Welcome to SetSail!

Breaking news: Mariner's Weather Handbook and Surviving the Storm are available as free downloads for the first time!

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Why FPB?

After 135,000+ nautical miles, FPB owners answer the question.

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The Concept

Motor Yacht Stability, Comfort, and Safety – An Updated Compilation

EnRoute Fiji Waves Speed 068 3

When you head offshore your safety depends on stability, both upright and ultimate (the heel angle at which you don’t recover from a knockdown). Given today’s software and computing power, calculating stability is a relatively straightforward exercise. This is required for commercial vessels, larger yachts, and generally for any flag state/class certification such as MCA, RINA, ABS, etc. We would not go offshore without this data, and we don’t think you should either.

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Why FPB? Owners Talk…


We’ve been chasing the holy grail of the perfect cruising vehicle for 40 years. The Deerfoot, Sundeer and Beowulf series of sailing yachts got us close. The FPB series brings our bow right up to the chalice.

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FPB: Cruising Speed, Range Under Power, And The Real World


Those of you familiar with our work will know that we consider being able to maintain comparatively fast cruising speeds the most important factor in safe, comfortable ocean crossing. Get this right and you enjoy making passages. Get it wrong and you will prefer sitting at the dock reading about the folks who are really out there cruising. [Read the rest »]

A New Paradigm for Cruising

Our design goal has always been to cross oceans in maximum comfort and safety [Read the rest »]

Time Machine

We have just had the most amazing four months of cruising. (This post was written in 2008, after voyaging from California to the UK.) [Read the rest »]

Living With 360 Degree Views

We’ve been trying to describe what it is like to have the majority of our day to day experience aboard in an area with 360-degree views. [Read the rest »]

FPB – A Woman’s Perspective

People are always asking how I like cruising on this new boat. (This post was written by Linda Dashew in 2007, after the first three seasons of cruising aboard FPB 83 Wind Horse.) [Read the rest »]

Weathering the Storm

The following was originally written in the fall of 2008 as the economic system appeared to be melting down. [Read the rest »]

The Black Swan Theory Of Cruising


We were having morning eggs and coffee at Serenity Cafe (our favorite breakfast spot in Whangarei) [Read the rest »]

Evaluating Stability and Capsize Risks For Yachts


Over the last couple of years we have had a number of discussions about the mechanics of stability and capsize risks. [Read the rest »]

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Boat By Boat

FPB 97 – Code Name “Wicked” – Updated


Slicing through the barriers of what can and cannot be done with a large yacht, the Wicked FPB 97 redefines the cruising paradigm. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78: The Dream Machine (Updated September 1, 2014)

FPB 78 287 Exteriors100

The FPB 78 is the newest member of the FPB squadron. With metal cutting for the third FPB 78 underway (FPB 78- one, two and three are for current or former FPB owners), this Dream Machine is off to the fastest start in FPB history.

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FPB 64 – Theory & Reality

When we wrote this introduction three years ago, during the depths of a marine industry depression, we had no idea that the summer of 2013 would have seven FPB 64s in the water cruising, and three more in the build cycle. For all the latest FPB 64 updates, click here. [Read the rest »]

FPB 64 Introduction – Basic Specs

“When the Dashews finally decided to resort to motive power, Steve Dashew designed a boat with the spirit of a yacht that could take on the roughest seas…”
–Boat International Magazine


Every now and then in yacht design, the thousands of details involved to produce a boat combine in a unique way, creating a vessel which performs substantially better than projected. [Read the rest »]

FPB Update: 64 Progress – Posted by Todd

“Against the Wind…With his new powerboat design, world cruiser Steve Dashew continues a lifelong pattern of challenging the status quo.”
–Soundings Magazine

I have just returned from a very productive week in New Zealand and wanted to share some of the photos taken while on the ground at our builder, Circa Marine. There was much covered during the trip – here are a few of the latest details surrounding the FPB 64 program. [Read the rest »]

FPB 83 – Wind Horse

“…One of the coolest boats I have had the pleasure to spend time on.
-Bill Parlatore, Passagemaker Magazine

Let us take you on a tour of the FPB prototype, Wind Horse.

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FPB 115 – A New Paradigm

“…You’ll fall for this yacht the way a woodworker falls for his band saw.”
–Yachting Magazine

Our work flow on a new design goes through several phases the first of which we call the gestation period. [Read the rest »]

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Making It Happen

FPB 78 Update – We’ve Got Sole, Baby
(March 27th, 2015)

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It’s Friday, March Madness is upon us, and it is obvious that the FPB 78-1 has sole, and lots of it. This first photo is from the aft end of the galley looking forward. [Read the rest »]

Seeking Your Cruising Nirvana? Start With The Best Tool. -Posted by Todd
(March 18th, 2015)

This first photo was taken aboard FPB 64-3 Iron Lady during one of her initial owner’s trials. It shows her heading out the channel to the deep blue, something the FPB lineup is particularly well suited to, much like a thoroughbred horse running the track, or a pointing dog on the upland hunt. The oceans of the world are the FPBs’ playground, and they are particularly adept at taking their owners safely, comfortably, and efficiently to new horizons. You won’t find FPBs sitting at marinas or hiding out, waiting for the elusive “perfect weather window”. Instead, they are out fulfilling their owners’ dreams. The average FPB owner cruises between 7,000-10,000 nautical miles per year. [Read the rest »]

March of FPB 64s, With A Cinderella Ending? – Posted By Todd
(March 9th, 2015)


With all the excitement surrounding the launch and sea trials of FPB 97-1, as well as the ongoing labor of birth to Steve and Linda’s new baby, the FPB 78-1, it would be easy to lose sight of the fact that another FPB 64 –the 11th in that series– is really starting to take shape on the shop floor between FPB 78-2 and 78-3. The onward march of our initial FPB offering stomps strong. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78 Series – Furniture Construction and the Weight/Center of Gravity Game
(February 26th, 2015)

Interior 91

Speed is a critical component of long distance cruising, as is a structure that carries a high factor of safety. We also want lots of heeled stability and the ability to recover from a capsize. But there is a conflict between these elements, and it revolves around weight and center of gravity.  [Read the rest »]

FPB 78-1 The Insulation Story
(February 18th, 2015)

Interior 22

Insulation of the hull and deck is critical to comfortable and efficient cruising. It impacts noise levels from exterior and machinery, condensation in cold climates, and electric requirements for heating and air conditioning. With the FPB Series we take the insulation game to a new level. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 All Charged Up: Solar Report From Mark Fritzer
(January 26th, 2015)

#1 Battery

Hi Everyone! I’m freshly back from a trip to Whangarei to do some testing on the 97 prior to delivery. While Todd and Sarah relaxed in the boardroom with flat whites enduring endless meetings, I was able to get aboard the 97 and do some eagerly anticipated testing of the electrical system. [Read the rest »]

FPB 78-1 Moving Day
(January 20th, 2015)

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It is moving day for FPB 78-1. She is on passage to the fit out hall as welding has been completed, and this space is required for the third FPB 78 to begin its journey. [Read the rest »]

From The Ground Up – Posted By Sarah
(January 9th, 2015)


When you enter the shop floor and stand looking up at 78-1′s enormous bow, you really start to get a sense for the size and scope of the newest FPB model. It’s hard not to have a big smile on your face. (Pictured above left to right are: Ryan Wynott, Sarah Dashew, Todd Rickard and Mark Fritzer.) [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1 Iceberg: A Day Of Tests – Posted By Sarah
(January 7th, 2015)


Tuesday morning finds us wending our way out to open water on Iceberg. A battery of tests are in store: everything from engine load and fuel burn, to optimizing stabilizer settings, checking roll periods, loading alternators, and pretty much anything you can think of in between. [Read the rest »]

Kicking Off 2015 With A Trip Down Under – Posted By Sarah
(January 4th, 2015)


Summer is kicking into high gear down in Whangarei, New Zealand, and FPB 97-1′s solar panels are humming along (though a seagull does create a little shadow). Todd, Mark Fritzer and I have flown down to do some work with the Circa Team and catch up on our “flat white” addictions… [Read the rest »]

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Living The Dream

“Disruptive Yacht Design” – Posted By Sarah
(February 27th, 2015)

iosHi folks, Sarah here– I was just browsing the blogs and found this teaser for an upcoming feature in Boat International on innovative yacht designers. I thought it might be of interest to SetSailors: Swizzle Blog.

Ultimate Flashlight – Light Up Your Life
(February 23rd, 2015)

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We are into flashlights, and those available today are simply amazing in what they can do using LED technology. This post is about three of the best we have found. [Read the rest »]

FPB Owner Blog Spotlight: FPB 64 Avatar in Central America
(January 30th, 2015)


FPB 64-1 Avatar is currently wending its way down through Central America. Owner Carol Parker, an avid photographer, has joined up to explore and document the adventures. [Read the rest »]

Resolution For The New Year – Don’t Wait, Do It Now
(December 30th, 2014)

1DX21981 Edit

Waiting is never easy, and when it is for the next big thing in your life – in our case what we think is our ultimate cruising machine – it is even harder.

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FPB Yachts 2015 Calendar Now Available
(December 29th, 2014)

FPB 2016 Calendar Montage A

Thanks to the generosity of our family of FPB owners who, once again, freely provided many of the featured pictures, we are happy to offer you this 13-month (January-January) wall calendar. [Read the rest »]

FPB 97-1: First Sea Trial Video
(December 10th, 2014)


Here is a very short video of FPB 97-1 on her third day of sea trials. [Read the rest »]

Survival Storm Tactic Tested Off The Needles In Breaking Seas: Updated With Video
(December 2nd, 2014)


The ultimate survival storm tactic, jogging into breaking seas, has had its first (and hopefully last) FPB test. This took place recently off the Needles near the Isle of Wight in the UK’s Solent. [Read the rest »]

Extreme Weather Tactics Article In Berthon’s Magazine
(October 17th, 2014)


Steve has an interesting article on extreme weather tactics in the most recent edition of UK-based Berthon’s Lifestyle Magazine. They were kind enough to allow us to embed a pdf of the article here for SetSailors to peruse. [Read the rest »]

Sony Alpha 7 Camera Series – Further Evaluation
(September 22nd, 2014)


With the day-to-day pressure on the FPB 78 Series winding down we’ve had time to do some more camera testing. The goal is maximum quality for minimum hassle, with a high degree of portability.

[Read the rest »]

Thai Government Clamps Down on Yachts – Posted By Sarah
(September 18th, 2014)

1410426128_1-orgPhoto Phuket News

Our SetSail spies in Thailand have just made us aware of some interesting regulatory changes for those cruising in Thai waters. According to the Phuket News, all foreign-flagged vessels must now be equipped with AIS tracking devices. There is no vessel size limit on the requirement–all boats small and large have to comply. [Read the rest »]

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