Author : David Toyer
When Fairline developed their Targa range the design philosophy was to “redefine the art of express (sports) cruising”
Now that’s a tall order in a market where some of the world’s best designers and boat builders have spent years trying to perfect a concept while trying to create something different – something more adventurous and daring; something that goes that one step further, and better, than the others.
Car, bike and boat designers all face the same challenge – being different and standing out from the rest, while all the time having to work within the same restrictive “box”.
It’s hard to imagine just where boat designers will turn next. What ideas haven’t already been exploited and used to death? What possibly can they come up with next? But each year there always seems to be something new, something different, something exciting, something that takes boat design to another level and in another direction.
Sports boat design I believe is now providing some of the most exciting and innovative boat and interior styling seen for some time and while there may be a lot of similarity and a lot of imitation, there is always progression, and the Fairline Targa is an example.
Like its competition, Fairline designs, builds and finishes its boats to impress. The Fairline Targa 47, designed by Bernard Olesinki, is a very classy sports boat with sleek, modern, smooth flowing external lines supplemented by a luxurious interior that will no doubt turn heads and attract attention wherever it goes, while completely impressing all those who venture aboard.
There are currently five models in Fairline’s Targa range, which extends from 38 to 64 feet. Each of these boats is distinguished by sweeping curved lines that flow from the rake of the windscreen, into an arch that bows over the cockpit and then sweeps down to integrate with the rake of the transom. The resulting “eagle eye” windows to the side of the cockpit are signature features of the Fairline Targa models, as too is the retractable hardtop.
Distinctive Living Areas
The planning and overall fit-out of the 47 Targa is such that it creates two very distinctive lifestyle areas. The cockpit, along with all its associated facilities, is planned around a casual daytime lifestyle of entertaining, relaxation and enjoying the outdoors, while below deck, the luxurious appointments and quality finish suggests that evening dining and entertaining of family or a few friends will be done in the best of comfort and style.
The two-cabin layout offers both privacy (with full bulkhead separation from the saloon) and complete self contained facilities as each cabin has its own bathroom.
The forward (main) cabin has an oversize double island berth with ample storage via wrap-around overhead lockers and open shelves, bedside tables, a hanging locker, and a moulded bin under the hinged bed base that is just the spot to store quilts, doonas or extra linen and pillows.
The aft cabin is versatile in that there are single transverse berths with the option, via the infill base and cushion, to convert this into a huge double berth occupying the width of the cabin. Despite its calling as the second cabin, this aft berth is exceptionally spacious with fabulous headroom, a good dressing and seating space in front of the hanging locker as well as a good size ensuite bathroom.
The highly lacquered American cherry timber and joinery throughout the interior provides a warm and luxurious match with the light tan leather upholstery and soft bulkhead linings. An American oak timber is an option if you want a lighter, more contemporary feel for the interior.
The galley with its lacquered doors and Avonite (or similar option) bench tops includes a two-door upright fridge/freezer, sink and drainer with hot and cold mixer tap, microwave, waste bin, electric ceramic cook top and exhaust fan.
A bar unit and entertainment centre (with various options for TV and sound system) sits forward of the galley, while opposite, a U-shaped lounge wraps around a table that is convertible from cocktail bar style to a full dining table.
After hours lighting is exceptionally well done, with plenty of recessed halogen downlights and creative mood lighting via concealed low level strip lighting and low-brightness blue halogen lights around the cockpit.
The integration of the generous single-level cockpit with the large aft boarding platform and water toy/dinghy garage in under the sun lounge emphasises the carefree and relaxing lifestyle that the Targa 47 promotes. While the below deck cabins and saloon are extremely comfortable and luxuriously appointed for a relaxing time away from it all, the cockpit is just the opposite, emphasising a carefree lifestyle of casual entertaining and making the most of daytime on the water – be that with family or a crowd of friends.
There is everything here that is needed, all under the protection of a well designed hardtop with good headroom and of course the capacity to open everything up whenever the conditions arte suitable, with the electric sliding hatch.
There are four “zones” to the cockpit – the helm station and a quarter-circle lounge up front, followed by the main lounge and entertaining area with wet bar and galley ahead of the huge sun pad, and finally the boarding platform with its close relationship to the water and access directly into the water toy garage.
Engine room access is also off the boarding platform, to the starboard side of the sun lounge and garage. The moulded access hatch hinges up over the top of the ladder that leads down into the engine room and while headroom and space is tight, as you need to squeeze around the encroachment of the garage, space for servicing the engines, air conditioner, gen-set and other major operational facilities is reasonable, if a little “cosy” at times.
As you find throughout the interior with flush under-floor storage bins and under-stair storage space for bulkier items, Fairline makes use of every bit of space and the maximising of garage space takes priority over comfortable headroom and circulation space in areas of the engine room that don’t really matter.
With the prop shafts installed in shallow hull tunnels, a flatter shaft angle is possible, allowing the engines to be set further aft. This frees up space that has been used to advantage in the aft cabin.
The reduced shaft angle provides a more efficient use of power. With a pair of 575hp D9-575 EVC Volvo Penta diesels, a top speed of 35 knots is possible, with a cruise of 23 knots. Two other engine options are available – twin 575hp Caterpillars, which provide the same performance, and smaller 500hp Volvo Pentas which are around 2 knots or so slower.
There are some niceties about the helm station. The dark grey tones of the moulded helm console that extends the full with behind the windscreen, reduces the chance of any “white out” reflection back onto the screen and the simple, logical layout of the three-tier console is simple but logical. It positions all the gauges, electronic screens and switches in a format that makes them easy to read, monitor and use.
The two-person helm seat is comfortable and I particularly liked the hinged bolster support as it gives very good body support if, like me, you prefer to spend much of your time standing when travelling offshore.
Similarly, the rotating footrest that provides a foot brace for the skipper when upright will, when turned down, add height behind the helm for shorter people, or if the skipper wants to get a better view or look over the top of the screen, provide the platform on which to stand.
This boat is very well suited to a lifestyle of entertaining, relaxation and enjoying the outdoors and waterways, bays and anchorages around the Australian and New Zealand coastlines. It provides the facilities to enjoy it all in the best of comfort with a standard and finish that it truly luxurious, highly impressive and with good cruising capabilities.
It’s when you look deep into the boat – beyond and behind the smart, glamorous finishes – that you find the attention to detail and the quality and workmanship that justifies the price. The hinges that fix the garage lid in place or the rams that are used to operate the hatch; even the slides and rollers that simplify the launching and retrieving of the water toys; reinforce the fact that the Targa 47 is much more than just a show boat.
- Design Name: Targa 47
- Builder: Fairline Boats Ltd
- Designer: Bernard Olesinki
- Interior Designer: Fairline Boats Ltd
- Year Launched: 2007
- LOA: 14.78m
- LWL: 14.35m
- Beam: 4.01m
- Draft: 1.05m
- Displacement: 14.18 tonnes (dry)
- Max Speed: 35 knots
- Cruise Speed: 23 knots
- Fuel: 1402 litres
- Water: 364 litres
- Holding tank: Yes
- Construction: GRP (hull) Fibreglass with foam core (deck)
- Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta D9-575 EVC
- Power: 575hp each
- Gearbox: ZF
- Switch Panel: Fairline Boats Ltd
- Base Price: A$1.375m
- Reviewed Price: A$1.466