You'd have to say that behind every product there's a philosophy of sorts. Perhaps that's too strong a word but there is always something of the maker in everything made.
In the case of the Fleming, our goal was to create a refined and dependable cruising yacht, capable of taking her crew in comfort and safety to wherever they might wish to go. The selection of every item, from the shape of the hull to the choice of each piece of equipment, reflects this philosophy. - Tony Fleming
From the beginning, Tony Fleming's objective was to build the ultimate cruising/live-aboard yacht capable of being handled by a couple and with comfortable accommodations for occasional guests. Unlike the fashionable trend towards sleek, Euro-styled boats that are often impractical for cruising in the real world, Fleming designed a classic, low profile motor yacht with a true pilothouse configuration that will never go out of style.
The Fleming hull is a semi-displacement design with moderate deadrise, a fine entry forward and a hard-chined, modified V aft - all adding up to a yacht optimized for running most efficiently at 9 to 10 knots, but which can also cruise comfortably at up to 18 knots. A long keel provides directional stability as well as protection of the running gear. The generous flare of the bow and soft forward sections contribute to a comfortable, dry ride especially at passagemaking speeds. The hard chines not only provide lift at higher speeds, but they have an added benefit of creating a more stable boat when at anchor or at the dock.
For added safety and enhanced maneuverability, all Flemings are twin-engine yachts. Demonstrating the safety advantage of their twin-engine design, they can achieve normal cruising speeds with one engine and only a 15-degree rudder deflection. Tests have also shown that there is no appreciable fuel efficiency advantage of using one larger engine vs. moderately sized twins. For long, offshore passages, running at 6 to 8 knots will achieve similar fuel consumption figures as single-engine, full displacement designs. All Flemings feature full-length keels which extend below the rudders and propellers, minimizing the risk of damage during unintentional groundings.
Low Profile, High Practicality
The Fleming's low profile, pilothouse design is widely accepted as one of the most attractive, timeless classics in the yachting word. Representing an ideal balance between form and function, it also provides a very practical approach to serious cruising. Its low profile allows quick, safe, split-level access to all areas, whether it's going down a few steps from the main saloon to the private staterooms, up a few steps to the pilothouse, or up a few, interior steps from the pilothouse to the flying bridge. The low profile also keeps the center of gravity low, which translates into a more stable, comfortable ride.
Knowledgeable cruisers will appreciate Fleming's dedicated pilothouse, which puts everything a helmsman and navigator need to safely operate the vessel at their fingertips. Expansive areas allow for the most comprehensive electronics systems as well as the use and proper storage of traditional charts. Each Fleming pilothouse features a comfortable settee and table where the crew can join the captain during passages. By dedicating this space to the ship's operation, normal life onboard can be maintained in the living areas.
Designed for Serious Cruising
Everywhere you look, you'll see that Flemings are designed with the experienced cruiser in mind. Over the years each model has enjoyed the benefit of hundreds of refinements and improvements inspired not only by owners who are providing real world feedback, but by Tony Fleming himself, who is cruising extensively on his Fleming 65, VENTURE. Wide, protected side decks allow for easy, safe line handling. Step directly from a dock or dinghy onto the decks through mid-ships bulwark doors. Optional upper level gates adjacent to the pilothouse are convenient when alongside high piers or in areas of high tides. A centerline hallway provides access to the staterooms just a few steps below the main saloon level, eliminating steep, hard-to-negotiate, spiral stairways often used on lesser designs. Likewise, access to the flying bridge is via a few internal steps from the pilothouse. A large, partially covered cockpit offers plenty of room for lounging or entertaining while at anchor or underway, and it is readily accessible through a transom door leading to a wide swim platform. Spend time onboard either of the Fleming models, and you'll see why owners and boating journalists have called them "the ultimate cruising yacht."