FPB 78 Update: Putting Things In Perspective – Maintenance, Storage, And Lots Of Details

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A quick report from New Zealand, starting with what is at the top of our list for successful cruising.


At the top of our list is systems reliability and ease of maintenance. That includes getting the details right, like engineering for minimal air entrainment in raw water flow at sea, and having mac-unions on each pump installation so the pumps are easily changed.


That also means making sure the inverters and related components are easily accessed, in this case inside of a cabinet off the companionway to the lower deck (they have both natural and forced air ventilation). The cabinet is lined with sound absorbing EPDM rubber to minimize noise.


Electrical reliability is paramount, as is the ability to troubleshoot. Labeling, clear schematics, and access are key.


The FPB 78 uses DIN rail breakers. They cost three times as much as normal circuit breakers, but the ease of changing them makes this a worthwhile investment.


Changing the raw water pump of the main engine is never going to be anyone’s idea of fun. But when you can sit comfortably on the centerline girder, feet on the hull, without touching either of the twin engines (which are probably going to be hot), at least the job can be done with minimum hassle.


The raw water pumps on the Deere 6068AFM75s have the least user friendly install we have ever seen. Yet we were able to remove and replace one – we like to test this sort of thing – in under an hour.


While we are in the engine room, a comment on a fetish of ours. We hate dirty bilges, even if they are out of sight. We also love clean engine rooms, in particular clean engines. The FPB 78 has the best access to the bilge area of the engine room of any yacht we have ever seen. The sump, shown above, can be easily reached, as can the undersides of the engine pan. A few minutes each month with cleaning supplies, and these bilges and engine blocks/pans will remain pristine. This also means they will be continually inspected.


With the engine room nearly completed, as well as the workshop/lazarette, we can now tune in to how this area is working. Theory and 3D design are history and we can now sample reality. We like this area, a lot!


From the huge tool chest, to the work bench, this is a dream come true for us.


Circa managing director Bruce Farrand is checking out the drill press. Look at the upper right corner of the photo (outboard forward, port side of the boat). How about an air conditioned workshop!


The area under the swim step will be ideal for bulk stores required in this part of the vessel. Twenty liter containers of lube oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluid will live happily back here.

It is time for breakfast, and then 0700 arrival at the Circa. Will try and update you again tomorrow.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 21, 2015)

10 Responses to “FPB 78 Update: Putting Things In Perspective – Maintenance, Storage, And Lots Of Details”

  1. Carl E Says:

    Hi Steve: Amazing to see FPB 78-2 and -3 already materialised as well. Regarding the engine room: if maintenance underway in the tropics would be necessary, to what level could the temperature be brought down to?

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Howdy Carl:
    The engine spec calls for a maximum of ambient + 30F. We are hoping for ambient +15F with the vent fans turned up to full speed at cruise (which uses about 1/4 of rated power).

  3. Scotto Says:

    Thank you for some more detail, I have really enjoyed the journey of the past 12 years,
    I have watched the construction of Windhorse,
    the development of the 64,
    Wicked appearing out of the fog and sailing off,
    the 130 still on the whiteboard, and now,
    the 78 coming to life for you.
    Not long now, you will be back on the water soon!

    your workshop is better than my garage at home, bigger too!

    eagerly awaiting my next fix, as usual.

  4. Brian Says:

    Just learned about this new Outboard Diesel from Yanmar – perhaps a way to power the Dink and also act as a backup engine?


  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    Interesting Brian:
    Does anyone in the SetSail world have experience with these diesel outboards? Reliability, noise, acceleration? At present plans are for a commercial level AB 16’RIB with 60 or 70 HP Yamaha 4 stroke.

  6. Hubert Says:


    these engines are now in a pre-production batch run for final evaluation.

    Build – Neander says – for commercial use so >1000h/year at medium to high load. What makes sense looking at the price.
    Very interesting technology with the double counter-rotating crankshaft for high comfort level/low vibration what translates in less wear and tear as well. And much less noise.
    They announce to have the engines for sale next year via Yanmar and will most probably present a production engine at the Boot in Düsseldorf in January.

  7. brian Says:

    Thanks for the update Hubert. I just found the price – 29,000 Euros – wow. but I do like the fact that it runs on diesel – a lot of benefits to that.

    “We expect that demand for this engine from the leisure sector will be smaller because of the price tag of €29,000 ex-VAT but it could be a good engine for super yacht tenders where the use of diesel fuel will make it compatible with the fuel of the mother ship”. Inshore fishermen could also be major users of a diesel outboard of this power.

    “German company Neander Shark, which has spent the last six years developing a diesel outboard, has now announced that it will start production and sales in mid 2016. This revolutionary outboard will be launched with an initial power output of 50hp, but a spokesperson said that there is considerable potential to upgrade this to higher power in the future. “We are looking to upgrade to around 75hp in the future and there are also long-term plans to produce diesel outboards even bigger.”

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  8. Steve B Says:

    The lead picture makes a nice family photo with junior in the middle.

  9. Shannon Says:

    Looking great! Love seeing the structural parts & it’s clear every detail is well thought out. That 78 looks to be about the ideal size for extended cruising. Everything you need to be very comfortable & safe, not so big it becomes a hassle.

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Exactly our thought, Shannon:
    Now we just have to be patient until next March or April.