Polished Pearl

At 72 feet, Pearl Yachts’ latest launch hits a sweet spot in the market and her fit, finish and performance make her a real gem.

Written by Chris Caswell

31 August 2023


If ever a yacht were perfectly named, it would have to be the Pearl 72. Not only is she an absolute gem but, unlike diamonds or rubies, she needs no polishing or cutting. This is a turn-key yacht delivered with everything, right down to Pearl logo crockery, bath robes and boat hook. Just bring your toothbrush – and perhaps a good bottle of bubbly!

Though a 72-footer, the Pearl radiates superyacht features, starting with two master suites among the four (all ensuite) cabins, so no guests will feel like second-class citizens. The cabin Pearl labels the master has a private entry typical of much larger yachts, leading to a suite with forward-facing berth, glossy black cabinetry and large clerestory upper windows for light. Triple wardrobes, six under-berth drawers and the ensuite head with shower make this eminently liveable for long cruises.

The guest master is amidship with a separate stairwell from the saloon, another superyacht feature. It also has a forward-facing berth and private entry from a short hallway, while a third double guest cabin lies to port.


To starboard, there’s a twin cabin with an ensuite that doubles as an accessible day head. All cabins have close to 2 metres of headroom.

Long-time Pearl naval architect Bill Dixon penned the elegantly aggressive exterior lines that clearly show the new Pearl DNA, with long glass panels set into the hull sides to eliminate multiple windows and a wider beam of 5.7 metres. “Every element of the 72’s design follows the core identity that she is a Pearl,” enthuses Dixon.

“But with this new yacht, we have evolved to a higher level. The hull glass has been expanded for a more modern look, combined with the sporty stance she inherited from the recent Pearl 62 – a marker of the new generation. The lines,” he adds, “are as elegant as ever, now a bit sleeker and more streamlined, and the use of spherical glass gives her curves in all the right places.”

That beam is well used by interior designer Kelly Hoppen CBE (of bizjet and penthouse fame) to offer three totally different interior schemes. Our test 72 had the Indulgence theme, a perfect rendition of a Monaco (or New York or London) penthouse in onyx marbles, dark bulkheads and flooring, and a look that doesn’t distract from the view.

That view, by the way, is sweeping, with the coamings on the side decks cut down to allow windows just 40 centimetres above the saloon sole behind the couches. Forward, the skipper and guests enjoy an almost unbroken windshield stretching from deck to flybridge, with a 1.2-metre shade to keep the sun at bay.

“We approached the design of this yacht as I would when creating couture interiors for a private residence,” comments Hoppen.

“An array of materials – including incredible timber veneers, onyx marbles and contrasting metal detailing – has been used throughout and layered together to create wonderful reflections and luxurious tones, fusing the ocean and interiors to create an earthly and sensory experience.”

Interior decor choices include pale, washed wood as well as traditional high-gloss dark wood. For me, however, Indulgence was the perfect look for this gem and suited her exterior lines perfectly.

The galley is in the saloon but tucked out of the way behind the helm seats, with Miele four-burner induction cooktop, Miele convection oven and grill, and wine cooler. Opposite is a full-height, domestic-size Dometic fridge.

As if two master suites and two additional ensuite guest cabins weren’t enough, the 72 also has a crew cabin to delight the troops with double bunks, head with stall shower, fully equipped compact crew galley and safe sidedeck access.

Individual helm seats invoke luxury cars with deep bolsters and individual adjusters.

Our test boat had the pantograph door next to the helm, making for easy access to the side deck. The skipper enjoys a glass dash with twin Garmin monitors, a row of tidy, well-marked rocker switches, and controls for the Side-Power bow and stern thrusters. The Humphree custom interceptor trim controls are automatic for ease of use at all speeds to stabilise the boat and keep it level even while turning.

On the upper deck, the full-length deck shades the lower cockpit and features a dining table with wraparound seating, wet bar with Kenyon grill, forward seating with a cocktail table, plus sunpad or even an optional hot tub. All of this is shaded by a fibreglass hardtop with wide folding louvre slats that allow full sun, full shade, or a breeze.

And, as if dining areas in the saloon, aft deck and upper deck weren’t enough, the Pearl 72 has a high-low dining table on the foredeck with full wraparound seating that converts to a sunpad. A Bedouin-style shade on poles protects the area from the sun when needed. Further forward, there’s a Lewmar V6 anchor windlass with both foredeck and helm controls.

Aft, the cockpit features a standard removable full enclosure for cool or wet climates, boarding doors on both sides and, on our test boat, an Opacmare passerelle.

In keeping with superyachts (or luxury homes), there’s a cavernous multi-vehicle garage. The entire transom hinges up to reveal ample stowage, which on our boat easily handled a Williams 345 jet tender plus a SeaDoo Spark, and still had room for Seabob water sleds plus dive tanks. That Williams 345 jet tender easily handles five people and has a top speed of 40 knots for fun with water toys.

The 72 is also easy to board, not least because the aft coamings butterfly outward origami style; there’s also a transom-within-a-transom panel that lowers into comfortable beach club lounge seating.

Underway, the Pearl 72 is a delight, with light but positive electric steering that still provides enough feedback for experienced skippers to feel the boat.

We faced conditions that would have encouraged saner minds to stay at the dock but we had no problem with a turbulent Gulf Stream off Florida; in fact, the Pearl 72 seemed to relish the challenge. She seems a dry boat, too – we didn’t even get a chance to test the windshield wipers.

Engine choices start with twin 1,400 hp MAN V12s. Our review boat upped the ante with MTU 10V 2000 M96Ls, using ZF gearboxes to handle 1,622 hp each. We saw 33 knots despite an uncooperative and lumpy seaway, and had a comfy 22-knot cruise at 70-percent load, which would make the miles disappear. The factory, in better conditions, measured a cruise speed of 25 knots with a range of 250 nautical miles.

The engine room is reached through the crew quarters or from the garage and, considering the array of engines and systems, is surprisingly accessible via a centreline diamond-plate sole.

Our test boat had a second Kohler 20.5 kilowatt genset and the standard Applied Marine Automation AC/DC system. We also had the Seakeeper SK18 gyro stabiliser, designed to be lightweight at 1,115 kilograms while still reducing up to 95 percent of the yacht roll. The Seakeeper doesn’t eat up much engine room space, and the dashboard control provides the skipper with a reading on how the roll angle has been minimised.

When it comes to construction, the Pearl is second to none, with fully hand-laid fibreglass for strength and longevity. No wood is used in the stringers, thus preventing rot, and the inside of the hull uses the same Ashland gelcoat as the exterior for a smooth finish and minimal maintenance.

The Pearl 72 is a gem in all respects, and with two master suites and two inviting guest cabins, she’s not just perfectly named, she’s a polished performer you can enjoy alone or with crew, and with friends or with family.



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