The Sessa F45 - Florence Grace enjoys ample interior volume in part due to Sessa’s penchant for putting IPS drives on its vessels, including all of its models over 40 feet. In this case the 45 has twin Volvo Penta 435-horsepower IPS600s in a clean and orderly engine room. The 45 is a well-designed, functional, and gamely athletic cruiser that’s definitely built to party!
Assuming that most owners will drive from the upper helm, I did the same. The Fly 45 ran at a reasonable 4 degrees of inclination at planing speeds and had a top hop of 31.1 knots (at 3,530 rpm). When I backed down the motors to 3,000 rpm and her speed dropped to 24.5 knots, she rode smoothly in all directions. Sometimes the flying bridge on a boat of this length can make her feel tippy, but I never got that sensation here. Pod drives let the designers place the engines low in the boat and put the fuel tanks as close to amidships as possible, creating a favorable center of gravity. Combine this with a sharp entry and 14 degrees of deadrise aft and you’ve got a boat that will get you home comfortably in a seaway.
Driving from the lower helm, I had a good view when turning the boat in all directions. An aft-facing camera mounted on the trailing edge of the flying bridge eases the helmsman’s anxiety when he has to dock from the lower station. I liked the dark colors Sessa uses at both helms to cut glare.
The saloon seems to be made for the way we entertain. In addition to the one in the galley adjacent to the lower helm, there’s a second refrigerator, plus a separate freezer, in the portside cabinets aft. You don’t usually find this much cold stowage on a 45-footer. The retracting flatscreen TV is across from the starboard-side lounge. If you prefer to wind down in the cockpit but still covet privacy, you’ll like the three-position shade, which pulls down from the overhead and secures in three locations on the cool-looking composite rear flying bridge supports.
Primary access to the engine compartment is via a hatch in the cockpit sole. The genset is forward to port; the water heater, air-conditioning compressor and Besenzoni hydraulic pump are in a row outboard of the starboard engine. Accessories installed on the transom are easy to reach, but I’d relocate the fuel/water separators for the engines and generator from their current position, which is far forward on each side of the compartment. Owners might be reluctant to crawl up there to maintain them.
Sessa offers the Fly 45 with a choice of general arrangement plans. If you go with three staterooms, the galley is on the salon level. My test boat featured this option, and one of the after staterooms (both have two single berths) converts to a single queen. The forward master cabin has twin hanging lockers, plus stowage drawers in the base of the queen-size island berth.
Both the day and master heads have folding acrylic shower doors. A cover folds down over the commode in each area, so a person can sit down while showering. I also noted that each head had an air-conditioning duct, which will quickly get rid of vapor that collects on the surfaces.
Sessa builds the Fly 45 with a solid-fiberglass bottom and foam coring in the topsides, stringers and deck. The hull and deck are bonded, screwed and then sealed with fiberglass tabbing around the interior perimeter. This vessel is homologated in Europe’s Category B for recreational boats, which means it needs to withstand 40-knot winds and 13-foot seas.
Stylish inside and out, roomy and comfortable, the Sessa Marine Fly 45 gives buyers another worthy alternative in this popular segment of the market.