The Fleming Yachts 78 is a long-range cruising yacht targeted at experienced owner-operators. Because she’s nearly 80’ (24.38 m) long, some might want a captain or at least have a crewmember to help with maintenance. As with all Flemings, she’s meant primarily for cruising, but when can get on plane when needed.
Acceleration Times & Conditions
|Load||4 persons; 95% fuel; 50% water; 50 lbs. gear|
|Climate||66 deg.; 95 humid.; winds: 0-5; seas: 0|
2 x MAN V12-1550 HP
2 x MAN V12-1550 HP
Report by Eric Colby.
As we’ve found with all Fleming Yachts, the 78 has a primary mission of accommodating an owner-operator and his family members during an extended stay at sea or just a day cruising the harbor. Her twin engines enhance her versatility because she can cover more than 1,000 nautical miles at 10 knots or she can hop on plane and hit 22 knots. She’s loaded with redundancy and the premium luxury appointments we’ve come to expect from Tony Fleming’s company.
Fleming Yachts 78 Features
- Five control stations with engine and thruster controls
- Twin MAN V12 1,550-hp engines
- Boning/Fleming First Mate (FFM) Monitoring System
- Two Onan eQD 29 kW generators
- ABT TRAC 12 sq. ft stabilizer fins w/winglets
- Portuguese Deck
- Closed-Circuit camera system
- Boat Deck w/1,500-lb. (680.39 kg) capacity Steelhead ES1500 davit
- Amidships master stateroom
Fleming Yachts 78 Features Inspection
The Flying Bridge. As we often do with tri-deck yachts, we’ll start with the Fleming 78’s flying bridge. Aft is a boat deck with a 15’6” (4.72 m) RIB tender and a crane to port. The stairs to the cockpit are to port. To port just ahead of the stairs are a bar with an electric grill, tons of counter space for food prep and serving and a sink forward. There are also two refrigerators. Opposite to starboard, a horseshoe-shaped lounge wraps around a stone surface table on dual stanchions. A fiberglass hardtop that’s 6’9” (2.06 m) off the deck provides shade and protection from a shower.
Forward, the upper helm is offset to port with two 24” (60.96 cm) Furuno touchscreens flanking a 12” (30.48 cm) Bonin display in the upper section. A compass is in line with the steering wheel. On the lower panel, working left to right are the engine controls, thruster toggles, the joystick, stabilizer controls, the autopilot, spotlight and VHF radio. The engine start-stops are on a vertical panel. The Stidd seat at the upper helm is doublewide and there’s a second Stidd seat to starboard along with another set of engine controls.
The Stern. Guests can step aboard the Fleming 78 from the full-beam water-level swim platform that has enough depth for hanging out or supporting a tender. There are fold-up cleats in each aft corner and twin staple-style rails can be removed. The shorepower cord is in its own compartment to port and a centrally mounted door in the transom swings inboard to access the aft deck.
The aft deck has two 14” (35.56 cm) cleats with hawse holes in the aft corners with warping winches forward. All the pull handles for the fire suppression system are in a locker to port with a control station that has the engine levers and thruster toggles to starboard.
The Side Decks. Working our way forward, a crew member can walk from the stern to the bow with a fender on 19” (48.26 cm) -wide side decks that are protected by 36” (91.44 cm) tall bulwarks. The synthetic Burwood caprails are 10 ½” (26.67 cm) wide. Boarding gates that are 17” (43.18 cm) wide and it’s four steps up to the Portuguese bridge that has two gates leading to the bow area. We’ve seen Fleming offer a variety of lounge configurations on the raised trunk cabin. Step down to the foredeck where there are cleats and two hawse holes.
Twin Maxwell windlasses are on a platform 15” (38.1 cm) off the deck, with pulpit-mounted 132.28-lb. (60-kg) and 176.37-lb. (80-kg Ultra anchors. A hatch to starboard houses the windlass remotes and a 50-amp Smartplug outlet for shorepower plus storage. The port-side hatch has fresh- and raw-water washdowns while access to the separate rode lockers is aft.
Fleming Yachts 78 Main Deck
The California Deck It’s a step up from the aft deck to the California Deck that is accessed via a gate to port. A J-shaped lounge wraps around a stone surface table on heavy-duty stainless stanchions to port. There’s a small bar to starboard and a TV drops down from the overhead. It’s all protected by the extended flying bridge and there’s 6’9” (2.06 m) of headroom. A ladder to the flying bridge is to port.
The Salon Entry to the salon is provide through double doors and it’s a step down. Immediately inboard are L-shaped cabinets with high-gloss wood countertops. There’s a lounge to starboard with a table at cocktail height and two freestanding chairs. To port are a larger L-shaped lounge and table at more of a dining position. Large salon windows provide exceptional views. A 55” (139.7 cm) TV rises out of one of the many cabinets throughout the salon. The sole is teak and holly and the cabinetry was natural colored and finished in high-gloss varnish. As we saw on the flying bridge, the tables were lightly colored stone. Headroom in the salon is 6’11” (2.11 m) and a rail runs down the center. Our test boat also had an upgraded Sonos entertainment system.
The Galley. Forward to port, the galley has a stone counter with a two-basin stainless-steel sink set into it. The cooktop has removable pot racks and overhead, there’s a microwave-convection oven. A dishwasher is under the counter and two large pantries pull out. For cold storage, there is a full-sized refrigerator-freezer, plus two more refrigerated drawers. There’s also a wine locker. To give an idea of the storage capacity for an extended cruise, there’s a locker 20” (50.8 cm) deep under the microwave.
Stairs to the right of the galley lead up to the pilothouse or down to the accommodations deck. We’ll head up to the lower helm first. A day head is immediately to starboard at the entry. A door to close off the pilothouse is available, which would keep the lighting from leaking into the salon during a night cruise.
At the lower helm, working left to right on the vertical panel, there’s a TV to port, a VHF microphone, two 32” (81.28 cm) touchpad displays, the inverter control and water maker panel. In the center just ahead of the steering wheel are the Boning 24” screen, stabilizer controls and the autopilot. The Glendinning shift/throttle controls are to the right with the thruster toggles and joystick. Above the windshield, Fleming placed two VHF head unit, a standalone GPS, Furuno multi-displays, and the AIS. Three access hatches for the overhead panels drop down.
The helm has a great example of the redundancy Fleming installs throughout its yachts. The 78 has five stations. At the lower helm, if the Glendinning controls have a problem, just ahead is a panel with backup controls and steering. If that has a problem, the autopilot provides a third option for steering. There’s also a second set of controls to the far right of the panel plus another control station aft. A chart table is to port with the DC switch panel in the base and the AC panel is to starboard.
The captain and a companion travel in a 4’ (1.22 m)-wide Stidd seat that has a thick fixed armrest in the center and the outboard units flip up. There are folding footrests, too. Aft, there’s a settee and a table on a raised platform. Doors on each side of the pilothouse lead to the side decks.
Fleming Yachts 78 Accommodations Deck
The Master Stairs to starboard in the salon lead belowdecks. The master stateroom closes with two doors and the 73” by 76” (185.42 cm x (193.04 cm) berth is mounted on the centerline. Standing headroom is 6’10” (2.08 m) and there’s 4’10” (1.47 m) above the berth. The finish work is the same as we saw throughout the boats with a fabric headboard and continuation of the alabaster lightning and natural teak. There’s abundant storage throughout this cabin including a walk-in closet plus a hanging locker. Our test boat had a large mirror on the bulkhead that can be replaced with a TV.
The VIP The companionway from the master forward has storage cabinet and stacked Miele washer and dryer. The VIP cabin is forward in the bow and has a conventional layout with the berth centrally positioned. Because the cabinets extend all the way forward on each side of the berth, Fleming designed the berth to be pulled out, making it easier to swap linens. There’s 7’ (2.13 m) of headroom. To make it easy to shop for linens, the berth is the same size as in the master. In addition to the hullside windows with opening ports, there’s an overhead deck hatch. Of course, alongside the conventional outlets in the headboard, there are USB plugs as well.
The Guest Cabin The guest cabin is in the companion way to port. The owners of our test boat laid it out as an exercise room with a pullman berth below, a pull-out canvas one above and two TVs.
The Heads Each cabin has its own en suite with separate showers. All fixtures are the same as those found in five-star hotels and include stone counters and shower soles. There’s ample storage for towels and toiletries and each head has an opening port.
Captain and Crew Quarters A watertight hatch in the port side deck. Just inside the entryway are the circuit breakers and there are two crew cabins with twin berths plus a head. The forward-most cabin has a Bonin control panel, a TV, opening port and storage. There’s also a door that leads to the other cabin that can also be entered from the companionway.
The Engine Room Another watertight door leads from the crew quarters to the engine compartment. The twin 1,550-hp MAN V12s are installed on heavy-duty assemblies through-bolted to the stringers. There’s 27” (68.58 cm) between the engines at the narrowest point between the fuel-water separators. Each engine has a power-take-off. Batteries are installed near the equipment they serve with generator and main-start units on each side. Headroom ranges from 5’9” (1.75 m) to 6’5” (1.96 m). Starting on the port side aft, just inside the door is a workspace with storage underneath. There are two 29-kW Onan generators and they are manually controlled so the crew is in command of their use. The fuel delivery system at the front of the compartment has an easy-to-follow diagram. The exhaust has air and water separators to help keep emissions quiet when at an anchorage. Aquadrive shaft seals also help keep vibration to a minimum. Stabilizers are easily accessed and mirrors outboard of the engine improve visibility for quick checks.
In the mechanical room, the house units in their own box beneath a hatch covered in rubber nonskid. Just ahead are all the remote battery switches. Aft to starboard are the compressor for the air horns, an AC control box so you can have electricity anywhere in the world. Primary and secondary inverters are to port.
The Lazarette. The hatch for the lazarette is in the aft deck and it opens on a power ram. Inside, there’s clear access to the steering system that connects the two rudder posts with a tiebar, 50-amp (starboard) and 100-amp (port) Glendinning cord reels. Fully forward, we saw the water tank.
Fleming Yachts 78 Performance
The Numbers. The Fleming 78 measures 81’6” (24.84 m) long overall with a 21’’5” (6.53 m) beam and a draft of 5’ (1.52 m). With an empty weight of 165,048 lbs. (74,864.51 kg), four people, half fuel and half water, we had an as-tested weight of 184,874 lbs. (83,857.44 kg). Powered by twin 1,550-hp MAN V12 inboards, our test boat hit a top speed of 21.6 knots at 2314 rpm. The recommended cruise setting is 80% power, which is about 2000 rpm and 14 knots, which is above displacement speed. Bring the rpm down to 1250 and 10 knots and she burns 27.8 gph, which translates to .4 mpg, giving the Fleming 78 a range of 1,044 nautical miles while holding back a 10% reserve of the motoryacht’s 3,000-gallon (11,356.24-liter) fuel capacity. At 1,000 rpm, she’ll cover 1,788 nautical miles at 9.2 knots.
Handling The Fleming 78 responds well to the helm when underway. She comes around 180 degrees in 25 seconds and two boat lengths at just under top speed. From the helm, it felt like she had some large rudders and props that we appreciated when pulling into and away from docks. The five stations help keep a captain in control.
Construction Fleming builds the 78 with hand-laid, solid-fiberglass hulls reinforced by an interlocking matrix of frames and full-length box-section stringers. The company says this creates a hull that won’t flex even in rough conditions and provides improved impact resistance. Vinylester resins are used to prevent water intrusion and blistering. To keep the overall center of gravity as low as possible, the superstructure and decks are cored with Corecell foam, which allows for a strong bond to the laminate and won’t rot. Fleming uses two hull-to-deck joints, one at deck level and another at the bulwark to add strength and protection.
Fleming answered the needs of owner-operators who may have a large family but also wanted to take extended cruises. The 78 can transition from entertaining to long passages almost seamlessly. She has the performance and handling we’ve come to expect from a Tony Fleming design and the luxury and amenities that an experienced cruiser would want. Anyone who’s serious about this yacht should get in line now because the backlog is building.