Astonishing Accommodations!

This new entry to the North American motoryacht market packs an impressive amount of living space into a versatile layout.

Although the Prestige 500S is new for 2012, I first had a first look in Florida in 2011, and I stepped off with a sense of amazement, anxious to stand back and see the whole boat from a distance to figure out where all the space came from.

This is a sedan (or coupe) design that is actually under 50’ (49’ 1” overall). Yet the designers found room for a full-beam master stateroom with standing headroom that has a private ensuite head including a separate shower stall; a guest stateroom forward; a midships double cabin; a second full head; a very spacious salon; a galley on the main level; a generous cockpit and even a tender garage!

With twin Volvo IPS 600 pod drive engines, the Prestige 500S runs to 34 MPH and accelerates with determination, too.

At their press briefing in Miami in February 2012, Jean-Paul Chapeleau, directeur general for Prestige, told us that their goal was to become one of the world’s most recognized yacht brands. The company, part of the giant Groupe Beneteau organization, offers a whole line of new yachts from their 350 model to their 60-footer, most in both sedan and flying bridge versions. A 70-footer was to debut at Cannes and their goal is to be a central player in the North American market.

We travelled to Performance Marine in Saint-Paul-de-l'Île-aux-Noix, south of Montréal on the Richilieu River leading to Lake Champlain. It is a gorgeous area, great for boating and only a short drive from downtown Montréal.

The Prestige 500S is an ideal design for this area. It can be a high-speed getaway boat for a weekday escape after work or a floating cottage on weekends, and has the size and power to handle the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence or a run down the Intracoastal Waterway to the Caribbean in winter.

Approaching the Prestige 500S for the first time, you notice the sedan style is lower from the waterline than a flying bridge boat would be (although Prestige does offer a flying bridge version) and the sedan has a single interior helm.

You can simply walk aboard the boat, unlock the glass aft bulkhead door, cast off the lines and take off, without fiddling with canvas and without much regard to the weather. Press a few buttons and the cabin roof slides open electrically, the side glass lowers and, with the aft bulkhead open, it’s almost like a huge open boat. But if it’s rainy, keep it closed up and run the massive windshield wipers. If it’s too hot, run the air conditioning in the windshield defroster vents. Small effort – big rewards.

We like a boat with usable side decks and Prestige has big rails with lifelines and beefy cabin-side handholds. Both side decks are a usable size but the boat is asymmetrical with a comfortably wider deck on the port side. You can securely head forward to the big sun lounge on the bow. This includes a retractable sun awning and adjustable backrests. The 500S also features a big Delta anchor, a Lewmar windlass and a generous anchor locker.

At night, the steps are illuminated for safety. Lights on the cabin overhang also illuminate the cockpit, where a huge bench seat with a high-low teak table provides a delightful outdoor dining area or can be dropped down to convert this into an enormous sun lounge. At the touch of a button, all that lifts to reveal the tender garage that lies below the cockpit but above the engine bay! A great use of space...

Our test boat had glorious and comfortable teak flooring. A great touch from this sailboat builder are the line boxes on the port and starboard sides to keep things neat and tidy. A warping winch is included as well, enabling you to bring the lines in or let them out in response to tidal changes in water level. Three floor sections here lift for storage access and also for port and starboard-side engine access.

From the cockpit, slide the glass bulkhead open. As you enter, the expanse of side glass catches your eye. This boat has a very bright interior, enhanced by the use of white carpeting, white upholstery and white galley counters, yet I felt it was still comfortable in bright sun thanks to the mirrored side glass – very cool! The glass is also a big help with the air-conditioning load. The test boat had a 69,000-BTU system.

The salon has a portside bench with seating for six or more, but there’s no storage under the seats; instead they provide headroom in the master stateroom below. The dining table has leaves with slide-out supports.

The galley is down one step and I’m not sure why. However, it’s a really nice arrangement with L-shaped counter areas, filler sections to give lots of unobstructed counter space for food prep and serving, and the attractive white counter surfaces. The test boat was fitted with a built-in Vitrifrigo refrigerator with freezer, a Cuisinart convection microwave and a Danby dishwasher! We really appreciate the Whirlpool range hood.

We also liked the serving island that incorporates storage inside, including a trash locker, cutlery drawer and bin for pots and pans. It struck us as a good galley overall – and we love the location right against the aft bulkhead with easy access to the cockpit and swim platform for dining and entertaining. By the bulkhead door is the electrical panel and under that is a locker and a pullout bottle rack and glasses rack.

Right there to starboard is the private stairway to one of the most impressive features on the prestige 500S, the full-beam master stateroom. Accommodation like this on a 50-footer is quite amazing to find! There are huge side glass areas in the hull as well as opening portholes port and starboard to make this feel like an above-decks cabin. It’s not just full-beam but it has six feet of standing height, with a 160-by-200-cm king-size bed. There are bedside tables, a combination desk/makeup table on the port side, a flat-screen TV mounted on the bulkhead, hanging locker, starboard-side locker for clothes, plus two more bins under the bed.

The ensuite master head is spacious and nicely equipped but it’s broken up into three different floor levels! The MSD is mounted highest and we have to observe that it truly is a throne! There is lots more storage for towels and cosmetics, mirrors for shaving and makeup, and a vessel-type sink as well as a fully enclosed shower stall.

The guest stateroom in the forward vee has a makeup table, two lockers, big side glass hull panels with opening ports and remote audio controls. You can make up this berth as either a double or two singles so it’s very versatile. This space has a separate entrance to the day head which is equipped with a vessel sink, big mirrors, opening ports and folding shower enclosure in a clear acrylic.

The midships stateroom is still big enough to be comfortable and is equipped with two singles that can be filled in for a queen berth, a big locker and opening portholes as well as air conditioning. It’s a great space for kids, guests or crew.

We can’t say much about the performance and seakeeping qualities of the 500S – the water was millpond flat for our test and we were in a sheltered area. Still, the boat accelerates strongly and quickly reaches top speed with impressive smoothness. The twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 engines are mounted a bit forward and drive through jack shafts for optimum weight distribution.

The helm is very complete yet simple and comfortable to use, with a large Raymarine multi-function display, tilt steering, double-wide seat and excellent outward vision to most sectors, even from a sitting position. You can open the roof and stand up to look out all around, while the electric opening side glass admits just the right amount of fresh air.

If you are lucky enough to be shopping in this price bracket, the Prestige 500S deserves to be on your list!

SPECIFICATIONS

Test boat engines: Twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 pod drives, D6 435 diesel engines with 6 cylinders, twin cams, 4 valves per cylinder, turbocharged and aftercooled, 435 hp each. Includes joystick docking.

PERFORMANCE
ENGINE RPM    SPEED MPH
1000                         7.4
1500                         10.3
2000                         13.0
2600                         19.7
3000                         25.0
3500                         31.9
3626                         33.9

CRUISING SPEED RPM/MPH
3,400 / 28.8

SPECIFICATIONS:
LENGTH OVERALL: 49’ 1” / 15.2 m
BEAM: 14’ 9” / 4.5
WEIGHT: 29,750 lbs / 13,500 kgs
FUEL CAPACITY: 2 x 175 gal / 2 x 650 L
WATER CAPACITY: 2 x 84 gal / 2 x 318 L
WASTE CAPACITY: 32 gal / 120 L
PRICE: (as tested, base, etc):

Test boat provided by Performance Marine, www.groupeperformancemarine.com

Performance data and price quoted by Prestige Luxury Motor Yachts, www.prestige-yachts.com

By Andy Adams

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...

Mediterranean Shakedown: A Summer Cruise in Spain

Mediterranean ShakedownBy Sheryl and Paul Shard

This summer my husband, Paul, and I bought our fourth offshore cruising boat, a new Southerly 480 built by Discovery Yachts in the UK. It’s a unique boat with a retractable variable-draft swing keel giving you the option of sailing with a deep draft of 3.1 metres when the keel is down or just less than a metre with the keel fully retracted. Southerly Yachts are great for bluewater sailing and also for gunkholing in shallow creeks and inland waterways. You can even dry them out at low tide so they are is the perfect boat for the type of exploring we like to do. Our new boat, Distant Shores III, is the third Southerly Yacht that we’ve owned over 29 years of international cruising to destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Middle East, UK, Scandinavia and South America. This boat we plan to sail to the South Pacific.

Read more about the Shards' cruise in Spain...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...

Beneteau Antares 27

Beneteau Antares 27By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You have to love it when something exceeds your expectations on so many levels; the new Antares 27 from Beneteau looks to me like that sort of all-around overachiever.

This is a brand new express cruiser design. With twin Mercury 200 V6 outboards, it delivers impressive performance, a reassuring and comfortable ride, and a level of versatility that will enable this boat to be your vacation partner for all sorts of adventures.

Read more about the Antares 27...

 

 

 

 

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read More about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 

Ask Andrew: Electrical Installations – Part 1: Electrical Connections - basics and how-to’s

Electrical InstallationsBy Andrew McDonald

Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is aboard, areas of improvement and ways to upgrade.

One of the most common jobs that I’m asked to look at are electrical installations and upgrades. Surprisingly, the majority of these types of jobs are to ‘clean up’ the wiring of years past – when electrical standards were more fluid, and jury-rigged upgrades have been added and adapted over multiple owners and contractors.

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System