Todd Rickard is in New Zealand working with the owners of FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, Pete and Debbie Rossin. Todd is busy with both testing the boat and bringing the owners up to speed on handling and systems, but snuck in a few photos to keep us all appraised of what is happening. Speaking of which, if you look closely at the lead photo just to the left of center you will see FPB 64-4, Osprey, coming in from a builder’s trial.
Builder’s trials are designed to break in systems, and ferret out problems before delivery. With the FPB 64s this includes a detailed set of dock trials, cycling all systems, and then sea trials in the ocean. Sea trials involve a minimum of fifty hours, some of which we want to see in rough conditions. This approach serves interests of both owner and builder, reducing headaches and frustrations that occur when things go wrong with a new boat.
A big part of what Todd does during this process is to get the owners comfortable with their new yacht. During this week of training he will review the day to day systems operation, back up plans if things go wrong, and maintenance schedules.
Boat handling is a large part of this curriculum. The FPB 64 maneuvers like a dream with her oversized rudder, fast response (seven seconds hard over to hard over), and hull shape. Although she has a powerful bow thruster, we emphasize learning to handle the FPB 64 without the thruster. In the photo above Iron Lady is rotating using a bow spring line and rudder thrust.
Pete and Debbie have had a variety of yachts, the most recent of which was a large trawler and quickly found Iron Lady to be easier to handle in tight quarters than they were used to.
When Todd has the time to send in photos like this – cetacean visitors with a new yacht are a sign of good luck – you know things are going well.
A cool photo off the stern extension looking aft. They are running in this and the next series of photos at 2000 RPM, 10.5 knots.
The Circa designed and built dinghy is aboard now. The barbecue and sink locker are next to the dinghy.
Note the orange cover rolled on the rail. This provides shelter if the dink is used in an emergency.
Back at the dock, Todd is launching the dinghy.
Bruce Farrand, Managing Director of Circa, making use of the “granny bars” in the bow of the dinghy.
The Circa dink has a large storage locker forward, and double bottom. Rain and spray drain out the transom rather than accumulate as with an inflatable.
A 30 HP Yamaha powers the dink, and provides plenty of go power. Bruce is left, Pete right. The dink gets onto a plane quickly even with three large sized passengers (Todd is in the bow behind the camera).
Iron Lady with her port boom out ready to retrieve the dinghy.
The swim step offers easy access from low docks.
And across the way sits FPB 64-4, Osprey.
A key ingredient in successful cruising is having both crew members comfortable with running the boat. As an outsider, Todd has the patience that is sometimes lacking when one member of a family “trains” the other.