Following the new Targa 63 GTO and the restyling of the Squadron 65 and all the 48s, the 43 is due to arrive in spring. The maestro of style in all this? Alberto Mancini
by Luca Sordelli – photo by Andrea Muscatello
If the number of new products launched in the course of a year is an indicator of a shipyard’s health, one yard that’s truly on form in the 2017/18 season is Fairline. In Cannes we saw the new Targa 63 GTO, the entire range of 48’ updated (Targa 48 Open and GT; Squadron 48), more updates to the Squadron 65 and in Southampton it was time for the UK debut of the Squadron 53.
Not to mention the fact that the English shipyard has already announced the arrival of the Targa 43 next spring. This is a lengthy tide of change that’s been more than a year in the making – ever since a new management team took charge of one of the outstanding names in British and international yachting – with the arrival of Karl Gilding as Business Development Director and Russell Currie as Managing Director.
And as if this were not enough, the historic shipyard in Oundle Marina has been extended by 1500 square metres, while new major partnerships have been established, both in design – with the arrival of Alberto Mancini – and in terms of planning and production, with Dutch firm Vripack. And all this in the year Fairline is celebrating 50 years in business.
But let’s calm down a bit. The 2016 season was more than positive, with over 85 yachts sold, including ten during the 2017 London Boat Show.
«The key to our success is our ability to bring Alberto Mancini’s creative style, Vripack’s technical excellence and Fairline’s thoroughly English quality together in our boats», states Russell Currie.
«It’s an exciting combination that guarantees an extremely positive future for the brand. We’ve also worked very hard to strengthen our network of dealers around the world: in Hong Kong and the Middle East, but also Malta, Portugal, Argentina, the Benelux countries and Denmark».
Alberto Mancini has brought to Fairline a huge array of new ideas, and above all top quality boat design: «To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it. It was a great honour to be asked by Fairline to share my vision for the future of the brand. It’s a task I’m working day and night on, to do justice to the brand’s tradition, its history, its DNA».
Mancini, as ever, has put a lot of his own character and individual style into his designs, beginning with the eagerly-awaited Targa 63 GTO, the first boat entirely resulting from the collaboration between Fairline, Mancini and Vripack: «I’m really proud of this design; we sold quite a few before they were even built, with clients who were keen from my very first sketches… the biggest challenge was finding a way to marry the two cultures, Italian design and the British way of making boats». A challenge that’s been successfully met, since the end result of this fusion led to the creation of a highly elegant and very sporty twenty-metre yacht, one of the undisputed queens of Cannes.
Alberto Mancini is working intensively to update the design of the entire range, even laying hands on the interiors of the shipyard’s iconic models such as the three 48’s – shown in Cannes and Southampton – the Squadron 48 and the two Targa 48s, Open and GT. His influence is considerable on the windows, which give the yachts a more contemporary appeal and more natural light. It’s a similar story for the largest yacht, the Squadron 65, in which Mancini’s stylistic impact is felt even more. «We’re passionate about the ongoing work we’re constantly doing to evolve and update our highly successful models», declares Russell Currie. «This version of the 65 Squadron is inspired by our credo, which is to create the perfect ‘escape’ for our owners: away from noise, from crowded beaches and hotels packed with people. This new twenty-metre is the perfect way of ensuring that our owners’ cruises are surrounded by luxury and pleasure. Undisturbed».
Meanwhile, the Targa 43 Open will arrive in early 2018, with the first ten already sold off-plan at the London Boat Show, and will carry two IPS 500 or 600 engines: «The Targa 43 was an amazing sales phenomenon when it was first launched in the late nineties», says head of the Fairline design division Andrew Pope, «and we’re absolutely sure that this 21st-century version will be a worthy successor. It will have two cabins, an innovative design, fabulously bright interiors and – as Fairline tradition dictates – a deep hull and meticulous attention to detail».
(Fairline – Great renewal – Barchemagazine.com – November 2017)