With FPB

Iron Lady Owner’s Trials

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Todd Rickard is in New Zealand working with the owners of FPB 64-3, Iron Lady, Pete and Debbie Rossin. Todd is busy with both testing the boat and bringing the owners up to speed on handling and systems, but snuck in a few photos to keep us all appraised of what is happening. Speaking of which, if you look closely at the lead photo just to the left of center you will see FPB 64-4, Osprey, coming in from a builder’s trial.

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Builder’s trials are designed to break in systems, and ferret out problems before delivery. With the FPB 64s this includes a detailed set of dock trials, cycling all systems, and then sea trials in the ocean. Sea trials involve a minimum of fifty hours, some of which we want to see in rough conditions. This approach serves interests of both owner and builder, reducing headaches and frustrations that occur when things go wrong with a new boat.

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A big part of what Todd does during this process is to get the owners comfortable with their new yacht. During this week of training he will review the day to day systems operation, back up plans if things go wrong, and maintenance schedules.

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Boat handling is a large part of this curriculum. The FPB 64 maneuvers like a dream with her oversized rudder, fast response (seven seconds hard over to hard over), and hull shape. Although she has a powerful bow thruster, we emphasize learning to handle the FPB 64 without the thruster. In the photo aboveĀ Iron Lady is rotating using a bow spring line and rudder thrust.

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Pete and Debbie have had a variety of yachts, the most recent of which was a large trawler and quickly found Iron Lady to be easier to handle in tight quarters than they were used to.

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When Todd has the time to send in photos like this – cetacean visitors with a new yacht are a sign of good luck – you know things are going well.

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A cool photo off the stern extension looking aft. They are running in this and the next series of photos at 2000 RPM, 10.5 knots.

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The Circa designed and built dinghy is aboard now. The barbecue and sink locker are next to the dinghy.

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Note the orange cover rolled on the rail. This provides shelter if the dink is used in an emergency.

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Back at the dock, Todd is launching the dinghy.

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Bruce Farrand, Managing Director of Circa, making use of the “granny bars” in the bow of the dinghy.

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The Circa dink has a large storage locker forward, and double bottom. Rain and spray drain out the transom rather than accumulate as with an inflatable.

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A 30 HP Yamaha powers the dink, and provides plenty of go power. Bruce is left, Pete right. The dink gets onto a plane quickly even with three large sized passengers (Todd is in the bow behind the camera).

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Iron Lady with her port boom out ready to retrieve the dinghy.

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The swim step offers easy access from low docks.

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And across the way sits FPB 64-4, Osprey.

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A key ingredient in successful cruising is havingĀ both crew members comfortable with running the boat. As an outsider, Todd has the patience that is sometimes lacking when one member of a family “trains” the other.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (March 10, 2011)

8 Responses to “Iron Lady Owner’s Trials”

  1. Rick de Castro Says:

    What good looking boats – especially with the step extension.

  2. Victor Raymond Says:

    Steve and Linda,

    Congratulations! It is looking just like a production line. This must be so fulfilling to have these beautiful boats rolling out one right after the other.

    I wish you both well and look forward to your visit this August.


  3. Robert Says:

    Seeing one FPB-64 from another is fairly magical.

    Why the varying number of Dorade vents? I believe FPB 64-1 has 4 vents, FPB 64-2 has 1 vent, FPB 64-3 has 1 vent, and FPB 64-4 appears to have 4 vents.

    I assume owners preference, but I am still a touch curious.

    Thank you.



    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Hi Robert:
    Dorade vents are a very personal decision. Some folks would not go to sea without, and others think they are an anachronism. On Wind Horse we have them, and for 99% of the last six years they h ave been sealed.

  4. Chris critchett Says:

    How come Egret has Osprey written on the topsides? Is that the charter company name?

    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Caught me Chris:
    Got the birds confused. Correct name is Osprey (and thanks for bringing this to my attention!).

  5. Rick de Castro Says:

    Steve – What is (are?) the orange object(s) on the house roof on the starboard side, below the flying bridge (third picture from last)?

    Also, is the Circa dinghy at all rowable? How would (say) a 30-hp jet drive OB work?


    Steve Dashew Reply:

    Howdy Rick:
    Osprey is built under survey for commercial use and has a whole series of requirements, amongst which is the “Carley Flaot” to which you refer. There are two, and they are intended to support six people each, in the water.
    The Circa dink has no provision for rowing. We were not involved in its design , but the jet drive would be heavier than the outboard.