FPB 78-1 The Dream Machine Is Taking Shape

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After all those thousands of design and engineering hours, innumerable three dimensional images, and years of noodling on this ltest FPB series design, you would think we’d be tired of it. But these photos represent the high point in terms of buzz factor, and it won’t be equaled again until we see this latest FPB sitting on her lines, afloat in the waters of  New Zealand. This is also the point during the construction cycle where we can get a sense of size and shape (that will soon be obscured by the construction process).

You will note that the area to the right in the photo above is missing something. FPB 64-10 has been moved into the construction bay in the next building, recently vacated by FPB 64-9, which has just completed sea trials. That FPB 64-10 space is now in use for FPB 78-1 roof sub assembly. It won’t be long before hull modules for FPB 78-2 will start coming together in this area.

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We like our bows strong, the better to push through things like ice and debris. There is also a collision bulkhead a short distance aft of the stem. The horizontal stiffeners on the stem bar are called breast hooks.The stem bar is 40mm thick, and when the bottom plating is added to this it will have a total of 64mm of aluminum, or 2.5”.

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We are looking here from the inside the forepeak collision bulkhead aft. Those massive topside stiffeners give us a bit of comfort when we are trying to find our way through a ice. The slots are to facilitate tying gear in this area.

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This view is from what we refer to as the “annex” adjacent to the owner’s suite. We are looking forward now.

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Turning around and looking aft from the forward end of the owner’s suite, that is the engine room bulkhead all the way aft.

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We are standing in what will become the door into the aft starboard stateroom. The hallway separating the after staterooms from the forward owner’s suite is 1.2m/4ft in width.

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These two openings in the center of the fuel tank will become a sealed coffer dam for the traction battery bank.

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The pipework is for the fuel  tank pickups, returns, and fills.

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This will become the watertight door from the starboard head into the engine room (there is another door from the aft end of the boat as well).

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Engine bearers will be worked into the longitudinal girders and there is another watertight bulkhead aft of the engine room not yet installed.

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Moving to the next bay over, the great room roof is taking shape.

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Shifting projects now, the FPB 64-10 is coming along nicely. This photo is looking up at the headliner panels. Note the cutouts to save a bit of weight.

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We’ll close with this shot of the engine room on FPB 97-1. The two pumps on the upper shelf are for the autopilot / power steering. These are two totally independent systems, each with its own hydraulic cylinder, pump set, and auto pilot electronics.

The lower shelf are the dual engine room bilge pumps. Each of these has its own float switch and breaker. Of course there is a hydraulically driven damage control pump as well.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 3, 2014)

15 Responses to “FPB 78-1 The Dream Machine Is Taking Shape”

  1. Warren Cottis Says:

    The way this is all heading, I’m going to need a much, much bigger computer screen 🙂 Best, Warren

  2. Edwin Says:

    Great to see the progress on this new boat! I’m wondering what the headroom on the lower decks will be?

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    The FPB 78 lower deck hs 2.05m/6’8″ headroom throughout the guest and owner’s quarters.

  4. Chris L. Says:

    From your pictures I take it that the traction batteries are below the hallway, separating the main state room from the aft quarters. How do these batteries get serviced/exchanged? Via the stair case to the galley?

  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    The FPB 78 batteries are in a sealed sump, the lid of which unbolts. There will be provision in the sole support above for a lifting tackle, after which they come out/in via the deck hatch at the forward end of the owner’s suite. Each of the 12 cells weighs roughly 110kg/240 pounds.

  6. Alain Chevrot Says:

    Hi Steve and Linda,
    Thank you for these wonderful updates on your FPB 78 and 64. What “dream machines” they are, it’s still keeping the dream alive!
    You gave us the headroom on the lower deck for FPB 78, in order to make a comparison what is the headroom on the great room for FPB 78 and 64 and lower deck for the 64?
    Thank you and all the best for your great adventures.

  7. Steve Dashew Says:

    Headroom on the FPB 64 is 6’6″/2.0m in the owner’s suite, 6’4″/1.95 in the great room, and 6/2″/1.9 in the aft end of lower dek. The FPB 78 great room has 6’8″/2.05m of headroom.

  8. Don Joyce Says:

    I recognize the accu-steer pumps which I also have, but I don’t recognize the diaphragm pumps immediately below. Who makes those?



  9. Todd Rickard Says:

    Hi Don. The diaphragm pumps on the FPB 97 are Bosworth 2600 series.

  10. Shannon Says:

    Boy, it’s sure looking good. I have said it before but I have to say it again. I just love the structure. Being an old desert racer,where the chassis of your car has to be strong & light I find a properly designed structure to be a beautiful thing.
    It may be a little late but I saw a tender in a video with a hull design that looks like what you were looking for. This is from a mega yacht with a bunch of bells & whistles but the basic hull is like a RIB with a cat hull. Around the 71/2 to 8:00 minute mark they show it running & it jumps a wake with a good shot of the hull. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWgUSSxKSCA.
    Best Wishes. Can’t wait to see yours & the 97 completed.

  11. Shannon Says:

    Oops. Correction. They show that tender at the 6:50 min mark to about 7:30.

  12. Bob N Says:

    I note that the outsides of the mullions of the 78 and 97 are darkened. (And look good.) I also note what I presume are dark screens on the windows of FPB64 Tiger and that looks very good. Do the screens on Tiger lessen U.V. and I.R. or prevent glare or are they for privacy or looks or what combination of the previous? And what are they made of?

  13. Steve Dashew Says:

    FPB 64-5 Tiger has polypropelene mesh window screens. These are mainly to reduce heat load. Smilar material is used for shade in nurseries where they have plants that require limited sun. One thing to be aware of is that when the mesh gets wet it becomes difficult to see out of.

  14. Bob N Says:

    Aah, I see. Sounds as if the Tiger solution isn’t ideal. Thanks.

  15. Steve Dashew Says:

    It works well as long as it is dry. Light, easily stored, but not perfect. But what is?