Used Boat Review: Prestige 60
Originally introduced in 2010, the Prestige 60 was the largest model built at that time by a division of Jeanneau, and one of the first yachts of this size to incorporate Volvo Penta IPS propulsion. “IPS use in smaller boats was growing steadily at the time, but IPS2 for larger yachts had just been introduced,” said Nicolas Harvey, president of Jeanneau America, “and it required a boat that was both light and strong to maximize its potential—a considerable undertaking in such a large vessel.” Jeanneau engineered the boat to be built as a fully vacuum-bagged, resin-infused, balsa-cored vessel with a modified, deep-vee bottom design from naval architect Michael Peters. Moreover, the boat was specifically shaped to accommodate twin 700-horsepower IPS900s, making waves among competitors who were still using much higher output, shaft-drive propulsion systems for heavier, similarly sized yachts.
Jeanneau was one of the first builders to fully core a yacht—hull, decks, cabin, flybridge—with balsa wood, even though the material, used improperly in past decades by other builders, had a history of drawbacks. “Some builders will only use balsa-wood coring above the waterline, and solid fiberglass below,” Harvey said. “Jeanneau understood that using resin infusion with end-grain balsa-wood squares mounted on a scrim, so that there are spaces between every square that fill with fiberglass resin, creates fiberglass barriers on each side of every square of balsa wood, limiting potential water damage to very small areas in case of a hull puncture.” This decision had a direct influence on the overall weight of the yacht since, to achieve the same rigidity, the weight of a square foot of solid fiberglass would be double that of the same-size balsa-wood core sandwich.
More than 100 of these sleek, flybridge yachts were built between 2010 and 2013 for a global market. Part of that success was due to the use of the Volvo Penta IPS systems, which are more compact and located farther aft than standard shaft-drive configurations. Typically, IPS drives are located closer to the transom, but this often causes balance problems longitudinally. Working with Volvo Penta, Jeanneau engineers added a 3-foot-long jackshaft between the drives and engines, allowing the latter to be farther forward, aiding balance but still keeping the overall length of the engine room shorter than with a shaft-drive system. And that allowed Jeanneau designers Vittorio and Camillo Garroni, the father-and-son team comprising Garroni Design, to work with more usable internal volume for living area and stowage on the accommodations level of the yacht.
The designers studiously layered the different levels to lower the vertical center of gravity (VCG) by at least a foot, compared to competitive boats. The sleek, flybridge structure also helped keep the VCG low, which in turn helped give the Prestige 60 sportscar-like handling. But, of course, keeping the VCG low also affected overall weight and stability. “To meet CE certification stability standards, for every 100 pounds you add to something like the flybridge structure, 10 to 12 feet in the air, you must add 300 to 400 pounds of compensation weight in the bottom of the boat,” Harvey said. Building light up top let Jeanneau cut weight lower in the hull.
According to Jeanneau, speed at mid-load should be 30 knots, fuel consumption 69 gph, and range approximately 290 nautical miles. At a cruise speed of 25 knots, consumption drops to 57 gph and range increases to approximately 325 nautical miles. With its lower-than-average fuel-burn rates, the requisite need for smaller fuel tanks, and its wealth of living areas and stowage volume, the Prestige 60 qualifies as a breakthrough design in many respects.
The full-width swim platform has hydraulic positioning and teak planking as standard. Crew’s quarters, which included two single berths and a private head, are accessed from the transom, just abaft the engine room. And because of the compact nature of the IPS propulsion system, the engine room is surprisingly spacious, with room around all sides of the twin diesels for maintenance, and with room left over for a standard 11-kilowatt generator ahead of the engines, on the centerline. An optional 17.5-kilowatt genset was available for customers wanting optional air conditioning. Twin stainless steel tanks are found forward of the genset, providing a noise barrier between the mechanicals and the accommodations.
The aft deck is protected completely by the flybridge extension overhead, and it includes built-in transom seating with a fixed table. Teak planking was an option here, as it was for the side decks, which went as far forward as the anchoring area at the bow—just ahead of a molded bench on the front of the deckhouse, and a large sunpad on top of it. Moving along the side decks is safe due to raised bulwarks, and practically placed, stainless steel safety rails on both sides of the deck. This was a vital feature, as there is no side door leading to the starboard side deck from the helm.
A portside, stainless steel ladder with hand rails and teak treads leads to the flybridge, up through a large hatch that can be closed to keep rain and spray off the aft deck. There’s plenty of seating up there, as well as a table that’s well aft just below the fiberglass radar arch, and a centerline helm amidships that backs up to an outdoor galley. Ahead, a large sunpad accessible from either side of the helm console beckons sun worshippers, and an optional Bimini stored against the front of the radar arch unfolds for sun protection over most of the flybridge.
In the saloon, the entertainment center and cabinetry are immediately to starboard. The galley is to port, just inside and behind the fixed portion of the stainless steel and glass aft bulkhead, which has a sliding door, making it easy to serve guests on the aft deck. It features a serving bar, an L-shaped countertop with lots of working space, and a full complement of cooking and storage features. The galley’s position makes it equally easy to serve friends and family at the main seating area to port, which features a massive U-shaped lounge and hi-lo table. The main seating and the lower helm station are both located on a level one step up from the aft deck and galley soles.
The lower helm station is equipped with a wide, single bench that incorporates a flip-up bolster and fore-and-aft adjustment. With the exception of the steering wheel, all maneuvering controls are located along a shelf to starboard, within easy reach. The dash is spacious enough for twin multifunction displays, usually Raymarine as installed at the factory. There’s a near 360-degree panoramic view through bonded windows and slim, nicely engineered support mullions, which negate the need for heavy pillars supporting the flybridge, making it easier for guests or the helmsman at the lower control station to keep tabs on what’s happening outside the boat. Furnishings and finishes are tastefully contemporary, from the cherry-finished, built-in alpi joinery to the optional leather upholstery.
Accommodations are six steps down a centerline companionway, featuring a large VIP with double berth in the bow, a smaller guest stateroom to starboard with two singles, and a full-beam master stateroom aft, beneath the raised sole mentioned above. There was so much space for the designers to play with that they were able to give each en suite stateroom its own private access, although the starboard unit does double duty as the dayhead with a separate companionway door.
The master stateroom has the array of features you’d expect in a large sport yacht, including plenty of built-in stowage, a comfortable couch to starboard, a desk with hideaway stool to port, and nightstands flanking the massive, queen-size berth on the centerline. Large, rectangular bonded windows let abundant natural light into the master, while a row of triple-bonded windows, somewhat smaller, function similarly for the other cabins.
For those who want a more recent build, the Prestige 60 was replaced in 2013 by the Prestige 620, which differs from the original with a more streamlined flybridge (overall height is same) and a sunpad ahead of the helm that has been lengthened. The 620 also has a longer hydraulic swim platform, but overall, the boat retains much of the original Prestige 60’s layout. While Bimini tops were standard on the 60, the 620 offers an optional hardtop.
In brief, the Prestige 60 incorporates leading-edge construction and systems, performance that satisfies, and a design that fuses great looks with comfortable amenities throughout. And even though other manufacturers have quickly caught up, the Prestige 60 still qualifies as a breakthrough design that continues to satisfy.
Displacement 69,630 lb. (full load)
Fuel 741 gal.
Water 212 gal.
Power 2/700-hp Volvo Penta IPS900s
Years Built 2010 to 2013
Price Range $664,913 to $1,200,000