Berthon Charts the Evolution of Dashew Offshore and the FPB (Functional Power Boat) Fleet
October 16th, 2023
The last word in bluewater cruisers, FPBs are known for their outstanding seakeeping capabilities and extensive range. The series evolved from the original 83 foot FPB WIND HORSE, which Steve and Linda designed and built as their ‘un-sailboat’ after selling their iconic 80 foot ketch, BEOWULF. They cruised aboard WIND HORSE for over 60,000 nautical miles and their experiences aboard contributed to the development of subsequent FPB models.
FPBs are recognised for several key features:
Massive Range: FPBs are designed to cover significant distances, making them suitable for ocean passaging without the need to constantly passage plan for the next fuel stop. Bunkering can be accomplished where you are assured of clean fuel at a sensible price.
Ability to Surf: They are capable of surfing downwind, which is a unique and exciting characteristic for a motor yacht. As `un-sailboats’ they are handled much like a sailing yacht in many respects
Recovery from Capsize: FPBs are designed to recover from capsize with massive in build strengthening of the Great Room to deliver the structural strength to recover from a roll
Rugged Construction: They are heavily constructed with thick plating in critical areas making them suitable for cruising worldwide
Oversized Stabilizers: These yachts are equipped with oversized stabilizers, safely housed in separated cofferdams so that the integrity of the hull is not compromised if a stabiliser is damaged or lost. They provide a smooth ride when at sea as well as providing support when an FPB is intentionally beached.
Great Rooms: A signature of all FPBs, the Great Room provides 360 degree panoramic views. The core of the boat, the galley, saloon seating and watch keeping when at sea is all contained in this light and bright space. It is also the perfect place from which to watch wildlife and to enjoy land and sea scapes.
The FPB Range
WIND HORSE – Total Hulls Built 1 – Fitted out by Kelly Archer
The first ever built and the prototype for the FPB 64, FPB 83 WIND HORSE was conceived for and by Steve and Linda who cruised her and lived aboard for seven years. Her speed, range, sea kindliness, comfort, recovery from capsize, ability to surf, ‘Matrix Deck’ and of course her ‘Great Room’ with 360 vision set the benchmark for what was to come. She has a custom Kelly Archer interior in high gloss Burma teak with high gloss teak and holly soleboards which looks amazing.
FPB 83 WIND HORSE is currently for sale with Berthon.
Year LWL Beam Deck Minimum Range of Positive Stability Cruising Speed Top Speed Approximate Range
81’6” / 24.84m
17’11” / 5.46m
6,000NM at 12 knots
7,800NM at 11 knots
9,800NM at 10 knots
Total Hulls Built 11 (2 series) – Built by Circa Marine, New Zealand
The smallest of the fleet, the FPB 64 was designed as a result of Steve and Linda Dashew’s experience cruising FPB 83 WIND HORSE. FPB 64 AVATAR built in 2010 was the first of the series. Conceived for a couple to cruise easily and comfortably, the 64 has a single John Deere with a get me home wing engine on a separated drive train. The swim step was extended on later models to improve surfing and this modification has now be included on the whole fleet. They have a large en-suite Owners’ stateroom forward with a double and another single berth cabin aft with heads and great engine room access.
ICEBERG – Total Hulls Built 1 – Built by Circa Marine, New Zealand
Sold by Berthon in 2021, FPB 97 ICEBERG is the largest and fastest of the series. Built in 2014, she was commissioned whilst the FPB 64s were in build. WIND HORSE was used as a life sized model during her design development, having her bathing platform increased in size to replicate ICEBERG for real time trials. Since her 2014 launch, she has successfully covered more than 50,000 nautical miles, demonstrating her capability as both a crewed yacht and a nimble vessel suitable for owner-operator use during local cruising.
COCHISE, GREY WOLF II, UGLY BETTY – Total Hulls Built 3 – Built by Circa Marine, New Zealand
Developed for family use, the FPB 78 may be handled by a couple, but all three hulls have comfortable separated accommodation for crew in addition to a large Owners’ stateroom and three large en-suite guest cabins. All three hulls have covered significant distances including the Pacific, Antarctic, Norway and the Northwest Passage and many points between. #1 COCHISE was Steve and Linda Dashew’s final FPB and her sister GREY WOLF II is MCA Category 0 in class.
Two FPB 78s are currently for sale with Berthon – COCHISE and GREY WOLF II.
Total Hulls Built to Date 2 – Built by Circa Marine, New Zealand
The last of the FPBs to the drawing board, the FPB 70 was designed to be a bridge between the FPB 64 and FPB 78 models, delivering an Explorer managed by a couple with ample room for guests. With 2 good guest cabins great interior volume and well-designed aft deck space, as well as the FPB signature Great Room, Matrix Deck and large forward Owners’ stateroom. She is an owner-driver FPB.
The FPB Programme is closed following Steve and Linda Dashew’s retirement. There will be no new FPBs built. Berthon are the custodians of the FPB archives, including all the plans and technical drawings for the fleet, along with the original design notes authored by Steve and Linda. These archives are an invaluable resource for future reference for the current owners of the FBP fleet. Berthon is very active in the brokerage of the FPB fleet.
Berthon also host the Set Sail website. This is an outstanding resource for bluewater sailors, both sail and power, with comprehensive information about the Dashew sailboat designs as well as FPB. Within its pages, you can explore the complete history of all the Dashew designs, comprehensive model information, a wealth of blogs and logs, videos, press articles and a multitude of other informative content.