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Old 07-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
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Is This A Phantom 23?

Hello all.

Attached are some photos of our Research and development boat. It is currently undergoing engine and trim set up. It has a Mercury 225 on the back and without any significant alterations (prop etc) it has achieved a rather wheezy 55MPH. I am hoping with a new prop it should pick up a little although the radar arch is probably the greatest speed killing factor. That said, 55MPH is fine for what we need.

We bought the boat in 2009 and it was sold to us as a 1984 Phantom 23. The boat has been extensively renovated before we had it and almost completely re-built to fit our purposes. As a result its a bit like an old broom that's had 2 new handles and 5 new heads - its very difficult to tell whether the boat is an original P23; a hybrid; a splash; a one off or some other thing.

It makes no real difference to us whether it is or isn't original since we bought it because its similar to a hull form to one we are interested in - thus, we are interested in the thinking behind the design of this hull form.

My questions are:

1. Is this an original Phantom 23? if not what is it?
2. if it is a P23;
a. Is there any documentary evidence / people we could interview to understand what the hull form was optimized for?
b. Why did the hull form become obsolete? Why aren't racing boats built like this anymore? Was it to do with better ways to get more speed (flared bow / stepped hull) or because there is a significant or dangerous compromise with this hull form?

Thanks!

Graeme
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryad Maritime View Post
Hello all.

Attached are some photos of our Research and development boat. It is currently undergoing engine and trim set up. It has a Mercury 225 on the back and without any significant alterations (prop etc) it has achieved a rather wheezy 55MPH. I am hoping with a new prop it should pick up a little although the radar arch is probably the greatest speed killing factor. That said, 55MPH is fine for what we need.

We bought the boat in 2009 and it was sold to us as a 1984 Phantom 23. The boat has been extensively renovated before we had it and almost completely re-built to fit our purposes. As a result its a bit like an old broom that's had 2 new handles and 5 new heads - its very difficult to tell whether the boat is an original P23; a hybrid; a splash; a one off or some other thing.

It makes no real difference to us whether it is or isn't original since we bought it because its similar to a hull form to one we are interested in - thus, we are interested in the thinking behind the design of this hull form.

My questions are:

1. Is this an original Phantom 23? if not what is it?
2. if it is a P23;
a. Is there any documentary evidence / people we could interview to understand what the hull form was optimized for?
b. Why did the hull form become obsolete? Why aren't racing boats built like this anymore? Was it to do with better ways to get more speed (flared bow / stepped hull) or because there is a significant or dangerous compromise with this hull form?

Thanks!

Graeme
looks like an early p23 to me
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #3
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p23

looks like a 1970s phantom 23 to me
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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p23

early p23 from the gallery sec
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:49 PM   #5
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Almost bought this boat about 6 years ago! Love the droop-nose 23
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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So originally built for twin straight six mercury 140 - 150 Hp the 23 developed into a very popular 25 foot version that was then powered by twin new generation V6 175 Hp Mercurys .
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
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PHANTOM BOATS, A brief history of the marque.
In 1969, Steve Baker & Melvyn ‘Ricky’ Richardson decided to have a go at building themselves a raceboat following several disappointments with hulls available from existing manufacturers.
The result was the Phantom 16 ‘Droop Snoot’. Steve & Melvyn campaigned the 16 with some success, including gaining the 1970 National Championship in class III B, this in boat 153.
In 1973 came the Phantom 18. No one could have imagined when this boat first appeared how in years to come it would dominate Offshore Circuit Racing the way it did. Right up to the present day, the 18 and it’s fairly recent successor, the P18 EXL ( popularly called the ‘19’ ) are hot contenders for the OCR classes.
In 1974, the 3 day week imposed on British Industry by the government (by limiting of electricity usage due to the miners strike) brought about the departure of Melvyn Richardson from Phantom Boats and production was halted. However, Steve carried on with other work at London Road Sittingbourne ultimately seeing the crisis through.
In 1975 came the Phantom 23. It’s roots lay in the P18 and the sleek machine brought great success for many racers in IIID. Steve and his father won the coveted Putney Calais Putney race of 1975 in their P23 ‘SPECTRE’ covering the 230 miles at the amazing average of 65mph
In 1979 another new model, the P21 arrived on the scene. Again, it had similarities with the P18 but with a fuller bow and deeper sides. However, this was a short lived model.
In 1980, 2 completely new models were tooled and produced, a Mk II P21 and a replacement for P23 with improved recovery and hull form similar to the 21. This was the Phantom 25, destined to become a very popular IIID race boat indeed.
In 1982 a 31 footer was commissioned by a customer, this would not be a Phantom production boat but became well know as a Phantom product. This was ‘Warlord’. Powered by a single Mercruiser racing engine and Speedmaster Sterndrive for UIM class II.
In 1983, long standing Phantom customer Pete Armstrong & his wife Jan, wanted a boat for the 2nd running of the Round Britain Powerboat Race planned for 1984, Steve’s drawing board was again kept busy, the result being the Phantom 28. This boat was hugely successful in the Round Britain event , crewed by Peter, Jan & Steve, they walked away with a string of awards, including 1st in class & 3rd overall.
In the same year, another smaller design was undertaken, this was initially called the Phantom 600, but soon became known simply as the Phantom 20.
In 1986/7 some of the lessons learned from the Phantom 600 project were implemented in a re-vamp of the Phantom 21 running surface, later (’87), a new style deck was modelled for the 21. This is still the current design we see today.
Fast forward to 1994, A completely new Phantom 23 was produced. Looking very similar to the 21, but with a hull design intended to be more friendly in chop, the 23 also became the building blocks for the Phantom Evolution RHIB produced by Neil Holmes. This project was undertaken by Steve and Neil in around 2000, with early series production by Phantom Boats themselves.
1996 is the year the P18 got it’s length increased to 20’, a development program Steve did with OCR stalwart and multiple OCR nationals winner, Nick Barsch.
The last boat to leave the factory at 220 London Road Sittingbourne was a Phantom 23, in August 2001, this boat was destined for Europe.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:02 AM   #8
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Wow

That's good reading indeed. So which design was built on the homemade testing pond that I seem to recall?(scaled down model).
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:47 AM   #9
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Another photo
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:51 AM   #10
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Was this an early 23 ?
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Was this an early 23 ?
Yes that's a p23
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:39 AM   #12
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Thanks Everyone!

Hi Everyone

Thanks for your replies and thank you John for that really interesting potted history of the marque. John - when did the 1975 P23 cease production before the new form took over? Would be useful for us to bracket when the boat might have been made.

Does anyone with a P23 have an opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of this very narrow dart like hull form? Is it wave piercing?

What are the handling characteristics of this hull form - is it particularly given to chine walk/ high siding / hooking/diving in following seas? (Is it as deadly as a 1980s Porsche 911?!).

I am guessing I will find out for myself shortly as we are due to start training soon!

G
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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I love the 23 it took 3 years to get one and really happy with it.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #14
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Lloyde - how do you find it handles? Any bad habits from the handling? I notice that before we set up the hull the boat porpoised like mad.
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Old 08-04-2013, 03:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryad Maritime View Post
Hello all.

Attached are some photos of our Research and development boat. It is currently undergoing engine and trim set up. It has a Mercury 225 on the back and without any significant alterations (prop etc) it has achieved a rather wheezy 55MPH. I am hoping with a new prop it should pick up a little although the radar arch is probably the greatest speed killing factor. That said, 55MPH is fine for what we need.

We bought the boat in 2009 and it was sold to us as a 1984 Phantom 23. The boat has been extensively renovated before we had it and almost completely re-built to fit our purposes. As a result its a bit like an old broom that's had 2 new handles and 5 new heads - its very difficult to tell whether the boat is an original P23; a hybrid; a splash; a one off or some other thing.

It makes no real difference to us whether it is or isn't original since we bought it because its similar to a hull form to one we are interested in - thus, we are interested in the thinking behind the design of this hull form.

My questions are:

1. Is this an original Phantom 23? if not what is it?
2. if it is a P23;
a. Is there any documentary evidence / people we could interview to understand what the hull form was optimized for?
b. Why did the hull form become obsolete? Why aren't racing boats built like this anymore? Was it to do with better ways to get more speed (flared bow / stepped hull) or because there is a significant or dangerous compromise with this hull form?

Thanks!

Graeme
just out of interest what are you devoloping/researching with the boat
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:34 PM   #16
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Boat name: ARTEMIS
Boat make: Phantom 23
Engines: Mercury Optimax 225
Cruising area: South Coast

Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Coast
Posts: 13
Hi Deepvee,

We are continuing our work on analyzing the nature of maritime crime (piracy mostly) in order to understand acquisition distances, context and modus operandi of the criminals. We then use that data in training, reference data and algorithm production. You can see what we do at www.dryadmaritime.com

Sorry to make going fast seem so dull! :-)

Do you have experience of the P23?

Graeme
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:42 PM   #17
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p23

cool, ive never owned a phantom 23 but would like one, darren
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dryad Maritime View Post
Lloyde - how do you find it handles? Any bad habits from the handling? I notice that before we set up the hull the boat porpoised like mad.
It handles really well , I still need to get mine set up to how I want it maybe add some weight to the front ,it has run well in the rough it's a real joy to drive every think I expected and more,really really happy with it I will be sad to sell it when the time comes .
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:56 PM   #19
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Great to hear - any bad habits at speed?

We have had to rebuild a lot of the structure; transom entirely rebuilt because of a flawed repair; the deck and the whole dash. The bow section frame (photo in original post) had already been re-built. The bits we have had re-built have been built like a tank but I have found that the rest of it is very lightly constructed. Our boat is largely stripped out so overall weight is light. Have you found any snags with the construction? Stress cracks etc?
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:44 PM   #20
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Lloyd's 23 is completely different to yours. That model ran from the mid 90's.

The original was made from '75 till '80, when the P25 took over.

The old 23 took a lot of commitment, and from what Steve says, you had to know when it was time to stop pushing your luck, as it would bite, and bite quite badly if you got it wrong.
The lack of forefoot, and forward bouyancy meant it was quite easy to stuff, especially if you weren't pushing on...as you say, a wave piercer, which isn't always nice.

Having said all that, Steve had quite a lot of success in his ( ' 023 Spectre' ). I think that just like kick starting a big bike, if you show it you're scared, It'll bite.

The 25 was a design meant to address this, and has a lot more recovery in the forefoot, so much harder to get to nose in. He ( Steve) didn't want any customers getting hurt, so a more idiot proof design was the order of the day.
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