The new Sony A7R2 42 MP camera body is truly a breakthrough. There is nothing remotely close to its capabilities of which we are aware. Read the rest »
The universe of circumnavigators is a small world. It’s not unusual to meet somebody in an anchorage or a far-off port, spend a few days together, form a strong bond borne of common interests, meet up again years later, and pick up right where you left off. Read the rest »
In the fall of 2008, having visited Greenland and Ireland, we were looking for a place to store FPB 83 Wind Horse for the winter. Several of our cruising friends recommended that we talk to Berthon in Lymington, UK, and we ended up leaving her in their very capable care. Read the rest »
There comes a time during the building of the first of a series when it becomes critical to have a look and detailed consultation with the various trades involved in the construction process. That time is now, and although we have a long list of discussions over the next three days, we will try to file a brief report daily. Read the rest »
Having earned our cruising stripes with a sextant and lead line, when we were rarely ever certain of our location underway, we love the accuracy and ease of use of modern electronics. But it’s easy to get lost in the bells and whistles, at the expense of situational awareness. Read the rest »
Reliable air conditioning, fridge operation, and water maker output depend on a clean flow of salt water. Trapping air in the plumbing, which leads to loss of flow, is a common problem due to suboptimal layout. This is the way it should be done. Read the rest »
We’ve been chasing the holy grail of the perfect cruising yacht for 40 years. The Deerfoot, Sundeer and Beowulf series are considered the premiere sailing yachts on which to circumnavigate. The FPB fleet is judged by the most experienced owners and journalists to be the best ocean-crossing motor yachts today. To find out why, read on:
Occasionally we hear from some of our Sundeer and Deerfoot owners. They let us know about cruising plans, meeting up with other Dashew designs, and racking up those ocean miles. Russ and Gwen Hobbs, who own Sundeer 60 A Train (pictured above anchored next to Sundeer 64 Touche M’Dear) recently wrote in to give us the scoop. Read the rest »
While awaiting the splash of our new FPB, we have acquired an enhanced photographic tool: a Toyota 4-Runner. To get a head start on the learning curve of what this beast is capable of and what we should avoid, we turned to off-road aficionados Mary and Scott Flanders. The Flanders are compulsive photographers, who circumnavigated aboard their Nordhavn 46, Egret. Read the rest »
In case you don’t have an FPB anchored nearby, we’ve included below some brief comments from several of our owners, as well as a couple of hard-nosed magazine editors. We’ll start with Bill Parlatore, the individual many credit with the start and nurturing of the ocean cruising powerboat industry. Read the rest »
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 »
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 »
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 »
You are looking at what drives the FPB team, what our client (and we) have been waiting to see after 2.5 years of intense effort. A lovely clean flow release off the stern with minimal magnitude indicating a highly efficient cruising machine (this at 13.1 knots GPS averaged in two directions). A wicked wake indeed. Read the rest »
We will shortly begin a wicked set of sea trials with FPB 97-1. Along with the usual wringing out of the boat before handover, one of the objectives is to gather a data set with which to refine our velocity prediction algorithms. Read the rest »
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 »
With the FPB 64 Grey Wolf covering an average of a thousand or more nautical miles per week on her voyage home, we have in effect an accelerated maintenance test to observe. Experienced cruisers and marine professionals will be surprised by the data accumulated since her departure from New Zealand the last week of March. Read the rest »
Life on the water is such a perfect metaphor for the uncertain adventure of opening ourselves up to what we yearn for…We have to navigate carefully, watch the changing weather patterns, think about where and how we want to go, and then, ultimately, at some point a few will untie themselves and sail off into the great unknown horizon. Read the rest »
Passaging season is upon us and the FPB fleet is on the move. While FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf nears the end of a quick 4000 NM hop, FPB 64-3 Iron Lady is on her way from Hawaii to British Columbia. The majority of the rest of the FPB feet is getting ready for or have recently completed their offshore passages.
Of all the passages you could dream up, the most difficult is the 4000NM eastbound run from the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia to Panama. Panama lies dead upwind, with a westerly setting current to make it more interesting. Read on to find out how FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf, Peter Watson, and crew have set out to do something no motor yacht has ever done.
The southern part of the Indian Ocean is one of the few places we have found where the trades blow as advertised… and then some. Here Intermezzo is departing Christmas Island for Cocos Keeling at the start of a long haul across this boisterous bit of ocean. Read the rest »
Last week we worked with Peter Watson aboard the FPB 64 Grey Wolf to resolve a stabilizer system issue. We thought the communications regarding this might be of interest since these things do occasionally occur – typically somewhere far from home base.
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We are looking at a barometric pressure trace from the FPB 64 Grey Wolf. This occurred at the edge of the tropics South of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. As you close with the equator slight pressure gradients create big winds. A change of as little as two mb can indicate the onset of a hurricane. The weather models – all the majors – missed this event.
We’ve just learned that Hobie Alter has caught the ultimate wave, and left his earthly friends and family behind. We were friends, competitors, and collaborators with this remarkable man, and thought a few anecdotes might be in order.
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After all those thousands of design and engineering hours, innumerable three dimensional images, and years of noodling on this ltest FPB series design, you would think we’d be tired of it. But these photos represent the high point in terms of buzz factor, and it won’t be equaled again until we see this latest FPB sitting on her lines, afloat in the waters of New Zealand. Read the rest »
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 »
The passage between New Zealand and French Polynesia is one of the more difficult ocean crossing endeavors. At 2200 miles along the great circle route, it can often be as long as 2600 or more nautical miles depending on weather routing. John and Amanda Neal bill this as a heavy weather passage in their sail training business, and for good reason. FPB 64-6 Grey Wolf is on standby, waiting for a weather scenario that offers decent odds. Read the rest »
It is a gray, overcast, depressing afternoon – something for which residence in the US Southwest does not prepare its citizens. Since we have received a request for info on Beowulf IV from a journalist doing a book for the next “Little America’s Cup”, the scanner has been warmed up and we thought we’d share something different.
Here in Arizona we’re excited, having received our weekly update of photos from New Zealand. Seeing progress starting to accelerate on the first of three FPB 78s now scheduled, we are leaping for joy. The assembly floor has been laid out, and the tank modules are being dropped into place.
Deerfoot II, a longtime member of our family, is ready for a new home. She was launched in 1985 in Denmark, sailed across the Atlantic, via the West Indies, and Panama, to Marina del Rey, where she has been based for these many years.
We’ve been talking for years about going through our boxes of photos and slides and scanning them before they disintegrate. Well, the process has started and we are having so much fun remembering that we thought we might share a few stories with SetSailors, starting with this crowded cockpit on our 50 foot yawl, Intermezzo, in early 1977.
We want to talk about a subject often avoided: Size. It is important for comfort, for aesthetics, and for speed. This has been much on our mind of late as we reach the “hard point” in the build cycle for the FPB 78, after which changes are not allowed. If you study the renderings in this post you will note the Dream Machine has a different look.
We have had a ton of feedback on the subject of crew quarters – both via SetSail and e-mail – and we’ve worked up what we think is as close to crew Nirvana as one can get on a small yacht. The process has also lead to several other enhancements in the FPB 78 layout. Our own thoughts have come full circle and we will tell you our decision for FPB 78-1 at the end of the post.