Good news and bad news came from the first test run—in late January—of Copeland’s Phenomenon, the 56-foot-long, 12,000-hp quad-turbine catamaran designed to attempt to break the propeller-driven water-speed record of more than 220 mph.
The good: According to throttleman Scott Barnhart, the boat ran 150 mph with no trouble and almost everything went smoothly.
The bad: “Almost everything” means all four of the boat’s Ellstrom CNC propellers—$15,000 a piece—were damaged in the run and needed to be replaced.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the run, but we ended up with a one-inch ding on each propeller,” Barnhart told me this afternoon. “But we’ve corrected the problem and are waiting for our new propellers.”
Though Barnhart declined to elaborate on the nature of the issue that led to the prop damage, he did say that he and Al Copeland, Jr., ran the boat briefly after the correction was made and everything was solid.
Phenomenon’s record attempt is slated for July 2 at the Super Boat International Kilo Runs in Sarasota, Fla.