Pop 25. The class commemorates its first thirty builders

The Pop 25 is doing a roaring trade if compared to other designs we introduced in the past. Along the seven first months that the plans are available we already have thirty builders from nine different countries, some of them having edited blogs to promote their constructions.

The Pop 25 is a low cost option for those who are looking for a true offshore cruising sailboat. Intended for amateur construction, it is the perfect choice to begin a nautical career. Photoshop: Murilo Almeida

Now that the project is getting popular, it becomes clear to understand the reasons for so. There are impressive numbers of sailors craving for an ocean bound sailboat, but just dreaming of purchasing a second hand, or be it a new one, sends shivers down the spines on many of them.

When constructing your own boat all you need is to invest a small monthly income into the work and in the end the asset the boat represents is a saving, since the profit is consequence of labour. In our present hard times, if one is not sitting pretty, amateur boat building became a really attractive investment.

What scares people most when going for amateur construction is the lack of confidence in their own skills, doubting if they can produce a high standard yacht. We learned with the many years designing boats for amateur construction that this anxiety has more to do with poor information contained in the plans than with the capacity of building a good boat. To break through this cliché we decided to do something very different from the usual, adopting a building method that wouldn’t discourage anybody to try building his own boat. The simple shapes we introduced in the Pop 25 pre-fabricated bulkheads are confidence boosters for the pursuit of the job.

Another aspect we took into account was the size of the boat. Designing a twenty-five footer, we produced an incomparably more affordable sailboat than if we went for a larger craft. We knew from our own experience that it is perfectly possible to go for a long trip aboard a small craft. Our own experience tells vividly how a small boat can proportionate an unforgettable adventure. More than forty years ago Roberto and Eileen Barros, the founders of the office, were dreaming in escaping from the rat race they were living in the big city, until the day they decided to depart in a small sailboat, the brave, little, Sea Bird, for a trip they knew how it would begin, but had no idea how it would end. This story is told in the free book “Rio to Polynesia” published in our site in PDF (see link from the site’s front page in English, bottom left corner). If they had to wait for better times, they wouldn’t probably have gone anywhere. Besides, without that experience, it is possible that it wouldn’t be feasible to design a boat of the same length, however infinitely more adequate for ocean passages than the brave, little, Sea Bird was.

Pop 25 Rancho Alegre (Happy Ranch) first stations. This construction is taking place in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil. Photo: Francisco Aydos

The story of the Pop 25 began during the first months of 2011 when we decided to try a new building method that could allow the pre-fabrication of the base structure of the boat in record time. We were pretty sure that if this phase of the construction elapsed with no hindrances, those who overcame this part of the construction would feel sufficiently motivated to go ahead until the launching day. With the intention of testing our ideas, we invited an old friend, the Argentinean Daniel D’Angelo, to build the prototype of the class. Daniel had already been our “test pilot” when building Sirius, the Samoa 28 he constructed in his home lawn. (You can learn about the construction of Sirius entering the site Samoa 28 Sirius in our page of links, left column). Daniel, then a rookie in boatbuilding, not only made a superb yacht that promoted the design as a super sailboat for amateur construction, but also proved how fit the boat was for offshore sailing, having taken part in a long distance international ocean race soon after the inauguration. Daniel accepted this new challenge without a blink, since he considered the construction of Sirius one of the most rewarding enterprises he had ever done in life, and had already built a second boat from our office, the Pantanal 25 Vega, obtaining the same enjoyment as in the first construction. His third attempt was no different (see in our links page, column of the left, Pop 25 Horus). He managed to build the transverse structure in a fortnight and practically finished the whole construction in about six months (this time extended longer because of his formal work). However he suffered an accident at work, and had it not be for that matter, the boat would be in the water by now.

John Mathesson (in white t-shirt) is building a Pop 25 for a client of ours, Fernando Santos, in a place that is considered the hub of amateur construction in Rio de Janeiro, the Sao Cristovao Yacht Club. This day he received the visit of Roberto Barros, being this the first time a member of the office actually saw the construction of one of these boats. Photo: Murilo Almeida

A new factor that is influencing the development of the classes we design for amateur construction is the creation of blogs by our clients reporting the progresses of their works. Besides the publicity they generate, they bring a feeling of friendliness among participants, who almost invariably become friends among themselves.

Pop 25 Konquest’s bulkhead 4 ready to go to assemblage. This boat is being built by Marcelo Schurhaus, from the State of Santa Catarina, South Brazil. We got really impressed by the speed and competence that the pre-fabrication of the bulkheads was accomplished. Now in the beginning of June the hull will be assembled. Courtesy: Marcelo Schurhaus

From our part we are also doing our best to assist our builders. We produced a series of didactic renders that are helping them to produce each bulkhead as if they were reading a comics book. This is being appreciated by our clients, including our latest participant, James Györe, from Melbourne, Australia (see his blog in our list of links, left column: Pop 25 Splash). It is a pleasure for us to report fresh news from the class, hoping that soon it will be a reference in amateur boat building.

To build your own boat and go sailing in it is something that only who did it can understand the feeling of achievement it provides. Photoshop: Murilo Almeida

James Györe, a professional in cinema and communication, made an interview with Luis Pinho, a member of our staff who was appointed as captain of the environmental yacht Brigitte Bardot, from Sea Shepherd Organization, in a delivery trip from Perth to Melbourne. On the arrival he received James aboard where the interview took place. This story will probably be published in Splash’s blog. The Pop 25 class is undoubtedly showing a talent for climbing the band wagon.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25