Flying High

The Sessa Fly 45 combines slick styling details with a massive flying bridge that’s built for entertaining.

There’s nothing like a little bit of Italian style to enhance your on-the-water entertaining. Sessa knows that. So they loaded their Fly 45 with aesthetic pleasures by the bundle, while remembering to make sure she’s as livable as she is pretty.

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Interior:

The saloon on Sessa’s Fly 45, replete with baby-soft leathers and complemented by a sharp walnut sole, is certainly charming, particularly when taking into account a typically American layout that features an open, portside galley. It’s evident Sessa has gone through great pains to ‘Americanize’ this boat, not only with the main deck’s layout, but also with its ‘Elegance Package,’ a bundle of optional amenities including an electrically adjustable helm seat, LED spotlights, and underwater lights—designed to ease the burden of customization for the American buyer. What’s more, Sessa has taken to fixing the prices of its boats in dollars so the company takes on the risk of a fluctuating Euro. With all this focus on the U.S. market, it’s no surprise that Sessa is also aggressively seeking out stateside dealers.

Accommodations:

The 45’s accommodations level can be configured with either two or three cabins, though the three-cabin layout on my test boat feels like a no-brainer to me. My reasoning here is twofold. First, the two-cabin model allows for a second galley, which seems like wasted space on a 45-footer. And second, if you’re only looking for two cabins, Sessa offers a similar 40-footer with the same configuration that retails for about $215,000 less. If you require just the two staterooms you might as well get the smaller model and send a kid to a private, four-year college with the leftovers. But I could be wrong.

The highlight is the forepeak master, sporting a king-size berth with well-laid-out steps and a full 6 foot 7 inches of headroom. Smallish portholes don’t do much to light the space, but Sessa took care of that with a large hatch overhead that keeps the cabin airy.

The 45 Fly enjoys all this interior volume in part due to Sessa’s penchant for putting IPS drives on its vessels, including on almost all of its models over 40 feet. In this case the 45 has twin 435-horsepower Volvo Penta IPS600s in a clean and orderly engine room.

Performance:

Performance-wise those power plants left little to desire. The boat impressed with a sporty 32-knot two-way average at wide-open throttle, and a 24-knot cruise near 3000 rpm. Meanwhile her hull handled the 2- and 3-foot rollers easily, providing a soft ride throughout as we glided over the glinting midwinter Atlantic.

I tested the boat from the flying bridge, an area that—mark my words—will leave your guests chattering, namely because of its relative enormity. A forward sunpad is certainly appreciated by the tanning masses but is not particularly unexpected. What is noteworthy is the bridge’s full overhang above the cockpit, which is the genesis of this deck’s commanding sense of space. There’s more than enough room up there to party the night away, and then some.

47’0"
14’4"
4’6"
32,000 lb.
422 gal.
132 gal.
2/435-HP Volvo Penta IPS600s
$899,000
11-kW MASE
Volvo Penta gears w/ 1.82:1 ratio

LED spotlights; underwater lights; Raymarine C140 chart plotter (helm) and C120W (flying bridge); three-cabin layout; removable settee extension on bridge; bow roller and stainless steel anchor.

82ºF; humidity: 60%; seas: 2 to 3 feet; load: 170 gal. fuel, 0 gal. water, 5 persons, no gear. Speeds are two-way averages measured w/ Raymarine GPS. GPH estimates taken from Volvo Penta Web site. Range is based on 90% of advertised fuel capacity. Sound levels measured at the helm. 65 dB(A) is the level of normal conversation.