Leav­ing Its Mark

DE­SIGNED WITH HELP FROM AL­BERTO MANCINI, THE FAIRLINE TARGA 63 GTO IS A BOLD NEW AD­DI­TION TO THE BUILDER’S FLEET. BY DANIEL HARD­ING JR.

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE -

De­signer Al­berto Mancini left his mark on the Fairline Targa 63 GTO—and it shows, lit­er­ally.

Crowds gath­ered around the stern of the Fairline Targa 63 GTO in earnest. De­signer Al­berto Mancini was handed a black magic marker, and, laugh­ing, he was pushed to sign his name on the tran­som along with other mem­bers of the Fairline ex­ec­u­tive team. It was a sym­bolic mo­ment and, as he flicked his wrist and left a neat, el­e­gant sig­na­ture on the white fiber­glass, the crowd cheered. The boat owner in me prayed it was an erasable marker and wanted to leap on board to scrub it off be­fore it set­tled in.

He’s one of the most in-de­mand Ital­ian de­sign­ers to­day, yet Mancini’s path to­ward help­ing cre­ate the 63 was not straight­for­ward. Fairline Yachts, look­ing to in­ject a fresh de­sign lan­guage into its brand, in­vited dif­fer­ent de­sign­ers to a com­pe­ti­tion. Each was given the same brief: De­sign a flag­ship in the 60-foot range and a smaller model that could serve as an en­try-level boat.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t help but think this com­peti- tion would make for much bet­ter tele­vi­sion than the dime-a-dozen singing shows out there.

Mancini was sec­ond to last to present in this com­pe­ti­tion. And ru­mor has it he won the judges over be­fore the fi­nal de­signer could even present.

His en­try for the com­pe­ti­tion would morph into the Targa 63 GTO that de­buted in Cannes in Septem­ber and in the U.S. at the An­napo­lis show in Oc­to­ber.

Speak­ing of mor­ph­ing, the first thing I no­ticed about the Targa 63 GTO—the O stands for Open—is how she per­forms dou­ble duty as an en­closed mo­to­ry­acht and an open ex­press boat. The salon door sim­ply slides to star­board then drops, along with the salon win­dow, down into the deck. This is a trick I’ve seen be­fore, but con­sid­er­ing the size of the door and win­dow on the 63 it’s im­pres­sive.

The feel­ing of open­ness con­tin­ues into the salon where deck-level

win­dows and an ex­pan­sive sun­roof fill the space with light, even on a cloudy day. A smart touch that you won’t no­tice is that the win­dows are en­hanced with a film that re­duces harm­ful UV rays by as much as 50 per­cent. That’s for­ward think­ing you re­ally can’t put a price on.

It’s pretty rare that on­board fur­ni­ture im­presses me, but look­ing at the ta­ble in the salon prompted one of those why-didn’t-I-thinkof-that mo­ments. Built on an an­gu­lar pedestal, when it’s low­ered to cof­fee-ta­ble level there’s an ap­pro­pri­ate amount of space to walk around it. When din­ner’s ready the ta­ble raises up to the per­fect fore­arm-rest­ing height at which you don’t have to hunch for­ward. And that’s not its only trick. The cen­ter sec­tion of the ta­ble folds up and al­lows the guest, or antsy chil­dren, to es­cape from the cen­ter of the C-shaped set­tee with­out hav­ing to slide un­der it or ask the other four to five guests to get up and out of the way. Those are the kinds of de­tails that make the 63 spe­cial.

The gal­ley on our test boat was to port of the helm. I like its lo­ca­tion there. It eas­ily ser­vices the salon, and, thanks to a sin­gle-level lay­out, is only a few paces to the cock­pit. But be­cause Fairline has be­come such a global builder it of­fers no fewer than five other gal­ley op­tions.

“We’re build­ing a global boat so we need to de­sign what the cus­tomer wants,” says Fairline’s Head of De­sign An­drew Pope, “not what we want for the cus­tomer.”

The three-state­room lay­out (a four-staterom ver­sion is avail­able) is con­ven­tional in its ac­com­mo­da­tions place­ment, but lit­tle else. The near-wa­ter-level win­dows in the state­rooms not only bring in light and ven­ti­la­tion but an oddly mes­mer­iz­ing view of the wa­ter fly­ing by while un­der way.

As a marine jour­nal­ist I try not to seem overly im­pressed by any one fea­ture when walk­ing through a boat for the first time. [ Oh, you launch a sub­ma­rine from the cock­pit with an app on your phone, OK,

that makes sense.] Then I learned that the mo­saic de­tails in the head were ac­tu­ally from thinly sliced seashells. Yes. Re­ally.

Fi­nally, af­ter the con­clu­sion of the Ft. Laud­erdale Boat Show, it was my time to take the 63 away from the dock and into open wa­ter. The 1,150-horse­power Cater­pil­lar C18s quickly brought the boat to about 28 knots. The builder is hop­ing to gain a few ex­tra knots from a dif­fer­ent set of props.

De­spite some of the sleek­est, sporti­est lines I’ve seen on a Fairline, the boat has very lit­tle heel in turns. And even though I thought the turns would be sharper, they were quite com­fort­able.

Com­fort. That’s the high point of this boat’s ride. With naval ar­chi­tec­ture from Vri­pack, the 63 was sta­ble and sure­footed when run­ning through its own wake. Part of that com­fort equa­tion is the hull de­sign, of course—the 63 has a dou­ble-chine hull, with one chine un­der the wa­ter to pro­vide lift and the sec­ond out of the wa­ter to elim­i­nate chine slap.

But com­fort is also cour­tesy of sound at­ten­u­a­tion. Fairline gave this fea­ture a lot of at­ten­tion. Flex­i­ble cou­plings on the shafts and flex­i­ble en­gine mounts add up to one of the qui­etest rides I’ve en­coun­tered. I reg­is­tered 71 deci­bels of sound at the helm at WOT; for com­par­i­son sake, 65 deci­bels is the stan­dard noise level of a nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion.

“With this boat we fo­cused on com­fort, not just in the liv­ing spa­ces but in re­duc­ing noise and vi­bra­tion,” says Pope. “Our bulk­head is 24 mil­lime­ters thick, our doors are 48 mil­lime­ters thick with acous­tic lay­er­ing in­side, and we have noise-can­cel­ing ma­te­ri­als in the deck. It’s our qui­etest Fairline to date. In fact it’s so quiet you can’t hear if the gen­er­a­tor is even run­ning.”

An­other re­sult the sound-at­ten­u­at­ing ma­te­ri­als is added weight. Was it worth the weight ad­di­tion? I asked. “Re­mov­ing sound and vi­bra­tion is kind of like hav­ing sta­bi­liz­ers. It’s hard to jus­tify un­less you feel it,” Pope ex-

plains. “Then once you do you can’t live with­out it.”

To cre­ate a truly com­fort­able yacht, it also has to be easy to use. To that end, Fairline un­veiled an on­board con­trol sys­tem at the helm of the 63 called f-Drive, which al­lows you to con­trol all of your boat’s sys­tems with the swipe of a fin­ger. I’ve fum­bled with such sys­tems on other boats in the past but I found the f-Drive to be ex­tremely in­tu­itive.

Re­flect­ing on my test, and the dis­tinc­tion the 63 has earned from Cannes to Ft. Laud­erdale, I thought back to Mancini sign­ing the boat’s tran­som. It turned out, of course, that he did sign it with an erasable marker, but even with­out his sig­na­ture it’s clear that he left his mark on the 63 and that he’ll be help­ing Fairline pen one hell of an ex­cit­ing fu­ture.

One look from the aft sun­pad for­ward and you re­al­ize the “O” in Fairline Targa GTO stands for Open. A sin­gle-level main deck helps that af­fect.

A typ­i­cal sun­pad just wouldn’t seem right on a boat this ver­sa­tile. Guests will have to be care­ful not to block the view of the cap­tain.

LOA: 65'4" Beam: 17'2" Draft: 4'8" Displ.: 74,940 lb. Fuel: 1,100 gal. Wa­ter: 285 gal. Stan­dard Power: 2/1,150-hp Cat C18s Op­tional Power: 2/1,200-hp MAN V8-1200 Base Price: $1,820,000

Al­berto Mancini metaphor­i­cally—and lit­er­ally—left his mark on the new Fairline Targa 63 GTO.

Clock­wise: The salon ta­ble folds up to let guests pass through. The sun­roof cre­ates an atrium be­lowdecks. The mas­ter is nearly as bright as the salon.

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