FPB 78: The Dream Machine – Updated October 5, 2016


The FPB 78 is the fourth design in this series, fine-tuned by over 100,000 miles of open ocean FPB experience during the past eight years… 

…feedback by our owners, and a huge effort by the FPB team around the world from the UK, to New Zealand, to North America. At present FPB 78-1 is in the water, and two more 78s are under construction, all for previous FPB owners.

Welcome aboard. Let’s start our tour in the Great Room.


The great room is one of several focal points for life aboard.

100FPB 78 plans Edit 2

The galley, breakfast bar, salon, theater, and one of the two helms are situated in the most comfortable region of the hull. When making shorthanded passages, this great room layout allows for ease of communication and togetherness.


The FPB 78 great room, with its outward angled windows and negative edge headliner, offers an unobstructed view of the world outside.


On soundings, the Matrix deck is the primary con, but on passage the inside bridge is often the watch standing station.

There are excellent sight lines from this location.


The galley has loads of counter space, lockers, drawer storage, and room for a variety of appliances.


This is one of the many lighting options for ambiance and working on night watch.


The ship’s master systems panel is located in the aft starboard corner of the great room, where any lighting associated with operation of the panel is shielded from the helm. The design allows you to wedge yourself in securely in rough weather. The majority of AC and DC breakers are located here, as are the genset, inverter controls, heater and air conditioning, fridge and freezers, plus engine Powerview, and great room lighting circuits.


From the galley or the systems controls/engine data panel, turn around and you are looking at the stairwell to the lower deck, which also provides valuable wall space for favorite photos and art. When you get down to the bottom of the stairs, owner’s quarters areon your right, forward, with guest cabins aft, on the left.


We are looking forward now, down the hallway which leads to the annex or forward cabin, or into the owner’s suite, depending on how the bulkheads are configured (they can be reconfigured in a less than a minute). On our left, and forward, is the watertight door which divides the accommodation deck.


There is not a lot to say about the owner’s suite that these photos don’t communicate better. There is enough space and ambiance, more than a quarter of the accommodation deck, that if you feel you want to get away from guests or crew this is an ideal private lounge. Its location ensures quiet – there are three sets of double isolation bulkheads between here and the engine room. The suite features excellent natural ventilation…


…and the pillows on the bunk are within a step of the pitch center for minimum motion when on passage and heading into the waves.


The starboard side features an office and 13 ft/4m of closet space (with an additional 1m on the port side). The partial bulkheads…


…are part of the isolation and privacy system.


These bulkheads can be closed off from the office if there are night owls at work. With guests or crew aboard who need access to the forward area – which can be configured as laundry/pantry/gym, or as a stateroom – this becomes a hallway.

100FPB 78 plans Edit 29

Here is a plan view showing the owner’s suite with its bulkhead in open mode, with the annex set up as a workout space.

100FPB 78 plans Edit

Above is a look at the accommodation deck for FPB 78-2, with the aft end configured as crew quarters, the forward annex as an extra guest cabin and the owner’s starboard bulkhead positioned in what we call privacy mode.

Guest cabins are generous in size, with adjacent heads and bathing facilities.


Each guest suite has a vanity, hanging locker, and lots of drawer space under the bunk.

DSC2445 (1)

Moving aft we come to the engine room, with its pair of of six cylinder John Deere diesels. The full width engine room has excellent access to systems for visual checks when underway, as well as maintenance. There are beams overhead for lifting engines and genset, and a large work bench. The air inlet is sized for passive operation, although there are separate pressurization fans as well.

100FPB 78 plans Edit 18

There are a variety of ways to use the aft end of the FPB 78. If there is to be crew aboard, this is most probably where they will reside. This is just one of many possible layouts, the result of much feedback from owners who have had crew in the past, and professional sailors. The one thing everyone agrees on is that the boats with the best quarters get the best crews.


On the other hand, there is this made-in-heaven workshop, with adjacent hang out/relaxing area, which is how FPB 78-1 and 3 are starting life. To port there is a large work bench, room for a drill press, bearing press, belt/disc sander.


The space forward of the owner’s suite measures 18.5ft/5.7m in length, enough space for a variety of uses. The layout shown above, as one big room, is how the first and third FPB 78s are being done.

This area can also be divided between living space and forepeak. The space could be used as a laundry room/pantry…


…large office suite/library, or even a walk-in closet.

100FPB 78 plans Edit 28

Or, as in the case of FPB 78-2, an extra cabin with two single bunks.


The Dream Machine is the second FPB to have a Matrix deck.


This is twice the size of the flying bridges on FPB prototype Wind Horse and the FPB 64s, and just a touch smaller than the 97. The Matrix deck can be enclosed or left open as weather and inclination dictate. There’s plenty of space for relaxing. On soundings, navigation has the benefit of elevated sight lines and a full array of electronics.


And there is lots of nav desk area for paper charts.


Shallow draft, under five feet/1.5m, opens a new chapter in exploration potential.

FPB 78 Dream Machine intro 14102

The ability to “dry out” is a direct benefit. And when the fins or props need cleaning, this is an easy way to get the job done.


We started out talking about efficiency. Each step along the FPB evolutionary path has brought us better systems, more ambiance at anchor, and less generator time.

With the FPB 78 we are at a point where the generator is rarely be needed unless air conditioning loads are high.

FPB 78 287 Exteriors120 2

There are a series of factors with the FPB 78 that make for generator-free cruising. First are ten 340 watt solar panels, capable of providing sufficient power at anchor to take care of the 24-volt DC loads and a portion of the air comditioning. At anchor in Fiji, we are collecting 15kW hours or more on from the solar array average days.


This leaves the massive capacity of the 24 volt house traction battery bank, 1600 amp hours (20 amp hour discharge rate), to deal with cloudy days, and/or extra AC circuit loads. With excess loading beyond the solar capability likely to be moderate, you can sit pleasantly at anchor for days on end, waiting until you are underway for any recharge required. And once those diesels are turning, a pair of 250 amp (28V) alternators rapidly recharge the batteries.


The X factor in this is air conditioning, which we are dealing with in several ways. First is a reduction in air conditioning requirements as a result of the passive air flow system. Naturally pressurized air flow from a series of inlets on the underside of the forward roof overhang and front of the Matrix deck coaming keeps the great room temperature in check.

When the air is still, a pair of extraction fans in the aft port corner pull fresh air from the passive vents forward through the interior and out the aft end of the house. These extraction fans also work as a galley exhaust. The staterooms have a system of Dorade pipes – each fitted with a fan – one for extraction and a second for pressurizing. Heat load in the great room is reduced with big overhangs forward and aft, the outward angle of the windows with overhangs beyond. In addition, there are high efficiency cellular shades on each window.

Couple this with three times the insulation of previous FPBs and you will understand why the air con loads are so reduced at anchor. And if it is one of those hot, sticky, end-of-the-season nights in Fiji or the Bahamas, where air conditioning would be ever so nice while sleeping, the battery bank will supply power for the compressors.


The aft deck area is enormous, with the majority of it shaded by the roof overhang.


To put the FPB 78 aft end into context, above is a photo of 78-1 with 16-ft AB RIB to starboard in its at-anchor out of the water storage position.


One person can have the dinghy sitting on these rotating support arms in less than one minute.


The 14-ft rowing dink is hanging from its davits, where it is easily deployed at anchor. Underway the davits are rotated inboard, and the dinghy sits on top, leaving the deck below clear.


The engine room air intake provides the base for a barbecue, food prep area, and large sink, with valuable storage space below.


There are several interesting details on the foredeck:

  • A powerful Lewmar 65 deck winch for kedging, second anchor rodes, and handling dock lines in a blow.
  • The Maxwell V 4000 windlass.
  • A mud dam (breakwater) to keep mud and weed from the chain from migrating down the deck.
  • A 550mm/24” wide anchor platform that allows easier access to the bow fairlead than in the past.
  • The large foredeck hatch.

1FPB 78 1 PRelim 4 100 152

In a fleet designed for toughness, the FPB 78 is the meanest of the bunch. Bottom framing and plating are in excess of what would be considered ice class by Lloyd’s rules from the engine room forward: from the 24mm/1″ thick grounding plate, to the 16mm (5/8”) central turn of the bilge and engine room plate, not to mention the 12mm (1/2”) rest of the bottom. The FPB 78 is available with an MCA Category 0 rating, the most stringent standard under which a small yacht can be built. Although the paperwork is onerous for the builder, the benefits in terms of resale and insurance can be substantial (very few yachts qualify).

The normal FPB approach to fuel and water tanks, using them to form in effect a double bottom for additional safety, creates 6800 US gallons/25,800 liters of capacity, of which 70% represents fuel. Under normal circumstances 3500 US gallons of diesel would be considered full load. The extra capacity is available for special situations such as extra long trips, or protection against supply disruption.

With full tanks, at 11 knots, the range is in excess of 4500 NM. This gives us our 11 knot cruise at a very smooth and quiet 1600 RPM. Sound level in the great room at this speed has been measured at 52db.


FPB 78 – Offshore Motor Vessel: Preliminary Specifications

  • LOD 86.2’ (26.27m)
  • LWL 83.66’ (25.5m)
  • Official length (MCA rules)  78.08’ (23.8m)
  • Beam Deck 20’ (6.1m)
  • Extreme Beam (edge of rub rails) 20.8’ (6.35m)
  • Draft-half load Canoe Body 4.5’ (1.4m)
  • Draft-half load Prop Skeg 4.75’ (1.475m)
  • Air Draft (top of masts-excluding antennas) 22.3’ (6.8m)
  • Displacement Full Load (3600 US gallons liquids) 121,000 lbs / 55 tons
  • Fuel Capacity 4850 US Gallons (18350 L)
  • Fresh Water Capacity 1950 US Gallons (7380 L)
  • Minimum Range of Positive Stability 140-degrees (half fuel in one tank, full fresh water tanks)
  • Cruising Speed 11 knots
  • Top Speed 13.25 knots
    • Approximate Range 10 knots – 6500 NM
    • 11 knots – 4500 NM (Note: speeds/ranges are smooth water/clean bottom)


If you’d like to join us on this journey, contact Sue Grant: Sue.Grant@Berthon.co.uk.

Click here to read more FPB 78 updates.


Note: We have had literally hundreds of comments and dialogues surrounding our posts about the evolution of the FPB 78 design. We have compiled them all into one place for organization and ease of reading. Click here to see the dialogue.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 1, 2015)

63 Responses to “FPB 78: The Dream Machine – Updated October 5, 2016”

  1. Roger Says:

    By magic or osmosis you’ve managed to incorporate nearly all my changes without any input from me. That is a rare talent right there. A Class III MSD recirculating to the heads and a centrifuge fuel polisher would easily fit in the expansive spaces you’ve created. Well done.

  2. Steve B Says:

    Amazing how much better the 78 looks with the swim step extension, extension!
    How do you secure the Ekornes chairs when the going gets a bit rough?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    The Ekornes chairs will have inserts in the great room sole to which they can be fastened.

  3. David Sutton Says:

    Hi Steve,
    I’m almost speechless. This design has come together so brilliantly. I love the flexibility of the forward, aft compartments and the partition in the stateroom.
    I hope that one day I will get to see one of these in person. Oh, and Casablanca was a nice touch in the beautiful rendering. I noticed some portlight shaped objects on the matrix deck windows in some of the views, but not all. Are those openings to let more air in?
    As always, looking forward to following the progress.
    Cheers, David

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi David:
    We are starting to work on the Everclear window design for the Matrix deck and the tapes are a rough in of the smaller openings within the larger window segments. We’ll update this in a few months when the design is finished.

  4. Carl E Says:

    Thank you for the latest update of your inspirational design. If I can bother you with a few questions:

    The matrix deck seems enormously practical as is. I’m just surprised the renderings don’t show any dining table for the wraparound seating?

    Also, initially the matrix deck was shown with a hard cover with solar panels, before being replaced by a detachable soft cover without panels, for maintenance reasons. The renderings above now seem to show a non-detachable hard cover, again without panels?

    Are there any engine controls on the aft deck to aid with mooring, as previous renderings seemed to show?

    Finally, what is he maximum beam of the dinghies?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Carl:
    The different features for the various models get a little confusing. The FPB 78 has always had a soft top with solar panels on the great room roof forward (six) and aft overhang aft (four). There will be a small, hinged table between the legs of the settee in the great room, we just have not gotten to it yet. And yes, there are engine controls on the main deck, aft of the house, for use when nudging the boat during docking maneuvers or fishing. We’ll get to rendering these in the next few months, ow that the basic work is completed.

    Carl E Reply:

    Hi Steve, Thank you for clearing up my confusion regarding the Matrix deck roof. Regarding max. dinghy size, in “Speed, Sex, Rules, & Dinghies: Size Does Matter” the max. length was given as about 5.8 m.; what would be the max. beam for the large dinghy?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    We have a 2.15m beam allowed for in the dink on the starboard side. Chocks have two positions: all inboard in which case the swimstep gull wind door only partially opens, and with a .2m overhang outboard of the belting.

  5. Adrian W Says:

    Your latest interior plan is remarkably similar to plans I have been working on for a
    few years Having a stern cabin for crew or guests is the best use of space( but maybe with
    ladder access to the great room .Under msa rules you need collision bulkhead 5-15% back from bow waterline.
    So if a 3.2m bulkhead this probably would give enough space for your laundry and work bench up forward and maybe
    bigger ensuite for forward cabin
    but I don’t see a collision bulk head in your renderings

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    There is a collision bulkhead at the forward end of the forepeak.

  6. Clive Minchom Says:

    I understand from some of your posts that a good deal of thought has gone into the designed final overall length of the new FPB 78, in part based on how it might fit into the most appropriate international regulation to your best advantage. Most of the photographs, though not quite all, of your previous design Windhorse show it carrying what looks like the Red Ensign of the Cayman Islands. A number of the smaller FPB 64s seem to be carrying the US flag, where with the smaller length I presume there are not so many issues of the kind you have previously described. I wonder will you now flag your own new FPB 78 in the Cayman Islands again for similar reasons to before? However you do proceed, I must say the proportions of the final design you have now chosen, which is a little longer than before and has carefully balanced overhangs, are quite beautiful – some of the earlier versions, when it was still a little shorter, were a bit ungainly in comparison.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Clive:
    The FPB 78 prototype will fly a Cayman flag. Regarding the proportions, longer is always better as it helps to balance out the vertical part of the equation (which stays constant even length increases).

  7. Laurin Says:

    Just wondering about the cabinet in the hallway at the bottom of the steps. Would you be able to move it to the other wall and make it much larger or is there some other reason for it’s positioning.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Te lower deck hallway cabnet is on the aft bulkhead to break up the athwartships distance and rovide a brace to catch your shoulder/hips against when peratung the door. It will serve as a bookcase on 78-1, a linen closet on 78-2, and on 78-3 a laundry hamper.

  8. Markus Says:

    Dear Steve, my question on your FPB78: What will be the average electrical energy used per day (in kWh or Ah @ 24 V) at anchor of all the consumers (fridges/freezers, lights, pumps & fans, cooking & appliances, computers, etc.) but without heating or air conditioning?

    I understand that you are using solar to replace some/all of that used electrical energy and recharge the batteries with the engine driven alternators when cruising or by using the generator when needed.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Average power consumption excluding air conditioning will be between 6.5 and 10kW depending on computer usage. This is at anchor, and is based on what we saw with Wind Horse. We would expect the FPB 78 to use less power as the inverter systems will be more efficient, and incandesant lighting is being replacd with LEDs.

    RobS Reply:

    I hope you mean 6.5 -10kWh?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Rob – You will need to be more specific.Cannot find to what you are referring.

    RobS Reply:

    You said the ship will consume 6.5-10kW, I am asking if you mean kW, a measure of instantaneous power consumption that would mean total daily consumption on the order of 160-240 KWh, or if you meant 6.5 to 10 KWh total daily consumption.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    At anchor, Rob, the FPB will require between 300 and 450 amp hours from its 24V traction battery bank every 24 hours, excluding air conditioning. Most of this will end up being inverted to 115/230VAC before use. Air conditioning is typically not required given the shading,insulation, along with passive and active ventilation. When air is occasionally required it will normally be in the evening in the sleeping cabins in which case you will be able to take care of the owners suite and one guest cabin for around 200 amp hours. The solar array in the tropics on average should be good for around 14,000 watts of output each day. This is based on 10 panels at 340 watts/hour X six sun hours less 30% shade factor. Actual numbers will vary with sun declination, temperature, clouds, and vessel alignment relative to the sun.

  9. Gene LeBeau Says:


    The FPB 78 has turned out to be a wonderful boat (ship, yacht). I have watched it’s evolution and development with rapt facination.

    Regarding potential speed of the 78, I will take the high-end bet and say 14.5-15 kts. There is a well known designer named Jon Overing on the Gulf coast who designs “fast displacement hulls” the regularly get to LWL ratios of 1.6-1.7. With your design capability and two 330hp motors,your boat will do every bit of that.


    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Thanks for the kind comments, Gene:
    We are taking a wait and see approach with the FPB 78 performance. But we will admit that some of our sailboats have no problem at SLRs above 2.0 in moderate sea states and fresh breezes, with daily averages of SLRs in the 1.4 range on trade wind passages. Of course the FPB 78 is quite a bit heavier for its length. But then it does have some power advantages…

  10. Greg Gregory Says:

    I would be interested to make the aft staircase to the upper deck have more than one position. With a hinged foot and another piece of metal or two you could make the staircase stand up straight and have the treads maintain their horizontal orientation, relieving the view and the aft sitting area if you weren’t using the upper deck. Just a thought. I have thought about the same solution for sport fishers where that staircase is often a serious space hog.

  11. Anders M Says:

    Greg, I’d be very wary of having something like a set of stairs being hinged. I would personally prefer to have it either bolted thoroughly (and I do mean thoroughly) or, even better, welded, because I wouldn’t trust something that slides in any kind of sea. The only place I can think of where it might come in handy is at the dock at some marina. And frankly, with boat like the FPB series, I don’t see the need. I would be able to live with the space taken up by something stout and welded, rather than saving the space if I were to cater to a huge party on the aft deck.

    Further, I don’t think you will actually save space that way, because the bottom would have to have the space to slide, whereas with the solution as it is, you can use the place below for storage of one kind of another.

    I don’t understand why you would want it working like a parallelogram, keeping the steps horizontal. Would you climb up or down them if they were really steep and ladder like? That seems like an accident waiting to happen.

    I don’t mind looking at a couple of steps when they are as unobstructive as they look in the renderings. And if I could afford, I’d put in my order today, with only slight changes in the “feature” set. Carbon backed Solbian solar panels on the matrix roof, for one. And a way to get a lightweight motorcycle (115kgs) or down the stairs/through the hatch on the stern (i.e. a bit wider to allow for the handlebars, make it 40-50 degrees from horizontal, rather than the vertical it is in some renderings, and some way to utilise the poles to aid in getting it up and down the few steps inside).

    I forgot to mention, that I would want every piece of stainless steel (except exhaust) to be brushed stainless, not polished. That includes every handhold inside and out, every stanchion, rail, and what else might be chrome-like. I would also request matte or at most satin finish on all brightwork, and a lighter wood (ash?), and black linoleum on most furniture tops, and dark corian in parts of the galley, all to stop the harshest of reflections.

    Sorry for the length of this post, but it got me thinking.

  12. Virgulino Says:

    I was reading the Lugger’s manual: “Fuel injectors should be checked by a Lugger-Northern Lights dealer or qualified fuel injection shop every 600 hours.” Is that right?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    600 hours between injector checks sounds very tight. Our experience with John Deere has been to check our injectors every couple of thousand hours. On Wind Horse, afer 5000+ hours, we replaced the injectors (no more costly than rebuilding). Perhaps other readers will reate their experience.

  13. Glenn Says:

    We had injectors replaced on our Yanmar at 2200 hours. It was caught during a routine yearly check and also suspected due to a slight increase in the amount of smoke and soot buildup at the exhaust. Onan generator still running clean at 2000 hours, but has not been checked. Yanmar manual suggest 1000 hour interval, Onan does not specify.
    My experience has been that almost any decent diesel mechanic has access to a spray hood where the injectors can be tested. The issue is that they will not necessarily have the inventory to have your injector on hand. But if you carry a set, they can install them and get you going again right away. At some level, injectors are a fairly cheap, small, consumable part for your onboard spares list.

  14. Bruce Tharp Says:

    The power plant does sound intriguing. 330 hp is a boat load of power. Running 11 knots at 1600 rpm is nice. It’s easy to understand how it helps with the noise and vibration. What does that do to your power curve when docking? At idle what is the rpm? At engine idle, drive engaged what is the speed?

    Something I’ve not read in any of your posts is prop selection. What drives the selection? Having a history in submarines with low cavitation screws and merchant marine with one ship using Voith Schneider propeller (great for maneuvering – lousy if you want to get anywhere) your criteria in selection would be of interest to me. Would low cavitation screws help with a comfortable ride?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Lots of good questions Bruce:
    1-More than enought power at docking to force things if needed. Most maneuvering will be done with touches in and out of gear.
    2-Idle is prox 670 RPM.
    3-With one engine engaged prox three knots.
    4-Prop selection involves some science and a lot of testing, as you will know well. In our case we always kick up the DAR to improve efficiency and reduce cavitation in rough water. We do pay a penalty in smooth conditions for this.
    5-Typically it is difficult to tell if there is cavitation except with an accelerometer over the props. Very fair skegs and clean flow to the props and extra tip clearance all help, as d oes 16mm plate in the engine room and over props.

  15. Scott Evangelista Says:


    The final touches look wonderful. All a matter of taste but the “new look” although modern, feel a little sterile to me. What is the height and width of the lower cross member on the front A-frame structure? i.e., how much does one have to duck if they want to get to the anchor?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Howdy Scott:
    Ducking not required to get forward, unless you are over 2m/6’6″ tall.

  16. Jono Frankfort Says:

    Steve, Is the move of the cook top to the centerline countertop going to be a new design set point or just a rendering of a good idea? In moving the cooktop, have you abandoned the breakfast bar of earlier versions? I’m also wondering what currently resides in the cabinet directly starboard of what was the breakfast bar. Ever since moving the electrical distribution aft, there has been no mention of what’s in that valuable piece of real estate.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Jono:
    Breakfast bar is still there with the cooktop moved. There were many reasons for doing this. There is a stack of drawers adjacent/forward of where you sit at the breakfast bar.

  17. A Hyde Says:

    I notice the STACKS (earlier they had radar units mounted) no longer are above the Matrix roof. Is the current design air draft (not including antennas and fold down radar) still 22′ 3″? Any chance of clearing the fixed RR bridge in Chicago?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    With fresh water tanks filled and half fuel aboard the clearance with antennae folded down is about 6.67m/22 feet and this is in salt water, so a little less height in fresh water.

  18. Anders M Says:

    In the new picture of the guest cabins (FPB-78-1-Galley-from-stair-landing100FPB-78-plans-Edit-30) you still show what looks like to be a “box” or “inset” of sorts in the port cabin on the hull. I first thought this was a to a porthole like you had it in the Windhorse owner’s cabin, but a long time ago, you said you weren’t going to have portholes in these, never iterations. I now wonder if that is in fact a porthole, and if not, what is it, and is there another way to get a bit of natural light into that, the port, cabin?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Anders:
    The box out in the hull liner of the port guest cabin on the FPB 78 is for storage. A good place for a clock, book, glasses, etc.

    Anders M Reply:

    Ah, thanks, that makes sense!

  19. Markus Says:

    Hello Steve. Lets say you are in a marina sideways on a low pier. How do you get onto the aft swim platform from the pier as there is still about a 2 meters distance between the two (due to the shape of the stern)?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Markus:
    There is provision for a passeral that can be used in side tie or stern to.

  20. Carl E. Says:

    Hi Steve: Do you expect any reduction of life span for the outside washer and drier as a result of salt air and/or non-chamber operating temperatures? Where will they be on FPB 78-3? Also, I can’t immediately find the location of the battery bank in the deck plan?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    There might be a slight difference in life span, but this would beno different than living at the beach in a house.

    Carl E. Reply:

    Thank you. I understand that the owners of FPB 78-3 placed them elsewhere? Also, I can’t remember if the location of the battery bank was ever discussed?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Carl:
    The main bank of traction batteries is located under the sole of the hallway between the owner’s suite and guest cabins, in a sealed area between fuel tanks.

  21. Jono Frankfort Says:

    Hey Steve,
    I was wondering about the materials used and the storage when not used, of the aft deck patio enclosure. The aft facing panel looks rather large. Where are you hiding it? Whould love to know.
    Thanks, Jono

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Jono:
    The aft windows will be in sections, the details of which are yet to be determined, but probably four vertical sections. From our experience with Wind Horse, and the research we did then, in most situations we’d leave the Matrix deck windows in place when in long term storage. The exception being is we were worried about having the surface abraided by blowing sand.

  22. Thayer Says:


    I am in awe of this project. The design and engineering is truly inspiring. I check back every few days for updates.

    The solar panels at anchor and large engine-driven alternators underway, both feeding a large house battery makes for a very robust DC power system. Are you thinking of using a DC generator(s) or AC Generator and chargers – or both? You show 3 white rectangles in the engine room rendering…

    Appreciate your thoughts.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Thanks for the kind words, Thayer:
    Although we have built a number of DC gensets for our sailing yachts, between the inverter charger power, engine alternators, and nature of AC loads, a conventional 230V AC genset is the most efficient answer for this series. That said, we do not expect to see many genset hours. It is onboard as a back up for the solar array.

  23. Alex Kimball Says:

    We are following and see one of these beauties in our future.
    Congratulations to the entire design, development and construction team. Beautiful

  24. Greg Russell Says:

    Hi Steve

    This vessel is a masterpiece (as confirmed by all the other posters).

    One question, which I am sure has come up before, is why you have excluded windows in the master/sleeping cabins. From memory you had them on Windhorse. On my current vessel I really enjoy waking up and looking outside from my berth, and it also quickly orientates me in terms of anchoring position etc without the need for instruments.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Greg:
    Hull windows aee a trade off, like most things to do with yachts. We had them on Wind Horse, but 95% of the time the shades were down and they were blocked. This was more like 100% of the time in high latitude summers. And in port, they were closed off because of privacy. So the question becomes are they worth the cost in terms of budget, weight, and risk factors for such a small amount of time. When we are talking about risks it is working in ice, and laying on a reef that concern us the most. The final part of the equation for us is how often are we in the stateroom during the day? When we add all of this up, it comes out in favor of not having hull windows. That said, we have put hull windows in all of our sailboats. But here the situation is different as they have their great room on the same level as the staterooms, so the view outside becomes important.

  25. Junji Tatsuno Says:

    Wow, a beautiful boat indeed. As soon as I win this weeks lottery, I’ll be there to order one…..I’ve always wondered why no one designs in ‘dumb waiters’ to the multi decks.

  26. Andy Says:

    Steve, great looking design as always. How about the amazing looking A-frame front mast, any possibility of fitting that on FPB64 as well? Also what is your take on adding a stern arch to FPB 64? Would be a great place to add few solar panels, antennas etc and also to have a smaller lift for outboard engines, scuba gear etc smaller stuff not fit to be lifted with the big booms.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Andy. A stern arch could really beef up the output on solar. Re the forward mast, the A frame would not work as well on the 64 because of deck width, scaled windage, etc.

  27. Andy Says:

    And forgot to mention the outboard stern grabbing rails, what a great idea! Been wishing for those great many of times when trying to board a bigger boat from small dingy.

  28. Carl E. Says:

    Hi Steve: Will the Everclear-enclosed outside (aft of the superstructure as well as the Matrix Deck) have some sort of HVAC?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Howdy Carl:
    The area aft of the entry door (under the Matrix) deck on the FPB78 will have a set of removable clear curtains for inclement environments. This area is not air conditioned.

  29. lawrence hoyne Says:

    Are the FPB boats dry stack or wetstack exhaust. Keel-cooling and dry stack is the most reliable system, but I don’t seem to see the exhaust stack.

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Howdy Lawrence:
    We disagree on your generalization that dry stack and keel cooling are the most reliable. There are benefits to that approach and to wet exhausts. Noise, dirt on deck, vibration isolation failure, stack fires, condensation, are amoungst some of the negatives of a dry stack. Once you have an engine room aft, as we do, the wet exhaust begins to look good. Maintenance of the raw water pump is the one negative. But in return you get rid of the issues associated with the dry stack. On balance, having a quieter, cleaner, fire free system we think worth the raw water pump issues.
    Our only interest in all of this is maximizing reliability and for the FPBs this means a wet exhaust.

  30. Robert Cronquist Says:

    Just an observation …Quite by accident I stumbled across your website , and want to say that you have the most exquisite CAD renderings I have ever seen as applied to what appears to be a sub 100′ ocean going cruising vessel ….Well done .

  31. Magnus Day Says:

    Hi Steve,

    10 years taking charter and private sail boats to high latitudes, North and South leads me to believe a power boat will be a better solution.

    I have limited internet access so I have some questions………

    1. Does the FPB 78 come in as a ‘Small vessel’ under MCA mgn 280?
    2. How vulnerable would you feel the stabilisers are to growlers on passage in open seas. Can they be made to be sacrificial?
    3. Can we build a 4 double cabin version with crew double aft and crew twin forward?
    4. Ballpark build cost so we can approach investors?


    Magnus Day
    Captain S/Y Pelagic Australis

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Magnus:
    Thanks for the kind words. I will get Todd Rickard to contact you re the numbers. As to your questions:
    1-Although 86’LOA the FPB 78 measures 23.95M.
    2-Stabilizers are on oversized shafts. The shaft actuators are in coffer dams.The GRP fins are supposed to go before the shafts. However, with glacier or mature sea ice who knows. For serious work probably a set of steel or aluminum fins of smaller size would be in order.
    3-No problem with four guest cabins amidships.
    4-FPB 78-2 is being built to MCA 0 sub 24m with all its lovely attention to crew requirements – a royal pain! She has crew in her lazz and forepeak.