The Motor Boat Awards are the only marine awards with the motor boat buyers’ best interests at heart. Hosted by Motor Boat & Yachting and sponsored by Side-Power, the awards are judged purely on the boats’ design, ability and value for money in their chosen market place.
There are eight different boat awards up for grabs, as well as the Customer Service Award and the Judges’ Special Award. All the boats have been sea-trialled and rigorously tested by the magazine’s technical experts, and the winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony in January.
“This outboard-powered version of Fairline’s achingly handsome sportsboat is more likely to be found charging between the Balearics islands, swivelling heads as it goes. But if it can prove itself in the brown suburbs of the North Sea then it’s off to a good start.
Most of this boat is identical to the inboard model launched in 2019. There is the same deck layout, a wet bar with sink, grill, cooling and storage space and a driver-focused helm that sits well below the rakish side screens that rise and fall so attractively from the topsides.
Below decks there is an open-plan dinette that converts into a double bed with another double berth amidships. Finished to Fairline’s usual high standard, the sleeping space is probably a little too cosy for weeks on board but perfect for when day trips melt into long, lazy weekends.
The big news here is what’s going on at the stern because gone is the optional folding transom and in its place are a pair of Mercury’s 350hp Verado outboards. There are twin 300s and 400s on the price list as well but the 350s are a well-proven engine and should suit the Fairline F33 well.
There is a total weight saving of around 400kg over the 430hp inboard petrols that we tested in 2019. The mini beach club transom-come-platform may be sacrificed to make space for the outboards but, as an option, you can have a hi-lo platform that surrounds the outboards and will drop into the water for swimming but also rise up to meet the quayside when moored stern-to.
VERDICT – Dynamically it’s difficult to split the two versions as both perform brilliantly. The Verado’s are the more refined cruising companions, but the inboard V8s have an edge to them that delivers muscle boat appeal, and their sterndrives make for a slightly more enjoyable driving experience. However, the Fairline F33’s quality and tremendous hull make it a win-win situation either way.”
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“You sit high on the Fairline Targa 45GT with a commanding view through a one-piece windscreen and over the foredeck. The leather trimmed steering wheel – of perfect diameter and gauge – feels great beneath your hands and sits in close proximity to both the throttles and IPS joystick.
The dashboard is a good balance of style and practicality with plenty of space for electronics but also a trio of analogue dials across the top for quick glances at revs and the steering angle of the pods.
You may sit high but Fairline has thought about this and included a thick step that drops down to give you somewhere to rest your feet so your legs aren’t left dangling. It also provides the extra elevation needed to poke your head clear of the windscreen when the sunroof is open.
It’s quite a sunroof, too. The aperture is smaller than the canvas roof of the 45 Open but thanks to a pair of glass panels it still allows natural light to saturate the helm and forward end of the saloon even if the weather isn’t good enough to open it.
Its split main deck with outdoor dinette and sunpad aft, and luxuriously crafted enclosed saloon forward, make it a versatile beast with across the globe broad appeal.