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Old 01-27-2013, 02:29 AM   #1
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Trawler economy at twice the speed

Steve Dashew has had an influence on my cruising for 30 years. I bought back then my first off shore capable boat, a Cal 40, through his recommendations. A good friend has been cruising on his design, a Deerfoot 64 for the last ten years. Steve and his wife Linda have spent their entire adult years cruising, raising two daughters and now cruising with their grand daughters aboard their long, narrow beam FPB 83'. Cruise at 11.25 kt burning 7 gallons per hour. Does anyone know anybody cruising one of his FPB designs? The unpainted aluminum combined with a long narrow beam has had his boat mistaken by navies as a naval boat.

His web site is huge and packed with what works for the serious passage maker.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Crazy engine room on those things. Little out of my price range but interesting to look at.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:39 AM   #3
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Might save a bit on fuel for a given speed as compared to a merely mortal trawler, but I'd like to see a comparison of purchase price per square foot of liveable space. Methinks you'd be paying a mighty premium for that extra speed considering the extra length required.

Tad Roberts' "Passagemakerlite" series moves in the same direction but appears to be a more affordable option;

http://www.tadroberts.ca/services/ne...agemakerlite56
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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That was an interesting and informative web site, thanks for sharing it.

There are some very well versed people that frequent this site regarding boat design, but I can offer prospective from a laymans standpoint.

A boat to me is a series of compromises. Size in length and beam, vs cruising capability, vs living space, vs efficiency... The list goes on forever.

The boats on the web site you pointed out appear to be a compromise towards efficiency, having a narrow beam to length ratio. They appear to be very similar to a sail boat in that regard. The challenge is that in these types of designs space inside the hull is decreased. Space for equipment, space for storage, space for people.

So, while I find the design interesting, and it does have some appeal, I don't know that it'll prove to be all that marketable in the long run.

The problem is that efficienct isn't everything. Even for an activly cruising lifestyle fuel economy isn't the most important factor. I would even go as far as to say that except for fuel economy affecting vessle range, it isn't even a big consideration to many people that would actually buy a large passagemaker.

Think about this. A cruising couple for example might average one 10 hour day under power for every three days on the boat. That would equate to 100 hours a month give or take under power. At say 6 gph for a 60 something foot passagemaker at $4.00 a gallon making a $2400 a month fuel expense.

Lets say that they could cruise for say $1200 a month in fuel on this nifty boat.

Would they actually buy a boat with a much smaller interior to save that $1200 a month. Would $1200 a month even come into play in a million doallar boat purchase?

Probably not.

So again, wonderful design. Great reading. Very informative.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #5
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The FPBs are purpose built boats for the well heeled. If you are into long ocean passages with a very high degree of design safety, good fuel economy and long range - this is the MV for you. Dashew's calculations (based upon real world costs) show the operating cost of his FPB to be less than a similar sized sailing vessel.

The ER and systems are very accessible and designed for the long haul. And the FPB vessels (64, 83 and 97) are designed to take a capsize and recover - few (if any) other cruising intended MV are designed to do this. Oh, and they are either a twin or designed with a get home engine.

For comparo baubles and toys say Cessna 172 to Bonanza, Miata to Boxster or La Jolla beach front house to Bullhead City.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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While we have not followed Linda and Steve's career as closely as you, we know of them and really appreciate what they are doing with boat design and the cruising lifestyle. Our last journey to the Morehead City/Beaufort, NC area found us in the wake of Windhourse as they just left Jarrett Bay boatyard where they often get a lot of work done. Steve had anchored up Taylor's Creek in Beaufort, but was asked by the Coast Guard to move because he was blocking the channel. So he moved to anchor just off the Town Docks just yards away from us (we were ON the Town Docks).

We took the opportunity to get in the dinghy and do a couple of laps around Windhourse to get a closer look. What an amazing craft. 83' of battleship grey operated by only two (and I use this term loosely) elderly people. It's a very utilitarian craft. Everything is there for a reason and, from the outside anyway, there are little to no creature comforts.

Anyway, the following day we had almost decided to return to the Neuse when, 1/3 of the way there, we changed our minds and went to the Morehead City Yacht Basin... you know... just because. When we arrived, there was Windhorse. She was doing somthing she RARELY does, and that is, spend a night in a marina. Actually, she was there taking on fuel, which, we found out, is a two day affair. He was testing the transfer pump system for accuracy by filling a tank then transferring the fuel around. Steve watched the pump while Linda has the stopwatch. Anyway, 3500 gallons and 18 hours later, they were fueled up for their "little trip to Greenland". Windhorse is not registered under a US flag and she needed to leave US waters for a little while to satisfy the regulations.

If you haven't figured out by now, we had an opportunity to meet Steve and Linda that evening. We talked for quite a while about their situation. They are an eccentric couple. Almost too smart for mere mortals to talk to, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Bess and I have always said that they would be the second phone call we would make should we come into a great deal of money. First, call our lawyer, second, get an FPB on order. They told us how they have to approve their customers and that they want no part of selling their boats if they are going to be dock queens. They expect their customers to use these boat for it's intended purpose.

**BTW, we asked about FPB. They told us it came from their sailing days and, as you may or may not have guessed, stands for F*cking Power Boat.**

I suppose it was a mistake for us to not ask for a tour of the inside. I just never felt comfortable invading their space like that. We didn't want to come across like fanboyz or seem star-struck by them. So we let the moment pass us by. Pity really. Looking back on it, that is something I regret. Perhaps our paths will cross again. However, Windhorse is for sale now. I am not sure what their next adventure will be and I haven't read up on the Set Sail website in a while. Maybe I'll take some time this week to peek in.

Thought I'd share that experience with y'all. Have a good day.

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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There's a reason that PAE for example has been so successful at gaining and holding passagemaker market share.

Thats because they build boats that the passagemaking market demographic want to spend their days in/on.

There is a subset of that demographic that is keyed in on efficiency, but thats only a subset, and I would bet a small subset at that.

I would venture a guess that for most prospective buyers the main consideration right after the "will the boat get me there safely" question is space and comfort.

Again, it looks like a great boat, and very capable, but I don't think it'll be taking over the passagemaker world any time soon.

The simple reality is that there are other designs out there that provide reasonable efficiency and larger, more comfortable interiors in a given length boat.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Tom and Bess,

I was hoping to run across someone that has met them. I've only exchanged an email, but your perception of both of them is spot on, they are quite intelligent people that design for the serious cruiser. What Steve isn't well versed in, he has close friends that are experts in these few gaps, thus the FPB series has some of the best thought out systems you could ever have on a vessel of this type. It is ironic that whatever his current project is always seems to be a out of my reach as far as coin. When he was involved with the Deerfoot series I had to settle for his recommendation of a Cal 40. Now that I can afford the Deerfoots, he has the FPB series at a time that I'm on the fence about my next cruising boat being power or sail. Too bad he and I are close to the same age, I'd ask him to adopt me.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
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Thought I'd share that experience with y'all. Have a good day.
Very well written...thanks for the definition of FPB...I wondered what that stands for.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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There's a reason that PAE for example has been so successful at gaining and holding passagemaker market share.

Thats because they build boats that the passagemaking market demographic want to spend their days in/on.

There is a subset of that demographic that is keyed in on efficiency, but thats only a subset, and I would bet a small subset at that.

I would venture a guess that for most prospective buyers the main consideration right after the "will the boat get me there safely" question is space and comfort.

Again, it looks like a great boat, and very capable, but I don't think it'll be taking over the passagemaker world any time soon.

The simple reality is that there are other designs out there that provide reasonable efficiency and larger, more comfortable interiors in a given length boat.
I would take the motion of the FPB series in large head seas over a beamy, spacious mega yacht any day. That was a design criteria, so that extreme latitude cruising in any season would be comfortable. When you have some extra time, go through his web site, there is nothing that compares to his and Linda's comfort and safety when things get rough, being produced today. It is a one of a kind design that was thought out by a very bright person that has almost 40 years of cruising with long open ocean passages.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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I would take the motion of the FPB series in large head seas over a beamy, spacious mega yacht any day. That was a design criteria, so that extreme latitude cruising in any season would be comfortable. When you have some extra time, go through his web site, there is nothing that compares to his and Linda's comfort and safety when things get rough, being produced today. It is a one of a kind design that was thought out by a very bright person that has almost 40 years of cruising with long open ocean passages.
I did spend some time on their web site this morning.

They seem to be very well thought out, and very capable craft.

My comments were regarding their marketability and livability more than their operational capability.

For those that want the specific capabilities that these boats bring to the table they appear from the web site to be a fine choice
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:55 PM   #12
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I've had a few conversations with Steve (we were going to feature some of his video on our TV show when we were on Versus), and was fortunate enough to tour one three years ago in Port Townsend at the first annual Spring Boating Symposium. They are very nice down below, with all the essential creature comforts, including the requisite high end materials and craftsmanship one would expect when paying that kind of money. We were duly impressed with the interior layout and accommodations. The exterior was clean, simple, and purposefully designed for long passages with the ability to safely handle any conditions.

The Dashews are not even remotely interested in "taking over the passagemaker world". Steve is even surprised at how well the boats sell, given he was designing for a very limited audience. When I last spoke with him (a couple of years ago) they had a waiting list for new builds, because he doesn't want to get into mass production. One at a time suits him just fine. And, without compromise, they are fully designed to cross oceans - in total comfort and very economically. Watch some of the videos on the web site of the boat handling all sorts of nasty sea conditions.

Granted, they are not for everyone, but we find the design to be quite "shippy" and pretty darn cool. We've seen one come in and out of the bay here in Port Ludlow a few times this winter. Always catches my eye...
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #13
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Kevin,

As I am on the fence for my next boat, be it power or sail, I'm looking at a lot of designs. My friends that have me considering power/trawler have a Nordhavn 43. Though this boat is very well built, it does handle large seas like most all trawlers, which equates to "quite a ride". Below is a short sizzle reel of their footage assembled by a production company with voice over, for presenting to cable networks as a possible show along the lines of "Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Alaskan Gold Rush, etc". Notice the motion in the very beginning of the video, and these seas are docile compared to what I've been in myself.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #14
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Darren,

Do you know the Scott's from Port Ludlow? Lou and Phyllis, they have a Hatteras LRC.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #15
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Darren,
Do you know the Scott's from Port Ludlow? Lou and Phyllis, they have a Hatteras LRC.
Not by name, Bob. But I'll look for them. Do they keep their boat here in Port Ludlow Marina? And what is the boat's name?
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #16
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The reality is that there are very few people interesting in making long trans-ocean voyages in powerboats. But lots of folks are interested in living aboard and cruising the edges of North America......So the market for a FPB or PL is really tiny.

The second run of FPB 64's was based at $3m, but you can buy a used Nordhavn 43 for a bunch less than $1m....it will take you to all the same places.....and think how much happier your wife will be with that $2m in the bank.....
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:37 PM   #17
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Kevin,
As I am on the fence for my next boat, be it power or sail, I'm looking at a lot of designs. My friends that have me considering power/trawler have a Nordhavn 43. Though this boat is very well built, it does handle large seas like most all trawlers, which equates to "quite a ride". Below is a short sizzle reel of their footage assembled by a production company with voice over, for presenting to cable networks as a possible show along the lines of "Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Alaskan Gold Rush, etc". Notice the motion in the very beginning of the video, and these seas are docile compared to what I've been in myself.
I hope your friends are able to get their TV show on the air. It's a nice concept. But, as they are finding out, it's VERY difficult unless you buy the airtime, which is what we did. But then you have to have enough sponsors and advertisers to not only pay for the airtime (expensive!) and everything else (production-wise), but still end up making some profit (which we never did!).

I'd definitely watch "Three@Sea" if it were on TV - although we would have to get TV... But as far as the whole "reality" genre goes, it just might not be compelling enough for general audiences. Not enough "strife". They might have better luck trying the PBS route, but that's even more difficult to fund with underwriting sponsors, etc.

I think the Dashew's could make a great show taking one of their FPBs around the world in extreme conditions. But typical studio/network types would want to add something like a divorced couple fighting all the time in order to make it marketable...
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:16 PM   #18
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Not by name, Bob. But I'll look for them. Do they keep their boat here in Port Ludlow Marina? And what is the boat's name?
M/V Traveler at the marina. They live just a short drive away. Maybe not active, as he is my dad's friend and age, so around mid 90's by now. I visited around 1993. Active HAM operator on maritime nets.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:35 PM   #19
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Here are the Dashews in Southwest Harbor Maine this summer when I spoke with them. The boat is incredible.

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Old 01-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #20
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Your pictures show why at times they are thought to be a navy boat, but I like the utilitarian look and design. Nobody will mistake your boat for another.
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