Review: Fairway 43 Flybridge

By: James Dumergue, Photography by: James Dumergue

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

Fairway 43 Flybridge 03
Fairway 43 Flybridge 10
Fairway 43 Flybridge 11
Fairway 43 Flybridge 13
Fairway 43 Flybridge 02
Fairway 43 Flybridge 15
Fairway 43 Flybridge 21
Fairway 43 Flybridge 22

Frugal fuel usage and an impressive top speed with only one engine — the numbers really stack up on the Fairway 43.

When Fairway Motor Yachts first went into production in 1979, it coincided with the second oil crisis of the 1970s. It was thus paramount that the boats were fuel-efficient to gain traction as a new Australian brand. The first Fairway 36 was launched in 1980 and with 130 more launched over the following 33 years it is clear that the original formula was the right mix.

Fairway Motor Yachts’ recent introduction of the all-new Fairway 37 Flybridge and Sedan continued the legacy of performance, combined with more function and modern interiors and is the breath of fresh air that the marque needed to continue to be a feature of the Australasian marine scene.

The new 43 Flybridge, released at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show this year, illustrates that Fairway Motor Yachts is ensuring that the latest offering from its stable of luxury boats will cater to a broad range of boating desires.

 


Find Fairway boats for sale.


 

THE FAIRWAY BOATS FORMULA

Fairway 43 Flybridge cruiser

Modern diesel engines provide greater reliability than ever before so the need for two engines is really only about speed rather than for redundancy. The Fairway philosophy of creating comfortable cruisers, that feature economy with coastal capabilities, is a sound way to approach building boats.

Typically I would associate a 43ft (13.1m) single-engined flybridge cruiser with displacement speeds but I was soon to learn that this is not the case on the Fairway 43 Flybridge. If a top speed just shy of 20kts and frugal consumption of 10lt/h at 7.5kts sounds appealing, then this latest offering from Fairway should be on your wishlist.

Powered by a 480hp Cummins QSB common rail diesel engine, combined with the efficient ECO Cruise hull, the Fairway 43 Flybridge is up and planing at 16kts. To achieve this, Fairway Motor Yachts engaged the services of a Sydney naval architect to reproduce the efficiency features of the successful 37 on a larger scale.

The attenuated bow without hard chines reduces the amplitude of the bow wake as it passes through the water with a similar efficiency to that of a sailing yacht. A great deal of resistance is reduced with much less water forcibly displaced as it carves the water to each side, promoting efficiency. Remarkably, with this model, they have achieved similar fuel figures to the 37 despite it being a larger engine and bigger boat.

 

LAYOUT

Fairway 43 Flybridge layout

Entering the boat is made easy with dual transom gates from the swimplatform or from the customised starboard side gate, suited to the owner’s beam-to berth.

The cockpit is shaded well by the hardtop that extends the full length and the fixed seating is comfortable for three, with the ability to seat six to eight around the table with removable chairs.

The inside layout chosen by the owner is very much slanted towards entertaining  and for longer stays on board. There’s an option for a galley running down one side but this owner wanted a more entertaining-orientated layout. During the review, we had five adults sitting in the saloon with room for more and it became clear why he chose this configuration – it’s a very social layout.

The galley also faces into this area and becomes part of the conversation. With the living all on one level, this layout flows aft and melds the outdoors with the indoors.

With almost 360-degree views from the saloon, all this glass makes a fair amount of heat-reducing airflow important – leave it locked up on a hot day and it could take a while to bring the temperature down with air-conditioning alone. The three-panel windscreen thus has a very welcome large opening hatch in the middle panel that opens out, scooping in the fresh air and, in combination with the opening helm door, optimises airflow without the dependence on machinery.

 

INTERIOR

Stateroom in Fairway 43 Flybridge

When you consider what has been achieved with the master cabin, the slight compromise with the helm standing position is acceptable. Fairway has achieved something special for a boat of only 43ft: no longer is the master cabin relegated to the bow – it is now positioned amidships with a full walkaround island bed.

The allowance for headroom in the queen berth is what results in the slightly higher standing position at the helm, but considering the pay-off it is well worth it. With no hard chines exaggerating the hull slap at anchor and the muted rise and fall of the cabin’s central position, this is a boat you’ll want to sleep on.

When privacy is not required, two wood-panelled doors open to expand the master cabin sanctuary. Plenty of light enters the cabin through the large horizontal portlight above the vanity table and fresh air can enter through the second portlight above this or from the overhead hatch.

The master bathroom is another achievement. The decent-sized head is positioned at a 45-degree angle, giving more space. The vanity has ample bench space and good storage and the shower is separate and a really good size for a vessel of this size.

Accommodation was very important to the owner during the selection process. The master cabin was important to him but the way the second cabin is configured confirmed that this was the right boat. The full-sized twin berths were a must for adult guests but it was the inclusion of the second bathroom inside the cabin that he was after.

 

FLYBRIDGE

Flybridge on Fairway 43

With all the space on the main deck and in the accommodation it comes as no surprise that the flybridge would push the limits on space.

An ascending moulded stairway makes a good start and is my preference. Covering the saloon, galley and lower helm area is the upper entertaining zone and helm.

On this model the owner chose one helm seat over the standard two. The available seating is hardly compromised, with the L-shaped seating to port capable of seating six or more adults with space. There is an additional two-seater to starboard plus the helm seat which can be lowered to equal the eye-line of the seats.

The hardtop covers the entire area and the clears, plus optional breezeway covers, make it usable in all weather.

The deck area above the cockpit really opens up the possibilities for use. With a load capacity of 350kg, a decent-sized tender can be raised and stored there with the optional davit. It’s a flat, blank canvas deck that could be used for water toys, as a sunset or breakfast balcony with folding table and chairs or for an afternoon read or snooze on a sunlounger. Whatever your needs, the space is big enough to cater to them.

The full walkaround decks are one of the benefits of this style of vessel – creating a safe way for people of any age to move around the boat and providing easy access to the foredeck, further extending the space this boat offers owners.

 

THE VERDICT

Fairway 43 luxury cruiser

If you walked past the new Fairway 43 Flybridge you’d be forgiven for thinking it is a longer boat than it really is. At 43ft (13.1m) it is probably the shortest boat to feature an amidships master and has outdoor entertaining areas comparably to boat nudging the 50ft (15.2m) mark.

It is a boat that is ‘easy – it handles with ease, you can entertain or enjoy your own space with ease, sleep with ease and, importantly if you want to discover new places, the Fairway 43 Flybridge has the range and efficiency to do it with ease.

 

FAIRWAY 43 FLYBRIDGE SEA TRIALS

Single 480hp Cummins QSB 6.7 engine

RPM

SPEED (KTS)

FUEL BURN (LT/H)

1200

6.4

5

1400

7.3

8.5

1600

7.9

12

1800

8.6

15.5

2000

9.4

23

2200

9.8

29

2400

10.7

34

2600

11.8

42

2800

13.5

50

3000

15.5

63

3200

17

75

3300

18.5

86

* Sea-trial data supplied by author

 

HIGHS

• Huge amount of living space

• Amidships Master with full walkaround island bed

• Helm door to full walkaround decks

 

LOWS

• No grabhandles as you move through saloon

• Master Cabin overhead hatch needs shade blind

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #458, October / November 2014. Why not subscribe today?

 

FAIRWAY 43 FLYBRIDGE SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

Fairway 43 Flybridge price: $781,258

 

OPTIONS FITTED

Hardtop, Cummins engine upgrade, blue hull and Garmin electronics

 

PRICED FROM

$650,000

 

GENERAL

MATERIAL Fibreglass

TYPE Monohull

LENGTH 13m

BEAM 4m

DRAFT 1m

WEIGHT 9t

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE (NIGHT) 4

FUEL 1100lt

WATER 700lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Cummins QSB 6.7

TYPE Six-cylinder inline turbo-diesel

RATED HP 480

DISPLACEMENT 6.7lt

 

SUPPLIED BY

United Motor Yachts

1 Boat Works Drive,

Coomera, QLD, 4209

Phone +61 7 5580 4555

Email sales@umy.net.au

Web unitedmotoryachts.com.au

 


Want the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the free TradeBoats e-newsletter.