Can you improve on perfection? Fairline tries with the all-new 55
Fairline introduced the 55 into its Squadron line-up in 1994 and, with some 450 models sold, it is something of a favourite with both the company and owners alike.
The new 55 is way bigger than its illustrious ancestor. Not only is it more generous on headroom but Fairline has worked in a generous midships cabin and the clever arrangement of the ensuite means you get the effect of a full beam master.
The VIP forecabin gets an excellent dose of natural light through a skylight that follows the cut of the coachroof and that still leaves a very chic third cabin, which again boasts plenty of headroom.
Back up at main deck level – via the feature turning staircase – the most marked difference between the earlier 55 and this new model is that the galley is no tucked away in a dark well. It is now positively celebrated, sitting opposite the more elevated of the two comfortable saloon seating areas.
There will be many a fighter pilot out there jealous of the helm and gadgetry afforded a Squadron 55 owner. Specifically Fairline’s touch screen Pilot management centre that brings all of the 55’s many electronic, power and safety systems to your finger tips.
Up top, the flybridge is very much one big open social space with a gold helm taking centre stage. A large convertible dinette sits in the rear half and is serviced by an adjacent wetbar.
When it comes to performance the new 55 is much the same as its predecessor – accelerating to 30-odd knots flat out – while harnessing much the same sort of horsepower. At first glance this might seem a bit disappointing (we always feel newer should be faster) but then this is a bigger, heavier boat, so in a sense improvements have been made here too.
When it was decided that a new boat would carry the 55 badge it was always going to have to be something rather special. As it turns out, with a mix of cutting edge electronics and deck design, Fairline has produced a boat it hopes will redefine the future of its flybridge line-up.