“…You’ll fall for this yacht the way a woodworker falls for his band saw.”
Our work flow on a new design goes through several phases the first of which we call the gestation period. There is a design target, often moving, and we try various combinations to see how the concept boat feels to us. With something totally different, like Beowulf, or Wind Horse, gestation can take years.
At some point – we are never sure of the schedule – things fall into place and we get what can only be described as an internal buzz. This is a sign, at the gut level, that the balance of design elements is right and the time has arrived to proceed with the next step in the cycle.
Even before Wind Horse was launched we had folks asking us for a larger version of the FPB 83. Although we declined invitations to proceed, we have been working towards a bigger design for the past five years. Spring of 2009 we finally felt the “buzz”, and started on the details. Wind Horse was approaching 5000 hours of sea time, and combined with data from the FPB 64, this real world experience data base has enabled the hydrostatics on the Big Sister to proceed quickly. Over the years we have had some designs where everything just naturally fell into place. The FPB 115 is one of those. She will cross oceans at 280 to 300 miles a day, burning the fuel that some large yachts use for their gensets alone. She has our usual scantlings, watertight bulkheads, and integral tanks forming a double bottom. The interior options are very flexible. She will be even more comfortable at sea than the FPB 64 or 83, and she does not have to worry about capsize in heavy weather. The FPB 115 will have the same quiet systems as the smaller FPBs, scaled up of course, that will allow her to sit at anchor for two or more days without running the genset. Dual engines, oversized rudders, proportional thrusters, integrated controls, coupled with six self-tailing deck winches, make for an easily- handled yacht, be it anchoring, maneuvering in a tight marina, or securing with shorefasts in a remote fjord. Finally, a standard feature (as with all our yachts) is minimized maintenance. Combine these features and you end up with the option of cruising on your own, without crew, or with minimal crew if you so choose. And if you prefer crew, or are a commercial operator, costs will be substantially reduced (as well as downtime due to maintenance issues). There is a standard package of structure, bulkheads, tankage, and systems, into which a variety of interior layouts fit. This approach creates substantial efficiencies in cost and build time, and allows us to deliver a yacht built to the highest standards at a reasonable price. As is our custom, these yachts come complete with all systems, spare parts, tools, and training.
So far we have developed three versions of the FPB 115:
- One is owner operator where a husband and wife cruise the boat on their own, or with one hand or a couple aboard for help with watchstanding, maintenance and to look after the boat when the owners are away. Although this might seem like a big boat for a couple to handle, between twin engines, big rudders, a powerful thruster, and six electric deck winches controlled from the helm, we expect her to be more tractable than even the FPB 83 Wind Horse.
- There is a fully-crewed version, with a layout that encourages separation of crew and owner’s party. We have had the input of a number of very experienced professionals on this layout, so they can do their job with maximum efficiency while having minimal impact on the enjoyment of the owners.
- The third layout is a commercial build, suitable for charter, school ship duties, science projects, and survey work. The range, fuel burn, and sea keeping abilities are particularly suited to the latter two functions.
Now a few preliminary specifications (subject to change of course):
- LOD 115.4’ / 35.2m
- LWL 111.5’ / 34m
- Beam Deck 21’ / 6.44m
- Extreme Beam (edge of rub rails) 22.1 / 6.8m
- Draft-half load Prop Skeg 5’ / 1.5m
- Displacement Full Load 185,000 lbs /84,000 kg
- Air Draft (top of masts-excluding whips) 36.5’ / 11.2m
- Fuel Capacity 6000 US Gallons / 22,700 L
- Fresh Water Capacity 2500 US Gallons /9,400 L
- Minimum Range of Positive Stability 140 degrees (half fuel in one tank, full fresh water tanks)
- Cruising Speed 12 knots
- Top Speed 14.0 knots (Half Load)
- Approximate Range 5000 NM @ 12 knots
- Main Engines John Deere 6068SFM50 (265HP at 2500 RPM) x 2
- Transmission ZF305 – 2.47:1 reduction
- Gensets 27.5 kW 60Hz, 230VAC single phase x 2
- Alternators Electrodyne 150A, 28VDC belt driven off engine PTO with remote diodes, x 2 per engine – total of 4
- Stabilizers Active, 16 sq. ft. fins
- Water makers Sea Recovery 230V 75 GPH with auto freshwater flush, soft-start, media filter, X 2
In terms of structure and security the basic allowance in our weight budget is for framing and plating to twice the Lloyds Special Service rule stiffness requirements, with 12mm bottom plate. There are three full and two partial watertight bulkheads, a double bottom throughout the interior, and a massive bow girder. As with all FPBs this design will right itself from a full capsize. Both prop shafts are faired into and supported by full propeller depth skegs.
Sometimes is helps to visualize the scale of a new yacht if you have known vessels for comparison. In the drawing above the FPB 64 (blue), FPB 83 (green) and FPB 115 (red) are shown in profile view.
Looking down here (plan view), the FPB 115 has over twice the volume and displacement of the FPB 83.
One of the design goals for the FPB 115 was to have a version optimized for those who preferred to cruise without crew, but might, on occasion, want one or two folks along on a semi-permanent basis. We’ll take a quick look at this layout first, starting with the pilot house. To give you a feel for the size of the pilot house we have included a couple of photos of the great room on the FPB 83, which is almost identical in size to the FPB 115 pilot house.
The volume in the FPB 115 pilot house is a bit greater than what you see here. There are a variety of pilot house layouts possible. We will start with an unconventional approach, one very much driven by our own experience with Wind Horse, and the suggestions of some very acute observers.
The goal in this layout is to create an area conducive to social interaction at sea and at anchor, but which also works in adverse conditions, perhaps with a big sea running. As an offshore layout, you are able to go from the protected top of the stairs to the command center in a couple of steps. You are then confined by the furniture, an ideal situation offshore. On the other hand, in more pleasant conditions the watchstander has several options for conning. You can work from the command area, or from one of the settees (offshore out of the shipping lanes), feet up, facing forward. A pop up screen behind the center seating section, would be a good spot for a radar and engine alarm repeater. There are many possibilities with this layout for family and guests as well. Rather than being behind the helm, they are located forward where they have a good view and can communicate easily with the watchstander. The adjacent aft extension could have seating, a wet locker (shown) and perhaps a table.
This photo of Wind Horse is taken from the forward starboard corner of the great room, looking towards the aft port corner. Imagine the command center where the aft edge of the table is positioned. The settee wraps around the forward windows.
Finally, there is a head shown, a cabinet with a fridge, icemaker, and microwave, and lots of storage space for books, and other equipment.
The aft end of the main deck and the interior are at the same level, allowing a layout which integrates inside and outside areas. The pilot house extension above covers what would normally be a lounging area, and there is space for two dinghies aft of the covered section of deck. The deck in this area is 16″/400mm below the deck edge increasing dinghy security while creating a sleeker profile.
The volume in the great room is more than twice what you see in the photos of the FPB83. 360 degree views bring the outdoors into an intimate relationship, a wonderful experience in remote regions. The layouts shown maintain the feeling of openness yet offer physical constraint and convenient handholds for passaging.
There is a helm station forward, which can disappear in port. The banquette opposite the galley has an opening section to facilitate movement. Aft of the banquette a bar area is shown.
The lower deck also has a variety of possibilities. This one has an enormous owner’s suite, situated forward where it is isolated from machinery noise aft, private, and by virtue of its location easily ventilated with fresh air through an array of deck hatches.
This layout is similar to that of the FPB 83, Wind Horse, of which the photo series below will give you a feel. The volume is on the order of two-and-a-half times that of Wind Horse. An interesting feature is the annex aft of the stateroom area. This is drawn as a combination dressing room and private office. A six foot (1.85m) couch is shown to port for napping, or having a private chat with someone. There is a makeup table to starboard.
The photo above is looking forward from the stairs on Wind Horse.
Looking forward from the port side (above).
And the view from the forward area aft.
The aft accommodations includes three staterooms, each with head/shower ensuite. The two forward cabins are shown with a queen-size bunk and a pair of singles. The aft starboard stateroom could be a crew cabin or for added family or guests. The space adjacent the stairs to the main deck contains a pantry/laundry area. There is room for the washer and drier, a large folding/ironing surface, and lots of storage. The fridge/freezer box is for long-term cruising inventory. Aft and port is an engineering annex with a small desk, electrical panels, and, storage for specialty items. Forward of this accommodation area is a systems space which is reserved for batteries, inverters, hot water cylinder, and stabilizer mechanisms. It can be used for stores, similar to the basements on the FPB 64 and 83. Full headroom makes access easier and improves storage volume.
We’ll just touch briefly on the engine room (a more detailed discussion will follow later). Our yachts have featured aft engine rooms for more than three decades. The location allows full headroom, noise isolation, and efficient exhaust systems. There is superb access to machinery, as you can see in the drawing.
From the swim step there is access for two lazarettes. To port is the flammable stores area. The much larger volume on the starboard side has many potential uses including dive gear and other water sports items.
The forepeak is isolated from the rest of the interior with a water tight bulkhead (there is another collision bulkhead forward of the chain bin). Access is via a three foot (90cm) deck hatch with a much larger hatch forward with a jib boom off the foremast for lifting heavy objects.
Now a few comments on the deck plan. The aft deck area, beyond the covered lounging area, has room for a pair of dinghies; perhaps a 19-foot/5.8m aluminum work boat and a 12-foot/3.7m RIB. These are quickly launched or retrieved with the booms. There are two large opening hatches over the engine room, another for the pilot house, two over the salon, and four in conjunction with the owner’s suite.
There is a large flying bridge, for which there are many layout possibilities.
Switching now to the commercial layout, we will make just a few comments and come back to this later in more detail. We will start with the pilot-house level. Note that there are three helming positions; two facing aft and one forward. There are four work stations, and a large table for laying out charts or other documents. This makes up into a conference table as well.
The main deck is oriented around usage by up to 12 crew and passengers.
The lower deck has six cabins plus a crew lounge, which could also be employed as extra cabin(s) space.
The basement area has been shown empty, the assumption being this would be used for computer racks, stores, and perhaps a large fridge/freezer. The lounge area is open to port, and might be used for exercise equipment, or a pantry area. Aft of the settee is a washer and drier.
The four cabins aft each have their own head and shower, a desk, and substantial storage area for personal effects.
There is lots of additional data on the FPB concept throughout the Dashew Offshore website. Videos of the FPB 83 and 64s showing how these yachts handle rough water are available here (64) and here (83) You can download a variety of drawings at our server located here.
The FPB 115 is a natural evolution of the the FPB concept. With exceptional comfort in offshore mode, heavy weather endurance beyond any other ocean crossing yacht, and minimized cost of ownership, the FPB 115 represents a break through for the owner who wishes to operate in less than ideal environments.
For more information contact Sue Grant: [email protected]
Post script: for those wishing to play with interior layouts gridded plan views are available for download along with the other drawings. Grid spacing is two feet/600 mm.
“I’d love to try a passage on the 115 to see for myself. I’m sure that when we picked up our mooring in port and took the dinghy to shore, I would look longingly back at her. Function is beautiful.”