Genesis 400 Open Targa
Genesis recently launched a new model designed to provide el fresco dinning, social appeal and cruising comfort. Geoff Green went aboard shortly after it was launched.
When asked what drove the development of the Genesis 400 Open Targa, Chris Pollock, the managing director of Genesis Marine, said he designed the boat to suit the young, fun-loving market segment.
"We sell relatively few 400 Targa Saloons compared with the number of 400 Flybridge models we produce. The saloons have all gone to owners aged 60-plus so we reviewed the concept to see how we could produce a boat that was more appealing to young professionals.
"Our answer was the 400 Open Targa, a contemporary sports cruiser that caters to el fresco dinning and socialising without sacrificing practicality, luxury or comfort.
Chris says those showing interest in the Open Targa don't have time to go away for extended periods. "They tend to have demanding careers and varied leisure interests. They want something that works really well as a social weekender.
The essence of the Open Targa is its free flowing design that opens the upstairs living area to the cockpit. Both areas are well defined but there are no barriers to isolate one from the other and, as a result, the dinette has wide sweeping views out over the cockpit. This arrangement, combined with large sliding roof hatches and expansive areas of glass, maximises contact with the outside world.
The dinette design draws on the flowing curves and elliptical shapes found throughout the boat and will seat six people in comfort. All the necessities of the good life - icemaker, cockpit fridge, wet bar, food preparation area and drinks rack - are close at hand.
The dinette converts to a sun lounger and Chris says it will make a fine upstairs berth if there is a need to sleep an extra person or couple. The table drops down and an infill is provided to create a daytime couch or post-party bunk.
The helm area has a twin helm seat (there is a single companion seat to port) and it makes provision for all the necessary instruments and controls. The console is a new design for Genesis and the carbon inserts are custom built to suit the electronics package selected by the owner - in this case a Raytheon RL80C radar/GPS, Tridata, VHF and autopilot.
The defining point of the interior/exterior crossover is the companionway and its sliding door that is a development of a similar unit fitted to Genesis's smaller 335 Targa models. It slides to starboard and almost completely disappears under the helm station to give free and clear access through the companionway. It's the first security door in the boat (there is only a cockpit cover aft) although many of the cockpit lockers can be locked.
Three easy steps down from the helm place you in a modern, stylish interior that is spacious and welcoming. There are few flat panel bulkheads and those there are generally morph into a flowing curve, cabinet or moulding that opens the interior and makes it easy on the eye.
Chris says he strove to create an interior that feels like it is custom-built. The high set storage lockers have curved front panels that are hinged at the bottom and open from the top (pelmet lighting is installed above the lockers). These lockers, along with the galley and cocktail cabinet, provide timber highlights throughout the boat. They can be built using cherry, walnut or jarra veneers and the neutral soft furnishings are specified to compliment these timbers.
The master double berth is situated forward, skewed to lie parallel against the portside of the hull. The bathroom is positioned to port between the master berth and galley and the boat's second dinette is positioned to starboard.
It is easy to miss the opening into the aft cabin and not realise this boat can sleep four couples if all the sleeping options are utilised. The aft cabin is accessed through the galley area that is separated from the companionway by a small servery.
The aft cabin is not a cabin as such, but a space under the helm area that benefits from extra headroom developed from within the helm seat and dinette seating above. To access the bunk, you enter an alcove (it has a moulded seat and some storage) from the galley, before crawling into the bunk space.
The berths are set up as twins with a narrow gap between the two singles but an infill is available to create a double of generous proportions (2.4m long by 1.5m wide). Once on the foot of the bunk, the headroom increases and it becomes reasonably spacious with ample sitting headroom. For those with young families, I believe the aft cabin will become the children's favourite domain.
Chris describes the galley as "along the lines of a modern bar rather than a chef's galley, although a chef could create a fine meal in there".
A choice of Corian bench tops is offered in the standard specification and the galley provides good space for food preparation. The bench top incorporates a top loading 40l deep freeze, a 1 1/2 stainless steel sink unit and a two-element electric cook top. A combination microwave and convection oven is installed under the cook top.
Another very nice touch developed from the 335 Targa is the blister skylight positioned above the galley. This floods the galley with natural light and makes the interior appear and feel larger than it actually is. The skylight is fitted in the dash under the windscreen and while working around the hob you only see sky should you look up.
The bathroom is created as part of a larger moulding that forms the interior from the companionway forward. The seamless construction in the bathroom gives good water control and this area features a large wall mirror, covered toilet that doubles as a seat while showering, European standard fittings and various hatches and solar vents to provide fresh air and deal with the steam.
Popular drive train options include twin stern drives or shafts coupled to vee drives. Power options include Yanmar, Cummins or Volvo Penta and the review boat was fitted with two of the latest KAD44 (260hp) Volvo Penta diesels and stern drives. Chris says the top speed is an honest 33 knots (on the Raytheon GPS) in heavy trim and close to 34 knots when the fuel tanks are low.
The 400 Open Targa is the first Genesis fitted with an extended boarding platform. Chris says it's a popular feature overseas and to stay current in the market you have to acknowledge the best ideas from other manufacturers.
"We wanted to increase the platform's usability so we adopted an extended platform design."
There are two stern doors - a practical, user-friendly feature that gives good access and flow around the central barbeque station that also incorporates a sink and freezer. The cockpit area inside the transom is big and offers plenty of room to party, fish or prepare for a dive.
Although the Open Targa optimises outdoor living and will excel in summer, allowances are made for less than optimum conditions. A diesel heater is available from the options list and on the review boat this was ducted into both the upstairs and downstairs dinette areas. This provides the ability to be summer-warm while swinging at anchor under a star-lit winter's sky.
Just as the heater will ward off the chilling effects of a southerly, the second 400 Open Targa (for a Sydney client) is fitted with reverse cycle air conditioning to deal with the highs and lows of the Australian climate.
Chris says the basic price includes a higher specification than most Kiwi boats and the 400 Open Targa comes standard with two 70l fridges, bench freezer, microwave, Electrosan sewage treatment and inverter/battery charger.
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