Flemings feature hand laid-up, solid fiberglass hulls reinforced by an interlocking matrix of frames and full-length, box-section stringers. This robust stiffening system creates a hull that will not flex, even when under stress during severe conditions. Solid glass construction also provides superior impact resistance. The finest vinylester resins are used to resist water intrusion and prevent blistering.
Of special note is the feedback the yard gets from Tony Fleming as he cruises throughout the world on his Fleming 65. Venture, hull no.1, has been cruised over 48,000 miles, and as a result, several refinements and design details have been updated in the newer production models, including the offering of MAN diesel engines as standard on Fleming 65s. Venture II, Tony's other Fleming 65, cruised from the UK to Germany, and, the following year from Southampton to a circumnavigation of Iceland by way of Scotland and the Faroes. Thanks in part to Tony's extensive cruising experiences, Fleming has adopted a number of advanced systems which not only improve performance but contribute to the safety and reliability of each new Fleming.
To keep the overall center of gravity as low as possible (which contributes to the vessel's stability), the superstructure and decks are cored with weight-saving Core-Cell. This material allows for a strong bond between the laminate, and it is impervious to rot.
No yacht should be considered for serious cruising without the hull and running gear being protected from an accidental grounding. All Flemings are built with a full-length keel that extends well below the rudders and propellers. To create this deep keel, Flemings are built using a two-part mold. A stainless steel shoe on the underside of the keel is used for additional protection in case of a grounding. The keel is filled with closed cell foam and sealed off and isolated from the hull to prevent water intrusion in the rare case of a severe impact.
The hull-to-deck joint is one of the most critical areas of yacht construction because it is especially vulnerable to stress, which can lead to leaks that are difficult to locate and repair. Fleming utilizes a joint at deck level and another one at the top of the bulwark, resulting in double strength and protection.
With over 290 Flemings cruising throughout the world, there has never been a reported instance of a hull losing its watertight integrity in this critical area, even when exposed to severe sea conditions.
Today Fleming manufactures our own, handcrafted fiberglass fuel tanks, which eliminate the problems of corrosion or weld failures. Laid up over male molds, the interior surfaces feature vinylester resins, while the exteriors use a fire-retardant resin. The tanks contain fiberglass baffles, molded sumps (allowing them to be drained) and proper sight-gages.
After the tanks are completed, they are glassed into the vessel's structure on all sides, making them an integral part of the yacht and adding to the overall hull rigidity. Since the tanks in the 65 and 78 span the full beam at mid-ships, the tanks act as a three-foot-thick bulkhead, further minimizing engine room noise from reaching the living quarters.
Flemings are known for their whisper quiet, smooth ride. To begin with, the engine room air intakes are located under the cockpit coaming, away from the main cabin and pilothouse. This location not only helps to reduce noise, but it eliminates corrosive salt spray from entering the engine room.
We still use the Aquadrive system on the Fleming 78, but the Fleming 55, 58 and 65 are now fitted, as standard, with the Seatorque Bolt on Shaft System (BOSS). This is a totally enclosed, oil filled, self-contained, shaft and thrust bearing assembly. It achieves the same thing as the Aquadrive, in that the thrust is transferred from the propeller directly onto the hull rather than through the engines, but has the added benefit of the propeller shaft being enclosed thus reducing the drag, and increasing propeller efficiency. It also eliminates the need for a stuffing box and cutless bearings. These systems transfer the thrust from the propeller directly to the hull, not the engine. Thrust bearing brackets are bolted to full-length steel bars encapsulated in the vessel's massive engine stringers, so the propeller's thrust is transmitted to the hull. This allows the engine to be mounted on soft engine-mounts. The engine is virtually "floating," thereby reducing its vibration from being transmitted throughout the vessel.
The gensets are double-mounted on anti-vibration mounts, which are bolted to highly dense platforms. This approach also results in a "floating" engine, which contributes to whisper quiet, vibration free operation.
Additionally, great attention has been given to soundproofing the engine room and insulating it from the rest of the vessel. Lead-based sound insulation and foam are utilized throughout the engine room, and an attractive soundboard material is used on flat surfaces, including fuel tanks. A specially fabricated, fiberglass composite cabin sole is now used on all Flemings that features honeycomb construction for additional stiffness and insulation. All engine room hatches utilize rubber gaskets and are clamped down tight.
As a result of all this focus on reducing noise and vibration, Flemings are known the world over for their whisper quiet, smooth operation.
Flemings undergo a continuous process of evolution, and over the years there have been hundreds of improvements and upgrades to the vessel's electrical and mechanical systems. Indeed, while the overall hull design has remained essentially the same, new, more modern engines and accessory systems have kept our boats at the forefront of marine technology. Fuel-efficient, common rail diesel engines are standard. Sophisticated electrical systems make our boats self-sufficient in any part of the world. Dependable stabilizer systems deliver a new level of comfort at sea. And modern galley appliances offer all the comforts of home.
Of course, none of these advanced systems contribute to more comfortable, enjoyable cruising if they cannot be relied upon, so Fleming takes painstaking measures to test and evaluate the systems and equipment featured on each model. Only the highest quality components and equipment are specified and installed for years of reliable, trouble-free service. And before each yacht leaves our production facility in Taiwan, all systems are thoroughly tested to ensure they are operating properly and meet specifications.
At first glance many new yachts may look as if they are well built and designed for serious cruising. But it often takes a closer look to see that they are not built to the same high standards as Flemings. And rarely do they demonstrate the same level of attention to detail that have made Flemings "The Ultimate Cruising Yacht." Indeed, you may hear salesmen of other brands claiming their products are "just like a Fleming." While these comments are complimentary, they are nonetheless false. The only yacht "like a Fleming" is an authentic Fleming.