Welcome to SetSail!

Breaking news: Mariner's Weather Handbook and Surviving the Storm are available as free downloads for the first time!

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Why FPB?

After 135,000+ nautical miles, FPB owners answer the question.

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The Concept

Motor Yacht Stability, Comfort, and Safety – An Updated Compilation

EnRoute Fiji Waves Speed 068 3

When you head offshore your safety depends on stability, both upright and ultimate (the heel angle at which you don’t recover from a knockdown). Given today’s software and computing power, calculating stability is a relatively straightforward exercise. This is required for commercial vessels, larger yachts, and generally for any flag state/class certification such as MCA, RINA, ABS, etc. We would not go offshore without this data, and we don’t think you should either.

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Why FPB? Owners Talk…


We’ve been chasing the holy grail of the perfect cruising vehicle for 40 years. The Deerfoot, Sundeer and Beowulf series of sailing yachts got us close. The FPB series brings our bow right up to the chalice.

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FPB: Cruising Speed, Range Under Power, And The Real World


Those of you familiar with our work will know that we consider being able to maintain comparatively fast cruising speeds the most important factor in safe, comfortable ocean crossing. Get this right and you enjoy making passages. Get it wrong and you will prefer sitting at the dock reading about the folks who are really out there cruising. [Read the rest »]

A New Paradigm for Cruising

Our design goal has always been to cross oceans in maximum comfort and safety [Read the rest »]

Time Machine

We have just had the most amazing four months of cruising. (This post was written in 2008, after voyaging from California to the UK.) [Read the rest »]

Living With 360 Degree Views

We’ve been trying to describe what it is like to have the majority of our day to day experience aboard in an area with 360-degree views. [Read the rest »]

FPB – A Woman’s Perspective

People are always asking how I like cruising on this new boat. (This post was written by Linda Dashew in 2007, after the first three seasons of cruising aboard FPB 83 Wind Horse.) [Read the rest »]

Weathering the Storm

The following was originally written in the fall of 2008 as the economic system appeared to be melting down. [Read the rest »]

The Black Swan Theory Of Cruising


We were having morning eggs and coffee at Serenity Cafe (our favorite breakfast spot in Whangarei) [Read the rest »]

Evaluating Stability and Capsize Risks For Yachts


Over the last couple of years we have had a number of discussions about the mechanics of stability and capsize risks. [Read the rest »]

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Boat By Boat

FPB 97 – Code Name “Wicked” – Updated


Slicing through the barriers of what can and cannot be done with a large yacht, the Wicked FPB 97 redefines the cruising paradigm. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78: The Dream Machine (Updated September 1, 2014)

FPB 78 287 Exteriors100

The FPB 78 is the newest member of the FPB squadron. With metal cutting for the third FPB 78 underway (FPB 78- one, two and three are for current or former FPB owners), this Dream Machine is off to the fastest start in FPB history.

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FPB 64 – Theory & Reality

When we wrote this introduction three years ago, during the depths of a marine industry depression, we had no idea that the summer of 2013 would have seven FPB 64s in the water cruising, and three more in the build cycle. For all the latest FPB 64 updates, click here. [Read the rest »]

FPB 64 Introduction – Basic Specs

“When the Dashews finally decided to resort to motive power, Steve Dashew designed a boat with the spirit of a yacht that could take on the roughest seas…”
–Boat International Magazine


Every now and then in yacht design, the thousands of details involved to produce a boat combine in a unique way, creating a vessel which performs substantially better than projected. [Read the rest »]

FPB Update: 64 Progress – Posted by Todd

“Against the Wind…With his new powerboat design, world cruiser Steve Dashew continues a lifelong pattern of challenging the status quo.”
–Soundings Magazine

I have just returned from a very productive week in New Zealand and wanted to share some of the photos taken while on the ground at our builder, Circa Marine. There was much covered during the trip – here are a few of the latest details surrounding the FPB 64 program. [Read the rest »]

FPB 83 – Wind Horse

“…One of the coolest boats I have had the pleasure to spend time on.
-Bill Parlatore, Passagemaker Magazine

Let us take you on a tour of the FPB prototype, Wind Horse.

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FPB 115 – A New Paradigm

“…You’ll fall for this yacht the way a woodworker falls for his band saw.”
–Yachting Magazine

Our work flow on a new design goes through several phases the first of which we call the gestation period. [Read the rest »]

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Making It Happen

FPB 97 Iceberg: Surfing Off Before A Wicked New Zealand Gale
(December 19th, 2014)


Come aboard FPB 97-1 Iceberg for a quick ride from Waiheke Island to Whangarei. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 Drone Photos (and video)- What You Really Need under The Tree
(December 14th, 2014)

FPB 971 Browns Bay101

Being very 21st century in all things to do with serious cruising, we have a demo of a pair of ultimate cruising tools.

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FPB 97-1 Sea Trials – Kicking Up The Revs
(December 9th, 2014)

14 knots transom release

FPB 97-1 is working its way up the engine load chart. Todd Rickard shot some video last week aboard, from which this transom shot is extracted. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97 – Efficient At Anchor And Underway
(December 8th, 2014)


The FPB 97 employs a massive solar array of the most efficient panels you can buy, a unique passive/active ventilation system, and massive traction battery bank, to minimize and in some cases eliminate generator time at anchor. Theory up till now, we are starting to get real world data and the results look promising. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97 Sea Trials – Veem Props Are For Real
(December 5th, 2014)

FPB 97 1 Veem prop100 3

In an earlier post we mentioned having learned the hard way to take propeller manufacturers’ performance claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. Now that we have had an early taste of the Veem interceptor propellers, we can tell you they work as advertised on FPB 97-1. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 Sea Trials Day 2: A Wicked Wake
(November 25th, 2014)

FPB971 day 2 sea trial 200

You are looking at what drives the FPB team, what our client (and we) have been waiting to see after 2.5 years of intense effort. A lovely clean flow release off the stern with minimal magnitude indicating a highly efficient cruising machine (this at 13.1 knots GPS averaged in two directions). A wicked wake indeed. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 Sea Trials Day 1
(November 24th, 2014)

FPB971 day 1 sea trial 200 9

It is a perfect day for the first sea trial with FPB 97-1. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97 Performance – What Is Your Guess?
(November 22nd, 2014)

IMG 0989

We will shortly begin a wicked set of sea trials with FPB 97-1. Along with the usual wringing out of the boat before handover, one of the objectives is to gather a data set with which to refine our velocity prediction algorithms. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 Trials: Inclined Towards Safety
(November 21st, 2014)

FPB 971 Stability Test103

We thought a few photos of a stability check on the Wicked FPB 97-1 might be of interest. In case you want to do this yourself some day you will see it really isn’t that difficult.

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FPB 97-1 Floating Free
(November 19th, 2014)

Fpb 97 1 Iceberg floating free

FPB 97-1 Iceberg is floating free. [Read the rest »]

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Living The Dream

FPB 97-1: First Sea Trial Video
(December 10th, 2014)


Here is a very short video of FPB 97-1 on her third day of sea trials. [Read the rest »]

Survival Storm Tactic Tested Off The Needles In Breaking Seas: Updated With Video
(December 2nd, 2014)


The ultimate survival storm tactic, jogging into breaking seas, has had its first (and hopefully last) FPB test. This took place recently off the Needles near the Isle of Wight in the UK’s Solent. [Read the rest »]

Extreme Weather Tactics Article In Berthon’s Magazine
(October 17th, 2014)


Steve has an interesting article on extreme weather tactics in the most recent edition of UK-based Berthon’s Lifestyle Magazine. They were kind enough to allow us to embed a pdf of the article here for SetSailors to peruse. [Read the rest »]

Sony Alpha 7 Camera Series – Further Evaluation
(September 22nd, 2014)


With the day-to-day pressure on the FPB 78 Series winding down we’ve had time to do some more camera testing. The goal is maximum quality for minimum hassle, with a high degree of portability.

[Read the rest »]

Thai Government Clamps Down on Yachts – Posted By Sarah
(September 18th, 2014)

1410426128_1-orgPhoto Phuket News

Our SetSail spies in Thailand have just made us aware of some interesting regulatory changes for those cruising in Thai waters. According to the Phuket News, all foreign-flagged vessels must now be equipped with AIS tracking devices. There is no vessel size limit on the requirement–all boats small and large have to comply. [Read the rest »]

An FPB 64, A Party, And Some Old Stones: Report From England – Posted By Sarah
(August 25th, 2014)


Todd and I have just returned stateside after a trek east to England, where we celebrated FPB 64 Grey Wolf‘s demi-circumnavigation with press, pubs, and parties. [Read the rest »]

Hard Core Weather Watchers Alert -Bertha Is Going to Rock
(August 7th, 2014)

Aug 7 5 day Bertha

Hurricane Bertha has gotten a little press so far, but her evolution to extra-tropical structure indicates big things may be in store for the UK and parts of Europe.

[Read the rest »]

Sony Alpha 7 – A Revolution in Camera Gear
(August 3rd, 2014)

DSC2285 Edit

We’ve been dragging around 40 pound backpacks of full frame Canon professional camera gear since the ark. It was the way we knew to get the results. Now there is a better answer. [Read the rest »]

Living the Dream up North: Avatar Logs
(July 28th, 2014)


It is always a treat to check out our owners’ blogs and live vicariously through their cruising adventures. [Read the rest »]

Power Boat Storm Tactics – Running With The Waves
(July 11th, 2014)

PastedGraphic 1

When you design a yacht to deal with heavy weather, the process is made difficult by a lack of real world experience in truly dangerous conditions. But occasionally events transpire from which you can learn something. One of those is depicted above in the photo sent in by Peter Watson, the owner of FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf. [Read the rest »]

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