What do you get when you blend a British builder, an Italian designer and a Dutch engineering firm? One heck of a collaboration known as the Fairline Targa 63 GTO.
GTO usually means an open-style boat without an after bulkhead, while GT depicts a closed-style craft. Fairline brings both attributes together in this model, with an after bulkhead that has a glass door and window. When the door slides sideways and overlaps the window, the combination disappears into a subcompartment, thus creating an open yacht.
Italian designer Alberto Mancini is responsible for the 63 GTO’s sweeping lines and interior spaces. With inspiration from the mega-yacht field, Mancini conceptualized the future look of the Targa brand, carrying the heritage, history and family feeling of Fairline into a new dimension. Alongside Fairline’s in-house design team, headed by Andrew Pope and Dutch naval architects Vripack, Mancini drew the 63 GTO from a blank slate, creating, as he puts it, “a new era” for the brand and builder.
The sleek design has ambient light in all directions, from the salon’s side windows to the electric sunroof, and the skylights in the forward section to the single-pane windshield. The 63 GTO is an open-feel yacht that can be closed against the elements.
Seating on the aft deck includes a U-shaped settee spanning across the transom, up the starboard-side and across the after bulkhead. A teak table allows a place for drinks, and a portside grill and fridge assist with alfresco meals.
Sightlines from the aft deck to the helm are unobstructed, making the main deck a single-level social zone. Guests can also congregate inside with a U-shaped settee to starboard, its two high-gloss teak tables able to become a single dining table by way of a flip-over filler. The space also has a 50-inch Samsung LCD TV.
Undercounter appliances help to maintain a clear view out the windows from the in-line, portside galley. Avonite countertops, a fridge/freezer, a multiburner Bosch flat cooktop and a microwave are standard, as is a 24-piece, six-place setting that helps make this area turnkey.
Her ride is as smooth as her layout. Taking the wheel on the Targa 63 GTO is akin to driving a British roadster. Quick out of the hole, she is responsive, with assured tracking through turns that makes for confident operation. An optional Seakeeper 16 gyrostabilizer kept my test yacht stable in a 2-foot chop.
Looking around, I could see that Fairline is upping the lifestyle experience too. High-gloss walnut, diamond-stitched padding, leather liners, carpeting and stylish fabrics are prevalent throughout the yacht. I mentioned to Miles Moorhouse, director of marketing for Fairline Yachts, that I felt the level of detail was something I would see on a Rolls-Royce. “We want the owner to feel that way,” Moorhouse said. According to him, the builder is seeking to add value through amenities and innovations.
In 2017, Fairline Yachts celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the milestone, every Fairline yacht constructed in 2017 was adorned with a gold Fairline crest. Typically made with blue and red stripes, this gold piece signifies not only Fairline’s longevity but also its new direction, ownership and commitment to boatbuilding.
The Targa 63 GTO can be ordered with three or four staterooms. Five steps down from the salon is the lower atrium. Bathed in light from windows and skylights, its spaciousness alleviates any claustrophobic fears, as does each guest room.
There is a forepeak VIP with a centerline queen berth and en suite head. All head layouts are clean and uncluttered, with stowage and shower stalls that have glass doors and windows. A double-bunk stateroom is just forward of amidships, and the optional fourth stateroom can be added across the atrium.
Twin 1,150 hp Caterpillar C18 diesels propel the yacht to more than 30 knots. At 1,200 rpm, they burn a miserly 26 gph combined at 11.5 knots. Move the throttles to 1,800 rpm for a 21-knot comfortable cruise speed while the Cats burn 71 gph. Bumping the 63 GTO to 27 knots will cost 107 gph at 2,100 rpm. My test 63 GTO hit 30.3 knots on the pins.
The full-beam master stateroom has hullside windows with opening ports and a double settee to starboard. A corner vanity doubles as a workspace, and the shower has a bench-style seat for a little steam time. With the king-size berth and built-in 40-inch Samsung LCD TV, owners may never want to leave this at-sea oasis. That’s why Fairline designed the master with no piping or pumps beneath the sole and installed 6 inches of insulation against the engine-room bulkhead, stopping sound or vibration from emanating inward.
For outdoor fun, Fairline built a stationary teak deck between the transom and hydraulic swim platform, so when the platform is deployed for seaside activities, there’s still access around the transom from one side to the other, or to the garage. The builder also created a built-in molded step, so getting up from the deployed platform is easier than it is with a ladder.
Two gates lead from the swim deck. The portside one goes to the aft deck; the starboard gate leads to a walkway to the bow and the yacht’s walk-around side decks. Another little oasis of comfort, the bow lounge has a foldaway teak table and a U-shaped settee; twin chaise-style lounges with flip-up backrests are forward, and they double as sun pads.
Fairline teased the coming of this boat for months, with a sketch here and there. Oftentimes with new models, the real deal doesn’t measure up to the hype. In the case of the Targa 63 GTO, the builder exceeded expectations, and then some.
Take the next step: fairline.com