When French builder Privilege Marine commissioned naval architect Marc Lombard to draw the lines of a new sailing catamaran, the Privilege Series 6, they already had much to work with. Thanks to nearly 35 years of boatbuilding under the belt, they had lots of customer input on which to draw. As they revamped their large cruising cats, the Series X line developed (X being length dependent) in the process of improving the product, they incorporated owner feedback and created the 64-foot Series 6 that replaces the previous Privilege 615, and follows closely on the heels of the Series 5. Here’s a quick look at the Series 6, which we found at the Miami International Boat Show.
In the rejuvenation, Lombard focused on increasing volume in the hull ends to reduce pitching and he raised the bridge deck to minimize pounding in head seas. The result is a cat that hobby-horses less and stays quiet even in sloppy conditions. The new performance hulls have sharper bows that lower resistance to slice through chop efficiently, and have a greater load capacity to carry all the necessary amenities for long distance cruising.
Catamarans are very sensitive to weight and although the Series 6 is anything but light, Privilege took numerous steps in the construction process to lighten the load. The hulls, deck, cabin top and flybridge are resin-infused and foam-cored and the interior furniture and bulkheads are made with cored laminates. A carbon fiber mast and boom are standard to minimize weight aloft. Less weight in the basics means the Series 6 enjoys better performance and can carry more cruising equipment like larger engines and tanks, a genset and A/C units, and extensive furniture to enhance comfort.
Surveyed from the flybridge, the deck of the Series 6 looks massive with 14 flush hatches that bring light and air below. The side decks are wide and finished with a teak toe-rail not always present on catamarans. A long stainless-steel handrail runs along the curved coachroof and tall lifelines are outboard, so getting from the cockpit to the bows is a safe transit. Two small trampolines straddle the wide composite nacelle where the headsail furlers attach. Here you’ll get a solid foothold when working with the windlass, which is mounted just ahead of staysail furler.
Stairs on both sides lead to the flybridge where twin wheels afford good sightlines when docking. The carbon dash behind each wheel has possibly the most real estate I’ve ever seen on an outdoor helm. Each is made of carbon to reduce weight and is angled to cut glare. Two winches are inboard of the wheels, to manage control lines for everything except the long traveler that’s mounted on the Bimini behind the enormous U-shaped dinette.
The composite Bimini also serves to protect the cockpit below. Two things are immediately noticed here: First, seating is plentiful. An L-shaped dining table is to starboard, a straight settee to port, another settee crosses the transom, and then there are twin sunpads port and starboard. The second feature is the fixed platform outside and just behind the transom seat. This wide pathway connects the two sides to keep foot traffic out of the social area and it’s the place where to carry a dinghy. Davits have been replaced by an Atlas crane. With the tender removed, this space becomes a playground, sun deck, or staging area for swimmers or divers. Five steps lead down each transom to short sugar scoops that hover about two feet above the water.
With the square footage of deck, cockpit and flybridge, I can easily imagine 20 people out for a daysail or enjoying happy hour at anchor. On long crossings, eight would not be crowded even for extended periods.
To fully appreciate the boat’s generous proportions, just take a stroll through the interior. Designed by Franck Darnet, the living spaces are open and not overly ambitious in how much they try to cram in. For example, the saloon divides into quadrants, each of which has a separate function but at the same time is open and connected to the others. To port and immediately by the sliding glass door entrance from the cockpit is a large, dedicated nav station. Not just a small desk that pays lip service to providing a place for the ship’s business, the station has ample vertical space for the installation of multiple displays like MFDs, instruments and engine diagnostic screens. There is no question as to where the brain of the ship resides, and because it’s dedicated but also integrated into the rest of the saloon, the captain will be comfortable here for long periods of time, interacting with others as much or as little as desired.
Directly forward is an L-shaped, aft facing settee that serves as the main saloon and lounge. Four can relax in luxurious deep seating. From here, there are 360-degree views via the glass door and the surrounding windows that are at eye-level when one is seated.
The lounge flows easily into the dinette (Privilege says it will seat 10 but that may be a squeeze) that occupies the starboard forward corner. Just aft is an entertainment module with a pop-up flat-screen television, refrigeration, and ample stowage for liquor, glassware, and other party accoutrements.
The main deck has a mixture of built-in and loose furniture. Free standing chairs and even a low coffee table may be added and moved around to add flexibility. Also, numerous stylistic customization options are available from a choice of real woods including maple, cherry walnut, or oak, to finish materials for the sole and headliner.
The galley wasn’t shoehorned onto the main deck but rather was set down into the starboard hull. This is good for couple of reasons: First, the galley isn’t squeezed and sub-optimized by sharing space with the salon. Second, in situations where the Series 6 will be professionally crewed (more often than not), meals can be prepared out of sight while guests occupy the salon and cockpit. Everything is at hand here.
Four cabins are standard although crew quarters may be added. This restraint not to pack in more results in nicely-sized cabins, two in the starboard hull and two on the other side. The two aft cabins have large berths and plenty of stowage lockers as well as their own heads. The shower compartments are separate and inboard and they’re a bit of a mystery. The spaces are narrow and I got in to test whether I could reach up to wash my hair without banging my elbows on the sides. I couldn’t. Those who are claustrophobic will be less than comfortable in there and a larger person who drops the soap may not have an easy time retrieving it.
The master stateroom, which is to port and forward, takes up a disproportionate amount of room–as it should. The entrance is via a large and very functional office with a desk outboard. The head is in the bow, this time, with a good-sized shower stall.
Just inboard of a large chest of drawers are four steps that lead up to the king-sized bed that lies amidships. The nacelle on deck would effectively bisect the ceiling above the bed if it continued aft. Raising the berth and moving it so far inboard makes the cabin over 20’ wide and keeps the stateroom spacious and luxurious. A large flat-screen television is mounted on a bulkhead at the foot of the bed while the entire inner wall on our test boat was fished in a mosaic of variously colored leather. I’ve never seen an approach quite like this layout except on previous Privilege designs and it will catch the eye of any discerning prospective owner.
The Series 6 is a substantial vessel with a displacement of over 60,000 pounds, and fully loaded perhaps 80,000 pounds depending on which set of specs you believe. Twin 110 HP diesels are standard and cruise is nine to 10 knots depending on conditions. Engine room access is via the cockpit sole and here, you’ll find the Onan genset, which is standard.
The sail area is a whopping 2,374 square feet between the square top, fully battened mainsail and the genoa on the outer furler. A second furler holds an optional 355 square-foot staysail, which is very handy for upwind work in blustery conditions. As I mentioned before, the mast, which towers over 80’ above the waterline, is carbon fiber as is the V-shaped boom. Both keep weight aloft to a minimum.
In 20 to 22 knot breezes off Miami, the Series 6 managed 9.6 to 10.4 knots but then surfing down waves, we ticked up to nearly 12 knots. The boat felt solid and was quiet even in the sloppy conditions. The visibility forward from the raised flybridge is excellent and if you duck and peek below the Bimini, you can also see the transoms when backing into a slip. Reasonably fast passages with a good level of safety are a Privilege trademark and in this, the Series 6 won’t disappoint.
The Privilege Series 6 is an ocean-crosser and will appeal to those with bluewater aspirations. But it’s also a luxury lifestyle platform where guests can enjoy separation, privacy, and comfort on long passages. It’s an amalgam of good ideas, which is no surprise really, since Privilege has turned out over 600 catamarans since 1994. Listening to owner feedback over three decades has worked, and the results speak for themselves.
Other Choices: The Lagoon 620, named one of the 5 Most Comfortable Sailing Catamarans to Consider, offers a number of interior layout choices and also has a huge flybridge. If you’re more interested in performance and cutting edge technology, the TAG 60 will be of interest.
For more information, visit Privilege.
See Privilege listings.
|Sail area||2,374 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||528 gal. approx.|
|Water capacity||343 gal. approx.|