In June 2022, I was thrilled to finally make a trip to England, having worked with Simpson Marine in Hong Kong on launching the Squadron 50 as part of ‘Fairline – Riviera of the Orient’ – a celebration of west meets east.
Jumping aboard a train to Oundle, just one hour from London, I was greeted by Miles Moorhouse, Marketing Director, at the Fairline headquarters. This is where it all begun, back in 1963 with the first Fairline Cruiser, the F19 rolling off production just four years later. Here the company founder Jack Newington transformed a disused part of Oundle Marina in Northamptonshire into a boat-building workshop. How proud he would be today to know Fairline is shipped and enjoyed the world over.
Founded on British craftsmanship, built with passion and designed for carefree adventures for everyone that steps on board, I was keen to get to the heart of what makes a Fairline. Dive into the process, meet the craftsman and designers inventing and building yachts of legacy, and learn more about Fairline’s future endeavours in sustainability and technology.
Producing just 80 yachts a year, with ambitions to reach 90 by 2023, Fairline yachts are highly desirable and the upmost attention to every detail is held in high esteem by its savvy international audience. Fairline can now be accessed at brokers around the globe, Simpson Marine being its number one in Asia.
Representing Simpson Marine, as soon as I stepped into the factory I felt the pride and passion of those involved in producing over 20 models now in build. I got a sneak peek of the F//LINE 33 in build, getting close to the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into each and every aspect of the yacht’s timeless design and performance, and caught a glimpse of the impressive build of Fairline’s Phantom 65, which debuted at Cannes Yachting Festival alongside several other impressive Fairline models.
Miles shared more with me about the Phantom 65 as we watched the final stages of the build in play. “This is Fairline’s first sportbridge yacht made for flexible entertaining and vast lounging spaces to soak up the sun, together with an abundance of interior dining and entertaining spaces as vacations at sea and hosting on board become ever more popular,” he said. I really got a sense of the family inclusive feel through their designs and unique owner experiences as I fondly remember back to an event hosted in 2017. “Fairline 50 brought together 50 Fairlines in Majorca to celebrate 50 years of Fairline – it was a majestic sight seeing them all moored around the quayside and the friendships made by the owners. We are looking to repeat this even to mark 75 years,” shared Miles. I am wondering too if Asia could host!
We shared industry thoughts on current and future sustainability in yacht design. The R&D into more circular materials will certainly pave the way for more sustainability in design and technology and naturally this is a daily change and ongoing challenge on everyone’s minds. From the move towards more electric powered boats calling for more electric charging stations around the globe, to developing Hydrogen/Hybrid engine alternatives raising the issue of where to get hydrogen from…the challenge is very much ON.
To discover more on design I was then transported to the blue azure of Fairline’s design studio to talk to Fairline’s designer Andrew Pope on the features built to last. “This yacht has great livability throughout its interior and exterior and is based on the technical ability of one of Fairline’s best sellers the Targa 65. We have created a design signature such as the deck window which will stand strong and signal it’s a Fairline far out at sea. We have driven more crafted elements into our designs such as quilted maple wood and the detailing and softening of materials, using techniques such as leather stitching and 9 degree angles.” shared Andrew.
Andrew has been accelerating the future of yacht design for almost two decades. As he and his team prepare to wave off the Phantom 65 for Cannes we discuss Fairline’s devotion to continuing to design and develop timeless yachts for ultimate adventures at sea. “As with all our designs, they don’t follow fad or fashion rather they are classic and won’t tire. For me it’s about designing a timeless boat built to last, where everything has its reason to be there – we are devoted to the quality of every aspect and the finished product. A passion of mine when designing is to bring back the purity of line…to seamlessly flow and transition between interior and exterior,” shared Andrew.
Understanding the aspect of flow through design gave me a liberating sense of space, movement and rhythm, something I was first enchanted by when launching Fairlines in Hong Kong, a place where space and flow can feel distant. Now back in Hong Kong I certainly feel transported from the east to the west when on board a Fairline yacht, in a timeless spirit of adventure of my own.