- Accommodation with three staterooms and crew cabin
- Covered California deck with seating, table, and serving counter
- Stainless steel telescopic swim ladder, can be deployed by swimmer
- Two-level arrangement flybridge
- Upper level includes L-settee, small FRP table, 2 forward facing Stidd bench
seats on either side of helm
- Entertainment center with electric BBQ, sink, refrigerator, and icemaker
- Salon fixed windows in house sides with medium grey tinted, tempered, glass
- Master stateroom with a tapered king bed which opens hydraulically for storage under
|Length Overall||77’ 8'' / 23.66 m|
Currently no test numbers
2 x 1550-hp MAN V12 ZF 2050A
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The Fleming Yachts 78 is designed for one primary purpose, long-range cruising in a yacht that offers more versatility than a traditional trawler. She’s a re-design of the Fleming 75 and the manufacturer says the added waterline length and optional bulbous bow reduce fuel consumption and increase range by 500 nautical miles (926 km).
She’s built to European CE Category A standards and NMMA Certified using ABYC Standards. Standard power is twin 1550-hp MAN V-12 diesels. Options down to twin MAN 800-hp and up to twin MAN 1800-hp are available. Fleming says she has a range of 2,000 nautical miles (3,704 km) at 10 knots (18.52 kph) and with the larger engines; she can hit speeds exceeding 23 knots (42 kph).
Standard equipment includes Aquadrive vibration isolation system, twin 29 kW Onan generators and a custom central monitoring system with three 15” (38.1 cm) color touchscreen displays.
Standard Equipment. The Fleming 78 has literally everything needed as standard in order to head for Tahiti, Indonesia, South America, or transatlantic. While many options are available, they are more to meet the specific needs of an individual, rather than to make the boat more seaworthy -- she comes that way as standard.
Finally, there are many boatyards around the world that will build boats that look like the Fleming 78 for a wealthy customer for a little less money. But remember that the engines, all equipment and materials cost everyone about the same. And, the labor rates in Taiwan are competitive with good shipwrights anywhere. So, those apparent savings have to come from somewhere, and generally we find that they come from having fewer systems, less materials, and generally an inferior build, particularly where things are hard to see. Worse yet, we have lost count of the yards that have gone out of business because they contracted a price too low.
The Test of Time. Perhaps the most important element of all in choosing a long range cruiser or trawler yacht such as the Fleming 78, is the experience and financial resources of the yard. Because the Fleming 78 is a “production” boat (as opposed to a one-off build), virtually every aspect of her design, layout and equipment list, has already undergone a trial by fire -- an actual use by demanding owners. If something wasn’t functional it was changed. If an item of equipment didn’t perform as claimed, it was replaced. Having survived the “test of time” is one of the most important elements of any “production” boat.
A Semi-custom Build. We put “production” in quotes, because every Fleming 78 is different than the one before, and given that the yard only builds 18 or so Flemings of all sizes each year, there is nothing “production-line” about the 78. Because the cost of a Fleming 78 is substantial, the builder is eager to work with any customer to give them the custom personalization that they may want.
The following report goes into detail about the Fleming 78, but the forgoing observations are probably the most important considerations of all.
- Centralized Hydraulic System. It drives American bow thruster stabilizers, a 60-hp bow thruster, and twin Maxwell windlasses.
- Segregated Keel. As with all Flemings, the 78’s full-length keel is filled with a closed-cell foam core material and it’s sealed off from the hull to protect against water intrusion. It’s also protected by a full-length stainless steel shoe.
- Fuel Tanks Built In-House. Fleming manufactures its own pressure-tested fuel tanks out of vinylester and fire-retardant resins. The tanks are glassed to the hull structure and it spans the hull’s full beam.
- Central Monitoring System. Boning/Fleming system has 15” (38.1 cm) color touchscreens at the upper and lower helms and in crew quarters and monitors virtually every on-board function, as well as digital switching of all electrical circuits, and remote access via the supplied iPad.
- Wide Side Decks. A Fleming trademark, they make it easy to move forward and aft in less-than-ideal conditions.
- Tender Storage. The aft section of the flybridge is the boat deck and has space for a tender up to 17’ (5.18 m) long. A 12’ (3.66 m), 1,500-pound (680.39 kg) capacity hydraulic davit comes standard.
- Standard Stabilizers. ABT TRAC 12 sq. ft. (1.11 sq. m) fins with winglets, controlled via color touchscreen control panels at the pilothouse and flybridge helm stations.
- Long List of Standards. Since this vessel has a very specific purpose in life, she comes equipped with most necessary equipment for that mission as standard.
The bow deck is beige gel-coated fiberglass with a non-skid surface. The teak cap rail which widens as it goes forward is standard. The foredeck platform is designed for two anchors and twin Maxwell hydraulic windlasses. They have plug-in and wireless, remote controls. The boat has a 176-pound (80 kg) stainless-steel anchor with 400’ (121.92 m) of ½” (1.27 cm) Acco chain.
There are two chain lockers and a footswitch controlled chain washdown. The chain lockers and the deck scuppers drain to the boot stripe to avoid streaking.
Solid stainless steel fairleads are bolted through the bulwarks so capstans can be used for warping. There are eight 15” (38 cm) heavy-duty cleats in the bow. Lockers on each side of the anchor platform house twin shore power inlets and fresh and saltwater hose bibs. A hatch immediately abaft the windlasses accesses twin chain lockers, each with its own bitter end fitting.
The standard twin Maxwell windlasses are hydraulic.
The flying bridge is separated into three functional areas: the upper helm deck, the entertaining area, which is down three steps, and behind that is the boat deck.
The upper helm features full engine and thruster controls and instrumentation. The electronics console retracts into the structure when not in use, which protects the equipment when not in use and deters potential thieves.
Owners can customize the electronics, and we can imagine at least two multi-function displays that are all the rage these days, plus the central Boning/Fleming monitoring system, which gives the operator complete control over the whole boat with a touch of the screen.
The captain travels in a Stidd helm seat and the 78 has a stainless steel destroyer-style wheel. Two Stidd bench seats on each side of the helm ensure that the captain won’t get lonely and they have storage in the fiberglass base of each seat. There’s space to starboard for a bench-style freezer and a water-resistant AC outlet nearby. A venturi-style windscreen has an integral stainless steel handrail.
A fiberglass radar arch comes standard, but we prefer the hardtop which is seen in these pictures. There is a CCTV camera with full pan, tilt and zoom feature that is connected to the central monitoring system – all standard.
Open Sky Lounge. Moving aft and down three steps, the flybridge entertainment center has a refrigerator, icemaker, an electric grill, and sink beneath a protective lid. There’s seating for a dozen people around a large table. For direct access to the pilothouse below, there’s a stainless steel and glass sloping door that dogs down.
Aft is the aforementioned boat deck that has its own Steelhead hydraulic davit that can handle up to 1,500-lbs. (681 kg). Stainless steel saddles for the tender are standard.
A hatch in the port side of the flybridge deck opens to make it easy to get down to what Fleming calls the “California deck,” which is shaded by the flybridge structure overhead. Both the California deck and the working deck have standard teak decks.
A lounge wraps around a table to port and there are storage lockers in the gunwales just abaft the ladder. A large powered hatch provides access to the lazarette and the optional second control station would fold into the bulwark structure if desired. This will make backing into a tight slip a snap.
Working Deck. Abaft the lounging deck is a working deck. This deck can be used for all sorts of purposes, such as a staging area for scuba divers, storing extra gear, casual fishing, and even sunning with deck chairs.
Six 15” (38 cm) warping winches (standard) to port and starboard make it easy to set mooring lines. The inward opening transom door is built on a stainless steel tube-hinge and it provides access to the 4’ fore-and-aft (1.22 m) swim platform which spans the transom. Here we find stainless steel handrails, recessed Cablemaster inlets, and shower fittings.
There is a hot and cold shower on the stern adjacent to the door. All deck scuppers drain out at the boot stripe to keep from staining the topsides.
Moving Forward. Side decks on the Fleming 78 are wide enough for easy passage and the bulwarks have inward opening doors. Spring cleats are recessed and the fuel fills, which have an anti-burp design, and are concealed in the bridge-deck steps. Identical fills on the port side allow filling the tanks from either side of the boat.
There are five 15” (38 cm) cleats on each side of the boat which are recessed into the bulwarks.
The Portuguese bridge has standard teak decks and solid doors for entry to the pilothouse. They are made of aluminum with fiberglass covering and have stainless steel interlocking weather seals. Lockers within the bridge bulwarks provide fender and line storage, and a handrail runs along the face and sides of the pilothouse. It is teak and standard.
Forward-facing windows have 10 mm (.39”) thick tempered glass and are equipped with windshield wipers with an integral washdown system and are self-parking.
Fleming utilizes large sliding aft doors which have aluminum frames and are covered in fiberglass and have stainless steel interlocking weather seals. The manufacturer says the salon, galley, and dinette have a combined 350 sq. ft. (32.52 sq. m) of living area and a minimum of 6’6” (1.98 m) of headroom throughout. The subdeck is FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) sandwich with honeycomb composite and sound insulation. The headliner is Ultrasuede or Ultraleather, which is the owner’s choice.
The bulkheads, valances, and all cabinetry are teak. The coffee table is teak. Granite, marble or Corian can be placed on the counter of the wet bar. The wet bar cabinet has a combo refrigerator/icemaker, bottle storage, and sink.
The standard salon layout includes an entertainment center with cabinets and bookshelves to starboard with the TV cabinet in the aft starboard corner. When not in use, the TV retracts into the cabinet for protection. To port is an L-shaped settee, an oval-shaped table with a storage locker in the base and a bar with a granite countertop, sink refrigerator/icemaker, and bottle storage.
Standard Salon Layout
Optional Salon Layout
When an owner is spending the kind of money it takes to buy one of these vessels, the builder is usually amenable to some modification to its basic design, if at all possible. Some of the pictures shown here have a salon that has replaced the starboard settee and table with two chairs in front of storage cabinets along the starboard bulkhead under the windows.
This layout has a dining table opposite the galley which is smaller, as well as a cocktail table in front of the L-shaped settee. Forward of this table is a private entrance to the owners stateroom below.
Forward of the port lounge, the galley has 18’ (5.49 m) of granite countertop with a composite double sink with filtered hot and cold water and a swivel faucet with a pull-out nozzle. There is an Instahot water dispenser. The stand-up Sub-Zero refrigerator has freezer drawers, and the four-burner Miele induction glass cooktop has adjustable stainless steel potholders.
The appliance complement is rounded out by a Miele oven, convection microwave over the cooktop with exhaust fan, an 18” wide Miele dishwasher, an Insinkerator waste disposal, and a trash compactor.
Opposite the galley, the dinette comes with a curved banquette, an oval dining table, storage cabinets with glass door, and granite countertops and LED lighting with a dimmer control.
When someone steps aboard the Fleming 78 and heads directly into the pilothouse, he could easily make the mistake of thinking that he’s in a far bigger boat. The pilothouse is large and has been carefully designed to meet the needs of long-range cruising owner/operators. The teak bulkheads, doors, instrument console and general layout make her the quintessential pilothouse in class.
Aft of the helm console is an L-shaped settee and table that are raised so that passengers can enjoy the view through the windshield. An optional hydraulically lowered pilot berth can be recessed into the aft bulkhead. Adjacent to the pilothouse is a day head with a toilet and sink.
Curving stairs lead below decks to the accommodations and companionways lead up to the flybridge or down to the salon.
Details of the Lower Helm. To port of the helm is a chart table with drawers below for conventional charts. A single Stidd 500XL captain’s chair comes standard, and there’s space for an optional second one. The dash panel includes the 15” (38.1 cm) screen for the Boning/Fleming central monitoring system and has space for a full array of multi-function displays plus communications equipment, the bow thruster joystick and engine instruments. There are separate swing out, back-lit switch panels for AC and DC panels.
We like the helm console because it is low and flat, just as one finds on commercial vessels. Owners who want their own helm console design will be happy to know that Fleming will be able to accommodate different layouts from their standard one.
Overhead there are cabinets for added equipment, but we don’t recommend putting anything there that will be used often. (It literally could be a pain in the neck.) It’s a good place for a brass barometer and clock.
There is a file drawer below the counter and the electrical switch panels are to port and starboard under the counter, 12 and 24 V in one bank and 120/240 V in the other. Forward, there are defogging vents for the windshield.
All lighting in the pilothouse can be dimmed and there are also red lights in strategic locations for night running. Please note that the pilothouse air conditioning can be run on inverters, to reduce genset running hours.
From the pilothouse, it’s an easy trip down the stairs to the accommodations deck. Each stair tread is illuminated and an oval-shaped stainless handrail follows the curve of the staircase.
Each stateroom opens off the foyer that has a custom overhead light. The cabins all have Cruisair reverse-cycle air conditioning. The washer and dryer are concealed behind a teak door and, to facilitate maintenance, a hatch in the sole opens on a gas strut.
Owner’s Stateroom. The Fleming 78’s owner’s stateroom has a king berth that lifts hydraulically to access the large storage compartment underneath it. There are curved bureaus with mirrors on each side of the centrally positioned berth as well as a curved soffit above that contains indirect lighting. To starboard is a desk/vanity while the walk-in closet is opposite the foot of the berth under the stairs.
The standard design has teak up to the waist coating chair rail, then Ultrasuede or Ultraleather covering the rest of the bulkheads. The pictures of the boats in this report all have teak bulkheads with chair rails, but no upholstery on the bulkheads.
An Important Design Element. It should be noted that virtually all doors below have a curved overhead frame or arched top. This is a subtle design element that adds an important element of elegance to the accommodations deck. These curved arches are expensive to build and also require enough overhead height to handle them -- two reasons why they are rarely seen in class. All of the doors are fitted with rubber gaskets, and all bulkheads are sandwich construction featuring lead-foam sound insulation.
Hanging Lockers. Both layouts of the master stateroom have two hanging lockers. In the one with the entrance from the foyer below, the hanging locker is situated where the stairs would otherwise ascend to the main deck. In the layout with the private entrance, the hanging locker is in what would be the entrance to the cabin. Both versions have the large walk-in closet under the spiral stairs from the pilothouse.
Look closely at the pictures on this page and you will see that there are a number of subtle differences between both master staterooms as each owner has a slightly different take on taste and functionality.
The owner’s head has a shower stall that can be upgraded with an optional whirlpool tub. The shower area is separated from the head by stainless steel and glass doors, and it has a marble or granite pan. Water pressure and temperature are handled with mixer valves. The ceramic sink is set in a marble or granite counter and the toilet is a Planus. The head has an exhaust blower and opening portlight.
All three heads have the same basic materials and fixtures.
Other Cabins. Forward of the master quarters, a stateroom to port can be arranged with twin berths or a double with an optional upper Pullman bunk. This is generally designated as the guest, or third stateroom. Nevertheless, it is cozy, lined in teak, and has plenty of drawers and cabinet space and a hanging locker. There are bookshelves and serious reading lights -- because Fleming owners and their friends and family are all readers.
Best of all, through a sliding door, is its own en suite head with separate shower.
As in the master head, the fiberglass-lined shower is divided from the head area by a stainless steel framed glass door. There’s another ceramic sink in a granite countertop and a Planus toilet.
The VIP stateroom comes with either a tapered near queen-sized berth or two singles arranged in a V to conform to the bow shape. Overhead is a CE-approved escape hatch which doubles as a skylight, and is equipped with a roller-type insect and blackout screen. This cabin is ensconced in teak and the builder has done its best to maximize storage space. The forward bulkhead is water tight.
One drawback to the forward cabin on most boats is the “slap, slap, slap” of waves hitting the chine at the bow when at anchor. Fleming has eliminated that annoying bedtime problem by eliminating the chine forward. Since the 78 is designed to travel at displacement speeds, she does not need chines forward to knock down spray.
We prefer the twin bed layout because of its versatility for guests, but it has one drawback. Its hanging lockers are above the head of each bunk, making accessing clothes there somewhat inconvenient. Otherwise, this configuration has a lot of utility and more useable deck space.
All of the portlights on the Fleming 78 have metal deadlights that dog down, a requirement for its CE A, Ocean, rating.
Crew Quarters. The crew quarters are accessed from a hatch in the port side deck immediately abaft the side roof support. The door opens to a foyer that can provide entry to the crew head, the crew cabin, and the engine room. Fleming designed it this way so outside technicians or guests on deck could use the crew head without having to enter the crew cabin. The drawing above is a slightly different layout – and owners can configure this space any way they want.
The crew quarters are large enough to have a 45” (1.14 m)-wide and 36” (91 m)-wide berth above the first one, two hanging lockers, a wet locker and a desk, plus drawer storage. A 15” (38.1 cm) Boning/Fleming control system touchscreen can be installed in this cabin for a professional captain.
Another option is for the crew cabin to be divided into two separate cabins.
Who Needs Crew? We expect that most people who buy this boat will be owner/operators. This boat is easy to dock, is built like a tank, has the Boning/Fleming control system which makes systems monitoring easy, and is otherwise not so big that it needs a professional captain or crew.
However, this is not to say that a young lad wouldn’t be welcome to washdown the boat and run errands in port. And this is a perfect cabin for such a crew member. Also, one may want a chef or a nanny, and again, this cabin fulfils such a need -- giving both the crew member and the owner and guest their privacy.
And, of course, grandchildren will love it.
Entry to the Fleming 78’s engine room is via an internally insulated submarine-style hatch with a full gasket, double latch, and inspection window. The 78’s engine room measures 22’ (6.7 m) long and has full stand-up headroom. Stainless steel overhead rails run the length of the compartment.
The overhead is up to 8” (20.32 cm) thick and filled with sound-deadening foam. The manufacturer said this eliminates the need for support posts that would transmit vibration to the overhead.
The MAN V-12 engines are positioned so that there is access space all the way around. Each one is equipped with additional 200 Amp alternators and a remote-mounted regulator, plus 240-volt block heaters. Raw water intakes, sea strainers, and fuel-water separators are all positioned for easy access.
Aquadrive CV joints isolate the engines from the shafts, which lets Fleming use soft mounts, again to reduce engine noise and vibration. The shaft couplings have protective covers and there’s good access to the dripless, bronze shaft logs.
Intake air is drawn in from the inside of the cockpit bulwarks rather than from outside of the hull, which limits the amount of salt in the engine room. Automatic baffles close off the ventilation ducts at the aft end of the compartment. A fire system is equipped with a siren and warning light and has a manual pull on the aft deck.
Aft, a workbench with drawers and a stainless steel work surface provide a place to conduct maintenance work. The sole is covered in Lonseal, which is comfortable under foot and provides sound attenuation.
Fuel System. Two main fuel tanks totaling 2,500 gallons (9,464 L) divide the engine room from the accommodations. Two auxiliary 250-gallon (946 L) wing tanks bring the total capacity to 3,000 gallons (11,356 L).
The primary tanks are on the boat’s longitudinal center of gravity so the boat’s trim doesn’t change as fuel is consumed. Sight gauges (with solenoids) show the fuel level and pressure sensors display the contents in gallons, or liters, and percentage on a readout in the pilothouse. A transfer pump facilitates moving fuel among the tanks and there is a fuel tank selector manifold, as well.
Located to port and starboard, 95-gallon (359 L) oil tanks provide storage of clean and dirty oil and they are connected to the oil change systems. A 16,000 BTU engine room air conditioning system comes standard.
Water Systems. Freshwater is a major consideration for long-distance cruising and the 78 carries 440 gallons (1,665 L) in three tanks in the lazarette. She’s equipped with dual Gianneschi 24-volt DC freshwater pumps with inlet filters and flow sensors.
Hot water comes from two 20-gallon (75 L) heaters and the crew has its own 10-gallon (38 L) tank. Seawater also flows through two Gianneschi 24-volt pumps and Groco strainers to the motors and generator. A desalinating system is optional.
Grey water is stored in a 230-gallon (870 L) tank with a Headhunter discharge pump and a tank-level indicator that is part of the Boning/Fleming central monitoring system. Sinks and showers in the heads drain to individual sumps that have their own pumps, and each pump has a three-way valve to drain overboard or into the grey water tank.
Electrical Systems. The Fleming 78 comes standard with two 29 kW Onan generators with sound shields. Generator exhaust passes through waterdrop mufflers to keep noise to a minimum. The main ship’s electrical system is 24-volt DC with 12-volt DC available via twin 20 Amp DC-DC converters and 12-volt battery backup.
The house battery bank consists of 12 Lifeline AGM batteries connected in series to provide 1,200 Amp hours at 24 volts. Additional batteries are dedicated to each engine/genset and remote switching allows paralleling of battery banks. An Outback FlexnetDC monitor with a display in the pilothouse provides data on battery state.
Hydraulic Power. The American bow thruster centralized hydraulic system is powered by variable displacement pumps on both primary engines so that stabilizing and bow thruster operations can continue even when the boat is running on a single engine.
The Lazarette. A hydraulically operated hatch on the boat’s centerline provides access to the lazarette, which contains the ship’s three water tanks which total 440 gallons (1,665 L). There are Cablemasters with cord bins, steering gear, and a water heater for the crew quarters.
The Only Yard that Fleming builds its boats is at the Tung Hwa yard near Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The family-owned yard exclusively manufactures Flemings and puts out about 18 boats per year. Each boat is tank-tested or sea trialed before she is shipped. Many of the staff at the Tung Hwa yard have been with the facility since the first Fleming was built.
The Bottom. Fleming builds the 78 with a solid fiberglass laminate in the bottom below the waterline, which helps lower the boat’s CG. Solid laminate is far more puncture-resistant than is any cored hull.
Vinylester resin is used in the skin and it’s backed up by five layers of epoxy to improve the hull’s resistance to water penetration. The hull has a five-year gelcoat blister warranty, but the boat should never have a blister problem. For added strength, extra layers of fiberglass are laid in key areas, including the bow, chines, around the stabilizers, and in the keel. Stingers that run the length of the boat and athwartship frames are both foam cored and laminated in place.
There are two hull-to-deck joints on the Fleming 78; one at the deck level and another at the top of the bulwark. These are both mechanical and fiberglass joints, and by using two points for sealing, the chance of leaking is minimized.
The superstructure is constructed of fiberglass with foam coring and the deck sub-structures are composite sandwich core with honeycomb for lighter weight and stiffness.
Rigging. Fleming says that wiring is oversized and exceeds ABYC and CE standards. The company says that all fuel lines are copper except where flexibility is required. All appropriate fittings are bonded.
We haven’t tested the Fleming 78, but the manufacturer does have some numbers that we can share. The boat measures 81’6” (24.84 m) with a 21’5” (6.53 m) beam. Light displacement is listed at 165,048 lbs. (75,865 kg) and full load is 197,800 lbs. (89,721 kg).
With power provided by a pair of 1550-hp MAN V12s, the boat has an estimated top speed of just under 22 knots, according to the builder. But, that is not her game. Rather she is intended to travel at displacement speeds, in the 8.5 to 11.3 knot range. Her waterline length is 72.33’ (22.05 m).
The big picture is simply this: The Fleming 78 was designed to go virtually anywhere on the planet in anything except a named storm, where there is no ice and the depth is no less than her 5’ (1.52 m) draft. She has the fuel capacity to go transoceanic at displacement speeds. And she can do all of this in relative comfort.
Not only is she a world cruising yacht, but she is also attractive, proving that such a yacht does not have to look like a down-island freighter or a shrimp trawler, in order to be a good sea boat.
At 197,800 lbs. (89,721 kg) fully laden, the Fleming 78 is very much the real thing, not a lightweight that looks the part, but really isn’t. For those people who just want a boat that looks salty, but who never plans to go much out of sight of land, then we suggest that they buy one of those lower-priced imitations, and save their money.