplicating the three displays at the lower helm), with ample room remaining for engine controls, joystick, system switches, and auxiliary control panels. The outdoor galley­—with grill, sink, and small refrigerator—is standard; an ice maker is optional.

In the cabin, the layout is also family-friendly. With the galley aft (plus a bar to starboard across the aisle) and the dining area for six to eight people ahead of it on the port side, there is a lot of comfortable seating amidships with great views for everyone. (That effect is achieved by lowering the bottom of the window profile). Power-opening windows improve natural ventilation in the saloon. There’s also a small bench seat to starboard and abaft the helm, with a space behind it that can be fitted with an optional flatscreen TV on a lift—movie nights are often on a cruising family’s agenda.

The lower helm has its own dedicated power window, plus desirable features like a fully adjustable double bench seat and tilt wheel that make it easy for the captain to operate the boat whether he is standing or sitting. The wide, stitched, dark helm console knocks down glare effectively, and it houses three 16-inch Raymarine displays with nary a digital/analog instrument in sight. Additional stitched covering is used on the starboard extension that holds the IPS joystick, bow thruster control, and twin engine binnacle—they’re all within easy reach of the wheel. If you have ever spent any time in rough, open water, you will appreciate the handrails that help you up and down from the helm bench, as well as down the companionway to the accommodations forward.

The Prestige 630 falls towards the upper end of a lineup that spans from 42 to 75 feet, but it has the look and feel, as well as the carefully crafted details, of its much larger sisterships. If you’re in the market for a well-found family cruiser, it deserves your attention and inspection.

THE PRESTIGE 630: A STEP AHEAD – By Patrick Sciacca

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“Prestige Yachts crunches the numbers on its 630 to create a sporty, stylish performer with a think-different attitude.” Patrick Sciacca, Editor-in-Chief, Yachting Magazine

Steps. They are a means of ­transporting someone, or something, from one level to ­another. Steps, as they relate to the Prestige 630, transport a yachtsman from a craft that runs through the water to one that feels like it’s ­floating above it. But these aren’t steps in the ­traditional sense; they are a build technique that lowered the 630’s center of gravity considerably. That, in turn, created the vessel’s pillow-soft ride. How did it happen without compromising the build? A lot of math.

To create the interior volume and nearly 7 feet of headroom throughout the yacht without steps, the 630 would have needed its three decks stacked at a height stretching to about 12 feet. That would have made for a tender-riding yacht. To solve this problem, Prestige added steps: areas hidden above the salon headliner where the ­superstructure drops about 1½ feet per section, all strategically placed. Where each step occurs, build material is overlapped, beefed up and reinforced to help distribute force incurred underway.

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Prestige’s 630 has a length overall of 62’5″ and a max beam of 16’4″

An added benefit is the reduction of material ­required to keep the 630 sturdy and stout while taking out weight. When you remove weight, you require less horsepower to propel the yacht. When you need less horsepower, you need less fuel. When you put those two things together, you get optimized performance and a vessel with longer range, faster speed and improved handling.

There’s one step in the salon. Another is at the galley aft, and another is where the interior meets the cockpit door. This keeps the headroom consistent, eliminating the feeling of ducking down. And when you remove that foot-plus of height out of each step, you’ve reduced overall vessel height by about 5 feet. Hence, the lower center of gravity. The natural low profile of the yacht, plus the optional Seakeeper gyro, makes the 630 a vessel that’s as stable as a table underway.

I know because when I ran our test 630’s fully ­infused, cored-sandwich hull out of Sarasota, ­Florida, there was nothing that 20 knots of wind, waves or wakes could do to dissuade the yacht from her appointed duty. She soldiered on, unfazed.

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Yes, we are all members of the sunblock-evrything-before-you-leave-club, but sometimes it just feels good to have the warm rays hitting your face while you’re cruising across the salt on a beautiful day – UVA and UVB rays be dammed. Prestige Yachts understands this. When the builder envisioned the hardtop for the 630, it made sure the majority of the length included a retractable section, allowing the helmsman and his guests to enjoy fun in the sun. If you live in a mostly rain-free area,there is a 630 sans hardtop, with just a radar arch.
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If you look at the overhead closely, you’ll see where the builder inserted the steps to reduce overall vessel height and maintain headroom.

My 630 was powered with twin 725 hp Volvo Penta IPS950s, which shined. The engines pushed my 54,470-pound (dry weight) test yacht across the water at an average top hop of 29.9 knots. The motors burned 70 gph and turned 2,550 rpm, within 50 rpm of their rated maximum of 2,500 rpm. Her fly-by-wire steering was real-time responsive, turning 360 degrees in about two boat lengths. She had a sporty feel for a 63-footer too, helped in part by the moderate setting programmed into the IPS drives. (The builder can set the rate of turn for the pod drives to the best fit for the yacht.)

Dialing the motors back to 2,250 rpm put the vessel into a steady 24-knot cruise with the diesels consuming 52 gph. With a 713-gallon fuel capacity, that translates into a range greater than 340 nautical miles at cruise speed, with a 10 percent reserve.

The sea trial was admirable, made even a bit more impressive when you consider that several straight-shaft-powered peers need up to 1,150 hp to achieve the same performance numbers while burning more fuel. The impact of those steps is evident again.

And I can’t overstate the effect the steps have on the yacht’s interior spaces. The unobstructed salon stretches from the sliding cockpit doors to the helm, all the way forward to starboard. In between the cockpit and salon to port is the galley aft with three-burner Bosch cooktop, Miele microwave/convection oven and dishwasher. The galley serves guests both inside and outside with a flip-up window to the cockpit. Open up the sliding doors, and the 630’s entertainment area stretches about two-thirds the length of the yacht. So don’t be shy with the party invites.

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Raymarine electronics with these stylish flush-mount displays are all standard on board the Prestige 630

Those guests will have room to lounge in the salon with an L-shaped settee to port, a chair and another settee for three. All are within earshot of the helm, which has a bench-style seat that can flip up to a bolster for stand-up driving. The settees and chair are made of a synthetic PVC material for durability in the saltwater environment, but Prestige can accommodate owners who prefer a different fabric or leather.

There are two interior wood options for the 630: gray oak soles with wenge accents, or wenge soles with gray oak accents. Either way, the feeling you get walking into the yacht is clean and modern.

The same description holds for the master stateroom, accessed to starboard via its own stairway from the salon. Just eight steps down, the room opens up to full beam (16 feet 4 inches). And above the head of the berth is the step from the salon to galley level on the main deck. As in the salon, the headroom here can accommodate your NBA-playing friends. A hanging locker can handle the most challenging clotheshorse for your week or longer sojourn. The master has an en suite head plus a settee to port for rainy days on the hook with a good book, and a vanity to starboard when prepping for a nice dinner ashore at your favorite port of call.

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The cut-down shape of the windows adds to the 630’s exterior aesthetic and enhances views from aboard

Rounding out the accommodations is a forepeak VIP stateroom with step-up berth and vanity, and a third stateroom abaft to starboard. Both of these guest staterooms are en suite. The third stateroom has twin berths that can slide together to make a double. Interestingly, when the berths are combined, the end table between them disappears, but a new one that is under the inside berth appears.

A crew cabin is accessed via the yacht’s swim platform. Most American buyers will likely be owner-operators, instead using this space for gear or toy stowage.

The Prestige 630 has a story much deeper than her 3-foot-3-inch draft. She is a tale of a builder constantly striving to improve: to maximize every extra inch of available space and then some, to optimize every ounce of speed, and to wrap all that functionality and performance in a vessel that exudes substance, style and comfort.

It’s a lot of math, and the numbers add up to excellence for this voyager.

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Every picture tells a story. This one says the Prestige 630 is a family-friendly voyage

Sea & Shore and So Much More

Question: What do you get when you gather a group of enthusiastic boat owners and potential boat owners, plant them under the warm Florida sun for two days, wine and dine them, dance the night away to a great live band, and take numerous rides across the waters of Sarasota Bay on million dollar yachts? Answer: One outstanding good time!

The inaugural Sea & Shore event took place this past weekend in lovely Sarasota, Florida. The idea behind the event says Margriet Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Prestige, was to bring together current Prestige owners along with potential Prestige owners to give them the opportunity to test out our 2017 models, share stories and ideas with the Prestige staff, and meet some of the designers responsible for bringing our boats to life.

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Amy Port (owner, Prestige 560) and Desiree Van Welsum (owner, Prestige 550 S) kick back during a boat ride across Sarasota Bay aboard the NC 11 (photo by Jonathan Murray)

“A FANTASTIC weekend in Sarasota for Prestige Yachts, Sea & Shore event. Many sea-trials, the new 630, great food and entertainment. Good friends, old and new!” Brad Heil, Chesapeake Yacht Center

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A great shot taken from the helicopter featuring the Prestige 750 in the foreground along with the Jeanneau NC11, Leader 46, Prestige 450, 500, 560, and new 630 behind

So often, events such as these can end up being so large that it’s difficult for people to get to know one another and spend any real quality time experiencing the boats in detail. This was not the case with this year’s Sea & Shore event. “The idea was to keep the event relatively small and intimate so our customers felt like true VIPs” says Margriet. And this is exactly what it was. Space was limited to just 100 people with the agenda designed to be fun, relaxed, and informative. Designers Camillo Garroni of Garroni Design and Jean-Francois de Premorel of JF de Premorel Concepts were on hand throughout the weekend to interact with clients and answer questions.

“I’ve been fortunate to both attend and run many high-end events. Sea & Shore 2016 was up there with the best of them. Thanks for delivering such an outstanding customer experience. Already looking forward to next year” Jonathan Murray, Synergy lll (Prestige 550 S)

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Good times underway aboard the all-new Prestige 630 (photo by Jonathan Murray)

“Had a great morning, sea-trialing the Prestige Yachts 630. Cruise speed: 23.5 knots. Top end: 29.5 knots. Stay tuned for a full review in an upcoming issue of Yachting.” Patrick Sciacca, Yachting Magazine

And of course a great event deserves great press coverage which is why representatives of Yachting Magazine, Boating Magazine, and Power and MotorYacht were on hand to join in the fun and experience the boats firsthand.

When all was said and done and the boats had taken their last run on Sarasota Bay, there was definitely a feeling of closeness among all who were there along with an appreciation for having attended such a fun and entertaining event.

Prestige, a whole lot more than just an elegant motor yacht!

Prestige 630 – Getting to know the new girl in town

If you’re fortunate enough to be attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this year and find yourself on the Prestige display, you’re sure to notice a new girl in town in the form of a 63 foot motor yacht. The Prestige 630 is the latest addition to the Prestige family and is making its North American debut at this year’s Fort Lauderdale show coming up later this week from November 3-7.

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New for 2017, the Prestige 630 displays grace in motion off the coast of Les Sables d’Olonne, France

From a boat builders perspective, certainly one of the most important considerations that goes into the making of a great boat is whether or not when all is said and done, people want to buy it. In order for this to happen, especially with a big boat like a 63 footer, a real balance needs to be struck between the design of the boat, how the boat performs, the look of the boat, the overall quality of the finished product and the always important issue of the final price. Often times a boat will come along that may have lots of great creature comforts but may not run through the water very well. Other times, a boat can perform well but may not be very comfortable to live aboard. And there are still other boats out there that perform well and are plenty comfortable but cost an arm and a leg to buy so not a lot of them get sold. The bottom line is that it’s a real art to be able to consistently turn out a finished product that encompasses all the essential elements for it to be successful in the market. Thankfully, we are pretty good at bringing all the essential elements together and this can be clearly seen in the new Prestige 630.

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The main salon aboard the Prestige 630 provides plenty of elegance, comfort, and an abundance of natural light

Powered by twin Volvo IPS 950s, the Prestige 630 is capable of reaching speeds of 28 knots and will happily cruise all day long at 24 knots. And while speed is important, it is by no means the defining feature of this exceptional new motor yacht.

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Outstanding master cabin features over-size bed, ensuite head and shower, great settee, built-in entertainment center, and separate entrance

Owners of the Prestige 630 will enjoy a host of onboard amenities from the award-winning design firm of Garroni Design. Plenty of deck space for life underway combine with a fantastic interior layout featuring 3 separate cabins with 3 heads and showers to make life onboard truly exceptional.

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Whether on deck or tucked safely inside, the Prestige 630 is designed for total comfort on board

We invite you to meet this new girl of ours later this week in Ft. Lauderdale. But until then, more about the 630 can be found online at prestige-yachts.com. We look forward to meeting you during the show and welcoming you on board the all new Prestige 630.