Review: Prestige F-Line flies into new era
Prestige has enjoyed a whirlwind few years, introducing the groundbreaking X-Line before moving into multihulls with the M-Line. Now, the French builder is reworking its classic F-Line, with the all-new F4 paving the way for its next generation of flybridge motor yachts.
Words: Clare Mahon; Photos: Jean-Francois Romero
Michael Peters handled naval architecture, with Camillo Garroni overseeing exterior and interior design
After the first Prestige cruiser debuted in 1989, the brand launched its first flybridge, the 36, in 2000, the same year it expanded its Les Herbiers production facility. A decade later, the Prestige 500 began its successful run and was succeeded in 2017 by the 520, another bestseller from the F-Line.
A world premiere at this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, the new F4 is the French shipyard’s bid to reinvent its popular F-Line of flybridge yachts with a 50ft model that stays true to the brand’s roots while updating its form and substance.
The F4 was a world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival
For its latest flybridge yacht, Prestige turned to a tried and true team: Michael Peters Yacht Design, the US-based naval architectural studio, and Camillo Garroni of Italy’s Garroni Design for the layout and interiors. Does that sound international?
Add that the F4 is built in sturdy GRP infused into an opening mould and is constructed at the Prestige shipyard in Vendée on France’s west coast and you have the complete picture for a yacht built by a shipyard with a global outlook.
A signature fashion plate is a marker of new F-Line models
With an LOA of 49ft 10in and a near-15ft beam, the new Prestige F4 is neat and compact. Dark and curved glazed surfaces contrast with the white hull to break up the exterior lines, bringing dynamism and a sense of movement even when the boat is still.
The F4 has a handy up-down swim platform with stairs that deploy when the platform is lowered, as well as locker storage for toys, while no flybridge yacht would be complete without a little something extra on top.
The flybridge has an L-shaped dinette aft and large sunbathing area forward
The flybridge is large and very enjoyable, with an L-shaped couch around an aft table and plenty of sunbathing space fore. Owners can choose between a hard top and a bimini cover for a space they may find themselves using from dawn to dusk – and even later, seeing that it has an outdoor kitchen complete with a sink, a mini fridge and a barbecue grill concealed in a cabinet.
The upper helm is surrounded by seating, so everyone can enjoy the boat when it’s running at its top speed of 28 knots or cruising along comfortably at 22 knots, powered by twin 480hp Volvo Penta D6- IPS650 inboard engines.
The foredeck features thick-cushion sunpads and can be covered by a foldaway bimini
Back on the main deck, the aft cockpit is set up with the option of facing sofas either side of a foldable table on the centreline, a layout that enhances the feeling of connection with the sea because guests look out over the water instead of into the boat.
Prestige also offers the two sofas in an L-shape formation, again along with a folding table, while it’s also easy to keep the chilled drinks flowing thanks to an icemaker tucked under the port stairs to the flybridge.
The aft cockpit shown with two facing sofas either side of a foldable table
Garroni Design’s input included an ‘ocean view’ galley adjacent to the cockpit that blends interior spaces with the exterior.
Just open the home-style door to the saloon, fold up the galley window and hook it to its ceiling anchor and you have an indoor/outdoor space that makes entertaining while you cook simple and natural.
The galley and aft cockpit can be connected by opening the door and lifting the window
Furthermore, the option of synthetic teak flooring in the cockpit, as selected for hull one, signals the shipyard’s desire to shift towards innovative building materials to enhance environmental friendliness and ease of use.
Enter the saloon and you find a comfortable J-shaped couch to port and an opening table in a light, bright and contemporary space where every detail has been carefully planned. The ceiling, lined with suede-like Alcantara and accented by curved rope LED lighting, and focus point details like carved walnut cabinetry enhance a feeling of quiet luxury.
Forward view of the saloon, with décor inspired by the French Riviera
The helm position to starboard has wraparound views, 12-inch Garmin touchscreens and joystick commands. It’s a user-friendly arrangement that’s ideal for owner/drivers and family use.
From here, it’s just a couple of steps down to the master suite, set fore on a deck level that the shipyard calls ‘semi-main’. To create this private level, Peters widened the deep-V hull at the nose, creating enough volume for a king-size bed placed centrally in a full-beam cabin that boasts 2m of headroom.
The well-lit master suite is in the bow and located on a ‘semi-main’ deck
The materials are classic, like the bed’s rattan headboard, and the cabin gets plenty of natural light through three skylights. Owners can enjoy the views coming in through long hull windows with opening portholes for natural air circulation. The en-suite bathroom to port has luxury touches like twin sinks and there’s plenty of storage space.
There’s a handy washer/dryer tucked into a cabinet in the lobby between the two guest cabins, which each have forward-facing beds. To starboard, the VIP has a convertible double bed while the slightly narrower port cabin has twin beds, a suitably flexible configuration for a family or group of friends.
The starboard guest cabin has a convertible double bed
Special attention was paid to vibration and soundproofing the engine room, even though the IPS engines are well known for their smooth and quiet ride. The end result? At top speed in the master suite, you hear water rushing by more than you hear the engines. That may well be the largest luxury aboard a boat where living well is always a top consideration.
With a set-up created to accommodate how people want to enjoy time on the water today combined with an added touch of refinement and the best and most efficient technology available, the Prestige F4 opens a new chapter in this shipyard’s book of successful flybridge yachts. More than just a tweak or an update, the F4 is a rethink that’s bound to find some eager takers.