To sea trial a boat means to collect data about its performances – speed, fuel consumption, planing performances, responsiveness – and sailing impressions: turns, hull stability and on-board livability. This activity can be performed only at sea, on board the boat itself.
Of course, the sea trial of a Frauscher boat – in this case, the 858 Fantom Air – too, falls into this methodology. But with an essential time dilation. Because it’s exactly during the hours spent chatting with Mauro Feltrinelli – the importer of the Austrian brand for Italy – about influencers’ role and destiny of yachting journalism, destinies marked by fate and families and a crack about French cuisine, both before and after our outgoing, that we manage to intercept a general view of things that perfectly matches that one of going out to sea.
Mauro Feltrinelli, a descendant of the original Feltrinelli family who had been manufacturing, restoring, repairing and selling boats in Gargnano sul Garda for decades, wanted to become a musician before getting “stuck” in his family’s company. Maybe, he would have become a new Italian John Coltrane. Maybe not. What is certain is that he has become a good boat connoisseur. It is no coincidence that, while steering the Fantom up to 45 knots in the bay of Cannes, he has constantly invited us to look forward to admire the prismatic silhouette of the deck and get a correct interpretation of the boat profile. Safety and sturdiness, design and adrenaline are what this boat can offer without never compromising equipment and quality. The marriage between Frauscher and Cantiere Nautico Feltrinelli is not only an economic fact but, above all, a container where shared views on boats, yachting market and sea culture have flown together.
The boat we tested in the bay in front of Cannes was a restyled version of the previous cabin-equipped 858 Fantom, conceived and designed by Thomas Gerzer, the head of the Frauscher Development Department, naval architect Harry Miesbauer, who designed the hull, and designer Gerald Kiska, the founder of the namesake design studio and partner of the boatyard. At a first glance, changes don’t seem to be significant – the hull is the same than the predecessor – but ” creating an open boat – Feltrinelli told us – meant to design and conceive a new one”.
The result is a spacious open that amplifies the real size of the boat. 8.67 metres long and almost 2.30 metres wide, this model seems to say to the spectator: ” climb on board, relax and have fun!”
The large swimming platform leads to an area consisting of two side sun pads. Forward, the steering console is equipped with a central dashboard and two small sofas. The deck is completed by two additional counter-posed sofas positioned forward of the console that can be easily transformed into an additional sun pad. In the whole, the smart space arrangement makes the deck of the 858 Fantom Air particularly livable and comfortable, enhanced by the harmonious combination between loungers and sun pads.
Characterized by clean lines, the deck is very attractive and not penalized by the presence of some awnings that disappear into the structure of the boat when not in use.
Of special note is the amount of stowage spaces offered by this boat through sheltered compartments and lockers positioned below loungers and seats.
Mauro Feltrinelli, representative of Cantiere Nautico Feltrinelli, adds: “This model is openly inspired by all the typical Frauscher concepts: stability, reliability, high performances and, above all, the great volumes of the previous models, now even more enhanced. At the same time, however, this boat boasts some unique features: what I find amazing is, first of all, the ability expressed by designers in improving an already performing hull through a walkaround concept that fits in the lower part so perfectly that it seems to be part of the original project”.
Harmonious sporty design, high-quality colours and furniture have brought this last creation of the Austrian shipyard to the podium of the prestigious Elegance Contest organized by Cannes Yachting Festival. The boat was indeed awarded as the most elegant motorboat in the category up to 12 metres.
Officially presented in Cannes, the boat will open its doors next October 7th and 8th at the seat of Frauscher Italia – Cantiere Nautico Feltrinelli in Gargnano sul Garda.
We tested the Frauscher 858 Fantom Air in a beautiful afternoon of September on a sea characterized by short steep waves. Our sensations at the helm exactly coincided with the expectations we had when we had seen the high sharp bow profile and the 23-degree stern deadrise of this boat for the first time. When we finally saw the boat flying on the water on the following night, we actually appreciated its elegant balance, the snooty attitude and excellent performance of its stern.
Powered by a Mercruiser 430 hp engine – the boat can also be fitted with a Mercruiser 350 hp or a Volvo Penta 300 hp engine – we reached 45 knots at 5,000 rpm. According to Mauro Feltrinelli, this performance can be even improved: ” the propeller installed on this engine must be changed since, despite its excellent acceleration, it compromises speed a little”.
At full throttle, acceleration is great. The boat promptly speeds up and starts planing in less than 6 seconds. The Fantom immediately gains her balance and lateral heeling is almost imperceptible. The effects of such a sharp bow are clear: the boat passes through waves very gently with no sprays. Under any conditions, the deck of the Frauscher is always dry.
Even in tight turns and when facing higher waves , the boat keeps its balance and speed without never losing its contact with the sea.
Fuel consumption is excellent: just 50 l/h at 3,000 rpm and 24 knots; 25 l/h at 10 knots
|Unladen Displacement||2,500 kg|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||370 l|
|Water Tank Capacity||32 l|
|Motorization||Mercruiser 430 hp engine|
The sea trail was carried out in the bay of Cannes with 12-knot wind, rough sea, three passengers on board, full fuel and water tanks.
|rpm||Speed (kn)||Fuel consumption (l/h)