Fairline Targa 40 — By Capt. Bill Pike
— January 2006
A Cool Jewel
Part 2: Add Olesinski’s proven seaworthy deep-V hull, and you’ve got a fast, affordable, go-anywhere sort of family cruiser.
Fortunately, the rest of the trial was uneventful. And my dockside examination went mellifluously. I mean, we’re talkin’ a nifty layout that includes two ample staterooms with standup headroom, a head with a separate stall shower, a galley chockablock with amenities, and a garage complete with an outboard-powered, standard nine-foot Fairline RIB, a set of easy-going rollers, and a remote-controlled electric Vetus winch to facilitate launches and retrievals.
If all that and the 40’s performance don’t impress you, check out the price. With Volvo Penta D6-310/DPs, our test boat cost $95,425 less than the basic Targa 40, despite the fact that she had numerous extras like a freshwater-flush MSD, Raymarine electronics, and a DeDietrich cockpit BBQ atop the wet bar. Why such a whopping more-boat-for-much-less-money scenario? Renfrow says Fairline is exporting optioned-out, competitively priced 20th Anniversary Edition versions of the Targa 40 in hopes of getting Americans to buy smaller Fairlines now and larger ones down the road.
And despite the bargain-basement price, our test boat’s fit and finish was excellent. Her interior offered the same combination of expertly joined American cherry, high-end equipage, and savvy features you’ll see on her larger sisterships. I especially liked the pull-out, extendable shelving under the countertop in the L-shape, starboard-side galley—the best under-counter, corner stowage I’ve seen in a midrange galley. And I liked Fairline’s lavish use of opening ports. Whether in the forward stateroom, the after one, or the saloon/galley/dinette area, there are side-openers, skylights, and deck hatches galore providing cross ventilation and brightness.
Things aren’t quite so expansive in the Targa’s machinery spaces. Transom access is excellent (see photo), but the engine room itself is crowded and offers only crouching headroom. Indeed, getting at the after half of the ER requires removing the RIB from the garage and extracting a bolted-down molded covering plate. And while one of our electrohydraulic trim pumps was installed a good ways above the bottom of the boat, the other was on centerline and in the bilge (see photo), where salt water can get at it. A higher, bracket-type mount would be better.
Still and all, I was favorably impressed with Fairline’s 20th Anniversary Edition Targa 40. Notwithstanding her machinery spaces—a necessary tradeoff if you want a garage in a 40-footer—she’s finely finished, artfully laid out, turnkey-equipped, and best of all, sweetly priced. Add Olesinski’s proven seaworthy deep-V hull, and you’ve got a fast, affordable, go-anywhere sort of family cruiser.
Or, in the gleeful words of our young technowizard, who enjoyed his sea-trial ride immensely—and unproblematically, by the way—she’s a real jewel.
Fairline Boats North America ( (954) 525-7430. www.fairline.com.
This article originally appeared in the December 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.