FPB 78-1 Video: Windage Versus Stability – Now We Know


The recent storm that did so much damage along the east coast of the U.S. made for an interesting evening at anchor aboard FPB 78-1 Cochise. With sustained gusts above 75 knots/88mph…

…the question of windage vs stability at anchor has been answered. Check out the video below. But first, let us set the scene for you…

We have spent the weekend in Chester, MD, watching the “down rigging festival” from Cochise. Sunday afternoon, our guests have departed, and the anchorage is now clear of visiting yachts. A couple of boat lengths away, five very traditional sailing craft sit rafted at the dock.


The weather doesn’t feel right. We check NOAA on VHF. No big deal. Maybe a gale – small boats watch out – nothing for us to give a second thought. Still, we are both uneasy. We have two hours till dark. We are worried about possible flooding on the river, damage from other craft, and who knows what else.

The one thing above others that gets us moving is the ease with which the dink comes aboard. Have we heard this story before?

Linda gets the engines started and the electronics fired up while I get the dink secured on the aft deck. In less than ten minutes we are headed down river, looking for a more protected anchorage.

Now a word on windage and possible lifting forces associated with the various house and roof structures on the FPB 78.

When Cochise is at anchor she has neither the dynamic stability nor the restoring force of the stabilizer fins that come with speed. While we have not been worried about safety, we have wondered about comfort in a real blow at anchor.

The video that follows is at night so you don’t get a sense of the motion. Essentially it was a non-issue. Yes we sailed a bit at anchor, and there was a bit of heeling in the major gusts, but not anywhere near what we would have felt with one of our sailboats in a similar situation.

Enjoy the video.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 6, 2017)

5 Responses to “FPB 78-1 Video: Windage Versus Stability – Now We Know”

  1. John Borkowski Says:

    That Maretron display is awesome.

    Almost as awesome as Cochise.

    OK, not really, but that is still so cool.

  2. Mike B Says:

    Steve, what make/model of display are you currently using? I believe you were using Samsung monitors previously, are these the same?

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Mike:
    Those are 32′ Samsung monitors, three inputs, PIP and PBP, and very dimmable and viewable when seated or standing.

  4. Tom Says:

    How do you know if you are dragging anchor in these winds?

  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello Tom:
    Re anchor dragging we know the likelihood of dragging after testing Holding power with both engines in reverse. Basically, we use huge anchors, in this case a 325 pound Manson Supreme, so we won’t have to worry. There are various position alarms with GPS, as well as radar target alarms. If there is any danger of dragging we will be sleeping in the great room, as situational awareness is nonexistent in the sleeping cabins.