Wicked FPB 97

Following is a series of posts detailing the design and construction process of the Wicked FPB 97.

Analyzing Lines of Sight


A primary design consideration is always what you can see from various places on board. As yachts get larger the sight lines diminish, and you begin to rely on secondary input: usually crew members wearing headsets, calling distance off the dock or to another vessel, to the con. We’d rather see and judge for ourselves. Hence a rigorous study early, the results of which guide the ensuing design.

There are several different criteria we are looking to fulfill:

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 9, 2012)    |    Comments (9)

Getting There Is More Than Half The Fun (or it should be)


Our approach to cruising yacht design is based on the concept that getting there should be as enjoyable as sitting at anchor absorbing a wonderful sunset. If you are physically and mentally comfortable, and instinctively know your vessel can deal with the sea and the odd bit of operator error, then you are going to go places, at the drop of a hat.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 8, 2012)    |    Comments (16)

The Easiest Dinghy Launch and Retrieval – Wickedly Simple


Among the very first things we look at in designing a yacht is dinghy storage, launching, and retrieval. This design aspect is as fundamental to successful cruising as anything else aboard. We have had a simple and reliable system since the first FPB first launched seven years ago, modified only recently by the advent of deck winches that power out as well as in. With booms easily controlled by permanent guys, locked off with rope clutches if required, and the dink stowed at deck level, the process is easy enough to get into and out of the water that we usually stow it aboard each evening.

As simple as this is, we still consider this to be potentially the most dangerous job on board.

With the Wicked FPB we have refined the dinghy process to make it significantly easier and more controlled.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 7, 2012)    |    Comments (23)

The Point Of Shallow Draft


We used to envy the folks who cruised with shallow draft for the benefits it conferred. There is the obvious, extending your cruising opportunities to areas like the Bahamas (above), but there other significant advantages as well.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 6, 2012)    |    Comments (12)

Name That Deck: A Wicked Setsail Contest


We have a problem gentle reader, and we need your help. The marvelous space we so prosaically call “Pilot Deck” is worthy of a descriptor more in keeping with the view of the world from this unique space.


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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 5, 2012)    |    Comments (137)

A New Angle With The Wicked FPB


The new Wicked FPB sports some hot angles, not the least of which is the glazing system surrounding the great room. There are numerous advantages to these outwardly angled windows.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 2, 2012)    |    Comments (15)

Wicked FPB – Following The Path


Throughout history, the most successful seagoing vessels have shared common attributes. Take, for example, the greatest warriors and travelers of their time, the fiercesome Vikings. When they sallied forth from their northland fjords, they employed high speed, extremely maneuverable, shallow draft designs to help them expand and conquer their world.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 31, 2012)    |    Comments (14)

Wicked FPB – The Shape Of Things To Come


If you are a regular visitor to SetSail.com, you know we like fine rear ends. Flat buttock lines in particular arouse our instincts. With most yacht designs, there is a conflict here between comfort and performance (and this varies with different speeds, or more correctly speed-length ratios). Typically, you pick a speed regime and sea state and live with the results.

But if you stretch the waterline, keeping other design aspects constant, good things begin to happen.


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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 30, 2012)    |    Comments (27)

Clearing The Fog

Wicked FPB 7 12

We took the afternoon off, went for a drive, had a gelato, and enjoyed being outside in the harsh winter for which Arizona is known. We’re down to rechecking basic assumptions (again), finalizing deck geometry, and fine tuning the hull shape. This can be a dangerous time in the design cycle.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 30, 2012)    |    Comments (6)

Amping Up The Story Of The Wicked FPB


We are somewhat surprised by the amount of comment induced by the post on the solar array, so we thought we’d update you to the present (things are moving quickly).

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 29, 2012)    |    Comments (27)

The Next FPB – A Breath Of Fresh Air


When you start to consider powerboat (stinkpot) systems, virtually every decision revolves around air conditioning. Air conditioning holds you hostage. High heat loads from large windows and poor-to-nonexistent shading, coupled with a lack of ventilation, force you to fit large compressors, which means a big genset. Since you cannot do without the genset, you need a second, both of which are too big to just run air conditioning at night, so a small night generator is needed.  All other systems decisions flow from this conundrum.

But what if you had good ventilation, even when there was no breeze, and then coupled this with minimized heat loads?

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 28, 2012)    |    Comments (16)

Getting To The Point of It All

FPB Wicked 5

Most of the folks we know in the marine “business” (an oxymoron for sure) play the game for love, or because they simply have no choice, they are pulled to it. The hours are long, the outcome often uncertain, and the risks higher than many economic endeavors.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 26, 2012)    |    Comments (6)

Improving On Perfection -The Next FPB

FPB Wicked 2

For years we’ve been wrestling with a way to improve on the FPB 83, Wind Horse. We’ve done smaller, as in the FPB 64: a very efficient, attractively priced, well-mannered yacht. And we’ve worked up a larger version in the guise of the FPB 115, about which we can get excited. But to improve on the Wind Horse combination of comfort, sea-kindliness, heavy weather ability, trans-ocean average speed, systems efficiency, and ease of handling for a couple has yet to happen.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 25, 2012)    |    Comments (20)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (A New FPB)

FPB Wicked 1

It starts as a hazy vision one sleepless night, an outline, and there is a compulsion to see where it leads, even if it is not on the master plan. When the beast strikes, you have to feed it – there is no other option. Days are long, nights are short, computers whirr overtime and the design spiral fits seamlessly together. Gigabytes criss-cross the internet. Hydrostatics, structure, layout, motion, systems, ventilation, aesthetics – meld wickedly, as if this were meant to be.

For more information on the FPB Series, e-mail Sue Grant: Sue.Grant@Berthon.Co.UK.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 22, 2012)    |    Comments (40)

FPB 97 Matrix Deck – Updated

FPB 97 night Matrix deck fwd lkg aft

When the pieces suddenly fell into place for the FPB 97, a key element of the concept was this new deck. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 7, 2012)    |    Comments (58)