Waiting is never easy, and when it is for the next big thing in your life – in our case what we think is our ultimate cruising machine – it is even harder.
The FPB 97 employs a massive solar array of the most efficient panels you can buy, a unique passive/active ventilation system, and massive traction battery bank, to minimize and in some cases eliminate generator time at anchor. Theory up till now, we are starting to get real world data and the results look promising. Read the rest »
In an earlier post we mentioned having learned the hard way to take propeller manufacturers’ performance claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. Now that we have had an early taste of the Veem interceptor propellers, we can tell you they work as advertised on FPB 97-1. Read the rest »
When you head offshore your safety depends on stability, both upright and ultimate (the heel angle at which you don’t recover from a knockdown). Given today’s software and computing power, calculating stability is a relatively straightforward exercise. This is required for commercial vessels, larger yachts, and generally for any flag state/class certification such as MCA, RINA, ABS, etc. We would not go offshore without this data, and we don’t think you should either.
You are looking at what drives the FPB team, what our client (and we) have been waiting to see after 2.5 years of intense effort. A lovely clean flow release off the stern with minimal magnitude indicating a highly efficient cruising machine (this at 13.1 knots GPS averaged in two directions). A wicked wake indeed. Read the rest »
We will shortly begin a wicked set of sea trials with FPB 97-1. Along with the usual wringing out of the boat before handover, one of the objectives is to gather a data set with which to refine our velocity prediction algorithms. Read the rest »
The Wicked One is at hand. Stay tuned…
Our SetSail spies in Thailand have just made us aware of some interesting regulatory changes for those cruising in Thai waters. According to the Phuket News, all foreign-flagged vessels must now be equipped with AIS tracking devices. There is no vessel size limit on the requirement–all boats small and large have to comply. Read the rest »
When you design a yacht to deal with heavy weather, the process is made difficult by a lack of real world experience in truly dangerous conditions. But occasionally events transpire from which you can learn something. One of those is depicted above in the photo sent in by Peter Watson, the owner of FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf. Read the rest »
With the FPB 64 Grey Wolf covering an average of a thousand or more nautical miles per week on her voyage home, we have in effect an accelerated maintenance test to observe. Experienced cruisers and marine professionals will be surprised by the data accumulated since her departure from New Zealand the last week of March. Read the rest »
Of the ten FPBs currently afloat, nine are actively cruising, taking advantage of their seagoing speed, range, and comfort, actually doing it…right. We enjoy hearing from our family, keeping up with where they are and what is going on. This week, for example, Read the rest »
Life on the water is such a perfect metaphor for the uncertain adventure of opening ourselves up to what we yearn for…We have to navigate carefully, watch the changing weather patterns, think about where and how we want to go, and then, ultimately, at some point a few will untie themselves and sail off into the great unknown horizon. Read the rest »
FPB 64-3 Iron Lady is Canada bound from Hawaii, a relatively short 2400 NM (+/-) trip, depending on how the Pacific high treats them. Pete Rossin is filling us in on weather and vessel performance data. Information from the last five days follows: Read the rest »
Passaging season is upon us and the FPB fleet is on the move. While FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf nears the end of a quick 4000 NM hop, FPB 64-3 Iron Lady is on her way from Hawaii to British Columbia. The majority of the rest of the FPB feet is getting ready for or have recently completed their offshore passages.
Peter Watson and his intrepid crew aboard FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf are now just a few days’ from Panama. Keep up with their progress on Berthon’s web site. Of particular interest may be Peter’s comments after now having voyaged over 6,000 nm in the last two months.
Of all the passages you could dream up, the most difficult is the 4000NM eastbound run from the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia to Panama. Panama lies dead upwind, with a westerly setting current to make it more interesting. Read on to find out how FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf, Peter Watson, and crew have set out to do something no motor yacht has ever done.
The southern part of the Indian Ocean is one of the few places we have found where the trades blow as advertised… and then some. Here Intermezzo is departing Christmas Island for Cocos Keeling at the start of a long haul across this boisterous bit of ocean. Read the rest »
Last week we worked with Peter Watson aboard the FPB 64 Grey Wolf to resolve a stabilizer system issue. We thought the communications regarding this might be of interest since these things do occasionally occur – typically somewhere far from home base.
Read the rest »
We are looking at a barometric pressure trace from the FPB 64 Grey Wolf. This occurred at the edge of the tropics South of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. As you close with the equator slight pressure gradients create big winds. A change of as little as two mb can indicate the onset of a hurricane. The weather models – all the majors – missed this event.
We’ve just learned that Hobie Alter has caught the ultimate wave, and left his earthly friends and family behind. We were friends, competitors, and collaborators with this remarkable man, and thought a few anecdotes might be in order.
After all those thousands of design and engineering hours, innumerable three dimensional images, and years of noodling on this ltest FPB series design, you would think we’d be tired of it. But these photos represent the high point in terms of buzz factor, and it won’t be equaled again until we see this latest FPB sitting on her lines, afloat in the waters of New Zealand. Read the rest »
If you are looking for a magic elixir to successful cruising, it will not be found in the marine hardware catalogs or boat shows. It will not come with state of the art electronics, or a different boat. It is much simpler than that. Of all the things you can do to enhance your cruising experience and safety, having a basic understanding of on board weather forecasting is the most important. Read the rest »
“The new Dashew passagemaker draws much of its heritage from the high-performance sailboats for which the Dashews are well known…” –Bill Parlatore, Passagemaker Magazine
Of all the sailboats we’ve done over the years, Beowulf is our favorite. She was our ultimate couple’s cruiser, and the benchmark, against which we measured everything when we started down the FPB path. In seven years of cruising part time, see saw 40,000 nautical miles slip under her keel with just two on board. Read the rest »
The passage between New Zealand and French Polynesia is one of the more difficult ocean crossing endeavors. At 2200 miles along the great circle route, it can often be as long as 2600 or more nautical miles depending on weather routing. John and Amanda Neal bill this as a heavy weather passage in their sail training business, and for good reason. FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf is on standby, waiting for a weather scenario that offers decent odds. Read the rest »
It is a gray, overcast, depressing afternoon – something for which residence in the US Southwest does not prepare its citizens. Since we have received a request for info on Beowulf IV from a journalist doing a book for the next “Little America’s Cup”, the scanner has been warmed up and we thought we’d share something different.
Here in Arizona we’re excited, having received our weekly update of photos from New Zealand. Seeing progress starting to accelerate on the first of three FPB 78s now scheduled, we are leaping for joy. The assembly floor has been laid out, and the tank modules are being dropped into place.
Deerfoot II, a longtime member of our family, is ready for a new home. She was launched in 1985 in Denmark, sailed across the Atlantic, via the West Indies, and Panama, to Marina del Rey, where she has been based for these many years.
We’ve been talking for years about going through our boxes of photos and slides and scanning them before they disintegrate. Well, the process has started and we are having so much fun remembering that we thought we might share a few stories with SetSailors, starting with this crowded cockpit on our 50 foot yawl, Intermezzo, in early 1977.
It was six years ago (January 24th, 2008) that Steve and I first went to New Zealand to have meetings with Circa Marine in Whangarei, regarding the construction of the FPB 64. That trip, my first to New Zealand, seems like it occurred just yesterday. Two weeks ago, as Steve and I touched down in New Zealand to finalize details on the new FPB 78 with the crew at Circa, the changes and milestones reached over these past six years loomed large. Read the rest »
We want to talk about a subject often avoided: Size. It is important for comfort, for aesthetics, and for speed. This has been much on our mind of late as we reach the “hard point” in the build cycle for the FPB 78, after which changes are not allowed. If you study the renderings in this post you will note the Dream Machine has a different look.
We have had a ton of feedback on the subject of crew quarters – both via SetSail and e-mail – and we’ve worked up what we think is as close to crew Nirvana as one can get on a small yacht. The process has also lead to several other enhancements in the FPB 78 layout. Our own thoughts have come full circle and we will tell you our decision for FPB 78-1 at the end of the post.
We are just back from a week at ground zero in the FPB world. We had the chance to take a couple of boat rides, hang out with three owners who are presently moored in the town basin, and review hundreds of details with the Circa team. Read the rest »