Review: Fairway 37 Flybridge

By: JAMES DUMERGUE, Photography by: NATHAN JACOBS

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

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Boasting an Australian heritage stretching back to 1980, the Fairway 37 is a serious contender in the mid-sized flybridge cruiser market.

Fairway Motor Cruiser’s new 37 Flybridge is a surprisingly voluminous vessel suited to both experienced boaters and those gaining experience. She is great in close-quarters situations and underway, safe with the walkaround decks and simple to manoeuvre with bow and stern thrusters. Comfortable shaded seating in the cockpit creates a liveable space, enhanced by the blurry line between indoors and out. Additional real estate afforded by the Flybridge plus accommodation in two cabins for four adults adds to the universal appeal of this vessel.

 

FAIRWAY MOTOR CRUISERS

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE

I boarded the vessel up the Coomera River with Stewart Smith of Fairway Motor Cruiser and we headed down to collect the photographer at Runaway Bay, right on the edge of the Gold Coast’s Broadwater.

The Fairway 37 now replaces the ever-popular Fairway 36 and David Wright and Stewart Smith of United Motor Yachts have done a fabulous job of continuing the legacy. Starting with such a successful platform, they set about lengthening the hull by 300mm and completely redesigning the flybridge. By integrating current boating desires with all necessary modern refinements, the all-new Fairway 37 is a nice culmination of experience with tradition and practicality.

The all-new 37 Sedan was launched at last year’s Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and subsequently sold, as did hull 3 at the Gold Coast International Marine Expo. The interest hasn’t just been the local Australian market; hull 4 was sold to a Chinese client and hull 5 to Japan.

Fairway’s new and improved ECO Cruise Hull sees better performance - the fine-entry bow slicing through the water with a wake more reminiscent of a well-trimmed sailing yacht. It pushes a thin veil of translucent water closer to the sides of the hull rather than an air-filled mass of water pushed more outward. Even though we tested this boat in calm conditions, any time we crossed a decent-sized wake the Fairway 37 Flybridge handled it proficiently, with less rise and fall than I expected.

The superstructure is where owners of the Fairway 36 will first notice the changes. By bringing the sides of the coach house in by 280mm, you can now enjoy safe passage to the foredeck along walkaround decks.

 

COCKPIT

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE COCKPIT

Changes to the hull length have enabled changes to the cockpit. Fairway 36 owners will notice the increased liveability, two corner L-shaped settees allowing seating for up to six adults, the most outboard seats enjoying views forward along the walkaround deck. The extension of the hardtop over the cockpit gives welcome additional sun protection.

I like the fact a vessel of this size doesn’t have a permanent table in the cockpit. The large lazarette under the sole houses the batteries and has room for the removable tables to be put away with ease. The increased hull length combined with the aesthetically pleasing curvature of the transom have also enabled the inclusion of decent-sized storage lockers either side of the central-entry split gate. These are expansive, with one side handling the storage of fenders and lines, keeping the other free for watersports equipment, fishing gear, outboard or even a few crab pots. Handy and safe access to this storage area is also available inside the cockpit under the seats.

 

SALOON

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE SALOON

On trend with the Fairway 37 Sedan, the Flybridge model has all the living on one level and does a great job of bringing the outside in and the inside out. The sliding doors of old have been replaced with bi-fold stainless steel doors and a pop-up stainless steel window at the end of the galley bench; giving an unobstructed and division-diminishing blend of the interior and exterior. To port of the saloon is an L-shaped settee finished in quality leather, while the table has an appropriately-angled cutaway allowing two people to pass each other comfortably.

Opposite the saloon and running forward the full length of the starboard side is the galley. A light-coloured Corian benchtop with the often overlooked lip, has an expansive amount of bench space for food preparation. On this model it was fitted with a microwave and an electric two-burner cooktop but options for gas are possible, as seen on the recently delivered Fairway 37 Sedan. An under-bench brushed stainless steel Waeco fridge on this model can be complemented by an optional freezer. The cockpit also has additional refrigeration with a front-opening Waeco unit below the flybridge ladder.

 

CABINS

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE CABIN

Forward of the saloon and down are the accommodations. To port is the twin cabin with over-and-under bunks. These are wider than I anticipated and both easily accommodate an adult up to six-foot. The light textured panelling is accentuated by particularly good joinery. The difficulty I had trying to find the join on the trim around the bathroom door is testament to the 10-year relationship of Stewart Smith with the boat-production facility in Shanghai. The bathroom is clean and functional and the surprise here is the size of the separate shower area, equal to that on a vessel of much greater size.

Compared to the Fairwa  36, the forward master cabin has been extended aft 100mm and the deck above raised, making this area simple for occupants to move around with the door closed. This room features an island double bed that lifts to reveal cavernous storage below. With the additional hanging storage on both sides, the owners of these vessels will have more freedom in what they carry with them.

 

ENGINE

The business end features a well-finished engineroom, a day hatch on the floor just inside the saloon allowing for quick checks of the essentials. When more room is required the floor of the saloon lifts hydraulically, revealing the uncluttered and easily accessible single engine.

The engineroom also houses the 4kVa Mase genset against the aft bulkhead, while the standard 240hp Yanmar six-cylinder engine sits in the centre – if you want more power, the 315hp engine is an option. That said, there was a fast response to cruising speed from the standard engine and the trade-off of added weight for a marginally higher top speed may not be worth the extra investment.

 

CRUISING

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE CRUISING

For those of us that cruise in crab pot infested or tidal areas with ever-changing sand bank locations, it is reassuring to have the prop and rudder protected by the shoe of the full-length keel. Extending past the prop and rudder, the shoe represents the deepest part of the hull, so if the occasion arises it should be a simple matter of reversing out of the situation with nothing more than a little pride and antifoul diminished.

Traditionally, single-screw vessels with a full keel can be challenging to manoeuvre in close quarters without a decent flow of water over the rudder. I prefer the slow and gentle approach, which doesn’t always allow for enough steerage from this arrangement, but the addition of bow and stern thrusters more than compensates for this.

The full-length keel, as well as offering protection, does add to stability, reducing leeway and roll with a beam sea. The fully protected prop and rudder will save on costly haul-outs and repairs to the shaft and rudder should a sand bank rise up from a location it wasn’t charted to be in.

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE AT REST

 

FAIRWAY 37 FLYBRIDGE SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

$425,000

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 13m overall; 11m hull

BEAM 3.65m

DRAFT 1m

WEIGHT 7-tonne

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 4

FUEL 700lt

WATER 550lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE Yanmar

TYPE Diesel

RATED HP 240

 

SUPPLIED BY

UNITED MOTOR YACHTS

The Boat Works Admin building

1 Boat Works Drive

Coomera QLD 4209

Note: United Motor Yachts has moved from Hope Island

PHONE +61 7 5580 4555

FAX +61 7 5580 4577

EMAIL sales@umy.net.au

WEB unitedmotoryachts.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #451, April / May 2014. Why not subscribe today?

Find Fairway boats for sale.

 


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