Fairey Marine’s Spearfish was well established by 1972, and there were requests for an aft cabin version, so the Fantôme 32 was produced.
The Fantôme used the Huntsman 31 hull design lengthened to 32 feet to give an adequate aft cabin. It appeared at the 1973 boat show, where it was acclaimed as ‘Boat of the Show’. This was four years after the Spearfish was introduced, but at the time when the penal VAT legislation – a huge 25% – had already been proposed for implementation in 1975.
Alan Burnard added a stern bustle and blisters along the chine aft to allow the exhaust pipes to pass the aft cabin without intruding on the accommodation. Others at Fairey Marine were involved in the design of the boat, which although having a striking appearance has a serious shortcoming: the narrow aft decks, which can be rather unsafe for the crew moving around the boat. The forward deck box was practical stowage, and the recessed windows without visible frames gave a clean look but were not without sealing problems. The goal post mast completed the modem look, but the alternative steel tubular mast as fitted on the boats exported to Libya was both more attractive and practical. it might have been.
Generally two 180hp Sabre diesels were installed, which gave 27.5 knots. With two 225hp engines running light 33.5 knots was possible.
Thirty four Fantômes were built, of which 25 were exported to Libya, together with 25 Spearfish, in an attempt to create a tourist industry, but conditions were far from favourable, with few facilities and uncharted reefs close inshore along much of the coastline.
Only one of the Fantômes raced, Basta, the first hull, which finished 19th in the 1973 Cowes-Torquay. The Fantôme had a striking appearance: in its day when it was considered very sleek and several years ahead of its time, and succeeds in not looking out of place today, nearly 50 years later.