Archive for 2013

Catamaran History – Early Days Updated

Catamaran History So Cal 58 71 2In the process of cleaning up the office, a few more photos from the early days of the multihull history on the West Coast have come to light.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 31, 2013)    |    Comments (5)

Happy Holidays From The Crew At SetSail

FPB 64 2 Sarah Sarah on the longest night of the year

Sue Henry just sent us this marvelous photo of FPB 64-2 Sarah Sarah anchored out on the longest night of the year. As big a thrill as this must be for Bill and Sue,

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 21, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

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: Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (December 11, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

Crew Quarters – What Is The Best Layout – A Call For Input

We are in the process of designing crew quarters for our FPB 78. With no experience cruising and/or living with crew, we are working in a theoretical world rather than reality. If you are a professional crew, or an owner who has lived with crew, we’d love to hear from you. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 10, 2013)    |    Comments (11)

FPB Construction Update

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Words don’t work here. The photo is capable of speaking for itself.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 8, 2013)    |    Comments (12)

Ultimate Dinghy Revisited: Is a Big RIB The Answer?

FPB 78 RIB Concept 3 1

We have been rethinking the ultimate dinghy concept and are looking at a big custom designed RIB for our new FPB 78. Not having experience with properly designed deep V RIBS, we have a few questions and are hopeful the SetSail community can provide real world answers.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 24, 2013)    |    Comments (33)

Steering Clear of Trouble – Tradeoffs in Rudder and Skeg Design

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Skeg, rudder and canoe body integration play a large part in comfort on passage, heavy weather tactics, maneuvering in port, propulsion efficiency, and tolerance for operator error.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 15, 2013)    |    Comments (12)

Speed Freaks – A Partial Antidote

Hydroptere-Worlds-fastest-Sailboat-1-640x426With the 34th America’s Cup now concluded, sailors with the need for speed can be expected to go into depression. As a partial antidote we offer Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 8, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

Sometimes The Best Cruising Is Close To Home

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 Over the years we have learned that often mundane destinations close to home offer unexpected cruising rewards.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 5, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

Rudder Angle Geometry

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Rudder control steering geometry is one of those things which looks simple, but is actually quite difficult to get right. Loads can be high, space tight, and when you are shooting for maximum rudder deflection, it can be a challenge.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 31, 2013)    |    Comments (9)

Best Window Coverings – What Is Your Experience?

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Window coverings will play a more important role in the new FPB 78, given our goal of staying cool at anchor a majority of the time without a genset. This post is about the factors affecting the window covering decision, after which we’d love to have suggestions from SetSailors.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 18, 2013)    |    Comments (26)

Happy Anniversary FPB 64-2 Sarah Sarah!

SarahSarahRecently, owner Sue Henry put together an “anniversary” video of photos, highlighting her and husband Bill’s first three years aboard FPB 64-2 Sarah Sarah. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (October 16, 2013)    |    Comments (3)

FPB 78-1 Construction Is Officially Underway

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The first cut! After many thousands of design and engineering hours, construction is underway with FPB 78-1.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 1, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

Photos From Adventures With Iron Lady – Posted by Mark

P31 Hello from ParadiseHaving arrived back to the Seattle office a couple weeks ago, I now have a little time to sort through 100s of photos and share a few with you from my recent adventures aboard FPB 64-3 Iron LadyRead the rest »


Posted by admin  (September 26, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Time To Invoke The Devil Devil Stick – Posted by Sarah

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With the America’s Cup coming down to a final winner-take-all tomorrow, we are bringing out the big guns, er, stick… Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (September 24, 2013)    |    Comments (10)

FPB Progress In Spite of the America’s Cup

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A quick update on FPB progress in New Zealand, where the Circa team have been hard at work in spite of the America’s Cup excitement..

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 23, 2013)    |    Comments (9)

The Most Spectacular America’s Cup…Ever

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This is the most competitive, compelling, and fastest America’s Cup ever. And if you have not been watching you are missing the spectacle of a lifetime.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 20, 2013)    |    Comments (6)

VIP Visit to Kiwi Camp on Pier 32

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Last week I wrote about my recent trip to San Francisco, where my hosts, Bruce Farrand and Logan Cripps of Circa Marine (builder of the FPBs), were on-hand to represent and promote Kiwi boat building skills for North American clients.  Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (September 7, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

America’s Cup – Finally – Unlike Anything You Have Ever Seen Before!

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Tomorrow, Saturday September 7, marks the start of an amazing spectacle that you don’t want to miss. Whether on network TV or YouTube, we will be treated to heated competition between “yachts” traveling at 25 to 50 knots, with no love lost between the teams.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 6, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady: Arrival In Hawaii

Mark Fritzer brings us his final at-sea post from aboard Iron LadyRead the rest »


Posted by admin  (September 3, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady: Towards Hawaii Day 2

A night watch, monster blue fin, the end of Mr. Shabby, and further experiments with the high power DC charging system. Mark Fritzer writes: Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (August 31, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

FPB 64-3 Hawaii Bound From Palmyra

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady is underway for Hawaii on the last leg of their journey. Mark Fritzer writes about an amazing fish story and further testing of the charging system.

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 30, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Strong Kiwi Showing In San Francisco

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This past weekend found me in San Francisco – courtesy of our builder Circa Marine of Whangarei, New Zealand – to witness the Kiwis’ very successful sail into the America’s Cup, with a dominant performance against the Italians in the Challengers Louis Vuitton Cup.  Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (August 30, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Iron Lady Reporting From Palmyra

Mark Fritzer reports in from Palmyra, and brings us up to date on wonderful snorkeling and further experimentation with the high powered DC charging system. With comments on navigating with active SONAR in the tropics:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 29, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

Crossing The North Pacific Hurricane Belt – The Tradeoffs

Xmas Palmyra HI overview

Crossing oceans often leads to compromise between weather, risk, comfort, and what might or mightn’t occur. An example of this was recently faced by the crew of FPB 64-3 Iron Lady. In this post we will look at issues involved, including hurricane avoidance tactics.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 27, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady: Parked In Palmyra

The crew of Iron Lady, bellies still full of fresh Yellowfin tuna, have dropped anchor in Palmyra Atoll. Mark Fritzer reports: Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (August 26, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady Bound For Palmyra In The Line Islands

Having consulted the weather gods (Rick Shema), and with various mortals, the good ship Iron Lady is bound for Palmyra Island. Mark Fritzer continues his narrative, with interesting fuel burn data at various speeds and RPMs coupled with varying electrical loads.

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 24, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

FPB 64-3 On Passage – It’s An Early Christmas (Island)

Having now been at sea for five days ,the crew of FPB 64-3 have raised their first Line Island, and determined to make it Christmas, even if it is still August. Mark Fritzer continues his reporting:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 23, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady On Passage Marquesas Towards Hawaii: Day 4

On their fourth day at sea, the crew of FPB 64-3 Iron Lady use the aft deck sink to determine if they have crossed the Equator. Mark Fritzer continues his testing and analysis, and reports the results:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 23, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady On Passage Marquesas Towards Hawaii: Day 3

Three days into their passage and FPB 64-3 is 750 miles down the track. Mark Fitzer continues his reports:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 22, 2013)    |    Comments (3)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady On Passage Marquesas Towards Hawaii: Day 2

Two days at sea, 480 nautical miles behind them, FPB 64-3 is half way to the equator, and Mark Fritzer continues his reporting:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 21, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady On Passage Marquesas Towards Hawaii: Day 1

ironlady_mapMark Fritzer continues his reporting from Iron Lady after their first day at sea:

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (August 20, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Progress On All Fronts In New Zealand – And Getting Comfortable in the Wicked Great Room

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Although the furniture represents a small part of the total weight of the boat, we want it to be as light as practical, as you see here with the carcass for the FPB 97 great room settee. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 20, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Passage Posts – FPB 64-3 En Route From Nuku Hiva

dsc_5692The following report was sent in by Mark Fritzer of the FPB team, who is crewing aboard FPB 64-3 Iron Lady. They have just departed from Nuka Hiva in the Marquesas Islands, bound for Hawaii via the Line Islands. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (August 18, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

America’s Cup Challenger Finals – Clearing the Fog, Or: What To Watch

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The 2013 America’s Cup challenger finals begin Saturday. Here are a couple of things to watch in what is sure to be the most exciting sailing any of us have ever witnessed.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 16, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 78 – Plating Thickness, Factors of Safety & Emotional Comfort

FPB-78-1-Lloyds-Special-Craft-Rule-examples-1We hate to waste displacement on sloppy interior construction, poorly thought out systems, or excess structure up high, where it does nothing to help us. But from the deck edge down we want all the impact resistance and factors of safety we can get. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 9, 2013)    |    Comments (10)

FPB Cruising Plans – Out There Doing It

FPB 64 Iron Lady Fatu Hiva 1

Our thought has always been that the best indicator of success in the marine business is not units sold, or boat show pizzazz, but rather how your boats are being used. Are they sitting in marinas or out there racking up the miles, treating their owners to the world of new experiences that lay beyond the horizon?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 5, 2013)    |    Comments (5)

FPB Update – Coming Together Quickly

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This week we bring you an update on FPB 97-1 and FPB 64s eight, nine and ten. Starting with 97-1 where metal work is rapidly coming to an end.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 2, 2013)    |    Comments (7)

Rocky Mountain High – Or, What To Do When You Really Want To Be Afloat

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Your SetSail reporter is just back from a week in the mountains, learning about photography from two of the best, all in preparation for when FPB 78-1 goes in the water in 2015. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 31, 2013)    |    Comments (7)

Wicked FPB 97 Tops Out

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This is a wickedly cool series of photos, one which has given us a decided buzz.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 25, 2013)    |    Comments (8)

The Monsoons Are Here

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The summer monsoon has arrived in Arizona and we are being treated to some of Mother Nature’s finest work. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 17, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

Let There Be Light, Skegging, & Other Wicked Subjects

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A prison ship? No, just a few bars on the hull window inserts to make sure this FPB 97 stays wickedly fair.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 15, 2013)    |    Comments (14)

Calculating Fuel Burn and Range Under Power – A Semi Scientific Approach

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Calculating drag, fuel burn, and range for yachts under power is a complex process, one which often turns out wrong in the real world. We are not sure what other folks do, but we use a combination of science, model testing, real world results, and various software suites, mixed with a healthy dose of gut instinct. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 11, 2013)    |    Comments (5)

Flying Toward The Future

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We’ve had one of those rare life altering moments, a point in time after which you know nothing will be the same. Having started messing with multi-hulls in the really olden days Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 9, 2013)    |    Comments (13)

Wicked Weld Testing: Using X-Ray Images To Verify Welds On The FPB 97

FPB 971 XRAY weld check 100

A standard part of every hull construction sequence is a series of X-Ray checks, the location of which is dictated by the owner’s surveyor. Circa have just completed this process on FPB 97-1 and we thought this QC check process might be of interest.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 8, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB: Cruising Speed, Range Under Power, And The Real World

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Those of you familiar with our work will know that we consider being able to maintain comparatively fast cruising speeds the most important factor in safe, comfortable ocean crossing. Get this right and you enjoy making passages. Get it wrong and you will prefer sitting at the dock reading about the folks who are really out there cruising. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 7, 2013)    |    Comments (6)

Concern For Missing Schooner Nina – Posted By Sarah

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We have recently learned that the 85 year-old wooden Schooner Nina has gone missing at sea, after leaving New Zealand for Australia May 29. We are deeply concerned for all aboard. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (June 28, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

SetSail Has Dropped Anchor In Facebook Harbor! (Posted by Sarah)

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We are excited to announce that we have joined the Social Media fray. SetSail can now be found happily anchored on Facebook and Twitter. Come find us, like us and follow us as we explore these new waters: Facebook.com and Twitter.com. We look forward to seeing you out there!


Posted by admin  (June 24, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 78: Rudder Shaft Engineering – Steering The Right Course

If we had to pick one system above all else that must be 100% reliable we’d say steering. Which is why we fit two complete auto pilots, two independent hydraulic systems, and use intensely muscular structural elements. Most of this is easy, but establishing the engineering scenario for the rudder itself takes a bit of work. As we are just wrapping this up for the FPB 78, we thought you might find the logic of interest.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 18, 2013)    |    Comments (12)

Report From New Zealand: 10th FPB 64 Begins – FPB 97 Masts Are Up

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Here is a sight guaranteed to please… FPB 64-10 has begun its journey (right) while FPB 97-1 has its mast structure well under way.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 14, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 78: Dreaming Up A Better Way to Launch and Retrieve the Dinghy

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We feel that the most dangerous operation on any motor yacht is dinghy launch and retrieval. This applies to our FPB as well, even though our approach, with the dink on the main deck, is much easier (and we think safer) to handle than most. The heavier the dink, the bigger the risk, and this new dink is considerably weightier than our old, trending towards 1200 pounds/550kg. So we have been fiddling away at a better handling system since the beginning of the design cycle. What follows has been adapted from the approach being considered for FPB 97-1, and represents what we think is a step forward from where we have been in the past.

The FPB 78 aft deck design has evolved from these renderings, but we expect the launching procedure logic to remain the same.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 12, 2013)    |    Comments (27)

FPB 64-7 Buffalo Nickel, New Zealand to Fiji (Posted by Sarah)

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I had the distinct pleasure of spending some time with Valerie and Stan Creighton as they became acquainted with their new baby back in March. Fast forward to June and they’ve just completed an adventurous passage from New Zealand to Fiji. Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (June 7, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 78 Dream Machine – Matrix Deck

Now let’s have a more detailed look at what may end up being our favorite area on board: the Matrix deck. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 1, 2013)    |    Comments (27)

FPB 78 Dream Machine – Ocean Crossing In Comfort and Security

781-81-Underwater-fwd-bow-2Primary Design Goal – Ocean Crossing Comfort and Security: 

Our number one priority with this new FPB 78 is still a mix of capabilities that allows us to make long passages safely while keeping us physically and mentally comfortable. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 31, 2013)    |    Comments (16)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady – Arrives Papeete, Tahiti

Excitement is building aboard Iron Lady with Pete Rossin and crew as the smell of land, fresh baguettes, and Hinano beer, draw them ever closer.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 28, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 On Passage New Zealand to Papeete: Post 5

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady continues towards Papeete, and Skipper Pete gives us a heads up on what they log in the engine room. If you are interested in life aboard on a long passage, and how things should be running, read on.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 24, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Report on the Capsize and Sinking of Motoryacht Yogi

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Last year the new super yacht, Yogi, lost power while on passage, turned beam to the seas, capsized in moderate conditions, and eventually sank. There was all sorts of speculation at the time about causes. Now the official report is out. It makes interesting reading both for what it does and doesn’t say.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 24, 2013)    |    Comments (9)

FPB 64-3 On Passage New Zealand to Papeete: Post 4

Today’s update from FPB 64-3 Iron Lady comes to you from Latitude 25 20 S/Longitude 161 59 W. Read on about the beauties of a night watch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…

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Posted by admin  (May 24, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

FPB 64-3 On Passage New Zealand to Papeete: Post 3

FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, has now passed the mystical “halfway point” on her voyage to Papeete. She is entrained between two high pressure systems, in a convergence zone, with heavy downpours, lightning, and crossing wave trains off the bow. For the day’s report on this, and the raw squid eating contest, read on. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (May 23, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

Cruising Season of Renewal

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It is the season of renewal, for those afloat and others afflicted with landed status. In the South Pacific there are two FPB 64s about to depart for points north and a third already heading west, with a fourth now in the Islands. The SetSail contingent? Stuck in Arizona viewing from afar, and… Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 22, 2013)    |    Comments (11)

FPB 64-3 On Passage New Zealand to Papeete: 2nd Post

MG_6889Pete Rossin, enroute to Papeete on FPB 64-3 Iron Lady, gives a quick lesson in weather analysis using what you see rather than outside outside sources. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (May 21, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64-3 On Passage New Zealand to Papeete

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Iron Lady is on her way across the South Pacific from Whangarei, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti, in French Polynesia. Pete Rossin and crew departed New Zealand three days ago and have been sending us periodic updates. We thought you might like to keep track of their progress on this occasionally difficult  2300NM passage.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 20, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

2013 Hurricane Season Forecasts

hurricaneflossieThe Northern Hemisphere summer is nearly here, and with it the hurricane season. With the FPB fleet getting ready to depart New Zealand for points North, and one of the boats thinking about winding up in Hawaii or California, we have been looking at the long range weather forecasts.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 20, 2013)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 97-1 Plated Up

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FPB 97-1 is well along now, with the main framing and plating of the hull almost complete.

FPB 971 Construction progress 100

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 17, 2013)    |    Comments (8)

Stanley Dashew: 1916-2013 – Posted by Sarah

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Two weeks ago, at the tender age of 96, my grandfather sailed off into the sunset and on to his next great adventure. One can only assume the sails were trimmed perfectly. Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (May 15, 2013)    |    Comments (14)

The Dinghy Conundrum Part Two

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A couple of weeks ago, we invited suggestions for an ultimate rugged cruising dinghy. We appreciate all of you who took time to shoot us your ideas, of which there were many. What you see here and following is our adaptation of some of those, plus a few of our own, into a concept dinghy.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 13, 2013)    |    Comments (24)

Plating Models – How We Used to Do It

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We’ve been gradually reorganizing our offices, and in the process trying to figure out what to do with out hull models. This plating model was in hand yesterday, and we got to thinking it might be of interest for the secrets it reveals.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 8, 2013)    |    Comments (6)

A Long Interlude – Back On The Bay – Updated

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The Deerfoot 74, Interlude, is back on San Francisco Bay. Katie and Kurt Braun have seen 55,495 miles slip quietly under their keel since acquiring Interlude in Fort Lauderdale in April of 2000.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 6, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

FPB 64-7 Video: First Day Aboard-Close Quarters Maneuvering

Come on board with Stan and Valerie Creighton as they get acquainted with FPB 64-7 Buffalo Nickel during their first day of close quarters maneuvering. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (April 24, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

The Dinghy Conundrum – What Is The Correct Mix Of Factors?

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We have recently been asked our ideas for the ideal mix of design factors for a larger FPB dinghy. This got us to thinking about our own experiences, and what we would want in this category of gear, if we were starting from scratch. The comments that follow are based on the assumption that the dinghies will often be used in cruising areas off the beaten path. In this post we will share a few thoughts, and ask for yours.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 21, 2013)    |    Comments (33)

Super Deal On Favorite Photo Filters

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For those interested in photography and who use Lightroom, Photoshop, or Aperture, our favorite filter set is on sale. You can buy the complete NIK collection for just US $149.00. We paid four times this price. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 13, 2013)    |    Comments (2)

Salon Seating – Longevity, Aesthetics, and Comfort

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You are looking at the original great room seating upholstery on Wind Horse at the end of 2011–that is six years after launching with more than 50,000 miles of intensive use. Aside from a little fabric fading, there is little to differentiate  this from the original appearance. Read on to learn the secret to longevity. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 11, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

FPB 97 – Plating Progress

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Circa is at the stage where visual progress will accelerate, and it will become easier to get a sense of scale for the Wicked FPB 97. Bottom plating is in place and topside plating has begun. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 8, 2013)    |    Comments (13)

Seeing The Light

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We’ve been working with 3D supremo Ryan Wynott now for an intense year and a half, yet we’ve never met. So with a demanding schedule and tasks at hand requiring the closest collaboration, Ryan left his Canadian winter sanctuary for an arduous trip to the Sonoran desert, where we are presently moored. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 27, 2013)    |    Comments (4)

FPB 64 Aft Deck Options

With the recent handover of FPB 64, hull #7 – Buffalo Nickel – I thought readers might enjoy seeing the two aft deck configuration options available on the FPB 64. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (March 26, 2013)    |    Comments (0)