You may notice something has changed in the boats at Fairline as you pay a visit to the builder’s stand at some upcoming boat show.There’s something different about you, you may be inclined to suggest. Have you lost weight? Changed your hair? I can’t put my finger on it...
Try some fine Italian tailoring on for size. The British builder, celebrating its Golden Anniversary this year and under the auspices of a new ownership group, has enlisted Trieste-based superyacht atelier Alberto Mancini Yacht Design to assist its effort at propelling the brand forward.
“Everything we do is about the customer experience—we’re trying to make everything they touch or experience on the boat the best it can possibly be,” says Andrew Pope, head of design for Fairline. “The reason Alberto is involved is exactly that: To take us in a new direction, along a new path. I think it’s important that we respect the past.”
And all parties seem to be doing just that. Fairline invokes some of the past with the Squadron 53, which shares its hull design and engineering with two stablemates, the 53 Open and the Targa 53 GT (see the full test here. ▶), but she definitely has some swagger in her exterior design.
“We restyled the deck using the current hull, but you still can see the DNA and Fairline heritage,” says Alberto Mancini, principal of the firm that bears his name. “It’s immediately recognizable as a Fairline.”
Indeed, there’s some level of improvement built in. Because this Squadron is a motoryacht, and available with three or four staterooms and a variety of configurations, the builder knows the expectations are a bit higher than for express cruisers in the line.
“For the interior we didn’t want to alienate the Squadron 53 from her sisters,” Pope says. “But there are some changes that the extra headroom and the extra volume [from raising the overall height of the boat] create. In the master cabin there was a step down in the headliner that no longer exists.” The boat also offers more headroom in the saloon than the other two models, resulting in more seating room and additional stowage.
Additionally, the saloon windows are even larger than those on the Targa 53 GT, resulting in better views. The additional height means slightly different handling characteristics, but Fairline designed the hull knowing the Squadron variant was coming, so it fits—like a tailored suit.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.