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New Model Project Update: Phoenix 32 Cat Ready For Production

Smart Marine president Chris Schoenbohm is expecting two major milestones any day. He and his wife Ada are expecting the arrival of their third son, Braden, and his company Smart Marine in Orlando, Fla., is in the final stages of readying the much-anticipated Phoenix 32 catamaran for production.

“I’m very happy with the work my guys are doing,” said Schoenbohm. “I thought I’d be a little farther ahead, but in my quest for perfection on my first boat, I’ve gone over the plug probably 20 times trying to fix every little dimple.”

phoenixup 05

Said Schoenbohm, “I’ve gone over the plug probably 20 times trying to fix every little dimple.”

He expects to be in full production on the catamaran that will be available in race and pleasure versions next week. He has deposits on three boats and the first one out of the mold will be a race version that will be campaigned by Kevin Pruett, one of the promoters of the Superboat International Cocoa Beach race later this month. Schoenbohm said he hopes to have a running plug of the new boat on display at the event.

All the molds for the interior components have been finished and Schoenbohm said he has many people to thank for helping out with the development of the boat, including materials suppliers Composites One and Pro-Set Epoxies.

“Composites One has been there since Day One and we have come to terms on an agreement with Pro-Set,” he explained. “There’s 100 different epoxies and 100 different vinylesters, but I can’t ensure our 10-year structural hull warranty using stuff that could be close.”

While some builders use vacuum-bagging in their lamination process, Smart Marine manufactures the Phoenix 32 with full resin infusion, which is a step up technically speaking. In addition to the Diamond Safety Barrier that is built into the hull to protect the occupants, the boat will have a dash panel that has space for instruments and a 14-inch screen on today’s available electronics. The panel can be customized to an owner’s taste. It can be wrapped in leather or Alcantara or painted to match a boat’s graphics, according to Schoenbohm.

For quick look at the current state of the 32 Phoenix project, check out the slideshow above.

For boaters in hot southern or western climates, the dash will have outlets for a cooling system that runs through the boat’s integrated, insulated cooler. Fill it with ice, run the blower and the system will pull chilled air from the cooler and distribute it through the vents in the dash.

For all the people watching the Phoenix 32 project, Schoenbohm knows there are detractors. He fully admits that he used the bottom design from a Maelstrom catamaran as a baseline (read the story), but adds, “It’s not a Maelstrom bottom. The only thing Maelstrom on it is the two steps and those aren’t even the same anymore.”

Of course, those who are questioning him are probably the same people who doubted that he could cut his Doug Wright 32 in half and widen it successfully. He and Gary Ballough went on to win the world championship in Superboat Stock class later that season.

A CAD rendering of the 32 Phoenix dash pod.

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