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Floating your dollars

Climb aboard as we take you for a test-drive in the Prestige 460S – affordable luxury on Sydney Harbour.

Prestige 460S

If you’re fortunate enough to own, or even have borrowed, a home with views of Sydney’s stellar harbour, you’ll know how spectacular it is to gaze upon on a sunny day. Indeed, the only thing that could be any better than such a view is to sit in, rather than on, that glowing emerald water itself.

And this is, without doubt, the best party trick that the highly entertaining Prestige 460S coupe cruiser is capable of.

Set up a few deck chairs on the timber-floored hydraulic swim platform, lower it down a foot or so into the water and you are suddenly part of the superlative scenery, eye level with the Harbour itself, and pleasantly cooled by the water around your ankles.

If you get too hot, you just fall off your chair and duck in for a swim. If there’s a better way to spend your working day – entertaining clients in the swishest and saltiest of surroundings – it’s almost hard to imagine it.

What’s great about a boat like the 460S, though, is its Goldilocks size. While it is absolutely large enough to entertain a dozen people in absolute comfort, and can sleep four overnight with ease, at 46 feet it’s not so big that you feel completely intimidated while driving it.

Berthing the Prestige – which is described as ‘affordable luxury’, with a price tag of just A$1,244,000 – is made easy by the inclusion of a Volvo Penta IPS system, complete with Joystick Driving.

Berthing the Prestige – which is described as ‘affordable luxury’, with a price tag of just A$1,244,000 – is made easy by the inclusion of a Volvo Penta IPS system, complete with Joystick Driving.

Using something called pod drives, this system allows you to lock off the steering wheel and guide the boat gently and easily into its berth using a joystick, which, if you’ve ever played a computer game in your life, makes things feel completely natural.

As someone who finds reversing a boat the size of a garage with the usual mix of bow thrusters and two engines pushing you in two different directions, in reverse, about as easy as tying shoelaces with your tongue, this is a God-send.

Prestige 460S

What this means is that the driver’s seat is somewhere you’re actually happy to spend time, and it’s made even more pleasant by the 460S’s design.

Not only is there a vast sun roof above you, slightly bigger than a ping pong table, that can let the sun in, or put you in the shade, but you are surrounded by couches, a large sitting area and the kitchen, so you never feel left out of the fun.

With a beam of 14.1 feet (4.3m), there’s also plenty of room to move around in a cabin that offers full, 360-degree views of the world around you (another bonus for the skipper).

What you also notice in there is that not an inch of space has been wasted, and that everything you touch feels high-quality, as brand manager Steven Bullock explains.

“Prestige is a French brand, and it’s a big deal globally, this is the second biggest selling boat in the US in the 45 to 60-foot range, and what you’re getting here is European quality,” he says.

“What you’ll notice on these boats is that you’re never touching, or seeing, fibreglass or plastic. It’s all soft furnishings and stitched leather.

“This is a luxury, Euro proposition and there are a lot of options out there – your Australian boats such as Rivieras and Maritimos – but this is French quality and French heritage, so you’re talking about a different level of style and quality.”

Prestige 460S

Being French, of course, it’s clear to see a lot of effort has gone into making the 460S look as sleek and properly proportioned on the water as possible. While you can spend more to order one with a fly bridge (giving you a second floor, and a second steering wheel), it looks far better in this coupe set-up.

There’s plenty more of that style on display downstairs as well, where you’ll find a large master suite with water views out the portholes, a guest cabin and two bathrooms. There’s even enough space in a little storage nook out the back to sneak in another mattress for your cabin boy/chef/least-favourite employee to sleep.

While the temptations of that swimming platform out the back (which can also be used to stow your tender, which can thus easily be lowered into the water for trips to shore) are hard to resist, the other absolute sweet spot of the Prestige 460S is the foredeck, with its two plush and inviting sun loungers.

Affordability is obviously a relative term when it comes to the world of boats, but truly, after spending a sunny afternoon on this boat and exploring every inch of its richly appointed space, it’s hard to believe that its price tag is not a few hundred thousand dollars higher.

With that sunroof open above you and the gorgeous greens and blues of Sydney Harbour disappearing beneath your shiny hull, at a flying maximum speed of 32 knots, it really does feel like a multi-million-dollar experience.

Looking for your dream superyacht? Do a little window-shopping at the best superyachts in the world and take a look at the new Lexus luxury yacht.

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