To A New Paradigm With FPB

FPB 78: Dream Machine Comments

The following is a compilation of the comments and dialogue we have received from various posts on the new FPB 78 Dream Machine:

Kent Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Can’t wait.
Peter Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 3:04 pm
Hi Steve & Linda Great news for all concerned, I know that all the staff here at Circa are really looking forward to starting this exciting new project.
Kevin C Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 3:33 pm
Yay! More justification to keep checking your site every day!

Neo Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 3:45 pm
I was convinced the 97 was for you.
Phil Hack Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 4:35 pm
I, like Neo, had assumed that you and Linda were the “very experienced” cruising couple who had commissioned the 97. Hard to believe you are going with a smaller boat AND planning for crew.
Scott Evangelista Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 4:50 pm
Steve, Why back to the single mast on the bow? and when are you starting to build it :)

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:56 am
Howdy Scott: We are scheduled to begin cutting metal in September. That single mast is structural, and designed as part of a heavy weather rig, and will carry what in effect is a storm trysail to help hold the bow down balancing some of the windage aft).

James Masters Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 4:01 am
Is the storm-trysail an insight from the Gulf-Stream storm encountered on the trip with Cory for him to see how Wind Horse handled heavy-weather…? If it’s not a breach of Confidentiality, is Cory the one who bought Wind Horse, or was he acting as an agent for another…? Do you know Wind Horse’s new name? I’ve been wondering where she went….

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:48 am
Cory went along as a friend. The trysail idea – and we will need to test it to see if it works – is based on the windage aft on the FPB 78. Wind Horse still has her original name, and is at present in North Carolina. As to the new boat’s name, that will stay a family project.
David Guest Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Great move!!!! reminds me of my late uncle, a great sailor. For years he sailed a 60 schooner, then as he grew older he knew he needed help but still needed the sea… so he moved to a 75 foot motor ketch … I think the length is great and can’t wait to see what you have done with the design… all the best
Wolff Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 5:06 pm
Wow – looking forward to your future chapters in this new book of the sea :)
Bert Laacks Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 5:11 pm
Hi Linda and Steve; Great to hear you are building a new boat. We can never be done with the sea. Good luck and best regards, Bert

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:53 am
Thanks Bert: We really thought we were ready to try something else, and we did work at it, but the call of this boat is too strong. Had to go another cycle.

Chasm Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 5:37 pm
I’ve thought the same. But then it makes sense admit that crew may very well be necessary in the future and to design it into the next ship before you you are forced to make changes later. Another paradigm shift. ;) The renders look like a chopped down version of the 97. (shorter, no mast) The ventilation system intakes were moved up a level. (less water) No solar panels on the fly-bridge, so I guess fabric roof instead of aluminum. Why 78? Is 78 feet / 24 meter yet another length at which addition legal regulations kick in? Or “just” reminisce to the last Beowulf which was also that length?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:52 am
24 meters/80 feet – is a regulatory threshold so 23,99m or less is desirable, if you can do the job at that length.

James Masters Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 4:31 am
Is the “80ft”-reg-threshold worldwide, or only because Alaska would be encountered on a NW-passage? I remember your mentioning that-rule (re requiring pilots on non-U.S. flagged-vessels) on your B.C-Alaska trip-notes. Will the “NW-passage”-trip be East-to-West from Anchorage? Given Circa’s in NZ, will your 1st-trip from there, be to explore some of Antarctica (plenty of ice there, for sure) …? Have you already picked a name for your 78 — or will you engage us as you did with naming the Matrix Deck, lol …?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:45 am
24M/80 foot is an issue world wide. Above this in many places you are considered a ship.
Réanne & Don Douglass Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 6:15 pm
Waiting for more—especially where you plan to cruise. We miss Baidarka, but we have scads of projects to keep us busy. Cheers to you both! R & D

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:49 am
Hi Reanne and Don: When you see the structure – plate thickness, and framing – it won’t take long to figure out what is in our heads.
Scotto Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 6:30 pm
I’m excited! Another exquisite build to follow! Thankyou
Troy Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 8:05 pm
Phil , it is hard to believe , but what an internship for the chosen crew , Skip and Linda are wonderful folks with knowledge beyond what most could learn in a lifetime . Skip I want more info on the position , can I send a resume ?
Steve Bellamy Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 8:06 pm
Interesting A frame support at the forward end of the house. Central roof support with clear line of vision for a central steering position?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:47 am
More on the internal A-frame in a few days. It is highly efficient structurally for developing lateral support. The entire front coaming is integrated with a large kneed web frame, from which those angled mullions extend.
Don Joyce Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 8:19 pm
The aft deck is gone?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:45 am
Aft deck is still there, Don, just a little abbreviated.
Rob Baker Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 8:55 pm
Look forward to seeing the designs and reading about the new technology. I do enjoy keeping up on the the cutting edge.
Matt L Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 9:50 pm
Just when I thought the FPB 64 was a touch to small and the the FPB97 to big and Windhorse too…”prototypee” (for lack of a better word) along comes this….The question is, will I sleep tonight?

Matt L Reply:
May 30th, 2013 at 9:55 pm
…too excited to spell too consistently…which is mildly embarrassing…
Earl Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 9:51 pm
The dream continues! “The present is big with the future”
Steve B Says:
May 30th, 2013 at 10:53 pm
Is ventilation to the great room via the intake ducts forward of the matrix deck? Looks like a good solution.

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:44 am
That is partly it, Steve, with more intakes under the forward roof overhang. More details on this in a few days.
Steve B Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 1:21 am
I think I see a NW Passage coming on!

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 11:10 am
Lets just hope it doesn’t get too easy.
Justin Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 1:54 am
Do I smell ice?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 11:09 am
Lots of it!
Jenny Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 2:15 am
Holy Moly!!!!! How exciting!!!!!!! More dreams for me.
Simon Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 7:00 am
Hello Steve and Linda Looks incredible! I’m really looking forward too see what beautiful design details you thought of this time. I find myself already envious of who ever gets the chance to crew for you. Any chance you would consider taking on someone who is more or less a novice?
Anton Dichtl Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 8:14 am
Dear Dashews, Virgin Islands or Balearics with this machine? Even without knowing numbers about plate thickness or framing, I guess you are planning the Northwest Passage!
Jim Backus Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 8:55 am
The design looks great overall though I wonder about the side decks going forward. The side decks appear to be narrow and the house side windows seem to be angled out. Is there enough deck width to walk forward normally or do you have to go angled? Also,is the design being ballasted to compensate for the weight aloft? I’m thinking she might want to roll because of the height/beam ratio. Any info here? Overall, I appreciate the appearance and simplicity of your designs. The 64 looks about as good as it gets for going north and south between Maine and Florida.

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 11:08 am
Jim: Side decks and angled windows are a trade off with interior space and sun loading, and subject of much family debate not to mention testing of mockups. Bottom line, although tight, we think it works fine for the traffic pattern, light as it is, coupled with the fact that this design has a large storage area aft so there will be less hauling of items to the aft deck from the forepeak.
George Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:52 pm
Steve, Design looks superficially like the Norfhavn 62. Did that design influence you at all?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:56 pm
You are kidding, right?

Matt L Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 10:02 pm
Superficially, the angled minions make the Great Room look like the bridge of a Star Destroyer (Google Star Destroyer bridge image and see). The FPB 97 does look like a Star Destroyer. The FPB 78 looks like pocket Star Destroyer. How long has Darth Vader influenced your designs?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 11:41 pm
We want to be sure the force is with, and not against us. In other words, minimize drag, maximize efficiency, and let the sea dictate our design course, rather than fashion. That said, while we are not devotees of that Darth Dude, we have some younger family members who can sing chapter and verse from the Star Wars hymnal.
Dave Wyman Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Cool, Skip. Gonna berth it in Ventura?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Hi Dave: Not sure where the new boat will end up, and hopefully no specific location for more than a few months.
captaincees Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 2:40 am
Another escape machine ! wanna tell something about specs/price range? -I like the large glass surfaces.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:49 am
We will have specs up on the website towards the end next week.
Arthur Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:25 am
Can we have scale drawings and comparative specs of all 5 boats, spreadsheet style, on a single page, please.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:30 pm
A comparison between the FPB 64, the Wicked FPB 97, and the new FPB 78 will be up in a few days.
quoc Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 11:37 am
I was wondering when will there be a follow on to FPB83 that would not exceed the 24 meters requirement. Great design as usual.
Ward Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 5:47 pm
Not sure this is the most relevant post to make this comment on, but since there’s the (weird) earlier comment about similarity to a Nordhavn (????), I thought it made sense: Comparison of FPB’s to a nice-looking Australian Navy vessel:
John Says:
June 20th, 2013 at 5:48 pm
Even though I have the honor of having suggested the name Matrix Deck and I really see its benefit, I miss the long, low look of the FPB 83 before the Matrix Deck.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 20th, 2013 at 6:46 pm
We agree. But we also like what this configuration allows us to do. Life is full of hard choices….
Robert Says:
June 28th, 2013 at 11:50 am
Congratulations Steve, the FPB78 looks great! Like you said, “Life is full of hard choices…” I believe the FPB78 will appeal to a greater audience, it certainly did to me. You see, I am not the type of person who drives a Hummer. Don’t take me wrong, I can appreciate its capabilities, but I am more of a BMW-type-of-person — capable, agile and room for comfort. For its length, I like the fact that the FPB78 has comfortable quarters for family and friends, and a ‘Matrix Deck’ with lots of possibilities. With the FPB78 you have captured my attention and consideration. I can’t keep from wondering what would be the fruit of your next design cycle. Congratulations!

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 28th, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Thanks Bob: Once this FPB 78 is put to bed it will be a long time before we have the band width for another! Besides, with the FPB 64, 78, 97, and 115 we have enough in the pipeline for a long time.

Steve B Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 12:18 am
Does the bottom of the stair fold up to access the stabiliser coffer dam?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 12:48 am
Yes for the starboard side. Port side coffer dam lid is in the open.
Michael Seng Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 6:17 am
Underway, and in rolling conditions, how much noise does the stabilizing system generate? On Windhorse the cofferdams were in the basement (if I remember correctly) and now they are adjacent to staterooms. Granted they are electric and not that large but, meshed gears and general load induced “creaks” would be rather nearby? Just curious.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:40 am
Stabilizers are hydraulic, no gears, just cylinders, and in general are silent, even when watching them with the coffer dam lids open.
david Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:11 am
Appears to be much more beam than the 83. Also, less “lounging/bbq” space on the back deck. In practice do you find yourself on the top deck while at anchor? Beautiful design – can’t wait to follow the progress!
ron Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 10:50 am
hi steve,im guessing 20.4 ft.beam…and chines reduce draft at full load and add some form stability…is swim step a bolt on???

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 11:36 am
Swim step is a permanent part of the boat. Beam at deck is 20 feet, plus rub strakes (belting).
Glenn Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 11:15 am
Could the stairway to the upper deck (matrix?) be enclosed? I am assuming the matrix entry pout has a locking door. So, that means locking two (2) door at night in port. With the matrix stairway enclosed there is only one locking door and more security in port.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 11:34 am
We have not gotten into the security aspects of the Matrix deck yet. But if we think this is warranted, it will be relatively simple to secure the stairs.
Paul Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 2:23 pm
Ok…. I waited until this morning to check. Please can we see the matrix deck now? Pretty please?
Fishwife Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 6:03 pm
I’d guess that I’m not the only one who’d like to know. Will this be a design that is built just for you or will there be subsequent builds offered to eager buyers?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 7:15 pm
That is a good question, Paige. She started out just for us, but Todd is in the process of discussing sisters with several folks. We will just have to see what happens.
Matt L Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 6:47 pm
Is the small room between the queen guest cabin and the owners suite where the washer and dryer would go?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 7:12 pm
If you are referring to the port side, this is a systems room where the fresh water pump, hydraulic damage control pump, associated manifolds, plus fuel distribution manifold and heater valves all live. The washer and drier are stacked and will be opposite the galley.
Alex F Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 8:34 pm
Hi Steve, Linda I was wondering what is the headroom in the lower deck? Rgds Alex

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:51 am
Headroom on lower deck and the great room is nominally 6’8″/2.05m
Evan Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 6:24 pm
Any worry about the stairwell’s breaker panel LED reflections in the windows? Otherwise it’s a nice spot to get it out of the way.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 8:06 pm
With the windows tilted outboard and the electrical panels below the window level level, we don’t see reflection from the LEDs a problem. If it is, we’ll switch to tinted plastic.
Matt L Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 10:17 pm
The square portholes used plentifully in the hull of FPB 97 and Beowulf, sparingly on Wind Horse, are absent on the FPB 78. Is this because of the “heavy ice” plans or is there some other technical/design philosophy reason they are not included on the FPB 78?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 pm
On Wind Horse the window shades were down most of the time, either due to privacy issues, or too much outside light. As the windows are heavy, expensive, and ultimately, a weak point vis a vis impact with ice, the logical decision is to eliminate them. The other reason is aesthetic. We think the boat much more aggressive looking without, more military if you will, which is an appearance we think makes sense in many parts of the world.
quoc Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm
I am looking for the soaking bathtub.. Given the “ice travel plans” I assume the hull will have thicker plating than earlier FPB designs?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:02 pm
The shower/bath forward is of a size that works well as a bath. A vital necessity for Linda’s continued presence and on all our boats going back to Intermezzo ll. The hull scantlings exceed ice class (if there were such a thing for yachts like this). Ice class nominally requires 1.4X the norm on plating and framing, and we are 2X, with even heavier plating. Bottom is nominally 12mm, with 16mm in turn of the bilge, and a 24mm grounding flat. Lots more details on structure in a few days.
ron Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 1:04 pm
hi steve, was just studying the aft side of the matrix deck that is a huge window with no benefit of over hang or angles. have you considered taking the stamoid roof aft of masts to shade this?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 4th, 2013 at 5:01 pm
The window to which you refer Ron, at the aft end of the Matrix deck, is there to curtain off the Matrix deck when wind, temperature, bugs, or rain warrant this. Seating is far enough inboard of the girder between the beams, which functions as an awning amongst other things, to that in most cases additional shading should not be required. We could easily add an additional shade awning with a framework attached to the masts or box girder, and in fact have modeled this concept with additional solar panels. But right now we don’t think it is required. Easy to add later, however, if we find it would be a benefit.
Kenny Dalgleish Says:
June 12th, 2013 at 5:59 am
Am curious as to the reason for having the laundry machinery on the main deck. Horrible noisy things and heavy too. Would it not be better to find space for them somewhere downstairs? As a bonus you’d win more storage or more counter-top space and better views while you do the ironing next to the galley. Personally I hate ironing and find that a good shake followed by line drying means I don’t have to but perhaps that’s not always possible on a boat.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 12th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
Laundry location is a tradeoff like everything else. On our boat, the machines are in use every other day, and the operator of said equipment, who has to be happy aboard above all other considerations, likes the view where they are. Noise is not an issue – both dryer and washer are typically unheard. As to ironing, I tend to agree with you, but once again defer to my betters in this regards. Take shirts for example. This writer has perfected the technique of maximum compression as a means of wrinkle control, i.e. rolling in a ball. Adding in impact velocity usually finishes the job (throwing carefully at high speed onto a shelf). On the other hand, I will admit to enjoying slipping between freshly ironed sheets at night.

Harold Says:
June 17th, 2013 at 5:55 pm
Definitely my favorite of the fleet. Just the right combination of features. Expect there will be a lot of happy customers.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 17th, 2013 at 8:59 pm
Thanks Harold:

Jens Find Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 9:43 am
Wow! The first yacht I ever saw with a brig in it :-)
Richard Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:37 pm
Steve – A question about the access to the crew (and occasional guest) quarters forward. It appears the main (seemingly only) access is thru the deck hatch just aft of the anchor pulpit. In open water, on passage, at night, in difficult conditions, etc., what are your thoughts on the safety implications of having crew traversing the foredeck, opening a large hatch, etc.? As always, a fascinating design!! Richard

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:55 pm
At sea, if conditions are difficult (or wet) this area is secured and the crew would sleep aft. The concept here is for this to be used when cruising locally, in which case most access would be at anchor.
Shannon Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 6:31 pm
Love it. Quick question though. Is there a way to replace a prop in a remote area or are you carrying spares so a yard has a matching set should it be needed? My thinking here is the storage for the spare props is in an area where they could be damaged or possibly wedged in if there is a severe impact. Worst case scenario you hit something,damage the spares & the props you are using. That would be my luck. It just seems like the spares are stored in a vulnerable area. Not that there really is a vulnerable area in your boats.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 8:18 pm
Having put 6000 hours on Wind Horse, through ice, debris fields, and the occasional grounding, with only a single minor prop ding, you could make a case for not carrying spares. But a set of spares we will carry, under the floorboards in the forepeak. And yes, it is possible to change one of these in the water.

Shannon Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 9:28 pm
That’s why I so desperately want one of your boats. There isn’t really a vulnerable area. The efficiency & safety aspect of your designs are huge to me. I can’t relax if I have safety concerns & I can’t relax if I am spending more money than necessary. Not to mention range. I am not cheap (some would argue that) I just don’t like waste. Efficiency is beautiful. Your designs are worlds ahead of others in both of those aspects. I love the use of the space in the bow area. It’s a great flexible space.

Eric Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:15 am
Probably a dumb question but in cruise mode would you run both engines at the same time? Thanks, Eric

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:46 am
Yes, Eric, both engines at one time. Theoretically, if one prop was a feathering or folding type, and we were propped for a one engine on the other fixed, we’d pick up about 2% in efficiency. But using both is much simpler.

Seth Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 1:17 am
I’m sure you’ve developed a system that works for you, but for what it is worth, I highly recommend sizing your powered exhaust ventilation fans to provide 30+ air changes per hour (after accounting for duct losses, etc.) This rate is enough to generate a perceptible breeze through the cabin. I’ve had these fans in homes located in Hawaii, in the northeastern and southern U.S., and I can say they’re the bees knees. Even in Hawaii, when the trade winds would fail me, I still hardly ever felt the need to turn on my air conditioning! Granted this was on land, but the same design principles applied to a floating home would get you the same effect. The electrical demand for such fans is fairly high as far as fans go, but they can net a substantial savings over otherwise having to run air conditioning. 50-90% energy savings are reported in residential home construction using “whole house comfort fans” sized appropriately, depending on climate. You mentioned two fans. I suggest wiring them to achieve a high (both) and low (one) setting. I’ve also noticed that blowers vary a lot in cfm (m3/min) per watt. For instance while shopping for my latest buy, I found one that was 2500 cfm at 735 watts. Another was 2850 cfm at 178 watts. That’s a 5-fold difference! While not the sole consideration, that sure is a compelling one. Fans this large will also run in the 50 dB range or so, and can benefit from consideration as to sound isolation. As always, it is exciting to see new designs. I’m excited to watch this project unfold. Regards, Seth

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 1:49 am
Thanks Seth, for the long ventilation suggestions. We think we are well covered in this regard, in terms of,power, noise, and air changes. We will know in a couple of years. In the interim, experiments are being conducted to test different fans.

Rob Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 8:50 am
Seems like the engineering systems are evolving for ever more comfortable long range cruising, however with the loss of the “basement” from earlier models it seems that storage space for personal items and provisions have taken a big hit. Seems little point having fuel for two Atlantic crossing if you can’t store the provisions for one…or do you have more storage areas hidden up your sleeve?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:21 pm
Actually, there is as much or more storage than we had on Wind Horse. There is a separate post coming up on this in a few days.

Matt L Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 9:33 am
Which Luggers are you using? L1066T Medium Duty or L1066A Medium Duty? Inferring what I can from the fuel specs best guess is L1066T Medium Duty, but curious minds want to know.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:19 pm
Forgotten the model number Matt, but they are rated at 135HP at 2200 RPM (six cylinder) continuous, and Lugger are allowing us to prop for 2050, since this will give us better engine loading during cruise.

Matt L Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 6:16 pm
“135HP at 2200 RPM (six cylinder) continuous” is the L1066T. The Lugger “Medium Duty” Rating seems to most closely correlate to the M3 Rating from John Deere that you have used in the past. At 1600 RPM the L1066T Medium Duty torque is just off peak at the full consumption lower than the L1066T Continuos Duty. The L1066T Continuos Duty torque peaks at 1400 RPM and torque drops like a rock past 1800 RPM. L1066T Medium Duty fits the performance profile of the FPB 78′s the best from what I can tell.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 7:08 pm
As you know, the Luggers come at a premium, and in the past I have not been willing to pay it. But in this case, their turbo and fuel injection pump differences with the straight Deere are of enough benefit to make this worth the extra.

Hunter L Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 7:25 pm
Just from my basic understanding of diesels and loading, do you see any downside to propping for 2050? I have always thought that diesels propped to not achieve their maximum RPM (especially in continuous duty settings) would suffer from shortened life span. Not disputing your reasoning, just interested in more insight into why. What would the cruise RPM be at if the boat were propped to achieve the 2200 RPM, or at least achieve 2200RPM with the light displacement and maybe only drop down to 2050RPM at full load with full fuel, water, gear, and crew? Every boat you guys design sets the bar higher (down to the dinghy design over the years), and I have followed all of them from Wind Horse on with great enthusiasm. This Dream Machine and the FPB97 are the pinnacles in boat design in my mind! Look forward to the many future posts with details to come (after all, priority number one in the mornings is always checking when details of your new designs are being posted, from the 64 to the 115, to the 97, and now this).

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 12:21 am
Thanks for the kind words, Hunter: Most yachts work their engines hard, which is good for them, and need lots of HP from the smallest, lightest block possible. Faster turning engines generate ore HP from a given size. In our case the engines are so lightly loaded that the engines are not working hard enough. Which is where the “overpropping” comes into play. Overpropping reduces the max RPM the engine can achieve, but makes it possible to run theengines slower and harder than was the case when navigating convntionally.

Henry Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 9:55 am
Steve, I was wondering how much the hull plating spec adds to displacement over and above the spec for the FPB83. I was also wondering why the stern and the quarters also have 24mm plating. The coloured plating image seems to show a flattening (even a hollowing?!)of the sections at the turn of the bilge. Is this correct? If it is correct, would it be OK to explain?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:15 pm
The plating thicknesses shown are preliminary, but close. 24mm plate is on centerline. The teal color (greenish) represents the 16mm plate area, and the rest is 12mm. The shape aft, in particular in the buttock section view (side) indeed has some hollow. This helps with the tradeoff between waterflow, buttock to prop angle, and draft trade-offs. The 64 has similar, but you see it less because with a single screw it is drawn as a small tunnel. With the twin props we take a different approach.It is important to note that the shape of the after sections is a highly complex conundrum with many other factors to be considered beyond just the three mentioned.

ron Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 10:41 am
holy cow steve!! ive always thought your fpb boats were bullet proof but this puppy moves into the bomb proof range!….haven’t been able to figure out where you hid the “Dashew battery bank”….looks like at least 80% of hull is double bottom…as in ice breaker? ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:10 pm
There is a large battery bank amidships, in a sealed but properly vented coffer dam, carved out of the tanks.

Nils O. Pettersson Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 12:16 pm
Hi Steve, Another impressive piece unfolds! I am interested in your solution for grey/black water. Will you have holdingtanks? Wastewater treatment facilities? As I’m sure you are fully aware of increasingly demanding legislation in this field it is valuable to hear your take on the issue. Regs.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:04 pm
We will have three black water tanks, one for each head, under the sole in the engine room and forepeak. Gray water tanks are pass through, i.e. in areas where discharge is permitted, the valve on the tank is open. Otherwise, close the valve, and wait until you are clear to open the valve and dump by gravity.

Gene LeBeau Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 12:21 pm|
Steve —- are you prepared to reveal other stats on this magnificent machine. LWL, full load displacement, beam, etc.?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:59 pm
Hi Gene: In a couple of days we’ll have all the vitals posted.

Peter Myatt Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 1:25 pm
Dinghy Mooring Bollards/Cleats. Will there be provision for mooring a dinghy alongside/abaft at the stern? Stern Kedge/Mooring. Would it be possible to have a stern anchor / mooring system for anchorages which are either narrow, or of limited swinging room?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:58 pm
Yes on both counts, Peter: The normal system with the dink would be to bring it along the starboard side of the mother ship. The awning over the dinghy helm is offset to starboard to facilitate this. There will be a permanently stored kedge anchor on the swim step on the port side, in a partial pocket to reduce the interference on the swim step.

david Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:36 pm
what’s the glazing on the matrix deck? Still the ultra-clear plastic or did you go to full stormproof glass? A lot high weight if the latter. But, again, what a cool design! So glad you can share it with the setsail community.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 3:56 pm
We’ll be using a Matrix deck enclosure system similar to Wind Horse. Plastic sheeting in the lower section and the Clearview opening windows above.

Paul Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:51 pm
If you are using a ZF transmission will you be able to use their Joystick Maneuvering System (JMS)?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 6:04 pm
We will not be using the ZF joystick system. However we will be fitting trolling valves and a smart Mathers control system that allows us to use thrust with great finesse when walking sideways. Much more on this later.

Scotto Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 7:45 pm
Good to see you’re not going to use joysticks. I believe that technology has now given access to the waterways, to an element that basic seamanship, skill and knowledge was once able to keep on the beach. Far too many people in boats that lack basic skills and rely solely on bowthrusters and joystick systems. I love the concept of your big rudders and screws, whether twin or single, your boats are extremely manouvrable. I apologise for standing on the soapbox, but as a seaman(I must admit,not to your standard by any means), somethings really irk me. Bring back the plank and the yard arm I say! Aye Scotto

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 10:56 pm
From what we can see now, Scotto, the proportional control thruster coupled with the big rudders and tranny trolling valves will give us lots of control, easily operated with the thruster lever and the steering JOG stick.

Roger Reply:
November 17th, 2013 at 11:52 am
Here is the opposite view Scotto. This boat is going to be your worst nightmare then. What makes it “bad” is that I as a complete neophyte can take it safely offshore and come back alive without needing the skill and knowledge required to do the same in a lightly built floating condo. I can do so because a lifetimes worth of skill and knowledge is designed in. This is precisely the boat that would entice me off the beach. Sailors have always used the latest technology. Even huge cruise ships have bowthrusters.

Jens Find Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 9:48 am
With the house battery bank sitting deep down on the keel between the stabilizers, they are definetely well placed. From a maintenance perspective, it seems to me that you might have an issue with access, adequate hoisting gear interfering with the forward edge of the matrix deck. I realize that changing the cells is not an often repeated task, but never the less I assume the matter has been given some thought.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 4th, 2013 at 9:53 am
Yes, Jens, getting individual cells in and out is in the plan as is engines and genset. In the case of the batteries we will either use an A-frame or hoist from a beam on the sole support for the deck above.

Chris B Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Astounding design. Looks like you’ve ticked all the criteria for the perfect long range voyager. I’m loving the workshop and forepeak facilities…amongst everything else! CB

ron Says:
June 5th, 2013 at 1:45 pm
hi steve, what do you expect the hp draw to be at cruise (11-12 knots)? ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 3:12 pm
Horspeower requirement at eleven knots in smooth water at half load is around 135HP.

Rob Says:
June 7th, 2013 at 7:41 pm
I know your apprehension about electric or hybrid systems have been discussed before but just thought I’d mention that the 1066 lugger is available from northern lights as a hybrid setup. The ability to run the diesels at optimum efficiency regardless of prop speed and run at full power silently with engines off for periods of time still seem compelling to me, eg when moving in an anchorage or when inspecting the engine room. Also the larger battery pack increases generator free autonomy at anchor and with a suitably sized solar array up to 10-15 miles a day of solar powered motoring could be possible, imagine island hopping around a South Pacific atoll chain without having to run an engine whatsoever. I guess like any newish system reliability is the big unknown, although considering diesel electric systems are becoming the mainstay of cruise line and large commercial ships it doesn’t seem an insurmountable problem.

Roger Says:
October 6th, 2013 at 8:32 pm
What access and procedures are planned for cleaning all the nooks and crannies in all these tanks? Since the fuel rests right against the cold hull in high latitudes, wouldn’t you get quite a bit of condensation showing up in the fuel tanks?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 7th, 2013 at 12:46 am
There are provisions for cleaning out the low spots, although this has not been a problem in our experience. Condensation is a non issue since the tanks vent from the day tank and we do not return hot fuel to the tanks. The day tank will accumulate condensation and its sump is easily drained. When in storage the vent system is closed.

RAN Says:
October 8th, 2013 at 12:52 pm
Are the skeg trailing edges shaped to pre-swirl the flow to counteract the prop induced swirl?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 8th, 2013 at 1:40 pm
The design of the skeg is a trade off between best flow into the props, form and wetted surface drag, and their impact working together with the rudders as propeller wash stators. The baseline issue, of course, is structure during a grounding. All of this works in conjunction with the waterflow along the hull and how this is is impacted by the intersection of skegs/rudders and the buttock line of the hull. A long, tech sounding way of answering your question about axial flow being a consideration. It is.

Scotto Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 3:48 am
Great storage ideas. Easily accesable Fantastic! As usual!
Matt L Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 6:16 am
What will prevent the bins from sliding around and making noise while under way?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 4th, 2013 at 9:56 am
The bins will be constrained in chocks, which we have done before, and the motion is general so little that there should not be audible sound.
JLF Says:
June 4th, 2013 at 9:07 am
Nice Boat. Your design cycle time seems to have shrunk considerably. More comfortable with the software? FPB97 already worked out the themes? Or have you been holding out on us and working on this longer than it seems? I’m curious because my business is moving to this sort of pre-construction, for house, not boats.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 4th, 2013 at 10:01 am
The design cycle is getting tighter. However, what you see is just the start. Between now and completion f working drawings there will be many thousands of man hours.
Steve Says:
June 5th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
If you really want to go South you might consider. Latitude: S 77° 50′ 60″ Longitude: E 166° 40′ 0.0001″ Dangerous as all get out but it is as far South as one can go in a vessel which is something. Biggest attraction for me is the historic huts from the early explorers. Walking into Ernest Shackleton’s Hut at Cape Royds is spectacular, Capt. Scott’s hut a few miles away has even more preserved artifacts. It goes without saying that the wildlife is spectacular. One danger is from ice conditions but that can be mitigated, bigger danger are the dozen or so hurricane force storms a year. I have a seen a few private yachts over the years. the prudent skippers do fine – only one loss that I am aware of and no one can explain why they left a cozy anchorage into a forecast storm. Looks like you have the vessel for it though I might get a little concerned about CG if you run into the proverbial worst case and end up with a bunch of ice accretion topsides. PM me if you ever want to explore the option.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 3:25 pm
Thanks Steve: We do like ice! 77 degrees south sounds a lot more of a challenge than 80 north. As to CG and ice, we’d need to have lots of diesel in the tanks to get the VCG down to start.
Steve Says:
June 5th, 2013 at 3:53 pm
Ballast is the trick particularly since so many of these places are so far from fueling facilities. I was meaning to ask if you had any way to put any heat into the fresh water tanks. I remember reading one Northwest passage account and they were forced to overwinter, might have been at Cambridge Bay, and the unholy mess that resulted from freezing the plumbing despite having enough fuel to heat the living spaces. Water temps in the southern Ross Sea are around 29.5 F year round, the Peninsula is of course quite a bit warmer.
A Hyde Says:
July 3rd, 2013 at 9:45 am
Above is the note: “Although we have the same basement area we had on Wind Horse” I do not see how this is possible with the posted layouts. The accommodations seem to fill all the space under the main deck. The rear of the accommodations appears to meet the engine room with a door in the guest bath. It appears the tanks are directly under the accommodations when you look at the Forepeak posting. It shows Forepeak floor raised above owner’s stateroom floor to provide prop storage at the same level as tanks. The use of storage as detailed seems like all anyone would need, even without a “basement”. So far the FPB 78 is my new dream home on the water.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 3rd, 2013 at 4:04 pm
The storage comment that references the basement of the previous FPBs is in regard to the number of plastic storage bins. Between the work shop area allocated for storage, now under the sole, and that under the three bunks in the guest and owner’s quarters, we have exactly the same number of plastic bins as on Wind Horse. In addition to which is additional space in the forepeak as well as work shop for bulk items like paper goods, luggage, etc.

A Hyde Reply:
July 5th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
No question, there is more than enough storage available, even for me – with back ups for back ups. I like the idea of not having to crawl to retrieve stuff from storage. My concern about the “basement” was more about routing space for ducts/pipes/cables that seem to run in the “basement” in previous postings of details from existing FPB’s. With the FPB 78 it looks like there is no real height between tank tops and accommodations floor. I would assume access to this area above the tanks would be required in areas other than the “tank cut outs” at the stabilizer mounting areas. Is there access height (real person size) in this area between tank tops and accommodations floor, or are there access hatches scattered over any areas requiring possible service/maintenance? Not trying to nit pick details, just looking at how this design could work as my future home on the water.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 5th, 2013 at 11:37 pm
An existential question, where to run the myriad of plumbing and wiring, and a subject of substantial analysis, design, dialog, strongly held opinions, and in the end what we think is a very good outcome, perhaps the best ever. We have all the major elements now run through the 3D model, so we can insure that there is sufficient build and access space, and that this is all taken into account within the structural detailing. Much more on this subject in a month when we get the details wrapped.

Kent Says:
June 5th, 2013 at 1:49 pm
I wish I had the resources to acquire an FPB. Is there an air vent in the top step of stairs leading down to the swim step? Did I miss this in the earlier posts?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
The upper stair riser (in the stairway going down to the swimstep) is for an engine room extraction system (two fans).

Warwick Robinson Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 1:59 am
a couple of questions, for you. Have you considered something like Mercury’s jet outbord? they do several sizes, and the ‘leg does not protrude much past the bottom of the hull. the next is ‘what about a ‘drop down’ swim step? it would not add to the overall length of the boat? and would potentially allow for more storage.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 7:02 am
We have considered hinged swim steps where regulations were length critical. However, when all the details are considered, we did not need this. We have the LOA we want for the hull, and there are no regulatory bodies getting in our way.

ron Says:
June 11th, 2013 at 9:23 am
hi steve, something that hasn’t been talked about is the flush deck stem to stern(ignoring mud trap for anchor) in my mind this makes for a much safer deck…would be nice if the winch nearest port control station could be moved to port mast I understand the conflict with the controls but it would be out of the traffic pattern…I see one open radar antenna and something I cant recognize on top of port mast,is this a new radar system?…with 20k# more boat and greater windage will you be using a larger hook?…the vent system above deck level is far superior to the one on deck no need to close it off in rough weather…best ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 12th, 2013 at 3:59 pm
Agree Ron re flush deck: Coamings are great for trapping tons of water on deck, and creating drag where you don’t want it if you are being knocked down and are skidding with a wave. Regarding the port deck winch, not shown is the second dink, which limits space. When that is in position the winch is out of the way. But we do need the foot path aft of the port mast clear. Going with a 150kg/330 pound Manson Supreme, again way overkill, which is what we like. And going up in chain size to 12mm or 1/2″. That combo will work with this windage as well or better as what we have used on Wind Horse (110kg/240 pound Rocna and 3/8′-9.6mm) chain.

Mike Drinkrow Says:
August 31st, 2013 at 12:19 am
Hi, I currently own a Nordhavn57 and had the pleasure of viewing Buffalo Nickel FPB64. I was very impressed with your design and build quality together with the strength of the vessel. At this point I am interested in the the 64 but must consider the 78. However, not knowing prices, I am a bit in the dark! Reading your write up on the 76, I think I would prefer this size vessel because of the enclosed Flybridge and larger dinghy. I am an avide fisherman and my first reaction to the 64 was that with a sqeeze, I could put on a 17ft x6,5 ft beam dinghy. So, if i may ask a few questions, what is the MAX size of dinghy and it’s weight that a 64 can carry, and what are the budget prices of a 64 and 78 based on vessels with one matching genset and a wing engine include. Kind regards Mike Drinkrow PS I am currently in FIji allside Bufflo Nickel and will move to Aus within a month.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 2nd, 2013 at 6:35 am
Hi Mike: Todd Rickard will be getting in touch with you shortly re pricing. Dinghy size on the FPB 64 is a question of tradeoffs. With care, a version of the Circa dink perhaps 14 to 15.5 feet long, with a pram bow, might be made to fit, with some overhang of the stern boarding platform. This would require some design effort and a few mods of the aft deck furniture, air intake, etc.

Chris B Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 12:25 am
Wow – I think you’ve struck perfection there…I can just imagine living on board with my family taking them around the world exploring on an FPB78. Very envious – and I’m sure quite a few FPB64 owners are looking on thinking of upgrading! Cheers, Chris.
Scotto Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 12:28 am
This thing is HUGE! the comparison pics really demosstrate the size difference! I thought the 64 was roomy, now its cozy! Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I love the 64
Justin Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 5:24 am
It looks fantastic, but I have a doubt over the decision to have no windows in the owners’ suite. Will you really want to spend time down there with no windows?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 6:59 am
On both Wind Horse and Beowulf before, the shades were up in our stateroom maybe six times in all those years. They are down in port, or when we are sleeping in higher latitudes, which leaves a short time at sea when they might be open. This is just one of those many tradeoffs that occur.

Steve C Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 9:51 am
I think I would tie a HD camera to the Big Screen TV in the stateroom and pretend its a window when I wanted to see out. You could even put a marine looking window frame around it! Overall I LOVE the size. Great design. Thanks for sharing.
David M. Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 9:32 am
Still with you on your 9th post, hope this just the start of many as you finish the engineering, build and sail in this fantastic new boat.
Kent Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 1:40 pm
I hope you two enjoy her for many years. I look forward to reading about your future travels.
Rob Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 5:42 pm
I noticed the saloon seating, an L shape like the 64, but in this design you have reversed it so that some (crew) are seated facing aft and the aft or forward facing seats are gone. I can usually work out the advantages in a design, but this one has me baffled. I would prefer to sit facing forward as you do in the 64 or stand up close to the front front windows when approaching something interesting, also the fwd seat is quite narrow compared to the space aft. You obviously have a reason, can you enlighten one who has spent far too long wondering about it. Another great design, I’m envious but still hanging out for the 50′ version that the other 99% of us hope for. Regards, Rob.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 8:25 pm
The salon seating is the result of many discussions, and tradeoffs. Here are some of the reasons: We need access to the forward port corner of the galley for maintenance of various systems. The forward face of the galley locker, what would normally be a dead area in the corners, provides excellent storage this way, with space for a large TV that does not need a pop up mechanism. The athwartships seat on Wind Horse was almost never used under way. But we did use the aft port corner, feet up facing forward, which we can still do. Regarding seat width, the seats are the same width around the perimeter, and in fact, somewhat wider than in the past.
Mike Pearce Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 6:52 pm
Steve, Are you staying with Niad on your two latest designs or are you changing to Trac

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 8:16 pm
We are evaluating all the options on stabilizing gear, Mike: A lot depends on some requirements we have for the stabilizer fins and how these are built.
Matt L Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 8:21 pm
Steve, I have been struggling all day with your selections of engine, specifically the M1 or as Lugger calls it “Continuous” Rating for the 1066. Either I don’t understand engine election as much as I thought I did (likely) or the FPB78 is so incredibly optimized for a specific performance range that the L1066T “Continuous” with it narrow band of optimum power is the better choice. The L1066T “Medium Duty” gives you more performance for less fuel burn while still staying at rpm levels that the boat is likely to run. The L1066A “Continuous Duty” weighs a little more and uses 50% more oil but gives better performance with the same or less fuel burn at the RPM the boat is likely to run than the L1066T “Continuous Duty”. If the FPB79 hull is so incredibly optimized that more power is not going to get it past 12.35 Kts, does that not reflect a much higher level of optimization of hull, engine, transmission and prop than your previous designs? As I understood it Windhorse, FPB 64 and FPB97 all have specced M3 rated Deere engines. Am I mistaken or is there something new afoot?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 6th, 2013 at 9:34 pm
Hi Matt: Maybe I missed something, or too many late nights, but we are using the 1066T.

Matt L Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 8:43 am
Steve, if you are using the Lugger 1066T “Medium Duty” I (think I) understand completely. If you are using the Lugger 1066T “Continuous” then I am confused by the choice.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 9:20 am
Matt: We are using the 135HP @2200 RPM version, propped for 2050 RPM with their approval so we can get proper loading on the engines. We will cruise at 11 knots at a smooth, quiet, 1600 RPM, which is why we are using these engines – for the quiet.

Matt L Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 9:27 am
Thanks…now the world makes sense… :0)

Steven Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 10:23 am
Is the engine or generator going to be Keel cooled? How did you pick the L1066T (est 3.75 Gal per hour per engine)engine when you need total 120-140 hp(60-70 Hp per engine)? The L1066T appears to be a inefficient engine burning a gal for avg 18.6 hp/hour (1000-2200 rpm); L1066A burn a gal for avg 19.8 hp/hour(1000-2400 rpm), if the data from is correct, changing the engine to a L1066A should save .2 gal an hour per engine at 1400 rpm. Am I missing something?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 10:48 am
I will leave it for the diesel engineers to debate these finer points. What we do know is diesel engines are set up wi th various fuel injection timing cycles and that this impacts how efficient they are at different RPMs and engine loads. RPM also has a big impact on prop efficiency and engine noise. The trade offs are far more complex than the simple prop curve data vs fuel consumption usually shown on spec sheets.

Matt L Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Steven, I saw the same thing. In the past I marveled at how every engine selection Steve chose seem to be perfect for the boat based on the combination of torque/hp/rpm/fuel consumption curves. For fun I would wargame all the engine choices around what Steve made to try to pick a better engine. I never could. This time however I was left with the thought, “Huh, how is the Lugger 1066T “Continuous” the best engine selection for the FPB78?” But as soon as Steve posted that the engine was selected for how quiet it was, then Steve’s engine selection made sense. Simply put, an important criteria for engine selection was not in the data I was looking at. But I have to admit I would want to know how noisy the Lugger 1066A “Continuous” would be as you look like you would gain boat speed at same rpm relative to a 1066T “Continuous” with the same or lower fuel burn. You could then make make maximum advantage of the higher freeboard in the bow on the FPB 78 much more often. But then this choice may lead to the boat being overpowered at low rpm with the corresponding lack of control in bad weather/low speeds which is something Steve is always very careful with. The thought of changing a 32.5 quarts of oil every 250 hours with Lugger 1066A “Continuous” instead of 19 quarts of oil every 250 hours on the Lugger 1066T “Continuous” is fairly daunting. That’s a 71% increase in the oil you would have to carry and dispose of. But the Lugger 1066T “Medium Duty” torque/hp/rpm/fuel consumption curves look pretty sweet at 1600 RPM! But then the engine may not “be happy” running up to 4000/hrs a year at 1600 RPM. Not being a “diesel engineer” I understand that my “understanding” is limited, but I still find the whole thing incredibly fascinating.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 8th, 2013 at 12:41 am
Matt: Butting in here in your reply to Steven and thanks for the kind words. First, the oil replacement period is a function of load (or lack thereof), oil quantity in the system, and time. If you do oil analysis for a couple of cycles when the engine is broken in, you can make a scientific decision on the correct oil changing interval. All things being equal, for a given scenario, the engine with more oil will require less frequent changes,so it evens out. Now as to the A or T engine, the A series, aftercooled, are similar to what we use on the FPB 64s. They are more powerful engines, and since we have two of them loading the pair sufficiently is not going to happen often. Next, the actual fuel efficiency of the lower HP T model is better, even though the A data looks better. If you get into the fuel maps, you will find that the model we have chosen runs more efficiently at the engine loading level that is required on the FPB78. If the engine loads were higher, then the 1066A could indeed be more efficient. When we discussed this with Bob Senter, the Guru of all things Deere and in particular Lugger, Bob was adamant that we should use the 1077T. The issue of higher top speed with the A model is valid, if you think you might want to cruise faster. And if you wanted to cruise normally at 12, with top speeds of 14/15 knots, then the aftercooled engines might make sense, since you would be using more of their HP. As it is, we know from experience that if we can cruise at 11 to 12 knots, with plenty of reserve, we will be happy 99% of the time. And for this, even with a gale blowing in our teeth, we have plenty of grunt.

Matt L Reply:
June 9th, 2013 at 2:05 pm
Steven, on another Lugger spec sheet ( I found the following language that explains what we noticed: Rating Definitions: Following are the definitions of duty ratings for Luggers. Please contact your Lugger representative to verify your application. High Output: Based on a load factor of 20% or less. A maximum of five minutes at full throttle, followed by not less than ten minutes at cruise power or below. For applications up to 200 total hours per year. Medium Duty: Based on a load factor of 66% or less. A maximum of two hours at full throttle, followed by at least one hour at cruise power or below. For applications up to 4000 total hours per year. Continuous Duty: Based on a load factor of 100%. No limit on time at full throttle. No limit on hours per year. So the curves we were looking at are based on different loads. We were not comparing apples to apples. Just like Steve said in his follow-on post. And the 100% load on the L1066A is going to be greater than the 100% load of the L1066T. We just did not have enough data to understand the decision. A somewhat “controversial” internet boating figure named David Pascoe has many themes which he covers in boating. One is that one of the worst things you can do for a gasoline engine is “overload” it and one of worst things you can do with a diesel engine is “under” load it. I have read a the bits tom Bob Senter that are online about engines and maintenance. Bob Senter’s engine class looks like it would be valuable way to spend time if one was serious about cruising. Thanks Steve, for putting up with our persistent, even if well meaning, questions.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 9th, 2013 at 2:59 pm
A very complicated subject which in the end requires access to the fuel injection maps (or programs these days) to pick the sweet spot. And with some engines, you would want to run them at higher rpm, even though noisier, because of the way the injection cycle was programmed. Otherwise, major hits on fuel burned at lower rpm results. On the other hand, our experience is that RPM is the most important variable in engine noise, regardless of loading, so it may be worth taking a mileage hit for quiet. In this case, both the rpm and fuel map come together in a sweet spot for the boat drag and noise wise. The best of all possible worlds! We will do a post in the not too distant future with some HP/Fuel/RPM data.
Rob Says:
June 6th, 2013 at 9:35 pm
If you extended to cover over the rear deck just a little further you could put your smaller dinghy there and allow you to carry two whilst keeping deck space free. Of course making such small suggestions is proof that you really seem to have nailed a near perfect long distance explorer yacht here. Congratulations.
Frank Goelo Says:
June 7th, 2013 at 12:19 am
Hello Steve, I note that the buttock lines sweep up much further away from the stern to allow plenty of room for the skegs, props and rudders compared to previous designs. Why not sweep up the bottom lines after the trailing edge of the rudders all the way to the loaded waterline, so that there is a clean exit of the water flow – much like a sailboat hull?… An immersed transom, no matter how narrow and shallow promotes drag when underway and by making the suggested change, you may gain at least 5% increase in efficiency without incurring any squatting, due to the large flat horizontal area already designed in the stern or props aeration… This issue interests me, as I’m about to lengthen a 40′ semi-displacement hull – channel pilot type boat used as a slow commercial vessel – whose 10′ wide transom has a 2′ deep immersion fully loaded that causes a lot of drag. I estimate that sweeping the buttock lines up to the loaded waterline by increasing the overall length by some 4.5′ would increase efficiency by some 20 to 25% at 7 knots cruising speed…

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 7th, 2013 at 8:12 am
Buttocks lines, immersed transoms, and sectional area curves are all highly complex issues with many tradeoffs, and are very much related to speed length ratios, displacement length ratios, as well as the sea state in which you want to max out efficiency. In the case of the FPB 78, she will operate at much higher SLRs and lower DLRs than most cruising sailboats, so some transom immersion is beneficial. The overall shape also helps with prop efficiency in turbulent flow (rough seas). If you look at various photos and video on SetSail you will see very flat, clean exits of the flow off our transoms.

Frank Goelo Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 1:06 am
John Deere “ideal” consumption curves are not very accurate: on average, one should add around 20% to the published consumption… These engines maximum torque is usually between 1400 and 1600 rpm where fuel consumption is optimum, but where the engine load is below 50% and there is no benefit from the turbo that usually kicks in around 1750 rpm. So the concept of over propping within reason to raise the engine load to around 65% makes good sense – if the manufacturer agrees that it won’t affect the warranty – but this still leaves the turbo issue unresolved, while engine load remains short of optimum… I have just replaced a 6076 300 hp John Deere – that had 22,500 hours and still worked perfectly well, using little oil – with the smaller 4045TFM75-M3 135hp electronically controlled, which saved around 20% fuel, as the engine works near idle 50% of the time when deep drop fishing. However, the electronics gave us a lot of problem and showed how vulnerable these engines can really be in commercial operations. Thankfully, John Deere is very helpful with warranty claims… If I were do it again, I would use a Tier 2 non-electronic and non-turbo engine from the Fiat/Iveco “New Engine Family”, the NEF 67, a 6.7 liter engine that puts out 135/150 hp for about $14,000.00 complete, including brackets, mounts and instrument panel. The same block with 4 valves per cylinder is also marinized and marketed by Beta Marine as a Tier 3 engine – still with no turbo or electronics, but substantially dearer… Higher maximum rpms are of no concern, since the engine will still be operated at around 1600 rpm at optimum torque and consumption and service appears available worldwide… I have no vested interests in any of these companies and just wanted to share the results of my research on a sticky subject…
ron Says:
June 9th, 2013 at 10:29 am
hi steve, could you give us some idea of the freeboard differences between the 64,78,83 and 97? love what you are doing with it(freeboard) one thing I never cared much for was the basement in the 64,yes it works very well but im a large guy and crawling around on my hands and knees looking for a can of beans didn’t appeal to me, the stores under the bunks is much better. ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 9th, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Hi Ron: We will get around to this at some point in the future. For right now, Wind Horse (FPB 83) and the FPB 64 share the same freeboard at the bow. The 97 is similar in scale, except she has more spring (rise) in her shear from the middle forward. The increased height forward in scale is because of the enormously greater longitudinal stability which means more wave piercing, and the fact that we can see over the higher shear when piloting in traffic from the Matrix deck.The 78 is very much its own design, and the extra freeboard allows a much larger interior. There are stability, motion, and aesthetic issues associated with this. We feel like we have solved the aesthetic, and that we will able to enjoy what we see while standing in the dinghy – otherwise, we’d not be going forward. Likewise with stability – much easier than the former as this is numeric. There will be slightly more motion in transverse sea states due to the longer distance from the roll axis. But we think overall comfort will be enhanced because we expect less motion when headed into the seas.

Holly Jennings Says:
June 22nd, 2013 at 9:16 pm
Hi Steve, What is the draft full(displacement)load? Also Windhorse has salt water ballast of 7,500 lbs(3,400 kg)in two cross-connected ballast tanks under the flying bridge seats. A third ballast tank is located in the bow. What is the capacity of the two tanks under the flying bridge seats and how often and under what conditions did you make use of them?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 23rd, 2013 at 2:59 pm
The displacement and definition of full load will vary with what you consider normal liquid volumes. We look at full as being 50,000kg, in which case the draft at present is 4.75′/1.475m. Although Wind Horse did have about 2.5 tons of ballast in her cockpit seats we used this only a few times at anchor, and never underway. We experimented with t he bow ballast tank, and could not find the advantage promised by our tank test results.
Torben DH Says:
July 2nd, 2013 at 3:48 pm
I’ve read your blog from end to end, and i must say it is most excellent! Had i that kind of money for boating a PFB of some sort is high on the list for wanted toys! But a couple of questions come to mind with this new design: #1 Have you considered pod drives? the numbers out there indicates that they should provide higher speeds and lower consumption. #2 Seems to me you could easily place another 6 or 8 solarpanels on top of the flybridge, so why did’nt you? #3 Have you seen the GT54 Trawler from Garcia, maiden voyage was 4800NM from Cannes to Fort Lauderdale 8kn / 3G/h, i know that its smaller and lighter than your designs but that is impressive numbers for a full displacment 54 ft/ 32 Tonne boat? By the way im head over heals with your new onboard workshop plans!! Incredible what you’ve managed to squese in while downsizing the overall boat size at the same time! Gretting from Denmark – TDH

Torben DH Reply:
July 2nd, 2013 at 4:26 pm
I see question #2 has been asked and answered elsewhere;-)

Torben DH Reply:
July 2nd, 2013 at 4:30 pm
And now i found your fuel chart again and see you burn exactly the same amount of fuel at 8knts so there goes question #3
david Says:
July 20th, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Steve, what a beautiful design. Looks great. Can’t wait to watch it come to life via your web site. It appears that you’ve modified the hull shape quite a bit from the original 83. Can you share the prismatic coefficient? I’m guessing 0.59 but would be curious to know. It appears that you’re trying to squeeze a bit more cruising speed out of a shorter dwl. thanks.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 21st, 2013 at 12:50 am
Hi David: We will share many things but the prismatic, block, sectional area curve, and related we will keep to ourselves. The LWL and displacement of the new FPB 78 are quite different than other FPBs, as they are in turn different from each other. There is no set hull shape. Each varies with the need of its mission. What is constant is the stability curve, steering and handling in boisterous or worse weather, and the goal of being the best there is for crossing oceans.
Roger Says:
October 5th, 2013 at 5:02 am
What is the current fuel capacity? I’ve seen 4500, 4570 (this page), 4600, 5200.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 5th, 2013 at 9:55 am
In the process of doing final working drawings the fuel capacity has changed slightly to improve drainage of any condensate which accumulates between the tank margin plates and hull plating. We have not yet had time to run a new fuel capacity reflecting these and a few other small changes, but it should be around 4800 US gallons/18,000 liters

David Reply:
October 5th, 2013 at 10:08 am
Steve—that’s an interesting subject regarding fuel tank construction. It sound like the outer wall of the tank is not the hull itself? There is a gap between the tank and the hull plating? I guess I always assumed the tanks were fully integral. And aluminum not stainless? I’m sure you’ve posted in this in years past—sorry if it’s repetitive.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 5th, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Tanks are integral as you have assumed, with the hull making the outer wall. The “margin plate” is a term of art referring to a narrow strip of aluminum betweeen tank top and hull plating. Unless the tank top intersects the hull at nearly right angles a closure (margin) plate makes for a more secure weld, and forms a gutter/sump in the process.

Ward Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 1:44 am
Don’t forget the CNC machine and the laser-sintering 3-D printer for making any spare parts you need! I think everyone who’s been reading the first batch of posts on the FPB-78 is hoping against hope that you’ll keep up the pace on posting… a new post almost every day has been heaven for the “wish we could afford it” crowd!

Kenny Dalgleish Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 3:01 am
Beautiful. The CAD and rendering skills of your team are almost as enviable as your boats! On tools I might be tempted to find a drill press that combines drilling with some rudimentary milling capabilities. And I’m wondering whether you carry any welding equipment.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 9:50 am
Great idea on the drill press/mill. If you know of a compact model or any of our SetSailors do, please advise. RE welding gear, we used to carry it, but never used it so we stopped.

Marcus Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 11:26 am
There are some great compact 3 in 1 combination machines out there (Drill, Mill, Lathe)

Raj A Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
There are a lot of metalworking mill/lathe combos that will work very well. For the occasional use like here Grizzly has many models that work. The issue is going to be keeping off rust. But I think that can be minimized with proper maintenance and constant renewal of spray on rust protection. –raj

Don Joyce Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 7:36 am
why the wood latch?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 9:49 am
Actually, Don, if we carry a small lathe it will be for metal. This was an available 3d model we just picked up off the Internet.

MichaelG Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 8:45 am
Great looking workshop! One thing, though. That lower step looks like a real shin buster. Will the steps fold up?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 9:48 am
Michael: These are concept sketches, designed to ferret out just such issues. Having tender shins ourselves we can assure these will be designed to minimize our damage as much as possible!

ron Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 9:53 am
hi steve, the play room goes off the top of my likes it scale!! …looks like the parts bins could be stacked 3 high and the work bench taken from door and down port side maybe with some deep shelves above…did trash and flammable storage lockers get removed or just not show? love it !! ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 10:16 am
Oops. Caught one there. The plan (first) view has the gas/garbage lockers turned off. Will correct (they are in the other views).

ron Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 10:51 am
hi steve, jet makes a number of drill mills…jdm-15 starts about 1700$… never used a mill this size …a selection of tools for it will cost about much as the mill 4

JohnA. Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 11:56 am
Steve, Check out the lathe/mill/drill press combos at: Years ago, some of us engineers on a merchant ship went in together and bought one for our shipboard machine shop. Of course, we already had access to full sized lathe, milling machine and drill press for the big stuff, but for small work that little machine was a god send (and fun to use). I remember very well boring and re-sizing a key way on a pump coupling that for some strange reason was supplied as spare part in an unfinished state.

Matt L Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 1:52 pm
Steve, what about adding shelves that are the inverse of the stairs from the swim platform to the deck. That way you would make maximum use of space and remove a head knocker. You would have to move the stairs descending from the swim step to the workroom to starboard a bit. It would also be a nice place for a grab handle when using the stairs. Its not a lot of steps but high enough to get hurt in a fall and the boat is likely to be very far from a convenient emergency room.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Hi Matt: We will be leaving a lip extension to make shelves possible, but I don’t want to lock ourselves into anything in particular. The entry door and scuttle location are determined by the dinghy beam, they interface on deck, and are as far over as they can go. We have 1.85m (six feet) of headroom under the upper stair, the riser of which is the outlet for the engine room exhaust fans, so I think we are good with clearance. The bins are shown as an example, but I actually expect most of them to end up under the sole and/or under the swim step deck, leaving the bulkhead open for critical items like slalom skies, wakeboards, oars, etc.

Matt L Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 6:06 pm
Steve, I understand that the stairs ascending from the swim step to the deck can’t move (for all the reasons you stated), but in looking at the renders (especially the first one) the steps descending from the swim step to the workroom are not in line. Those were the steps that would need to move if you were to enclose the ascending steps in shelves/drawers and add a hand rail. Moving the descending steps into the workroom puts them in front of the tool shelves. If all the tools shelves and equipment (lathes, drill press etc) were to port then you could come down the stairs with large objects without running into the tools shelves. Especially considering that you expect the bins to end up under the swim step.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 10th, 2013 at 6:27 pm
Door into the transom is positioned for bringing the engine/genset out should the need arise. Also, the scuttle over these stairs is what the dinghy side bumps up against, so the further to starboard these go, the narrower the dink.

Kent Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 1:56 pm
Grizzly sells many sizes of small mills and lathes.

Shannon Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 5:01 pm
Love the shop layout. I saw the talk of a combo mill lathe drill. There are lots of options on that. I had a cheap Harbor Freight set up & it was very serviceable. I used to race off-road & even that cheap unit allowed me to make bearing housings,shock bosses etc. Really anything that was fairly small that needed basic mill or lathe work was doable. I am not even a machinist in any way. I would highly recommend a mill/lathe combo. My cheap unit worked but for your use I would go with a higher quality unit. Once you have it you will find yourself using it for all kinds of stuff you never anticipated. Only drawback is they are fairly heavy but not excessive. I am very excited for you two.

Daryl L. Says:
June 10th, 2013 at 5:51 pm
I agree with the guys that encourage lathe mill combo machine. I would add a caution that what ever brand you get uses standard or at least readily available tools, keys ect. I have had an inexpensive unit that worked ok for occasional use but tools are everything when an odd project comes up and if you have to order the part from the other side of the world it can be a real hassle. My son has a cheap drill press from **** and lost the key during a move. Two years and still unable to replace.

Kenny Dalgleish Says:
June 11th, 2013 at 3:33 am
The Smithy three machine combos look quite good and weigh from about 400 to 900lbs. Not necessarily any heavier (or lighter)than separate machines but concentrated in one location. Separates would open up more choice and so may allow you to choose more lightly built machines and spread the weight without losing the capacity you need. But if you can cope with the weight the three way combo does look the neatest answer. You’d want to design the workshop space around such a machine so could be worth canvassing the views of the engineers at Circa. Some of them must run home shops and may be able to recommend similar machines that are available in NZ.

Kenny Dalgleish Says:
June 16th, 2013 at 3:26 pm
Really good reference site for all types of machine tool. And a fascinating read. I’ve learned that the British Admiralty set design standards for shipboard machine tools. Covering “resistance to shocks” amongst other things. That at least some machines were specially designed to meet those standards. And that the smallest naval workshops in which machine tools are routinely used are to be found in submarines. So maybe there exist machine tools specifically designed and approved for use in submarines. Could be a nice fit for your FPB. Tony Griffiths who owns the lathes site might be able to steer you towards something suitable. There’s not a lot he doesn’t know about his subject. His contact details are on his home page. Or you could check out WikiLeaks to see what the US Navy uses.

NicolasW Says:
June 29th, 2013 at 9:09 pm
A great tool to add to the current list is the RPM 3D printer/metal milling machine/ laser cutter/ 3D scanner by I saw at a show and it can do the high temp ABS and nylon stuff because its all metal. It should hopefully last through waves/storms too because of that but it should probably be tested for that first. Another thing is that you should provide a e-library that has the files for all the boat parts that could be done in plastics and killed out of metal. When I talked to the owner he said they might give an option for a 4th axis (unsure if that’s on the website). Good luck with the shop design I think it’s a great idea!

Ward Says:
July 30th, 2013 at 12:46 am
I know it’s not a fair comparison, but since there’s a blog in progress on the first Nordhavn 120 making a passage from Hong Kong to Vancouver (where I am), I’m finding it fascinating to compare their fuel stats with yours. The blog is at and there’s a post on July 27th with some of their stats: “I have purposely started out a little slow – about 8 knots where we are getting about 1/2 mile per gallon. This does not include generator consumption which appears to be about 75 gallons per day.” and “So at this stage I’m planning a consumption of about 459 gallons per day. The fuel aboard at departure appears to be about 16,500 gallons. We estimate we can run about 36 days at this speed of 192 miles per day – or 6,900 nautical miles which gives us and anticipate reserve of about 15%.” So if they do 8 knots, they can just make it across the Pacific, vs. you going around the world on ~1/3 as much fuel. Wow!

iambill Reply:
July 30th, 2013 at 3:56 pm
While there is no question that the Dashew boats are far more efficient, first, you’ve got an error in your analysis. Steve said they’d need one fuel stop to circumnavigate, or on the order of 8,000-10,000 USG. And some further modifications to improve efficiency would be required in order to make this target. Nordhavn 120 will use on the order of 15,000 gallons to cross the Pacific. A difference of 1.5 to 2x more, not the 3x as you mention. Further, you’re really comparing apples to oranges. They are very different yachts, designed for very different purposes. Dashew’s 78 is, fully loaded, a 110,000lb displacement yacht. N120 is 850,000lbs.

david Reply:
July 31st, 2013 at 10:20 am
I’m not defending Nordhavns here (otherwise I wouldn’t be on this great site!), but that boat (ship) is almost 900,000 lbs according to their web site. Not a fair comparison. A 50% increase in length is not equal to a 50% increase in volume, even in the same shape. The fair way to compare various designs is to measure the amount of fuel used to move a ton (or pound) a given distance. Even then the boats have to at least be in the same ball park size to be meaningful. But, you could expect the Nordhavn to use 8x the fuel since is appears to be 8x bigger. But your point is well taken none the less. That is one heck of a carbon footprint!

EDCJ Reply:
July 31st, 2013 at 11:56 am
While I certainly understand the points of the gentlemen above, the real measure I’d be interested in (and what may make the most sense to a potential buyer) is fuel efficiency per unit of usable interior living space (be that volume, deck square footage, or whatever measure you wanted to use) Even then it’s worth considering what you want to do with the vessel. Steve has hinted at a few destinations, and I can’t help but wonder if the Drake Passage is on his list of things to do. Don’t know that I’d want to do that in a Nordhavn. If it was a FPB, well, I wouldn’t mind the glass panes in the Great Room being a little thicker.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 31st, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Window panes are 19mm, several times the stiffness required by Lloyd’s Special Service Rule and/or MVA code 0.

CJ Reply:
July 31st, 2013 at 3:03 pm
No doubt you’ve done the math, but it would sure pop into my mind every time a large wall of water came over the bow and hit the front windows. In addition to looking cool I’m sure the angle of the windows plays a role as well. In any event, my earlier statement should be read assuming a little tongue in cheek on my part.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 31st, 2013 at 3:20 pm
Surprisingly, we have rarely had much water on deck, and only once in 60,000NM (+/-) have did we see significant solid water forward. The load that concerns us most is dropping off a wave into its trough and loading the side windows (which we think is a much higher load than the forward windows are ever likely to see.
Steve Dunbar Says:
August 9th, 2013 at 3:46 am
Thanks again, very informative as always. Regarding window loading, the experiences of the New Caledonia and Bremen are instructive. Green water penetrating the bridge 60 feet above the water line after a plunge into a trough is a sobering thought. Good engineering with a capacity to absorb the worst case is what attracts me Steve’s work on the FPB series.

John O Says:
September 13th, 2013 at 9:37 am
In a couple renderings you have a green beam apparently protruding form the aft workshop hatch. Is this s rendering error or perhaps a removable support for an overhead crane of some sort (for engine removal maybe?) All in all a wonderful design. Lots and lots of good things here. Now all I need to do is figure out how to get the cash to afford one. I see that you cite the first 2 being built. I know the first one is yours, have you already gotten an order for numebr 2? One last question. If I understand it correctly the matrix deck is designed to be not watertight (that is in a capsize event it will self drain upon righting). How much does the water load in the matrix deck (as I assume in a capsize event it would start filling pretty quickly) affect the self righting of the boat?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 6:20 pm
We have looked at a variety of ways of getting gear out of the engine room. The extended beam is one, now superceded with a better idea. The second FPB 78 is indeed under contract. The aft end of the Matrix deck is open and will not hold water!

John O Reply:
September 25th, 2013 at 10:41 am
I just noticed that the rendering looking at the aft 8 solar panels shows a glass wall at the end of the matrix deck (reflection of the solar panels) That must be where I got the closed impression. So in reality there is no window on the aft end of the matrix deck? Makes it very easy to hose down the panels. Pretty cool What’s the length of the matrix deck again? As always I’m planning what to do when I win the lottery. I’ve been looking at a Hoby Tandem island sailing kayak. It’s 18 feet with a mast that would need to be stored somewhere. Perhaps crosswise directly behind the matrix deck bulkhead. (it’s weight is minimal) I think it’s be so cool to sail around a logoon of some tropical atoll!

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 25th, 2013 at 11:33 am
The back wall of the Matrix deck will be made from Everclear plastoc windows. Center is fixed, outer edges, which are easy to reach, are opening. The dinghy shown on the starboard side is about 16 feet bow to outboard. The big kayak could be hung under the solar array in which case you add another five feet to available length. Better yet would be a rack on the port side landing of the Matrix deck.
Kevin C Says:
September 13th, 2013 at 10:10 am
Any concern of the possibility of a beverage spill where the breakers are located?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 6:18 pm
Spills with electronics and breaker panels are always a concern. In this case we have a clear glass top which is angled, has a drip seal attached underneath to the top, and another seal on the breaker panel frame, so risks are minimal and acceptable to us in return for the much easier use and visibility.
Raj Narayan Says:
September 13th, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Attention to detail is astonishing. I love the additional panels. I can see generator usage going down to insignificant. Are you looking to down size the generator? Are the first 2 78′s skipping the Day Head? –raj

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 6:16 pm
The genset is a backup for the solar array, and most of the time should be idle. Much more on this subject to come. First two FPB 78s have a day head in the work shop area off the swim step. The area near the entry to great room is a wet locker.
Matt L Says:
September 16th, 2013 at 2:31 pm
Steve, it looks like the door at the transom to the work shop is now “in-line” with the engine room door where it was not before. That should make it much easier to get large heavy objects in to the engine room from the work shop. While I am still troubled by the visual change to the transom it now looks like you could use to same hoist for the dingy to drop things “almost” straight into the workshops angled door (the one on deck being covered). Very nice. I have more questions but I would like to see other posts first…

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 9:35 pm
Hi Matt: It is likely to be some time before we get time to do another update. Always happy to answer your questions so ask away.

Matt L Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 10:07 pm
By posts I meant other questions and responses and some have already been answered. That being said I still have a few… Are you concerned that the angled workshop door leaves the opportunity for a rather nasty fall into the transom area? Being from south Louisiana I have to ask the most important question of all, where is the grill? I think this has already been answered but keep coming back to it, why not solar panels on the roof of the Matrix deck? When I saw the post last Friday morning for the brief time it was up I was shocked at first. I thought that you had finally gone to far from the utilitarian angle and the boat I had once thought was beautiful was now an ugly duckling. The boat looks fine from the water level shots although the “helicopter shots” are very unflattering to my eye. I still think it might be too far in the utilitarian direction but I have to admit it’s starting to grow on me. The 97 is a beautiful thing. Are you concerned that the 78 won’t have that same aesthetic quality to it?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 12:53 am
The Workshop door has a safety rail on deck to protect it. The barbecue will be mounted probably on the aforementioned railing. Now as to aesthetics, the only angle that counts is what you see from the dinghy. Any high views you are kidding yourself, unless you carry a chopper in which case a higher view may be realistic. Solar panels aft as shown are much easier to clean, have a lower VCG, and provide a valuable shade function. If they are roof mounted, then they have a higher VCG, are much harder to keep clean, and if you have a soft roof, make removal of the fabric for long term storage impractical. We are not bothered by the lower panel aesthetic, and in fact prefer it to seeing these panels higher where they will show up more than the lower panels. In our eyes the FPB 78 and 97 are two entirely difference designs, and cannot be directly compared. If you want to have a full lower deck, great room, and Matrix deck, each with headroom, the longer boat is always going to be sleeker. There is no way around this. So from the beginning we worked to give the 78 its own personality and sleek, in the context of Wind Horse or the FPB 97, is not part of the look. On the other hand, there are a number of design elements in the 78 that will give it a more aggressive, don’t mess with me, aesthetic. We quite like it ourselves (if not we would not be cutting metal on it!).

Matt L Reply:
September 16th, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Steve, you mentioned in a post on the 97 that you were going to have an flexible aluminum “roll away partition” to secure the Matrix Deck. Will you have the same thing on the 78? Also could you use an flexible aluminum “roll away partition” to cover the angled door to the transom? This could prevent falls when extended and when it was rolled up would give a visual and tactile clue in the dark as to where the edge of the deck was. You could have the roll away partition make the 90 degree turn and end up covering the entire angled door if you want. Just a thought.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 12:42 am
Right now we are trying to keep things as simple as possible (simple being a relative term). So no roll door to secure the Matrix deck. The aft deck in the area of the angled door from the swim step into the workshop will be protected by a handrail.There is also an edge to the deck under the rail to give you a sense of the edge.
Matt L Says:
September 16th, 2013 at 11:45 pm
As for the large deck hatch into the workroom, its great that its big for getting large objects into the workroom. But won’t that make it heavy? Why not split the hatch in half or even 1/3 and 2/3. That way when you have your hourly engine room check you don’t have to open the whole thing to get a person down to the workroom.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 12:38 am
Hatch weight will be offet with gas shocks, Matt. And we need the length for a stairway/ladder that is not too vertical.
John Rushworth Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 3:57 am
Ref Solar. Have you looked at 24V panels with 80 cells and say a Victron MPPT solar charger? I understand the higher number of cells combined with the MPPT charger will ensure the voltage remains high enough and will help any shading. Do you run 24 Volt or 12?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 11:01 pm
We are using high voltage cells now. Too early to decide on the MPPT controllers. We will wait on both solar panels and controllers until the last to take advantage of the ongoing development in this field.

John Rushworth Reply:
September 18th, 2013 at 12:37 am
That certainly makes sense with the changing market. I also note Victron has a nice new remote monitoring product and web portal, which I hope to integrate into my own small solar/electric propulsion project.
Shannon Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 9:17 am
It’s looking great. Have you considered installing two more solar panels on the sun shade over the dinghy? Make them on a hinge so they can swing around & lock in place underneath the shade when you need that area open to launch or retrieve the dinghy or swing around & lock into place to give additional shade & a bit more power. Like a table extension. Maybe that would be a problem with wiring or just to much hassle. I have no idea how much that would weigh either. They would need to be pretty light to make that practical. You mentioned the possibility of running air conditioning off of solar. Personally,I would put up with a notable hassle to be able to do that. I would even put panels on the Matrix deck roof but i am not sure how those could be washed safely & easily. Anyways,just a thought. It’s looking great. I love the images,it really helps to picture what it will look like.

Steve Dashew
September 17th, 2013 at 10:59 pm
The extra panel output is not worth the concomittant hassle of hinging, in our opinion. We think we are in pretty good shape, Shannon, with the fourteen we have now. But time will tell…
Matt L Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 10:31 am
Either these renders are better or I have overcome the shock of the changes…but whatever the case I am warming up to the new looks.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Glad to hear that Matt: If anything the renders are much less sophisticated than what we did before. They represent at the most 15 passes, where previous finished renders are more like 100 rendering passes. In a couple of months we will do proper renders – which will tell you we are done with everything else.
Pontus E. Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 10:58 am
The presentations cover in detail much of systems, comforts and practicalities. But I miss one side: and trash handling and related needs.Please enlighten us.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 10:53 pm
We will come back to dinghy handling at a later date. Trash can be stored aft or forward depending on need for flammable stores.
Alex Fontes Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 7:34 pm
Hi Steve – great update! I was particularly interested on your choice of anchor. Do you know already what will be the weight of the Manson Supreme on your 78′s bw? Cheers, Alex

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 17th, 2013 at 10:51 pm
We will be using a 350 pound Manson. Going up in size to match increased frontal windage.

Conrad Reply:
September 28th, 2013 at 7:07 pm
I’m interested in your anchor choice as well. Why did you switch from the previously highly touted Rocna to a Manson?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 28th, 2013 at 10:05 pm
We chose the Manson for several reasons. We think the shape may offer some benefits in heavy kelp, although we need several years of use before we know for sure if overall it is better. The longer, narrower shank has some benefits for us in some situations, and we think it will have a softer entry when slamming into big seas. Next, we prefer the slot welded shank (Rocna uses butt welds). This should be viewed in the context of the higher displacement and windage of the FPB 78 as compared to the FPB 64 and 83. Ground tackle will see higher loads and the stress on the anchor is going to be higher in scale than with the Rocnas used on the other boats.
Anthony V Says:
September 17th, 2013 at 11:45 pm
HI Steve, Looks like a couple of smart revisions here and there. What’s the story on the topside extensions to the swim step? They’re extended, and they’ve got holes in them. Any purpose to those? Grab handles? On a side note: on the main page there used to be a icon/link for “100 latest posts” which showed the latest posts for both articles and comments. It was handy to follow comments for new items you posted. Now it seems like we have to go into the post and scroll down to ‘find’ if there are new comments or replies. I always appreciate your replies to people’s questions, so I used this link all the time. Great update. Cheers, Anthony

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 18th, 2013 at 12:01 am
Topside extension slots are both hand holds for getting into/out of the dinghy, and for tying options.
A Hyde Says:
September 19th, 2013 at 11:21 am
From my standpoint, the revision of the master/forepeak crew cabin area makes the crew cabin much more usable and is no great loss to the master. Based on the earlier “Forepeak usage” post I understand moving the watertight bulkhead from #6 frame aft of the collision (#1 frame) bulkhead to #5 frame (just aft of bow thruster) and the new crew cabin taking the space between frames #7 and #5. The water tight door being mounted in the relocated water tight bulkhead at frame #5. I assume the wall at the #7 frame will be a 4″ sound deadening wall similar to the entrance to the master. My question is about cabin floor elevations. In a response to an earlier question, you had stated the 78 would have a basement similar to the 64. Can I assume the two floor elevations shown in the “Forepeak usage” post represents the “basement” , shown with pink framing, and the actual master cabin flooring elevation will match that shown for the crew cabin? Any details yet on the “hatbox” shown on the port mast?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 19th, 2013 at 3:49 pm
There is no basement in the FPB 78. The storage available under the three bunks in the sleeping cabins plus the storage in the work shop and/or under the swim step are equal to what we used on Wind Horse. Obviously there is additional storage in the FPB 78 which neither the 83 or 64 have. The raised sole in the owner’s suite annex is but one example of this.
A Hyde Says:
September 20th, 2013 at 7:52 am
If the owner’s suite annex (crew cabin) has a raised sole suitable for storage, does this mean when you open the door from the owner’s suite you have a giant step (stairs?) up into the annex? To access stuff stored there I would assume the space under the sole would need to be +/-30″ high unless the sole is a patchwork of access hatches. My question is based on comparing the elevations in the “forepeak” post and the renderings in this post. The rendering in this post showing the entrance from the owner’s suite appears to have no step up into the annex. The renderings showing the door from the annex to the forepeak seems to have the door frame at floor level from the forepeak and raised above floor level from the annex side. Not trying to nit pick, I know this is not the final drawing release. It is just that after many years in engineering, I have this need to see how all the pieces of a project fit together.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 20th, 2013 at 9:50 am
The sole level shown now in the forward cabin is one step – 250mm/10″ – up from the cabin sole in the rest of the lower deck. This will allow a large volume between tank tops and sole above for storage. The details of how this is executed are still to be decided.
Tom White Says:
September 24th, 2013 at 10:45 pm What a lot of fun and trailblazing you have had and done with all the FPBs, ratcheted up a notch with the 78. How did you ensure the stability calculations and underwater shapes would hold true or be improved upon utilizing findings from the 83 and 64s both underway and at anchor? I assume Circa is doing their excellent work still? Great group for sure.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 24th, 2013 at 11:10 pm
Hi Tom: Stability is a matter of weight detail and insuring the boat is built as designed. The stability curve, and how this reacts with the sea state, is a more difficult issue. We are operating in a chaotic environment, with so many factors affecting how the boat moves, that at the end of the day the designer has to fall back on real world experience and intuition, as well as numbers. We have done some CFD analysis of known entities, the FPB 64 and 83, and then compared this to CFD data for the 78. But CFD results need to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. Each design is slightly different, and the previous work, CFD, and tank work, gives us a pretty good basis to make our decisions.
A Hyde Says:
September 25th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
The incredible amount of information you provide in these posts gives me a much better understanding of the over all design and livability of the FPB series than I have gotten from visiting competitors’ websites, reviewing their drawings and specs, and actually visiting shows and touring models. But then, providing lots of information leads to lots of questions as I look at how I would use a 78 — “What we have not yet settled on is the large galley appliance storage. These may end up in a locker on top of the fridges, or just sitting on the counter.” Based on the renderings, the great room glass is mounted to the outside edge of the framing members. That leaves an open space behind the aft countertops and the vertical rear window glass for the appliances to slide or tip into unless you add a raised edge to the rear of the countertop. Installing countertop lockers similar to those along the port side cabinets and over to the sink area that are tall enough to house appliances would appear to block the view aft that the added windows provided. The window sills along the sides of the great room appear to be about 12″ wide and with the windows sloping outward toward the top, gives a lot of space behind the port side cabinets with lockers on top of the cabinets. Is this useful space? Anything placed there is not easy to access and is clearly visible from the exterior. This appears to be a deep, wide space requiring you to climb onto the counters for access to clean this area. On Wind Horse and the 64′s with vertical glass this space would not have been as large but did you, or the current FPB-64 owners, have a use for this space?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 25th, 2013 at 7:28 pm
You’ve got a good eye! The coaming top between lockers and windows is about 175/200mm (7″ to 8″) depending on locker details, and is under consideration. In the end this comes down to how many appliances, size, frequency of use, and aesthetics however that is interpreted. We won’t get into this in detail for another few months.
Laurin Says:
September 27th, 2013 at 3:42 pm
When looking at your fuel storage have you considered using some of your tankage space for dinghy fuel and having an hose and nozzle instead of all the fuel cans. I would still keep a few cans in the event of pump failure but it would save a lot of space. Maybe a water hose reel for wash off would be handy too.

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 28th, 2013 at 12:08 am
Many years ago we thought about built in gasoline storage tanks. But the dangerous nature of this cargo left us thinking we’d rather have it in separate containers in a gasoline locker.
David Says:
October 1st, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Have you given up the row boat? I’ve always liked the Whitehall row boats like the one you had on Wind Horse.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 1st, 2013 at 10:36 pm
We have not had time to think about the second dinghy, except to have space available for several options. The RIB we have shown to port is a worst case scenario spacewise. The rowing dink, although longer, is easier to stow due to its narrower beam.
Bede Says:
October 6th, 2013 at 8:33 am
instead of solar on the rear, what about fitting panels to the roof of the bridge, sure it might lift your cog a touch, but it wont suffer from shading, it will also keep the area free for swinging loads like a tender. Looking at some of the newer super yacht designs, they have there garage doors open from the sides at times, if carrying alot of shopping or stores is awkward, perhaps a large opening door with gas struts above the water line will allow you to load and unload into the maintenance area under cover. with an extend able gantry crane system, it may allow you to lift and store pwc’s or remove out boards into the maintenance area for storage or maintenance.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 6th, 2013 at 2:13 pm
There are lots of tradeoffs in this decision. However, one issue that is not involved is handling the dinghies as they are clear of the solar panels. The call is close. But as we want the shade and rain protection anyway on the aft deck this makes the most sense.
Bill Stockton Says:
October 7th, 2013 at 12:33 pm
It appears that the aqua lift configuration is different with the 78. What are your thoughts about the aqua muffler being above the salt water injection point.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 8th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
We are in the process of detailed engineering on the exhaust system at present and will come back in a few weeks with a detailed answer on this subject. What you should know for now is that the bottom of the aqualift is well above the load waterline, and there is a drain built in to prevent back flooding.
Michael Seng Says:
October 8th, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Steve, Following on A Hyde’s observation of the “glazing gap”: In the galley consider “pop-up” storage cabinets for shallow items such as spice containers (first thing that came to mind). This may move into the area of more complicated than necessary but, the lack of overhead storage may allow these types of small items to be nearby when required. Other uses would be for smaller things that would normally be required to be stored in drawers (office supplies for when in port etc.). I would think that if this are is used for any kind of storage that the inside of the window gets “blacked-out” with a paint/coating that will blend with the outer aluminum structures post oxidation (then protected on the inside from anything that can scratch through) to keep this area from detracting from the outside…anything that can slip down between them will find a way to do so. Interior planter boxes! As always, thank you for your patience with our comments and allowing us to tag along in the process!

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 10th, 2013 at 12:28 am
The window gap outboard of the galley has many potential uses. One option is electric appliances. Another is an herb garden. But what we like best right now is just space. And imagine this with a low density strip light at night.
quoc Says:
October 13th, 2013 at 6:40 pm
Steve, In the Artic, how do you keep the fresh water tank from freezing up. This problem is quite common for yachts that ventured down to Antartica. Same with the engine room at anchor unless you are running the genset?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 13th, 2013 at 9:48 pm
Depends on where you go and the time of year. We have not had a problem with this in Greenland or Svalbard, up to 80N, but it can be a problem if you are agressive with your date range. The easiest thing to do would be to switch the engine raw water cooling to a fresh water tank for the cold period. And/or the genset. An auxiliary salt water pump would be required for the exhausts. If you plan on sitting and don’t plan on running the diesels, then an auxiliary tank somewhere aboard above freezing will be required.

Scotto Says:
October 11th, 2013 at 1:55 am
When can I move in? Beautiful, well worth the long wait.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 11th, 2013 at 8:41 am
We should be finished with sea trials about September of 2015, and we are counting the days!
Martin Says:
October 11th, 2013 at 4:56 am
What’s the white outline next to the galley sinks?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 11th, 2013 at 8:43 am
The white outline in the galley counter is a trash receptacle lid which is not rendering correctly.
Patrick Says:
October 11th, 2013 at 7:11 pm
Beautiful and functional as always. I am curious if you have given any consideration to a method of securing the Ekornes chairs to the deck. Those could cause some damage in the wrong seas.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 12th, 2013 at 10:40 am
Securing the Ekornes has not caused any stress. Lots of options, but first we have to settle on a final layout for the settee. Although this looks very cool, we are still not 100% comfortable with the arrangement. More coming on this front soon.
Kent Says:
October 11th, 2013 at 11:09 pm
Have you considered low-e glass? I have used it in special rooms that have nothing but glass exterior walls. It really does cut down the heat load.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 12th, 2013 at 10:41 am
Low e-glass will definitly be in the build sequence. We will have a post down the road on the subject of glazin, which is one of the more complex in a build cycle like this.
Brian Rickard Says:
October 12th, 2013 at 5:22 am
Having the shades draw from the bottom up (or bi-directionally) would seem to me to work better for both privacy and shading, while still allowing a view out.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 12th, 2013 at 10:47 am
Howdy Brian: The goal is maximum view, minimum cave feeling, while reducing heat load as much as possible. Permanent lines for the shades are not allowed. We have lots of space at the top, the structural system having been specifically designed for a larger headrail and stacking height of the window covering system, if extra space is required. At present we are looking at triple cell window coverings for maximum insulation value, with a reflective barrier. We have not researched this extensively yet, but understand there are top down/bottom up systems available. More to follow.

Anthony Reply:
October 14th, 2013 at 7:33 pm
I was thinking the same thing. From the bottom up should give you good sun coverage to a point where they most likely only have to be 2/3 up before the upper deck eve takes over. That would still let large amounts of light in, and maintain a view while standing. But they’d be too high when seated I’m say. How about tinted film? Like buses or RV’s have? IE: not affixed to the glass. I’ve seen this in houses too… however it is a mixed bag for aesthetics. Sometimes film crinkles or dents if it’s pinched or not wound properly.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 15th, 2013 at 1:14 am
The windows will have a low e-coating within their lamination in addition to which we typically use a non-metallic film. The amount of tint is a function of where the boat will mainly cruise. High latitudes, little or no tint. Tropics, means lots of tint. We prefer film to having a tinted glass, as the latter is forever, while with film you have the option of changing your mind.

Greg Reply:
October 16th, 2013 at 11:44 am
Have you considered, or do you have experience with electrochromic system such as Diamond Glass’s DiamondSmart product? I understand that there are production yachts using the system and it has been well received and effective.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 17th, 2013 at 12:07 am
No experience with the very exciting concept of electronic dimming control of the glass. We have talked with our vendors about this and feel it is too early in the development cycle for our type of cruising. Maybe a few years from now.
Robert Says:
October 12th, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Hello Steve! Interesting design evolution. Is FPB78-2 going to be similar to FPB78-1? If not, can the differences be shared? I think all of the audience following the FPB78 design evolution have their own take on the design. Myself, for example, would like to see more storage by doubling the height of the “L” shape, low-hung cabinet surrounding the galley. A day head opposite the galley would also be in my mods list, as would moving the additional solar panels to the top of the flybridge and extending the deck behind for living space. I would also have the stern door returned to vertical through the used of a “hood”. Anyway, are the first FPB78s going to be built concurrently or in sequence? Congratulations, every time I glance at the FPB78 the more I like it. Robert

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 13th, 2013 at 12:39 am
At this point the first two FPB 78s are similar in all but the electronics package and safety gear. The latter is being built to MCA code 0 unlimited category, under survey, so there is a bit more safety gear. Otherwise, the boats are sisterships. The issue of storage vs visual openness is not easily solved. The countertop lockers shown for the FPB 78 actually penetrate down into the furniture structure, so they are about 60% taller than what appears to be the case in these renderings. We have considered a day head, in fact just outside the door all the way outboard to starboard. Our thinking is that it is not that often we actually would use a day head in lieu of the rail, an interior head, or the head in the workshop aft. We are at the limit of possible solar panels aft while retaining the ability to launch and retrieve two dinghies. Having solar panels on the Matrix deck roof is a hit on weight and VCG we are not willing to absorb, now. Maybe later. The angled stern door now shown is easier to use and the removal of the scuttle or “hood” allows a wider variety of dinghies to be carried in the space to starboard. Finally, metal work on FPB 78-2 will begin when the metalwork on FPB 78-1 is well along.
Michael Seng Says:
October 13th, 2013 at 5:50 am
Steve, At sea: “…for the vertically challenged” and that half height clothes hamper – will there be hand-hold available? It looks like there would be a point in transition from climbing to reaching that would be unsupported. There are seams in the ceiling there – would overhead rails be slipped in? Maybe it is just the lack of human in the rendering. Although a tremendous amount of work it must be very satisfying to see this progress! …it certainly is fascinating for me – Thanks!

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 13th, 2013 at 9:19 am
Yes, handholds of course. These are yet to be detailed in the lower deck.
Ben Hines Says:
November 16th, 2013 at 10:05 am
Hi Linda and Skip, I see you having great fun and work. Envy your Cats as Heels are sore this year. Consider continuing your “security” windows and add privacy/climate windows in the interior by way of Smart Glass. No need for blinds, etc. I have retinted with a fairly new ,by 2-3 years, product that contains metal to mirror, on the exterior, and reject TWICE (85-88%) as much heat -the only way to reject heat as tinting alone caps out at 40-48%. New product lessens the interior mirror effect of old (reducing shock and MI rates!). Will give you personal feedback later with HVAC loads when South. Will call soon , Ben

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 17th, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Howdy Ben: If the Cats get a couple of wins this week we are supposed to play Duje in Madison Square Garden next week. Then we shall see if we are as good as the hype. Looking forward to your feedback on the Wind orse air con after changing the window film and adding the extra insulaton foam. Re “smart” glass, we do not feel it has been on the market long enough to give it a whirl. Maybe five or ten years from now. Steve
RobS Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 2:34 am
I vaguely remember it was addressed somewhere but what is your reasoning for so fervently avoiding solar on the matrix deck roof? it will spend significantly less time shaded then the rear awning array and is such a broad flat area which can be covered in solar with zero visual impact.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 26th, 2013 at 7:16 am
Everything is a tradeoff, and we have used the roof on the FPB 97. In this case, with a Stamoid fabric roof and the probability of periods of storage, we want to make it easy to remove and replace the roof. Other factors are ease of maintenance and impact on VCG, although these are of lesser import in our decision.

RobS Reply:
October 26th, 2013 at 10:31 pm
Perhaps lightweight flexible solar panels with eyelets or zips allowing them to be fixed to the stamoid could be an option?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:21 am
Interesting concept in that these folks appear to use the SunPower cells in a flexible configuration. Does anyone have real world experience with these and their longevtiy?

RobS Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 3:42 am
Not sure, perhaps you could offer to do some extreme environment durability testing for them in return for a good rate on the panels, not to mention the marketing exposure that any product on your boats get. If they fail completely you’re no worse off then never having them in the first place.
Brian Rickard Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 5:37 am
Steve, I’ve recently been thinking about your new breaker panel arrangement, and was reminded of a minor problem we had aboard FPB 64-02 during night watches. On more than one occasion we were temporarily fooled into thinking we saw the light of a vessel in the distance, only to later realise that it was a reflection in the window of a red or green LED on the breaker panel. The panel’s clear doors were later replaced with darkened ones to help minimise this issue. This may be something for you to keep in mind.

Philip Reply:
October 28th, 2013 at 3:53 am
Hi, any horizontal surfaces I have on my boat do get used to put things on them. So would, I guess, also the switchpanes. Why not cover it with a sliding clover (some kind of roller), maybe transparent but dimmed? Any malfunctions should be displayed on the ships monitor anyway?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 28th, 2013 at 5:58 am
Currently the switchboard does have a clear cover with edge seals.
Scotto Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 1:50 pm
I love the new compromise of the aft deck veranda, and solar panels, The interior design is awesome, I love those stress less chairs. However, I believe it is more appropriate to have the helm, watch keeping position on the stbd side. Rules of the road, indicitavely, is to give way to vessels in the arc of our stbd light, there for I prefer to be located on that side. Remembering of course, the responsibility to maintain an all round lookout. Maybe it’s just the waterways I operate in that dictated my pattern of thought…?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:34 am
We did consider flipping the entire layout, with the entry door to port, so the helm could be to starboard. However, we have excellent visibility forward, and do not think we have any issues with blind spots looking to starboard. Also, it is our habit at sea to have a look around from aft and/or outside every fifteen minutes or so.
Don Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 5:28 pm
These seemingly minor changes are extraordinary on several levels. First, the change to the exterior makes the boat MUCH better looking. You have now found a great balance between form and function. Second, the great room layout is now far more functional, flexible and attractive. It absolutely announces that you have arrived on a Dashew designed vessel, which brings a smile to anyone. Third, and perhaps most importantly, great design of such complex machines requires the input and collaboration of numerous talented individuals. When the nature of the lead designer is to accept, evaluate, and perhaps embrace the input of other respected folks, the results can be dramatically improved. That is exactly what has happened in this case. Well done, Steve. Looking forward to seeing the next set of updates.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:30 am
Thanks for the kind comments, Don: We will admit to being hard headed at times, but then so are other members of the team and they are not shy about expressing their opinions.

Matt L Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Steve, those panels with the covered rear deck were the only time you lost me from a design standpoint. Now, it looks great!!!

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Thanks Matt: Would love the output, but could not stomach the look.
Roy Rhinehart Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 6:33 pm
I’ve enjoyed your Web site since Wind Horse was only a skeleton at the shipyard, keep up the good work. Gotta ask this question, it was briefly discussed when you built Wind Horse. Did you revisit going with diesel electric for your propulsion?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:28 am
We know of no diesel electric system that offers the reliability we require. Also, given our domestic electric loads are modest, there is not much synergism to be had from have a single source for the domestic power and propulsion.
A Hyde Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 7:06 pm
To me the revised salon seems a better design for a cruising couple, probably why you have used similar designs these many years. I really like incorporation of the two Ekornes chairs. In an earlier post there was mention that the former layout allowed access to the front port corner of the kitchen cabinet for maintenance of some type. Is this equipment being shifted to another location? Can you possibly mount this equipment in the seating base? I really like the change to the solar panel layout over the rear deck. I would still like to see a head in this rear deck area, maybe adjacent to a smaller hanging locker? From the Matrix deck down two levels is a long way to the head.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:26 am
Access to storage under the galley, and the sink connections, is through the back of the settee. We both feel a head is not warranted on deck. However, one could be placed where the exterior locker now resides on the starboard side adjacent to the door.
Roger Says:
October 26th, 2013 at 10:17 pm
If you’re putting the full piloting position on the Matrix deck, is it fully heated and air conditioned? Is that the place you want to be in really nasty weather where you have the potential for knockdown? To come down to the main for reduced motion you would have to give up electronic capability.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 27th, 2013 at 1:24 am
In heavy going we will be in the great room–because of motion if nothing else, unless we are on soundings. And hopefully we have not been so intemperate as to be caught close to shore in these conditions. The great room con has full capability, just fewer monitors. Only the sonar control is missing, and this is only used when piloting.
Evan Thompson Says:
October 27th, 2013 at 10:39 am
Steve and Team, I just noticed a clever detail in this set of renderings that I hadn’t noticed before. The “control arms” mounted to traveler cars/tracks to control the inboard/outboard position of the booms (and would eliminate the requirement for fore and aft boom guys) look really slick. As an ex-Harken engineer I appreciate many of your team’s engineering details but this one hits especially close to home for me. Can’t wait to see how the new boat comes out – good luck.
Patrick Lasswell Says:
October 27th, 2013 at 11:31 pm
My experience with Ekornes chairs is to ensure a source of spares for the connectors and moving parts. Wear loosens the connections and the excellence of the design sometimes masks the failures. The chairs can be repaired, but missing screws can make the chairs inoperable. It would stink beyond the telling of it to lose a screw early in the cruise and not be able to repair the damage properly for weeks.
Scott Evangelista Says:
October 29th, 2013 at 7:26 am
Steve, Very very nice. The changes are great. I was wondering if you are at all concerned about falling on one of the grab rails on the table our counter top. While they look elegant, if you have the misfortune to be bounced unceremoniously onto the edge of one of those, it might cause a nasty injury. So as beautiful as they are, might you consider terminated those ends differently? Always look forward to the updates. Best Scott

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 29th, 2013 at 9:58 am
Hi Scott: When we do the final detailing of rails the ends will either end away from corners or be radiused. Still fussing with these details…
David Says:
October 29th, 2013 at 7:36 pm
Steve, I love the changes—I’m sure you’re excited to get construction underway. I do have one question regarding the FPB designs. As an naval officer and experienced offshore racing yacht skipper I was always taught to keep the bridge dark (and preserve your night vision). We always went so far as to use red lights and never turned white lights. The FPB designs incorporate the “bridge” into the great room. Does this ever cause a problem for the off-watch crew v. on-watch crew with regards to lights, cooking, and other distractions? Or, in a boat designed for a couple does this not present a problem? Also, have you ever desired a side door to the pilot house so you could step out on the bridge wing and sight a buoy or get a good view of a passing vessel? Presumable, the new “matrix” deck will alleviate some of these issues. Finally, any thoughts to an indoor staircase to the matrix deck? You certainly have the room. Thanks in advance for the reply.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 30th, 2013 at 10:30 am
Hi David: This question comes up a lot. On soundings, in piloting mode, the entire great room is kept dark. Offshore, we have found that low lighting in the galley, well behind the helm, is not a problem. On the new FPB 78, with the enclosed Matrix deck, watchkeeping will be segregated from the great room when required. Side doors present a structural discontinuity and are inappropriate for our type of service. Finally, if the aft end of the “porch” is enclosed, you then have access to the upper deck which is totally out of the weather.
Scott Johnson Says:
October 30th, 2013 at 12:28 am
Steve, I am a big fan of the new new aft deck layout and solar panels. I would also like to see a BBQ grill added to or replacing the forward facing seat. The only design element I do not like is the lack of windows for the lower deck. What led you to eliminate windows? I would like to see windows even if they did not open to provide natural light below deck. Is that a second radar on the port side of the radar arch or something else? Would it be easier to use a single hydraulic or electric crane to launch the dingy?

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 30th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Windows can be added betweenn frames, at cost of course. In our own experience the hull windows end up covered 95% of the time, so we have eliminated them from the standard boat.There are many options for where the BBQ can go.The port side top has what would today be a 4GBB radar.
Sigmund Krøvel-Velle Says:
November 30th, 2013 at 11:54 am
When using the solar cells for electricity, and diesel for propulsion only, what is the range of the FPB 78? And for how long can she operate without new supplies and fuel? Somewhere you wrote that Wind Horse could buzz off to a south pacific island and wait it out for a year or something like that, without resupplying or refueling, in the case of a global crisis of some sort, assuming you brought a fishing rod. I can’t find back to this entry, but how is this for the FPB 78?

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 30th, 2013 at 5:52 pm
Good question, Sigmund: Being self sufficient at anchor is no problem with the FPB solar array (now ten 340 watt cells!). As to range, this depends on speed. If you slow down to ten knots, there is a nominal 8000NM range. See for more details.

Matt L Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 12:26 am
…sleeplessness rewarded!

Scotto Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 9:30 am
Want one!

Gene LeBeau Says:
May 31st, 2013 at 2:40 pm
If I look at the underwater renderings correctly, this appears to be a totally new hull design. Perhaps optimized for more speed. Chines in particular look different from your other designs or am I wrong?

Steve Dashew Reply:
May 31st, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Hi Gene: The hull shape is a combination of Wind Horse, the 64sm and the 97, but in the end, a very specific mix. It has higher speed potential than the 64.

James Masters Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 5:42 am
Is that an edge where the lower-hull joins the body? Is that for speed, stability, or both? Also, it appears the prop-skegs and rudders are shallower, and the rudders longer than deep — is that so, or a visual-illusion of the rendering? What will the draft and range be?

James Masters Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 5:49 am
What’s that-”box” behind the Entry-door? Will there be a day-head on the Matrix Deck?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:42 am
To starboard of the entry door, adjacent the bulkhead, is a large locker for safety gear, abandon ship bags, coats, and shoes. The engine room air intake is just aft of this.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 9:43 am
Draft is four and a half feet. The edge is a slight chine, and it has a definite purpose. Skegs are deeper than the rudders by a touch.

Matt L Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 12:37 pm
How well would a 12.5 foot auxiliary tender fit on the back of the 78 along with the Circa tender. Say something like this ?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 12:56 pm
Matt: There is room for up to a 11.5 foot AB inflatable aluminum bottom RIB. We used one of these on Beowulf with a 30HP motor, and it was a great dinghy. As a go to the beach machine, we’d probably go with the 10.5 foot model and 15HP engine – sufficient to get us up on a plane and moving along smartly, yet light enough to drag up the beach ourselves.

Matt L Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 3:34 pm
So the Circa Dingy in the renders is how long?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 4:48 pm
The pram dink is 4.7m plus the outboards at present. The aft edges of the outboard cavitation plates are even with the end of the swim step, but inside the swim step belting so that we can press the boat against pilings or a dock, and not worry about dinging the lower leg of the outboard.

Steve Dashew Says:
September 29th, 2013 at 7:22 pm
The roll stabilization we require is different than on a sailboat. In our case, we need fins that vary their angle of attack very quickly, so we are stuck with active stabilizers.

Mike W Says:
November 18th, 2013 at 9:11 am
Could any of these designs be produced with pod drives?

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 18th, 2013 at 10:58 am
Pod drives are not robust enough for our service.

Rick White Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 5:55 pm
The whole design looks great! One question, where is a day head? Long hike from the Matrix deck to a stateroom in a seaway! Grand kids and old age could be an issue :-) Also I like the night stands in the owners suite. Rick

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Hi Rick: There could easily be a day head under the overhang, on the port side, where the life raft presently resides. This would not block any views as the fridge/freezer as adjacent on the inside.

Warren CottisSays:
June 1st, 2013 at 6:44 pm
What are you going to name her, Steve? “Total Domination”?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 1st, 2013 at 7:13 pm
Think hard about a name, but no decisions yet. Other than this is our continuing the dream machine.

Steve B Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 7:18 pm
Love it. Is there a wet locker in the stb mast?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:52 am
The wet locker is against the starboard mast, adjacent the bulkhead. There are doors into the masts that create rope tail storage.

David Sutton Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 8:38 pm
Hi Steve, I an really happy for you both. She is a lovely work of art. Curious why both docking stations are on the port side. doesn’t this limit your options for putting the boat starboard side to? I know she’ll be very maneuverable and most of the time it won’t pose a problem, but I know your philosophy is to be prepared for the what-if scenarios. In my experience there are going to be times when your preferred docking side just isn’t possible due to space or weather, etc. Perhaps a tethered remote on the aft deck would give the most flexibility. Thanks for sharing your art with us all. David

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:50 am
With the thruster, and the “smart” control system and trolling valves on the transmissions, we can easily walk the boat sideways and hold her on the dock or against another yacht. So, we think the need to come in starboard side to will be rare enough that it is not worth the two extra sets of controls.

Bob N Says:
June 1st, 2013 at 10:08 pm
Lots of good stuff (e.g. the containment inset in the helm bench, the walking space around the seating on the Matrix deck, the docking controls) but I still prefer the 64 – it being ‘designed down’ in comparison. (I realize you had to go up if you were moving the helm position back). I’d be a bit worried about braining myself on the legs of the outboards. What about extending the aft deck and giving her a swim and boarding platform that isn’t part of the hull?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 12:48 am
We really wanted to keep the LOA under 24 meters. And we don’t think the outboards hanging down are a problem. If it turns out we are wrong, then they will get tilted before bringing the dinghy on board.

ron Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 10:50 am
hi steve, really like the matrix deck so far…what kind of a blow do you expect the samoid roof to with stand,it looks realty tough with the solid edge….with the matrix helm offset to port do the gains from the outside control station make sense….I think I would be happier with that control station on the aft side of the stbd. mast…I like the idea of being closer to the action if I need to bear a hand on deck. ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm
When docking, where there is help ashore to take the lines, the best position to judge perspective/distance is from the port Matrix deck docking station outboard of the mast. There are good sight lines from the inside station looking forward, but the mast and roof extension aft block the helm view of the port edge of the swim step. If there is nobody on the dock, and we are wanting to put someone ashore first, then it is necessary to keep an eye on the aft port corner.

Henry Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 7:37 pm
Steve, I was hoping you might mend the error of you errant ways and that your next design would be back to sail. Crazy thinking, I know. I was wondering why you have departed from your fundamental design principle of narrow beam after 30 years. Cheers.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 7:59 pm
Henry, you are confusing beam at the deck with waterline beam. These boats have very svelte canoe bodies, but more flare than Wind Horse in the topsides once past the wave penetrating part of the hull. As to another sailing design, we have pushed the edge of that envelope as far as we could for the two of us, and anything we did at this point would have to be much slower. No fun in that.

Henry Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 7:49 pm
Steve, I thought a little more about the 25% beam matter. Is it to balance more weight aloft so as to preserve initial stability? The 64 seemed to have a higher beam ratio also. Was this trying to fit the amenity of the 83 into a shorter length or some other design principle at play? Thanks.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 2nd, 2013 at 8:04 pm
The FPB 64 is very much a different animal than the FPB 83, and heavier for her length. This has benefits and negatives compared to Wind Horse. But if you want to cruise comfortably, and cross oceans in difficult conditions, the formula is right for a yacht of this length. We’ll have a write up in a few weeks on a series of FPB 64 passages that have taken place in the last month or so in the S. Pacific which will shed more light on this subject. The new design, the FPB 78, is a blend of Wind Horse and the 64, with what we think are the best of both. We have no doubt that she will be both sea kindly and efficient.

Henry Says:
June 2nd, 2013 at 8:11 pm
OK, got it on it the beam issue Steve. We all love the way you tease us with your pre-new-design photo shoots and hints. However, this time I was hoping you would surprise with a return to sail with a super efficient, easily handled rig. Heck, you’re even talking about crew. I see the keel won’t be laid for a few more months. There is still time to repent! Cheers.

Daryl Says:
June 3rd, 2013 at 11:46 am
Is there a reason other than weight to use a soft top instead of a hard top? Will there be some kind of insulating or heat reflecting layer in the matrix deck cover? Does it look like the six solar panels will make you “generator free” most of your anchor time? It may be a little early for general electrical questions but are you considering lithium iron house batteries? (Please note that LiFe are different and much safer than the batteries in cell phones, lap tops and airliners.)

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 3rd, 2013 at 4:09 pm
The use of the Stamoid fabric for the Matrix deck roof is a huge saving in weight. With the perimeter zipped up, we think heat will rarely be required, even in the higher latitudes. As to solar panels, the eight shown should give us about 25/50% more output than Wind Horse, depending on sun angles of course. If we think more output is required, we will add a second rotating array on the aft deck, of something like six panels. This will also give us additional shade. We are several months away from getting into this aspect in detail.

John O Says:
June 5th, 2013 at 2:59 pm
I’ve always wanted to do the great loop (as well as some other cruising) and someday, if I win the lottery or something, I will. This boat looks perfect. How tall above the water is it? There’s a 19’1″ bridge in Chicago that loopers have to go under.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
Air draft is 22’4″/6.8m at present.

Skip N. Reply:
June 5th, 2013 at 6:11 pm
You could always do a custom hinged arch with the cover supports removable. For all those who haven’t followed this site, you will find FPB crew will always help with custom requirements. They seem to love the challenge.

Ben Woodford Says:
June 11th, 2013 at 3:24 pm
John O, I’ve looked at the air clearances on the FPBs as well. Living on the Great Lakes doing the Loop strikes my fancy as well. My solution: After hitting the lottery, buy a Loop boat to play with while your FPB is getting built.

John O Reply:
September 11th, 2013 at 3:00 pm
That is a good possibility. But I really like the stability of the FPBs (OK So I’m a coward in rough water) and I’ve seen too many documentaries of ships getting lost on Superior. But, if I can get into the great lakes, and I can from the east, then I can explore them all for the entire summer. I figure if I can afford the boat I can afford the time to use it. Right? Finishing the loop woul djust require a slow slog up the Mississippi and Illinois to the downstream side of that bridge in Chicago. I figure they’d give me credit if I can see the closure of the loop right? (Or I can go under the bridge in a smaller boat just to say I’ve done it!!)

RobS Says:
August 5th, 2013 at 2:06 am
I vaguely recall this being commented on before but cant find it now. Have you considered enclosing the stairway to the Matrix deck so that it is internal to the great room? If you intend the matrix deck to be the primary helm position in an expedition yacht there are certainly benefits to not having to travel outside to reach it, particularly in rough weather and cold climates. If not at least a set of roll away clears would provide a fair degree of enclosed benefits to accessing the matrix deck, With relatively extensive experience sailing a Seawind 1000, whose flybridge is enclosed only by drop down canvas and clears it certainly gave a remarkably secure feel albeit in relatively temperate climates.

Steve Dashew Reply:
August 5th, 2013 at 7:16 am
Access to the Matrix deck is from under and through an overhanging roof. The Matrix level is enclosed and the aft end of the overhang is easily closed off if conditions warrant.

Matt L Says:
June 12th, 2013 at 6:36 pm
The workroom door can’t be open as wide as shown in the first render with the dink on the chocks. Other than that smaller cosmetic issue, not substantive, it looks like pure genius. Or at least mighty handy.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 12th, 2013 at 9:06 pm
Correct, Matt: There are actually three rendered layers. Closed, dink on, and dink off and open for ventilation and rotated so out of the swim step traffic pattern.

CJ Says:
June 12th, 2013 at 8:26 pm
Very cool. Only improvement I can think of is some other way of securing the rail rather than pins. Instead of that you could perhaps engineer the hinge so that the vertical posts of the railing drop into holes in the deck once you raise it to the upright position. When it’s time to drop it, lift up on the rail, then drop back down to the deck.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 12th, 2013 at 9:04 pm
CJ-we have a number of ideas for locking the staple rails in the upright position. Might be a year before we get to the answer, but the issue is on t he list.

Andrew Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 1:19 am
Steve with the Dinghy positioned this way will you have problems being moored starboard side to? lines, fenders etc.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 9:35 am
The dink rub rail is barely inside the mother ship. Fenders usually only go from around the boarding gate forward, and the stern line can be rigged from the swim step. That said, we are assuming most of the time we will tie port side to the dock.

Rob Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 3:27 am
“The folding staple rail section that eliminates the need to raise the dinghy three feet/90cm off the deck” Reading the description and looking at the pics… won’t you have to raise the runabout above fence height before you can lower the fence (shown folding inboard)? both to launch and stow? A boat of this weight hanging from your boom, a few feet above deck in even the smallest roll is going to be a challenge.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 9:31 am
Rob, the staple rail is folded down before the dinghy is brought inboard, while it is locked against the rub strake of the big boat.The whole objective of this exercise is to avoid lifting the dink any higher than just clear of the deck.

Ward Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 9:44 am
I think I have the same misunderstanding as Rob… If the rail folds in (as shown), and you lower the dinghy down onto the chocks, how do you raise the rail again? Isn’t the dinghy then sitting on top of the rail?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 1:46 pm
Once the dinghy in on the deck and secure, the dink itself acts as the barrier, and the lifeline/hinged rail is no longer required.

Rob Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 5:32 pm
Steve thanks for the explanation, I was confused after seeing a pic in a previous post showing the fence “up” with the runabout on deck. ref: “FPB 78 Dream Machine – Basic Specs and Comparison With Other FPBs”. Your graphics are so good it is easy to forget its just a drawing. Regards.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 7:49 pm
It is either wait for 100% certainty – a year from now – or go with some items still evolving. We latter shows the process a bit as well. There will be more changes, that is for sure.

Steve B Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 6:39 am
Are the aft stb rails really needed at all?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 9:26 am
We think the rail is helpful when connecting the halyard and removing it. Otherwise, it is just a question of using (or not) that portion of the aft deck.

A Hyde Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 8:40 am
In photos 2, 3, 4 & 7 there is a white stanchion outside the railing of the swim platform, about centered under the outboard motors of the dingy when on board. Does not show up in photo 1. What is it’s purpose? Is the access panel/door under the dingy in photo 9 (adjacent to grab rail) for gas tank and fueling hose for dingy?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 13th, 2013 at 2:00 pm
That post is an idea, which will probably end up in the trash folder, for extra dink support. The locker to starboard, about which you are asking, it the flammable stores storage. There is same on the port side.

Sarah-Sarah Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 10:13 am
Steve I like your idea. On our FPB-64 we took the dubious action of removing the aft set of stanchions next to the dink for easier launch. The result is we have no lifeline once dink is in the water (unless, of course, we reinstall the stanchions and life lines, which, although time consuming, is easily accomplished. Don’t we remember sailing without lifelines? The grandkids need to learn to swim anyway!? We also leave the key in the dink, when we’re underway, just in case we have to make a hasty launch from the mothership. Nothing worse than having working propulsion without being able to operate it quickly and your key is safely aboard your burning vessel.

CJ Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 8:09 pm
To echo an earlier comment, your renders are looking pretty good these days! Lots of computing time I’m sure, although with a new Mac Pro in the future….. ;)

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 14th, 2013 at 12:49 am
Speed is always welcome, although Ryan Wynott, who does many of these renders, has a dedicated box with 32 cores and 32 gigs of RAM. Our box is just a MacPro maxed out with an updated SSD, running Boot Camp. But maybe the end of the year we can retire it in favor of something a little quicker. Some of the renders take 12 or more hours.

Rob Says:
June 13th, 2013 at 11:59 pm
When I saw the title of the post I had visions of a completely new, line free way of doing this. There are so many dockside dinghy hoists and hydraulic lifts can no one think of a way of having a compact hoisted cradle? Imagine driving the dink into its waiting cradle, stepping off and then hitting a button to automatically and easily lift the dink aboard and to rest in its cradle. Perhaps tilting extendable rails that allow the dink to slide straight back over the mother craft’s transom? You’ve spoilt us by giving us so many “how has no one ever thought of that before” moments.

Marcus Says:
June 14th, 2013 at 9:45 am
Have you considered using a hydraulic cylinder to control the boom sideways. This way the boom would be locked in position without the need of the guys and you have complete control and a lot less lines to worry about.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 14th, 2013 at 3:55 pm
We have looked at hydraulics for boom control but if stabilizing fish were ever used the loads would be too great and the unsupported cantilever -6m/20 feet – a bit long.

Marcus Reply:
June 14th, 2013 at 6:03 pm
I would use the guys in this case and when having the flopper stoppers deployed. Just have the ram move freely by installing a bypass valve in the hydraulic circuit for these scenarios.

scottflndrs Says:
June 17th, 2013 at 7:47 am
Steve, a bow line in addition to the stern control line would be very helpful in eliminating swing. A double purchase block fixed on an outboard eye, turning block off the house or nearby with a cam cleat operated one handed by the launch/retreive person would be a simple clip on addition for rolly anchorages. Also, as soon as the chine clears the deck in choppy water if you could slide the tender over the lay down rails it would be very helpful in stabilizing the dink. S.

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 17th, 2013 at 7:58 am
Thanks Scott: That is the plan, get the hull bottom of the dink below the rub rail of the mother ship asap. Once that is done we are golden as the dink can no longer rotate. The remote bow line, if required, is a good idea. We are hopeful that the offset between the 2-1 tackle connected to the gunnel of the dink has enough separation transversely from the lift halyard center to keep the dink from rotating.We will know the answer in two years.

ron Says:
June 19th, 2013 at 9:56 am
hi steve, the dink launch is neat, clean, and very clever (I see a lot of that at SETSAIL!!) will you need to upgrade the booms, last data I saw on them was 1600# load (static?)…will you carry the same three drogues?…if so where will you place the bridle for the jds…I have a hard time believing the loads the jds produces!! best ron

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 19th, 2013 at 11:50 pm
Re dingy and boom loads, either the boom stiffness goes up or the attachment point of the topping lift which supports the boom moves over the halyard attachment point. As to drogues, we are back to a Galerider and para anchor. The odds of needs a JSD are so remote that we will not devote the space to it.

Kenny Dalgleish Says:
June 18th, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Seems odd (to an untutored eye) that the rules should specify stiffness when a bit of spring would, in the event of an impact, help protect both the rudder and the shaft housing. Perhaps its a steering control thing. Could you tell us a bit more about your sacrificial rudder bottom? Is the idea that the remaining part of the rudder is enough to steer the boat to safety? Will you be carrying a spare rudder? And is fixing it a matter of heading to the nearest sheltered spot and getting out your swimming trunks or would the owner need help? And do you plan to test your design and post the video?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 18th, 2013 at 3:42 pm
All of this damage tolerance, frangibility as it were, is theoretical for us. Although we have been aground many times, even scraped a bit of paint of the rudder(s), we have not (yet!) broken off the tip. In terms of stiffness, with aluminum there is not much spread between yield and failure, so you really do want to stay clear of the yield point. Any bend in the shaft will tend to bind the shaft in the rudder bearings, so in an ideal world bend shaft deflection is minimized. As to steering the boat, a majority of the time you could steer the boat with half the foil and still have good control. Depending on the damage mode, we might just leave the damaged blade tip in place until it was convenient to deal with the problem.

Rich Gauer Says:
June 19th, 2013 at 10:25 pm
Hi Steve, did you build a spreadsheet for grinding the numbers or do the numbers come from an off the shelf software program?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 19th, 2013 at 11:48 pm
Hi Rich: We have our own spread sheets with formulae, and then also use various rule software. Sometimes the software is produced and sold by the various survey societies, for example Lloyds or ABS. Other times we just take there requirements and put them into the spreadsheet. On occasion, this being one of them, two or three of us will write down what we think the answer will be, then we’ll run the numbers, and often we’ll have had the answer in front. But we still run the numbers. In the case of the rudder shafts, all three of us knew what the answer would be without consulting each other. The key thing with all of these structural rules is to understand how they apply to your goal, and then modify accordingly. For example, we can tell you with 100% certainty that 20 years ago if you used the ABS rule for keel design, and hit a reef going at a speed length ratio of any magnitude, you were going to the closest boat yard ASAP. On the other hand, we also knew if you used four times the ABS keel rule, you would have a reasonably high degree of probability the keel and related structure would enable you to keep cruising. Same with the ABS topside stiffness limits in those days. A yacht worked hard upwind and built to the rule would be expected to show signs of problems. But if you double the required stiffness, you would be OK. There are hundreds of examples like this in the specifying and engineering of yachts.

Troy Bethel Says:
June 20th, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Wow Steve ! You and Linda just blow Marina and I away at the insight and completeness of your concepts . The technical aspects of your designs are so simply functional in all aspects ,I’m sure based on first principles . Can’t wait to see the build progress , may have to make a trip to Circa when you are there during the build . Looks like you have taken up all of Circa with all the building going on, are they doing any other contracts other than FPB’s ?

Steve Dashew Reply:
June 20th, 2013 at 11:48 pm
Hi Troy: Circa are flat out on our projects. Hope to see you down under! Come for a ride in a couple of years.

Adrian W Says:
July 12th, 2013 at 3:51 am
Where on your FPB78 is maximum waterline beam? Is this any different to other models? I personally like 115 shape the best

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 12th, 2013 at 7:18 am
Maximum beam on the FPB waterline is about 43% of the length forward from the stern.

Ward Says:
July 13th, 2013 at 12:53 pm
It’s interesting to compare your numbers with those of the new Nordhavn 120: If I’m reading it right, they get about the same range at 11 knots, but use almost 4x as much fuel.

Steve Dashew Reply:
July 14th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Not being familiar with the Nordhavn’s numbers it is hard to comment. But we would expect to be significantly more efficient, and if they actually hit that target of same range, eleven knots, and only four times the fuel they will have done well.

Bruce Tharp Says:
August 10th, 2013 at 10:56 am
Been waiting to see these specs. Man that’s a lot of metal. Having first hand experience with a collision with an iceberg, I’ll say metal is cool stuff to have. I’m guess that might be where this hull is headed.

Steve Dashew Reply:
August 10th, 2013 at 11:11 am
Yes Bruce, we do like ice! Amazing how much of a BANG even a small chunk makes when you bump into it!

Bruce Tharp Says:
August 10th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Yeah! Try hitting one at 15 knots! The bang wasn’t the concern.

Rev Buck Says:
August 10th, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Madam and Sir, In the third paragraph, I believe 12mm should be about a half-inch… instead of that 1.2″. What do you think? signed, Avid Follower

Steve Dashew Reply:
August 11th, 2013 at 1:52 am
Oops, we missed that, and a couple of others.

Shannon Says:
August 17th, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Love it. I am one of those that really likes things overbuilt,especially if a failure could result in freezing to death within view of the chunk of ice I just hit. Currently my biggest ice concern is with the cubes floating in my Diet Coke but my dream is to cruise some far north regions & there are precious few boats I would feel comfortable doing that in. Out of curiosity is there a reason you don’t have 16mm in areas of the bow where initial contact would likely be made should you strike a shipping container or ice? I am guessing the massive beam is enough to take a direct hit & anything else would glance off long before the 12mm is punctured or dented. Anyways,just curious. I was expecting to see additional plating in key areas of the bow. lol Not to imply in any way that I think it really needs more than 12mm. With 12mm & double bottom safety is more than covered. I am thinking more along the lines of preventing a dent & haul out after getting home. Are chances of a dent so low it’s not worth the extra weight?

Steve Dashew Reply:
August 18th, 2013 at 12:24 am
There has to be a balance, Shannon, between factors of safety, weight, and risk. n the case of the 16mm bottom vs the 12, the 12 is probably the most we will ever need fo bumping into things. The 16 is a little over the top in this regard, and its use has been restricted to where we feel the very highest risk scenario exists. In all of this one needs to be mindful of watertight bulkheads, tanks forming double bottoms, and the distance between framing members. When you look at thebow, and ice, keep in mind that the support system is much tighter in the bottom, there are multiple water tight bulkheads, and a breach should one occur, would have little impact on trim.

Shannon Says:
August 17th, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Thanks for showing us the structural designs. It’s truly a beautiful thing.

Paul Says:
September 5th, 2013 at 9:47 am
How does the plating thickness compare on the FPB-97 to the FPB-78 ?

Steve Dashew Reply:
September 6th, 2013 at 2:17 pm
Hi Paul: Plating schedules are similar, except that 97-1 has a bit of 10mm topside plate forward where the 78 has 8mm. And the 78 has some 16 in a few places where the 97 has 12mm.

Evan Thompson Says:
October 31st, 2013 at 9:33 am
I’m curious as to why over the years you have stayed away from “trunnion mount” hydraulic cylinders. It seems they would allow the cylinder to pivot through an arc as the rudder is turned through its range, as well as providing a more robust double shear anchor point. Maybe ease of access/serviceability? This type of cylinder mount is common in heavy equipment, canting keel systems (admittedly not the best marine system example in regard to ultimate reliability – but that’s likely due to factors other than the cylinder mount), and even found their way into the Alinghi 5 mainsheet system: Thanks again for sharing all of these details of your design process. It’s fascinating and inspiring.

Steve Dashew Reply:
October 31st, 2013 at 9:55 am
I think this is a matter of terminology, Evan: We would call all of the cylinders we use trunnion mounts. Previously they have had their “trunnions” at the end, where in this case they are in the middle of the cylinder. The key factor is we want a large bolting base (foot), so that the reverse loading to which these are subject does not result in the connection becoming wiggly.

Roger Says:
November 7th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
Is ±40° all you need? Aircraft nose steering gear is hydraulically actuated to ±70° or thereabouts.

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 7th, 2013 at 3:38 pm
Under way five to ten degrees of AOA is the max we ever see. MAneuvering, at minimum speed, 40 degrees, with twi engines and rudders, creates the maximum usable side force.

Don Joyce Says:
November 18th, 2013 at 8:58 pm
Steve, Which (whose) steering cylinder are you proposing to use?

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 19th, 2013 at 5:56 pm
We are using Lecomb and Schmitt hydaulic steering cylinders. Very heavy and expensive, but steering is a system where one does not want nagging doubts…

Don Joyce Reply:
November 20th, 2013 at 8:48 am
Thanks. I have 2 L&S cylinders on Cats Meow quadrant. Only complaints are that the rod seals leak a bit. Luckily parts are now available from PYI.

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 21st, 2013 at 9:44 pm
How much leakage, Don, what size units, and how many hours of operation?

Chris Says:
November 16th, 2013 at 12:35 am
Looking cetaceous. Makes sense. -Chris

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 16th, 2013 at 4:31 pm
That is a whale of a comment, Chris:

Shannon Says:
November 16th, 2013 at 1:40 am
What are the advantages & disadvantages of having the prop inside a shroud? Like a ducted fan. I am not sure of the proper term. I am under the impression (rightly or wrongly) it increases efficiency & protects the prop on large ships. I assume you would already be doing that if there were advantages on smaller boats.

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 17th, 2013 at 12:36 pm
Propeller shrouds are something we have looked at over the years but always come away feeling all things considered our unshrouded approach still paid divedends. With a shroud, even moderate damage takes the shrouded prop out of the functional realm. In situations where draft is an issue, and propeller loading is high, the shrouded prop my ideed surpass the thrust of a unducted prop.

Sarah-Sarah Says:
November 16th, 2013 at 10:58 am
Steve We’ve been tempted to try drying out here in the Pacific NW, but, with rather mucky, sticky mud sea bottoms (at least where we avoid rocky bottoms), we fear our foils might sink into the seabed as the tide ebbed, leaving us literally stuck in the mud as the tide flooded. I’m certain the SARAH-SARAH would “pop out” but only with enough incoming tide to provide sufficient buoyancy. The fear being the tide height when we entered the location might have to be a good deal higher to release her. Your thoughts?

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 17th, 2013 at 12:31 pm
Hi Bill: There are lots of variables involved in the gridding process. To begin with, it is important to avoid drying out or gridding on a spring (highest) tide or it might not be until another spring tide that you have sufficient water depth to float off. That said, leaving aside the issue of rocks in the wrong place at the wrong time. I would not be overly comcerned with the risks associated with the stabilize fins being caught in the mud. These fins are nine suare feet – less and a meter square – and they cannot generate a great deal force from the mud. Of course nothing to do with boats (or life) is without risks. In this case, probles are most likely to manifest themselves in the form of a damage stabiler fin. Since the fin mechanisms are located in coffer dams in the unikely eent of a leak, it will be contained.

Scott Evangelista Says:
November 17th, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Sounded to me as though Bill was concerned that there might be sufficient suction from the mud on the hull that it might “hold the hull under water” beyond the normal waterline. He acknowledges the probability of sufficient buoyancy to eventually “pop out” but that it might require more lift than there was tide. First, I sure would love to watch:). But I expect if you dried out from a 3/4 tide, there would be more than enough tide to re-float. I bet Steve would know how much lift each inch of “vertical” water line created. I bet even in a muddy bottom the suction would be minimal on the hull. Might mess with your bow thruster though.. Take pictures if you ever brave the experiment, I am sure everyone would love to see them.

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 18th, 2013 at 6:19 am
Good question Scott: The FPB 64 has roghly 3400 pounds of bouyancy per inch of immersion at half load. And this value goes up the more the hull is immersed due to the flare in the topsides.

Sarah-Sarah Says:
November 18th, 2013 at 11:40 am
OK. We’ll try it this next summer?!

Steve Dashew Reply:
November 19th, 2013 at 1:33 am
Sounds great, Bill. We very much look forward to the photos!

Nicolas Says:
December 8th, 2013 at 9:03 am
Hi Steve, In your newer designs it seems that you have eliminated the propeller protecting metal bar protruding from the skeg. Why is that so? Do you thing that it makes sense to use a similar appendage on a sailboat?

Steve Dashew Reply:
December 8th, 2013 at 2:45 pm
Re prop skegs, protection, etc. with twin engines the drying out/gridding issues are somewhat different, as are the water flow factors affecting prop efficiency compared to the FPB64s. This affect the design of what proceeds the prop in the water flow.The bottom line is that the FPB 78 has good prop protection although the prop skeg is of considerably different design.

Posted by admin  (December 11, 2013)

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