The flagship of the range has enjoyed lasting success for all the right reasons. Here's a closer look at the Fairline Squadron 74/78

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When the Fairline Squadron 74/78 was launched, it was double the volume, double the weight and double the power of anything the yard had ever built before.

The first example was sold ‘off plan’ and launched in April 2002, when it made its first public appearance at the Southampton Boat Show. It was a gamble for the company, but one that paid off. The new flagship stayed in production for 16 years, only recently bowing out after a total of 115 units.

With naval architecture (as all Fairlines were at that time) by Bernard Olesinski, the boat was initially offered with MAN 1,300hp and 1,500hp diesels, with MTU offered in the early days and Caterpillar motors also on the options list, all giving over 30 knots flat out and cruising comfortably in the mid twenties. Article continues below…

Fitted out in dark eucalyptus and burr elm, or maple for anyone wanting a lighter finish, the layout was pretty conventional – four cabins on the lower deck with the full beam, amidships master cabin and a VIP double forward, separated by a pair of twin bunk guest cabins. On the main deck, the galley was forward opposite an eight-place dining table, with the saloon aft.

Conventional it might have been, but the fit and finish was exemplary and there were a couple of unusual tweaks. An internal staircase from the galley gave direct access to the flybridge rather than having to go through the saloon and up the cockpit stairs, and the transom contained not only access to the two-berth crew cabin but a garage on the port side big enough to take a 3.2m jetRIB or jet ski. Fairline sold 30 boats in this configuration.

Read the full report in the September 2018 issue of the magazine.