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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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…