FPB 78-1 Forepeak: Boatbuilders’ Art


As FPB 78-1 nears completion, it is becoming easier to see the art form of which the Circa team are capable.

We are in the forepeak now, and in the lead photo looking forward from the watertight door in the aft forepeak bulkhead.


Most builders hide their systems. But Circa does such lovely work that we prefer to have it in the open, so we can enjoy this highest form of boatbuilders’ art.


There are two entrances to the forepeak. The watertight door from the forward suite…


…and this large deck hatch.


The area aft of the partial bulkhead will have…


…exercise equipment, the laundry facilities, and lots of storage space.


Black and gray water tanks are installed above the waterline where they can be emptied by gravity, used straight though, or emptied with a pump-out system as appropriate. Above the black tank on the starboard side, there are three air con compressors for the great room.


The forward end of the forepeak has the chain bin…


…the windlass and kedge winch gearboxes/motors, shore power connections, and wiring to be connected to the forward mast.


Below the floorboards on the port side is the pump bay. This includes a fresh water pressure pump for each of the tanks…


…the air con raw water pumps, along with bilge and wash down pumps.


There’s obvious storage potential above the forepeak soles, but even more resides in the area below. In the shot above, you are looking into the bay opposite the pumps. There is an intermediate shelf that doesn’t show.


Even more storage potential lies aft. The thruster bay alone is capable of absorbing several cubic meters in the upper and…


…lower region, accessed by lifting the intermediate sole as shown above.


Lift the washer/dryer floorboards and you find even more storage.

What we need now are fuel, supplies, and a week of bad weather in which to put FPB 78-1 Cochise through the ringer. And then we are ready to start cruising.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 18, 2016)

25 Responses to “FPB 78-1 Forepeak: Boatbuilders’ Art”

  1. Carl E. Says:

    Hi Steve: Impressive room for sure. Do you have, like Wind Horse, a searchlight sonar in the forepeak as well?

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Carl:
    No searchlight sonar this time. But we have 3D sonar for the dinghy which we can view in real time on the main Simrad system via wifi.

  3. Richard Boote Says:

    This is a TOTAL work of Art!

  4. PJ Says:

    Can’t help but wonder if FPB water tanks are exposed aluminum, and how this may invoke long term health issues. Perhaps they’re lined and this is a non issue.

    You know what they say about aluminum pots, cooking utensils etc.

  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi PJ:
    There is lots of data both ways. But as we fit a drinking water tank made either from stainless or molded plastic it is a non issue.

  6. Gene Says:

    Amazing work as usual. One design idea / suggestion. On the ladder type steps down into the forepeak maybe a slide and lock section that raises the ladder 3 or 4 rungs above the deck. Makes it much easier and safer for people of all ages but especially those of us getting on a bit. Open the hatch, reach down and slide a section of ladder upward till it locks. Use as needed and when done lift the section to disengage and lower it down. Close and dog the hatch.

  7. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Gene:
    There are meter high hand rails either side of the entry hatch.

  8. Jack Says:

    So clean and ready to go. Can’t wait

  9. chris Says:

    Pure nit-picking, but it makes me twitch that the red & yellow cables are not as neatly strung as the white ones… I’d invoke a penalty clause.

    Normally I’m not a fan of the crinkly silver facing on the foam insulation, but it does brighten the space when there’s so much of it, and it looks kinda spacecraft-y. Have you had good long-term success with that mylar edge tape? All in the prep work I imagine?

    Nice looking beast; congrats!

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Howdy Chris:
    Those twisted red/yellow cables carry up to 500 amps DC. If they are parallel they will set up a strong magnetic field. Twisting cancels the magnetism. Mylar tape has its benefits and drawbacks. The key, as you mention,is preparation.

  11. PJ Says:

    Are you holding out on FPB 70 news?!
    That is an exciting boat.

  12. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello PJ:
    We are way behind on the FPB 70 news. A full update will be forthcoming as soon as we have time.

  13. Christopher Teasdale Says:


    I am wondering with regards to the lowest amount of incoming
    Amps you could plug an Fpb 64 into in the uk is 50 amp the lowest or could you plug into 32amp or less the reason I ask Is that a lot of marinas in the uk are only 16amp or 32amp input from the shore power how would you deal with this?

  14. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello Christopher:
    With normal battery charging covered by the solar panels the actual shore power needs are marginal. 16 amp UK circuits will handle most needs and when it doesn’t the inverters automatically come online, match phase, and provide the required additional power.

  15. Christopher Teasdale Says:

    I assume to go from a 16amp uk receptacle to plug into
    the 50 amp on the boat I would need some adapters or would you
    Just use the two 16 amp via a splitter and plug it into the 30amp system
    on the boat?

  16. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Again Christopher:
    AC power, and the differences between US and the UK is not something to be taken lightly. Not being expert we will leave the detailed answer to the sparkies.That said, the adapters are easy to use.

  17. Victor Raymond Says:

    When I showed my wife these pictures she understood immediately your art. Function becomes form and that is true beauty.

  18. Reinhard Dieckhoff Says:

    I wonder whether the suspended support base for the washing machine is sufficiently stiff for absorbing the vibrations when the machine is spinning at maximum revolutions. Usually a lot of mass as a base does the job.

  19. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello Reinhard:
    The washer and drier each have an aluminum angle frame cantilevered with gussets off a watertight bulkhead. The washer has a forward corner support, and if required we can easily add another. But we prefer to keep the space below these machines clear for storage if possible.

  20. Shannon (Shaz) Says:

    That is a thing of beauty. I showed these to my partner & she agrees. It’s a thing of beauty. My partner also loves the safety, efficiency & just general practicality of your yachts. She is a keeper. Now, we just need to figure out how to afford one. Darn it, I hate when reality crashes head on into my dreams. That new 70 looks to be about perfect for our needs, can’t wait to see more details & hopefully follow a build.

  21. Jason Alderwick Says:

    I am never driven to comment online but after 5 years or so of dreaming about FPB’s and discovering your web site I’d like to congratulate you and your team for some providing some inspirational stuff! This is Warship quality output and to achieve in a commercial yard is outstanding – BZ!

  22. Daniel Ambler Says:

    Hi Steve, your designs seem to be getting bigger and better. However I noticed that a lot of commenters will remark how they love these boats, but can only dream of owning one, as an entry level, second hand vessel will set them back 3.5 million dollars NZ. I wonder if the same design principles and quality could be applied to smaller vessel. There a plenty of 35 foot to 55 foot sailing yachts cruising the worlds oceans, so how about an FPB? It would be a real design challenge, but it would be great if more people could take advantage of your experience and design expertise in a more affordable package. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  23. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Daniel:
    Thanks for the nice comments and the suggestion re a smaller FPB. We have wrestled with the concept of a less costly FPB for years, as we did with our sailing designs, and have not been able to come up with a viable economic model. And the problems today are more difficult now than in the past as there are so few financially sound builders left. Perhaps the situation will change at some point in the future.

  24. PJ Says:

    Would be curious to know if you’ve considered dragging a Gaus meter around the great room and staterooms with the electrics fired up . . . my preference would not to be sitting or sleeping in a dominant EM field given the choice.

    I know, another element of build complexity!

  25. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello PJ:
    We will give the boat a Gauss check. However, metal boats with the heavy wiring primarily outboard against the hull is usually low on the radiated energy level.