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Phenomenon Testing Today

If all goes to plan, the 55-foot-long Phenomenon catamaran powered by four 3,000-hp turbine engines should be testing on Sarasota Bay (Fla.) in the next couple of hours according to Scott Barnhart, the throttleman for the cat. The boat will attempt to break the propeller-driven water-speed record of 220 mph tomorrow during the Super Boat International Kilo Runs on the bay.

“We should be out there in the next hour or so,” Barnhart said.

Phenomenon arrived in Sarasota early this morning. The crew had hoped the boat would get there last night, but they ran out of daylight.

“It’s a wide load and we can’t legally tow it after dark,” said Barnhart, who arrived in Sarasota at 1 a.m. today. “We’re looking forward to getting out on the water.”

For observers onshore or on boats holding a safe distance, the catamaran shouldn’t be hard to spot while underway. First, it’s big. Second, it should produce a large rooster-tail. Third, the whine of four turbine engines should be easy to distinguish.

Look for an update on Phenomenon’s test session on speedonthewater.com and boatermouth.com this afternoon.