On Test

Fairline F//Line 33 Review (2019 Edition)

The latest version of Fairline's sexy F Line 33 boasts a new deck layout and a tweaked helm to improve life on board. Is this twin V8 muscle boat better than ever?

It's incredible to think that the Fairline F//Line 33 has already been around for five years. But, it remains one of the freshest and most appealing 10m (33ft) designs you can find — and it's only getting better with age. When the F33 first launched, it wasn't perfect, but Fairline has kept refining this model, improving the package bit by bit.

In this review, we outline the key changes and updates they implemented. After taking it for a test drive with its punchy V8 petrol engines, we wanted to see if Fairline had turned a tasty recipe into a delicious one.

Fairline F//Line 33 Key Facts

Fairline F//Line 33 illustration
  • LOA 9.99m
  • Model Year 2019
  • Cabins 1
  • Max Speed 48 knots
  • Status In Production
  • Yacht Type Sportsboat
  • Use Type Dayboating

Test & Review Video

Performance & Handling

Around the Marina

Twin sterndrives are the only choice with the F//Line 33 and there is the option to add both a bow thruster and joystick. The bow thruster, in my opinion, is a must-have despite the boat’s taught dimensions and positive reaction to inputs from the wheel and the throttles. The bow is relatively tall and slab-sided, so it catches the wind easily, which the bow thruster can counteract. 

The joystick is another matter. Combined with the latest DPH drives and their smooth gearboxes and silky petrol engines, control is slick with the stick and in calm conditions it takes all of the thinking out of shifting the boat in and out of the berth. However, it’s a costly option and such is the level of control from the sterndrives and throttles, that many skippers will feel comfortable handling the boat without the joystick. However, if you’re new to boat handling, it’s a useful tool. 

Fairline-F33-docking-Marina
The Volvo joystick is an option
Fairline-F33-overhead-docking-marina
The F33 is easy to handle at slow speed

Windage aside, the F33 is an easy boat to move around at slow speeds and easy to move around on with the new layout. Hanging fenders on the starboard side is a little tricky as there isn’t clear access to a side deck so mooring will likely be done port side to, where there’s a beautifully engineered door that allows easy passage up that side of the boat. 

The multi-function steering wheel, though useful, does have some downsides at slow speed. The hub with the buttons can get in the way of your hands when quickly moving the wheel from lock to lock. 

Fairline-F33-running-wake
The top speed is just shy of 50 knots

At Sea

Fairline has made a fair few tweaks to the F33 since it was launched but the hull and drivetrain were best left alone. The combination of the soft-riding J&J hull, agile sterndrives and the instantaneous wallop of twin 6.2 litre V8s with 430hp are highly intoxicating. In a world of turbo diesel inboards, the punch and cultured roar of a pair of V8s is a real tonic and their responsiveness both from a standstill and in the mid-range is one of the delights of driving this boat. 

The issue used to be that all of the power and handling was on tap but it was dulled by the badly designed helm station which was awkward to stand and sit at and not befitting of a boat with such capabilities. This, thankfully, is no longer the case. The seats have been raised and have a good bolster so you can stand, sit or lean. They’re a better shape, too, and hold you in place in hard turns and in the seated position protection from the windscreen is surprisingly good.

Fairline-F33-running-foward
The handling is razor sharp and the hull soft riding
Fairline-F33-running-turn
Fairline-F33-running-sideways

The helm ergonomics in general are much better thanks to a significantly improved relationship between the seat, throttle and wheel. Being picky, the MFDs could be angled towards the helmsman more to improve the view of them but the look and feel of the entire dash and helm is so much better than it used to be.

You’ll never get tired of the way this boat roars up to cruising speed and the elegance with which it slaloms through the waves. And the ride is magic. You expect small, high-powered boats to slam a bit through a seaway but the landings are so soft even if you get it wrong and carry a little too much speed into a wave. Landing at an awkward angle does little to disturb progress, either, making it one of the best 30-foot hulls out there at the moment.

Fairline-F33-Jack-at-helm
The tweaks to the helm have made all the difference

Design & Build

The Fairline F//Line 33 premiered at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2019, marking the launch of the F-Line series. Designed by Alberto Mancini, this yacht is a glorious nod to classic 1960s car design, inspired by the iconic GT40. This influence is palpable in its sleek, muscular lines and timeless look.

The original fold-down transom platform and opposing seating are gone in this new layout option. Instead, we now have a fixed platform with a ladder for easy access in and out of the water. The seating has been reconfigured into a more sociable U-shaped arrangement, although this change does mean the loss of one of the pantograph side doors.

Fairline-F33-overhead
The hard top and sunroof are cost options
Fairline-F33-saloon
The dinette converts into a double berth
Fairline-F33-red-running
It goes looks good without that T-top, though...

Customisation is a key feature of the F//Line 33. Owners can opt for luxurious extras such as a cockpit canopy, atmospheric mood lighting, a TV/mirror in the lower saloon, integrated wine coolers, and backlit F//Line 33 badging. There are also endless options of exterior colours to choose from as Fairline offers a vinyl wrapping service.

The hard top is another option, along with a manual sunroof. However, be aware that these fabric roofs can be quite rattly, especially upwind, as they often get caught in their mechanisms. Personally, I’d go for the hard top for its fixed shade, particularly in hot climates, but skip the sunroof as it could be more trouble than it's worth.

The lighting on the F//Line 33 is marvellous, with strip lighting set into the decks that looks absolutely fabulous at night.  The interior arrangement is particularly handy if you’re on board solo or as a couple; you can keep the dinette as a dining space without needing to convert it each night. Alternatively, if you have guests, they can enjoy the privacy of the main cabin, while you convert the dinette for your own sleeping quarters.

Fairline-F33-logo
Detailing is lovely throughout

Interior Accommodation

Below deck on the Fairline F//Line 33, the accommodation is far better than you might expect given its exterior. In the galley, it's not enormous, but it’s got plenty to offer. There's lots of storage above and below the counter for all your Fairline-branded bits and bobs. The sink has a cover, giving extra workspace when needed. There's also an additional fridge and induction cooking facilities. Ventilation doesn't look brilliant, so don’t plan on whipping up a Sunday roast, but it should be fine for heating up a quick meal.

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It's not huge but there's a real feeling of quality in the saloon
Fairline-F33-galley
The galley has a hob, microwave and fridge
Fairline-F33-lower-deck-saloon-view-out
There are no windows here so it's a bit dark

The dinette area exudes high quality, especially with the optional gloss walnut finish. Yes, it's an expensive option, but it looks lovely and reinforces the sense of quality that Fairline is known for. The seating here is adaptable; the table drops down, and with an infill, it converts into an open-plan double berth.

The lighting design is interesting as illuminated panels compensate for a lack of actual windows. There's an option to install a camera facing out the front of the boat, which provides a bit of forward perspective — but perhaps it would have been easier to install some windows instead. A hatch in the ceiling allows some natural light to filter through, which helps keep the space from feeling claustrophobic, and the headroom is surprisingly good in most areas.

Fairline-F33-owner-cabin
The permanent double berth amidships

Amidships, there is a wet room which comprises toilet and shower. It’s compact, with headroom sufficient for most, but the entire space will get soaked when you shower.

Through a door, there's a main cabin. The cabin isn’t spacious, and the headroom is a bit restricted over the bed, but the bed is a decent size, and the finish is very nice indeed. More lovely gloss woodwork and luxurious carpet underfoot make this space feel just as premium as the rest of the yacht.

This cabin is useful as it means a couple always have a bed made and ready to go in the evening and, if guests are on board, they have a private cabin to themselves. 

Helm Station

Fairline has clearly listened to feedback and made significant improvements to the helm station of the F//Line 33. The helm's seating arrangement allows you to sit right down with plenty of shelter despite the stubby windscreen. The seat is bolstered with nice high sides, so even when you chuck it around a bit, you're gripped firmly in place.

The dash itself has seen a functional overhaul. Everything is closer, making it much more user-friendly. However, the MFDs could still use some tweaking as they are leaning away slightly. This isn’t just a Fairline issue; touchscreens on boats like this can be finicky when bouncing along. Physical buttons are a necessity here, as stabbing at a screen in those conditions is less than ideal.

Fairline-F33-helm-station
The helm position is so much better than it used to be
Fairline-F33-wheel
The multi-function steering wheel is good but the hub can get in the way
Fairline-F33-helm-seats
The new helm seats are very supportive and comfortable

The multifunction steering wheel is really good with controls for flicking through songs on the Fusion system, adjusting lighting, and sounding the horn. However, when moving the wheel quickly or at slow speed, your wrist or the heel of your hand can sometimes catch on the hub and stop the wheel turning, which can be a bit of a nuisance. The joystick is there for slow-speed manoeuvring, which can help with that issue.

Aesthetically, the helm is now a very stylish place to sit. The strip of stainless steel that winds its way around the edge of the helm is a lovely detail, and the use of lighting underneath is another. Storage options are practical, with deep cup holders and a storage bin with a lid for loose items — no gas ram to hold it up though. There's even a charging tray with a lip to ensure your phone doesn’t slide away when you unleash all of the horsepower.

Fairline-F33-helm-overview
The MFDs could do with being angled to towards the skipper

On Deck

On deck is where the most significant changes have taken place. Aft, the Fairline F//Line 33 has a fixed platform with a handy ladder for getting in and out of the water. But the real gem here is the boot area. This storage space is under sun pad seating and pops up for storing fenders, lines, and a dedicated slot for the boat hook. On top of the boot is a two-way backrest, transforming the area into a large sun pad or a bench at the push of a button. Additionally, the entire unit lifts electrically for very good engine access.

The cockpit has also seen some significant enhancements. The opposing seats are replaced by a U-shaped seating arrangement that feels far more sociable. A table comes out from behind — a signature Fairline detail — with a wet bar located opposite. The wet bar features a somewhat small but includes a generously sized grill and ample cooling space underneath. They've even found space for an ice-maker underneath the dinette bench. 

The new deck layout does rob you of a starboard side deck but it's a compromise well worth it because the layout of the cockpit is so much better.

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The new layout does the business
Fairline-F33-wet-bar
The small wet-bar on deck is useful
Fairline-F33-boot-space
The "boot" at the aft end is a practical solution

The new hardtop is a welcome addition, integrated nicely into the boat's existing sleek design. While the sunroof might be an optional extra you could skip, the fixed protection it offers is invaluable, especially given the boat's open layout.

Forward, the gate leads to a rather narrow side deck but you can brace yourself easily and soon find guard rails for added security. The forward section offers a generous sunbathing slab, perfect for soaking up the sun, but it does feel a bit precarious up on the bow when the boat is rolling around at sea.

Fairline-F33-foredeck-sunpad
Pure sunbathing space on the foredeck

Value For Money

The Fairline F//Line 33 offers a compelling package, but let's break down the numbers. Starting with a base price of GBP £398,500 ex VAT for the model with twin V8 petrol engines and the new layout, you're getting a relatively healthy standard spec. However, our test boat had a few additional key options, pushing its price to £565,225 ex VAT.

Some of the standout options on our test boat that would create a turn-key package included a bow thruster, joystick, upgraded twin 12in MFDs at the helm, a saloon TV complete with a bow camera, Platinum Esthec decking for both the cockpit and side decks, a wet bar, and, of course, the hard top.  

If considering further upgrades, I would add Humphree interceptors (£8,000) for improved performance, the Dynamic Plus package with a stabiliser roll, auto trim, and auto list (£13,450), and air conditioning plus a generator if you're planning to use the boat in warmer climates (approximately £30,000 combined).

The F33 is a lot of money for a boat of its size but its quality shines through. Fixtures and fittings are high quality and the level of engineering is impressive. The V8s go well and sound fantastic but they aren't the most efficient way to power a 33ft sportscruiser. What price on fun, though?!

Our Verdict

In a nutshell, the Fairline F//Line 33 has evolved into a much more rounded package with its recent updates. 

The redesigned cockpit is a significant improvement, making it much more usable and practical. The tweaks to the helm have also been highly effective, enhancing the driving experience and ensuring you feel in control at all times. Options like the hardtop have further bolstered its appeal, adding versatility to what was already an attractive model.

Of course, it's a prestige product, and you do pay for that. But with its performance and seriously cool design, it’s a real head-turner and about as good as it gets in this sector.

Reasons to Buy

  • Much improved deck layout
  • The twin V8 performance
  • Excellent hull and handling
  • Quality finish

Things to Consider

  • Sunroof rattles
  • Narrow side deck
  • It's expensive

Rivals to Consider

When it comes to the Fairline F//Line 33, there's certainly a lot to like, but it's worth having a look at its rivals to get the full picture. The primary focus here is on performance, design, and practical features, so let's find out what the competition has to offer.

The Fairline F//Line 33 is propelled by twin 280hp Volvo Penta V6-240-C engines, pushing along to an impressive cruising speed of 38 knots and a maximum speed of 48 knots at 5,800rpm. In comparison, the Formula Boats 310 offers a storming top speed, reaching a maximum of 58 knots, making it the best in raw performance. On the other hand, the Azimut 34 opts for stability and a leisurely cruise, with a cruising speed of 20 knots.

The Azimut 34 shines with its extensive range of 896nm, making it ideal for long voyages. The Princess R35 and Astondoa 377 both feature shallow drafts, allowing them to navigate waters that are often inaccessible to deeper vessels. 

Despite stiff competition, the Fairline F//Line 33 stands out thanks to its blend of performance and design elements. The Formula Boats 310 and 330 are certainly appealing for those who prioritise speed, while the Azimut 34 is a better bet for those who prefer stability and long-range cruising. Additionally, the Princess R35 and Astondoa 377 bring further versatility with their shallow drafts.

When considering a new (or indeed used) yacht, it’s crucial to wonder about the alternatives. Remember, the choice ultimately comes down to personal taste and specific requirements. 

Specifications

  • Builder Fairline
  • Range F//Line
  • Model F//Line 33
Fairline F//Line 33 illustration
  • Length Overall 9.99m
  • Beam 3.5m
  • Draft 0.87m
  • Hull Fibreglass
  • Cabins 1
  • Berths 4
  • Yacht Type (Primary) Sportsboat
  • Use Type (Primary) Dayboating
  • Cruising Speed
    Max Speed
  • Fuel Capacity 680 Litres
  • Fresh Water Capacity 220 Litres
  • Engine Model 2x Volvo Penta V8-430-CE/DPS
  • Engine economic speed 12.6 knots
  • Engine max range (speed type) 161 nm

Fairline F//Line 33 Layout

  • Main Deck Fairline F//Line 33

    The original (standard) layout is still available if you want it

  • Main Deck Fairline F//Line 33

    The new deck arrangement is the one to have 

  • Lower Deck Fairline F//Line 33

    There's more space on the lower deck than you might imagine