Phantom 50 — By Tim Clark —
|In motion or at rest, this coastal cruiser is a deft entertainer.|
Especially aboard a large, powerful boat like the Fairline Phantom 50, PMY sea trials can seem like clips from an action movie. The location for the 50’s performance was a stretch of the Atlantic off Deerfield Beach, Florida, at midmorning in late January under blue sky and billowing clouds. Above southeasterly seas averaging three feet, two principals sat on the flying bridge: Marina One sales executive Mike Hansen at the centerline helm and sales rep Mark Davies in the navigator’s seat to port. Braced against the forward end of the wetbar behind them, your faithful correspondent played director, armed with a Stalker ATS radar gun and an electronic diagnostic tool monitoring fuel flow on the port-side 675-hp Volvo Penta D12 675 diesel below.
Written in outline form, the script read: 1000 rpm, 1250 rpm, and so on, up to WOT. There was little room for improvisation, but Hansen and Davies made an unusually high-spirited duo. When I announced our speed at 2000 rpm–more than 32 mph–Davies pumped a fist in the air and whooped. And before I had finished recording the fuel flow–49.4 gph, for a cruising range of 339 miles–Hansen turned with an eager grin and asked, "Twenty-two-fifty?" By the time we reached WOT (2300 rpm), the high-rise hotel I’d been training the Stalker on was growing taller fast. After scrawling down our top speed of 38.1 mph (which might have been faster on untroubled waters), I called out to Hansen, "That’s it!"
Normally at this signal the skipper throttles back to a near idle, and the transformation from hurtling speed to bobbing calm is like the return to reality on a movie set after someone yells, "Cut!" But instead, without backing a millimeter off the Volvo Penta electronic controls, Hansen sliced 30 degrees to port, head-on into the weather, as if to declare, "This is reality, and let’s enjoy it."
The 50 raced over the water with force and grace. When the occasional four-footer met the bow, we carved into its top, lifted only moderately, and came down in an even, cushioned motion–a dry, truly hydraulic landing controlled by hull designer Bernard Olesinski’s deep-V forward, full-length spray strakes, and 18 degrees of deadrise aft. "Isn’t this great?" asked a gleeful Hansen. I had to agree.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.