We have already written about this model even before its official premiere. This time we managed to test the novelty.
At the beginning of October in the town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule on the Cote d’Azur, at the invitation of Fairline Yachts, a troop of journalists landed. The task of representatives of various publications – from respectable yachts to fashionable lifestyle magazines – included tests of two new products: the open design boat F-33 and the Fairline Squadron 68 cruiser. The world premiere of both took place shortly before at the exhibition in Cannes, and first of all we will tell about the new flagship of the Squadron flybridge line, which deserves close attention. Fairline already had a model with similar markings, but the new boat is more closely related to the Fairline Targa 65 (the hull lines were borrowed from it), and in the model range it will replace the Fairline Squadron 65 – a very successful yacht, but deserving “retirement” after ten years in production.
Although a motley fleet rested at the docks of the Marina of Port de la Rague, among which there were many interesting specimens, it was easy to find Squadron 68 among them. Proposed by the talented Alberto Mancini, the modern and dynamic exterior immediately attracts attention with a non-trivial combination of smooth and chopped lines. The impression is that the proportions of the hull and superstructure reflect the desire of the Italian designer to achieve absolute harmony. The feeling of lightness of the structure is enhanced by dark structural elements, and the glazing of the hull and superstructure, in many respects repeating each other in shape, gives the image completeness.
The boat carries a spacious hydraulic bathing platform that can easily accommodate a tender or jet ski. This can partly explain the absence of a garage in the stern of the test boat (hull No. 3), instead of which a cabin for two crew members appeared here. You can get here from the transom platform by folding down the deck section with steps leading to the cockpit (starboard side). Here, on the transom, there is a folding sofa and a shower – useful little joys for a “beach” holiday.
The flybridge, spacious and ergonomic, is one of the Squadron 68’s strong points.
The foredeck can only be walked along the side: there are no side doors in the superstructure. Almost the entire deck is given over to a seating area with a “solarium”, sofa and table. The central section of the loungers transforms into a second sofa with a backrest – as a result, we get an additional dinette.
The flybridge, spacious and ergonomic, is one of the obvious advantages of the Squadron 68. The customer is free to choose the furniture configuration to his taste, and there are a lot of options. I was pleased with the elegant and simple solution for the design of the stern with two L-shaped sofas, each with its own table. A large part of the flybridge is protected from the sun by an optional hardtop on lightweight pillers, and the insolation is controlled by swiveling (louvered) transverse plates. One can argue about the rationality of such a solution (reliability of mechanical elements, drainage of water accumulated after rain), but I liked the idea itself: it is not beaten and allows you to adjust the ratio of light and shadow in a new way.
Dossier Fairline Squadron 68
The interior of the yacht is quite light thanks to the panoramic glazing, which is interrupted only by a wardrobe placed just behind the galley. However, this wardrobe looks organic and respectable in English; it rationally uses the space under the ladder to the flybridge and, among other things, can accommodate a washing machine or refrigerator.
Dinetta, next to the main helm, features a table of an original design with V-shaped chrome-plated supports, shaped like a mooring bollard. The central section of the massive table top folds back so people can freely leave the table without disturbing their neighbors.
When it’s hot or just want more sea air, the side windows in the front of the cabin, as well as the glass in the stern (port side), are lowered electrically. On the move, with the door open, this will be enough.
The shipyard has increased the usable area on board and seriously worked on the design of the model
Moving around the cabin is comfortable – the floorboard is made without steps, the furniture has no sharp corners, and in the dark, you can turn on a spectacular purple backlight marking the lower contour of the furniture and the steps of the ladder. The raised helm station has two stylish high-backed chairs; their interior is decorated with textured rhombic stitching, a pattern echoing that of the decorative leather trim on the lower deck.
The dashboard and steering wheel are at a comfortable distance from the pilot – not too close or far, as is sometimes the case. Any of the four Garmin displays are easy to reach, and other controls such as engine grips, transom plate control keys and gyroscopic stabilizer are also ergonomically located.
Wide sliding door to the saloon and sliding glass provide comfortable servicing of the aft seating area
The decoration of the dining area in the salon is a table of an original design
Main helm station: excellent visibility and everything at hand
On the lower deck
Squadron 68 has three or four cabin layouts. On the test boat, a three-cabin variant was presented with a daytime bathroom and a storage room in place of a possible fourth cabin on the port side and an enlarged VIP cabin in the bow.
The midship master stateroom occupies the entire space from side to side and features a comfortable ceiling height, marble paneled bollards and large glazing just above water level. At the head of the bed is the Mancini Wall, already familiar from other recent shipyard models, a design panel with an intricate play of elements of different colors and textures.
Konstantin Pribytkov, Sales Director, Fairline Russia
Panoramic glazing of the saloon on the main deck, competent layout of the interiors, spaciousness due to high ceilings and single-level floors, a huge one-piece windshield illuminating the lower deck (“second light”) – in terms of comfort and volume, Squadron 68 is comparable to yachts of much larger sizes …
“This wall looks very unusual for Fairline, which, as you know, is considered a conservative company,” said Miles Moorhouse, director of marketing for the shipyard. – Behind it is a spacious owner’s bathroom, designed, in addition to its main function, to improve the sound insulation of the apartment … In the fight against noise, even the piping system under the deck was rethought. Silent magnetic latches are installed on the doors, and as a result, the owner’s cabin has become a very private and quiet place. “
In general, the furniture and furnishings on the yacht (polished walnut wood) look very solid, and if a lighter interior is desired, then it is worth considering bleached oak or a variant with a gray tint called “kashmir”. In the interior, the wood texture is elegantly complemented by surfaces made of glass and natural leather, whose color is selected in accordance with the color of the tree.
The yacht’s interior design is highly praised – the World Yachts Trophies (Best Interior Design) award
The spacious owner’s bathroom is designed in the same style as the interior design of the cabins
VIP cabin located in the bow of the deck
The hull lines of the Squadron 68 are characterized by the presence of three pairs of longitudinal steps and a double chine: the upper one is located above the waterline, increasing the rigidity of the hull, and is included in the work unless there is a strong heel (for example, in a steep circulation). For this yacht, you can choose from two options for diesel power plants: two Caterpillar C18s of 1150 hp each. from. or MAN V8 1200 hp each. from. In the second case, the shipyard promises a maximum speed of 32 knots.
What did our test show? With engines of lower power, we were able to accelerate the yacht to 28.6 knots (2300 rpm). The boat copes well with moderate waves, cutting it gently and effortlessly. Squadron 68 accelerates smoothly, without excessive trim; gliding takes about 10 s, with no hump of resistance seen. The yacht turned smoothly, the diameter of the circulation at cruising speed (22 knots) was three to four hull lengths. Handwheel rotation is very light (with your fingertips), full boarding is equal to four turns. Also, the boat is very responsive to the movement of the throttle levers, and together with the light steering wheel, everything indicates excellent handling.
Engines 2 x Caterpillar C18, 1150 HP at 2300 rpm, 6 cylinders, 18.1 L, diesel
ECO FAST MAX Modes RPM 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2300 Speed 9.7 10.8 14.6 17.2 20.3 23.7 26.8 28.6 Flow 52 92 133 196 257 340 418 452 MPL 0.19 0.12 0.11 0.09 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.06 Power reserve 786 494 464 370 334 294 270 266
Speed in knots, distance in miles, flow in l / h, cruising range at 10% reserve. The figures shown are based on the readings of the on-board instruments and may differ from the data you received. Loading: 80% fuel, 30% water, 3 people on board, life raft. Air temperature +26 ° С, water temperature +22 ° С, wind 4 points, excitement 2 points.
The Fairline Squadron 68 is not a sports yacht. The manufacturer’s goal was different: to create a reliable, comfortable boat, solid and modern. Maintaining traditional quality of workmanship and materials, the shipyard has increased the usable area on board and seriously worked on the design of the new flagship of the Squadron line. Stylish and thoughtful with flexible layouts and high seaworthiness, this yacht should appeal to those tired of compromise. And the work done has already been appreciated: in Cannes, the yacht won the World Yachts Trophies in the Best Interior Design category.