Fairline has also broken with its own traditions by placing the galley aft, which makes sense because the sliding doors to the cockpit are extra wide, opening the area for entertaining. Large windows surround the L-shape countertop, which houses a De Dietrich grill (only two burners seems a bit skimpy) and under-counter Isotherm fridge. Several large lockers hold pots, pans and provisions, but I didn’t find a single drawer. (I’d lose one locker to gain four drawers.) The lower helm is in the forward starboard corner and offers great all-around sight lines. A full array of Garmin instrumentation appears on a single monitor. Controls for the Bennett trim tabs and Sidepower bow thruster are handy.
Not having a space-eating tender garage in the transom allows the Squadron 50 to provide a truly civilized (and optional) crew cabin under the cockpit, with a single berth, mini galley and head. It’s perfect for kids.
The engine room is impressive. Every possible service point is readily accessible. Not only is this likely to improve the reliability of the yacht, but service techs will love you. Power comes from a pair of 710-horsepower Caterpillar C-12s, which push the Squadron 50 along at a respectable 31 knots. A yacht with flatter underwater lines might get another knot or two but wouldn’t ride as nicely. Under way, she carved sweeping turns with élan and maneuvered nimbly in tight spots. She felt solid, certainly because she is well built, but also because Fairline takes the time to put what the Brits aboard for our test called “little rubbery bits” between anything that might squeak or rattle.
In this highly competitive segment of the market, the Squadron 50 seems poised to hold her own.
Displ.: 42,108 lb. (dry)
Fuel: 604 gal.
Water: 145 gal.
Engine Options: 2 x 575 hp Volvo Penta D9, 2 x 670 hp Volvo Penta D11 diesels
Engines Tested: 2 x 710 hp Caterpillar C12 diesels
Base Price: $1,466,000
Test Conditions: Speeds were measured by GPS on Biscayne Bay off Miami, Florida, with flat seas and light winds, with a half-load of fuel, half water and four people on board. Fuel consumption was calculated by the electronic engine-monitoring system. Sound levels were measured at the helm.
Fairline Yachts, +44 (0) 1832 273661; fairline.com