Fairline’s F//Line 33 embodies British heritage, Italian style
Fairline’s fastest yacht is an ice-cool blend of British and Italian pedigree, and there’s a white hull sitting in Singapore waiting to be taken for a spin. For those at home, you can see what your dream F//Line 33 would look like – and cost – by using the new online configurator.
I’m strolling along the boardwalk at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove in Singapore to see the first Fairline F//Line 33 in Asia when two men walking the other way stop to stare at the white-hulled yacht, despite it being the smallest on the dock by quite some way.
“That’s the one,” are the only words I can make out before the man continues talking excitedly to his friend about the streamline 33-footer as it sits in front of the office of Simpson Marine, Fairline’s representative in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The F//Line 33 has been setting tongues wagging since its official premiere at last year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, hence the excitement around the new unit in Singapore, which is available for sale and has a top speed of 33 knots with twin Volvo Penta 220hp diesel engines.
However, Fairline’s fastest yacht to date clocks 48 knots with the most powerful of its three Volvo Penta options, the 430hp petrol V8s, which has proved the most popular engine choice on the first 15 units built, which have been delivered as far as Asia, Australia, the US and all across Europe, from the Med to Scandinavia and even a couple of local deliveries into the UK itself.
Italian designer Alberto Mancini, one of the hottest names in yacht design, has worked on every new Fairline model since the brand’s rebirth in 2016 and the former car designer has described the F//Line 33 as a ‘car design in a yacht hull’.
Even during the build stage, though, Mancini was keen to emphasise that as well as being a fast performance boat, the F//Line 33 was created to be a practical yacht to be used for weekends or overnight trips.
Miles Moorhouse, Fairline Yachts’ Head of Marketing, was among senior management who in 2017 discussed what the yard’s first sub-40ft boat in almost a decade should look like and be able to do, with the first F//Line creating a new class for the British builder alongside its established Squadron and Targa ranges.
Moorhouse believes the 32ft 9in speedster has delivered on all its promises and points to its success in a highly competitive Superboat category at this year’s Motor Boat Awards held during Boot Dusseldorf, where Fairline also debuted the model’s Outboard version.
“I’ll put it simply,” Moorhouse says. “The F//Line 33 is not just my favourite Fairline – it’s my favourite boat from any brand.”
DRIVING ON WATER
Like Mancini, Moorhouse is a car guy, having spent two decades in the automotive industry before moving in 2008 to Fairline Boats, which was founded in 1963 on the River Nene in the inland town of Oundle near Peterborough, two hours’ north of London.
He worked for the Oundle yard for four years before joining another British builder, then returned in February 2016 as the newly owned, newly named Fairline Yachts successfully rebuilt the brand soon after the previous business went into administration.
Mancini has since provided the company with sporty, sexy styling to complement the build and finish quality the brand has earned since Jack Newington founded the company almost six decades ago.
“The design of the F//Line 33 is reminiscent of an old English sports car like a Jaguar E-Type. It looks stunning and it’s perfect for a couple or a young family,” Moorhouse says.
“One of the best things about the boat is that it looks as good as it did at the concept stage. In my time in cars and yachts, I’ve seen a lot of cool concepts on paper and even some great mock-ups, but the actual cars and yachts looked nothing like the renders when they came out. The 33 does.”
Muscular, sporty looks aside, the F//Line 33 surprised even Fairline management in terms of performance. Last year, the first hull was shown on London’s River Thames on August 29 before it was whisked down on a lorry to the south of the France for the Cannes Yachting Festival.
Arriving three days before the show, she was unloaded, filled with fuel and taken for her first spin, where she stunned all on board. Fitted with twin 430hp Volvo Penta V8s, the yacht clocked 48.7 knots in the Bay of Cannes while carrying seven people, significant cargo for a six-tonne boat.
“We were all were shocked,” Moorhouse recalls. “We were expecting 45 knots, so we were staggered when we clocked 48.7. The seas were calm, but there were seven of us plus full fuel and water tanks.”
Even in far chopper conditions, a media sea trial achieved 47 knots with 10 people, 50 per cent fuel, and full water and holding tanks.
Although she’s very quick, the handling and performance of the yacht is arguably even more impressive, with the deep V hull by J&J Design enabling the boat to provide a smooth ride for passengers even at high speed and during tight turns.
“I’ve really got to know the boat well, and the performance and the handling is stunning,” says Moorhouse, who has spent a lot of time with the 33 during shows, sea trials and media events.
“We knew it would look great and we knew it would be fast, but not that fast. However, the boat turns on a sixpence and the handling is just so good. J&J absolutely nailed the hull design. It’s the softest-riding boat I’ve been on.”
FUN AND FLEXIBLE
Ultimately, the boat’s global popularity lies in its user-friendly layout and versatile features, making it ideal for a group of friends during the day and up to four overnight.
A drop-down transom provides a convenient boarding platform as well as a swim platform, while the aft handheld shower is a useful feature. An adjustable backrest enables the aft bench to face the water, a nice option when it’s time to get wet or simply relax with a sea view and a Sangria.
The triple bench seats provide comfortable seating either side of the adjustable table, with a telescopic option enabling it to be lowered and merge with the seats for an enlarged lounging area.
Forward, a slick wet bar with two hobs, a sink and fridge faces aft, so the chef of the hour can interact with others at the table.
The central twin-seat helm station benefits from a one-piece windscreen, a multi-functional steering wheel and clean electronic display, while a premium Fusion Apollo audio system provides the day’s soundtrack, with an upgrade including a subwoofer, amplifier and two additional speakers.
On each side, pantograph side doors offer access to the foredeck, which has a two-person sunpad, plus storage underneath. For shade, options include a central T-Top above the helm and wet bar, while a hydraulic bimini and optional sky canopies can provide additional cover forward and aft.
However, it’s the downstairs space and especially the initial headroom that surprises most first-time visitors. Situated forward, the saloon features comfortable seating around a table, which again has a telescopic option that enables it to be lowered, in this case to form a comfortable double V-berth. To starboard, the head offers good headroom and has a sink and hand-held shower.
The cabin is midships and has locker storage on either side and a decent-sized double bed, even if it’s a squeeze to snuggle into. The saloon at least could benefit from windows or at least portholes, which Fairline says are being considered for future F//Line models.
Aside from four engine choices, the boat’s many options include a TV/ mirror in the saloon, integrated wine coolers on deck and mood lighting, plus a huge range of exterior colours achieved through vinyl wrapping.
CREATE YOUR OWN
In fact, anyone can now envision what their potential F//Line 33 would look like. Inspired by online configurators used in the car industry, Fairline has recently launched the F//Line version where you can try out colour options for the hull as well as seat and sunpad fabrics, or see which hardtop or bimini options look best.
Furthermore, you can also choose from the vast list of options and know how much it will all cost, offering a transparency rarely seen in the yachting industry. As an indication, the hull in Singapore is listed for sale at GBP372,050 (about US$480,000), with Moorhouse believing the price point is another reason for the global appeal of the F//Line 33.
“The price makes it attainable for the audience we’re targeting, which is someone who’s doing well and looking to buy a luxury yacht for the first time. Or maybe it’s their second boat after a ski boat and they want a fast, fun design with the option of staying overnight.”
Fairline can build three or four 33s at any one time and expects to build a total of 20 this year and another 20 or so in 2021. As such, the model has become a key component of the Fairline business and runs alongside annual production of another 50-60 units from the Targa (45-65ft) and Squadron (50-68ft) ranges.
“We had a reasonably strong order book for the 33 pre-launch and the orders keep on coming,” says Moorhouse. “And if you visit the facility, you’ll see that a 33 is built with the same attention to detail as our flagship Squadron 68.”
Furthermore, the yacht’s audience also keeps on growing. After showing an F//Line 33 among its line-up at BOATS2020 in Southampton from September 11-20, Fairline will display the car-inspired speedster at the 15th Salon Privé held on the stunning lawns of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire from September 23-26.
Despite the competition for eyeballs at the UK’s most exclusive motor show, you can expect a few more people to stop and stare at the new Fairline favourite.
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