During testing on Lake Tohopekaliga—or “Lake Toho” in local shorthand—in Kissimmee, Fla., Smart Marine principal Chris Schoenbohm piloted his company’s first 32 Phoenix Poker Run Edition (XPR) catamaran to a top speed of 122 mph. The epoxy-infused, post-cured and “completely engineered from the start” 32-footer is powered by twin Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines and was completed a little more than a week ago, according to Schoenbohm.
Said Schoenbohm of the Phoenix 32XPR, “The boat ran with a perfect flight attitude and accelerated like nothing I’ve been in before."
“We ran it with just the interior front seats and rear seat frame, which translated to probably 50 pounds of missing upholstery,” he said. “Mike Griffiths of Mercury Racing recommended a pair of propellers to us. We pulled 119 mph on the first pass but weren’t getting enough rpm. So we started making height adjustments to the engines. On the second pass, we ran 120 mph. It was 98 degrees out and we had two people in the boat and 20 gallons of gas on each side. On our last pass, I was watching the GPS go 122 mph, 123 mph, 122 mph, 123 mph. It stored 122 mph, and I am ecstatic with that.
“We tested all the different parameters of the hull design from the beginning so we had the center of gravity correct right out of the gate—we didn’t have to add 10 pounds here or there,” he continued. “The boat ran with a perfect flight attitude and accelerated like nothing I’ve been in before. It’s probably the biggest 32 on the market—there are 14 inches of walk-through space between the windshield and the outside of the boat and we offer it with four- and six-seat configurations. Our sponsons are 28 inches wide as opposed to 24 inches on most 32s, and our tunnel is about an inch narrower. But we were able to design and engineer the boat to be aerodynamically correct and hydrodynamically efficient.”
The 32XPR can be ordered with a conventional throttle and shifter pod between the driver’s and co-pilot’s bucket seats for two-person operation or a starboard gunwale throttle/shifter (Schoenbohm calls it “console delete”) setup. The base price of the boat with Mercury Racing 300XS outboards is $249,999.
For more images from yesterday's test session of the Phoenix 32XPR check out the slideshow above.
Schoenbohm acknowledged that bringing the 32-footer to market since he started was more challenging and has taken longer than he anticipated.
“It’s very been very hard—there’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” he said. “We’ve had our bumps in the road like every other manufacturer. We just moved into a 13,000-square-foot facility, which is a lease with an option to buy. We’re ready to spool up production—we’ve already produced two raceboats and the 32XPR, and we’re working on a center console (based on the 32-foot cat hull). I have to commend my guys. They learned to build boats our way—epoxy-infused and post-cured—which is the strongest and lightest way to build a boat. It’s the best way to build a boat, and something the guys who are spending the money on a Phoenix 32XPR will understand and appreciate.”