Samoa 28 - A boat we would like to build for ourselves

Roberto Barros

Yacht designing can be a very challenging activity. When a project is started, it’s given to the designer the opportunity of either producing a craft that can fulfil the needs of sailors, or simply designing a boat that resembles others, without deeply involving in any special feature that will distinguish it specially.

This Samoa 28 is Terrius, built by Bernardo Sampaio in Ubatuba, State of Sao Paulo, Brasil. Our client is very happy her performance, as well as with the comfort she is providing. Courtesy: Bernardo Sampaio.

Our goal in the case of the Samoa 28 was designing a craft intended for offshore passages, in which the crew could have its control in the fingertips, not minding the conditions of weather and seas. This proposition might look simple to be achieved, if the only requirement had been that of designing an over-dimensioned hull with no compromise with performance. But that wouldn’t please us by all means, not being enough to satisfy our ambitions regarding the project. We wanted to offer a cruising sailboat with a performance comparable to that of a cruiser racer, while being comfortable for a family to live aboard for prolonged stretches, either stationed or offshore. The boat had to be the ultimate sailing dream in the lives of our clients.

The interior of the Samoa 28 is adequate for living aboard either in port or when performing offshore bound passages. The 1.85m headroom in the saloon is excellent for a 28 foot sailboat. Another impressive feature of the layout is the spaciousness of the owner’s cabin.

The boat also had to be user’s friendly for our amateur builders, being within the reach of our most inexperienced clients to manage to overpass all hurdles during the construction, simply by following the building manual. We are already assured of being successful with our proposal, since there are several Samoas 28 built by inexperienced amateurs. Actually the building manual is quite linear, being of the type “follow the green light”, and those who read the instructions manage to go ahead without difficulties.

Samoa 28 Sirius in Punta del Leste, Uruguay. Sirius was built in City Bell, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, by the amateur Daniel D’Angelo, being the first boat of the class to sail. Soon after being launched she took part in the Buenos Aires to Punta del Leste Offshore Regatta, being quite well placed in her class. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

The cost of acquiring a brand new cruising sailboat capable of crossing oceans in any latitude is out of the reach for most cruising sailors. However an amateur building a cruising boat in his backyard, spending an affordable amount of money monthly is feasible to almost anyone. That is when being twenty-eight foot makes a hell of a difference.

The Samoa 28 saloon is as complete as a 28 foot sailboat should be. The galley with two burners stove with oven, fridge, galley sink, dustbin and a profusion of lockers is the dream of any nautical cordon bleu. The dinette is also very comfortable, with enough room for six to socialize, and places at the table for four adults to have a meal with room to spare.

Being able to go sailing to anywhere in a boat built with one’s own hands is the dream of many sailors, be them young or old salts, and it is to those people that we dedicate the design. Our message was listened by a large group of cruising sailors from many countries in different continents, and today the Samoa 28 is one of the most widespread classes in our line of stock plans.

The interior of Furioso before completing the furniture construction. Courtesy: Jorge Dias

The decision to develop the Samoa 28 project is a story that has lots to do with our own aspirations. Our family wanted to own a boat which could take us to faraway places, like for instance, countries in other continents and distant ocean islands, and the way we envisioned the escape towards these endeavours, and in extension, the endeavours of others who wished the same things, turned us specialists in designing offshore cruising sailboats for amateur or custom construction.

Our experience with boats in the twenty-eight/thirty feet range comes from the early eighties when we designed and built Maitairoa, a thirty foot double ender with each we lived unforgettable adventures in the South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Now she belongs to our friend Sandra Sautu, who lives aboard her in company of her couple of sons, in French Riviera. The photo shows her daughter Calypso, who was practically born aboard, playing with her dolls before going to sleep. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu

Just from the very beginning our yacht design career and our personal lives mixed up, leaving no room for distinction between professional work and personal passions. That was very important for the understanding of what was really required for living aboard in comfort and safety, be it in port or offshore. As our great pleasure was to design and then try our creation, after owning a boat for a long time, we started feeling that irresistible seven years itch to exchange the boat we sworn it would be the sailboat of our lives for a new one with the latest ideas of how she should look like to make us happy forever. It was like that when we designed the Multichine 28, and after building one for ourselves and owning her for eight years, we started flirting with a new model, which is no other than the Samoa 28. Actually the new design had to have everything already tested in the former boat, the main difference being the construction method, this latest one being specified for strip-planking sandwich instead of plywood/epoxy construction. We love plywood/epoxy, what happens is that we like to vary. On doing so we are offering two options for our builders to choose, according to their own preferences.

Life is too short for us to build all the boats we dream with, so this turn the Samoa 28 was left for others to build, we ending up as followers. This is extremely anguishing, since we feel like spectators, assisting others doing what had been our role in the past. Notwithstanding, except for the frustration of having to be passive where we were the leading protagonists, in many aspects the emotion of following other people’s work is practically the same as when we were building for our own pleasure.

Our second experience in the 28/30 foot range was the MC28 Fiu. My wife Eileen and I lived for two years aboard this boat learning during this time that she was as comfortable as a home ashore. Photo: Roberto Barros

For our luck several clients of ours made blogs for which we provided links in our page of links, first column, being them listed in this order: Sirius, Caprichoso, Furioso, Baleia and Paloma. If you are building a Samoa 28 and intend to edit a blog or a site, we will be glad to include your address in our list. We are firm followers of these blogs and seeing their progress is our transfer upon our wish to build one for ourselves. It impresses the number of followers these blogs are obtaining.

When Sirius, the first Samoa 28 to be launched, began its career as an offshore cruising sailboat, and our client’s family fell in love with the boat, we were assured that we had succeeded in designing the best yacht of that size we could manage to produce. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

Since our bloggers had been very active and some of their boats are nearing completion, we are confident that soon we will have fresh news to report. It is flying around that there are boats of the class being prepared to sail around the world, what would be a glory for us.

The Samoa 28 was designed to be sailed in good or bad weather, having its control in the finger tips.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 28.