Issue: July 2001
In his play Hamlet, Shakespeare penned the phrase “perchance to dream”, but if by chance you were in the market for a dreamboat, or like me just dreaming, then the Squadron 62 could just be the boat of your dreams. Superb, luxurious, distinctive, sensuous and seductive are all adjectives that can be used to describe Fairline’s state-of-the-art range of Squadron motoryachts and the Squadron 62 certainly epitomises Fairline’s dedication to excellence.
Sitting in the Squadron Yacht sales office, as I waited to be taken down the marina to view the vessel, I took the opportunity to flick through the coffee table book displaying Fairline’s entire range. I must admit being impressed by what I saw, but as it turned out even the multitude of glossy pictures didn’t do the Squadron 62 complete justice. What was it the brochure claimed ? Her innovative design, combined with unrivalled craftsmanship and superlative materials, sets a new standard within the boating industry. With seemingly expansive qualities, her sheer luxury and performance, married effortlessly with a distinct practicality, indeed defy her 62 feet. That, I was to find, was an understatement.
“How much does she cost”? I asked my host for the day Squadron Yacht Sales, Urs Wolfensberger. “Around $3 million, give or take a few bob”. “Will you take a cheque”? “How about Bankcard”? I jokingly reply. On a journo’s salary this boat was definitely out of my league, but hey, after all this was a dreamboat story and boy was I dreaming. Walking down the marina towards the 62, the first thing to catch my attention, apart from the sheer size of this vessel, was her long, curved and stylish lines. The full-length hull, crowned by high, wide bulwarks, a large teak foredeck and through-hull anchoring, combine to give this vessel a true ‘big ship feel’.
So, after removing my shoes I stepped onto the large, teak, boarding platform and was immediately struck by a sense of openness and space. The rear cockpit was enormous and had more than enough room to house a large table for alfresco dining. Actually, it could also double as a small dance floor. An extremely comfortable lounge also graced the transom bulkhead making this an ideal location to enjoy an end of the day drink while watching the sun go down. The bulwarks on the port and starboard sides of the main cabin make access to the bow easy. They are wide enough to allow an adult to walk freely aided by the high safety rail that extends all the way from the bow to the rear cockpit.
However, moving into the main cabin I realised where much of the $3 million dollars had been spent. Walking through the large, curved and tinted glass door was like walking into the lobby of one of Europe’s finest five star hotels. The ambience of the cabin was astounding. I was surrounded by sand-coloured leather, American cherrywood veneer and stood on a beautiful Berber carpet. The quality of craftsmanship was evident everywhere I looked and look hard I did. Nowhere could I find a bad join in the woodwork, a pulled thread on the cloth upholstery, or a missed stitch in the leatherwork.
In fact, it looked all too good and made me think if this boat was mine I certainly wouldn’t be letting my children onboard. However, while I did remove my watch so I didn’t scratch any of the woodwork, Urs assured me the quality of the componentry used in the fit out of the 62, not only looked first class, it was practical and hard wearing. The asymmetric layout and split levels of the main cabin, cleverly separates the helm, dining and saloon areas, while still retaining an open-plan feel. Blue glazing throughout reduces ocean glare and aids the air conditioning in cooling the saloon by day. Two sumptuous settees frame this airy space, which also features a lacquered and polished cherrywood entertainment centre with its power-drop mirrored door that conceals a television and VCR.
Behind the helm on the port side is a beautifully polished, six-seater dining table, while on the starboard side stands a curved bar that features an ice-maker. The clever design of the 62 effectively makes excellent use of all available space, which was clearly illustrated by the tasteful and well-appointed sunken galley. It features a full-height refrigerator/freezer, dual sink, microwave and four-burner electric hot plate. There is also a utility room under the galley floor, which houses a washing machine and drier, making this a true live aboard vessel. The fully-adjustable, dual leather seats of the raised helm station take pride- of-place in the saloon and sit atop a beautifully finished, cherrywood cabinet.
As far as electronics and instrumentation go, if it’s available and an aid to the efficient operation of the Squadron 62, it’s more than likely included in the boat’s list of inclusions. GPS, radar, sounder, radio and full instrumentation for the dual 1050hp MAN diesels, is also present. A spiral stair case leads down to the sumptuous sleeping quarters comprising three stunningly beautiful cabins, two double staterooms and a twin. The master stateroom occupies the entire width of the boat, which allows the superb craftsmanship of the cherrywood panelling and cabinetry to be fully appreciated, including the king-sized bed base with draws at the foot. This stateroom also features an en suite facility, with a separate flat door shower cubicle, large vanity unit and an electric marine toilet.
The other staterooms are equally furnished and although they are slightly smaller than the master stateroom, they all feature private toilet and shower facilities. Access to the flybridge is via a stylish spiral stairway on the starboard side of the saloon. The upper helm station is also a state of the art affair and features everything even the most fastidious skipper could want. Curving around the front of the three-seater helm, centrally positioned for optimal visibility and handling, is a large, semicircular upholstered sunbed. This design creates extra room aft of the flybridge for tender stowage. The tender is launched by a davit mounted on the cockpit overhang.
Behind the helm seats there is also a well padded, semicircular lounge with table and to port is a bar with sink, fridge, and electric griller that makes BBQs the order of the day. Also, for those who wish to soak up a few rays, there is a large sunpad out on the bow. However, the one aspect of this vessel that truly impressed me was her on-water performance. Being 19.22m long, with a beam of 5.01m and a dry weight of some 28,500kg, this is by no means a lightweight sports boat, but surprisingly that’s exactly how she handled. Under the awesome power of the twin 1050hp MAN diesels, the deep-V hull planed quickly and on the day, the 62 pulled an incredible 37knts. I must admit that earlier, while I was sitting in the smaller camera boat, albeit a $200,000 Boesch timber ski boat, the sight of almost 35,000kg of timber, fibreglass and steel bearing down on me at full throttle was a little intimidating.
Then, there was the added adrenalin rush one gets from sitting in a stationary boat as the 2m wash she left in her wake threatened to swamp the smaller boat. Luckily, the Boesch had the speed and agility to hightail it out of there in a hurry. However, when you consider the Squadron 62 is rated up to twin 2100hp, I hazard to even guess at what she’d be capable of with that sort of horsepower rumbling beneath her decks.
Fairline’s motto is “more than skin deep” and that certainly rings true with the Squadron 62. This is a boat of substance, with a handcrafted inner strength that reinforces her outer beauty. The precise tolerances used during her construction, attention to detail, clever design and craftsmanship all combine to produce a boat of unparalleled beauty with the performance to elevate this craft to the sports boat category. So, if you have a spare $3 million just lying around doing nothing, you might like to invest in one of these floating palaces. Make no mistake, the Squadron 62 definitely fills the criteria to be given the Modern Boating dreamboat tag.
Story by Ian Macrae