Fairline Targa 52

Fairline Targa 52 — By George L. Petrie — August 2003

Owner’s Choice
Fairline’s Targa 52 combines family fun with serious performance.
 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Fairline Targa 52
• Part 2: Fairline Targa 52
• Fairline Targa 52 Specs
• Fairline Targa 52 Deck Plan
• Fairline Targa 52 Acceleration Curve
• Fairline Targa 52 Photo Gallery

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• Boat Test Index

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• Fairline Boats

What are the odds? As I walked into the Fairline dealer’s office at Total Marine in Norwalk, Connecticut, customers had just placed a deposit on the Targa 52 that I was there to test. In the midst of the couple’s obvious joy over their new purchase, it hardly seemed an appropriate time to embark on a boat test. For one thing, the dealer wanted to walk through the Targa with her new owners to finalize the list of equipment that would be installed prior to delivery. So the dealer and I agreed to re-schedule the test for later in the week.

Imagine my surprise when the owners then asked, “Are you really going to write a story about our boat? Could we please come along for the test?” It took less than a New York minute for me to say yes, because while I would form my own opinions about the Targa 52, I also wanted to hear straight from the new owners what features had drawn them to the yacht. I also wanted to learn more about some of the changes they had asked the dealer to make.

Two days later I again met the owners, Dwight and Laura, along with their three sons, who had jumped at the chance to skip half a day of school to go for a boat ride. The high-energy trio of lads proved to be a big factor in their parents’ decision to purchase the Targa.

Prior to buying the 52, Dwight had owned several boats of the go-fast variety: long, slender, boisterous muscle boats. But with three growing boys in the crew, Laura had insisted their next boat be more family-oriented, and though Dwight agreed, he still wasn’t ready to give up spirited performance. He was also adamant that the new boat have plenty of space for “toys” (for the sake of the boys, of course).

At the top of that toy list was space for a tender, and not just a garden-variety inflatable. The Targa filled the bill for Dwight, sporting a transom garage that will accommodate a twin-engine, waterjet boat almost 12 feet long. Atop the transom garage is a big sunpad that the grown-ups can enjoy while keeping on eye on the youngsters’ antics. Having that big transom garage is great, I said to myself, but let’s see if it cramps the machinery spaces below. Descending via a hatchway on the starboard side, I was pleasantly surprised to see how roomy the engine room actually was. I had close to full standing headroom in the forward end of the engine room, because a platform deck mounted just above the tops of the main longitudinal stringers terminates just aft of the engines. Forward, I was standing between the engine beds, two knee-high longitudinal stringers, and at 6'2" I could stand comfortably upright with my head tipped forward. There’s comfortable “hands and knees” access to the auxiliary systems on the port side and to the steering gear at the stern, thanks to the aforementioned platform deck. Small hatches provide easy access to pumps and valves installed in the bilge.

Next page > Part 2: A delight to the eyes and, compared to most muscle boats, the ears. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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