Pop 25 tested by a Brazilian Nautical Magazine

Pop 25 Solaris sailing in light wind conditions. Courtesy: Daniel Borghetti

Revista Nautica, the most prestigious Brazilian nautical magazine, published a report about the B & G Yacht Design Pop 25 cruising sailboat project, testing the first boat of the class to be launched in that country, the office’s “enfant terrible” designed for amateur or professional construction, which is doing a promising career among the office’s line of stock plans.

Solaris being propelled by the electric motor. Courtesy: Daniel Borghetti

Daniel Borghetti, the journalist specialized in sailing and boat building that signed the article, is a skilled technician and a good sailor, so his words are quite respected in the local nautical community, his favourable comments about the boat`s performance also being very important for us from B & G Yacht Design. He grasped the spirit of the project, that of making available an offshore boat within the reach of amateur construction to those with lesser budget. The article very appropriately emphasises the low cost and the easiness of construction, resulting in a sailboat in many aspects superior to series produced crafts of about the same size.

For our bad luck the day scheduled for the test began rainy and windless in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro. Solaris, the boat in question, owned by the yachtsman Fernando Santos, was built in Sao Cristovao Yacht Club, an amateur construction hub where several other boats from our studio had been already constructed.

The crew that day was Fernando Santos, the owner/skipper, Daniel Borghetti, the journalist responsible for the technical department of the magazine, Bruno Gainreng, a French professional free lance photographer who was responsible for chartering a runabout to give support for the external photos, and Roberto Barros, from the part of B & G Yacht design. Since during the morning it was raining cats and dogs with not even a whiff of wind, all it was left for the crew to do was socializing in the saloon and chatting until noon when the rain had a break. In the afternoon the rain didn`t resume, and even though the wind was almost nonexistent, in function of the big hassle for arranging the test, it was decided that the task would be done anyway. That was why Solaris was only submitted to very light breezes that day, as it can be seen in the performance chart published in the article.

The anemometer used in the test was a hand-held mechanical one, made by Davies Instruments, very simple and precise and the speed was checked by the GPS. What surprised most Daniel was her agility of manoeuvring on those feeble winds, as well as the incredible capacity of steering at any speed. The incredible capacity of sailing upright, the most stunning characteristic of the design, couldn`t be observed on that occasion.

However this fingerprint of the design is so outstanding that there is no doubt that this will be recognized as trade mark as the class becomes established. At any rate, it is not to be expected from a monohull to sail as multi-hulls do, almost without heeling.

The article is quite wide-ranging and is very well illustrated. We are compacting the text translation in subtitles, but most photos are self-explaining:

In the left, in larger letters, the article tells who we are and says that the Pop 25 can be built by the owner fo about AU$40.000, or a little more. At right it says that cost might be the most important deterrent for owning an offshore sailboat, and that the Pop 25 project boasts exceptionally large fresh water capacity. It also informs that the design is primarily specified for electric auxiliary propulsion, that the construction is within the reach of the amateur builder, and, last but not least, may represent a short-cut in obtaining a true offshore sailboat. It also tells that the stock plans cost AU$300,00 and that up to the printing date the project had sold 57 copies in a bit more than one year since being introduced.

The note says that Solaris, the boat of the test, is one of the three Pop 25 to be launched to date and that according to Fernando Santos, the builder, it is quite easy to be built. She sails beautifully and has accommodations for a couple and eventual guests.

In larger letters it is stated that the project is very well detailed and is intended to provide a quick and easy construction. The block to the right tells that the plans consist of optional study plans, an impressive list of sheets in electronic format and a 235 pages building manual. The price of the fees is AU$300,00 while the study plans cost 10% of this amount, deductible in case the project is purchased. Once installed the bulkheads on the building grid, the hull is sheeted with marine. plywood, which topsides are reinforced with a structural grid, and then a second layer of marine-ply is applied, making an extremely stiff structure. The empty spaces are filled with Styrofoam to ensure thermal insulation and water-tightness. The boat has positive buoyancy and is virtually unsinkable.

In the first window the article gives a short briefing on how the interior is built and how the systems are installed. Everything very simple and within the reach of the short experienced amateur craftsman. It also informs that the fin keels are made using steel plates cut by CNC and the bulbs are also made of steel shaped in the lathe. The foot of the page gives the opinions of builders who are in the latest stages of construction.

The article explains in this page that the Pop 25 can do without a cradle for hull maintenance, being enough for that letting the boat go aground in a calm beach, just supported by the bulbs of the twin keels. Next the article highlights the fact that the Pop 25 doesn`t resemble other 25 foot sailboats, giving the impression of being much larger. Electric auxiliary propulsion is also a point to be praised, for its silent operation, compactness, instant acceleration and many other features which will make a boat with a diesel engine installed to look like something of the past. Then the article comments about the rig without backstay, the perfect helmsman visibility and emphasises that the boat controls are at an arm`s distance from the helmsman.

This page shows the performance of the boat sailing in five knots winds, which was what was blowing that day, giving the impression that the she is a rabbit in light air conditions.

This page describers each compartment of the interior, being the photos self-explanatory.

The left window of this page informs that even though the recommended auxiliary propulsion is electric, there is the option for installing a compact diesel inboard engine. Then the article comments about the three double berths, the heads compartment and the chart table. The last words are that there is no rival for the Pop 25 in the local market.

The last page shows the highlights of the project; as being capable of standing in its twin keeels, the amazing overnight capacity for six persons, exceptionally large fresh water tanks capacity. On the other hand, what the magazine considered not being ideal was the usage of nylon cleats, the toilet without privacy (the owner didn`t install the curtain specified in the plans yet) and the main sheet traveller interrupting the passage in the cockpit. Then they give a table of the principal dimensions of the project, giving next general information about the theoretical cost of the boat of about AU$40,000.00 (if built by the owner). In the end informs about B & G Yacht Design most popular stock plans, like the MC28, with close to 180 boats built or under construction, and other successful stock plans.

The Pop 25 class is practicing its first steps. Since many other boats are getting close to be launched, from now on the design will be better known, and considering the enthusiasm of our builders it is to be expected a fast pace in the expansion of the class.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.