FPB 97 – Plating Progress

FPB 97 Forepeak Plating 1 100

Circa is at the stage where visual progress will accelerate, and it will become easier to get a sense of scale for the Wicked FPB 97. Bottom plating is in place and topside plating has begun.

FPB 97 Forepeak Plating 1 102

That topside plate hanging from the overhead crane with the spreader bar is roughly eight  by thirty feet (2.4m x 9m), 3/8″/10mm thick, and has been rolled to fit the shape of the frames.

FPB 97 Forepeak Plating 1 101

Note how the stem bar protrudes beyond the plating. This projection forward of the plating weld line protects the edge of the topside and bottom plates when you bump into ice, logs, etc. The intention is to leave the edge of the bar with a sharp edge. We think this aesthetic is in keeping with the Wicked image.

FPB 97 Forepeak Plating 1 100 2

Speaking of running into things, this is a good look at the bow structure. Note the breast hooks (horizontal frames) between the stem bar and the forward chain locker bulkhead. The combination of topside and bottom plating, stem bar, breast hooks, and bulkhead makes for one hugely strong battering ram.

FPB 97 Forepeak Plating 1 103

A final view inside the forepeak, with the camera positioned aft, looking towards the aft bulkhead of the chain locker.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 8, 2013)

13 Responses to “FPB 97 – Plating Progress”

  1. Thomas Hoffmann Says:

    Hello Steve,

    One question:

    How do you weld the plating onto the horizontal frames in front of the first bulkhead, ahead of the chain locker???
    I don´t see any manhole or other opening to get at this area from the top.

    I am very curious.

    Best regards,

    Thomas Hoffmann.

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    The port side is welded before the starboard plating goes on. The starboard side is plug welded, i.e. the welding is done from the outside through slots pre-cut in the topside plate. The sae situation occurs with tank tops and with the skegs and rudders.

  3. Skip Says:

    Have you got any pictures to illustrate this procedure?

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Nothing handy, but we will see if we can dig something up and will post it later.

  5. Steve Bellamy Says:

    Thanks for asking the question Thomas, I was scratching my head too!

  6. Ben Woodford Says:

    What a treat it is to watch this process happen. On the above bow picture (the one showing the breast hooks) can you tell us about where the waterline will fall?

  7. Steve Dashew Says:

    The knuckle at the stem to bottom intersection is roughly the waterline on the FPB 97.

  8. Eelco Says:

    Wicked Image – Certainly
    The build of this boat is starting to show how wicked your design thought process are. “I” for-one will steer clear of that blubber-slicer on pointy end when I see it cruising by. Now I understand the expression “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”.

  9. John Says:

    Optical illusion?

    To my eyes, compared to the 83, the 64 looks stubby and the 97 looks HUGE. Seems lot a LOT more boat.

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    The FPB 97 has more than 2.3 times the volume than the FPB 64.

  11. John Says:


    From the question you’ll probably find it hard to believe I won the solid geometry award in high school. Of course that was sixty (60) years ago! I forgot the relationships between linera dimensions and the resulting changes in volumes.

  12. Norm Moore Says:

    I notice in the last photo that Circa is using a rather unique chain clamp apparently to pull the plating in tight to the transverse frames. I’ve never seen anything like that before but it looks ideal for easy adjustability with what looks like a screw going through a swivel to tighten in the center. Is this common in metal boat construction or did Circa make them for this purpose?

  13. Steve Dashew Says:

    The plate pulling rig is a Circa creation.