How do you get a look at new boats that are designed and built overseas, like the Fairline Targa 53GT, the Princess V58 Open, and the Riva 88 Florida—long before they get shipped over here to the US of A? The only way is to attend the important European boat shows, like those in Cannes, France, and Southampton, England. Lucky for us, American boat-shoppers, does have an overseas presence and our reviewer Alex Smith was on the scene to check out all three of these sleek, sexy, euro-styled powerboats. You'll be able to see these boats for yourself starting tomorrow, at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. But until then, feast your eyes on this:

fairline targa 53gt

The Fairline Targa 53GT as seen in England, soon to come to American waters.

Fairline Targa 53GT

Fairline, which launched its first boat in 1967 and has built about 13,000 hulls to date, is based in Oundle, England. Their Targa series is a line of express cruisers ranging from 38 to 62 feet, so the new 53GT is one of the larger models of the mix. Fairlines are known for their contemporary styling, high-quality craftsmanship, and large open living areas. The 53GT continues this tradition, with granite, polished stainless-steel, and leather inlay detail work. The galley drawers present an excellent example of just what sort of effort Fairline puts into sweating the details. Instead of finding pre-fab plastic or polyboard, you’ll see hand-crafted wood and positive-locking latches. There’s a lot more to find out, so join reviewer Smith aboard for a quick look—inside and out—at the Fairline Targa 53GT.


For more information visit Fairline, or see current Fairline Targa 53GT listings.

Princess V58 Open

Also a UK builder (based in Plymouth), Princess Yachts has had a strong presence in the United States for decades. The V58 Open is an express cruiser available in two versions, either an Open or a Deck Saloon. While Princess certainly places importance on luxury and style, the V58 also boasts rather startling performance for a boat of this size. Top-end breaks 40 MPH. But the most striking feature of this model is the one self-described by its name: this European boat is, in fact, quite “open”. Massive windows surround the helm and upper saloon, which are aren't separated the cockpit. Plus, all are on the same level. And, as Alex will show you, huge hullside windows also keep things light, airy, and open-feeling belowdecks.

For more information visit Princess, or see current Princess V58 listings.

Riva 88 Florida

Italian boat-builder Riva has been making hulls since 1842. Yes, 1842—back in the days when boaters depended on the wind for power. Today, although Riva has representation in the United States thanks to Ferretti Group America, in Miami, the boats are still built in Italy. And so when the 88 Florida launched, despite the model name it was first seen on the far side of the Atlantic. While we love our European friends, we think that’s too bad—we want dibs on the 88 Florida. Besides, this boat is obviously designed with our warm, clear, inviting Floridian waters in mind. Note the massive fore and aft sunpads, an al fresco upper deck, and the wide-open helm station. Or, at least it’s wide-open until you hit a button and bring up the convertible hard-top. Wait a sec—a convertible hard top on an 88’ yacht? Yes, and just wait until you see how it works. “Dazzling” is the first word that comes to mind.

For more information visit Riva, or see current Riva listings.

Editor's note: visit the YouTube channel to see 12 more First Look videos of new boats introduced in Cannes and Southampton, prior to US debuts.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.