A French Revolution: the Prestige 630
Exciting performance, owner privacy, and impressive cruising range
While the Prestige 630 motoryacht may be the smallest of the French builder’s yacht line with an LOA of nearly 63 feet, she’s no little sister. Instead, she’s a tour de force as the company’s newest model to enter the water. By teaming with Volvo Penta, Prestige used cutting-edge hull engineering from J&J Design to position the twin 725-horsepower power plants in the ideal place for high performance.
How did they do it? The two Volvo Penta D11 engines are connected to the IPS 950 pod drives via jackshafts—a big difference, since in most configurations the engines are located directly above the pod drives. “This is a planing hull and the jackshafts allowed us to move the engines further forward and not put as much weight on the back, yet still use the IPS pods,” explained Adrien Berton, product manager for Prestige. “The jackshafts transmit that power to pods, and it allows us to get the maximum speed of 28 knots, which is about as fast as our customers want to go.”
When the 630 was launched at the 2016 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, she was introduced as the latest yacht from Camillo Garroni Carbonara, chief architect and designer of Garroni Design in Genoa, Italy. The 630 is just
one of many yachts the firm has designed for Prestige, a brand under the French builder Groupe Beneteau.
“The 630 is built on the west coast of France in Prestige’s main factory, which is over 35,000 square meters in size,” Berton said. “It comes over on the deck of a cargo ship fully rigged and assembled, so the dealer gets the yacht delivered
with everything ready to go.”
With a cruising range of 305 nautical miles at 24 knots, the Prestige 630 can easily run from South Florida to The Bahamas and back without refueling. Berton said the typical Prestige 630 owner has yachting experience and will operate the vessel on his own, without the help of guests or a hired first mate. Joystick operation around the docks and at low speeds make the vessel easier for an owner to maneuver. The addition of a Seakeeper 9 stabilizer keeps boat motion to a minimum for guest comfort, especially when riding atop the flybridge deck and its second helm. The flybridge is configured with a two-person helm seat to port, a large L-shaped couch that converts to a sunpad, and a starboard galley with grill, refrigerator and sink.
A substantial hardtop with a unique center slide-out section provides room for electronics and throws generous shade for guests or opens to the skies. “The 630 offers space for the owner and guests, not only on the flybridge but throughout the yacht,” Berton explained. “For example, off the swim platform—which hydraulically lowers below the water for easy re-boarding and can carry a dinghy up to 800 pounds—there is a crew cabin via a port-side door in the transom. Now the boat is probably going to be owner-operator so this could be for extra guests to sleep, or to carry spare parts.”
Moving from the swim platform to the main deck is easy via a starboard-side staircase into the cockpit, which features a transom couch and dining table. Forward of the cockpit in the main salon through a sliding-glass door is the port-side galley. Again, space and generous storage is a major theme. It has a full complement of appliances—refrigerator, dishwasher, four-burner stove, oven, and microwave—as well as a wine cooler.
Clean sightlines up to the starboard-side main helm station allow for excellent visibility throughout, and huge windows let in an abundance of natural light. The sunshine illuminates the Wenge wood joinery and white oak flooring. Immediately forward of the galley is the salon with a port-side settee, love seat and chair. A hi-low table converts for dining. The helm station is fully tricked out with three Raymarine 165 multifunctional display screens offering a high-tech view into all the ship’s systems. The steering wheel and Volvo Penta throttles and shifters are in a good position to the pilot’s right, along with the joystick for easy operation.
Wipers keep the big two-panel windshield clear during inclement weather. All guest cabins are on the lower deck, and the privacy of the master cabin is assured with the starboard-side staircase amidships in the salon. The centerline suite has a king-size bed, flat-screen TV, large hanging closet, work station, and ensuite head with shower. Fusion audio controls for the entertainment system allow for complete control from the master stateroom.
The VIP and guest cabins are forward of the helm in the bow and down a staircase that offers an area for a washer and dryer, if desired. The VIP is farthest forward with a queen-size bed on the centerline and ensuite head and stand-up shower, while the guest cabin to port features twin bunks that can slide together to make a double bed. There’s also a dayhead and shower that is shared with the guest cabin.
“The abundance of natural light throughout the boat means the captain can also see outside very easily,” Berton added. “We have always focused on safety and easy operation for the crew. Another area where that is an example is at the flybridge helm station. When running the boat on the upper deck at the helm, the captain can look through the port-side staircase all the way down to the swim platform.”
Finding places to relax in the sun is easy. In addition to the swim platform and two large sunpads on the flybridge deck, there’s another huge lounge seating-sunpad arrangement on the bow. By raising or lowering backrests, the pads can be set up for seating and sunbathing for four people or more, which is ideal when at anchor or under operation at low speeds.
“Our customers take ownership of the Prestige 630 to enjoy their families and friends,” Berton said. “The safety, comfort features and performance allow for the owner and his guests the ability to go to The Bahamas, the Caribbean and Cuba. The owner can operate the boat alone and will, perhaps, only ask for
extra help when washing the boat in the marina.”
By Doug Thompson, Southern Boating August 2017