For most people, taking delivery of a brand new Princess 88, one of the world’s premier production yachts, would be the culmination of a dream. For one very discerning buyer however, it was just the beginning – a blank canvas upon which to build his perfect motor yacht, to create something truly personal and unique. With the boat ordered and build commencing, the owner sought an established, reliable and experienced company to make his dream come true.
Initial contact was made at the London Boat Show in 2015. Landau’s massive converted ex-Formula One hospitality unit is a familiar sight the length and breadth of the country and a regular at the London show. Fitted out like a luxury yacht, it offers the perfect showcase of Landau UK’s talents and boasts over one hundred and fifty of the latest marine products and systems, giving Landau the unique ability to not just talk the talk, but to actually walk the walk, showing precisely what they can do. Attended by the full team, Sales Director Chris Doran was the one to sit down and talk through in detail the exact requirements, offering suggestions and concepts that turned the brush strokes of the owner’s ideas into finely wrought and comprehensive solutions.
Landau UK has been in the luxury yacht retro-fitting business for nearly twenty years, regularly travelling to all corners of the globe to deliver award winning installations and retrofit solutions. Widely regarded as the industry leader in its field, the task of creating the ultimate Princess 88 was a perfect fit for the business.
Lavish accommodation spreads across four opulent en-suite cabins on the lower deck. The main deck sports an enclosed galley and wheelhouse for the crew whilst guests enjoy a massive single level main saloon and a separate dining area for eight, opening out onto a massive aft deck and a drop down balcony respectively. Crowning it all is a palatial flying bridge complete with spa bath, wet bar, and sprawling seating area around a huge teak table shaded by a long hard top. A transom garage for water toys aft of the crew quarters augments a high/low hydraulic bathing platform. It is the ultimate expression of the ninety foot motor yacht genre which leads to just one question. ‘How do you improve upon perfection?’ Landau UK had a few ideas.
Over subsequent weeks these ideas crystallised into action plans as Chris and the team brought their experience to bear, creating innovative and imaginative solutions and presenting them to the owner. From convenience and safety through to entertainment and adding that essential ‘wow factor’, plans were formulated to bring the concept to fruition, marrying state of the art technology to installation craftsmanship.
Lighting that is not only completely bespoke, but infinitely adaptable was the first challenge. Fifty two RGB deck lights and sixteen underwater lights are complemented by RGB spa bath lights, rope lights and even backlit name lights for the ultimate in lighting control – the whole system accessed and controlled wirelessly, courtesy of a custom made iPad app. Every light zone can be independently adjusted for colour or intensity, offering infinite permutations to spectacular effect.
That concept of choice and variety also extends to the audio visual systems. Again divided into zones, everyone can be their own DJ with access to a central server containing up to 9,000 albums. Not enough choice? Then guests can connect their own iPods or other devices and stream their own music through the system. Special software written to link the audio to the lighting creates the ultimate sound and light show.
A fifty inch Samsung TV in the saloon is augmented by a Dolby 5.1 surround sound system with upgraded amplifiers and speakers. It sources films and TV shows from a two terabyte Kaleidescape 1U Disc Vault server. Again controlled wirelessly, it is capable of storing 180 Blu Ray movies and 500 DVD movies and distributing them to any screen within the accommodation. And there’s one further screen that it feeds – on the fly bridge a specially fabricated retractable TV assembly has been installed in the hardtop, allowing a forty inch TV to be viewed from the spa bath. A self-tracking gyro-stabilised KVH Tracvision M9 satellite dome provides up to the minute broadcasting as an alternative.
But life isn’t all about entertainment coming to you, sometimes you want to go to it, and to that end the hydraulic bathing platform is worth a visit. The transom garage has been turned into a veritable toy box, with three SeaBob F5s underwater scooters (one in each of the available colours) fitted to a Harken track for storage and instant accessibility. Slide them off and go diving, and upon return each one clips back onto its bracket and simply slides back along the track and locks into place, a fast charging docking station for every unit ensuring that they’re ready to go again in no time. There’s even a GoCycle electric folding bike for anyone heading ashore – linked via iPad naturally, allowing access to pedal assist or full electric programs.
On board security includes a state of the art gyro-stabilised thermal imaging camera. Mounted on a custom made bracket on top of the navigation light for an uninterrupted three hundred and sixty degree view, it’s so powerful that it can read a newspaper from half a kilometre away. On a more practical level, clear barriers designed with safety and aesthetics in mind are fitted to the fly bridge to provide additional security for younger members of the family.
Despite a depth of engineering that even runs to remote gateway access, allowing the systems to be monitored or adjusted and any problems diagnosed from anywhere in the world, the total installation took just two months.
Three weeks of the install was carried out at Landau UK’s base in Southampton, the following five weeks completed on location in Barcelona in order to accommodate the owner’s pressing schedule.
From the smallest detail to the complex logistics, the team at Landau UK have lived up to their pledge to go beyond – conceiving and delivering ultimate solutions seamlessly and on time. The result, one of the most comprehensively upgraded Princess yachts in the world, and the fulfilment of a dream.
See the full Princess 88 retrofit case study here