Fairline Targa 62 — By Capt. Patrick Sciacca —
The Lap of Luxury
Fairline’s newest Targa gives these three-time owners speed along with comfort and plush accommodations.
Ben and Valentina Bethell only caught the boating bug seven years ago, but since discovering the lifestyle this cruising couple has learned, embraced, and lived it full throttle. After relocating from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Naples, Florida, the duo thought owning a boat went hand in hand with living in the Sunshine State, so they started out with a 15-foot jet boat. That quickly escalated to a 42 Grand Banks, which the Bethells still speak of fondly. But times changed, and the twin-diesel, 15-knot Grand Banks gave way to an Ocean Alexander, then a Fairline Squadron 55 and a Squadron 58.
Just when the Bethells thought they had worked out the bug and were ready to come ashore, they saw Fairline’s Targa 62.
“[Boat ownership] is not a logical thing,” says Valentina as she and her husband, their friends Elaine and Al Buffington, Capt. Mark Curreri, Fairline’s stateside rep Jim Renfrow, and I prepared to toss lines and test this sleek express cruiser. “It’s an emotional thing,” she adds, noting that when Ben first saw the 62, he immediately turned to her and asked, “‘Can we have it?’”
The answer, of course, was yes. So there we were, seven boating enthusiasts cruising past Fort Lauderdale’s Pier 66 toward the Atlantic to see what the Bethells’ 62, dubbed Valentina, could do. The answer is, a whole lot.
With a slight southeast breeze making for about a two-foot chop, the boat was ready for action. Her solid-fiberglass, deep-V hull form, which has an 18-degree aft deadrise, sliced through the chop sans trim tabs with authority and no hint of pound. She made her way to a comfortable cruise of 36.1 mph while burning 74 gph at 2000 rpm. A combination of her optional 1,015-hp Caterpillar C18 diesel powerplants, an effective running bottom, and solid-fiberglass construction (with the exception of minimal coring in the walkaround decks for soundproofing) all lent themselves to her speedy and bump-free ride. When her Cats reached their rated 2350 rpm, the 62 made a time-travel-like 42.8 mph, according to my radar gun. The payback for this is a 100-gph fuel burn.
The 62’s performance had me excited for some wheel time. Ben commented that while the boat doesn’t have many hours on her (about 60 as of this writing), he has cruised Valentina between Florida’s coasts to avoid hurricanes and says she handles easily. I concur; she’s one agile machine. The standard SeaStar hydraulic power-assist steering allowed me to maneuver this 62-footer like a speedy runabout. I put the 62 into 36-plus-mph hardover turns on a dime with barely a boat length in the turn and a nominal drop in rpm. However, visibility out the sleek, curved Euro windows when making these James Bond-type moves is obscured to the inboard side of the turn; I repeatedly ducked to double check there were no boats nearby. Otherwise, her single-lever electronic Cat controls were smooth when throttling through the engines’ rpm range, with a solid detent when shifting gears for slow-speed turning. While the 62 comes standard with a Sidepower bow thruster, I found the big Cats coupled to the ZF transmissions and 32x54 four-blade wheels made spinning this boat a breeze. In addition, sightlines aft are completely clear. The same can be said for forward visibility when the 62 is underway. Her trim angle never rose above five degrees; I’ve tested boats similar in style that had trim angles a few degrees higher.
This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.