Mr. Russel Currie, Director of FAIRLINE Shipyard: Innovation is critical to stay one step ahead!
The world-renowned FAIRLINE shipyard from England each year treats us with new exclusive yachts from TARGA and SQUADRON production lines.
Mr. Russel Currie, CEO, was kind enough to discuss exclusively to Nautika about the current issues the shipyard is facing.
N: Port de Soller is located in one of the most beautiful bays in Majorca, on the west coast of the island, surrounded by the mountains of Serra de Tramuntana. Was the beauty of this marina the key reason for choosing it as the venue for the central celebration?
R.C.: Yes, Port de Sóller is situated in one of Mallorca’s most beautiful horseshoe harbours. Surrounded by the Tramuntana Mountains, this picturesque marina has both magnificent mountain scenery and a superb sea view. Mallorca is a hugely popular yachting destination for many of our clients and it is easily accesible from the rest of the Mediteranean where a large number of our customers enjoy sailing their Fairlines.
N: You have expanded your dealer network to Portugal and this is a big and positive step. How do you see the current situation and the market interest in purchasing yachts from product range – Targa and Squadron?
R.C.: Ever since we launched Fairline Yachts at the start of 2016, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction from the public, the media and Fairline owners. The dealer network has also remained incredibly loyal to the Fairline brand. This is a testament to the support and belief they place in the company and its boats. We have an impressive worldwide network of dealers, which we are growing all the time to ensure Fairline boats are available in key yachting locations all over the world. This focus, coupled with designing, engineering and manufacturing products that the market desires has helped cement Fairline’s place in the global luxury yacht market. In short, we have been dedicated to creating boats that boaters will want to own, and our dealers will want to sell. We have been running an aggressive programme of new product development across both our Targa and Squadron ranges, including the much anticipated launch of the Targa 63 GTO at Cannes Yachting Festival 2017, which is the first boat from our relationship with renowned Italian superyacht designer, Alberto Mancini and Dutch naval architects, Vripack.
N: Can you mention some of the most important factors that have lead you to success and achieving your goals?
R.C.: Whilst day to day operational plans constantly change, we have stayed firmly aligned with our over-riding goal of producing a high quality range of boats that our dealers want to sell and their customers want to buy.
N: The Targa line represented power, style and performance, while Squadron stands out for sophistication, plenty of space and her flybridge. What are the details in which Targa and Squadron differ, while still keeping the same course of development at the same time?
R.C.: The Targa range sets a benchmark for the modern express cruiser, combining powerful muscular grace with large, luxuriously equipped living areas. The Squadron flybridge range delivers exclusivity, elegance and performance in equal measures. Free-flowing sociable living spaces are at the heart of every Squadron model. Our Targa boats are perfect for day and weekend cruising whereare Squadrons are ideal for clients that wish to spend a few more days at sea.
N: How important are innovations and implementation of new ideas in the technological process of yacht building?
R.C.: Innovation is critical to stay one step ahead and ensure you are building boats that people will want to own. This is why we have been working with designer Alberto Mancini and naval architechts Vripack. Working with external designers helps to push the boundaries of what is considered possible. For example, with the Targa 63 GTO, we have an exciting new shape but it clearly retains Fairline’s original design DNA. Similarly, our naval architects, Vripack, have designed a hull shape that allows for maximum volume, which significantly improves comfort levels on board, as well as making the boat stable, dry and very safe. Innovative touches including the boat’s fully glazed panoramic roof, its large sliding glazed sunroof and powered patio doors that ’disappear’ through the cockpit floor transform the main deck and add to the overall sense of space and light onboard.
N: There is a strong competition on the market. Is design the primary factor in choosing a yacht today or do you feel that quality and what the yacht offers is more important than the appearance itself?
R.C.: Yes there is a lot of competition in the market but what’s important for Fairline and its loyal following is that we remain true to our core values, our DNA if you like, regardless of boat size, retail sales volume or price point. We have always remained commited to our rich history of building timeless, classic yachts, our dedication to exceptional British craftsmanship, the exquisite materials we choose, our investment in cutting edge innovation, design and technology and the attention we pay to ensure every perfect detail.
N: How do you see the future of the global nautical market and what are the current development trends?
R.C.: One of the biggest trends in the global yacht market is for complete customisation in terms of the boat’s interior layout. This is something we have embraced fully and Fairlines can now be configured in a wide variety of ways to ensure every customer gets their perfect boat. For example, the Targa 63 GTO is designed to suit Fairline’s varied global client base. There is the choice of either an extended cockpit or extended saloon variants, the former offering large outdoor space, the latter for those where air conditioned interior space is more important. Maximising space and comfort are the key features of the Targa 63 GTO with every centimetre optimised. Regardless of specification, owners will find a large saloon and cockpit as well as an impressive full-beam master cabin with adjoining en-suite. This taps into another key trend, which is to use light and space in highly innovative ways to ensure you feel connected to your surroundings. You can see this in the spectacular new windows which sweep across our newly-designed Squadron 65’s hull, which are a styling cue from Alberto Mancini, and enable the interior of the lower deck to be bathed in natural light. This style of hull window is set to become a feature across other Fairline models going forwards.