When we unexpectedly sold Wind Horse (before we were really ready to part with her) the plan was to take time off from cruising. After a lifetime spent messing around in boats, we considered a new avocation. And we have been trying, even to the point of Steve watering plants in the backyard (something that hasn’t happened in decades).
In spite of our best intentions, we could not avoid the whispers.
Sometimes visions seek you out, rather than the other way around.
With us they often start as a faint glimmer, a concept not yet fleshed out, but waiting for the right moment to mature.
In this case, the confluence of several factors opened up a different path forward than what we had planned. The first was the lack of a prudent investment for our cruising kitty. With central banks around the world churning their printing presses, and interest rates essentially zero, we felt like we were anchored in a reef-strewn atoll with poor visibility, an unexpected gale pushing us onto a lee shore, with inadequate ground tackle.
We do not like that sensation.
A nagging feeling tugged at us that there was more yet to do with what we’d learned from the FPB 83, 64, and 97 projects. So we started to dabble. Nothing serious mind you, just a doodle here, a discussion there. We know this is dangerous territory for those with afflictions such as ours, but we thought, “We can control this.”
Slowly an image started to form.
In the past we have optimized our yachts for the two of us, with occasional guests. But if we were going to consider a new yacht for ourselves we also needed to allow for crew aboard, should this become desirable to keep prudently chasing our dreams. There were skeptics amongst us to be sure. Space planning that allowed for another full-time person aboard was so different that one of us assumed this to be an immediate disqualifier.
We did not want a longer yacht. And we certainly did not aspire to a floating condo. But being land bound we continued the process, just to see where it would lead.
We held numerous discussions with friends who have lived with long term crew, and others who are professional sailors. From them we quickly came to understand that a key ingredient to success would be an owner’s suite with sufficient ambiance to enjoy retiring there when we desired privacy, be it to read a book, work on photos, or just chill. Separate living spaces beyond sleeping cabins would be equally important, allowing for comfortable separation for ourselves and longer term guests or crew.
As the design spiral progressed, the pieces slipped into place. Space planning, layout relative to motion centers, structure, systems, cruising speed and range, factors affecting maintenance, storage, and vessel handling came together with a minimum of tradeoffs. It was as if a secret force was guiding the design evolution.
During this process we frequently paused–hove to if you will–to catch our breath, and evaluate. We asked ourselves, was this the right decision at this point in our lives? Each time the emerging capabilities were intriguing enough to draw us forward. We have kept the process under wraps, so that we could concentrate, while remaining uncommitted to the the final decision.
In recent months we both began to realize we were not done with the sea (or maybe the sea was not done with us?). The capabilities of this new Dream Machine are so alluring, the options it opens up for our cruising so enticing, that we have signed an agreement with Circa to start building the FPB 78 during the fourth quarter 2013. We are excited to bring you along on our new adventure.
Click the links below to read the new FPB 78 Dream Machine detailed posts in order.
*Note: This is the first post in this series about the FPB 78. You can access the posts in order by clicking on the dropdown menu from the “FPB 78″ button on the top menu bar or clicking on the links above.
For more details on the FPBs, contact Todd Rickard ToddR@setsail.com.