Fairline Yachts is one of Britain’s most revered powerboating names. Founded in Oundle in the English Midlands in 1963, its story is an interesting one, not least in terms of the scale and speed of its evolution. After all, while the first boat to emerge from the firm was a modest 19-foot river cruiser, Fairline’s founder, Jack Newington and his son, Sam, went on to earn a reputation as builders of highly capable flybridge boats and express cruisers. In fact, if you search ‘Fairline Boats for Sale’ today, the results continue to evoke very clear elements of that 58-year heritage. The stylish Fairline Targa range is a case in point. Although it was first introduced in 1985, it continues to form a central part of the modern fleet, with eight luxury motor cruisers in Open and GT variants from 45 to 65 feet. And it’s a similar story with the famous Fairline Squadron range. While it first hit the market 30 years ago, the modern Squadron line continues to foreground the space, elegance and cruising practicality that have made it such a sought-after name in flybridge motor yachts.
The Fairline Squadron 55
With celebrated Italian designer, Alberto Mancini, and Dutch naval architect, Vripack, both now on board, Fairline’s modern history is certainly not short of award-winning highlights. But few (if any) models have received the same degree of critical acclaim and public affection as the venerable Fairline Squadron 55. Originally launched in the mid 90s, the robust and ingenious Squadron 55 was one of the fleet’s most popular models for nearly two decades. Though it’s no longer in production, the latest example from our brokerage pages at Argo Yachting shows exactly why it remains so coveted.
Ciao Bella – Sold in July/August 2021
As a 1998 model, CIAO BELLA’s main deck feels particularly well thought through, not least because of the galley arrangement. Positioned to starboard and slightly sunken beneath the level of the saloon floor, it provides a physical separation between saloon and galley while still enabling you to remain involved with the rest of the main deck guests. It also provides access to a brilliant lower utility room with an integrated washing machine, as well as a freezer and a now iconic concealed fold-out ironing board. And it also affords its owner direct access to the engine room through a watertight door.
If you feel like that’s not enough to set it apart from various other six-berth flybridge cruisers at the sub 60-foot mark, the Squadron 55 also features another very welcome design tangent in the form of a secure internal staircase on the port side of the saloon. While this obviously provides some welcome shelter and security for guests making their way from the main deck to the forward part of the flybridge, there are other benefits too. In addition to providing a much faster route between helm stations for the Skipper, it also provides a safer and more direct way to get food and drink from the main galley to the guests on the upper deck.
Equipped with twin Volvo TAMD122 EDC 610hp diesel engines for around 26 knots, CIAO BELLA also has a very high specification. She comes with a bow thruster, air-conditioning, Eberspacher heating, a watermaker, AIS, Wifi and a lightly used diesel generator. In fact, as a one-owner boat with just 309 hours on the engines, the condition is pretty much immaculate for a 23-year old boat – right down to the original fade-free timber and the untouched Fairline glasses and cutlery. But while a lot of people are of course fans of this period in Fairline’s boat building history, the qualities of the spacious tri-deck Squadron 55 are by no means confined to CIAO BELLA. While later models work harder to satisfy the modern appetite for open-plan living spaces with more linear furniture arrangements and conventional galley designs, a well-kept Fairline Squadron 55 on the pre-owned market is always a boat that merits serious attention, whatever its year.
As if to emphasise the popularity of this model, Ciao Bella was sold after only 2 weeks on the market!
Fairline Targa and current fleet
Brilliant though they are, the modern Fairline fleet is not solely about Squadron flybridge motoryachts. The sporting sea boats of its high-octane Targa line have also earned outstanding reputations among serious yachtsmen. The older Targa craft in particular were highly sought after both by keen drivers and those inclined towards long, exposed sea passages. But the most recent Targa models have also achieved widespread critical acclaim.
If you’re a Fairline owner thinking of selling, click here for a valuation.