Wicked Progress In Whangarei

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Some of the team are visiting FPB 97-1 in New Zealand this week and are sending back some great photos which we thought you might enjoy seeing. This first series are taken inside the forepeak. That is Todd with his black sweater vest and FPB hat (at six foot four inches a good reference scale), and Bruce Farrand of Circa.

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Looking the other way, from aft toward the chain locker.

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Bruce is modeling the forward owner’s suite bulkhead. Everything between the bulkhead and the left side of the photo is within this territory.

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A profile view here, of the bow looking aft toward where the guest quarter framing will eventually be attached.

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Now for a difference sense of scale. If you peer all the way back to the stern of the FPB 64, that is where the stern of the FPB 97 will eventually reside.

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We took photos with the same fellow standing next to both the FPB 97 (left) and FPB 64 (right) to serve as another illustration of size reference.

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The two images have been assembled in Photoshop and are representative of the real world.

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Frames with sections of side deck ready for welding onto the assembled canoe body/tank sections.

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Meanwhile, the furniture shop is going full bore.

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Working on modules for the owner’s suite first.

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We expect more data from shortly. Stay tuned.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 28, 2012)

13 Responses to “Wicked Progress In Whangarei”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Your approach to construction is very aerospace-like. As an private pilot myself I find this to be a refreshing changed from the other seemingly ancient boat building design and construction methods currently in use.

  2. Ryan Says:

    What’s the grid laying on top of the owner’s suite tank top in the third photo?

  3. Steve Dashew Says:

    Th grid will eventually be used for main deck reinforcement.

  4. Ron Says:

    wow!! beautiful…while i was studying (lusting) the photos of wicked i also was looking at the 64 in the back ground, years ago i read a study of research done on thruster tunnels.the study was about reducing drag from this big hole below the water line. the study made some very good arguements for an eyebrow on the forward edge of the thruster hole,not unlike your work on the exhaust sys of windhorse (exhaust hole in extension). are there any gains to be made here on such a slippery hull,was just wondering you dont seem to miss much in the area of efficency my best to you and your team ron

  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    Big thruster holes are a definite hit on efficiency. The process of identifying the correct fairing to mitigate the drag rather than make it worse is no simple task.

  6. Chris B. Says:


    FPB64 is still my favourite, but I knew I would get more envious when seeing the FPB97 in the “alloy” so to speak.

    Keep up the good work! I must redouble my efforts to save up for the 64!

  7. Rod Manser Says:


    Very excited to see the 97 coming together now. We talk about LWL, speed and sea keeping, but to look at the scale shown here, I think she will surprise everyone.

    PS. at McDonnell Douglas we studied the same issues with the APU exhaust and fairings required to reduce drag – just as your bow thruster here. Bottom line is that if

    one cannot have an actual door as we did on the DC-10/MD-11, a fairing would help.

  8. Scott Says:

    I remember watching Windhorse come together, i this process many years ago.
    Thankyou for making me addicted to this site!
    I am enjoying watching Wicked come together as much as I did the first chapter of this amazing story.
    Please keep the regular updates and details coming…. I NEED my weekly, if not daily fix!!

  9. Steve Clark Says:

    One thing that makes the Wicked 97 different from the other FPB’s is it’s ability to carry portable heavy cargo in the bow. This creates unique requirements a yacht owner may not be aware of. Once cargo (ground transportation,village generator, pallets of school supplies) is secure it must be visually inspected, in good weather once a day will do.However when heavy weather is encountered inspection should become more frequent due to the increased stress on the securing tackle. Chaffing, loose tackle and shifting becomes a big problem in the most violent part of the ship and you must ask yourself, “Will this hold in case of a knockdown?” Climbing to the focsle in the dark in violent weather to inspect cargo is too dangerous to be considered. Access to cargo should take place below deck. I would highly recommend a watertight half or three quarter door to be installed in the bulkhead forward of the master suite, the walk in closet is a good place for this. It should swing forward that should the unthinkable happen and watertight integrity is lost, water pressure will keep the door sealed. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated

  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Interesting line of thought on cargo. My approach would be to secure properly in the first place and not worry about chafe or weak bindings failing.

  11. Steve Dunbar Says:

    For what it is worth I have seen a surprising amount of cargo break free even when secured by diligent, careful mariners. Just a little bit of stretch in the fastening material allows a considerable amount of chafe and shifting. Should some loads break free they can easily threaten the vessel. Something like motorcycle suspension loading and unloading adds a further challenge. As much as I like to dream, a 97 is not in my future but if it were my boat I’d want the ability to safely deal with the not so black swan event of shifting cargo – or maybe just retrieve that critical spare spare item.

  12. Todd R Says:

    A day/night wide angle lens camera (or two) in the forepeak, added to the standard onboard camera system, could provide a view to the situation forward. Though not as good as a hands-on check, it would likely allow one to see a problem developing. The idea of a forward watertight door has been discussed for the 97, and is possible with the appropriate layout.

  13. Steve Clark Says:

    Good idea on the camera. It’s a great space what 12 odd feet? The boatswains mate in me says “man cave”.