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

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.

[Read the rest »]

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 »]

Heavy Weather Issues

If you’re thinking about heading offshore at some point, the comments which follow may be of interest.

[Read the rest »]

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Boat By Boat

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.

[Read the rest »]

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.

[Read the rest »]

FPB 97 – Code Name “Wicked” – Updated

In Reference to FPB 83 Wind Horse:
“The 83ft-long (25m) wave-piercer…could easily be mistaken for the spawn of the Royal Navy with its unpainted battleship grey, all-aluminum body. But that day, in those conditions, it was the only boat that I would have wanted to climb aboard to face the English Channel.”

Motor Boat & Yachting

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

  • Generator-free at anchor
  • Crew optional voyaging
  • 5000+ NM range at 11.7 knots
  • Extreme weather survival capability, including capsize recovery
  • Unprecedented interior design
  • Five foot draft, and the ability to dry out on tidal rivers
  • Toughest structure ever offered in a series built yacht
  • Designed and constructed for minimum maintenance

The first FPB 97 is well into its construction cycle, and will be sea trialling in the fourth quarter of 2014. In the interim, we’ve put together a detailed look at the thinking behind this Wicked new FPB. For up to date exterior renderings, click here. For the latest construction update, click here.

[Read the rest »]

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 78 Lifeline Stanchion Test
(October 28th, 2014)

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We’ve been thinking about using aluminum lifeline stanchions for a long time as they offer a number of advantages.

[Read the rest »]

FPB 64-10 Launches, FPBs 78-3 and 64-11 Begin Construction – Posted by Sarah
(September 26th, 2014)

DSC 0543

We are pleased to report that FPB 64-10 has begun her sea trials. Riptide is sitting well on her lines and happy to be afloat.

[Read the rest »]

Ultimate Stability: Intact and Damaged – How Do You Know You Will Be Safe? Updated
(September 3rd, 2014)

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.

[Read the rest »]

FPB Construction Progress Update: August1, 2014
(August 1st, 2014)

Forepeak from anchor locker 3

It is the first day of August and time for an update, starting with three shots of the FPB 97-1 forepeak, looking here from inside the chain locker and aft. [Read the rest »]

FPB 64-5 Tiger Featured In PassageMaker Magazine
(June 30th, 2014)


The July/August edition of PassageMaker Magazine features a lovely piece by John Beatty on “doing it right” with cruising. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78 Series Construction Update June 20, 2014
(June 20th, 2014)

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The first of the FPB 78 series now has all of its bottom plate in place, a major milestone.

[Read the rest »]

FPB Systems Log – Maintenance on a Voyage Halfway Around the World
(June 12th, 2014)


With the FPB 64 Grey Wolf covering an average of a thousand or more nautical miles per week on her voyage home, we have in effect an accelerated maintenance test to observe. Experienced cruisers and marine professionals will be surprised by the data accumulated since her departure from New Zealand the last week of March. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78 – The Strongest Cruising Yacht Hull Ever Built? And Other FPB Progress Photos
(June 6th, 2014)

2FPB 781 June 6 2014

Bottom plate this thick is heavy, very difficult to fabricate, and costly in the extreme. It is two times or more the Loyds Special Service rule requirements. Does it make sense?

[Read the rest »]

FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf Is Alongside: St George’s Harbor, Bermuda
(June 2nd, 2014)

Firefox 17

Having left New Zealand just nine weeks and 9000 NM ago, Peter Watson and crew, aboard FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf, have now completed the fifth leg in their journey to the UK.

[Read the rest »]

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady ‘s “Welcome” To Washington
(May 31st, 2014)

Pete Rossin and crew have completed another uneventful ocean crossing, 2300 NM in ten pleasant days between Hawaii and Puget Sound. Upon arrival they were forced to use the Washington State Pilots

[Read the rest »]

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Living The Dream

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 »]

Rockin’ The House
(June 27th, 2014)

100Sarah Dashew 54 below

In case you missed Sarah’s Broadway debut at 54 Below last week, we thought a few photos were in order. [Read the rest »]

FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf Is At Anchor Havlet Bay, Guernsey, Channel Islands
(June 23rd, 2014)


Having traveled halfway around the world in three months, Peter Watson and crew have brought FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf to anchor in the Channel Islands.

[Read the rest »]

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