Fairline Targa 45GT review: Is this British sportscruiser a boat for all seasons?

A blustery test in Ipswich gives us the perfect opportunity to see if the GT is the version of Fairline’s entry-level Targa 45 to go for.

The 45-minute trip down the River Orwell from Ipswich Haven Marina to the North Sea gives you plenty of time to think. If you’re driving a boat for the first time, it also allows ample opportunity to get to know it as the engines patiently hover at 800rpm and the speedometer barely ticks past 5 knots.

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.

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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.

In truth, I am relatively familiar with this boat having tested the 45 Open, on which it is based, back in 2018. The Targa 45GT, though, is – as Fairline likes to describe it – a boat for everywhere.

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.

Fairline has sold them into the Mediterranean and other sun-blessed destinations but, as if to perfectly demonstrate the point, the boat we’re testing is due to be shipped across the pond to its new home on the Great Lakes a few days after our test.

Read our full review of the Fairline Targa 45GT in the May issue of MBY, which is out now.


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