To A New Paradigm With FPB

Cruisers Q & A

We get e-mailed questions daily on a variety of marine-related subjects. Check out these Frequently Asked Questions for some very interesting dialogue. If you’d like to submit a question, just click the Email hotlink, and put Cruiser’s Q & A in the subject line. Steve and Linda will answer as soon as time permits. (Please be patient! They don’t have time to answer every question, and if they’re out cruising the answers might have to wait a while.) You’ll also find an orange “comment” button at the bottom of each article. Feel free to use this if you have a followup question, or some information to contribute to an article. To browse through our Cruisers Q & A’s, just scroll down and enjoy the posts.

FPB 97 – Efficient At Anchor And Underway


The FPB 97 employs a massive solar array of the most efficient panels you can buy, a unique passive/active ventilation system, and massive traction battery bank, to minimize and in some cases eliminate generator time at anchor. Theory up till now, we are starting to get real world data and the results look promising. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 8, 2014)    |    Comments (9)

FPB 97 Sea Trials – Veem Props Are For Real

FPB 97 1 Veem prop100 3

In an earlier post we mentioned having learned the hard way to take propeller manufacturers’ performance claims with a healthy dose of skepticism. Now that we have had an early taste of the Veem interceptor propellers, we can tell you they work as advertised on FPB 97-1. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 5, 2014)    |    Comments (10)

Survival Storm Tactic Tested Off The Needles In Breaking Seas: Updated With Video


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 »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 2, 2014)    |    Comments (20)

Power Boat Storm Tactics – Running With The Waves

PastedGraphic 1

When you design a yacht to deal with heavy weather, the process is made difficult by a lack of real world experience in truly dangerous conditions. But occasionally events transpire from which you can learn something. One of those is depicted above in the photo sent in by Peter Watson, the owner of FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 11, 2014)    |    Comments (13)

Weather Forecasting, Storm Tactics & Successful Cruising – Plus An Offer You Can’t Refuse


If you are looking for a magic elixir to successful cruising, it will not be found in the marine hardware catalogs or boat shows. It will not come with state of the art electronics, or a different boat. It is much simpler than that. Of all the things you can do to enhance your cruising experience and safety, having a basic understanding of on board weather forecasting is the most important. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 31, 2014)    |    Comments (72)

Jordan Series Drogue-Real World Survival Experience

Drouge on Deck thumb

During our research for Surviving the Storm, the one heavy weather drogue system that stood out was Donald Jordan’s series drogue design. John Harries has a fascinating account of a true survival Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 22, 2013)    |    Comments (8)

Bowthruster Buoyancy Impact

I’m considering adding a small bow thruster to my Freedom 33 cat ketch. In addition to the weight of the unit and tunnel I’m wondering if the water in the tunnel reduces buoyancy by the weight of the water given the volume of the tunnel or if I have to double that as if I was carrying that much seawater in a tank on the boat? Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 17, 2011)    |    Comments (1)

Tropical To Extra Tropical Storm Development – The Most Dangerous Weather Pattern

A_sfc_full_ocean.gif We have mentioned in the past that while hurricanes get the press, their area at sea is limited and they are relatively easy to avoid. If the tropical system morphs into an extra tropical configuration, it covers a huge area, and is nearly impossible to get away from. We have a perfect example of this right now. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 17, 2011)    |    Comments (4)

Dismal Swamp

Hi Steve and Linda… we’ve been following you for a few years now, never had a chance to bump into you. We just had on board Peter and Gail from S/V “JABIRU”, good friends of ours since Cuba and we were talking about their experience in the Dismal Swamp. We’ll be going down the ICW with DOMINO (65′ long, 23′wide power catamaran) and the reports we’re getting are conflicting. Some say it’s great to go down the Dismal Swamp, others say that it’s not so good for catamarans: log, debris, etc… Do you have any experience or suggestion to share? Thanks – JP & Marie Dufour, M/Y DOMINO Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 1, 2011)    |    Comments (0)


Steve and Linda, I’m a long term Setsail addict and I’d love to know what Beowolf has been up to since she was purchased from you. As well, it appears that a sister ship was never built. Is this correct, and why not if not? cheers, Andrew Hogg in landlocked Calgary AB, Canada Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 12, 2011)    |    Comments (9)

Pilothouse for FPB 64

I was wondering what the possibilities of placing a Pilothouse like the one on the FBP 112 on the FBP 64? Placing it forward in line with the lower house windows and then having a “porch” on the aft section. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 27, 2011)    |    Comments (0)

How do you handle the VAT-problem…

…when staying longer at the same place, for example when you left Wind Horse in UK during winter 2009? As far as I’m informed, VAT(possibly plus customs fees & extra taxes) is charged if you stay > 3 months in the EC. How do other countries deal with this? If you want to talk about it: was VAT actually paid for your ships, or is it possible to circumnavigate the whole problem? Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 4, 2011)    |    Comments (3)

Controllable Pitch Props on FPBs

Hi Steve … I just read the Propellers section on the Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, and got wondering: given the FPBs are such efficient machines, wouldn´t there be a case for controllable pitch props on them? Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 3, 2011)    |    Comments (6)

Exhaust temperature range?

Hi, We have a Yanmar 4 cylinder turbo charged engine of about 60 hp and would like to know the exhaust temperature range we should target when powering, as distinct from the Vetus cooling water alarm we have available to fit which will trigger at a relatively low temperature? The boat is a Southerly 135(13.5 metres) of about 14 tonnes cruising displacement. Appreciate your advice. Terence Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 14, 2011)    |    Comments (2)


Steve, what does an FPB64 measure out to for tonnage (USCG rules)? Thanks Rick de Castro Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 17, 2011)    |    Comments (6)


Hi Steve and Linda, I need to install a watermaker on my Aerodyne 43 as a requirement for Transpac. I’d like a light and reliable unit, if there is one. Any recommendations? I’m willing to sacrifice output capability for light weight and reliability, if necessary. Thanks, Jeff Brauch Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 16, 2011)    |    Comments (0)

Making easting

I am in the Philippines and need to get to NZ by years end. Has anybody made the trip? Which route did they use? ECC to Fiji, PNG or Aus east coast? My boat is a 40ft cruising cat and neither it nor I like hard windward work. Regards Dave Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 16, 2011)    |    Comments (1)

Lightning vs FPBs

Steve, Linda — Happy 2011 !! There was a readers´ letter on this month’s Yachting World (btw, the same that brings your article – congrats!) mentioning that lightning strikes often seriously damage electric/electronic equipment on yachts … given that on the FPBs some basic functions are supported by electric/electronic stuff (fuel pumps, autopilot, etc), I was wondering whether you had to build some contingency for that? Moreover, are aluminum boats more prone to lightning strikes than their fiber/composite/wooden counterparts? Has Windhorse ever been stricken? Best Regards, Alex Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 24, 2011)    |    Comments (3)

Dorade vents

Hi Steve, Happy New Year! I notice on Wind Horse you have used what appear to be PVC cowl / dorade vents.Do you find these superior to stainless steel, and if so, why? I am about to fit the dorade boxes to my alloy Dix43 and need to make the cowl selection. Thanks so very much. Cheers Brian Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 11, 2011)    |    Comments (0)

2 Dinghies?

Have been admiring the FPB series on your website. Question: why do most of the Dashew boats carry 2 dinghies? Best, Bob Prins Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 11, 2011)    |    Comments (1)

Teak Deck

Steve, Are there ways to fix teak to an aluminium deck which do not involve penetrative fastenings? Can teak be glued to an aluminium deck with no other fastening required? What would be the minimum teak thickness you would recommend? Thanks, Henry. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 18, 2010)    |    Comments (3)

Keel Cooling

Hello …and thanks for some very interesting articles through many years. At you site I found: “with its Danfoss DB50 compressors, evaporator plates, and keel cooler (inside a fresh water tank welded to the hull) works very well”. We have to upgrade the fridge/freezer in our aluminum sailboat and would like to copy the internal cooling you mentioned. Wondered if you would care to share some more detail on the design of the tank, and maybe a comment on possible corrosion problems? Regards Carsten Hvingel Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 18, 2010)    |    Comments (1)

Anchor Types

Hello I would appreciate your opinion. i have followed your vessels, and while I cannot afford them, they provide an educational experience. My own boat is a 35 foot water line length double ended cutter, an atkin vixen design, about 25,000 pounds displacement. We are reviewing our anchoring systems. Right now it looks like we will have a 45 pound delta anchor , all chain on one side, and a lighter anchor, mostly line, on the other. We were thinking of having both delta anchors, although we have all been told to have two types. I mostly cruise the US northeast up to Nova Scotia. Are two types, given modern anchor design, really better? that’s the basic question. Appreciate your input. thanks David Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 12, 2010)    |    Comments (0)


Hello, I quite enjoy the designs of your boats as they tend towards a very common sense approach with great results. I am wondering what your position is on diesel electric propulsion for something in the FPB 64 range. My understanding of their operation should increase the diesels lifespan with reduced maintenance, no need for a genset and increased efficiency due to the electric motor being able to bear the brunt of surging better than the diesel. What are your thoughts? Sincerely, Scott Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 12, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Windhorse Dingy

I have been looking for the articles you have done on your aluminium dinghy. Re the build and the reasoning. One I remember was when you decided to cut the bow off to allow pushing etc. If you could direct me to them it would be much appreciated. Regards Mike Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 9, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Bare Aluminum Decks

Hello Steve and Linda: I have a relatively simple question, we are considering having an aluminum sailing catamaran built for us in the Philippines (Tim Mumby design) and I am intrigued by the idea of having bare aluminum decks. Does this work in the tropics where we tend to spend quite a lot of time? Seems like they would get quite hot. If it does work, any thoughts on sources for non skid plating that would work for this? BTW, you introduced me to some calculations on prop tip speed and cavitation that made our Max Prop work much better. thanks Steve Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 6, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64

Greetings, I have followed Wind Horse occasionally and am in tune with your design philosophy. I am delighted to see your new 64. I have several questions that I could not find answered on you excellent web pages: What does FPB stand for? What is the cost of your FPB 64? Have you reduced the draft on the prop skeg after the first version? I live on the Gulf coat of Florida where shallow draft is important. Thank you, Randy Knight Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 30, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Weather Links

Hello Dashews, I was wondering if you have any current weather links. I was poking around the NOAA website and was continually frustrated while looking for things like 500mb and surface pressure charts. Your website used to have a bunch of these links but I haven’t been here in a while so I was surprised to see some of the changes. Thanks, Chris Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (August 9, 2010)    |    Comments (1)

Navigational Software

I am interested in knowing about the navigational software the Dashews use? With such a broad mix of cruising locations I am curious if they use one particular piece of software or a combination of several. I think I recall Steve mentioning in the past that he was using Coastal Explorer but I haven’t seen anything mentioned lately. My second question relates to the blog itself and the photography they post. The system they use to post to their website seems to allow a nice mix of text as well as the flexibility to post varying degrees of picture quality. They seem to be able to post high resolution slideshows which is a very pleasant change. They are in such wonderful, and at times, remote places it is exceedingly enjoyable to be able to see such exceptionally high quality photography. Is there particular blogging software they use which allows this? It seems that most do not have the ability to post the high res photography. Thanks, George Laycock Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 29, 2010)    |    Comments (2)

Mariner Furling with Hanked on sails

Steve, The Bayfield 32 I recently bought has old Mariner furling units on both the head sail and the stay sail. These allow easy (relatively) changes of sail configuration as they allow hanked-on sails. I know that you had used and recommended these units in the past and I was wondering if you still had praise for them? What if any trade-offs am I making if I keep them? It seems to me that they might have issues as stay tension is increased. They seem to work, but as I’m a new sailor and this is my first sailboat, I have nothing to compare them to. Thanks Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 22, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Launch Time

Steve, Just thought I would drop you a note of thanks. Followed your websites for years, read many of your publications, including Surviving the Storm. I don’t remember where, but you wrote something to the effect of: “I spent too much time accumulating the wealth I thought was necessary… go sooner, with less.” Of all the compelling advice you have, that’s the line that’s ringing in my ears as I hand off our growing business, sell our home and take our 7, 9 and 11 year olds aboard for an indefinite period. Thank you. Peter & Lisa s/v Day Dreamer Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 16, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Navigational Software

Steve, I am curious about your navigational software. I seem to recall in previous posts on your blog that you mentioned Coastal Explorer and I wondered if that was your primary software or a backup program you were using. If purchasing navigational software today for the type of cruising you have been doing what product would you select? I don’t recall that you have mentioned that lately. Thanks, George Laycock Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 14, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

How did you get started with boat design?

Hi Steve, One question … when and how did you get started with boat design …and so on …? Maybe you should publish a short bio on your website … I am sure I am not the only one asking you. mit freundlichem Gruss / with kind Regards, Sebastian Linnert Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 12, 2010)    |    Comments (0)


Hi Steve & Linda, Would you explain what kind of transmission allowed you to pack your engine into the aft ER like you did? Regards, Bob Frenier Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 8, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Advice on Sail Removal

Hi. I just purchased a 1980 50 ft. Gulfstar Ketch. It has a Stoboom Main and I have no idea as to the best way to remove the sail for inspection, repair and refit. I could really use some advice or direction. Thank You Everett Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 27, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Cruising budget

1. My boat buying budget has been reduced substantially by the crooks on Wall St. and the financial crisis they caused………….therefore my dream boat in the 100-150K range is now only a dream. I have my eye on the Tayana 37. I am 6’4″ and a single hander. I think this boat is a good choice considering my price range of 50-75K. I actually have an agreement on a very well found Ty37 for 63K. Any thoughts? 2. The often asked question is monthly budget. In your Offshore cruising book you discuss the issue but I’m sure things have changed since the book was last updated. Do you think a monthly budget of $3000US will be sufficient? Will I have to be careful? I would like to believe I can live quite well on that amount if I eat frequently on board and stay out of marinas most of the time? I should also mention I would expect to begin my cruise in the Caribbean. Best regards and thanks in advance, Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 24, 2010)    |    Comments (1)

Forestay Sag

Hi Steve, First, I want to say thanks for the great website and books you and Linda have done. They’ve been very helpful to me. I’m designing the rig for my boat now, a 42′ steel cutter. She has a genuine loaded for cruising displacement of 34,000 lbs. I am doing a large roach main (80%)with swept spreaders and no standing backstay. Doing the rig stress calculations has made it clear that the large majority of the stress on the rig is from the shroud tension required to counter the jibstay and cutter stay tension. A reduction in tension on the forestays causes a great reduction in shroud and mast loads, but at the cost of increased forestay sag. I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts on an appropriate sag percentage to use for the 30 degrees of heel stress calculations. I am going to fit masthead runners to help tighten the jibstay and take some load off the rig, but am designing the rig to not require them. Best Regards, Paul Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 16, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Dvorak technigue

Hello, I note on your web site that someone was inquiring several years ago about more information on the Dvorak technique. Apparently at that time, the booklet was not being printed by the government. I searched yesterday and found several different publications available online on the Dvorak technique…just thought some of your site users might like to know. I’ve enjoyed several of your books over the years…Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, Bluewater Handbook, Circumnavigator’s Handbook, Surviving the Storm, and Mariner’s Weather Handbook. Even though I’ve owned sailboats for fifty-five years now, and can, I suspect, be reasonably called competent, each of the books has stimulated new thought; or, more often, reinforced already held ideas and opinions. I’ve gotten a sense over the last year or so that you have less interest in your books and their readers than you once did; but that is, perhaps, a misapprehension. In any case, thank you for all the pleasure your books have given me. Best regards, John Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 11, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Mono-hull vs. Multi-hulls

I was just looking at your website and if I understood correctly, you went to a mono-hull for cruising, after using the multi-hulls for some time. I prefer multi-hulls myself. I am wondering why did you go for a mono-hull instead of a little bigger multi? Gilbert. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 8, 2010)    |    Comments (1)

Anchor Chain

Greetings! We are a couple from Alaska heading out this summer for a two or more year long cruise. We’re thinking of upgrading the anchor system on our 38′ steel Waterline cutter to something stout enough for exposed anchorages in places as extreme as Antarctica or Greenland. Currently we have 100 meters of 5/16 BBB with a 70# Bruce-type anchor and a 45″ CQR as backup. A fellow at Rocna anchors is advising us to go to G40 in 3/8″, and upgrading to a larger, 33kg or 40kg main anchor. My question, other than any comments/suggestions you might have regarding what you might advise us to go with, is do you think we can keep our 3/8 system (mostly our hydraulic anchor winch) by going to a G70 chain? I understand that Steve Dashew has gone to stronger, lighter 3/8 G70 so I wonder how you would think I could best apply this variable for our needs. Also, can you direct me to sources where chain higher in strength than G40 could be purchased? I would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions you might have as we move towards making our final decision. Your expertise is very appreciated. Kind regards, Fred Hiltner Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 25, 2010)    |    Comments (5)

83 and 64

I am absolutely fascinated by your boats. Initially, the look was very unappealing…but as I started reading the beauty came out. While I have a while to go until I am ready to stop practicing and begin my life of cruising with my wife, (my youngest is 13) my current boat of choice is the Marlow. But reading about your boat may change all of that. I would love to get any info that you have with respect to these 2 boats. Thx, Tom Conroy Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 5, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

FPB 64

Hi, Steve For years I have enjoyed reading about your ships and now the FPB 64. I have a couple of questions, if I may. 1. With respect to the engine room air intake (and exhaust), do you have a way of closing the vent(s) in case of an engine room fire? 2. On the Get Home Conundrum, have you considered using a retractable thruster with rotation or azimuthing bow pump-jet thruster. Something for example offered by OYS thrusters. In addition to helping with close-in maneuvering, a continuous duly system could have a Get Home capability assuming the gen-set continues to run. If equipped with a closing plate could increase hull efficiently compared with a open thruster tunnel. Stephen Engineer in California Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 5, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Storm Mooring Fitting

Hi Steve, My Linda and I have admired your evolving burly long legged design philosophy for years. We sail out of Marion, MA on Buzzards Bay with trips up and down the New England Coast. This year our good friend John Herzog has just acquired “Cloud Nine”, a lovely vintage Allied Seabreeze 35′ yawl, which he will be keeping this year on our helix auger mooring in Marion. The Bay is very open to the SW, and notorious for Hurricane surge. NOAA says this will be a very lively summer as you know. I have suggested before launching John consider fitting a massive cable attachment point in the stem just above the waterline with added heavy blocking in the chain locker to accept a shackled 1/2″ steel cable or chain storm pennant. Length to the mooring top chain would be set to allow appropriate stretch of the two cafe protected 1″ nylon mooring pennants while applying most of the load to the eye at the waterline. John’s mizzen should help to somewhat reduce tacking on the mooring caused by the lovely sheer of the Seabreeze rail. I have seen people attaching a steel storm cable to a single eyebolt in the stem, and feel that this may be vulnerable to side loading expected in storm surge. Do you have any thoughts about such a rig? Have you ever seen a commercial fastener that would be a suitable stem shackle attachment point for a storm cable to secure a 13,400 lb designed displacement vessel, or do we need to have something custom made? Thanks much and safe cruising, Bill Bowers, SV “Iteration” Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 5, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Non-Skid Panels

Dear Linda and Steve, Could you share the name and source of the non skid product you are using on FPB 64? Do you know the life span of this product? Can it be adhered to a steel deck painted with two part epoxy coating like Ameron? Thank you in advance for your response. Sincerely, Remek Czarnecki Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 5, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

P-Class Information

Hello, I am the recent purchaser of a 1962 P-Class Catamaran. “Mahitabel” is a 28 ft long/ by 12′ Beam Designed by Bud Platten / R&D builder for Hobie Catamarans. It is to my understanding that boat designers Platten, Eric Witte, Ron Holder were fighting for a 1-man design, I am inquiring to see if Mahitabel is just in fact the Hull #1 that resulted. She is a fiberglass/ kevlar reinforced hull with steering 3′ forward of AMA’S. Foiled foam Dagger boards forward, and 300 sq ft of sail! Mahitabel is currently under rebuild in an owner/ repair shop Finleys in Oceanside. If you could provide any knowledge of this beautiful machine, It will help give me strength in each sanding stroke! Mark Pasquale Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 5, 2010)    |    Comments (1)


Hi Steve, I’ve got a Sea Brake drogue and am looking at rigging up the lines to tow it… The manufacturers data sheet that came with it said to use polypropylene …I talked to my rigger and he said “What ? that’s nuts….I think you need 3 strand nylon or polyester to give some stretch and give for the load” I contacted the Sea Brake folk and they said …no don’t use polyprop, use braided polyester …correct me if I’m wrong but that’s what our jib sheets are and they are low stretch.. So now I’m a bit confused… BTW the Sea Brake is a canvas-like material which is tapered at each end with gaps in the sides aft of the largest dia and a hole at the aft end… I’d be interested to know what you think Best regards to you and Linda All the best Alan Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 5, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor for rock bottom

Hello! Have a question about experience with anchoring on rock bottom. We are planning to go cruising in Croatia and we have heard that there is mostly rock bottom there, and that this may pose some problems with traditional anchors. We find it a bit strange since Croatia has a fast growing charter fleet and we cannot believe that these boats are equipped with anything else than standard anchors. We have a Rocna 20kg, one fortress kedge anchor and one fortress hurricane anchor, but wonder if we should go for an anchor more suitable for rock. The boat is a Dehler 37 Cr, waterline length 9m, dry weight 5,6 tonnes, cruising weight probably up to 7 tonnes I am afraid. Do you think the Rocna will be OK, or do you think we should go for another spare anchor? And in that case what type? Space and weigh will be a problem.. The boat is flat bottomed, no sump. Have been looking at a fisherman type like the picture below, which I can find to an affordable price .. And then there is the Luke, storm anchor which is very expensive in comparison. BTW. Hope you liked our country! Saw that you visited Norway in your logs. Did you visit Oslo? Thanks! Erik Norway Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 1, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

UK to Baffin Island route plan

Hi Steve and Linda I am interested in sailing to Baffin Island, from the UK, and around the Labrador sea area. Could you advise me as to where I can obtain charts and infomation for these areas so I can put together a route plan. I have enjoyed reading about your journeys and it has inspired me to see for myself. I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks in advance. Phill Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 1, 2010)    |    Comments (1)

Aluminium Centreboard cruisers

Hi Steve, Have appreciated your design philosophy and innovation for some time in terms of getting the best out of the comfort, speed and safety of a yacht. Was recently looking around at a number of the more innovative french centreboard designs (eg alliage, allures, alubat omni, garcia) and would be interested in your view on their safety as a voyager. I think Jimmy Cornell has cruised extensively on one – but that obviously doesn’t mean they are safe. Hard to get any sort of stability numbers on them, which is obviously the first concern. Second concern I had was the ability of the shallow dual rudders to maintain steerage in large seas when running or beating. Do you have an opinion on these at all? Cheers Russel Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 28, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Shaft generator

Aloha Steve and Linda, We are building a 65′ Catamaran and trying to get as much of our electricity needs from solar and hydro. We chose a Duogen turbine but so far haven’t found a way to install it in a cat. Then I read that you used a shaft generator in one of your vessels in your cruises around the world. Can you tell us the pros/cons of the system and if it could be installed in a Cat. How much power should we expect from the shaft generator? we are running a 24V system in our boat. Mahalo for your help and safe sailing. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 19, 2010)    |    Comments (2)

nav software

Steve and Linda, You have one of the most useful resources on the internet and I have learned a lot from your websites. I was curious what you currently use as navigation software and what you would recommend for someone looking to do world cruising and why that is the best choice in your very knowledgeable opinion. I did find your recommendation for Coastal Explorer referenced in your Nav section. I am pretty computer savvy if that makes a difference. I have tried to figure it out from the various pictures but (looks like VNS to me or maybe MaxSea) but what is best for you may not necessarily be best for me. I am building a motorsailor if that also makes a difference. Thank you very much for your input. Happy and safe voyaging. Mike Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 15, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Furuno Fax 30

Hi Steve and Linda, Hope this finds you well and having fun wherever you are. In all honesty, I have not been keeping up with you the last 2 1/2 or so years. In trying to find something in the way of a review for Furuno’s Fax 30, I see that you installed one going on two years ago. So, I just wondered if you would have time to say a word or two about how you like it(couldn’t find such mention on your site). Maybe one of my questions is whether or not it adequately provides on it’s own the weather fax function of a ssb radio? I don’t have the transmitter yet, so wondering whether the 30 might let me put that off for awhile longer, but get me used to using the faxes. Please refer me to something that I missed that you have already written if you like. Roger N. Larson Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 7, 2010)    |    Comments (2)

Entry Level Cruising Boat

Hi, I watched you on TV last night. Wow talk about having a light bulb turn on in your mind. Anyway can you tell me what a good boat would be to start out with would be. I far from being loaded. My idea would be to live on my boat and make my way south. I’m at the very early stages of planning so knowing what boat I should be looking at is a starting point. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can pass on. Robert West Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 2, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Sundeer Owner’s Manual

Hi there, We recently purchased a 1995 Sundeer 60 and found the original ‘old’ Sundeer 60 Owner’s Manual on board. Is there any chance we can obtain updates and/or a new manual? E-format would be fine. Thank you in advance. Russ & Gwen Hobbs Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 29, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Cleaning Sails and Lines

I am trying to determine what products are ok to use with * Marathon 3DL 2004 140% Genoa * Marathon 3DL 2003 90% Jib * Ace Dacron Challenger Cloth 2002 Main for light cleaning, I have been using just mild dishwashing soap and no bleach and rinsing the sails in the fall, but would like to see if one of the following would be ok. I would like to use * 20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) * Oxi Magic Mullti-purpose stain remover (Chlorine Bleach free) which has Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate in it. Are the two products above okay to use with the above sails? Also my lines have some green mold/mildew and I’d like to see if I can use one of these on them as well The lines are basically : * Braided Nylon sheets and dock lines 1/2″ * StaSet-X halyards 3/8″ * Amsteel soling stay I have not used any chlorox bleach. I would like to use * 20 Mule Team Borax Natural Laundry Booster (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) * Oxi Magic Mullti-purpose stain remover (Chlorine Bleach free) which has Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate in it. Are the two products above okay to use with the above lines? I had both Jibs coated with Sailcote Plus about 5 years ago to help with the mildew problem and it seems to be working but this year we had more than usual on one jib and I need to clean it better than mild soap would do. Thanks, Rick Gleason Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 29, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Alubat – OVNI

what are your thoughts on the french OVNI range of cutters produced by builder Alubat? they have several features – variable draught, all alloy construction, ability to be beached and a reasonable price – which i believe might make them a good starting point fo a long distance crusier. my main concern, and it stems from having never personally sailed on a large centre-boarder – is their ability to go well to windward when required and their ability to cope with really rough conditions. your comments? many thanks Marcus Petraska New Zealand Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 26, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Gig Harbor Whitehall

Hello! Are you still happy with your Whitehall from Gig Harbor? Am looking to place an order this week….. Thanks! Will Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 26, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Pilots in Alaska

Hi, you mentioned some time ago, that you encountered problems cruising in Alaska, as taking a pilot aboard was/is mandatory for non-US flagged yachts over 65ft loa. This will become relevant for us – how did you get around that issue, or settle the problem? Thank you! Wolf Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 18, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

‘air’ deck switch/electric winch

Hello, I need a replacement switch for the Lewmar electric winch, air activated. Lewmar says they don’t make them anymore. Any ideas where to locate one? Wayne Simmons Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 13, 2010)    |    Comments (2)

Yacht Design

Steve, I have thoroughly enjoyed your books, dvds, and website for the past 30 years. I was wondering where you studied yacht design? Thanks for sharing the dream, Doug Robinson Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 9, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Sailing past

Hello Steve Dashew. I am Vern Hanson, I do not know if you remember me. I worked for your father at Dashew business machines. I would like to know what happened to or where the is the HU KA MANKI. Any information you can remember, would be greatly appreciated. It was my favorite pastime sailing with your dad on the HU KA MANKI. Sincerely, Vern Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 2, 2010)    |    Comments (0)

Air Cond/ Sundeer 64′ ketch

Hello all, We are in process of adding a/c to our Sundeer. We would really appreciate hearing from any current or past Sundeer owners as to the design and installs of any a/c systems aboard. We don’t need it, but our friends seem to. Wayne Simmons Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 2, 2010)    |    Comments (0)


Hi Steve & Linda, I have been going through old blog posts and came across the series you did on SONAR. This reminded me of the recent update showing the install of a Furuno unit in a new 64. I just wanted to direct you to another manufacturer that you may not be aware of. They’re just across the sound from the folks who make your auto-pilot. (I don’t work for them in any way, just thought the product looked interesting.) I particularly found the testimony of a sailor who sails the Antarctic for a living compelling. It could prove to be a decent alternative to Furuno. Happy Holidays, Seth Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 28, 2009)    |    Comments (1)

Surviving the Storm

Hallo! My edition of “Surviving the Storm” is from the year 1999. 1) There is a chapter about the Jordan Series Drogue (p 433 f). Are your conclusions today the same as 10 years ago? 2) Are there any updates available? Price? Kind regards Dr. Lampalzer Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 21, 2009)    |    Comments (1)

Suggestions for Boat Improvement

Hi Linda and Steve, My name is Gilles Philippin and I’m reading since the first issues you posted about WindHorse, I love the technical stuff. I’ve spent much of the time I was not working on my “Backyard Project” checking out yours, and it helped alot. Now that my boat has splashed, I would like to hear some real comments, handling predictions, what you would not do with her, etc ,since you are at the very top of my list of designer/builders,your opinion would make my day, especially if you find something that would need modifications or something else that could be improved. Carlotte.C. is 32feet LOA, 31 feet at waterline, 8,5 feet of beam, draft of 41inches, air draft of 17′ (8feet from the wheelhouse down)and weight 12000 LBS (she’s all cold roll steel). She has a VW 1.9 TD engine, so we have 50 horses. Thank you for your generosity, and please forgive any misspelling for I’m a “Canadian frog”(from cold Quebec). Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 21, 2009)    |    Comments (0)

Bow Thruster Follow Up

Hello Again, Just following up re a thruster. I see on the web that the FPB64 has a thruster. We are leaning twds. a retractable version. p.s. We bought Hull #3, originally purchased by John Sabol who named her Tucan. He modified the steering config. to accommodate two wheels and moved the rudder back, extended the mast by 12′, swapped out the motor for a 140 hp more. Only put 450 hrs.on her before selling her to Peter Huttemeier, from Long Island, NY. Peter renamed her Bess and sailed her 35,000 miles before we bought her. We are thinking of a name change now as we are set to register her with the Feds shortly. Russ & Gwen Hobbs Vancouver (Tsawwassen), BC Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 15, 2009)    |    Comments (1)

Engine Cooling

Steve, I read with marvel at the thought that you put into your systems. I also spend far too much time thinking about systems and I know of nobody in the industry that has it to your level. I’m just surprised about one thing…engine cooling. You go to great lengths to cool your AC and refrig. using the “internal keel coolers” in order to eliminate all of the saltwater usually associated with it, but what about the engine? Why not keel cool that? I have always felt that the weak point of these engines is the belt driven rubber impeller pump and all of the intakes, strainers etc. associated with it. I know that you are going to say that it adds heat to the engine room, but my Nordhavn 40 was really quite cool with a keel cooled dry exhaust engine. With an aluminum boat, you could even cool through the skin. An even better solution comes from the late Phil Bolger. He once drew a unique boat that used an oil/air cooled Deutz engine. If you are not familiar with it, these engines don’t have antifreeze as their coolant. They curculate their lubricating oil and air cool it in order to cool the engine. To me, it would be the ultimate…get rid of all of the usual things associated with heat exchanger cooling and even eliminate the complexity of a keel cooler….heck, they even eliminate an entire fluid…antifreeze. Are you familiar with these? One other unique engine that could be nice for the new 64 is these Steyr engines that have an integrally mounted electic motor/generator. During normal operation that generator could supply all of your DC needs without needing an additional belt to drive it. In an emergency, it could be driven as an electric “get home” motor powered off of the generator. I think this could be a nice solution for a single engine boat. Allan Salzman Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 10, 2009)    |    Comments (3)

Catamarans vs Monohauls

What would be better for cruising. I keep reading about how catamarans are so great because of speed and comfort. I also have been told that they are extremely safe, even in extreme storms. Is this true. What about monohauls, are they that much slower, I realize weight become less of issue with them but is the trade off worth it for cruising. What do you this of the Atlantic 57 vs the Oyster 655? Which one is better? Thanks Kevin Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 8, 2009)    |    Comments (8)

Bow Thruster Options

Gooday Steve and Linda, We recently purchased a Sundeer 60 and she’s in the yard undergoing a refit. Seriously considering a bow thruster and would like any feedback on the type/specs, ideas you may have. Thank you in advance! Gwen & Russ Hobbs Vancouver, BC Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 7, 2009)    |    Comments (0)


Hello, As the risk of asking too many questions… (sent on on refer systems last week) I’m wanting to insulate my C&C Landfall. It has a cored hull/deck but after a winter aboard I’d like to insulate more. My plan would be to go with the insulation you used but I can’t see to find the information you used to have posted on Appreciate the time. Cheers! Mike Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 21, 2009)    |    Comments (0)

Greeting from Hamburg / Germany

So far i was only reading your comments and following your FPB adventures even to Europe. I am coming from sailing , actually from a Nordic folkboat and was thinking a lot about my next boat sail / power / motorsailor starting from some dutch steel motor vessels via Amel maramus up to Taiwanese Tayanas with my budget of 100 k EURO. I looked at old nauticat, Hallberg Rassies etc but nothing fits really. One month ago I found small advertise in a harbour and meanwhile I am the owner of a nice boat which in never heard off or which I have ever seen. It is a Marimba 44 designed in 1980 by Dan Murray from New Zealand, built in Germany in 4.5 AlMng as round hull with centercockpit and interior was done in nice mahagony by another yard. A boat for 2 + 2 shortime guests, with a lot of storage , a sail locker in front of the saloon and head instead of add. Bunks, solid watertight alu bulkeads to separate the boat in 3 tight sections, no pressure water, but nice full batten sails etc. 13,5 m x 4 m x 2 m, 14 tons, 110 sqm It looks like the boat found me and not I found a boat. So I can start some serious sailing. Thanks for your information and enjoy boating as long as possible. Carsrten Fruendt “ Mar y Sol” Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 21, 2009)    |    Comments (0)

Bow thruster

Hi y’all! I can’t see a bow thruster on your boat. Don’t you have one or do you have a retractable? If you don’t have one, why? Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 21, 2009)    |    Comments (2)

Induction Cooktops

hi linda and steve, we recently sold our sailing catamaran we cruised on for 10 years and have gone to the “dark-side”. as i write this we are having a 47′ power catamaran being built in maine. we are just about 70yrs and in the future will limit ouselves to the usa, bahamas and the caribbean. no more sail handling in nighttime squalls! it has been with great interest that we learned you are using induction cooktops. power generation: we will have 680 watts of solar panels, 1260 amps in a house battery bank, and a 6kw. genset. in the past we could basically live off solar while anchored in the tropics even making water (12 gph at a draw of about 15 amps per hour). we will have “dumpster” style fridge/freezers that draw less than 5 amps and run 1/3rd of the time. all lighting is LED and we read and do not plan on getting a tv. can we look forward to induction cooking? anything you can share about your experiences will be appreciated. regards/glenn and pam cooper p.s. we loved your high lattitude photos. Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 27, 2009)    |    Comments (0)

Domestic Water Pump

Dear Steve, Will you be using the double action Surflo pump for domestic water on the 64? In other words, is it still a good choice or is there something better? I’m looking at domestic water, washdown, RO feed and would like to do it with the same pump model. Thanks for all you do, Bill Shuman Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 27, 2009)    |    Comments (0)

Refer System

Hello! I’ve just put my C&C Landfall up on the hard for the season and will be refitting her over the next year. I noticed that you have decided to go with putting the keel coolers for your refrigeration in the freshwater tanks on the FPB’s. Sounds like a wonderful idea. I have two keel coolers with my system right now and now think I might consider your idea. Do you have any recommendations? Tank size, corrosion issues with dissimilar metals, contamination, etc. Also, do you have any input on refer/freezer boxes? Just finished your meteorology book last month. Very well done. I was excited to see that Steve is a sailplane pilot! I think it mentioned him soaring somewhere out west? I’ve been around the sport for years and it was nice to see someone compare the two disciplines. Lots in common. Very cool. Cheers, Mike Read the rest »

Posted by Steve Dashew  (October 27, 2009)    |    Comments (2)