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Fleming 78

by Norris Comer

Fleming 78The Pacific Northwest is familiar ground for the Fleming trawler family, which became mainstream partly due to designer Tony Fleming’s epic public relation adventures both local and abroad on his own Fleming 65 Venture.

While his 65-foot model is one of the larger builds of the family, the largest Fleming currently in production is the Fleming 78. This larger boat is an evolution of the now out-of-production Fleming 75.

What defines the 78? Probably the most notable design feature may not be immediately apparent because it is under the waterline—a bulbous bow. The 78 takes a page from the commercial shipping world with this innovative bow, which is deployed on certain vessels to increase speed, range, fuel efficiency, and stability.

A proven concept when optimized correctly for a hull’s specifics on slower boats over 50 or so feet, the underlying physical concepts are far more complex than simply “breaking the water.”

Fleming 78The 101 explanation is that a big wake from a traditional boat represents energy wasted. Think of the traditional wake as energy that could’ve been used for forward propulsion.

The bulbous bow comes into play by creating a second wake that is the perfect inverse of the first wake. This cancels both wakes in adherence to a physics concept known as the destructive interference of waves. The result is a changed pressure distribution along the hull that reduces wave resistance. Pretty slick! The bulb does increase wetted surface area that also increases drag, but for slower vessels (like Fleming trawlers), the math works out as a net benefit. These are all variables at play to help buttress Fleming’s claim that the 78 has 500 nautical miles of increased range over its 75-foot predecessor.Fleming 78 specs

Beyond the bulbous bow, you’re getting that same bedrock Fleming aesthetic and experience in a larger package.

The 80-ton vessel cruises at a nice 10 knots with the standard twin MAN V12, 1,550-horsepower inboard diesel engines with a maximum speed in the 20-knot range. Standard goodies include twin 32-KW Onan generators, hydraulic steering and stabilizer systems, bow thruster, and twin Maxwell windlasses.

Accommodations include three staterooms, all with en suite heads with separate crew quarters aft. This sets the 78 up well to be a sturdy charter vessel. That the 78 qualifies for the European CE certification for Ocean Class should come as no surprise.

Fleming, a yacht family known for ultimate cruising yachts, calls the 78 the Ultimate Fleming. Need we say more? If interested, you can contact local dealer Chuck Hovey for more information and pricing.

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