FPB 64-6 has just completed a winter crossing of the North Atlantic, which at one point featured hurricane strength compression storms in east and west regions. She did so in classic fashion, taking advantage of the weather when possible, but always with a bailout option if the forecasts turned negative. There are a number of lessons for us in this passage. Read the rest »
FPB 64 Updates
The following articles cover the FPB 64 construction sequence. You will find hundreds of detailed photos with explanations covering every phase of the build cycle. Scroll down to the bottom to see the first articles.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
~ William A. Foster
This is a difficult post for Linda and me to write. But events in the past few weeks together with the urging of many of our friends and clients (often one and the same) have forced the issue, starting with the William Foster quote above sent to us by one of our owners.
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.
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 »
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 »
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.
“When the Dashews finally decided to resort to motive power, Steve Dashew designed a boat with the spirit of a yacht that could take on the roughest seas…”
–Boat International Magazine
Every now and then in yacht design, the thousands of details involved to produce a boat combine in a unique way, creating a vessel which performs substantially better than projected. Read the rest »
“Against the Wind…With his new powerboat design, world cruiser Steve Dashew continues a lifelong pattern of challenging the status quo.”
I have just returned from a very productive week in New Zealand and wanted to share some of the photos taken while on the ground at our builder, Circa Marine. There was much covered during the trip – here are a few of the latest details surrounding the FPB 64 program. Read the rest »
Nope, I’m not talking about the movie – beautiful blue color in the above shot by Carol Parker notwithstanding. As a matter of fact, your genial author couldn’t make it through the unbelievably tedious sci-fi re-telling of Pocohantas. No, we here at SetSail are big fans of The Avatar Logs, the blog and photo site of Carol Parker and her adventures with husband Mike aboard FPB 64, Avatar. Read the rest »
At Dashew Offshore our goal has always been to build the perfect cruising yacht; delivered on time, within budget, without surprises, resulting in a contented client.
To make this unique approach to the yacht building business successful, we have to purposely limit our sales, something that many would find counter-intuitive given the demand for FPBs.
With all the excitement about the start of construction on the first FPB 97, it is easy to forget about the four FPB 64s currently in various stages of construction. We’ll start with FPB 64-6 and then move on to the other boats. Shown above is the fresh water pressure pump setup: twin pumps, so when one quits (probably mid-shower) it is easy to bring the pressure back online.
We’ve got a few photos (from the hundreds we get every month) to share. Assuming you have seen much of this before (or can if you go back in the archives) we’ll concentrate on a few unusual details, beginning with how to remove a prop shaft without dropping the rudder. The first two photos are of FPB64-7.
Given our morbid fascination with sea states other than benign, the following note from Bruce Farrand at Circa regarding an offshore testing day last week may shed light on what we covet in capability.
Quick rundown on our most recent sea trial on Tiger on 5th of June: It was a good day to get plenty of water on to Tiger’s deck. Forecast for the day was GALE FORCE WARNING IN FORCE, North to NorthWest winds, 40 knots, easing to 25 knots in the evening, sea becoming very rough for a time. Northerly swell of 4 meters.
With a bit of offshore experience under your belt, and the right yacht, preparing for and executing ocean crossings becomes routine. You will get to the point where you will decide to go on Monday, spend the next couple days provisioning, and be gone by Thursday. But the first time you head for the horizon, there’s going to be some trepidation. It happens with everyone.
We are pleased to report that on this rainy morning in the Southern Hemisphere, Circa has given birth to a Tiger. Given the auspicious beginning, rain and on-schedule launching being good luck, we await with keen interest the reports to come from this newest of FPB 64s.
As designers and builders, we think of our yachts as progeny and our clients as family. As such, we take great pleasure in the exploits of the former and the growth of the latter into accomplished voyagers. It is one of the main ingredients that keeps us coming back for more. Pete and Deb Rossin’s recently completed circumnavigation of New Zealand, including Stewart Island deep in the roaring forties, is a wonderful example of this.
A large part of Pete and Deb’s trip was in waters considered to be among the most hostile in the world. During the early part of their cruise they encountered an un-forecast force nine gale, 40 plus knots of wind gusting well into the 50s, with opposing current steepening the seas–at night of course.
Time being in exceedingly short supply at present, we are going to post a batch of photos of FPB 64-5 through 7, without the usual commentary. The assumption is that you’d rather see the photos than wait for the schedule to free up. We’ll start with FPB 64-5, the launch date of which draws ever so close. Read the rest »
This is an appropriate photo with which to bring you up to date. One door closes, another opens. We are pleased to report that metal has begun to be cut for FPB 64s numbers eight and nine, while production engineering has officially begun for the first FPB 97. Metal for FPB 97-1 is scheduled to be on the cutting table the third quarter of 2012. When FPB 97-1 launches fourth quarter 2014, she will be cruised by her owners on their own, without permanent crew, although there will be crew facilities should a future owner wish a hand or two with maintenance.
And closer in time, FPB 64-5 is nearing completion. FPB 64-9 will be the last in that series for now, after which all attention will be focused on the FPB 97. Since there are still buyers for the FPB 64s, you may be wondering why we are taking this unusual step. The answer is simple:
Building high quality yachts is not easy. In fact, one could argue that it is the hardest of endeavors. And with the limited bandwidths of ourselves and Circa, if production ramps up too quickly, then quality is sure to suffer. We prefer to go a little slower, and concentrate on building the best. Once the FPB 97s are underway, we’ll revisit this conundrum. If you have been dreaming of an FPB 64 at some point in the future, stay in touch. Looking further ahead, if demand is there, we’ll most probably be ready for a new series of boats.
Brian Rickard has put together a 2012 calendar featuring the FPB 64. They’re available through Lulu.com, an independent publisher. You can check them out by clicking the link below.
And now for something different. We are pleased to report that FPB-1, Avatar, has just finished her first day of testing with the swim platform extension and get-home engine. The lovely clean release above is at eight knots with the little Yanmar pushing her along.
We were working through some design issues last week using a new (beta) version of Rhino 3D, and thought that a quick set of graphics on the FPB 64 structural grid might be of interest. These may help put the construction photos we show into context.
Since we’ve been boring you with technical posts all week why change the rhythm? These photos are from Friday, and cover FPB 64s five through seven. We’ll start with seven, shown above, the skeleton of which is just starting to be assembled.
After some 5000 cruising miles since delivery in March of 2011, I have some pretty specific thoughts on how Iron Lady is working out. Some were surprises to me. At the top of the list was that I felt safe on Iron Lady. While I can’t necessarily identify all the features that make the boat safe, between how comfortable the boat is at sea, at anchor and how it stood up to the punishment of a grounding all gave me tremendous confidence in the boat. My husband is also much more relaxed about things and that, in turn, makes me comfortable. My other comment was that I never would do what we have done on Iron Lady on our last boat. By the second day out of New Zealand to Tonga on our first really long passage, I was standing watch – something I would never on our last boat.
It is the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the year 2011, and we have a new batch of photos from Circa, a few of which we’ll share. That’s Avatar, FPB64-1 in the yard, back at her birth spot for a get home auxiliary to be installed. After two years of cruising and many thousands of miles she is looking good. FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, is in the area as well. And then there are FPB 64s five, six, and seven, under construction, which we shall get to shortly.
We are just back from a quick trip to New Zealand to check on the engine room layout now that a get home system is being added to the FPB 64s. Those of you who have been aboard one of the FPB 64s knows the engine room is a work of art. Circa, our clients, and ourselves are concerned that the hit on engine room access and aesthetics be minimized with this extra diesel.
As you go to sea, you probably harbor in the back of your mind the particular weaknesses of your vessel. If unfavorable weather is forecast, it is often these weaknesses, coupled with a lack of confidence that create tension, concern, and fear.