Reporting from the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival, Motor Boat & Yachting editor Hugo Andreae takes us on a full tour of the Fairline Phantom 65.
Heralded as Fairline’s first ever ‘sportsbridge’ yacht, the Fairline Phantom 65 aims to take the external form of the award-winning Targa 65 and add a revised windowline and a low-slung fly deck to the mix for tri-deck flexibility alongside a beautifully streamlined sportscruiser aesthetic.
With long, blade-like hull windows and a deep-set flybridge that blends gently into the curved roof mouldings and radar arch as you move aft of the boat’s centreline, it’s clearly a success from a stylistic perspective.
But the sportsbridge is still big enough to provide twin helm seats to port, plus convertible starboard lounge seating tucked behind the smoked glass aeroscreen, a neatly integrated wet bar and a generous wraparound dining area aft.
Happily, the impact of all that on the Fairline Phantom 65’s main deck looks virtually consequence-free. There’s still plenty of forward space for a large glazed sunroof to bathe the helm and the full-beam lounge in natural light.
And the division of the saloon space into an upper and a lower level helps generate the extra headroom that the low-slung sportsbridge might otherwise inhibit.
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While the forward part of the saloon is all about relaxed lounging with big open views, the lower level features a wraparound galley in the ideal position, between the saloon and the cockpit. It also features a C-shaped starboard lounge, which (like the rest of the boat) uses some playful angles and subtle asymmetry to add personality to the space.
Sliding glass doors separate the cockpit from the saloon and stack over to the port side under the sportsbridge steps, leaving a wide walkway through to the aft galley.
Featuring a full-height fridge freezer and oak flooring, so that guests can nip inside to grab a drink and a snack with wet feet, it is kept separate from the carpeted lounge and helm area by a low-level step.
Out in the cockpit, a central walkaround sunbed and a diagonal starboard dining station help preserve plenty of wide open deck space for easy access to the swim platforms and to the port ladder.
And the beautifully contained foredeck dining zone provides another really useful place for a private escape, a communal lunch or a simple change of scene.
Powered by a pair of 1,150hp Caterpillar C18s on straight shafts, the Fairline Phantom 65 should reach a top speed of around 30 knots but with the optional 1,622hp Caterpillar C32s it should push this up to an impressive 35 knots or more.
You can also spec it with a four-cabin layout or with a range of three-cabin configurations, with or without a utility room, and there’s a choice between oak or walnut veneers with satin or high-gloss lacquer.
But in all cases, if the new Fairline Phantom 65 is successful in its attempts to marry the volume of a Squadron with the proportions of a Targa, it is likely to be very well received indeed.
The amidships owner’s cabin occupies the full beam with its large ensuite helping to insulate it from engine and generator noise.
The VIP double is in the bow with an ensuite to port featuring Jack-and-Jill doors so it can also serve as a day-head. The twin-bed guest cabin and ensuite are to starboard.
The optional fourth bunk cabin is amidships on the portside, but, if not specified, this area can be kitted out as either a utility space or a fourth shower-room and day-head. The single-berth crew cabin is accessed via lifting transom steps and could easily double as an extra guest cabin for teenagers.
Big-ticket options include either a Seakeeper 16 gyro stabiliser or Sleipner Vector fins, electric or hydraulic bow and sternthrusters, and a Besenzoni letter-box passerelle. The tender garage will accommodate up to a Williams SportJet 345.
The Phantom name used to be used for Fairline’s mid-range flybridge models from 38ft to 50ft with the Squadron name reserved for its larger craft but the name disappeared during a range consolidation a dozen years ago.
“I always felt that the first generation of Princess S-Class and Sunseeker Sports Yachts fell between two stools, offering neither the space of a proper flybridge nor the style of a sportscruiser,” says MBY editor Hugo Andreae.
“However, the latest S66 and 65 Sport Yacht, and now this Phantom 65, really do appear to offer the best of both worlds.”
Fairline Phantom 65 specifications
LOA: 65ft 4in (19.96m)
Beam: 17ft 2in (5.23m)
Engines: Twin Caterpillar C18-1150 or C32-1622 diesels
Top speed: 35 knots
Starting price: £2.05 million (ex. VAT)