Today’s update from FPB 64-3 Iron Lady comes to you from Latitude 25 20 S/Longitude 161 59 W. Read on about the beauties of a night watch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…
FPB 64 UpdatesThe following articles cover the FPB 64 construction sequence. You will find hundreds of detailed photos with explanations covering every phase of the build cycle. Scroll down to the bottom to see the first articles.
FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, has now passed the mystical “halfway point” on her voyage to Papeete. She is entrained between two high pressure systems, in a convergence zone, with heavy downpours, lightning, and crossing wave trains off the bow. For the day’s report on this, and the raw squid eating contest, read on. Read the rest »
Iron Lady is on her way across the South Pacific from Whangarei, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti, in French Polynesia. Pete Rossin and crew departed New Zealand three days ago and have been sending us periodic updates. We thought you might like to keep track of their progress on this occasionally difficult 2300NM passage.
“Against the Wind…With his new powerboat design, world cruiser Steve Dashew continues a lifelong pattern of challenging the status quo.”
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 »
Nope, I’m not talking about the movie – beautiful blue color in the above shot by Carol Parker notwithstanding. As a matter of fact, your genial author couldn’t make it through the unbelievably tedious sci-fi re-telling of Pocohantas. No, we here at SetSail are big fans of The Avatar Logs, the blog and photo site of Carol Parker and her adventures with husband Mike aboard FPB 64, Avatar. Read the rest »
At Dashew Offshore our goal has always been to build the perfect cruising yacht; delivered on time, within budget, without surprises, resulting in a contented client.
To make this unique approach to the yacht building business successful, we have to purposely limit our sales, something that many would find counter-intuitive given the demand for FPBs.
With all the excitement about the start of construction on the first FPB 97, it is easy to forget about the four FPB 64s currently in various stages of construction. We’ll start with FPB 64-6 and then move on to the other boats. Shown above is the fresh water pressure pump setup: twin pumps, so when one quits (probably mid-shower) it is easy to bring the pressure back online.
We’ve got a few photos (from the hundreds we get every month) to share. Assuming you have seen much of this before (or can if you go back in the archives) we’ll concentrate on a few unusual details, beginning with how to remove a prop shaft without dropping the rudder. The first two photos are of FPB64-7.
For the success of the FPB 64 program, it is essential that we standardize nearly all of the details to ensure we can deliver the highest quality vessel for the best overall value. One of the items the owners do have free reign over is the choice of dinghy. Read the rest »
Given our morbid fascination with sea states other than benign, the following note from Bruce Farrand at Circa regarding an offshore testing day last week may shed light on what we covet in capability.
Quick rundown on our most recent sea trial on Tiger on 5th of June: It was a good day to get plenty of water on to Tiger’s deck. Forecast for the day was GALE FORCE WARNING IN FORCE, North to NorthWest winds, 40 knots, easing to 25 knots in the evening, sea becoming very rough for a time. Northerly swell of 4 meters.
With a bit of offshore experience under your belt, and the right yacht, preparing for and executing ocean crossings becomes routine. You will get to the point where you will decide to go on Monday, spend the next couple days provisioning, and be gone by Thursday. But the first time you head for the horizon, there’s going to be some trepidation. It happens with everyone.
We are pleased to report that on this rainy morning in the Southern Hemisphere, Circa has given birth to a Tiger. Given the auspicious beginning, rain and on-schedule launching being good luck, we await with keen interest the reports to come from this newest of FPB 64s.
Read the rest »
As designers and builders, we think of our yachts as progeny and our clients as family. As such, we take great pleasure in the exploits of the former and the growth of the latter into accomplished voyagers. It is one of the main ingredients that keeps us coming back for more. Pete and Deb Rossin’s recently completed circumnavigation of New Zealand, including Stewart Island deep in the roaring forties, is a wonderful example of this.
A large part of Pete and Deb’s trip was in waters considered to be among the most hostile in the world. During the early part of their cruise they encountered an un-forecast force nine gale, 40 plus knots of wind gusting well into the 50s, with opposing current steepening the seas–at night of course.
Time being in exceedingly short supply at present, we are going to post a batch of photos of FPB 64-5 through 7, without the usual commentary. The assumption is that you’d rather see the photos than wait for the schedule to free up. We’ll start with FPB 64-5, the launch date of which draws ever so close. Read the rest »
This is an appropriate photo with which to bring you up to date. One door closes, another opens. We are pleased to report that metal has begun to be cut for FPB 64s numbers eight and nine, while production engineering has officially begun for the first FPB 97. Metal for FPB 97-1 is scheduled to be on the cutting table the third quarter of 2012. When FPB 97-1 launches fourth quarter 2014, she will be cruised by her owners on their own, without permanent crew, although there will be crew facilities should a future owner wish a hand or two with maintenance.
And closer in time, FPB 64-5 is nearing completion. FPB 64-9 will be the last in that series for now, after which all attention will be focused on the FPB 97. Since there are still buyers for the FPB 64s, you may be wondering why we are taking this unusual step. The answer is simple:
Building high quality yachts is not easy. In fact, one could argue that it is the hardest of endeavors. And with the limited bandwidths of ourselves and Circa, if production ramps up too quickly, then quality is sure to suffer. We prefer to go a little slower, and concentrate on building the best. Once the FPB 97s are underway, we’ll revisit this conundrum. If you have been dreaming of an FPB 64 at some point in the future, stay in touch. Looking further ahead, if demand is there, we’ll most probably be ready for a new series of boats.
Brian Rickard has put together a 2012 calendar featuring the FPB 64. They’re available through Lulu.com, an independent publisher. You can check them out by clicking the link below.
And now for something different. We are pleased to report that FPB-1, Avatar, has just finished her first day of testing with the swim platform extension and get-home engine. The lovely clean release above is at eight knots with the little Yanmar pushing her along.
We were working through some design issues last week using a new (beta) version of Rhino 3D, and thought that a quick set of graphics on the FPB 64 structural grid might be of interest. These may help put the construction photos we show into context.
Since we’ve been boring you with technical posts all week why change the rhythm? These photos are from Friday, and cover FPB 64s five through seven. We’ll start with seven, shown above, the skeleton of which is just starting to be assembled.
After some 5000 cruising miles since delivery in March of 2011, I have some pretty specific thoughts on how Iron Lady is working out. Some were surprises to me. At the top of the list was that I felt safe on Iron Lady. While I can’t necessarily identify all the features that make the boat safe, between how comfortable the boat is at sea, at anchor and how it stood up to the punishment of a grounding all gave me tremendous confidence in the boat. My husband is also much more relaxed about things and that, in turn, makes me comfortable. My other comment was that I never would do what we have done on Iron Lady on our last boat. By the second day out of New Zealand to Tonga on our first really long passage, I was standing watch – something I would never on our last boat.Read the rest »
It is the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year 2011, and we have a new batch of photos from Circa, a few of which we’ll share. That’s Avatar, FPB64-1 in the yard, back at her birth spot for a get home auxiliary to be installed. After two years of cruising and many thousands of miles she is looking good. FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, is in the area as well. And then there are FPB 64s five, six, and seven, under construction, which we shall get to shortly.
As you go to sea, you probably harbor in the back of your mind the particular weaknesses of your vessel. If unfavorable weather is forecast, it is often these weaknesses, coupled with a lack of confidence that create tension, concern, and fear.
“Having a boat that can deal with whatever might happen—no matter what—provides a mental comfort level that defines their view of happy sailing.”
–Bill Parlatore, Passagemaker Magazine
The various rules to which yachts are built are based on seagoing loads. If you design to ABS or Lloyd’s, odds are you will be OK offshore, but there is little extra margin for the mistakes which are a part of cruising. With an ABS keel structure, if you go aground, it is almost certain a trip to the boat yard is in your immediate future. But if you engineer to four times ABS, you are probably going to continue with your cruising.
We have tested these these theories ourselves, and had our owners repeatedly test them on our sailing designs. Now we have some real world verification of the FPB 64′s factors of safety.
The photos which follow were taken of one of the FPB 64s after it tangled with a reef in the Fiji Islands. She has been hauled to replace a damaged stabilizer fin. At the end of this post is a link to the details of the event which has some excellent lessons for us all.
Traditional get home systems on single screw powerboats are typically not very functional. They tend to deliver 50 to 60% of the normal cruising speed in calm conditions, and be essentially useless in a stiff breeze fighting a head sea. This has made no sense to us. Why pay the weight, cost, and drag penalties, and make life more difficult maintenance wise in the engine room, if you can only accomplish what can be done with a dinghy acting as a tug? Especially since we have a get home sail.
If we were going to have a diesel powered system we wanted to have a respectable passaging speed, and the ability to make progress to windward in less than ideal conditions.
We now have that system.Read the rest »
Steve Suters, John Gowing’s FPB 64-4 captain, has been kind enough to fill us in on some of the details of their recent brush with storm force winds (55 to 65 knots), steep seas, and a breaking entrance bar crossing. We have included the photo above of FPB64-1, Avatar, as a reminder of boat scale versus the waves about which you will shortly read. A the end of the blog are two short videos.
As you go through the following keep in mind one key fact: this was taking place in an area of south flowing current, opposing the wind driven waves, steepening them and causing them to break.
Read the rest »
We’ve been going through the very short video we have posted on Osprey’s adventure, and found a few interesting waves. As previously mentioned, the steepness of the seas is a result of current opposing the wind. Note that these were taken before it started to really blow, i.e. the breeze here is 35 to 40 knots and it blew up to 65 later on, and that photos always visually shrink wave size.Read the rest »
Bill and Sue Henry, owners of FPB 64-2 Sarah Sarah, are the first to make use of the threaded inserts on the house sides for kayak storage. If you look carefully at this lovely photo, sent in by Brian Rickard (as are the others), you will see one of the kayaks stored just above the windows.Read the rest »
We look at photos of FPB 64s under construction typically on a weekly basis. And although we have seen this many times before, with older designs, and with the FPBs, we still get a buzz. The long time SetSailors amongst you will have been through this with us as well, but it has been a year or more, so we are going to post updates from time to time. If we are totally boring you, protest, and we will take theshowing under advisement.
Starting with the pointy end, the Circa fabricators are getting ready to tack on rolled plate.Read the rest »
None of the conventional approaches to get home systems in use today have the ingredients to meet our expectations. They all have shortcomings which we feel make them unacceptable. This led us to develop our get home sailing rig which in combination with a powerful dinghy tied alongside for close to harbor propulsion is a reasonable compromise.
Now, with the swim step extension, there is another option which makes the FPB 64 get home system even better.Read the rest »
With the first run of FPB 64s nearing completion we have been at work on a few options for the next group of boats, most of which are retrofittable to the first run. We have also updated the drawings closer to the real world, the originals being somewhat out-of-date.
Let’s start with the back end of the boat.