Fairline Targa 62 GT: All-Seasons Sports Cruiser

From a wind-in-your-hair day boat to a vacation voyager, the Fairline Targa 62 GT travels well.

Designers tread a narrow line when developing a sports cruiser in the 60-foot category. A vessel has to look striking, perform like a speedster and be fitted out to top-notch standards. The compromises can be challenging, but Fairline Boats has years of experience addressing these points, which is clearly evident in its Targa 62 Gran Turismo.

The Targa 62’s profile flows from bow to stern in a very sporting line, which sweeps up and over the hardtop. Her large sunroof strikes a pleasant compromise between an open and closed sports cruiser. A very long swim platform, however, seems out of proportion with the rest of the boat. Aside from that, she’s an exciting-looking yacht with performance to match.

Yet the best part may be hidden away in the bow. No owner will be disappointed with this vessel’s master cabin, which offers space and style that are nearly equal to superyacht standards. It spans most of the yacht’s 16-foot-6-inch beam, and mirrors enhance the feeling of spaciousness. The large berth is fitted athwartships, and the roomy head occupies the remaining space forward. Add in relaxing seating and desk/vanity units on the starboard side and you have a stateroom where the owner might just want to hide away, as long as the boat is not under way in rough seas. (The motion there will be greater than in any other area of the boat.)

Two double guest cabins offering generous headroom occupy the space between the engine room and the galley. They are simple and practical, and both of them provide the option of moving the two single beds together to create a double, but the deck space is limited in either arrangement. They share a head, which also serves as the day-head, located at the foot of the stairs leading belowdecks.

The main-deck space has been well designed and laid out with voluminous stowage and other practical features, but I do take issue with the thick and seemingly chunky side windscreen pillars, which rise up and extend aft to follow the top of the side-window line.

Behind the Targa 62’s starboard-side helm seating for two is the sitting/dining area, featuring a foldout table surrounded by a C-shape settee. The seating at this table can be complemented by using the cushions from the small two-seater settee on the port side. The spacious feeling of the salon is aided by the large areas of glass and the skylights in the roof. That said, the area is cozy and appears to have been shortened to allow for more cockpit space.

Her galley is located across from the helm. It is at half height with access off the stairway leading down to the cabins. The equipment for preparing meals includes a full-height fridge-freezer, although cooks might find the two-ring cooktop restrictive if called upon to cater for six. Underneath the galley, a small compartment houses the washer/dryer. There’s also another freezer here.

In keeping with the sporting function of this yacht, when the sunroof retracts, it virtually converts the 62 into a fully open sports cruiser. When it slides back it covers the salon skylights. Pneumatic seals lock it firmly in place when it is open or closed, which prevents rattling.

I felt that the helm area could have been laid out more efficiently. There are two supportive helm seats with the driving position on the center of those seats. This means that anyone sitting on the outboard seat has to disturb the helmsman to get in or out. There is space to stand at the helm, and the adjustable wheel helps to make this a comfortable position for driving, but when standing, the top of the windscreen frame obstructed my view.

The dash features two navigation displays in front of the guest seat. While it would be optimal to have them directly in front of the helmsman, the real estate here doesn’t allow for it. Above the displays is a row of rocker switches mounted horizontally, which can be challenging to identify when seated. Farther forward and higher is a plastic cover for securing a paper chart. The sight lines from the helm are reasonably good, which is important, since this is the only helm station.

Emphasizing the open-air nature of this yacht are the large cockpit and sun pad aft. Her cockpit offers extensive seating around a table, and a barbecue counter and bar are here too. Behind this is the secure sun pad and then abaft that is the swim platform, which is divided into two sections. The after section is a high-low tender-launching area where a PWC could be stowed, while a true tender can be secured in the garage above the engines and launched via a slipway.

This garage slightly impinges on the engine compartment, but all of the motors’ service points are readily accessible and there is safe and easy access through the cockpit deck hatch. This Targa 62’s two Volvo Penta 900-horsepower diesels are coupled to gear boxes and then to a conventional shaft and propeller system. The shaft angle is reduced by having the props operate in semitunnels — a proven system that should ensure reliability. Larger engines (up to 1,200 horsepower each) are optional.

Fairline turned to its longtime designer Bernard Olesinski for hull design and he has come up with a form that really works. There is no compromise with the ride comfort here — her sharp entry transitions to 18 degrees deadrise aft, which is approaching a true sports-boat angle. The chines have been kept relatively narrow so that this is a soft-riding hull that effortlessly carves through the waves. In big seas the speed would obviously need to be eased, but by using the trim tabs this hull should keep going when many have been left behind.

Despite her high deadrise, she doesn’t heel too much into turns. At all times, the ride is well controlled and comfortable. Perhaps this is why Fairline has not fitted any handholds around this yacht, but they would be welcome for moving around safely at sea.

With an average top speed of 33.4 knots on test day, the Targa 62 offers inspired performance that should be plenty for those wanting excitement. Come down to a cruising speed of about 25-knots range and this yacht could cruise all day in considerable comfort. She maneuvers safely and predictably in close quarters, and the bow thruster helps in negotiating those final moves alongside.

There is a large number of options for this sports cruiser, including a crew cabin aft, so to a large degree you can tailor her to your own requirements. Semi-customization has become a feature offered by many motoryacht builders these days since vessels are sold into a global marketplace with regional tastes. On a personal level, these options also allow you to get the sort of touches you desire, depending on whether you make this a family yacht or have invited guests on board.

Fairline has done a great job in developing a design to suit cruising enthusiasts and performance fans. Despite some quibbles I had with a few interior details, driving the Targa 62 was tremendously pleasurable. Our sea trial featured the usual British weather of heavy rain and strong winds, but the Targa 62 performed admirably. She’ll be even more inviting in sunshine and smooth seas. And if things get to be too much and you want to escape from your guests for a bit, there is that stunning master suite belowdecks waiting to welcome you.

Fairline Boats, +44 (0) 1832 273661; http://fairline.com