Why the design of the 36m PHI Phantom has never been done before

14 September 2021

A new predator has taken to the seas: the 36-metre custom support vessel PHI Phantom. In May, the Turkish yard Alia Yachts drove the full-aluminium yacht out of her building halls and launched her with the help of a 200-tonne travel lift. Now having completed sea trials, the new yacht is set to be delivered to her owner this summer.

What the owner will find in the finished product is a striking in-house interior design and an exterior style by Cor D Rover with naval architecture by Van Oossanen. Destined to support the 58.2-metre custom superyacht PHI by Royal Huisman, PHI Phantom reflects many elements of the larger yacht’s design and will carry the tenders and toys that the mothership has no garage to stow.

The interior layout is functional with berths for up to six crew and one guest cabin. “There’s a beautiful galley on board and an enormous crew mess area,” adds Guy Booth – the owner’s rep and captain of the mothership PHI and skipper of PHI Phantom.

“When PHI Phantom does begin her adventures, she will represent one of the most robust and stylish support vessels ever built,” says Gökhan Çelik, President of Alia Yachts. That said, the new yacht has some notable elements that make her one of the most unique new builds to join the global fleet this year:

The owner was very involved

“The owner of PHI Phantom is really detail-oriented, and he has been very involved with every element of the build,” says Çelik. “He trusted us to deliver on a demanding brief, but we have certainly matched and, I hope, surpassed his expectations for this unique support vessel. In particular, the aluminium bending and precision welding was a major challenge.”

There is a unique finish to the hull

The patented Fast Displacement Hull Form by Van Oossanen is joined by twin Cat C-32 engines to reach a range of 4,200 nautical miles at 12 knots cruising speed. Flat out, she’ll do 21 knots to match the slim, easily-driven hull of the mothership. The hull of PHI Phantom has no fairing to finish it, so the plates had to be very accurately bent in three dimensions, then welded without creating the slightest distortion. It is flawlessly painted in exactly the same matt blue-grey colour as the mothership. She also shares the horizontal grille work at the bow and echoes the swooping shearline of the larger vessel.

She is a smaller copy of the mothership

“As far as we’re aware, this is the first support ship that’s been built with shared aesthetic DNA from the mothership,” says Booth, who followed the whole project through to completion. “She looks like a mini sibling of PHI. The team at Alia have had the opportunity to build something really cool, and their passion to do so is great."

There are many robust features on board

PHI Phantom is built to cross oceans carrying tenders and toys such as a 9-metre HS Marine crane capable of lifting 5.5 tonnes, a 14-metre gentleman’s tender from Spirit Yachts, as well as an Axopar 37 Suntop. A hydraulically operated lazarette under the deck stores further toys in a protected environment. Everything from the yacht’s pumps and piping, hydraulics and electrics, has been designed to be as robust as possible.