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Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

Innovation redefines yacht design with Princess's revolutionary R35

by Princess Yachts 16 Sep 2018 00:30 PDT
Princess R35 © Princess Yachts

On road, in the air, or on water, rarely does a new form of luxury transport arrive that genuinely changes perceptions, challenges expectations and delivers a new experience. The R35 from Princess Yachts does exactly that and heralds in a new era for the storied company's product offering and the yacht market as a whole.

The R35 is the first Princess R Class performance sports yacht. Designed and hand-built in Plymouth, England, it combines revolutionary performance capabilities, stunning design, quality, and race-bred technology to deliver a unique on-water experience at all speeds.

Designed in partnership with world-famous Ben Ainslie Racing Technologies (BAR Technologies) and Pininfarina, the R35 is a powerful expression of intent from a company hitting a rich vein of form: Princess Yachts, renowned for British craftsmanship and engineering pedigree, is experiencing record financial results and order books as the R35 is brought to market. Now is the ideal time to reveal its most technologically advanced and significant sports yacht ever.

  • Just as 'race to road' principles underpin the world's greatest supercars, America's Cup technology drives the R35's game-changing performance

  • Ground-breaking Princess Active Foil System (AFS) developed with BAR Technologies optimises stability and manoeuvrability in all sea conditions, allowing for a much lower drag hull form to re-define ride comfort and high-speed cornering ability

  • Revolutionary new lightweight carbon-fibre monocoque hull structure designed in collaboration with legendary Italian styling house Pininfarina – a name synonymous with many of the world's most beautiful and valuable cars

  • Advanced aerodynamics represented by visually defining side air blades that maximise engine airflow, while managing vortices and turbulence at the stern of the yacht to improve comfort

  • State-of-the-art twin all aluminium, direct injection V8 petrol engines with variable valve timing and fully CNC machined intake and exhaust ports provide exceptional levels of torque and responsiveness to safely power the R35 to an exhilarating 50 knots: the fastest-ever Princess

  • Sumptuous bespoke Princess interiors designed for luxury living at sea paired with innovative equipment including glass panel helm, prestigious Naim audio and Esthec floors

  • 24/7 Princess Lifeline assistance anywhere in the world complimentary for two years
"The R35 is a rare mix of extreme elegance and technology. Often design is a triumph of beauty over function or function over beauty. Princess has been able to develop a technologically game-changing yacht that is also stunningly beautiful. It is in every way a new experience, yet also instantly recognisable as a Princess." Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman of Princess Yachts.


The R35 is a genuinely innovative and revolutionary yacht borne of a desire to combine all of Princess's renowned design and quality strengths with new technologies, materials, and engineering and design partnerships. As the world's first R Class performance sports yacht, the R35 will make its debut at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September 2018.

To deliver a truly game-changing sports yacht, Princess has teamed up with the world's finest design and technology partners to ensure the R35 delivers a new, intoxicating experience. It will enthral Princess loyalists and engage new customers at first sight and first ride.

The inspiration for the R35 came from many sources, but focussed on one clear goal: how could Princess deliver a beautiful and elegant yacht that re-defines dynamic performance? A key differentiator is Princess's unique collaboration with BAR Technologies - the British company behind Britain's attempt to win back the America's Cup - that allows the R35 to utilise the benefits of foiling technologies to take performance, handling and efficiency to new heights. What followed was a meeting of minds, as Princess challenged BAR Technologies to transfer their racing knowledge into the motor yacht industry. Princess wanted to raise the bar: was it possible, using a dynamic foil system, to dramatically improve stability and seakeeping on the R35, whilst reducing drag by up to 30 per cent?

The result is the ingenious Princess Active Foil System (AFS). Twin moving foils beneath the waterline provide improved dynamic stability, raise the performance bar and increase efficiency. AFS does not elevate the hull above the waterline like the America's Cup sailing yachts. Instead, it uses the lift to dynamically adjust the heel and running angle, optimising ride and comfort. Incorporated in a small, dynamic sports yacht like the R35, the benefits of AFS are immediately and dramatically obvious.

Princess found further inspiration working together with iconic styling house Pininfarina, responsible for some of the world's most beautiful motor cars. There is a historic and intrinsic link between boat and car design that the Italian company inherently understands – the step changes in automotive design in the 1930s and 50s was inspired by the sweeping curves and graceful lines of the boats of that period. As a result, the R35 looks sculpted, elegant, dramatic, and as breathtaking at speed as it does at a standstill. A testament to the designers who created it.

Vitally, the R35 also builds on Princess Yachts' leading market position and loyal customer base. It points to an even brighter future for the world's leading yacht builder, engaging new customers and presenting new technologies and design language that will be rolled out across the range in coming years.

Having delivered record financial results in 2017, with their highest ever annual sales performance, a return to profitability, and over $1bn of advanced orders, the R35 rides the waves of recent successes and will be the first of six new launches in the second half of the year that are set to help Princess deliver even stronger financial results for 2018.

In detail

Princess Yachts represents the epitome of British craftsmanship. The company has been renowned for building luxury yachts for more than 50 years – so what makes the new R35 so special?

Technology and innovation

Overcoming the traditional performance trade-offs by offering dramatically lower drag with an extraordinary improvement in stability.

America's Cup inspiration from Ben Ainslie Racing Technologies

Princess's innovation partner on the R35 is BAR Technologies – the nautical experts behind Britain's bid to win the America's Cup.

Known as the Formula 1 of sailing, the America's Cup inspires its competitors to design the most advanced boats on the water. Where wings harness the power of air flow in Formula 1, foiling techniques have driven America's Cup racing boats to reach incredible speeds. It has put the world's oldest sporting trophy back in the global spotlight and illuminated just what is possible onwater.

As with Formula 1 and the automotive industry that supports it, and just as the 'race-to-road' concept sets the standard in developing sportscars, technology flows down to the customer. This long-held motor racing principle is now happening on water.

BAR Technologies worked closely with Princess's development team in Plymouth in the goal to make game-changing improvements to the potential handling, grip and seakeeping of Princess's future yachts. The result on the R35 is a new performance benchmark defined by hydrodynamic innovation via the unique Princess Active Foil System (AFS).

"We wanted to bring America's Cup foiling prowess into the luxury yacht market in an entirely new way. But the brief wasn't 'how can we include foils' – rather it was 'how can we build a hull that is noticeably more efficient, stable and faster." Paul MacKenzie, Product Development Director at Princess Yachts.

Princess Active Foil System

Hydrodynamics are the new fast forward in yachting, and the America's Cup technology encapsulated in the Princess Active Foil System (AFS) underpins the R35's fluid, fast and unflappable behaviour across the water: the catalyst for a leap forward in boat design.

The Princess AFS is a unique design that helps deliver not just the fastest Princess ride ever, but also the most exhilarating yacht ride. AFS engages twin carbon-fibre custom-engineered foils beneath the waterline to reduce drag and provide unrivalled stability – it also helps the R35 achieve fuel efficiency savings of almost 30 per cent at cruising speed.

The port and starboard foils can adjust independently of each other by +/- 5 degrees with the foil positioning being calculated automatically by an onboard computer that takes input from pitch, roll and heave acceleration from a high resolution IMU (inertial measurement unit), boat speed, engine revs, steering input and user selected modes. The optimal foil position is computed 100 times per second with almost instant foil response as required to give the boat exceptional comfort and stability. Unlike other foil technologies, AFS does not lift the R35 out of the water. Instead, it adjusts the heel angle and attitude of the boat ensuring the most effective contact area at the bow at any speed for stable travel and extreme levels of grip when cornering to optimise ride comfort and efficiency.

A mode selector at the helm allows the pilot to choose between Optimal, Sport and Rough weather control algorithms which adjust the attitude and responsiveness of the foils to suit the pilot's wishes.

But what does that mean when out on the water?
The R35 has a raft of technologically advanced features that seamlessly combine high performance and comfort. Auto-comfort and auto-sport settings take the strain out of piloting the boat, while independent roll and pitch control can be adjusted manually or automatically, depending on the helmsman's choice.

AFS means the boat is working with the sea rather than battling against it, providing a new, on the water experience. The foiling system controls the attitude of the boat regardless of sea conditions or hard acceleration, actively keeping the R35 steady, even in a straight line. If required, AFS also compensates when the boat is banking left or right to offer a more balanced ride when cruising or an exhilarating G-force-induced heave never before experienced in sports yachts.

Carbon closes the innovation loop

Core to the effective installation of the AFS system was a rigid, predictable and lightweight hull. A full carbon fibre monocoque structure was the only option to fully optimise the potential for Princess's revolutionary R35 design: the first time this has been seen in a Princess, and any series boat of this size and price point.

Carbon fibre offers a 15-20 per cent weight saving over the more conventional glass fibre, but that wasn't enough of a technology leap for Princess. The design engineering team therefore selected a resin film infusion, rather than resin infusion, which allows for much more efficient use of resin and a subsequent weight saving of 25 per cent over glass fibre.

For a high performance boat, weight is key, so Princess also avoided using a gel coat on the R35, shaving a further 300kg off the weight. The system is called Sprint and has a surface film equivalent to a gel coat, helping to push the boundaries of process and design.

Carbon is now key to Princess's future, so the company has already installed a state-of-the-art carbon fibre production unit at its Plymouth headquarters. The investment makes Princess the first luxury yacht manufacturer to introduce full carbon fibre boat construction on a volume assembly line.

"We decided to use carbon fibre to build the R35 because our boats are getting bigger and stability is very important. We wanted to bring carbon fibre into the business in a more extensive way and thought the R35 was a great technology developer to further develop our yacht building skills." Paul MacKenzie, Product Development Director at Princess Yachts.

Lightweight, powerful and efficient engines

To fully exploit the carbon hull, the AFS system, and their combined performance potential, Princess has employed a state-of-the-art petrol engine. Robust, safe, compact and highly efficient, the engines provide a tangible boost in performance and excitement: another indication of Princess's ambition to challenge perceptions at every turn.

The smooth delivery of power in the R35 comes from twin Volvo Penta 430 horsepower V8 petrol engines. The engines are all aluminium and feature direct injection, variable valve timing and fully CNC machined intake and exhaust ports to provide exceptional levels of torque and responsiveness that safely power the R35 to an exhilarating 50 knots: the fastest-ever Princess.

A beneficial power/size to weight ratio plus the efficiency of modern petrol engines made them the best choice and give the R35 its exhilarating top speed and responsive performance at all speeds – the boat will happily cruise efficiently at 25 knots.

The 6.2-litre 430 is the most powerful of the next generation of Volvo Penta petrol engines, producing 14 per cent faster acceleration and ten per cent improved fuel economy over the previous model. It incorporates a combination of technical features perfectly suited to helping helmsmen make the most of the R35's technology. Among these are closed-loop freshwater cooling, with no internal parts exposed to raw or salt water, and wideband oxygen sensors that optimise the engine for varying fuel quality and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 95 per cent.

"We challenged the perception that limits of performance had been reached for yachts – that there were no more tangible gains in the battle between stability and speed. Just like a race team, we looked for the competitive edge, the last tenth, the supposedly impossible performance gain. And our vision and ambition changed that perception and created the R35." Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman, Princess Yachts

Design and style from the heart and head

Beauty and form in tune with technology define the R35 looks and performance.

"This 'revolution' started with a simple idea: to speak to people we haven't spoken to before and to engage a totally new type of customer, whilst exciting and delivering a true Princess to our existing family of owners and fans. We also intended to take a radical communications step towards 'cool'. To bring this product to market we wanted to explore the boundaries of our comfort zone and leap across with conviction. We've designed, built and delivered 17,000 yachts since we started in 1965, and that confidence was the basis for the R/evolution. That confidence is found in the Steve McQueen or Mohammad Ali style of cool, and pushed us to explore ideas such as Manga and Animé to bring this product to life." Kiran Haslam, Director of Marketing at Princess Yachts.

Pininfarina – An Iconic Design Partner

Another key new partner for the R35 and Princess Yachts is legendary Italian styling house Pininfarina.

Based in Turin, the car design capital of Italy, the Italian coachbuilder has been responsible for shaping some of the world's most exceptional cars for almost 90 years, including nearly every Ferrari ever created. Theirs is a long-established name forever synonymous with automotive classics, but Pininfarina has also put its considerable talents into designing products as varied as private jets, hydrogen powered supercars, locomotives and even the 2006 Olympic torch.

Pininfarina's iconic designs are, in the words of founder Battista 'Pinin' Farina, "an agreement of lines, a sense of proportion, simplicity and harmony". Yet this simple explanation of design masks the complexity that goes into defining a new innovative product that needs to be instantly recognisable to the cognoscenti yet stand apart visually from the competition. As a result, more than 100 concept drawings were created by Pininfarina and the Princess Design Studio before a final theme was selected.

The exciting collaboration with Pininfarina has created a performance yacht of instant visual style, drama, simplicity and elegance. The R35 may be an all-new boat but it has the head-turning look of a thoroughbred and clearly communicates its performance potential through its beautiful surfacing, functional air passages and strong, defining character lines.

"We wanted to push the boundaries of what Princess – and our customers - understand our current design styling language to be. The R35 had to feel fluid, elegant and achingly beautiful. And make you glance back at it after 10 seconds every time you step ashore. Above all else it needed to be recognisable and believable as the next generation of Princess yachts." Andy Lawrence, Head of Design at Princess Yachts.

Design and technology in harmony

Form and function unite in the R35's carbon fibre hull, which has been sculpted out on both sides with Princess's side air blade design. This adds visual drama and manages air flow and vortices to direct and supress spray that could normally come back into the boat. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis was key to channelling airflow: CFD uses supercomputers to provide detailed analytics of fluid flow to solve design problems and is a mainstay of supercar aerodynamic engineering.

And to create the R35's symphony of curves and edges, extensive development of the lightweight, carbon-fibre hull required 3D modelling software to study the clarity, movement of light and reflections across all the R35's surfaces. This was especially important as the hull and deck are painted in highly reflective metallic colours.

"The R35 is defined by a powerful, continuous and fluid topside ribbon running from bow to stern. This is complemented by distinctive and purposeful side air blades. It's a subtle new design language for us that perfectly complements the dramatic new performance." Andy Lawrence, Head of Design at Princess Yachts.

Piloting the Future

Beautiful to look at, the R35 is also a joy to pilot. The helm station is the centre of power and technology on board. Three forward-facing, hand-stitched leather seats offer the best spot to enjoy the unmatched experience of driving the R35. These seats can also power adjust fore and aft for added comfort. Meanwhile, the helmsman can use the sit/stand facility when behind the steering wheel.

The helmsman's controls are state-of-the-art with twin 17-inch Volvo Garmin touchscreens that display continuous engine and onboard data to the helm station. The displays can manage onboard systems, presenting all the engine and onboard data through a bespoke suite of interface pages, designed exclusively for Princess, or handover control of the AFS for a truly interactive piloting experience. The result is a 'clean' yet useable helm station, requiring minimal switchgear.

The touchscreens include a visual graphic for foiling status plus a high-quality and advanced Naim audio system - the prestigious British audio maker that has been partnered with luxury car manufacturer, and Princess brand partner, Bentley for a decade. The Naim equipment on deck includes waterproof speakers and a powerful subwoofer.

The helm station also features a waterproof USB charging point and autopilot facility for longer journeys. Dropping anchor is simple, thanks to a reversible electric winch: the 16kg stainless steel anchor even stows itself.

A Passenger Ride Like No Other

Even if the helmsman is taking advantage of the Princess AFS, and putting the R35 through its paces, passengers are cocooned in a luxurious cockpit that, unusually in this style of yacht, features a wraparound walkway. This enables safe boarding and eases access between the roomy cockpit and the bow, all aided by LED deck level lighting.

The windshield is a sweep of curved glass that perfectly matches the downward cut of the aft swim platform. Aft of the cockpit is a sun-pad, used for soaking up the sunshine before stepping down to the elegantly proportioned swim platform to cool off.

As well as the three seats in the helm station, the R35 is equipped with a comfortable U-shaped seating area, plus a removable folding dining table that can also be placed behind the helm seats to create a side table.

Back on deck, deployable side wind deflectors and the sleek windscreen profile move airflow cleanly above the cockpit, minimising airflow velocity at the passengers' head levels. This helps create a neutral 'bubble' around the helmsman and his guests, allowing them to experience the sensational ride - without getting wet – and contributing to the R35's speed and efficiency.

Interior / Onboard - A Life of Luxury

The R35 adds new meaning to Princess' expression 'Experience the Exceptional'. And with the exceptional performance delivered via the new AFS and carbon innovation, the cabin reflects Princess's expectation that owners and occupants will have an increased desire to stay aboard and therefore delivers the most luxurious of surroundings.

Step down from the cockpit via a sliding hatch to a stylish cabin, designed to give the best owner experience possible and filled with natural light. Elegant windows and a skylight also enhance the feeling of space.

A wet-room and lavatory allow comfortable days at sea, while the U-shaped seating surrounding a dining table easily converts into a double bed where integrated blinds ensure a good night's sleep. The R35 features a convenient hot and cold shower facility on the aft swim platform too: the perfect place to refresh after a day in the sea.

Slightly aft, the practical galley kitchen features a sink, drawers and storage space. Guests can relax in front of a 32-inch LED television*, complete with Blu-ray CD/DVD player* that integrates

with the Naim audio system. An ingenious forward-facing camera* on the bow delivers live footage to the forward screen, allowing guests to see where they are travelling from every angle.

The Princess Design Studio offers three beautifully resolved interior schemes that complement the 5 metallic paint finishes. The finest materials and textures combine to create a bespoke and luxurious space in the R35. This maintains the integrity of Princess in terms of practicality, wellconsidered execution and absolute attention to detail as the company layers on new levels of technology and engineering design.

"It's exciting to work on a project where some elements are more automotive driven in terms of using colour and trim as the main consideration. We have been able to draw on our expertise in yachting design to ensure that every finish is not only beautiful but also incredibly durable in a marine environment." Sarah Verey, Director of Creative Design at Princess Yachts.


But owning an R35 isn't just about having a yacht – it's about being part of the Princess family. Princess Lifeline provides owners with 24/7 international access to medical and security assistance, or technical help from our global network of dealers. Whatever happens, owners are covered wherever they cruise for the first two years of ownership after which they can easily renew.

A familiarization course prior to delivery means owners can confidently take to the waves in the new R35 and experience the full benefit of Princess's, and their key partners', vision and dramatic execution.

"Aside from the revolutionary technology, the look and design of the R35 is enough of a reason alone to make you fall in love with this yacht. One day all boats will be made like this and it is our ambition to introduce this new level of technology and desirability to all of Princess's boats. Forget what you know about yachts – the R35 challenges and changes perceptions." Antony Sheriff, Executive Chairman, Princess Yachts.

Launching 10th September 2018 #experiencetherevolution at

Principal Dimensions

Length overall (excl. pulpit) (max) 35' 9" 10.89m
Beam 10'8'' 3.27m
Draft (at full load) approx max 2'6'' 0.76m
Displacement approx (lightship) 4.5 tonnes
Displacement approx (half load) 5.9 tonnes
Fuel capacity 600 litres / 132 gal / 158 US gallons
Water capacity (excl. calorifier) 140 litres / 31 gal / 37 US gallons
Hot Water calorifiers 36 litres / 8 gal / 10 US gallons
Black water tank 80 litres / 18 gal / 21 US gallons

2 x Volvo Petrol V8 (2x430 mhp) Maximum speed range – 45-50 knots†

† Speeds are given at half load condition with boat to standard specification and with no additional equipment on board. Speeds are estimated and given in good faith but without warranty.

*standard options

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