Fairway Brand Enters a New Era
The Fairway brand of motor yachts has transitioned to enter a new era. Company founder Wally Schuba has built his last Fairway with the moulds recently acquired and shipped off to China to be manufactured under the banner of Australian Motor Yachts.
At a time when the baton has been passed, Wally Schuba harbours absolutely no regrets. He commenced building the Fairway 36 semi
displacement cruiser in 1982 and over the intervening years built 131 Fairway 36’s. Along the way there was a major modernisation of the hull to remove the tumblehome and update the superstructure.
Hull number 131 and the last Fairway 36 built by Wally Schuba, has been kept as Wally’s personal boat. Significantly, Wally purposefully chose to power this boat with a Yanmar 4LHA-STP, a four cylinder diesel engine which produces 240mhp at 3300rpm.
“When we started out we were using a different brand of diesel engine for the Fairway hulls,” Wally reflected. “But mid way in our company life we were introduced to Yanmar and very much liked what we saw. Our customers liked the Yanmar brand and so did I. Yanmar delivered great fuel economy, were quiet and very reliable.”
It possibly helped that so many of the Fairway customers were mature sailors who were looking to the semi displacement Fairway hull as an easier means to stay on the water. In yachting circles, Yanmar is the dominant brand of marine diesel engines.
“Over the years that we have been installing Yanmar diesel engines, I’ve been very happy with the Yanmar brand and the authorised Distributor, Power Equipment. The people at Power Equipment are boaties just like us, who know their stuff and also take a genuine interest in us as a customer.’
The Yanmar 4LHA-STP is a purpose built diesel marine engine with a superior power to weight rating. The compact installation envelope of the Yanmar is well suited to the Fairway. The engine is installed mid ships directly under the saloon, with easy,
unimpeded access through the floor panels for routine servicing.
The 4LHA is a purpose built marine diesel engine. It features direct injection, with the induction being driven by a turbocharger with intercooler. Displacing 3.455 litres, the 4LHA is rated to 240 mhp at 3300 rpm. Tipping the scales at 365 kgs, the Yanmar 4LHA has one of the best power to weight ratios in its class.
With the Yanmar ticking over at 2400 rpm, Wally’s Fairway 36 is good for 12 knots and planing. At wide open throttle, the boat is up and running at 18 knots. With the Fairway 37 moulds now in the hands of Gold Coast based Stewart Smith and David Wright of United Motor Yachts, the brand has entered a new era. The boat is now being manufactured in China, but still with Yanmar power in the engine room.
“These guys are carrying the Fairway brand forward and doing a good job,” said Wally Schuba.
“They have made some changes to the Fairway 36 tooling, converting the cabin to a walk around configuration and adding 300mm more to the hull length. Now it is more of an entertainer’s boat.”
The Fairway range has also been bolstered with the addition of 41’ and 43’ Fairway models, with offerings in sedan and flybridge layouts.