16 Nov 2012

In order for the fabulous Fairline Squadron 42 to take her place of honour at the Cape Town International Boat Show recently – she had to be fetched from her permanent mooring in Gordon’s Bay. Boating World’s Greg Alice needed no persuasion for this task and he jumped at the chance of a ride on board this magnificent motor yacht.

And what a great opportunity it was too for boating enthusiast and first-time Squadron guest, Alan Sheldon, who joined Greg and skipper Tony for the four-hour journey to Granger Bay. This was to be the Squadron’s temporary home until D-Day – when all the show boats were to be moved to the jetties at the V&A waterfront.

The party met on a rather grey Saturday morning with a just a slight breeze ruffling the waters in the confines of Gordon’s Bay Old Harbour. This was soon to change once the Squadron 42 moved out into open seas where it became very windy with a distinct chill in the air and swells reaching up to 3.5m.

Greg says this was of little consequence to this magnificent craft which easily picked up to 12 – 15knots within minutes of launching, slicing through the waves as though they weren’t there.

There certainly is an advantage to packing explosive power from 2 x 435HP Volvo Penta inboards – and in this case the 42 effortlessly reached a steady cruising speed of around 20 – 22knots all the way – even in the rough conditions.

Skippering from the flybridge helm, Tony set his course at this comfortable pace, with Greg alongside enjoying the protection from the elements thanks to the extra large canopy. What a great spot to enjoy the view and have unhindered visibility – and as if in confirmation - Mother Nature obliged with a whole show just for them.

Greg picks up the story, “Suddenly, we were surrounded by sea-life and we became part of a stunning scenario which one never forgets. Unsuspectingly, we’d cruised straight into the path of huge shoals of baitfish, which parted like waves to avoid our hull – with a huge pod of feeding Dolphins giving chase and giving us the display of a life time. 

“Skimming the water’s surface at amazing speeds, they surfed the waves and jumped into the air with spectacular manoeuvres after eating as much as they could hold. Droves of hungry sea-gulls swooped in to grab their fill, labouring back into the air with beaks full of shining fish. And just to add to it all about 10 whales joined the party – their enormous tails slapping the sea into spectacular sprays as they frolicked alongside.”

Greg went on to admit the only thing missing was a whole crowd of friends to enjoy this spectacle from the Squadron’s great outdoor entertainment area. “It’s so huge everyone can have fun up there together.”

Or they could have followed Allan down the broad, teak staircase to the huge cockpit where seating which converts into a unique lounger with an innovative reversing backrest. Guests would easily have watched the action going on behind or facing forward (while leaning back comfortably) while chatting with those in the saloon.

After enjoying a snack lunch Greg admitted to feeling sleepy and wishing he could take a nap in either of the two luxurious cabins with bathrooms en-suite (which sleep 4 – 6 people). “Those beds were so inviting – they were really hard to resist”.

All too soon the journey was over and the familiar sight of Cape Town’s majestic mountain came into view protectively guarding the city sprawled at her feet. Tony made mooring this Fairline Squadron 42 look easy as he competently manouevred her next to the jetty at Granger Bay -where her streamlined elegance easily matched her luxurious counterparts alongside.