The Sea Phantom is a concept from long-time boat designer David Borman, whose James Bond-like vessel is designed to deliver helicopter speed at a powerboat price. Although the five-passenger prototype he's created so far doesn't go 150mph yet, that's the idea of this ominous-looking ghost ship that uses NASA's lifting body airfoil design.
This prototype is a 30-footer, and tests the concept of a craft that Borman says will someday run from Key West to Cuba in 20 minutes. Since its airfoil lifts the boat above the water, it's not subject to the bumps and rocking of the waves, and this reduced friction adds to fuel efficiency and speed. More pics and the latest developments:
You'll notice an outboard motor tacked onto the back of this first prototype, but since then, Borman says he's added a powerful inboard engine from Ilmor Engineering, a company makes Indy race car engines as well as power plants for some of the fastest go-fast boats in existence.
Borman says for $2.5 million his boat will have maritime transport capabilities that are the equivalent of a $10-$12 million aircraft, and that the first production models for civilian pleasure craft will cost between $400,000 and $600,000. He has big plans for his futuristic ship, forseeing it being used for mass transport field as well as the military. Says Borman:
"Many of the new breed of high-performance boats can travel at triple-digit speeds over the water. Our objective is to make this kind of speed practical, safe, comfortable and efficient - ultimately to make maritime transport a viable alternative to our crowded skies and highways."Will this technology be commercialized, or is Borman just another crackpot with a lot of money to blow on expensive toys ?