Yacht Class n°15 (dec 2018/jan-feb 2019)
Appeared in 2017 at the Cannes show, she was once again one of the stars of this event. And we immediately understand why. With a resolutely sporty look, she offers perfectly correct performances and above all her fittings are intelligently thought to offer ergonomics and comfort.
Written by: Alain Brousse – Photos : Alan et All rights reserved
As a reminder, the British manufacturer, bought by Russian equity in 2015, develops two families of boats, flybridge, Squadron (48 ‘, 53’, 64 ‘and 65’) and open-top, Targa (43 ‘, 48’, 53 ‘and 63’). Launched in Cannes in 2017 for a world first, the Targa 63 GTO has since achieved much more than a success of esteem. The sixteenth copy is currently under construction in just two years of existence, which makes the leaders of the Oundle shipyard legitimately proud; quite rightly so. A beautiful operation whose origin goes to its designer, the now very recognized architect-designer Alberto Mancini, an Italian oh so creative but totally attentive to boaters. In the specifications of the 63 GTO was a key demand: to safeguard the DNA of the brand. The talented Alberto complied with this requirement while bringing his personal touch which, we will see it, has its raison d’être and better, brings a real plus. The Fairline / Mancini union had only positive effects. It’s up to us to discover every detail…
360 degree visibility
Irremediably, an open hard-top as streamlined as the Targa 63 GTO does not generate monotony. Considering her lines of quite respectable “aggressiveness”, one comes to think of performances and preferably beyond 25 knots. Before playing with inverters and accelerators, let’s take the trouble to lift the cockpit hatch to get into the engine block composed of two Caterpillar C32 diesels each developing 1,150 hp and mated to traditional shaft lines. Everything is in order including the Seakepper stabilizer, which we will do without given the state of the sea: dead calm. Let’s now join the only control station equipped with two seats very ergonomic, moreover, electronically adjustable and each with a footrest. Before we get familiar with each order, we immediately see perfect visibility on almost 360 degrees, which is not common. And the pilot who begins to leave his place has even more: an electric window that lowers and allows him to visualize even better the starboard side. For delicate manoeuvres it’s an asset. On the dashboard, no joystick, but a “Yacht control” remote control to solicit the thrusters of bow and stern that can also be engaged from the dashboard.
Job perfectly fulfilled
Once the lighthouse passed, nothing seems to impede our desire to know the maximum on the behaviour of this hull. Sea barely wavy and lazy wind, the ideal conditions to know the timed ambitions of this 63 feet. The first of them is to boast of getting out without delay from the gangue liquid, 13 seconds to go from 0 to 20 knots and 23 seconds to reach the maximum speed: 30 knots. The hull just needs the intervention of the flaps as originally it seems to adopt itself its ideal plate. It is a pleasure to push her to her limits, all this of course respecting the basic rules. The steering is almost a little too soft so the Targa 63 remains responsive especially in the tight curves. In general, steering the boat provides us with satisfaction, which we make the most of. The cruising speed strongly recommended is nothing dishonourable, on the contrary: 20 knots with a range of 400 miles. At the sound level, now, to deliver its verdict: 66 decibels at this pace, enough to allow a conversation without raising your voice. The master is a little more sonorous: 71 dbA. But few boaters navigate at night deciding to sleep while the skipper takes control.
Convivial both outdoors and indoors
Once at anchor, the requirements of boaters are quite clear: put the annex and the toy (s) in the water to enjoy authorized water games. One might as well have a submersible hydraulic platform to facilitate this manoeuvre. Then it is raised to the desired height and serves as a staircase. The 63 GTO does not offer a real beach club but on the other hand we see a three-seater solarium overlooking the platform. Head to the front deck via a gangway that has a ledge and on its half a handrail, not to mention the balcony that provides additional security. We reach safely the front deck, which almost all of its surface is equipped for the comfort of passengers: a bench for six people, with a table for snacks and, in the continuity, two solariums each with a rest adjustable head. There is another outdoor space, however with a roof extended by an electrically adjustable canvas, which is generally very popular: the cockpit including a U-shaped bench around a table, the perfect place to have a meal with sea view guarantee. Just a note: the standard table lacks space to accommodate six seats. The same observation is made for the interior living room table, which is also very stylish with its stainless steel legs forming a V. There is no doubt that the building site remains open to any wish from a future buyer. As we have said from the beginning of the test, the common space of the main deck enjoys a luminosity and an almost total panoramic view, especially as the roof also consists of two glazed parts that open on demand. Note the ingenious system of the two bay windows separating this place from the cockpit: they lower themselves in the floor and so we miss nothing of the surrounding show. Surprisingly, one wonders where the kitchen is. In fact, its equipment is distributed in the furniture port side of the living room. If it was not the tap at the end to remind us of the use of this part, we could doubt it.
Three or four cabins
Down one floor, on the lower deck, we discover on the port side a storage unit, the wine cellar and a door opening on a bathroom. Optionally, it is possible to prefer the development of a fourth cabin with two bunk stacked or the main kitchen. For our part, we try the three cabins version. Logically, to offer the largest area, the master is located in the centre of the lower bridge over the entire width, with a sub-beam height of 2.10 m. We move easily around the double bed. The port furniture has plenty of storage space. This cabin has a large dressing room and a bathroom with a separate shower. The guest will be directed to the front cabin, which includes a double bed, two wardrobes and of course a private bathroom. The third cabin, the smallest one, is a twin with en-suite bathroom.