A Princess is created with great attention to detail
Princess Yachts allows to take a look behind the scenes at boot
Can a service water tank, the back of a drawer in the salon table or the cable strands between the bridge, battery and navigation lights be decisive elements when buying a mega yacht like the Princess 30M, the largest yacht on display at boot Düsseldorf? Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director of the English luxury yacht builder Princess Yachts from Plymouth, clearly confirms this question. And that's why the shipyard's 2,000-square-meter booth in Hall 6 at boot Düsseldorf features this year some very unusual exhibits and presentations in addition to the impressive Princess yachts:
A workbench from the yacht yard's carpentry shop with a half-finished salon table, gives deep insights of its internal structure. Rolls of wiring harnesses next to an exemplary wired light guide on a yacht mast. A finished service water tank, as installed on Princess yachts, next to other finished and semi-finished workpieces from the shipyard's own metal workshop. Or also various laminate workpieces, sawed in cross-section to show the profile thicknesses.
"All of the yacht interior components that we install in a Princess yacht are manufactured within a 16km radius of Plymouth in our own workshops." Kiran tells us. From the mooring cleat on deck, to the furniture and doors below deck, to the wiring harnesses inside the yacht, where 2.5 million meters of cable are laid each year, Princess Yachts manufactures all components on its own. With this level of vertical integration, the shipyard is an innovation on the yacht market, a unique selling point.
In times of outsourcing, subcontractors and just-in-time deliveries, this is indeed something special. That is why Princess Yachts began last year to actively communicate the company's philosophy of producing Princess yachts as completely in-house as possible in its marketing. At the booth, workbenches from the GFRP workshop, the carpentry workshop, the metal construction workshop and the electrical workshop are set up between the yacht hulls. Workpieces in various processing states are intended to illustrate the great attention to detail Princess Yachts have in its production.
"The vertical integration of our yachts is a core element and at the same time an expression of our company philosophy," explains Kiran Haslam. "The focus is not on economic considerations, but on our ability to design each part exactly to meet the specific requirements of each yacht. This is how we get the most out of every yacht. Whether it's in terms of interior design and use of space or in terms of quality, right down to the details."
Martyn Hamly, who has worked in the carpentry shop at Princess for 22 years, takes us to a round coffee table that he built especially as an exhibit. The table clearly shows the different production steps and allows visitors to take a look at the inside of the construction. "The table usually takes me 106 hours to make when it's being built for installation on a yacht," Hamly reports. He directs our gaze to the back of one of the drawers. "If you want it to be simple, you just make the back wall straight. But it's a round table, so I also build the back wall of the drawer in the same rounding, so the space in the table is fully utilized."
The conversation at the metal workbench is very similar. Metalworker Paul Stanbury, head of the 65 craftsmen in the Princess metal workshop for 6 years, first shows us the history of the creation of a mooring cleat from the hollow profile to the highly polished end product. Then he points to a slightly inconspicuous and crooked-looking metal box mold. "We put just as much attention into a service water tank like this one." So the slanted design is intentional. The tank is shaped precisely to make the most use of every cubic centimeter of space available on the yacht. And all the connection openings are arranged in such a way that the supply lines can be optimally connected.
At the end of our almost one-and-a-half-hour visit to the Princess Yachts booth at boot Düsseldorf, we have to agree with Kiran Haslam. As we look at the yachts on display, we can't help but notice the many workpieces we've seen in the making at the workbenches. There are drawers, service water tanks and wiring harnesses that can make or break a megayacht purchase. Because now, every little part on these luxury yachts looks a little more special to us than it already did.
Author: Klaus-Gunnar Schneider Images: Simon Stevens / C. Tillmann Videos: Princess Yachts