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FPB 64 Intro
The Next Step
Every now and then in yacht design, the thousands of details involved to produce a boat combine in a unique way, creating a vessel which performs substantially better than projected. We've known from the beginning of sea trials that something special had occurred with Wind Horse, the FPB Series prototype. She is so much more comfortable than any design on which we've been to sea, as well more efficient offshore than expected, that we wanted to have a firm grasp of design elements which led to this happy outcome, before pursuing the next step.
Which is why for the past four years we've been hard at work testing Wind Horse.
Given the thousands of hours of design work which went into Wind Horse, along with substantial efforts in the towing tank and with CFD analysis, you would think we had all the answers. However, we can tell you from long experience that there is nothing like using a boat full time to get a feel for what works, and what can be improved upon.
Now, with more than 45,000 miles under the keel of Wind Horse since sea trials were completed, we have a handle on how (and why) this design works as well as it does. We've purposely searched out a variety of sea states to give our bodies and onboard instrumentation a chance to accumulate data (Wind Horse is fitted out with six accelerometers, along with roll rate and angle sensors). This has included head seas of various shapes and periods, confused head seas, confused beam seas in gale force winds, and surfing at high speeds. We have deliberately put to sea for thousands of miles' worth of the conditions that you would normally avoid, to see what Wind Horse could teach us.
Of course our design tools (powerful portable computers these days) are always with us when we're testing a boat. And we've been constantly noodling away at a new FPB. We started with only one goal, to reproduce Wind Horse's capabilities in a more compact package. In the beginning we were not sure it was possible. We have looked at more than a thousand hull shapes, dozens of interior layouts, and more propulsion options than you can imagine.
And after two years of work, the pieces started to fall into place.
The result of this detailed design study is the FPB 64.
find this new design summarized below, and then detailed explanations
of the various features on the sidebar to the left under the heading "FPB
64". But first, some basic specifications:
In terms of basic layout we found we could not improve on what has worked so well with Wind Horse. The FPB 64 has a similar flying bridge, and a large aft deck with space for two dinghies.
In profile, this new design is very close aesthetically to the FPB 83. The FPB 64 and 83 share the same freeboard, and house proportions are similar.
This is an "X-ray" view of the interior.
The "great room", where cooking, lounging, laundry, and watch keeping are all done with 360-degree views, is still the focal point of the interior. And we have been able to keep the basement area below the salon for storage and domestic systems.
The galley is aft, on the port side. Salon seating is forward, with an L-shaped settee to port and couch to starboard.
There is a sumptuous owner's suite forward with an excellent guest cabin
and separate sea-berth area aft plus a large office area.
The large engine room is all the way aft, with excellent access to systems. The forepeak forward offers plenty of storage for ground tackle, awnings, drogues, dock lines, fenders, dock carts, life jackets, and the quantities of other gear cruising boats need.
The great room has a wonderful galley, space for the full-sized washer-drier opposite, 20 cubic feet (560 liters) of fridge and freezer (with another eight cubic foot/ 225 liter dual purpose fridge/freezer in the basement). The salon area will seat a crowd, and the bridge desk forward has plenty of space for a complete array of modern electronics.
The FPB 64 series is built in aluminum, to the same structural standards as Wind Horse, including 5,200 gallons (19,600 liters) of fuel and water carried in integral hull tanks, with two full and two partial watertight bulkheads, and our usual high factors of safety for structure. Sea trials have confirmed a smooth water range, including an allowance for hydraulics and electric generation, to be around 7,600 nautical miles at nine knots. Cruising speed is between 9 and 10 knots, depending on sea state (click here for a more detailed look at performance, fuel burn, and range).
These boats are being built to the same complete specifications, with systems designed around the approach that has worked so well for us over the years, and has proven itself yet again on Wind Horse. There are no options except for dinghies and some personal gear. The boats are complete right down to life raft, full spare parts inventory, awnings, spare anchors, drogues and warps, and two sets of dock lines. After our hands-on, onboard personalized training, just add crew and provisions, and you are ready to explore distant horizons. There is no waiting around for months while you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on "options" that should have been part of the original contract.
The production line approach to building these yachts produces a very high quality product at moderate cost - saving up to half of what a custom yacht of the same specification would run. There are significant sums nvested in design and engineering, plus jigs and fixtures for production, and learning curve during the initial build cycles. Rather than amortizing this over a single custom yacht, these costs are being spread over a production run.
The first four FPB 64s are now committed, and we are making plans for a follow on series.
If you would like to view a full range of videos and slide shows click here. To find out more about this exciting cruising design, e-mail us and we will follow up with specifics. Drop us a line to ToddR@SetSail.com.