Pop 20 - An easy and cheap to be built cruising sailboat

I wonder how many persons would like to own a fin-keel sailboat capable of accomplishing coastal cruising in comfort and safety, costing very little to be built and taking a short time to be concluded. This sailboat exists in our line of stock plans and is called Pop 20!

This photo was sent to us by a friend of ours. Andarilho (means Stroller in Portuguese), which we had never heard about before receiving the photo, is a pretty boat! There probably are other Pops 20 sailing in different places that we don`t know, since we have dozens of clients building os sailing them. The builders with whom we keep contact informed us that they are pleased with their choice. Courtesy: André Peissner

The Pop 20 is one of our favourite projects. When we designed the plans, we decided to forget about fashion, unnecessary sophistications, tradition and preconceived ideas. We just wanted it to be a seat of the pants project, easy and cheap to build, and to be a boat that could offer pleasure when sailing and good comfort when at anchor.

The features which make the Pop 20 a pop boat worth its name are many. What we managed to do when developing the project was to make simpler each step in the construction, finding different ways to do the work from the conventional plywood/epoxy building method. For example: the stem, instead of being laminated in the fore-and-aft direction, as is usual in this method of construction, a tiresome and expensive operation, we specified cutting four plywood panels longitudinally with the shape of the stem and bonding them together. The builder receives a full size drawing of the pieces to be cut, so there is no chance to make any mistake.

The Pop 20 stem is very easy to make. It consists in gluing four plywood panels together. The panels are cut according to a full scale drawing provided with the plans. The slot seen in centre-line at deck level is for fixing the forestay chain-plate, which in the case of the Pop 20 is a flat S.S. plate, easily found in a scrap metal shop. Render: Murilo Almeida.

A similar shortcut in conventional building methods is provided for building the eight transverse structural bulkheads and the transom. They are made from 15mm thick plywood panels cut according to full scale drawings, also provided with the plans. They aren`t framed; the hull sheathing is just glued to their edges. Simpler than this, but more expensive, is cutting by a CNC machine. This can also be done, since the CNC file for cutting the bulkheads is available at no extra cost.

The Pop 25 structure consists of eight transverse bulkheads, a stem and a transom, all of them being shown in full scale, or provided in CNC file to be machine cut. These components are joined together by means of strips (sheer clamps, chine logs and stringers), which fit in notches previously opened at the workbench, in case these panels are made using the jig-saw for that, or cut by machine, if the builder chooses to make these structural members by numeric control. Render: Murilo Almeida

Building the interior is equally simple for an important reason; the internal transverse walls are part of the structural bulkheads, and therefore are prefabricated. The complementary longitudinal bulkheads are also prefabricated according to full size drawings, or CNC files. So assembling the interior is just a matter of fitting panels into their places, like a Lego puzzle.

The Pop 20 interior is as functional as a 20 foot cruising sailboat can be. An ergonomically positioned chemical toilet is fitted under the fore-cabin double berth. The quarter berths are excelent to be used when underway, since they don`t require lee cloth.

The superstructure is more straightforward yet to build. Since the boat has no cabin trunk, and the sheathing deck panels are also provided in full scale, either to be cut by jig-saw, or by CNC machine, it takes very short time to install the plywood panels.

And then the boat is practically finished. Since hull and deck are encapsulated with two layers of 320g/m² glass cloth saturated in epoxy, this operation is what requires more time to be accomplished, comparatively. However even this operation is not highly demanding, considering that the glass cloth final thickness is relatively thin (less than 2mm), so for, requiring very little sanding. And then doing the rest of the work can be considered more fun than hard work. And when it comes the launching day, then it is the time to crown it all.

P.S. If you live in Western Australia, or anywhere else in Australia, and are interested in knowing more details about the Pop 20, you will be very welcome to contact us. We can even arrange an appointment, if wished. We are willing to assist, as much as we can afford, anyone who wishes to build a Pop 20 in Australia. My e-mail is robertobarros@hotmail.com and the office`s e-mail is info@yachtdesign.com.au. Besides being yacht designers we are also cruising sailors.

Click here to know more about the Pop 20.