Princess 330 vs. Fairline Corniche 31
I've been doing a lot of looking around the last couple of months having decided to get a family motor cruiser and I've settled on the slightly older but more spacious route. I'm narrowing down to a Princess 330 (possibly a 33 Mk II if I have to) or a Fairline Corniche 31. Budget is around £45k so I think these are do-able but I would be interested to hear any feedback anyone has on the merits of these apparently very similar boats.
My main points of consideration are:
- Will be South Coast based with possible hops to France
- I want a twin 200hp diesel engines for safety and cost
- I want to be able to comfortably sleep 2 adults and one 5 year old with space to ammuse the little one (playstation etc)
- My wife and I want to be able to fish
- We want to use this for occasional 1-2 week holidays
- I would like a flybridge for 'wind in the hair' boating
Thanks for any advice or comments you can provide a wannabe first owner.
I'd go for the 330 as being an Olsinki design, duno about the Fairline. If you can push to a P35, it's a dream machine.
I would agree about the Princess on build quality and performance. However both have, from my point of view, a highly dangerous access to the flybridge, ie via a ladder. At sea in lumpy weather, the thought of anybody trying to get down below quickly & safely, fills me with dread, especially with children.
I discounted the Corniche a few years ago for that reason. Unfortunately, there are not too many oldish boats around which have decent staircase access.
A command bridge style, like the Brooms & Aquastars can give you the best of both worlds, but are more expensive.
A P35 is through a hatch and perfectly safe, I agrea about the others.
the 31 Corniche is the boat to go, and is a Bernard Olenski design
Fairline started work with Olenski before Princess, those 330 also suffer a bit the rolling and beamy seas
the 33 Mk.II as stated in another post is a John Bennett hull and suffers rolling twice as much to the 330
I always loved how those Corniche handled the seas, and I can say minus the space they give also a challenge to a Princess 35
Both the 330 and the Corniche are Olesinski designs and therefore could be considered to be modern generation hull designs. The 330 has propellor tunnels in the hull and a slightly elongated hull (Princess called it a 'bustle' at the time) whereas the Corniche is a slightly earlier design and has neither. For those 2 reasons I would slightly favour the 330 but, really, there won't be a huge difference between how both feel at sea. IMHO, Fairline had a better finish than Princess at the time so that would slightly favour the Corniche. In the end, it's more about which layout suits you better and the condition of the boats you find for sale
Originally Posted by Granthsmith
As I said, the Corniche is an earlier design than the 330 and the earlier Corniches had a stainless steel radar arch which now looks a bit old fashioned. The later Corniches have a raked back grp arch which looks a lot better although you may find one or two earlier ones which have been retrofitted with the grp arch. You will find some earlier Corniches with 165hp engines (TAMD40) and IMHO, they may be a bit underpowered so your requirement for 2 x 200hp engines (TAMD41A) is correct. Lastly, there are a few Corniches around on sterndrives rather than shaftdrives. Some people will disagree but IMHO, flybridge boats of this size are better with shaftdrive because they will be a bit easier to handle around the marina. Flybridge boats carry a lot of windage and with sterndrives, the bow is more easily blown off. On the other hand, the sterndrive boats will use less fuel so pays your money, takes your choice
I would discount the 33 Mk2. It is an earlier Bennett hull design and maybe not as good a sea boat as the other 2
My preference would be the cornich
We had one for several years and cruised a long way.
In a head sea there is a little slapping but that isnt a problem until you get old and fragile.
Our daughter was two weeks old when she went of her first cruise on the corniche and learned to walk on it , as to the 'dangerous' steps, they are far superior to stairs in that it is a ladder to hold and as soon as you take one step the hatch is around your shoulders, kids have no problem with the steps, how many times do kids go up and down the steps on slides.
AD 41s (200hp) recommended and my preference is outdrives.
I have had 2 corniches, both 200 on shafts, both tricabin with dinette, the one i really wanted was the twin cab with good bed and massive toilet/shower, the living areas the same size.
Get a survey on the engines and fuel tanks, the last one i bought had to have new tanks in but was priced accordingly so i bought her.
The engine access is not that good but the floors can be altered to suit, I did mine broom style on 2 large hinged hatches and lift out bearers, fantastic when done, new tanks in stainless.
Fuel wise about 1.75mpg at 20knot cruise at 3100 rpm, mine had 4 blade props on too which makes a big difference.
I also looked at the 330, the under cabin is not ideal, the woodwork and general build is not as good as the early fairlines, however the princess 35 is a different boat alltogether and would be the best choice at the same money, if your lucky!!.
My reference to the ladder, was about being in a lumpy sea and the thought of them coming down, which is the more dangerous situation. Let's take the scenario that your child wants a wee. I am sure you would not them go down those ladders by themselves, with the boat pitching and rolling. At least with stairs, which usually have grab rails at intervals, then it is much easier to hang onto the child. It even possible to go down stairs on your bum, holding on the grab handles. Not so with a ladder. How on earth can you compare a fixed playground slide ladder to a pitching boat.
Originally Posted by dacarak
Why do you think that most modern boats have gone to moulded-in staircase? - ease of access and safety are the main reasons.
My daughter is now 9, she has been to France, St Helier,Guernsey, Sark, Herm, Alderney and more, although we dont try to go out when it is rough you can imagine during these crossings some have been a little bumpy and none of us have so far peed ourselves.
The next time you are on an older flybridge look at the steps and imagine a child going up.
Straight out the patio doors, they hold with both hands the steps, good firm grip with fully enclosed cockpit.
Depending who is driving either my wife or usually I stand behind my daughter as she climbs up, my arms are holding the steps, if she falls she falls against me, I follow her up closely, as soon as I take one step up my shoulders are surrounded by the hatch, if I fall I am caught by the hatch.
Coming down is just about the same in reverse.
I have been on several boats with stairs and I am not keen, when it is rough there is a place half way up where there isnt a satisfactory grab rail and there is nothing between you and the sea, I hate that bit but I guess it is what you get used to.
Kids climb more ladders than we do and they do not have a problem with them.
In order to avoid loosing someone overboard we always press the horn when safe inside so the helm can stop watching astern, press the horn when coming back up.
Anyone with children should not be put off steps until they have watched their children try them.