We learned a long time ago that the key to happy cruising is a smooth ride uphill. Careful weather routing and a good turn of speed reduces your exposure, but those inevitable rough upwind passages are what people remember when it’s time to cast off the docklines. This is why we’ve spent the past 40 years working on the wave piercing bow, which is particularly effective when heading into wind and wave.
There are numerous posts on the subject of wave piercing on SetSail (listed at the end of this article), but for now we want to show you photos taken over the past four decades. This first series is of FPB 97-1 in 30 to 34 knots of true wind speed, making 12.5 knots into a three to occasional five foot chop.
With a 107-foot waterline and a fine entry you would expect a clean slice through the wave.
At the other end of the historical record is Beowulf VI, a 38-foot cat that in 1975 had what may have been the first wave piercing hulls. Going to weather she would slice her leeward hull so cleanly through the seas that you would not feel any motion or deceleration, until the main crossbeam was impacted.
Uphill is even less fun with a monohull sailboat; however fine entries, balanced lines with heel, and moderate beam sterns, like those of the Sundeer 64 above, make the endeavor far more comfortable and efficient.
Here is the FPB 83 prototype Wind Horse going uphill ten years ago in similar conditions to the most recent FPB 97 photos. Notice how she splits the wave.
The size of FPB 97 Iceberg diminishes the appearance of the waves. In scale she is knifing through in the same fashion as Wind Horse.
Now an FPB 64. Smaller yachts typically have a more difficult time piercing the waves. But the FPB 64, as you can see in the photo above and below, gets the job done.
Here are a few links on wave piercing and weather discussion :
For more information on the FPB series, contact Sue Grant: Sue.Grant@Berthon.Co.UK.