Fine Tuning the First FPB 97

FPB 971B H1

We’ve been hard at work fine-tuning FPB 97-1 for her very experienced owner. His goal is a highly efficient cruising platform, one which is easy to maintain, and has the highest degree of reliability. There is an instinctive understanding of the difference between the theoretical ideal and the everyday practical. The results so far, of this collaborative effort towards the perfect family cruising yacht, may surprise some observers.

FPB 971B a001

To begin with, this is a yacht that will primarily cruise without professional crew aboard. This makes most operations single-handed in nature. In this regard, the FPB 97 is not that different from the FPB 64 or the FPB 83. Once away from a crowded harbor, offshore, at anchor in a lovely lagoon or off a spectacular glacier, the work load is similar.

97 78 GR LKG FWD psole

With one exception. That is the surface area to be cleaned. There is simply more of it. Some items, like the windows, are actually going to be more easily maintained. The engine room will take a little, but not significantly more, time. Items like the cabin soles, on the other hand, are directly proportional to area, and here the FPB 97 will take more effort. Which leads us to the photo above. You will no doubt have noticed the sole in the great room. FPB 97-1 will not have timber soles. Rather, she will be fitted with a handsome, light-colored floor covering that provides sound attenuation and non-skid, with a fraction of the maintenance otherwise required.

FPB 971 N

The Matrix Deck is another example of the less-is-more philosophy. Present plans have the aft area open without built-in furniture, but with provision for bolting down furniture or exercise equipment in the future, when more is known as to the best use for this area. Our bet is that it remains open with lightweight furniture brought up from the forepeak when required. The bare teak furniture will look good, and eliminates painted or varnished surfaces.

FPB 971 obs 1

Here is an interesting detail, one that will become standard: a gate in the observation platform to use when getting off and on when berthed at high commercial docks, or when rafted with bigger vessels. There will be a lightweight plank to accompany the gate.

Sound farfetched?

Qaqotorq3 2

We can think of a number of times over the years where this would have been very handy,

Qaqotorq3 1

including Quortatoq in Southern Greenland.

Fpr 971 revised step c

We are now on the seventh iteration of the swim/boarding platform. Getting this area just right is critical to cruising enjoyment. You need easy access in and out of dinghies, while swimming, retrieving someone who has inadvertently gone into the water, using paddleboards, kayaks, kite surfing, etc.

FPB 972 swim step c1

The platform needs to be low enough for ease of use, but not so low your feet get wet in a choppy anchorage.

FPB 971B a005 3

The topsides have been extended to provide security for stored gear and t0 reduce wetting in rough anchorages.

FPB 972 swim step c1

The edge will provide a convenient hand hold when coming alongside with the dinghy.

FPB 971 B underwtare aft 2

Likewise, the swim ladder has been through many versions, of which this may (or may not) be the final. It has good ergonomics, is easily launched, and is robust enough to take a lot  of abuse.

97 81 MF aft Deck 23

We are still working on the “porch” area under the Matrix Deck.

97 81 MF aft Deck 24

There is a locker under the stairs to starboard with a sink, and the table has a folding leaf, with a high/low slide mechanism. This has to serve many purposes, including dining al fresco, being used in the low position when lounging, and as a sorting point when loading groceries onboard. The back of the settee has drawers and shelves, there is bulk storage in the seats, and there is a day head to port.

FPB 971 Max height of eye headliner adjusted

We’ll close with this height-of-eye test rendering. If you are 1.95m/6’4″ tall, you are going to be concerned with the view under the headliner. In this image the camera is set 1780mm/70″ off the sole, the height of eye for someone this tall. The anchorage is Wakaya Island, in Fiji. It will be lovely when we can dispense with the simulations and show you the real thing.

For more information, contact Tood Rickard, Sue Grant: Sue.Grant@Berthon.Co.UK..

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 8, 2012)

10 Responses to “Fine Tuning the First FPB 97”

  1. Steve B Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Fabulous renderings – feels almost like being there. Is it a wet locker under the stairs in the porch?

    How much flexibility is there with the interior arrangements? For example, could you do the following combination:

    > Place the great-room con on-centre and remove the centre mullion per Windhorse and FPB 64?
    > Arrange great-room seating as per Windhorse (L-shaped to port, settee to stbd) and dispense with the second seating/dinning arrangement?
    > Move the interior staircase to port (where the dinning area was) and use a switch-back stair to egress into the port side of the lower lobby (would need the owner’s cabin to be a mirror-image of the current plan to place the door on the stbd side)?
    > extend the galley slightly forward to take up any remaing area freed-up by removing the dinning table
    > Increase the fridge/freezer area and include laundry facilites in the now linear corridor and storage cabinets to stbd and also a desk/chair?

    Hmmm… that’s enough for now.

    Cheers, Steve

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    There is some flexibility with things that do not impact structure or systems. So, changing the window layout or the mullions would not be possible (the engineering on this has yet to be finalized). As long as the galley remains as standard, stairways, and the cabinet with electrical panels the same, the seating and con could be modified to suit, and in fact will be on 97-1.

  3. Evan Gatehouse Says:

    Interesting as usual – and very nice renderings. What flooring material are you going to be using in the Great Room?

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Flooring still under consideration. There are so many choices…

  5. Anthony VDM Says:

    Hi Steve,
    FYI, Page load speeds are excellent and the big images bring us even closer to the ‘action’. Terrific stuff.

    What kind of ground tackle are you proposing for the 97?
    Sticking with the Rocna? If the 83(now 86?) has 110kg, are you spec-ing up the 97 for 150kg or similar?

    As per everyone, thanks for taking us along with you on this journey! 🙂


  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    Off hand I thunk it is a 150 kg Rocna, but have not checked the spec recently.

  7. quoc Says:

    I am not always sure that imitation is the best form of flattery. Not sure if you have seen this FPB-83 look alike, stretched to 30 meter so it will be in the ball park of Wicked FPB, being marketed by CMCY from China. I suspect this design does not benefit from the continous learning and improvements of the FPB series: it does not seem as mature. I was researching some NZ catamarans when I stumbled onto it.

    I also wonder what do you think about the Damien’s X bow, which reminds me of early last century battleships. I read a Japanese paper stating the tumblehome hull as on our DDG-1k has roll stability issues in following seas.

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    The X bow makes sense for high performance multi-hulls, but not sure about a cruising mono with anchoring and docking thrown into the equation. For yachts, this is going to be a fashion statement. That said, anything whic h stretches the waterline with a constant displacement is good for performance, and allow reduction in reserve buoyancy, also good, as long as the rest of the hull follows suit.

  9. Espen L Says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’ve been reading through quite a few of the blog entries, and I’m really impressed with the maturity level and thoughts that go into the design.

    From an engineering question – do you do all the design/engineering disciplines yourself, or do you get assistance in some areas? E.g. hydraulics, electronics, load calculations etc?

    And most importantly – thanks for sharing all the information. It is a fascinating read.

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    We set the criteria, but we have a team that does the actual detailing these days.For example, Todd Rickard handles the electronics and circuitry.