Fairline Targa 47 — By Capt. Bill Pike
— October 2005
One Sweet Ride
Part 2: The boat is eminently simple to maneuver, hefty enough, and deep enough—thanks to a sharp 18-degree transom deadrise—to valiantly resist the effects of wind.
Why? Balance is a hallmark of the design work of naval architect Bernard Olesinski, the fellow who drew the deep-V running surface for the 47. Simply put, boats with longitudinal centers of gravity that are too far forward tend to bow steer and show other signs of handling orneriness on plane and even sometimes at displacement speeds. Boats with longitudinal centers of gravity that are too far aft tend to struggle out of the hole and plow inefficiently once they achieve plane. Deftly splitting the difference with a dedicated, single-mold hull form, which is what Olesinski’s done with the 47, produces performance characteristics that are downright inspirational from a driver’s point of view, particularly when teamed up with other factors like savvy tunnel design, judicious rudder placement, and a beefy, engine-assisted hydraulic steering system.
Docking our test boat stern-to at Miami Beach Marina under breezy conditions put the frosting on the cake. Once I’d started the bow swinging to effect the lineup I needed to back down, I simply turned a bit toward the transom on my bolster, noted how refreshing it was to be gazing aft with virtually unlimited visibility, and slid ’er home with just a couple of gear changes. While the 47 comes stateside-equipped with a standard-issue SidePower bow thruster, I found it unnecessary. The boat is eminently simple to maneuver, hefty enough, and deep enough—thanks to a sharp 18-degree transom deadrise—to valiantly resist the effects of wind.
My examination of the 47 dockside generated oooohs and aaaahs, regardless of the fact that it took place in the shadow of such a spectacular test drive. On the engineering front, I was impressed with the engine-room entry at the transom on the port side. It’s a stand-up affair once the hatch is deployed; all you do is step down. I picked up on numerous nifty details and features in the machinery spaces, like the seachest forward between the inboard engine bearers (it cuts the number of seawater pickups and through-hulls); the sound-insulating foam wrapping the welded-aluminum fuel tanks; the robust, tightly spaced grid of closed-cell, foam-core stringers and transversals that ruggedizes the solid-glass hull; and a hull-to-deck joint that’s both bolted and fiberglassed all the way around for monocoque rigidity.
Accommodation spaces were just as impressive, with an ample master forward, an ample VIP aft (with single berths that can be slid together), and a galley/dinette area in between. Headroom throughout measures six feet or more, each stateroom has its own facilities with an electric VacuFlush MSD and separate shower stall, and all joinery is finished with two layers of stain followed by six layers of lacquer. Intermingle such features with fine Mobella hardware, alfresco dining/lounging facilities in the cockpit abaft the helm station, and a tender/PWC garage with an optional rollers-and-winch arrangement, and you’ve got a cruise-friendly vessel of the first order.
Which is wonderful, of course. But just remember: The Fairline Targa 47’s real claim to fame is not her engineering, construction, or easy-livin’ layout. She’s a driver’s boat, pure and simple. And that’s a fact.
Fairline Boats of North America ( (954) 525-7430. www.fairline.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.