Designing an interior which looks good and is enjoyable at anchor – and works well at sea – is not easy.There are many compromises to be worked out. We’ve always made the passaging part of the equation dominant. The reason is simple. Although unpleasant weather can usually be avoided, no matter how hard we try, there are going to be those days (or hours) when we wish we were elsewhere. If the interior is optimized for these conditions, and keeps us safe and comfortable in the process, the boat will make more voyages to interesting places.
The interior design for the FPB Series is based on the approach that we’ve found works so well in our sailing designs. There is a centralized “great room” in which all watch keeping, socializing, and galley projects take place.
The great room layout keeps the crew together – which we like – and allows maximum flexibility at sea and at anchor. The great room is centrally located relative to the pitch and roll centers, so motion is minimized.
Sight lines forward and aft are excellent for the person standing watch.
With throttles, radar, engine instruments, and steering controls organized so maneuvering even in the tightest areas is child’s play..
At the same time everyone else, from anyone in the galley to those seated in the saloon, have 360-degree views.
Here’s a photo taken from the aft end of the galley. When we’re on watch, we can wander into the galley for a snack, and still have excellent sight lines in all directions.
This approach allows us to share meals at sea, while still keeping an eye on the instruments, radar, and the ocean in our immediate vicinity (the photo above was taken between Hawaii and California).
We can also share a DVD, while keeping an eye peeled for traffic.
The other design ingredient, derived from experience, is use of space. Our preference is to have a few, really spacious cabins, which are in use most of the time by the two of us, with facilities for occasional guests that are adequate, but not wasteful in terms of their impact on our lives the majority of the time we are on our own.
One of the things we’ve found important is a bath, which we’ve worked into our designs for the last 20 years. This may sound a little strange in an ocean-crossing context, but the ability to take a bath on passage is high on list of priorities for some crew members- a great way to relax at sea.
A key element in this interior design is the use of the “basement” area below the great room sole for bulk storage. We have a lot more freedom in how we design the rest of the storage areas as well as the overall layout of the rest of the interior.
As you work through the following pages on the interior, we’ll try to give you a feel for how it all works at anchor and when we’re at sea. The bottom line is that after 8,000 miles of sea trials we can tell you that this is the most comfortable, easy-to-work interior with which we’ve ever cruised.