Having a four-year-old Princess 360, a contemporary Princess and Sunseeker available for comparison was an enlightening experience
Having a four-year-old Princess 360, a contemporary Princess and Sunseeker available for comparison was an enlightening experience. Most striking was the contrast in internal finishes. Like their friends at Princess, Fairline have dramatically improved the quality of their finishes over the past few years. Discernible progress will have to be made before either builder threatens the best of the custom boatbuilders as yet there is no sign of solid wood joinery, held together with exquisite dovetail jointing. However, the lower echelons of the semi-custom market may be twitching nervously in their sleep.
The Phantom does provide evidence that the largest UK boatbuilders still have a little room for improvement for example, in the less than perfect instrument visibility below, and the flybridge helm. Still, there are lots of compensating factors effortless engineroom access, a great lazarette, the invaluable ‘holding area’ and practical wooden floor in the galley, and the abundant flybridge stowage.
It’s slightly surprising that the plus points are generally details that vary between models, while the minus points are in established areas that could have been perfected years ago.
This slightly schizophrenic approach is also evident in the safety department. I can’t over-emphasise how much safer Fairline’s flybridge has become because of the three high-level handrails on the flybridge. And yet their styling department have been allowed to misbehave with a patch of slippery, shiny fibreglass on the foredeck. However, the defects are few it would take little change to produce a boat which was essentially fault free.
At the risk of finding a horse’s head in my bed, I would say that the obvious disparities between the Fairline and the Princess are currently less than the quality variations and detail differences that exist between different models from the same manufacturer. Also, as the Fairline Phantom and Princess 40 demonstrate, directly competing craft can have near-identical layouts yet still feel quite different. And a buyer’s decision to opt for either may, quite understandably, rest on this fact alone.
Length overall (LOA) 40ft 4in 12.30m
Hull length 38ft 7in 11.75m
Beam 12ft 8in 3.82m
Draught 3ft 3in 1.00m
Air draught 14ft 10in 4.30m
Displacement 10.5 tonnes (light)
11.8 tonnes (loaded)
Fuel capacity 200 imp gal 910 litres
Water capacity 110 imp gal 500 litres
Engines Twin Volvo Penta TAMD 63P
370hp @ 2,800rpm
6-cyl 5.5lt turbo diesels
23in diameter by 32in pitch
(580mm by 810mm)
RPM Speed Trim GPH MPG Range
1,500 10.8 4.5° 8.2 1.32 212
1,800 16.1 5.5° 10.8 1.50 239
2,100 20.8 6.0° 15.2 1.37 219
2,400 25.5 5.5° 22.1 1.16 185
2,600 28.5 5.5° 28.2 1.01 161
2,800 31.6 5.5° 35.5 0.89 142
Range figures allow for 20% reserve, 20% fuel, 50% water, 2 crew
Sea state: calm
Wind strength: Force 1 steady
Maximum Speed 31.6 knots
Maximum Range 142 miles at 2,800rpm
Cruising Speed 28.5 knots
Cruising Range 161 miles at 2,600rpm
Price from £165,000 ex Tax
Price as tested £176,403 ex Tax
Sound levels dB (A) Saloon Cockpit Flybridge
Cruising @ 28.5 knots 82 91 81
Maximum @ 31.6 knots 83 92 82
Designer: Olesinski & Fairline
Builder: Fairline Boats