Smart Marine president Chris Schoenbohm is still hoping to have the first Phoenix 32 catamaran at the Super Boat International National Championship race in Clearwater Beach, Fla., at the end of September.
Hull No. 1 of the Phoenix 32 is a race version and yesterday, its paint job was close to being finished and the boat was getting ready to go into rigging. Schoenbohm had hoped that Grant Bruggemann at Grant’s Signature Rigging in Sarasota, Fla., would rig the first hull, but Smart Marine is going to do the work in-house.
Chris Schoenbohm: “Our goal was to build a super strong, fast raceboat that is affordable.”
Per SBI rules for the Super Stock class, the boat will be rigged with Mercury Racing XS 300 outboards. Schoenbohm knows the number he hopes to see in terms of top speed and said he’s confident he will see it. “I won’t stop until we see those predictions, hands-down,” he said. “I’m hoping that we didn’t miss anything.”
Because of his personal experience in racing and with modifying the hull on his old 32-foot Doug Wright catamaran, Schoenbohm said he places as much emphasis on turning as on straightaway speeds. “Our boats turn,” he explained. “Any cat can run fast in a straightaway. Swing it into a turn and see if it stays there.”
He said that he learned a lot the season that he teamed up with fellow Super Stock competitor Ryan Beckley. “He’s a great guy and a great teacher, a real book of knowledge,” said Schoenbohm.
But after rolling their 32-foot Doug Wright in Key West at the world championships in 2012, Schoenbohm promised, “I’m not going to do that again.”
He knows the track record of individuals who’ve tried to build or modify their own boats.
“The naysayers, the more they come, the more I get fueled,” said Schoenbohm.
For more angles of the Phoenix 32 check out the slideshow above.
After the first boat is finished, the second one is a pleasure boat ordered through Fastboats Marine Group. Canadian powerboat enthusiast Brian Lundy ordered a five-seat Phoenix 32 with twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines. Hull No. 3 is another raceboat.
Schoenbohm’s goal with the Phoenix boats is simple.
“We want to get better at building this type of boat,” he said. “Our goal was to build a super strong, fast raceboat that is affordable.”
Schoenbohm is a hands-on manufacturer who is involved with the construction process on every Phoenix model. “When I throw the switch for the infusion, it’s all on me,” he said.