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The Owens’ Brothers Restore 1984 Phantom and Drive it to Victory

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Jamie and Chris Owens have recently restored a 1984 Phantom hull and drove it to victory in their class in Guernsey recently.

The young brothers who compete in the UKOPRA Championship in Class 3X, even tow their rig with a 1984 Range Rover!

Jamie takes up the story of the restoration and subsequent success on the water:

We saw the boat for sale on Boatmad.com back in February, located in Cornwall where it had sat outside in various fields for around 15 years.

Prior to this we believe it was used at Varne boat/ski club hence the “V” letter preceding the race number.

After sourcing a trailer we headed down there, like all these things upon arrival the pictures never quite show how much work is needed until you’re actually there, despite the seller being extremely honest about it being a project boat!

Not being able to leave it sitting in the field we decided to bite the bullet and winched it onto the trailer and headed home rounding of a 15 hour round trip!

The first thing to do was to strip the boat down and give it a good pressure wash off and see which components were salvageable.

After a good jet wash it became apparent that “T cut” wasn’t going to cut back the faded yellow on the sides and that the white stripes are actually inside gel-coat and not painted on.

So after a few phone calls and you tube tutorials later we began the epic task of wet sanding the gel back to a gloss shine. This took….weeks as there is no fast way to do it.

After the sides were complete we decided to tackle the deck, which turned out to have been painted and was showing bad signs of lacquer peel. Looking under the deck inside there was no signs of damage or repair work so decided to wet sand the paint off back to the original gel!

Many many hours later and numerous polishing pads later much to our surprise the deck was in perfect condition so we were unsure why it was ever painted. The only thing left to do is cut back the hull which we are leaving until the winter.

The original interior was in great condition but as we were going to be racing the boat we had some bucket seats made in the same black and yellow piped material to match the original side panels.

When we purchased the boat it came with a Mercury XR2 hanging on it but not plumbed in, we replaced this for a 2.5 200 carburetor engine to fit class regulations.

After a full re-rig and just one test (ran out of time!!) we were ready just in time for the Poole Bay 100 race.

This was going well until on the second lap the con-rod decided to exit the block just off Bournemouth pier, this ended up to be a great spot for spectating the race while anchored until Kermit the Marshan came to the rescue and kindly towed us in.

A few weeks later after bolting another powerhead on we were ready to head off to Guernsey.

The weekend was fantastic with sunshine filled skies, calm waters and a brilliant course.

We ended up finishing first in class after some great battles with Forgecraft boats, despite the navigator having to hold the fire extinguisher between their legs for the length of the race!!

Looking forward to a break now before the next race in Cowes, thanks to everyone for all their help and expertise throughout the project.

Photo credits: Snap-Photography and Malc Attrill Photography

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