78-3 Update February 2106

Its been awhile since my last update on the 78 series. Last October, the owners of hulls 1, 2 and 3 were all in New Zealand to review progress on our individual boats and have a good look at 78-1 which was furthest along. 78-1 owned by Steve and Linda Dashew, the designers of the FPB series is now nearing completion and is tentatively christened “Cochise”. Headed for launch and builder’s trials in March, she will then head to Owner’s trials shortly after.

Tentatively, all three 78 owners, Steve Dashew, Peter Watson (FPB 64 Grey Wolf and 78-2) and yours truly will be back in New Zealand in June 2016 for Owner’s Training on “Cochise” as well as review of progress on our individual boats. Note that Steve Dashew, in ways only his devious mind can devise, has chosen winter in the Southern Hemisphere with all the nastiness the Southern Ocean can drum up for his playground. He was in his glory when we conducted the first open house with launch of the FPB64 when the Southern Ocean dished up a strong on shore gale for the ocassion. At least he didn’t turn off the stabilizers beam to during the open house like he did on our trip from the Bay of Islands back to Whangarei on my newly launched “Iron Lady” – just to “see how she would behave”. At the time, Deb had three large pots of herbs on top of the locker over the range top – they didn’t think much of his experiment and the result was flying pots, plants and dirt everywhere. I will see if I can return the favor on Cochise during Owner’s Training.

Anyway, back to 78-3 and the latest batch of photos form Circa. First, a shot from below decks showing the spill wall around the mechanical room and a manometer set up to pressure test one of the tanks.

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The next picture is looking at one of the cofferdams which encloses the stabilizer mechanisms. You can just see the massive mounting plate and reinforcing around it.

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The next shot shows some of the looms thru the structural framing which will carry the myriad of plumbing and electrical services thru the boat.

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We also chose to put 4 port lights on the boat – one in each guest stateroom, one in my office across from the master stateroom and one in the master stateroom. Circa has a full foundry and the made the molds, poured and finished machined the frames. They are a work of art and VERY heavy duty.

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The following view is form the companionway leading forward to the forepeak. The forepeak will be home for the full size washer and dryer as well as an exercise area and lots of storage.

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Headed to the back dci for a moment, this locker on port side under the matrix deck overhand houses the refrigeration compressors which are both water and air cooled as well as a day head. Looking forward, you can see into the great room where the galley will be on the left with seating and lower helm station forward.

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Work has begun on the shaft logs and the rudder as well. Yo9u can get a sense of how massive things are by looking at the fellow working there. Those stern tubes are designed to house the shafts which are 2.5 inches in diameter.

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This shot shows one of the two rudders under construction.

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And the final metalwork picture is of the forward mast under construction.

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Turning to the Chippies (Kiwi for carpenters), the following shots show the interior cabinetry under construction. We chose a pickled Australian Oak, Rift Cut for uniform grain structure for our interior. The finish will be natural satin varnish.

The first shows the cabinet that goes across the aft end of the galley. The oven has even temporarily installed to check the fit.

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The next three shots show the forward galley area which is “U” shaped. You can also see the counter top garages for storage.

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This picture shows one of the refrigeration boxes. The galley has a large upright refrigerator and two large freezers along the port side of the galley.

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Shown below is the fiberglass enclosure for the master “shun” (combination shower and tub).

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A long way to go but I hope you can get a sense of just how ridiculously strong the 78 is along with the craftsmanship of the good folks at Circa.

Til next time.

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7 Responses to 78-3 Update February 2106

  1. Carl E says:

    Hi Pete,

    Thank you for the update; lovely to see how she’s coming along.

    Regarding the aft deck, do you also have some (shaded) seating besides the day head? With regard to the port lights, do they require any maintenance/replacement down the line and do they require shutters in heavy weather?

    • myironlady says:

      If you have looked at the 78 on setsail.com, there have been substantial mods to the aft deck and swim step from what you see there. The four solar panels that were on the matrix deck overhang that covers part of the rear deck have been moved aft in a 1 by 4 array. The solar panels will get better sun to produce more energy and they will also end up providing cover over the hatch to the lazarette. All of the area under the panels and the matrix deck overhang will be shaded. With a new davit arrangement for the two dinghies, the dinghies will actually be stored outboard under the davits when we are in cruising mode in protected waters. This makes the dinks very easy to retrieve and launch and completely opens whole of the back deck for outside activities. With the solar panels off the matrix deck overhang, we now have what amounts to an outside balcony overlooking the back deck for sunning et al. This actually turns in to a much bigger subject so I will do a complete post on it down the road.

      Re the port lights, they are extremely stout and will not require storm shutter.

    • myironlady says:

      Thanks Carl – there have been lots of changes since the postings on setsail.com. All the Owners in addition to Steve Dashew and Circa have been deeply involved in an iterative process of improving the boat. The result, in my opinion, is a boat that is just beyond anything I have ever seen. The level of thought that has gone into even the minutest of details is nothing short of incredible. It has been a labor of love for all involved that far exceeds any possible economic benefit for the participants and the result is a boat for the books. The other prime beneficiary is the new 70 – another boat that breaks the mold as a global capable cruiser.

  2. Laird says:

    Dear Pete,

    This “windbagger” is respectfully overwhelmed.


  3. Hope to see more updates soon as Chochise has be launched now and presumably you have been on it! Do you have a Launch date yet for 2 and 3

    • myironlady says:

      Sorry for the delayed response. I just got back from Whangarei, working on final details of my boat and the launch of Hull 2. The New Iron Lady will probably launch this fall for yard trials and, with the holidays, we will probably not be aboard until after the first of the year. Steve Dashew will be doing a post on Hull 2 which will also have some video of our time out in 40 knots of onshore wind and very steep 5 meter seas. The boat was very impressive – comfortable punching into it and we saw surfing speeds up to 19.6 knots.

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