FPB 97-1 Drone Photos (and video)- What You Really Need under The Tree

FPB 971 Browns Bay101

Being very 21st century in all things to do with serious cruising, we have a demo of a pair of ultimate cruising tools.

FPB 971 Browns Bay100

The first is an FPB _______ (insert your appropriate size), and the second a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal with which to admire the lovely anchorage in which your FPB sits.

Iceberg and Riptide 42 4

We are partial to the high latitudes and ice, but can you imagine what this would look like in a clear tropical lagoon?

FPB 971 Browns Bay103

Be it Fiji, the NW Passage, or Browns Bay, New Zealand, you really need your own remote control Quadcopter to be able to admire your ride and surroundings.

FPB 971 Browns Bay102

We are indebted to Quadcopter pilot and photographer Captain Llew Simmonds for the video from which stills were extracted. The video is included below.

Iceberg and Riptide 8 Edit


PS: If you are conflicted about which FPB to ask Santa for, that is FPB 64-10, Riptide, sharing the anchorage at Brown’s Bay, New Zealand with Iceberg. We’d love to have an FPB 78 in this photo, but that will have to wait for next year.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 14, 2014)

20 Responses to “FPB 97-1 Drone Photos (and video)- What You Really Need under The Tree”

  1. Scotto Says:

    Can’t wait to see it with the tender in her slings.

    New screen saver!

  2. Jono Frankfort Says:

    Good morning Steve,
    Saw a few of these drones at a trade show not long ago, but flying around a convention center just doesn’t get it. These photos on the other hand, are absolutely awesome. Imagine being able to scope a potential anchorage from altitude.
    Was wondering what the launch and recovery method is for the RIB. I don’t see any available assist devices. Is this pure muscle power (would be tough on a crew of only 2), or is there more of your magic hidden out of sight?
    Warmest regards,

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    Launch/Recovery of the dinghy, Jono, is life boat style. The arms on deck rotate, and then the dinghy is lowered. This is an experiment. Whether or not it is better than using the booms will be known in due course.

  4. Jono Frankfort Says:

    Hi Steve,
    I was asking about getting the RIB on and off the swim platform. Sorry I was not more specific.

  5. Neo Says:

    The more I see that swim step the more I like it. Well thought out, multi use…..

  6. CJ Says:

    Beautiful perspective! Shouldn’t be that hard to find something that shoots at a better resolution though.

  7. Steve Dashew Says:

    CJ-We know about the new model that shots 4K video. We’d love to have suggestions on other systems SetSailors have used.

  8. Mike Says:

    The new drone out is the Mariner, its waterproof and floats on water, flies in the rain. It will take off in the water, it will land in the water and it will photograph under the water as the camera is then submerged and waterproof, also with the goggles you get first hand view and control over operations. Great for the pod of dolphins or the Great White just beyond the horizon. Only issue is certain birds like to attack the drones which also makes the waterproof drone a plus, in case the bird wins:)

  9. Steve Dashew Says:

    Sounds perfect!

  10. Mike Says:

    There was an old series on, once call sea quest…it was about a state of the art submarine and they had drones they went out and around the sub and they were named whiskers. The new drones could be whiskers for the FPB. Is it a bird, is it a plane…no its an FPB Whiskers!!! To explore strange new islands and coves, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before!!!

  11. Howard Bowman Says:

    What a great idea – a drone with remote video capability as a standard item onboard the boats…

  12. Mike Says:

    The drone should be standard equipment for an eye in the sky so to speak. Scoping out anchorages and just incredible footage. Nothing like an eye in the sky at 1000 feet or higher looking for that little cove or beach not on some chart. Absolutely beautiful!!! Great Job and the 97 is even better then I expected. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

  13. Shannon Says:

    That really shows the scale. How hard is it to fly those drones? If someone could learn in an afternoon they could be very useful to, as Mike suggests, scope out an anchorage or a beach.

  14. Steve Dashew Says:

    Had a lesson yesterday and the answer is very easy to fly!

  15. Stan Creighton Says:

    Hi Steve,

    Val and I gave each other a quadcopter for our 20th anniversary in September. We decided on the Turboace Matrix. Here’s a link http://www.wowhobbies.com/turboace_matrix-s_fpv_gyrox3_dx8-3-1-1.aspx. We haven’t ordered it yet as we just got back to the States from Fiji, where we left Buffalo Nickel, FPB 64-7. While more expensive that some others, the Matrix has a larger payload, longer flight time, first person view options, more stability in wind and other features that we liked. We plan to fly it off the bow of our boat. I’ll keep you posted on our progress as I am just now deciding on design options to purchase. I predict this type of photography will become enormously popular and I can’t wait to use ours in remote places around the world. We are learning to fly them now, and it’s pretty easy but I need to get a larger trainer as I started with a very small quad.

    Stan Creighton
    FPB 64-7 Buffalo Nickel

  16. Steve Dashew Says:

    Way cool Buffaloes! Check out wide angle lens correction in Photoshop CC. I just had a flght lesson with Mike Parker. Easy to fly.

  17. David Guest Says:

    The newest drone from DJI, a company that makes the best of the inexpensive drones, the Inspire, which uses a 4K camera, will home back to its take off spot, even if the take off spot has changed locations. I suspect that a slow moving FPB could fly a drone ahead to scope out anchorages, etc … and then come and land on the deck, even the the FPB had moved from its previous location. If the battery starts to expire, I believe the drone will do this automatically…

  18. Mike Says:


    I’ve always been a huge fan of hydrogen powered engines. I’ve been using hydrogen on a small honda generator for years now. Got the idea from an old friend of ours that was a skunk works engineer back in the 60s and he pretty much perfected it by using steel wool for the medium to produce the hydrogen. The big secret to produce enough hydrogen on demand is Steel wool. Steel wool allows for a huge surface area with very little power output to produce as much hydrogen as you need on demand. Its been used on Diesel also to improve power and increase mileage…I’m just throwing this out there…you have the water, you have the water makers, you have the workshop…just putting a bug in your ear…what do you think?

  19. Steve Dashew Says:

    Maybe bext generation will develop this. I am ready to go back to the sea.

  20. Mike Says:


    These are relatively inexpensive and should be standard equipment. I have one for my sailboat and they are absolutely a necessity now a days. I bought the mariner which is waterproof and beefed it up to extend the range and with the goggles you can see everywhere. In the process of connecting it to the Samsung monitor so everyone can see what the flyer is seeing. The possibilities are literally endless with this technology now. FBP is the perfect platform, size, solar and everything else one can think of to have on a yacht. These are great!!!!!!