FPB 78-1 Cochise – After A Very Quick 5000 NM


FPB 78-1 Cochise has just completed a 1832 NM passage, Fiji to French Polynesia, against the prevailing wind and current, and has now seen more than 5000 NM pass under the hull in just four months.

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During the passage to French Polynesia, Cochise and her three person crew encountered everything from large surf…


…to 50-knot squalls.

The seven days and 14 hours spent underway were mostly in light headwinds, typically 10-to-15 knots with good visibility, even at night–courtesy of an almost-full moon.


Cochise averaged 10.06 knots for the passage, burning .803 gallons/3.04 liters per nautical mile for propulsion, electric, and hydraulic power.


The massive solar array averaged 17 kW of power generation each day. The upper right corner (above) shows the solar array amperage (142) while the upper left is the net charge or current draw. In this case we are showing a slight charge since the air conditioning is on and taking most  of the array’s output.


This full moon photo, taken while running at 10 knots into 1-1.5 meter seas, and is an example of just how smoothly the FPB 78 penetrates the waves. The photo was taken with a 840mm equivalent prime lens.


We will clear into French Polynesia this morning. We’ve got a very short list of things to get done before the next passage. Mostly routine chores like changing engine oil. After that, we will enjoy the clear waters of Raiatea for a few days.


And then it’s on to the next stop, by a route still to be determined.

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We are headed further east, a lot further…


But first we need to clear in, grab some fresh baguettes, and croissants…

And contemplate the standard for speed and comfort which FPB 78-1 Cochise has just demonstrated.


Sure we are a little biased, but then we are also hyper-critical. To have just come 1800 NM uphill, and to be ready and looking forward to getting out to sea again in short order, speaks volumes about Cochise and her capabilities.


Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 17, 2016)

16 Responses to “FPB 78-1 Cochise – After A Very Quick 5000 NM”

  1. Kent Says:

    Heading for Easter Island and South America?

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    No, Kent:
    Its Panama next for Cochise.

  3. Shannon Says:

    Just visiting the west coast of Panama or going thru the Big Ditch?
    Any stops in the Tampa/St Pete area planned?

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Shannon:
    Fort Lauderdale is the eventual destination.

  5. Corey Piatek Says:

    How difficult is it to change the oil in these? Do you drain the oil or pump it out? It doesn’t look like there is much room underneath the engines.

  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Corey
    There is more space than any yacht we have ever seen. Oil was changed today. Both engines, start to finish, under an hour. Not one drop spilled. Oil is pumped out/in with a Reverso pump and manifold.

  7. Mike B. Says:

    Steve: My wife, Susie, and I ran into Pam Wall while attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show last week. I remembered that you said she had joined the FPB group as Purchasing Coordinator. What a great time we had talking with her. She has great enthusiasum for all things to do with boating. We learned a lot in just the short time we had with her. Looking forward to seeing her again. You really have a jewel there. Well done…..I see you’re heading for the canal,then Fort Lauderdale, any chance you’ll be at any of the boat shows in the near future?

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Mike
    Boat shows are not in the plan. But if you are in Ft Lauderdale look up Pam, and she might be able to get you a look.

  9. Jack London Says:

    Hello Steve,

    Thanks for sharing the journey so far, the pictures and the data are very impressive!

    Did you get a chance to test for top speed yet? Would be very interesting to see what the full power on this hull can deliver.



  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Jack:
    2250 RPM, M-1 rating, half load, is 13.4 knots. Full load a quarter knot less. Surfing we have seen 22.7 at 2000 RPM.

  11. Jack London Says:

    Thanks Steve, this would mean that Iceberg is still the fastest FPB to date, right? I was hoping with the 330hp engines Cochise would go past 15kn, is there still speed to be found in props / adjustment settings or are you satisfied with this?

  12. Steve Dashew Says:

    Howdy Jack:
    Iceberg is a little quicker. There is probably more speed to be had but optimizing for top end costs us where we want to live, mainly in the 10/11 knot range.

  13. Passerby Says:

    beautiful pictures and reports on the performance.

    Quick FPB-64 question: One of the FPB 64 for sale (in North America) is listed as having a draft of 4’6″ – did that value change with later models?

  14. Steve Dashew Says:

    All the FPB 64s have same draft.

  15. James Masters Says:

    congrats on proof of concept/design — max kudos on top of pleasurable cruising !!!

    what are those white things (3-port, 2-strbd) on either side of the solar-panels in the pic of the fwd-panels?

  16. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi James:
    Those are antennae. GPS, Iridium, and Sirius radio.