With a project as massive and complex as the FPB 78, there are times when we ask ourselves why we are still doing this. After all, we could have been cruising on Wind Horse these past three years.
What drives us forward is the elusive goal of the perfect yacht, a definition of which is obviously unique in the eye of the beholder. Being anal about detail, and perfectionist by nature, the goal we are chasing is often associated with large doses of frustration – ours and often those whom we are pushing.
There comes a point in each project when we know if we are going to be totally pleased, or something less. Having just spent 60 hours over four days in intensive detail work with the crew at Circa, we can say without reservation that taking three years off from cruising has been worth it. In every respect the FPB 78 is turning out better than we had hoped.
That smile on the face of Circa’s lead engineer, Ian Tibbey, says a great deal about where we are. The engine room, workshop, and engineering in general is the best we have ever had. There are hundreds of small details Ian and his crew have developed for us that are advances in how things are typically done.
Take for example the grey and black water tank plumbing. These have direct overboard discharge when holding is not required. Simple and effective.
Engine panels are located over the engine room aft watertight door, handy for maintenance, out of the way, and easily read.
The main panel breaker wiring is now underway. The electrical system is also full of small but important changes. From the N2K monitoring system, to a new approach to electrical panels that simplifies replacement and/or tuning of circuit breakers, we are very pleased with the progress in this vital area.
When we started this project, we asked Circa to abandon their standard interior construction techniques for something a lot lighter. This changeover has been hard on them and ourselves.
Their effort has paid off. The lighter construction, and the weight it saves up high, will pay performance and comfort benefits, and be a source of hidden pleasure.
More visible pleasure will come from an exquisite furniture finish.
The AKL to LAX flight has been called so we will sign off for now. More in a few days.