Pop 25 Solaris is the second boat of the class to be launched

Solaris, the second Pop 25 to be completed, was launched this April, 28, in Rio de Janeiro. Her owner, the cruising sailor Fernando Santos, had the pleasure of seeing his boat floating for the first time after placing her at ebb tide in the slipway of club where she was built, and after an interminable waiting, when time didn’t seem to tick, finally, six hours later, saw his boat in its element. For precaution Fernando arranged to be towed to the vicinities of Marina da Glória, in Rio’s downtown, where the boat will be stationed. Only when being at a short distance from the marina he turned on the electric motor to make the last half mile, or so, under its own power. At that very moment important issues concerning the Pop 25 behaviour were unveiled. We learned that the auxiliary propelling power plant operated as smoothly as a Swiss watch, and that steering control in tight manoeuvres surpassed expectations. The slip offered to Solaris in the marina is a tight spot indeed. It is the closest to the wall where large schooners dock in Mediterranean stile, pointing their transoms to the wharf. The tight path Solaris had to pass trough was shorter than the boat’s length, and the helmsman was required to make a 90° sharp turn when entering the parking place. What a relief to see Solaris doing these attics effortlessly, including using the reverse gear to point in the correct direction. The rudders worked flawlessly, pivoting around the hull’s axis, and the response to the throttle in torque was far superior to that of a diesel engine.

Solaris approaching its slip in Marina da Glória propelled by the electric motor. Two days later the mast was already rigged in place.

Fernando Santos baptising Solaris with a sparkling wine made in Australia. A client of ours from the State of Victoria, owner of vineyard, asked to pay the plan’s fees with a box of an excellent wine from his crop. One of the bottles was reserved for the launching of Solaris in Rio de Janeiro.

Solaris used the mainsail halyards of two other boats to step the mast in place.

It’s hard to believe Solaris is twenty five feet long only. Visually she resembles a much larger boat. This must be one of the reasons for the Pop 25 success in its short career.

We were quite thrilled with the Electropop 5.5kW motor produced by Electric Propeller Company, from Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A. It runs in 48V D.C. current fed by four 12V batteries connected in series. Solaris possesses two banks of 100 Amp x 12V batteries which ensure a reliable range (theoretically about 16 hours of continuous usage at cruising speed), albeit at a high cost in storage time to replenish the two banks.

The Electropop 5.5kW motor fits as a glove in the Pop 25 motor compartment. Solaris propeller shaft-tunnel is made of PVC pipe sheathed with four layers of 300g/m² fibreglass cloth wrapped around the pipe, packed with a PSS shaft seal. Since there is no vibration as it happens with diesel engines, the installation is much simpler and less demanding.

The motor is made with three concentric coils, one inside the other. An electronic “black-box” decides automatically which coil to operate depending on the load the motor is being submitted. All it is required to the crew is controlling a single throttle which doesn’t require a gear box to reverse the flux. Bliss! The performance of this silent, light and compact piece of art is outstanding! We are pretty sure that electric auxiliary propulsion will be the trend in sailboat auxiliary propulsion from now on.


However Solaris is not the only Pop 25 to be completed this month. Another boat of the class is ready to be launched. This boat is Hayal, built in Turkey by Müntaz Karahan with the assistance of his father. What pleases us most is to see the high standard of construction our clients are obtaining in their work. Despite being amateurs with no previous experience, their standards are worth that of anyone who deserves being called shipwright. Since there are many other builders finishing their constructions in twelve different countries, there are heaps of people willing to learn more about the boat. This is a very encouraging beginning for such a young class

Pop 25 Hayal built Turkey by Münraz Karahan, with the assistance of his father. The boat is by all means very well constructed, in spite of the builders being amateurs who never built a pleasure craft before.

The Pop 25 is doing a positive account for the name it received. The class has all conditions to prove being really popular. Now, with a row of launchings happening in short intervals, the project will become better known in different cruising communities. Since the Pop 25 is our bet in turning the sport of cruising under sail more popular, we will try to follow at short distance the next launchings to report in our news section, whenever being informed. In a fortnight or so we intend to be reporting Solaris sea trial under sail.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.