Targa 52 — By George L. Petrie
— August 2003
|Part 2: A delight to the eyes and, compared to most muscle boats, the ears.|
Everything is well placed. The Mastervolt transformer and main electric panel are located right alongside the access ladder, and the Onan genset (in a hushbox) is just aft on centerline. Oil and fuel filters on the Volvo D12 diesels are mounted on the starboard side of both engines. On the port engine, this makes them easily accessible from centerline. On the starboard engine, Fairline has wisely relocated the engine-mounted filters to a manifold just aft of the engine, making them just as easily accessible and eliminating the need to squirm into the limited space outboard, between the engine and the fuel tank.
After emerging from the engine room, I joined Dwight and Laura in the saloon, where they were going over some of the changes the dealer would be making prior to delivery. In particular, Laura wanted a full-size refrigerator installed in the galley, in place of Fairline’s standard half-height ‘fridge with a cabinet above. To keep the boys entertained, Dwight wanted a flat-screen LCD TV in each stateroom and three Sony PS2 video-game systems. And we all agreed that Fairline’s standard TV location was poorly planned; in the island between the galley and saloon, facing the settee, the screen was too low and too small for comfortable viewing. So the dealer was asked to mount a 20-inch LCD monitor high in the forward bulkhead of the saloon.
I openly admired the flawless finish in the cherry joinery and the solid closures on all cabinets and drawers, though I kept to myself the opinion that the strip lighting in the saloon was a tad tacky. It seemed a bit too “Vegas” and not in keeping with the yacht’s otherwise classy interior.
With all the features the Targa 52 offers for family cruising and fun in the sun, I could easily see why Dwight and Laura were drawn to her. But I wondered if Dwight, as the former muscle boat owner, was really going to be happy with her performance. Just a few minutes into our sea trial, though, as I took speed and acceleration readings, his ear-to-ear grin put that question positively to rest. And a little while later, when I took a turn at the wheel, I understood just what he was grinning about.
No, the Targa is no muscle boat. She’s well mannered and refined, a delight to the eyes and, compared to most muscle boats, the ears. On plane she handles as nicely as any boat I’ve ever been on. Steering is literally a one-finger operation, and she banks decisively into a turn. With Laura and the boys below deck, I ran a series of tight figure-eight turns at full throttle, piling up four-foot waves where the wake converged on itself, which after a quick turn we’d blast through at 40 mph and then repeat the process.
After several minutes of this, Laura poked her head out the saloon door and asked, “When are you going to start those high-speed turns you cautioned me about?” When I told her we just finished them, she said, “We never felt it.” As I glanced over at Dwight, he just kept grinning. Not only could I see what drew them to the Targa, I could actually feel it.
Fairline Boats North America Phone: (954) 525-7430. www.fairline.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.