Anytime I climb aboard a new boat I try to pretend I’m in the market for a similar type boat. (I’ve been told I have a strong imagination.) But this time it’s even easier to imagine myself as a Prestige owner; I’m joined by my wife, Karen. She shakes her head in disbelief that this is my job. I don’t mind; I do the same thing myself from time to time.
I’ve toured half a dozen new models with top brass from Prestige over the years. Together with President of Prestige America Nick Harvey and Director of Marketing Erik Stromberg, I’ve been through more than my fair share of engine rooms and bilges and have come away with a high level of respect for the attention to detail they pay in designing a boat that uses the most of every inch of space, while also paying fanatically close attention to their boat’s center of gravity.
I show her how closet shapes and clever drawer solutions give the owner every inch of usable accommodation space. I note smart handholds and sightlines, and how the side door assists in docking while shorthanded. She mentions how much she likes the boat’s aesthetics and the amount of space there is in the full-beam master. She takes note of the seating area to port in the master that allows you to enjoy a cup of coffee one second and a flip-up vanity to do your makeup the next.
We make our way to the helm where I mention the 590 incorporates a digital switching system called Ship Control. “It actually debuted on the Beneteau GT 50 last year, and that boat had first dibs, but since Prestige and Beneteau fall under the same parent company, eventually that technology made its way to the other brands.”
Stromberg, who introduced me to the 590 when she debuted at the Cannes show last fall, is eager to show me what this boat can do. We settle in at the flybridge helm and carve turn after turn. The 590 is sporty in the best way.
“What do you find the most comfortable cruise speed to be?” I ask Stromberg, who has been on more than a dozen sea trials on the 590 over the weekend. “I’d say here around 2500 [rpm],” he replies. I dial into that rpm and see an agreeable 21-knot cruise. “The engines are running smooth, you have plenty of control. And this one is a relatively heavy boat. We have a Seakeeper and a hardtop.”
To record more precise test data, we retreat to the lower helm for two-way speed runs. I’m more than happy to hand off the task of recording data to Karen, who I have to admit has much better handwriting. The boat is snappy and fairly silent, with just 71 dB(A) of noise at a 29-knot wide open throttle.
I let Karen take a turn at the helm. I recognize the mixture of nerves and exhilaration on her face as I coax her to push the throttles toward the horizon.
Automatic trim and joystick technology have her moving the boat around like a pro. Sitting there and keeping a lookout, I think about how amazing it is that such a complex little ship with countless systems could be operated so simply. —Daniel Harding Jr.
Displ.: 60.704 lbs.
Fuel: 581 gal.
Water: 201 gal.
Power: 2/600-hp Cummins QSC 8.3 Zeus
Cruise Speed: 21 knots
Top Speed: 29 knots