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Making It Happen

FPB 97-1 Iceberg: A Day Of Tests – Posted By Sarah

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Tuesday morning finds us wending our way out to open water on Iceberg. A battery of tests are in store: everything from engine load and fuel burn, to optimizing stabilizer settings, checking roll periods, loading alternators, and pretty much anything you can think of in between. Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (January 7, 2015)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 97 Iceberg: Surfing Off Before A Wicked New Zealand Gale

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Come aboard FPB 97-1 Iceberg for a quick ride from Waiheke Island to Whangarei. Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (December 19, 2014)    |    Comments (12)

FPB 97-1 Drone Photos (and video)- What You Really Need under The Tree

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Being very 21st century in all things to do with serious cruising, we have a demo of a pair of ultimate cruising tools.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 14, 2014)    |    Comments (20)

FPB 97-1 Sea Trials – Kicking Up The Revs

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FPB 97-1 is working its way up the engine load chart. We shot some video last week aboard, from which this transom shot is extracted. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 9, 2014)    |    Comments (5)

FPB 97-1 Sea Trials Day 2: A Wicked Wake

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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 »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 25, 2014)    |    Comments (7)

FPB 97-1 Sea Trials Day 1

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It is a perfect day for the first sea trial with FPB 97-1. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 24, 2014)    |    Comments (11)

FPB 97 Performance – What Is Your Guess?

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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 »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 22, 2014)    |    Comments (19)

FPB 97-1 Trials: Inclined Towards Safety

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We thought a few photos of a stability check on the Wicked FPB 97-1 might be of interest. In case you want to do this yourself some day you will see it really isn’t that difficult.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 21, 2014)    |    Comments (1)

FPB 97-1 Floating Free

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FPB 97-1 Iceberg is floating free. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 19, 2014)    |    Comments (19)

FPB 97-1 The Moment of Truth

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The moment of truth is at hand. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 18, 2014)    |    Comments (25)

FPB 97 – The Emergence

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In the pre-dawn light, illusory figures attend the Wicked One, for it is known that this is the day.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 17, 2014)    |    Comments (26)

The Wicked One Is At Hand…

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The Wicked One is at hand. Stay tuned…


Posted by admin  (November 16, 2014)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-5 Tiger in Passagemaker Magazine: “The Minerva Option”

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Recently FPB 64-5 Tiger, her intrepid owners John and Sandy Henrichs, and their adventurous cruising choices, were the subject of a detailed feature by John Beatty in Passagemaker Magazine. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (November 11, 2014)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 78 Lifeline Stanchion Test

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We’ve been thinking about using aluminum lifeline stanchions for a long time as they offer a number of advantages.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 28, 2014)    |    Comments (11)

FPB 64-10 Launches, FPBs 78-3 and 64-11 Begin Construction – Posted by Sarah

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We are pleased to report that FPB 64-10 has begun her sea trials. Riptide is sitting well on her lines and happy to be afloat.

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Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (September 26, 2014)    |    Comments (16)

FPB Construction Progress Update: August1, 2014

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It is the first day of August and time for an update, starting with three shots of the FPB 97-1 forepeak, looking here from inside the chain locker and aft. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 1, 2014)    |    Comments (27)

FPB 64-5 Tiger Featured In PassageMaker Magazine

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The July/August edition of PassageMaker Magazine features a lovely piece by John Beatty on “doing it right” with cruising. Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (June 30, 2014)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 78 Series Construction Update June 20, 2014

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The first of the FPB 78 series now has all of its bottom plate in place, a major milestone.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 20, 2014)    |    Comments (0)

FPB Systems Log – Maintenance on a Voyage Halfway Around the World

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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 »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 12, 2014)    |    Comments (10)

FPB 78 – The Strongest Cruising Yacht Hull Ever Built? And Other FPB Progress Photos

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Bottom plate this thick is heavy, very difficult to fabricate, and costly in the extreme. It is two times or more the Loyds Special Service rule requirements. Does it make sense?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 6, 2014)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf Is Alongside: St George’s Harbor, Bermuda

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Having left New Zealand just nine weeks and 9000 NM ago, Peter Watson and crew, aboard FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf, have now completed the fifth leg in their journey to the UK.

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Posted by admin  (June 2, 2014)    |    Comments (2)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady ‘s “Welcome” To Washington

Pete Rossin and crew have completed another uneventful ocean crossing, 2300 NM in ten pleasant days between Hawaii and Puget Sound. Upon arrival they were forced to use the Washington State Pilots

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 31, 2014)    |    Comments (10)

FPB 64-3 Iron Lady: Canada Bound From Hawaii

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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 »


Posted by admin  (May 23, 2014)    |    Comments (0)

Anchors Down: FPB 64 Grey Wolf Arrives In Panama

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FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf, Peter Watson Master, has arrived Balboa, Panama after a non-eventful 4100NM passage from Taieohai in the Marquesas Islands of eastern French Polynesia. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 22, 2014)    |    Comments (0)

FPB Construction Update: FPB 78 Taking Shape while FPB 64-10 and FPB 97-1 Draw Closer To Launch

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FPB 78-1 is now framed, deck plating is on, and hull plating begins soon. Which is good because we are depressed with this enforced stay on land.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 14, 2014)    |    Comments (4)

The Most Difficult of All Yachting Passages – 4000NM Eastbound From The Marquesas to Panama

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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.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 5, 2014)    |    Comments (3)

A Little Weird Science -Looking For A Soft LED Lighting Color That Dims Sufficiently

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We are always looking for a better, simpler way of doing things, and this frequently includes in-house testing. Right now we are working on LED lighting, looking for the best combination of light, color temperature, and dimming ability.

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Posted by admin  (May 1, 2014)    |    Comments (16)

FPB 78-1 The Dream Machine Is Taking Shape

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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 »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 3, 2014)    |    Comments (15)

A Most Difficult Ocean Passage Coming Up – Playing The Weather Odds In Hurricane Season

Friday March 14 2014 NZ FCast

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 »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 14, 2014)    |    Comments (9)

Leaping Into The Future – FPB Progress In The Antipodes

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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.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 7, 2014)    |    Comments (2)

Six Years of FPBs

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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 »


Posted by admin  (February 12, 2014)    |    Comments (9)

Speed, Sex, Rules, & Dinghies: Size Does Matter

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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.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 31, 2014)    |    Comments (25)

FPB 78: Crew Quarters, The Laundry Room, And A Hallway

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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.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 24, 2014)    |    Comments (6)

FPB Construction Update As Of December 18,2013

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The parts pile grows larger for the first FPB 78.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 3, 2014)    |    Comments (10)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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

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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 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 64-3 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)

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)

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.

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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.

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

Let The Plating Begin

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It is that time when the real fun begins, the execution of which separates men from boys, and where the wheeling is now in earnest.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 7, 2013)    |    Comments (3)

Easy FPB Facelift

We like the matte gray unobtrusive looks of an aluminum hull that has been exposed to sea water for a year or so. But occasionally after a season of roughing it and sharing the odd harbor rafted to commercial or government vessels,

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

Wicked Stabilizer Bosses and Other Details

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The FPB 97 has enormous stabilizer mechanisms, sized for support when aground and hitting things, the loads for which are far more than hydrostatic loads. The over strength mechanism, however, is of no value, and in fact can damage the boat, if it is not properly reinforced.  Read the rest »


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

Buffalo Nickel, FPB 64-7, Is Wet

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It is early, the sun still far to the east, when Buffalo Nickel slides under the travel lift for the first time. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 20, 2013)    |    Comments (11)

Getting To Know Grey Wolf: A Brief Video With Mike & Liza Dicks

What’s it really like coming to grips with a new yacht? Read the rest »


Posted by admin  (February 15, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

Moving Day In Whangarei

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Big things are happening in the Far North of New Zealand. Moving day for FPB 64-8 has arrived. Hull number eight in this series has been moved out of its shed leaving additional room Read the rest »


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

Video: A Peek Behind The Gray Curtain – Posted By Sarah


Want a taste of the FPB cycle? The following video gives an idea of the birthing process… Read the rest »


Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (February 6, 2013)    |    Comments (1)

Staying Tight With Your Fabricator

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Dean Gunson, Operations Manager at Circa, is showing off a test section of rolled aluminum plate. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 29, 2013)    |    Comments (12)

A Wicked Belting – Or What To Use When You Want To Rub Someone The Wrong Way

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We have learned over the  years how to rub the world the wrong way and get away with it. This manifests itself in many ways. In the case of the Wicked FPB 97

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 19, 2013)    |    Comments (9)

FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf: Engine Room Art

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At the risk of being repetitive, we thought you might like another look at the highest form of engine room art, this time FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 15, 2013)    |    Comments (16)

FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf – A Few Details

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Yesterday evening we were aboard the sixth FPB 64, Grey Wolf and thought a few of her details might be of interest. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 12, 2013)    |    Comments (10)

Can A Non-Planing Hull Like the FPB Operate Efficiently at Post-Planing Speeds?

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Over the years we have had many tools with which to predict performance, some more accurate than others. Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 9, 2013)    |    Comments (3)