FPB 78 – Making The Hard Stuff Easy

Engineering 615

We discovered long ago that a key part to agreeable yacht ownership is systems efficiency and access. The FPB 78 takes us closer to perfection in this regard than ever before.

Consider the now complete port side systems room, above and in the next few photos.

Engineering 617

In one easily accessible spot we have the damage control pump and its valves to the six pickups, the hydronic heating system manifold, fuel tank selection manifold, accommodation area bilge pumps and their selector valves, and the gray water plumbing discharge for the galley sink. On the bulkheads are various black boxes for stabilizers and the N2K ship’s data system. When this is tidied up and labeled, it will be the envy of yacht owners everywhere.

Engineering 626

Below the floorboards forward in the forepeak we have another dense plumbing area. Once again, easily accessible with several key features. These begin with a substantially oversized CPVC strainer for the air conditioning raw water system. The two large Headhunter pressure fresh water pumps on the hullside are each connected directly to a water tank. There are no suction side valves to leak, and a minimum of fittings. Rather than switch valves to change tanks, just turn on one or the other of the pumps. All fresh water pumps eventually develop priming problems. This direct and simple approach will reduce those occurrences on the FPB 78s.

Engineering 606

While we are on plumbing, take a look inside a galley locker where the water-maker output selection manifold resides. Here are three choices: the drinking water tank, forward one, and forward two hull tanks. There is an overflow circuit into the galley sink in the event that all three valves are closed.

Engineering 18

The next series of photos are around the bottom of the stairs, coming from the great room to the accommodation deck. But we start with a photo of the stabilizer fin actuator mechanism, since we need easy access to this in the event of a problem. The two lugs at the top, with the red arrows, are locking bolts, used to hold the fin in center. If something goes wrong with the hydraulics or controls we need to be able to quickly get a socket wrench onto these. The black round device in the center is the most key maintenance point. This sends the computer a signal on fin position. They wear over time and occasionally need replacement.

Interior 601

There is always a tradeoff with stairs on a small yacht, between ideal ergonomics and the space this subtracts from other requirements. What you are looking at here is the fifth version, which we will call Brendan II. This is a fine tuning of Brendan I (Steve I,II, and III having proved inferior).

Interior 599

The view from the owner’s suite looking up above.

In normal usage, most of the versions would have worked. But our concern is using the stairs when we have been awakened by an alarm from a deep sleep and are rushing up to the great room. The stairs and the grab rails on either side need to herd the user toward the middle, wider part of the steps. We think Brendan II does a good job of this.

We also want quick access to the stabilizer compartment for securing the locking bolts or relaxing the position sensor. This will be accomplished in a couple of minutes with the removal of six bolts.

Engineering 612

We will close with couple of shots of the outboard sides of the engines. The industry norm is for these to be difficult to reach. The port side, above, is looking aft. The genset is under the white cover. The fuel transfer/polishing pumps are at your feet, and the polishing system filters are aft (towards the top right in the photo). If we want to clean or inspect under the engine we remove just two sole panel bolts and lift the panel out of the way.

Engineering 610

Starboard side looking forward above. The raw water filter is bottom left in the photo, with the fuel filters for the starboard engine forward on the tank face. Black and grey water tanks are outboard.

Playing engine room is going to be so much fun…

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 24, 2015)

8 Responses to “FPB 78 – Making The Hard Stuff Easy”

  1. Sean Bryant Says:

    Hi Steve,

    really nice work, very impressive the amount of redundancy you build into your vessels! that what its all about!!!

    Just wondering if you know about a product called Kempress pipework? I have used this system extensively and rate it very high, It can go in very fast and modified with very little effort, the real beauty to me is no hotwork! I know your piping some of your boats with metal piping and this could be a product worth looking at.



  2. Scotto Says:

    again, attention to detail making life onboard simpler.
    Easy to do maintenance gets done.
    Difficult maintenance, sometimes get put off until later…
    usually too late!

  3. Paul Says:

    Hi Steve
    Between The two large Headhunter pressure fresh water pumps is the third pipe for a backup pump?
    Awesome work.
    Thanks Paul

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Paul:

    The third line is for future use, probably fresh water wash down of the chain.

  5. Pete Says:

    So is there space on the inside of the stabiliser compartment hatch to stow that socket wrench that might be needed in a hurry? With some sort of positive latch, obviously, not just spring clips that might literally throw a spanner in the works 🙂

  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Pete:
    With potentially rapid requirements for tools it has been our habit to have the tools close by so they are reay to go without searching.

  7. Seth Says:

    How’s the access for bigger job like an engine swap? Do you have deck plates for a direct hoist? Would it require cutting the deck? Are the doors wide enough (or engines narrow enough) to walk through the transom with come-alongs from deck beams?

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hello Seth:
    There are girders supporting the deck over each engine which can be used to lift engine or transmission. The plan is to take the engine out through the aft engine room door, and then onto the aft deck.