FPB 97 – The Wicked One Revealed

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


The sun has set, the chimes have struck, we dally no longer. The FPB 97, the Wicked One, stands revealed.


It comes across the waters bearing gifts: comfort, speed, great strength, and agility with which to wend its way. Those singing its song leap for joy with their good tidings.

The FPB 97 follows the path blazed by its forebearers, Wind Horse, Avatar, Sarah Sarah, Iron Lady and Osprey, combining their strengths into an entity destined to cross oceans in a manner unlike any other: easily, with but a small band of people, leaving the lightest of trails behind.


As a direct descendant of those mighty ketches of cruising lore, Sundeer and Beowulf, with a history stretching three decades into the dim past, know that this one, as was the wont of those that went before, is destined to break new ground.


Tonight, the fires grow dim, the singers weary. But before we depart you shall be regaled with numbers, preliminary though they may be.

Length on deck – 97.5′ / 29.9m

Length waterline – 94′ / 28..8m

Beam on deck – 20.4′ / 6.26m

Extreme beam to outside of belting (rub rails) 21.33′ / 6.5m

Displacement full load – 135,000 pounds / 60,000kg

Draft full load – five feet / 1.5m

Cruising speed – 11.7 knots

Range (approximate) – 5000+ nautical miles

Top speed – 13.5 knots

Fuel Capacity – 5000 US gallons / 18,900 L

Fresh water capacity – 2000 U gallons / 7570L

Air draft (excluding whips) – 31.5′ / 9.65m

In days to come much more will be revealed, and all shall stand in awe at the miracles this Wicked new FPB 97 can work.


Should your pulse quicken, your breath catch, your need be insatiable, contact Sue Grant (Sue.Grant@Berthon.Co.UK.) and she will impart what must be known to join with us in the series of FPB 97s.


Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 11, 2012)

36 Responses to “FPB 97 – The Wicked One Revealed”

  1. Matt L Says:


  2. Bill P Says:

    LOA 29.9m – Bang On ! She looks stunning in all her glory. Can’t wait to see her accommodation plan. Alas I fear she is outside my paygrade 🙁

  3. Matt L Says:

    Actually LOD is 29.9 meters, so LOA will be a tad longer. That puts Kerris’ guess at 30 meters the closest (without going over) I think. Knowing the dingy was 15 feet, I measured the Sunset_Bahia_Sur__3482-wicked.jpg (heavily pixelated when enlarged) as carefully as I could and calculated 104.5″ LOA. I then independently measured the “as of yet un-named deck” at 22″ in the same Sunset_Bahia_Sur__3482-wicked.jpg which resulted a LOA of 104.9″. So I posted an LOA of 32 meters (from anchor to swim step). I did not calculate LOD though. The “Analyzing Lines of Sight” imagery would have resulted in a very precise calculation (knowing the length of the deck and the dingy) but at that point it seemed like an exercise in confirming the obvious. It was a great time watching it all unfold. Thanks Steve and Team SetSail !!!! For both the good time and the beautiful boat!!!

  4. Bill P Says:

    Hi Matt, thanks for the clarification. It was only a bit of fun, and I have to admit I only did a fraction of what you did. Thereafter it was a big Guess :). Kudos to all who had a go. I am certainly in awe of how good and practical the new FPB 97 looks from the outside, and await the inside treats. The “Deck Yet to be Named” and “Back Deck” look to provide some great outdoor social areas for times at anchor. To my eyes the Military appearance is not diminished at all!

  5. Ward Says:

    I hope a GA and some interior renderings are coming soon, I can’t wait much longer!

    I was a touch short on my estimate of 98′, but maybe Conning Tower still has a chance as the name of the more-than-just-flying-bridge.

  6. James Masters Says:


    She’s beautiful — it’s like watching a dream materialize ….

    As Gary Grant’s character taught Katherine Hepburn’s character, “… She’s yarrrrrr….”


  7. Gene LeBeau Says:

    Fabulous —— a beautiful boat (ship). I can’t wait to see the rest of the specifications and the layouts

    Great job!

  8. Håkan Says:

    Dear Steve!


    Håkan Lindström

  9. Paul Says:

    Looks absolutely fantastic, can`t wait for the layout drawings; a real credit to you and your wife, the culmination of a lifetime of experiences.
    I don`t suppose you have a preliminary costing for the vessel yet?

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Todd Rickard has the details (ToddR@SetSail.com). He’ll be in New Zealand next week for a review, but is reachable by e-mail.

  11. Steve Dashew Says:

    Thanks for the kudos, Paul:
    It should be kept in m ind that this is very much a team effort, and would have happened without the team’s many contributions. We’ll properly acknowledge those who had a hand in the process in a new post, as soon as we catch up on a few details.

  12. Will Says:

    Beautiful and awesome!

    But I am still wondering over the fixed roof on the top deck. Other boats having that are usually meant for harbor hopping and they ususally have a sliding roof, which can be opened to release the wind pressure.
    So again:

    Q: … fixed roof … Couldn’t that be problematic in a really strong gale. I mean, with the wind from the side, when the boat starts to lean a little, will not the roof become like a lifting wing and increase the lift the more the boat leans?

    A: There are two very strong masts connected by a massive box girder between the spars, to which the roof structures bolt. Gales, storm force, even a moderate hurricane should not be a problem.

    Q: I did not mean that it would break – I meant that its drag/lift would impair stability in a real blow. Isn’t it like flying a kite in a storm – a lot of force is generated compared to the plain windage of a pilot house…?!
    Also do you intend to have some forward stabilizing structure of the roof – like a pillar?

    Still in awe, though!


  13. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Will:
    The stability curve of these yachts are not like traditional motor vessels. Rather than peak at 25 degrees and begin to drop off, to a point of vanishing stability around 55/70 degrees (i.e. that is wh ere they capsize and do NOT recover), we peak at between 60 and 90 degrees, and then remain positive well past 130 (i.e. 40 degrees below horizontal), and do recover from a capsize.

    Wind force will affect the upper deck roof, with or without the windows in place. But this is a matter of heel rather than capsize, and the force, relative to the heeled stability curve, is not great. Even a moderate hurricane strength blow, is not going to affect things that much. Now, the boat will heel more than if she did not have the roof, of course, but i you compare this to the FPB 64s, the roof probably has twice the cross sectional area from the bow on, and the stability is at least twice that of the smaller boat, so we are in the same ballpark in terms of reaction to the breeze. Note that it is Sunday morning, have not yet had coffee (slept in!!!) and have not looked at t he 64 data, but this is close enough for discussion.
    The roof has both moment connection of its longitudinal girders and stays on the top to the mast heads and down to t he coamings below.

  14. Howard Eckles Says:

    Classy babe! Fine lines, smooth style: now where did I put that lotto ticket?

  15. David Guest Says:

    Congratulations … what a prize!

  16. Cattledog Says:

    Are there braces at the leading edge of the “fly bridge” roof?

  17. Steve Dashew Says:

    Braces forward and aft -wire stays – suspension bridge style.

  18. David Snow Says:

    Wow what a great looking yacht. With the reverse sloping side windows and the large cabin roof overhangs that appear to come out almost to the lifelines how easy is it to get to the foredeck for anchor handling or line handling?

    /Dave Snow

  19. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Dave:
    We’ve mocked this up, looked at it in 3D, and it should be fine for average homo sapiens. With the additional overhang we’ll have a T track fastened to the underside with cars for a safety line system that also work for lifting heavy gear down the deck from or to the forepeak.

  20. Jakub Says:

    I hope when i will go to sleep tonight i can have a chance to wake up on board of that superyacht 🙂 Great design! Great work! maybe some day dream will come true.

  21. Conrad Says:

    Wow – the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts! I must admit that when I saw the first images and description of the new window treatment I wasn’t too excited, but it really does complement the overall design.

    So when does the military take delivery?

  22. LBDboater Says:

    Whoa, a twin engine boat and a bow thruster? Haha, on a 97′ boat, I would definitely want some extra leverage up there at the front. Always enjoyed the added comfort of knowing I had a backup in case I made a poor judgement call at some point.

  23. Conrad Says:

    Should have mentioned that your new creation looks very similar to the Star Destroyer from the Star Wars movies. (I had to look the term up, I’m not a techno nerd I hope!)

  24. David Says:

    It would appear you broke the D/L<100 barrier. I appreciate that you are not a slave to boat "length" as is the norm in the retail marine industry.

    Compared to other "offshore" yacht designers this is a major departure. For example, another well-known company has a 60 ft model with the same displacement. It looks like a small floating apartment building, uses a lot more fuel, and would be impossible to make headway in any significant seas on the bow. But, I guess there is market for everything.

  25. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi David:
    We broke the 100 DLR barrier eons ago. The 97 is well below 70 at full load, the benefits of which are huge.

  26. Alain M Says:

    Just Amazing…
    Definitively the son (or daughter?) of Beowulf!!!
    Nice and well balanced looking.
    Waiting for more surprise.

  27. Patrick S Lasswell Says:


    People are going to get fired if you keep posting these Not Safe For Work pictures on your site without any notification. Those pictures are just far too sexy for work environments in today’s restrictive climate.

  28. Cattledog Says:

    By my calculations, 5 degrees positive AoA on stabilizers and doubling the horsepower will allow it to plane… Then if we add propane/nitros we should be able to break 30 knots on speed runs away from pirates… Or at them. As there will be propane on board we can mount a two inch self loading propane cannon on the front deck and launch tungsten balls at the bad guys.

  29. Scott Webb Says:

    Stunning 🙂

  30. Dave Says:

    I’d love to see a Wicked-esque sailboat with the solar panels someday…. with a swing/lift keel so that you could cruise the Bahamas.

  31. John Says:

    Just from a looks point of view, I’d like the un-named upper deck forward. Give a pilot house like appearence or destroyer like appearence with the “bridge” forward.

  32. Steve Dashew Says:

    You would not appreciate that look working uphill in a sea.

  33. Scott M. Barnett Says:

    I think “WOW!” about covers it!

  34. Scott M. Barnett Says:

    Is there a keel laying date yet?

  35. Steve Dashew Says:

    Lots of work yet to do, Scott:

  36. David M Zuniga, P.E. Says:

    Like so many others, I’ve followed you for years with the FPB project. It appeared that there simply wasn’t anything left to be optimized. You found one; that insolation load on all that wonderful ‘great room’ glazing.

    God, it’s delightful to see a truly gifted team at work. It’s like watching those extra features at the end of a particularly amazing animated movie. How the hell do they DO all that? Equal parts technology, experience, and sheer talent. Viewing your computer models and calculation iterations is no more or less impressive in my eyes than watching those Kiwis at work making real art out of wood and aluminum. Just delightful, that the talent and work ethic — and visionary reach — of a Leonardo daVinci can still be found in this world’s computer workstations, backs of napkins, and New Zealand craftsmen’s shops.

    Aa all the other acolytes here have said: bravo to you all, a gifted team.