Fairline Targa 62GTBy Kevin Koenig
The Fairline Targa 62GT is a sleek and sexy cruiser with plenty of attention to design detail.
One sultry Miami morning, Fairline’s auburn-haired junior marketer sprawled barefoot and sun-kissed on the Targa 62’s massive aft sunpad. Perhaps she was trying to burn the excesses of the preceding night’s South Beach Halloween parade from her system. The sticky-hot sun beat down upon the world that day, and light caromed off every curve and smooth surface it could find, on the Targa and otherwise. Presently the girl turned her head toward me as I jotted down notes in the cockpit. From behind big, dark sunglasses she pleaded coquettishly, “You simply have to call your article ‘Sex on the Seas.’ I mean, look at this boat,” she sat up and swept her arm forward. Then continuing a bit more forcefully, “This is sexy.”
Far be it from me to argue. The entire look and feel of the Targa 62 is sophisticated and cool, from her low-profile lines to the understated interior décor. And yet this boat isn’t simply sizzle. There is also steak here, in the form of well-conceived and executed design attributes, amenities, and an irrefutably fastidious attention to detail.
For example, that aforementioned sunpad, which was the very first thing I noticed about the boat. It’s like a normal sunpad ramped up by a K-factor of 1.25, as if it belongs on a 76-footer. It’s also evidence that Fairline has given up trying to guess what its customers want, and instead is simply going ahead and asking them. In 2011 the Fairline marketing team—who apparently lead really rough lives—did a six-week tour of the Med aboard the 62’s predecessor, the Targa 58, explicitly to gain customer feedback about what should be put on the 62. And what they heard, over and over again, was “we want a bigger sunpad.” Demand, meet supply.
Forward of the sunpad, the cockpit is appointed with everything you’d want for a cruising boat like this. There’s U-shaped seating around a table that’s just begging to be set with a plate of oysters and a nicely chilled Moscato. And to port there’s a barbecue, sink, ice maker, and refrigerator, all of which are options. Overhead, there’s one of those design details I mentioned; an electrically actuated sunshade that can jut out over the whole area. That may seem fairly commonplace, but the real trick here is that this one can be deployed while at speed. Many times cockpit sunshades aren’t built sturdily enough to take on the bouncing waves, but this one most certainly is.
The saloon features a sole that’s nearly flush with the cockpit deck. This detail helps with both mobility and creating a sense of openness in the conjoined areas. (I’m also convinced at this point it’s a pretty fair indicator of an overall well-designed boat, since matching up those deck levels is no easy task.) The décor in the area is modern and cool, with plush, leather settees to port and starboard, and intentionally mismatched “random” teak beneath your feet. Huge, 10-foot-6-inch-long windows to either side of the saloon can be lowered and raised electrically. Not only that, the roof can open fully at the push of a button. Fairline tests each roof 2,000 times at the factory to ensure it is durable enough to open at speed, and that one-push feature means the captain can open it himself while driving. With the roof open, the side windows down, and the sliding door to the cockpit pushed aside, the cockpit and saloon form one large, airy, and open entertainment space that is damn-near guaranteed to be a big selling point for this boat.
Unlike the 58, which had a small galley on the main deck, the 62’s galley is forward of the saloon, down two steps, and to port. It’s placement on a midlevel deck, as well as the glass bulkheads that bracket it, are another product of Fairline’s ask-and-ye-shall-receive tour of the Med. This galley spans the gap. A culinarily gifted owner or guest-chef extraordinaire can fire up some chicken cordon bleu without missing a beat of the party happening in the saloon. However if a professional chef is hired, it’s also out of the way enough for him to keep his head down and chop celery without being underfoot. The placement of the galley on its own level also allows it to have a full-height fridge and freezer, always a plus for anybody looking to do some adventurous cruising—or cooking.
Down below, the forepeak master has an athwartships queen-size berth and a modern-apartment feel augmented by a small settee to starboard. Forward of that, there’s an exceptionally large en suite head. The shower in particular is engulfed in light that shines through the overhead glass hatches, affecting an outdoorsy feel. Moving aft you pass a supplementary Isotherm freezer to port as well as the washer/dryer, en route to the two nearly identical guest staterooms amidships.
One thing to note about the 62’s interior, and lately, Fairline’s boats in general, is the fit and finish. In short, the company has really got it down. Case in point on this boat is the satin walnut veneers throughout, which are lacquered after they are fit together—at the edges of corners, for example—so there are limited issues with peeling later on. The grains in the veneers are also matched to one another at break points for a fluid, monolithic appeal.
The boat’s engine room is as well laid out as you might expect from a company that puts so much thought into the details. My test boat’s Volvo D13-900s fit easily into the space, and left enough room to effortlessly access both the twin fuel filters on the forward bulkhead, and the 22.5-kilowatt Onan generator aft. A large, bolted-on soft patch overhead means that if one day you need to change engines or fuel tanks, you can remove them from the boat without cutting into the deck. That’s a nice little design tidbit with an eye toward the future, and perhaps the resale market as well.
Out on the water those straight-shaft diesels acquitted themselves well, shooting the 62 along at a top hop of 33.8 knots. Steering was smooth and the boat proved herself proficiently agile, ripping through a corkscrew to starboard in about three boat lengths, and a similar maneuver to port in just slightly more. The yacht’s hand-laid hull is foam-cored above the waterline, but everything below is solid, and you can tell. What’s also solid is the boat’s system of internal strengtheners. There are four longitudinals as might be expected, but Fairline also tossed in a wrinkle. The aft end of the superstructure—essentially the saloon’s doorframe, which Fairline refers to as “the goalpost”—extends straight down through the boat to the hull, essentially creating a massive, inverted-U-shaped structural member that drastically improves the boat’s overall rigidity. She simply felt solid out on the water, and moved like a high-speed tank. I know that is an odd way to describe a boat, but when the builder puts so much forethought into building her so sturdily, and then plops those big diesels down in her hull, that’s exactly the sensation that is produced. Out on Biscayne Bay she brushed aside the mild chop without a care as we slalomed dreamily through the relics of Stiltsville.
One at-speed attribute I was impressed with, that has little to do with traditional performance, was the aforementioned sunroof. It’s so quiet when opening that you can’t tell it’s open until you feel the wind and sunshine. What’s more, there’s a cool little phenomenon therein that neither the Fairline folks nor I could account for. When the sunroof is rolled back, the decibel levels at speed don’t waver. However the saloon and helm area seem inarguably quieter, as if you’re flying across the water in some kind of cone of silence. It was a mystery that was both fun and intriguing. And that’s why it occurrs to me that perhaps Fairline’s marketing girl was on to something. Sex appeal often has very little to do with what you can explain. More often than not, it has everything to do with what you can’t.
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This article originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.