Fairline’s drive for new product continues apace and these latest digital renderings give the clearest idea yet of what the new flagship of the flybridge range will look like

Fairline is now eyeing up the Cannes Boat Show for the launch of both its sporty F33 and its flybridge flagship the Squadron 68 (not 64 as originally mooted). The latter will hit the water in the summer, when MBY will be at the front of the queue to sea trial it.

When we do get behind the wheel it should feel rather familiar, given the hull and drivetrain are borrowed from the Fairline Targa 63 GTO sportscruiser. Power is provided by either twin 1,150hp or 1,200hp diesels for a top speed of 32 knots and laid back cruising gait in the mid-20s.

The lower and main decks are shared with the 63 GTO as well, though with a fully enclosed wheelhouse and flybridge overhead it will feel very different. Despite the extra volume it’s a sharp-looking craft, the intelligent use of dark colours on the superstructure helping to reduce the visual height and the signature spear and slashes immediately mark the boat out as a new generation Fairline.

The flybridge, available with or without a hardtop, is a big space with a selection of different layout options depending on the customers’ needs. We particularly like the look of the area aft, with a horseshoe of low-slung seating well suited to relaxing with the papers or a late evening drink. We can’t wait to see how well it all comes together.

Life on deck

The top deck has three distinct areas: a low-slung seating space aft with a pair of fixed L-shaped loungers and coffee tables, a central dinette served by a pair of wetbars, and either sunpads or seating adjacent to the two-person helm. We’re big fans of the seating arrangement on the aft end of the flybridge, but if you want more open space you can specify sunloungers there instead.

The cockpit and foredeck both look to be comfortable living spaces in their own right, the latter combining pure sunbathing space with a horseshoe of seating arranged around a teak table. A walkway separating the two makes it easy for crew to pass between the side decks.

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Aft-facing seating at the back of the flybridge looks fun

Inside, unlike the Targa 63, there is no galley down option so it sits aft on the main deck. With such a large saloon there is space to fit a particularly lavish galley boasting domestic appliances and an illuminated cupboard dedicated to glassware storage neatly incorporated into the bar return.

The space opposite could perhaps be put to better use as the current long, straight sofa looks a bit like waiting-room seating rather than a sociable lounge area. The lack of steps in the saloon is a real bonus, although it’s a shame there is no side door at the helm.

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No shortage of light and space in the main deck saloon

Below decks the three-or four-cabin layout mirrors the Targa 63. Whichever arrangement you opt for there is a splendid amidships master suite and a light-filled VIP in the bows both with spacious ensuite bathrooms.

In the four-cabin version, the day heads to port is replaced by a pair of bunks, which have access to the twin cabin’s ensuite across the hall. If the Targa 63 is anything to go by, the cabins will be opulently appointed and finished with Fairline’s trademark luxurious sheen and eye for fine detail.

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The master suite makes the most of Fairline’s quality fit-out

Feel the power

Engine options are also shared with the Targa, though judging from our test of that boat we reckon the quoted top speed for the Squadron 64 of 32 knots may be a touch ambitious given the extra weight of the flybridge. The marginally more powerful 1,200hp MAN motors should be the most popular choice, though the availability of Caterpillar parts in some areas of the world may make them the preferred engine of choice in some markets.

Fairline may have given itself a head start by using the Targa 63 hull as a blueprint and the renderings certainly look the business too but the new Hythe factory will have to come out all guns blazing to ensure the finished boat lives up to expectations. All will become clear when the first Squadron 68 is launched this summer.

Fairline-squadron-68-yacht-layoutSpecification

LOA: 66ft 8in (20.37m)
Beam: 17ft 2in (5.23m)
Engines: Twin CAT 1,150hp/MAN 1,200hp
Top speed: 32 knots
Price: from £1.63m ex VAT