Entry-level models are an important part of any boatbuilder’s lineup, even a luxury brand like Jeanneau’s Prestige. The idea is to design, equip and price models just right, so as to secure a customer for life—one who will trade-up through the model line over time.
For years, the 420 Flybridge was that boat for Prestige. While there was nothing wrong with the model, its pod drives and interior layout priced it a bit beyond where Prestige needed to be to attract the most target buyers. So, the builder launched this version, which is new from the keel up.
The boat feels familiar: It’s open and airy with many entertainment spaces. One of my favorite features on the last model was the electric grill at the transom, which was accessed from the hydraulic teak swim platform. It’s still there on the new 420, as is the aft cockpit with seating protected by the flybridge overhang and a sunshade. The new model also has an optional flybridge hardtop rather than the old canvas Bimini.
In the cabin, the main salon is very different from the one on the outgoing model. There’s still an aft galley, but gone is the port-side stairway that led down to the master stateroom. This allowed Prestige to improve and expand the galley, add a bench seat abaft the helm, and grow the dinette lounge.
A set of steps at the forward end of the salon lead below to the two-stateroom layout with a midcabin master and forward guest quarters. Both areas are surprisingly roomy, including the master, which has stand-up headroom on either side of the queen berth. The boat can be ordered with two heads or one shared head and a space for a washer/dryer.
Propulsion options include a pair of six-cylinder Cummins diesels with a conventional shaft-and-propeller setup, at either 380 or 425 horsepower. Joystick control is an option. Out on Chesapeake Bay in a healthy chop, our boat with 425-hp engines topped out near 30 knots and cruised in the low-20-knot range.
Out with the old and in with the new, or so they say. In this case, Prestige took what was a winning model and then elevated it into a cruiser that buyers who are new to the brand will most likely appreciate.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue.