Pearl Yachts has thought big with the design of its new Pearl 72, adding two master cabins to its already generous layout. Mo Khatib takes a look at the latest launch from the innovative shipyard.


Boutique, British boat builder, Pearl Yachts, presented its new Pearl 72 to the public for the first time at last October’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Business partners, friends and members of the press were the first in the world to explore the 21-metre flybridge, however, those of us ‘across the pond’ had to wait until boot Dusseldorf before we were able to finally view this innovative yacht for ourselves.


Founded in 1998 by a former yacht captain and a local businessman, Pearl Yachts has had to be constantly on top of its game, mainly due to its well-known English South Coast neighbours. Healthy competition is, of course, a good thing and first view of the 72 highlights the work done by Dixon Yacht Design. Strong lines flow through the Pearl 72, flowing down and aft in the hull, and sloping up through the superstructure. Plenty of dark glazing contrasts with the white hull and where some shipyards opt for subtle flybridges, Dixon has made the 72’s a strong, standalone feature with bold supports, sunroof and a glass aft.


If Dixon’s exterior is best described as ‘sports fly’, then the interior is most definitely a pure luxury. Kelly Hoppen CBE has injected superyacht style and quality into the Pearl’s interior spaces, with the main salon in particular, making the most of a subtle light/ dark colourway and an open design. We particularly like how guests can stand in the cockpit and see right through to the helm, with its port-side table and vast windscreen/moonroof.

Head down the central stairs and you arrive at one of the 72’s best features – the lower deck and its innovative layout. Instead of the traditional master cabin and VIP, the Pearl goes all-in with two masters. The forward Master features a forward-facing bed, integrated table and chairs and beautifully curved wood corners. The subtle light/dark colourway continues through the double and twin cabins, and then amidships, is the second master cabin. This is your traditional full-beam master and in addition to providing an ideal solution for co-owners who enjoy the yacht together, the innovative layout allows owners to enjoy a beautiful view even when moored stern-to in a marina.

Style and substance: Dixon Yacht Design took care of the 72’s exterior styling and naval architecture.


Not only was the new Pearl 72 a big hit with visitors to the stand, but it was also acknowledged by the Motor Boat Awards 2023 judges. Hosted by the UK’s Motor Boat & Yachting magazine, the annual awards are judged purely on design, ability and value for money, and the 72 was the winner of the ‘Judges’ Special Award’. “Recognition from a body with the prestige of the Motor Boat Awards is a landmark for any brand in the yachting industry, but for us to be standing here, having won the Judges’ Award after 25 years of hard work is a great achievement.” said Pearl Yachts Managing Director Iain Smallridge.

Pearl was conceived in 1998 when Iain Smallridge, an experienced captain, and John Yarnold, a local businessman, began building 41’ and 45’ aft cabin yachts.

“We count ourselves among the profoundly fortunate because we work in an industry that we love, doing a job we love, for a company we love. None of which would have been possible without the support of with our incredible team. For this award and so much else, we must thank our Production Director, Paul Hannah, who has been fundamental in the development of the product for more than 20 years.

Pearl Yachts: 72 specifications
LOA: 21.99m
Beam: 5.75m
Draught: 1.70m
Fuel: 4,250ltr
Water: 950ltr
Lightship displacement: 50 tonnes
Standard engines: 2x MAN V12 1,400hp
Engine options: 2x MTU 10V 2000 M96L 1600hp
Range at cruise speed: up to 250NM

Topping off a successful show, the award reflected Pearl’s commitment to designing and building innovative, luxury yahcts. Following in the wake of its supremely popular Pearl 62, we expect the 72 to fair equally as well in Europe, America and we hope to see one eventually here in the Middle East.