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Think Differently, Travelling "With" Your Boat

"Picture yourself, in a boat on a river…"

Just imagine taking your boat to a different cruising ground in a Saturday morning and in the afternoon be sailing in a place two hundred or more kilometres away, dropping the anchor in a nice haven to stay the night, to wake up in no hurry on the next day, have another sailing time, or just jump in the water for a swim around the boat and at night be back to your place. With the Pantanal 25 it is possible.

Pace of life seems to be getting busier every new day. It is becoming common to meet cruising sailors that are gaving up spending more time on board their boats, or postponing the plans to discover new places to sail, for not being able to get rid of the rat race. There is an alternative for those people: travel WITH your boat! The Pantanal 25 camping sailboat may be the right answer for this challenge.

The Pantanal 25 can be trailered to different places by a medium size car.

The Pantanal 25 was designed to be a trailerable sailboat that could be trailered by a mid-sized car. The keel and rudder are retractable to reduce draught to get closer to shore. The mast pivots in its base and can be easily disassembled by one person alone. It also can be stored in two mast-gallows above the deck. The boat is so versatile that it can be launched in any locality where there is a boat ramp, being it the sea, a lake, or a river.

It is also possible for the Pantanal 25 to sail in shallow waters with raised keel and rudder, propelled by an outboard motor fixed to a transom bracket. The pivoting mast allows the boat to pass under bridges. These are important features praised by anyone interested in navigating inshore, instead of being restricted to the coast.

Having in mind amateur construction, we chose a construction method within the reach of the inexperienced home builder. The boat’s displacement is the lightest possible to enhance performance and to be easily trailerable. We chose sandwich construction with strips of PVC foam between two layers of fibreglass laminate, a building method which doesn’t require expensive moulds and that one can build in a temporary shed in his backyard.

Pantanal 25 Vega was built under a temporary shed in the backyard of a house in Buenos Aires.

The strips of PVC foam are bonded together over a set of temporary transverse moulds that provide the shape of the hull, and then it is applied the outside fibreglass lamination. After sanding to remove any imperfection, the external surface is ready to receive the final couches of paint. Next the hull is turned over and the internal layer of fibreglass is laminated, completing the sandwich construction, resulting in a light and strong sailboat.

Pantanal 25 under construction in Australia. The temporary transverse moulds are aligned over a building grid to receive the PVC foam strips.

The permanent transverse bulkheads and the rest of the interior are installed inside the hull after the lamination. The deck construction follows a similar building method as the one employed for the hull, with transverse moulds to support the PVC foam. However, since the surfaces are not as curved as the hull, it is possible to use panels of PVC instead of strips to speed up fabrication.

The interior arrangement is cosy and functional. A double berth at the forward compartment joins with two settee berths in the saloon, omitting any partition that could jeopardize the feeling of amplitude inside the cabin. Abaft the two settees a heads compartment with door and a compact galley complete the saloon arrangement. A second double berth can be placed under the cockpit area providing full usage of space.

The interior is simple and comfortable. A double berth forwards, two seat berths in the saloon and a double berth under the cockpit make room for up six people for an overnight stay.

We dedicated a lot of attention to the cockpit design. It is long and wide to provide lots of room for the helmsman and crew to feel comfortable, and for eventual passengers that are only interested in enjoying the trip.

Pantanal 25 “ZIRRDELI” in Turkey. The cockpit is wide and long to provide lots of room for the helmsman and crew.

Above all these characteristics what makes sailors really happy with the Pantanal 25 is when performing under sail. The main has a squared top like many of the modern racing yachts and when reaching or running, an asymmetrical spinnaker of generous sail area will provide the extra power for exhilarating sailing. The bulbous keel has a low CG which when lowered to its maximum draught proportionates excellent pointing ability.

Pantanal 25 “DARK ICE” sailing in the South Atlantic.

If you have a backyard, or a large garage, it’s possible to keep the boat at home and skip the fixed cost of a marina. And so you will be truly able to wake up in the morning, choose your next destination, connect the trailer to the car and leave for a weekend sailing enjoying your boat as much as possible.

Click here to know more about the Pantanal 25.


Pop 25 Solaris - Final touches before launching

Solaris, the Pop 25 being built in Rio de Janeiro, is almost concluded. Her owner, Fernando Santos, is building the sailboat of his dreams, a true offshore sailing machine capable of performing the cruising trips he had been longing for. He fell in love with the concept of the unsinkable sailboat that can navigate indefinitely in any direction using solely sunlight and winds to move around.

Solaris is almost concluded and soon will be sailing. Her owner, Fernado Santos, intends to sail the South American shores, being well prepared for that. Photo: Murilo Campos de Almeida.

The Pop 25 class with more than fifty boats being built in twelve different countries, that happening in a little more than two years, is one of our most well succeeded projects. With boats being built in so many different places, it’s natural that a keen curiosity develops among builders willing to know how the other mates are progressing. For the class good luck there are at least five blogs, these ones with links from our site, relating the constructions of Pop 25 boats (Hayal, Horus, Rancho Alegre, Konquest and Splash), this being bliss for those wanting to learn how the other builders are doing.

We reported a short time ago the launching of Horus in City Bell, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Horus was the first Pop 25 to be concluded, and since then is sailing in the River Plate. Now it seems to be an easy bet that the second Pop 25 to be sailing will be Solaris. We will publish an article in our news about this launching, since we had been invited for the sea trial.

Fernando followed our suggestions regarding the plan’s specifications, accepting integrally the bid for the construction of a true offshore cruising sailboat. At any rate, a twenty-five foot sailboat with three double berths, 260 litres of fresh water tank capacity, and being able to afford bottom maintenance without the need of hauling out, just requiring being in a beach where the tidal range surpasses 1,10m, a boat like this is not easily found anywhere.

Two curtains provide privacy to the heads when in use. Fernando accepted our suggestion of installing an one burner alcohol stove, which, together with the electric auxiliary motor, makes the Pop 25 an ecologically correct sailing craft. Photo: Murilo Almeida

The Pop 25 was conceived having in mind heaps of sailors who wish to own a blue water sailboat and have to face the taboo that twenty-five foot offshore cruising sailboats do not exist. Since the market doesn’t really offer this option, the solution was to design a boat for this purpose within the reach of the amateur to build it.
This was the secret for so many cruising sailors from different places deciding for the construction of a Pop 25. Now that the project is no more a black-box, and that we know the Pop 25 to be the boat up to the expectations, we are pretty confident that we will have many other launchings to report.

Fernando Santos is already dreaming with the day when he can stand on the cockpit under the solar panels gantry with the boat being propelled by the electric motor. Photo: Murilo Almeida

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Multichine 34/36 Smoko

Howard Bennett, who is building a plywood/epoxy MC34/36 in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand, upgraded his logbook (Multichine 34/36 Cabin Boy in our list of links, or www.nzcabinboy.blogspot.com) reporting how his construction is at the present stage. We liked very much what he has done and we believe his boat will be flawless. We are glad for that, since we learned to like him and his wife Noelle, since we have lots to share with them about life style. Our family also loves boat building, living aboard and owning a yacht capable of performing long distance cruising. So we are having great time following Smoko’s progresses.

Next we reproduce the content of the latest entry in Smoko’s blog:

The layout of the interior has been altered from the plans to suit us, as a crew of two, with only occasional visitors. With this in mind, I decided to eliminate the fore-cabin and go for a more open plan type arrangement. The forward berth is higher than the settee berths to enable a more sedate method of entry into and exit from the bed. This also provides a considerable amount of storage.

Final touches in the plywood panels finishing before sheathing the hull with fibreglass.

As there was also no need for a gang-way forward, I decided to place the fore water tank athwart-ships under the foot of the bed. This will be covered with a seat cushion so that when the bed is partly raised, there will be seating all around the mast support post and its (removable) table.

During the initial work inside the boat, I came and went over the sugar-scoop and through the aft cabin, not the easiest method. So after a number of bangs on the head I decided to concentrate on the cockpit floor and the companion-way with its steps which allowed for a much more dignified way of travel.

The above photo shows where I've made provision for a couple of non-opening port-lights. This should provide useful extra light in the aft cabin as well as in the engine room.

Above is the aft cabin showing the removable mattress base, the forward half of this is where the aft water tank will go. The right hand side shows where cupboards are to be fitted along-side the berth.

Another milestone. The start of the deck laying. Here again a small alteration to the plans. Instead of using the 12mm ply specified I am laying a nine mm first layer and a further layer of four mm with the joints well staggered. 

As I finish this post (Jan 2014), the next major task is to finish the decking, cabin and cockpit in the hope that I can complete the glassing before winter.

Hoard and Noelle Bennet are building a fantastic MC 34.

Smoko must be sailing this year, we reckon. They already have the engine installed and the superstructure will be completed before June. Very little will be missing, so. They will join the club of MC 34 builders who made a collection of boats worth being in a gallery of expedition yachts.

***

Every so often we are surprised by learning about the existence of a boat built from one of our stock plans. This MC34/36 is being built in Turkey by Fevzi Tezcan. He received the plans in July, 2012. The hull is already concluded, missing to be sheathed with fibreglass. The boat must be shifting building places to be concluded in another location. Courtesy: Fevzy Tezcan.

A MC34 sailing in the Atlantic Ocean. All owners of MC34 praise their boats as the perfect rovers of the seas.

Click here to know more about the MC 34/36.


Second Kiribati 36 to sail soon

We are happy to report that very soon the Kiribati 36 class will have one more representative sailing the blue ocean.

Kiribati 36 J-One.

The new boat is called J-One, and she is receiving the final touches in a very precise and perfectionist construction in the city of Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, the same one where Green Nomad's interior was built.

Jone and Vera follow the hull's assembly.

J-One was finished by our client Jone Martins (no coincidence, it you are thinking about the name of the boat) from a hull built at Ilha Sul Construçoes Nauticas. The strong aluminum hull, with 10mm in the bottom and 8mm sides, makes a perfect base upon which to build a great cruising boat.

Aft Cabin.

The quality of workmanship and materials of the metal work produced by Ilha Sul is matched by the superb finishing and installations made by Jone.

J-One is not yet the second version of the design, the Kiribati 36 MK2, but some of the features of the new version are incorporated there, such as the nice toe rail incorporated into the top edge of the upper topside plate.

On deck Jone choose a different rig option, more similar to the Multichine 36 SK, and inside he also made some changes to the layout.

J-One is then a unique boat, incorporating many features that Jone thought necessary for his dream boat.

This is the beauty of amateur boat building: the possibility to adapt a boat to your ideas and wishes almost to the last detail.

Jone opted for a different head setup, eliminating the access to the internal technical area and in doing so making it possible to fit a completely separated shower stall. The quality of execution in this area is superb, as can be seen below.

Jone also decided to close one of the side passages to the saloon, creating a U shaped galley, similar to the Multichine 36 SK, but with the galley sinks in the same position as the Kiribati 36 design.

Closed shower stall an added comfort.

On deck the use of glued non-skid EVA mats made a very beautiful finish.

As this boat will be used mostly in cold areas, Jone did not install all the opening hatches specified around the pilot house area, but the panoramic view is still there, making for a very agreeable working area around the galley and navigation table, which is made according to the original Kiribati 36 design, facing forward and elevated, and not like the current design, which is the one found on Green Nomad, with a starboard side facing table and seat.

All in all the installations are very thoroughly done, and this boat will be a real voyaging asset, safe, efficient and a joy to live in.

And of course an easy to maintain boat, with the capability to dry out for cleaning and emergency repairs.

Kiribati 36 Green Nomad dries out for cleaning in Bahia, Brazil.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36MK2 design.


Pop Star 21

Every so often, when strolling along the Swan River margins, in Perth, Western Australia, where I live, I keep wandering what type of craft would suit best for gunk-holing those placid waters. In my way of thinking this boat had to be versatile, capable of exploring the many havens along the margins, had to be simple to assemble and disassemble to save time in getting ready to start sailing, had to be trailerable, so it could be kept at home and be taken to different places, and last but not least, be fun to sail, either for enjoying a day-sail with family or friends, or experiencing the thrill of high performance when having a competitive crew onboard.

The Pop Star 21 is a simple and versatile boat that will provide lots of fun for the crew.

Talking to friends we learned that heaps of people from different places are craving for a craft like that, to sail in coastal or protected waters, like bays, lakes and rivers. However, it was when an Argentinean friend of ours told us that he had the intention of developing a new class with exactly those characteristics that we decided the time had come to develop a design like that.

We began designing a modern multi-chine hull with flat bottom and wide stern, following the lines of our most recent sailboats, the Pop 25 and the Pop Alu 32, having an almost vertical bow and sharp angled forward waterlines, so to cut the seas effortlessly, the dead-rise aft being very smooth to reduce drag and facilitate planing. For easiness of construction the hull was designed with five panels only, the bottom one being flat transversally, two topsides with very short flair, and two small bilge panels.

The superstructure has a cuddy cabin in front of the mast, intended mainly to store sails and equipment while not in use, but with enough space to be used as a bunk to rest on when wished. The most valuable part of the deck is the cockpit, which goes from the cabin entrance at the mast section to the transom. There are two seats at a lower level, these seats being more comfortable when sailing leisurely, and two higher ones at sheer level for the crew to sit and hike in heavy winds, to be used when trying to achieve the highest performance possible.

The superstructure has a cuddy cabin in front of the mast and lots of space in the cockpit.

The keel weighs 110kg with 85% of this weight at the bulb, so to increase stability and efficiency without increasing the overall weight of the boat. It can be lifted to reduce draught to simplify the operation of launching and retrieving the boat from the water using the trailer. The lifting device is removable and when it is not being used, it can be stored inside the cabin not to mess up the crew circulation on the cockpit while sailing.

We chose to install twin rudders to improve manoeuvrability and steering control even in the hardest conditions. The rudder blades can also be lifted to reduce the boat’s draught.

The rudders and keel can be lifted to simplify the operation in the slipway to reduce the draught.

The sail plan has a large mainsail, a 110% fractional jib and a gennaker, this one hoisted from the tip of a retractable bowsprit. For those who prefer relaxed sailing there is the option of using a mainsail of less roach and smaller area, and to suppress the gennaker. The mast has one pair of spreaders and can be pivoted on its base to be lowered when passing under bridges. This is done by removing a single pin, and it can also be taken off for transport or storage.

The sail plan has a large mainsail, a jib and an asymmetric spinnaker hoisted from the tip of a retractable bowsprit.

When sailing in shallow depth areas, as when exploring rivulets or regions where sailing is not possible, we designed the tiller base fitting with a bracket for a low power outboard motor.

The construction method is welded aluminium and all pieces can be cut by CNC. The files containing the drawings of all pieces are provided together with the stock plan. After receiving all these pieces already cut to millimetric precision anyone with minimum experience in aluminium welding can assemble the hull and perform all the welding in just a few weeks working on spare time only.

The assembly sequence is simple and straight forward.

Regarding our friend in Argentina who kicked our arses to develop this design, he has already started the construction of the first Pop Star 21 and has the metal work almost completed. He is thinking of a series that might be up to ten boats, which will be one of the main summer attractions of a resort he is building in the beautiful region of Cordoda, sailing on the waters of a lake surrounded by mountains. He sent some construction photos that can be seen in the in the specific page of the Pop Star 21 in our website. He also sent the video below showing the first boat almost completed.

The construction of the first Pop Star 21 has began in Argentina

The construction of another Pop Star 21 will be starting soon in the United Kingdom but the owner decided to make first a scaled model, following all steps of the construction of the real boat to gather some experience before going to the real job.

Scale model of the Pop Star 21 which will be build in the United Kingdom. The owner decided for a bit of training before going to the construction of the full scale boat.

If you are looking for a small and simple boat for day-sailing with your family, or to feel the thrill of top sailing performance, or yet are searching an easy to set and transport sailboat that you can take to different places, or a bit of all that, the Pop Star 21 might be the boat you are looking for.

Click here to know more about the Pop Star 21.


Pop 25 - Perfect combination

Sailing may be considered one of the most important inventions in history. It was by means of sailing crafts that commerce prospered in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean in the old age. The people who ruled the seas of those times were, with few exceptions, the same who controlled power on shore. When Columbus discovered the America, he contributed to strengthen the western civilization, bringing the wealth of the new world to the old continent. Magellan with his round the world trip was the pioneer of globalization, and the British, the best sailors of all times, ruled the world for centuries, leaving the English language as the universal idiom as heritage of its maritime supremacy.

It is true that navigating under sail lost all its importance, commercially, however it became the preference of cruising sailors who want to cross oceans in search of adventure. Sailboats are consumers’ dreams, however winds aren’t constant, and without a mean of auxiliary propulsion, travelling in blue waters becomes too risky, never mentioning traffic that expands continually.
When developing the Pop 25 plans we had in mind offering a sailboat of relatively low cost that would provide the necessary comfort and safety required for offshore passages, not so usual features to be found in twenty-five footers. We could specify diesel inboard engine for auxiliary propulsion, but instead suggested the installation of electric motor. The Pop 25 being a boat intended to be ecologically adequate, would become exclusively dependent on light and wind to be propelled.

The Pop 25 with its sails and its electric auxiliary can move in any direction, no matter it is blowing the perfect breeze or enduring a flat calm. Solar panels, wind generator and eventually a hydro-generator provide the juice to silently move the boat in any direction. Besides, the motor has the capacity to regenerate energy when navigating under sail.

Electric Motors are cheaper than the equivalent diesel engines. They are also lighter and their installations are much simpler. On the other hand, as the saying goes, there is no free lunch. If energy is endless, battery banks to store it are bulky and heavy. When we developed the Pop 25 plans we found a solution that answered this challenge in a quite practical way. The battery bank was placed in a strategic point where it performs the role of internal ballast and its weight is about the same as the difference in weight of a diesel engine and an electric equivalent, this way keeping the displacement unaltered.

In the Pop 25 specifications we advise storing energy captured by solar panels, wind generator, eventually hydro-generator too, and by the regenerative function of the motor when the propeller is free-wheeled, having the boat propelled by its sails. One of the motors suggested for the boat is capable of running for eight hours uninterruptedly on its economic mode (24V) at four knots. When operating on the performance mode (48V) the range falls to forty-five minutes, and the speed increases in one and a half knots.

Along the Pop 25 short career at least one of our clients already opted for the electric motor, purchasing the Electroprop 5.5kW made in California, USA. Our client, Fernando Santos, is going to help us in convincing other builders about the superiority of the choice. His boat is in the last stages of construction in an amateur hub of boat building in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At any rate, being able to cross the seas in any direction in almost absolute silence is priceless and our bet is that this will be the trend for auxiliary propulsion in cruising sailboats from now on

The Electroprop 5.5kW already installed in Solaris, the Pop 25 being built in Rio de Janeiro. Courtesy: Fernando Santos

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Maitairoa, the boat designed and built for the “day after”

Roberto Barros

It was revealed a few days ago the speech the Queen had ready to be pronounced about the third world war. This speech was written exactly thirty years ago, the time for state documents considered of strategic importance to turn public. The cold war at that moment was attaining its climax and the planet was within the reach of a finger-tip to be inexorably destroyed by human stupidity. This is history, and fortunately there was a light at the end of the tunnel and the catastrophe didn’t materialize.

Of course such sombre state of spirit had some degree of influence in the life of every citizen of that time. Some built nuclear shelters where they planned to spend extra days after the worst had happened, taking to that place the beloved ones and the things they praised most. Others, on the other hand, preferred to spend all their possessions while there was still time.

This photo was taken in the South Atlantic some two thousand miles east of Patagonia, at about the latitude of Mar Del Plata, during a lull preceding a cold front. After deploying the dinghy, our crewmember Roberto Allan Fuchs took some distance from us to obtain a good angle to take the picture. I am steering the boat and Eileen is at my side.

My own story, however, had a different focus. I built an offshore cruising sailboat that could sail for months on end without needing to be supplied with fresh provisions, so my family and I could enjoy a few more weeks doing the thing we liked most, sailing in the immensity of the ocean. We lived at the city of Rio de Janeiro, a place that being distant from the hub of the political dispute would probably have a couple of days more of survival. I kept the boat permanently provisioned for six months at sea, and my plan was to sail bound for the Southern Ocean, keeping contact with the rest of the world by means of a shortwave receiver and the boat’s SSB. What a terrific plan! We would be enjoying life intensely, when perhaps billions would be dying. When our time would come, if it came by then, we had a sneer in our face, being among the last ones who knew how the story of a blue planet plagued by the prevalence of an arrogant species that put selfish interests above anything else did end. Then why not playing according to the book, if those were the rules of the game?

Somehow we were sort of pioneers in world globalization. I am Brazilian, my wife Eileen is British and my daughter Astrid is Tahitian. She was born there when we were crossing the Pacific aboard a twenty-five foot cruising sailboat with no inboard engine (you can read, or download, this story for free entering our front page, left-side lower corner: Rio to Polynesia; an adventure in the South Pacific). We had tasted the society’s forbidden apple, the feeling of freedom proportioned by our life-style. Being a Carioca (as are called the Rio de Janeiro inhabitants) was already a privilege, I believed. Rio is a place where mountain and sea almost touch each other, forming gorgeous beaches in between, among them Copacabana and Ipanema, renowned for being where the “Bossa Nova” was born and the dental floss bikini was introduced. We didn’t really want to leave, but just imagining such beautiful place being charred by radiation would be unbearable to us.

Maitairoa, the boat designed and built to survive come rain or shine as she looks today, thirty years after her launching. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu

In June, 1983, Maitairoa, the cruising boat built for the day after, was launched in Marina da Gloria, the municipal marina close to Rio’s downtown. My dream had become reality. We wished our concerns about the apocalypse were simply a fantasy, and that the nuclear war would never happen, but we felt we were prepared for the worst. Since the worst didn’t happen, the prize for that effort was to own a doomsday-proof sailboat ready to go anywhere. And Maitairoa never disappointed us.

In February, 1985, when the cold war was not that cold anymore, the family decided to take advantage of such effort in building a sailboat above suspicion. We decided to cross the South Atlantic from Rio to Cape Town, where Eileen’s sister lives, now, however, in much lighter spirits. Maitairoa means “things are cool” in Polynesian, a word we learned when we lived there, and she deserved her name.

On this crossing we sailed 360° around Inaccessible Island, passed so close to Tristan Island settlement that we could wave to the folks that watched our progress from shore, not stopping there because the boat was doing seven knots bare pole.
We spent two months at Cape Town. Arriving there, we almost caused a stroke in Eileen’s sister. Since, not to worry her, we didn’t inform about the trip, and she couldn’t believe the phone call wasn’t long distance.

After enjoying the holiday of our lives, it was time for planning the departure. It was the year Astrid had to do the exam for entering university and she was already losing half the school year with the vacation. In the outward trip we had the company of two mates, the brothers Max and Mario Hammers, who for professional reasons had to go back home by plane. Now the crew was the family only, with the company of our cat Mimi, a more adequate crew number for a thirty-foot sailboat. If the outward trip had been tough sailing, sailing back-home was a piece of cake. We called at Santa Helena, a magic place for its beauty, history and relative insulation, since there was no airport at that time to spoil the place with tourists. (Offshore cruisers aren’t tourists, they are sailors!) We spent a whole week there, and then sailed to Martin Vaz, a few rocks in the middle of nowhere, which we pin-pointed with the assistance of our plastic Davis sextant, the only means we had to obtain a fix, since there was no GPS by then. The next stretch was to Trinidad Island, such an exotic place that even though we didn’t stop at the occasion, we promised we would return soon.

Back in Rio, we couldn’t forget the fantastic times we had at sea, and our next vacation was a trip to Trinidad Island, Salvador, in the Northeast of Brazil, and Abrolhos, a marine sanctuary, now a national park. The next adventure was to sail bound for the Southern Ocean, when Maitairoa suffered grounding in a remote corner of the Falkland Islands, surviving unscathed after a salvage operation worth a Jack London novel. (If you would like to know details of this story, you can click in articles in our site, and scrolling the page, you will find at the end: “Maitairoa in the Falklands. An adventure with a happy ending”)

Maitairoa, pushed by a tide current during a fierce storm, went aground in a lonely beach in the archipelago of the Falkland Islands.

The ordeal generated a salvage operation when the British Army, local authorities and kelpers did their best to assist us to put the boat floating again.

Relief after the salvage. With Maitairoa firmly docked in Port Stanley. Fram, the lady in yellow and blue wet suit, who worked as police officer, took us to visit a mined camp in the surroundings of Port Stanley. The penguins are too light to explode the mines stepping on them. Eileen, sitting on the grass, Roberto Fuchs, me and my daughter Astrid were Maitairoa’s crew.

After the mishap the boat accomplished a three thousand miles non-stop journey from Port Stanley to Rio de Janeiro, surviving a frontal collision with a sperm whale during this passage.

Back to routine, I realized that somebody had to work to bring home de bacon, and it was then that our office was founded, at that time Roberto Barros Yacht Design. In 2007, when the firm was transferred to Perth, Western Australia was that the name had been changed to B & G Yacht Design.

Calypso, Sandra’s daughter, was conceived in the Greek Island where Ulysses started the Odyssey. Maitairoa is the place she can call home. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu

The boat with seven lives is home for Sandra’s family in French Riviera

Sandra left Rio De Janeiro with Maitairoa bound for the Mediterranean, and now lives in France in company of her couple of sons, Calypso and Sansom. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu.

The need to be always trying new ideas made me sell Maitairoa to try our luck with a new design, the MC28, which I also intended to build one for the family’s usage, incorporating all the lessons the good old Maitairoa had taught us. Maitairoa was sold to a good friend of ours, the Argentinean physicist Sandra Sautu, who sailed her from Rio de Janeiro to the Caribbean, Azores and the Mediterranean. Sandra lives aboard since the acquisition, now with her couple of sons, lulled to sleep by the rocking of the waves. The new boat, Fiu, was also a great success, but Maitairoa will be engraved forever in our memories as the boat for the day after.


Pop Alu 32: A safe cruising boat with the room of a 36 footer

We have great news for the Pop Alu 32 design. The first hull fabricated has just been sold to a customer in the southern Brazilian State of Santa Catarina by Ilha Sul Construções Náuticas boatyard. The owner is having the engine and a few other items installed at the boatyard and then will take the boat under her on power to a place close to home for fitting her out.

This hull will soon be in Santa Catarina State, Brazil

The unit to be built in Córdoba, Argentina, by our good client Walter Baitella, should soon be started, as Walter is testing his building apparatus by doing nothing less than to build two units of our other design Pop Star 21. When these two smaller boats are ready the Pop Alu 32 must enter this veritable serial assembly line of aluminum sailboats.

Little brother, a Pop Star 21 almost ready in Córdoba, Argentina

Being the Pop Alu 32 a new concept boat, following its smaller brother, the Pop 25, we like to constantly run performance checks on the design, and recently we run a simulation on a new naval architecture software to see the behavior under heel, what had of course been done before for the stability calculations, but this time we took snapshots of the screen, providing us with some very interesting images.

The results you can see below.

Note: The hull model is a simplification for hydrostatics modeling. The actual hull side panels extend all the way to the stern platform´s end

These images say it all. The boat does not modify its trim considerably, and the rudders maintain efficiency in the most extreme navigation conditions.

As can be seen in the last image, for a heeling angle of 50 degrees, the hull does not bury the bow and the leeward side rudder is fully immersed.

Another aspect we like very much in this design is the good stability, with an area under the positive side of the static stability curve nearly 14 times bigger than under the negative part. For a comparison point, for example, the IMOCA 60 racing rule requires this ratio to be higher or equal to 5.

The angle of vanishing stability is also higher than the average value of the fleet of production cruising sailboats being marketed today.

The initial stability is also quite high, meaning that the Pop Alu 32 will sail with a small angle of heel in most situations.

The internal accommodation space is also a remarkable feature of the design, being comparable to the room found in yachts in the 36 feet size range.

Large water tanks and a main accommodation area with lots of free space.

Bright and cosy interior

On top of these features that make the Pop Alu 32 a comfortable cruising home, another one that is an added bonus to her owners is the possibility to dry the boat on a tide for hull cleaning and even more serious maintenance jobs, as the twin keels will act as a cradle supporting the boat upright.

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32.


Pop 25 - A sailboat designed for the future

Imagine a family who built a twenty-five foot sailboat in their home backyard along two years of pleasant work. When concluding the construction the boat was taken to the club to be launched. After a short, good humoured, speech and toasting Neptune slashing a champagne bottle on the keel, when the crane actually put the boat on her element, it was observed that she floated better than expected, leaving the bow and stern tips far above the water. At this precise moment, the friends invited for the event clapped hands in recognition to the job accomplished.

Horus, the first Pop 25 to be concluded, being taken to the water in La Plata, Argentina. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

Back to their home, the great planning for the so longed first cruise began to take shape. A few weeks after the first sea trial, the time has come for the great day of breaking loose and sail bound for a distant destination. The unique detail in this story was the fact that no fossil fuel was required to fill the tanks. The battery banks charged by solar panels were brimming over electrons. Not to say that it was zero the amount of hydrocarbon fuels on board, a small ethanol filled jerry-can was stored as spare fuel for the alcohol stove.

The good news was the fact that the boat floated better than expected, hardly touching the water. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo, from sailboat Horus, La Plata, Argentina

After a prolonged building process, the first sail-out is unforgettable. When the bows started to form a small moustache propelled by a light breeze, having the arms’ hairs standing on ends, the crew felt the most striking sensation of ecstasy. The little sailboat, as willing to show her virtues, progressed almost without heeling bound for her destination.

The first sailing of a home-built boat is unforgettable. With 8 knots winds the speed on the water was 4 knots. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo, Pop 25 Horus, La Plata, Argentina.

At dusk there was not even a breath of wind. Then it was just pressing a button and the boat silently resumed the former speed, now propelled by the electric auxiliary motor. Once arriving at the destination all that was required to do was to step on another button placed in the fore-deck and the windlass instantly freed the ground tackle assuring a perfect anchorage without the minimum hassle.

Then the boat was no more a means of transportation, becoming a floating home. In spite of being a hot summer night, the temperature inside the cabin remained quite tolerable, thanks to the special thermal insulation of the topsides and superstructure, a trademark of the project. While supper was being prepared, the crew kept chewing the fat snuggled together in the cosy little saloon, large enough to shelter four persons comfortably. Before the meal was served, a portable dining table was fixed in the corridor, allowing the four crewmembers to enjoy the evening in total comfort.

The Pop 25 interior layout is comparable to boats two or three feet longer. A curtain that retrieves vertically separates the heads from the saloon and another one separates the fore-cabin from the heads.

In the late evening everybody went to the cockpit to enjoy a typical summer starry night, the chat been prolonged until the eyelids began to shut down. Then each youngster chose a quarter berth, while the parents had the fore-cabin double berth for themselves. If instead of a family of four, there were three couples aboard, each couple would have a double berth to sleep, since the quarter berths are also double.

After enjoying a happy breakfast the family went for a dive in the calm waters of the anchorage. It was then that the scoop platform proved to be fantastic. Being more than two metres wide, it was large enough for two persons to get ready for diving, sitting there with room to spare. The telescopic boarding ladder was also considered a great success.

When the sea breeze started to blow in the early afternoon the time had come to start the back-home journey With the batteries’ bank partially charged by the solar panels and the boat being tidied for the return trip, to weigh anchor was a matter of pressing a button again, the anchor being stored in a roller installed in the bowsprit port side-wall. Once again profiting from the steady sea breeze, while progressing at good speed under sail, the batteries were being charged by the regenerative function of the electric motor.

The Pop 25 cockpit is jumbo-sized. Six adults find room there to sit without feeling cramped. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo, Pop 25 Horus, La Plata, Argentina.

After the typical intensive usage of something that was so anxiously awaited, soon the boat was requiring bottom upkeep. At any rate the ambient authorities only allow to formulate anti-fowling paints with harmless composition to the health of sea organisms. Then the most special characteristic of the project came into scene, the possibility of putting the boat on dry taking advantage of the tide range, letting the boat to be grounded supported by the bulbs of her twin keels.

To be able to clean the bottom during the ebb tide is a dream come true. Yard fees are becoming prohibitive, never mentioning cost of labour.

This part of the story deals with the happy-ending of a well-succeeded enterprise. There were lots of previous work to qualify for this award. However the defy wasn’t too difficult to be overcome. To build a Pop 25 is very different from building other sailboats for amateur construction, and as is being proved, easier and simpler than most other equivalent do-it-yourself crafts, to start with considering the assistance afforded by a complete building manual.

The construction begins with the fabrication of twelve bulkheads or semi-bulkheads that give shape to the hull, all of them quite simple to be made. This step represents about a fortnight of work, boosting the morale of the least optimistic of builders.

The construction begins with the pre-fabrication of twelve bulkheads at the workbench. Courtesy: Petr Novak, builder of a Pop 25 in the Czech Republic.

The next phase is still more addicting. To assemble the hull, all it is required to do is to sheath the hull with plywood panels, something that can be accomplished at an astonishing pace. At this time the fever to see the hull already completed is almost unbearable.

However the Pop 25 construction reserves a good surprise to their builders. There is a significant difference in the way it is built. The Pop 25 hull topsides and superstructure are double-walled. This building technique makes the boat as rigid as a rock, while providing efficient thermal insulation. People only take notice on how the boat is rigid the day the hull is turned over, when no matter how the hull is supported during the operation it doesn’t distort a single millimetre.

The Pop 25 hull is the dream of the do-it-yourself builder. The topsides are vertical and the bottom panel is flat transversally. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos, Pop 25 Rancho Alegre, being built in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil

Pop 25 double-walled foam insulated topsides. Courtesy: Marcelo Schürhaus

When the hull is turned upside adrenaline is running in the veins at full throttle. After all the builder already owns a hull that floats. Then, if there were any doubts about the success of the challenge, by this time the doubt is dissipated. Building the interior is fascinating. You can plan how do you want the interior to look like; you can customize details to your preferences, and so on. And this phase of the construction is very quick to be accomplished. In a blink the interior is looking like it will be when the boat will be sailing.

Building the interior of the Pop 25 is a quick job. Courtesy: Marcelo Schürhaus, Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil.

The last phase of the construction, building the superstructure and installing fittings and equipments, is when the anxiety take place in the builder’s hearts. That is when some try to find shortcuts, willing to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But by then the success of the enterprise is already warranted.

The superstructure is also double-walled and thermal insulated. Courtesy: Müntaz Karahan, Pop 25 Hayal, being built in Turkey.

The Pop 25 is a recent plan. In a little more than two years since its introduction we already have fifty-one builders in twelve different countries, and Horus, the first boat of the class to sail, proved to be the versatile cruising sailboat we intended to design. We believe this will be a welcome contribution for the democratization of blue water sailing.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Pop 25 building manual

The Pop 25 now has an illustrated building manual written in English. While the first boats of the class were being built, we learned about the doubts our clients were facing during their construction, and concentrated on those topics so not to leave other builders with extra difficulties.

We also discovered that our intention of designing the boat for electric auxiliary propulsion was shared with very few of our clients, most preferring to use a conventional sailboat diesel engine. Since we design for others, and not to please ourselves, we felt the need to produce new sheets dealing with the auxiliary diesel engine installation, so we added three more sheets to the project showing in details the changes required for the installation of the motor in the engine compartment.

The updated list of plans is this:

1 – LINES PLAN
2 – SAIL PLAN
3 – INTERIOR
4 – DECK PLAN
5A – SRUCTURE – SIDE VIEWS
5B – STRUCTURE – DECK AND INTERIOR
5C – STRUCTURE – TOPSIDES
6A – TRANSVERSE SECTIONS #1 AND #2
6B – TRANSVERSE SECTIONS #3 AND #5
6C – TRANSVERSE SECTIONS #5 AND #6
6D – TRANSVERSE SECTIONS #7 AND #8
6E – TRANSVERSE SECTIONS #9, #10 AND 10.7
6F – PLYWOOD CUT-OUTS AT STATIONS
7 – KEELS
8A – RUDDERS
8B – TILLER
8C – RUDDER CONSTRUCTION PANELS
9 – CUSTOM FITTINGS
10 – SLIDING HATCH AND HATCH COVER
11 – STEM, STEM CAP AND BOWSPRIT
12A – DIESEL ENGINE INSTALLATION – DIRECT PROPULSION
12B – DIESEL ENGINE INSTALLATION – SAIL DRIVE
12C – DIESEL ENGINE COMPARTMENT

Those who are already building the Pop 25 and would like to receive these extra plans (12A, 12B and 12C) and the building manual, which didn’t exist up to now, they just need to inform us and we send on-line to their e-mails with no cost.

INDEX

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Tools used in the construction
Chapter 3 – Information about wood, plywood and epoxy
Chapter 4 – Pre-fabrication of the transverse structure
Chapter 5 - Assembling the hull
Chapter 6 – Constructing the interior
Chapter 7 – Building the superstructure
Chapter 8 – Auxiliary propulsion
Chapter 9 – Electrical system
Chapter 10 - Plumbing
Chapter 11 – Building the keels and rudders
Chapter 12 – Finishing, painting and fittings installation
Chapter 13- Appendix
Chapter 1 – Introduction

This building manual was written having in mind affording the possibility of building a low cost and easy to make offshore sailboat capable of performing ocean passages in comfort and safety.

Our challenge when producing this manual had two goals: the first priority was to design a seaworthy craft with accommodations below-decks seldom found in boats of this size; in the second place we wished to offer to the beginner a comprehensive and easy to be followed manual. Since we have large experience with projects for amateur construction and are specialized in designing offshore cruising sailboats, this proposition was a hurdle we were confident that we could overcome.
What came out to be a novelty in our approach was the way we decided to present our work. As the old saying states, a figure is worth a thousand words, and this was exactly what we tried to do.

After producing the virtual assemblage of the project in the computer, we illustrated the whole construction with sketches and rendered images, step by step, resulting in a text that the most inexperienced builder wouldn’t find difficulty in understanding.
Besides this new style of building manual presentation, we also tried to innovate in relation to the building method chosen for the project, bringing new ideas to the boat’s concept more tuned with the present times, like dispensing the use of fossil fuels, not necessarily requiring boatyards for hull maintenance, specifying positive flotation cells along the various compartments of the boat, so to turn it to be unsinkable, and other unique characteristics.

We wanted to design a sailboat with some modern trends, like twin keels, twin rudders, delta shaped beam distribution, sail plan with no backstay, fixed bowsprit and electric auxiliary propulsion, employing a motor with regenerative function, being able of charging its battery banks while propelled by its sails.

This manual has tips for the inexperienced builder that we insist categorically that shouldn’t be neglected, like saturating all parts of the interior surface with epoxy resin, sheathing the outside of the boat and the interior of the tanks with fibreglass, also saturated with epoxy resin, and many other hints like these.

We made this manual with the intention of providing our builders with the most complete set of information so that the finished boat represents a worthwhile investment at the end.

Our first and foremost objective when developing this project was to provide plans for amateur construction of a boat to be used intensively for dozens of years requiring minimum maintenance and providing maximum satisfaction along that time.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25


MC 26C Evrensel - Happy sailing in the Marmara Sea

Our client Ömer Kirkal is sharing a good time with his friends aboard Evrensel, the Multichine 26C he built in his home garden in Istanbul, Turkey. A fortnight ago we published an article telling how pleased he is for having built his boat, illustrating the note with two wonderful photos he sent us showing his boat sailing near the shore in a lovely day. Now he sent us a new demonstration that he is really enjoying his sailing toy. We also complimented him for the background music of the sound track being in tune with the wave pattern, a touch of art in the film edition. The absolute happiness of the six crewmembers at that moment, one of them occupying the companionway seat and the other five comfortably installed under the Bimini that covers the cockpit, also impressed us deeply.

After all this is what sailing is all about, isn’t it so? We published a note in Face Book showing this video, and, soon after, Rui Jorge, the owner of Xango, another MC 26C built in Rio de Janeiro, equally an amateur construction, commented that he was sailing bound for Ilha Grande with his family, a lush and green paradise sixty miles west of Rio, when a fierce forty knots storm caused by a cold front hit the boat mercilessly. He told that the MC 26C reached the speed of 9.8 knots with jib and reefed mainsail effortlessly, standing upright undisturbed by those harsh conditions.

Xango is a MC26C built in Rio de Janeiro by Rui Jorge, an amateur who had never built a boat before. The excellence of the construction surprises everyone who visits his boat.

It is now, with more boats of the class being completed, that the MC26 class is becoming better known. With such enthusiastic debut, we hope soon the plans will become one of our blockbusters.

Click here to learn more about the Multichine 26C


Pop Star 21 building in progress

It is already well advanced the building of hull number 1 of our new design Pop Star 21

This first unit is being built by our client and friend Walter Baitella, from Córdoba, Argentina, who was also the first client for the Pop Alu 32 design.

Walter is an accomplished architect specialized in the construction of luxury resorts and his last project, named Hotel de Piedra Los Molinos, is located on a lake where a fleet of Pop Star 21 will be providing the guests the possibility of exhilarating high speed sails aboard this new design of modern conception.

Hotel de Piedra Los Molinos, in Córdoba, Argentina (www.hoteldepiedralosmolinos.com)

The Pop Star 21 was designed for aluminum construction with state of the art CAD 3D modeling and offers CNC cutting files for the whole boat.

With its retractable keel and rudders the boat is well adapted to sailing in lakes, dams and rivers with shallow spots and can be easily trailered to and from home, eliminating storage costs or berthing needs. Coastal cruising and protected bays are also made safe by the sealed cockpit and deck construction, which assures flotation even in swamped conditions.

The aluminum construction ensures sturdiness and easy maintenance and should provide for high adrenaline sailing in strong winds without too many risks of breakage, or good speed in slight breezes due to the generous sail plan.

A more moderate and economical sail plan for relaxed sailing is also provided without the square top mainsail shown above.

We are pleased to be seeing the birth of this new class in Argentina with great possibilities for competitive sailing and also for relaxed trips and nautical camping, and with units of the design already sold to other countries we expect the same to happen elsewhere.

The oficial launch of the design will be done as soon as all descriptive material for the web pages is ready since the design work is all concluded, including the cutting files.


Multichine 26C Evrensel

Now it is the turn of the MC26C class to show its face. Every so often we receive e-mails from our builders praising the characteristics of the project. This time it came from our client Ömer Kircall, from Istanbul, Turkey, who built Evrensel (means universe in Turkish, even though she would more appropriately be called Miss Universe). We followed the construction of the boat in his home yard with the assistance of his wife, thanks to a gallery of photos he sent us. We even reproduced a series of three videos produced by the local TV network in a popular nautical program called Nereide, a sight for sore eyes, even without understanding what have been said.

Evrensel sailing in the Marmara Sea. Ömer is very pleased with the behaviour of his boat when sailing in heavy winds. Courtesy: Ömer Kirkall.

The e-mail Ömer sent us is very nice. He highlighted the strong points of the project comparing to other designs for amateur construction of other boats of about the same size:

Hi Luis,

First of all I would like to thank you very much for bringing this project into existence.
I had the opportunity to examine many plans from many designers by this time. Comparing to others, I think that MC26C's plan is quite important for us amateurs, through the building process, since it is a more detailed plan.
Again having a very strong body structure, among the plans at this length, was one of the important aspects for me to prefer this project.

I would like to point out that I have made two changes, building MC26C. One, I enlarged the entrance to cabin 5-6 cm in bow direction (however I still bump my head). The other, I moved the fuel tank to stern locker (I have used a polyethylene tank), added its place in project to head, gained a bigger and more comfortable area.
One more adding, my engine is 27Hp Daihatsu.

When it comes to sailing comfort, I use the boat mainly for daily trips. During my annual leave I was able to sail 200-300 NM in ten days period on the Sea of Marmara (4 adults).

I keep my boat on Marmara Sea and it is an internal sea. One side touches to Black Sea, the other to Aegean with narrow passages (Bosphorus and Canakkale, respectively). Depending on weather and sea conditions you can expect currents up to 4 knots. When the weather is hard, maybe not very high, but very steep waves might occur. While it's blowing 30-35 knots, I could sail safely with closed jib and mainsail in second reef. In these conditions MC26C performs quite good, and makes you feel safe, considering its length.

In regular sea and weather conditions, under engine power I can reach 5,5-6,2 Nm sail speed, rev. 2000-2200. Under sail, with 10-15 knots wind I have app. 5-5,7 Nm sail speed. The boat very rarely broaches in gusts. This happens mainly when I insist on not reefing and keep sailing in harsh conditions that require reefing actually. 

In rough seas, even though I move bow into waves with engine drive, very little spray reaches into the cockpit and the boat keeps me dry. Under sail she accommodates into the waves beautifully and obeys the rudder movement very well.
The position and size of the cuisine is marvellous, and enormous. She is a few times bigger and with more lockers than other boats in her size.

I have 80 metres long, 6 mm sized chain. While topping up the anchor sometimes the chain pulls. Chain compartment is a little small for 80 metres of chain. 

These are all I can think of...
Thanks to you I have owned a very enjoyable boat while building and sailing.
Best regards.

Selam, Sevgi, Saygi... :) (hi, love, respect – “Google translator”)

Ömer Kirkall

His words massaged our ego. Telling that he found the plans super-detailed and clear to be understood by inexperienced amateurs is what pleased us most to hear. And thanking us for having an enjoyable boat to build and to sail justifies our effort to do the best we can. The world is becoming more crowded every day, while the sea and the secluded places you can reach by boat are where there still is a feeling of freedom aboard this crazy planet. Our builders trusting the boat they make with their own hands is our aim. So, it’s our turn to thank Ömer for recognizing this.

The MC26C interior is amazingly spacious for its size. Its 1.85m headroom, two double berths, one of them in a private cabin, a huge galley and a heads with shower facility is all one may wish for living aboard, or travelling offshore.

Meanwhile, other MC 26C are in their late stages of construction, or beginning their sailing careers. We will keep reporting the progresses of the class regularly in our news section.

Evrensel is a boat built with the utmost competence, and is fit to sail bound for anywhere. Courtesy: Ömer Kirkall

Click here to learn more about the Multichine 26C


Multichine 28 Bagual

The Saco da Ribeira Bay, in Ubatuba, northern shore of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, is an amateur construction hub of offshore cruising sailboats in the country. Being a region of rare beauty, where mountains covered in rain forest and seas of pristine waters touch each other, and being one of the most perfect cruising grounds to be found anywhere in the world, it is no surprise that so many cruising sailors choose this place to build the boats of their dreams.

The availability of locations where an offshore cruising sailboat can be built, and an adequate infrastructure to support the less experienced ones, resulted in a centre of amateur construction, perhaps unrivalled anywhere else in the country. This growth brought a group of skilled technicians to the area, giving support to the builders, which in part explains the excellence of the standards of most boats built there.

Our friend Claudio Bortolato is one of those experts, and it was him who reported the latest launchings of MC28 sailboats in the region. A few days ago he informed us about the launching of two new boats of the class: Fabio Fabris Fabris yellow painted Bagual and the exquisitely finished De Capitani.

First steps in the water. This is a great day in the life of an amateur builder. Courtesy: Claudio Bortolato

Mr. Telesmar Lira is the local rigger who installed Bagual’s mast. Courtesy: Claudio Bortolato

Mr. Lira finishing the installation of Bagual’s spars. Courtesy: Claudio Bortolato

We from B & G Yacht Design have reasons to be proud about this boom of amateur construction, since perhaps the majority of boats being built there by amateurs are from our office’s designs, the MC28 class being particularly successful among them. Only in the last few months three excellent MC28 were launched in Ubatuba: Marimbondo, Bagual and De Capitani. Together with some other older ones, the Saco da Ribeira is the place where there are more boats of the class sharing the same anchorage.

De Capitani is the latest MC28 to be launched. It is amazing the gloss of the topside paintwork. Courtesy: Claudio Bortolato

De Capitani is almost ready to start its cruising destiny. It will be great if Bagual and De Capitani go for a joint cruise together one of these days. Courtesy: Claudio Bortolato

***

Click here to learn more about the Multichine 28


Multichine 28 - Two boats, two purposes

What sailors most praise when being onboard an offshore cruising sailboat is to feel like being ashore, as if profiting from the cosiness of their homes. To produce a project of a boat with this characteristic is a great challenge for any yacht designer. The equation to obtain this goal is quite complex. The larger boats are more comfortable internally, but on the other hand they are more difficult to be manoeuvred. The boats too small are exactly the opposite. The MC28 is our stock plan that perhaps is the best compromise between these two worlds. Since we from B & G Yacht Design built together with Roberto Ceppas, a friend of ours, two boats of the class, and then I lived aboard in the company of my wife Eileen for two and a half years, sailing six thousand miles in offshore passages on the boat belonging to us, we feel like having the authority to stand that the MC28 is this boat: a super-dwelling of the seas, be it in the open, or in port.

That the MC28 is suited for living aboard and is fantastic for cruising offshore, about this we have the experience to ascertain. However that she can be exciting in club racing, if competing with production series similar boats, this is still to be proven. This article tells two different stories covering the amateur construction of two MC28, one of them intended for offshore cruising and the other for cooler-box style club racing, the first one being already sailing, while the other is getting close to do so.

The MC 28 interior layout is as complete for living aboard in comfort as a boat of this length can be. There is perfect balance among compartments to provide the same feeling of well being throughout the interior.

The example of uncompromised cruising commitment is the MC28 Vagamundo (means globetrotter in Portuguese). This MC28 was built by Ricardo Costa Campos, a deep water diver, in Vitória, a city placed about 280nm north of Rio de Janeiro. Being an amateur in boat building, but also being absolutely engaged with high standards of workmanship, he built his boat as if having extensive knowledge about the subject. Perhaps the prolonged stretches he had to be submitted to accomplish the hyperbaric decompression required at each dive had been dedicated in studying yacht building. The result was simply stunning. Vagamundo is one of the most well built sailboats from our design, comparing to the best professional built yachts of her class.

The cruising rig ensures excellent stability and easy manoeuvrability

The important turn in Ricardo’s life was his decision to abandon his profession when the boat was launched, and to dedicate his time to the charter business and to teach sailing. His move was so radical that he became permanent dweller aboard Vagamundo. In this mean time he got married and had a son, little Joao, a fish onboard, the happiest child one can find, and the family is doing a roaring trade with the new business, making friendships for life with his charterers at each new commission. Ricardo has a page in Face Book: Veleiro Vagamundo. Besides chartering, he is also running a very popular sailing school. His working area complies a large stretch of the Brazilian coast, extending from Vitória to Parati, in the western side of the State of Rio de Janeiro, some 400nm apart, which Vagamundo criss-crosses regularly in great style.

Ricardo’s son using the navigation table as playground is match for my grandchild Juliana being bathed in the MC 28 Fiu’s galley sink. Children seem to feel good in MC28 interiors. Courtesy: Ricardo Costa Campos

Our granddaughter Juliana being bathed in Fiu’s galley sink. For toddlers and babies the MC28 must resemble a cruise-ship.

Full-canvassed Vagamundo coming out of the mist. One of the best features of the boat for cruising in comfort is its excellent stability. Courtesy: Ricardo Costa Campos.

Vagamundo is unequivocally suited for ocean cruising. The dodger being connected to a bimini that ends just next to the solar panel gantry is the ultimate arrangement for crew comfort. Courtesy: Ricardo Campos

***

The other MC28 story reported in this article is taking place in Tacoma, State of Washington, USA. Our client, Dave Cross, while being familiar with amateur boat building, he is also a keen local racer. Not being particularly interested in offshore passages, he asked us about the possibility of having a more performance oriented version of the project. We couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity, and collaborated with him with great enthusiasm to develop the club-racing version of the project.

The performance oriented rig is ideal for the Pudget Sound area, where light winds prevail. We hope Dave wins the share of club-races he deserves. His effort in building a lighter and faster boat was flawless.

We designed a taller rig with considerably more sail area and also redefined the fin keel, now in cast lead, with different foil, weight, depth and aspect ratio. Dave made his part with maximum commitment and now it remains to be seen the result of such effort. The West Coast, (or it would be the Wet Coast?) is a region of prevailing light winds, so everything contributes for a successful result. Now we are confident we don’t need to wait for too long to learn about how well the rabbit of the MC28 family will perform.

The varnished teak-and-holly floorboards are a show apart. The boat will be fantastic when finished. Courtesy: Dave Cross

The MC28 is an almost round-bilge hull. Dave did not build the transom platform, which made sense in providing a racier style to the boat. Instead he prolonged the hull’s lines a little, improving the floatation aft, a smart measure to improve performance. Courtesy: Dave Cross

The aft cabin suffered no major alterations. Its double berth is as comfortable as any aft cabin berth can be. The profusion of lockers is also trade mark of the project. Courtesy: Dave Cross

The boat’s saloon in Dave’s version is suited for chewing the fat sipping an ice-cold, either to toast a win, or to blame a rotten tack during the race. Courtesy: Dave Cross

***

NJust in time: one more MC28 had been launched. This time the boat in question is De Capitani, built in Ubatuba, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The class is constantly surprising us with beautiful boats built from the plans.

De Capitani is the newest MC28 to be launched. It is remarkable the stunning finishing of the construction.

Click here to learn more about the Multichine 28.


Kiribati 36 featured in postal stamp issued by the Republic of Kiribati

Recently we were contacted by Mr. Hugh Bennet asking for permission to use the design name and images of our Kiribati 36 design in a postal stamp issued by the Republic of Kiribati.

The stamp was officially released on the 5th of October 2013.

Mr. Bennet asked us about our motivations in naming the design after the country, and we explained that the wonderful experiences we had when visiting the country aboard our first Green Nomad had left deep marks in our minds and hearts.

We spent nearly a year cruising the Gilbert Islands group of Kiribati, a country that comprises also another Island groups, the Line Islands and the Phoenix Islands.

The country is mostly constituted of coral atolls, with protected lagoons displaying the most beautiful imaginable colors.

Anchorage in Tarawa

The capital, Tarawa, has a population of around 20 thousand people and a busy traffic running on its only road, which follows the narrow coral strip around the atoll.

Public Market street in Tarawa

The taxis are small vans which have their sound systems at full blast always, and an unforgettable experience is to fly at 100 Kilometers per hour above the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean when crossing a bridge between two islands.

Kiribati Blues

But the really interesting experience was to share the day to day life with families we met in the outlying atolls like Abaiang, Abemama and Butaritari. There we experienced the true Kiribati way of life, and even had a small boy named after us, using our combined names to form Luimar.

A Kiribatese family, Butaritari Atoll

The people of Kiribati for the most part still live in the sustainable way learned from their forefathers, and to be able to share some time with them was a great learning opportunity.

Outrigger canoes and friends from Kuma village, Butaritari

Typical Kiribati house

This happy news about the stamp only came to reinforce our already steadfast will to sail back to those magical islands, this time on a boat which was built to the design that bears their name.

Kiribati 36 Green Nomad in Camamu, Brazil

Click here to learn more about the Kiribati 36


Green Nomad sails North up the Brazilian Coast

After nearly 2 years spent in the Paraty and Angra dos Reis region of Southeast Brazil, we decided that this year I would not go to Antarctica to participate in ocean conservation activities with Sea Shepherd and that the time had come for us to move on with our Kiribati 36 Green Nomad.

After some weeks in Ilha Grande, we took advantage of a small cold front and made our way to Buzios, 150 nautical miles distant. There we had to wait for some time with strong Northeasterly winds of nearly 30 knots blocking our way North.

Green Nomad in Buzios

We decided to negotiate the difficult Cape of São Tomé in near calm conditions under engine well offshore, and we already knew that after that we would have some 20 hours of head winds, during which time we tacked inshore and nearly reached the coast close to the town of Vitória.

But then the also expected SSW winds came with a new cold front and heavy weather, lightning and rain, but with that we had favorable winds all the way to a bay called Camamu, in Bahia state. This second trip was roughly 700 nautical miles in length.

We are now anchored in a very secluded spot, between 2 islands named Campinho and Goió, lined by mangroves and coconut palm beaches.

Bay of Camamu

This trip came to prove that the boat is very well balanced, even in moderate to heavy following seas, with the twin rudders controlling the boat without difficulty down some quite step stern quarter waves. The autopilot also worked very well and we did not have to worry about steering. This and the well sized dog house with a rear enclosure made for a quite comfortable trip.

The sea berths with lee cloths are also very well positioned, with a good space between them and the hull that serves to dampen the sound of the waves and make a quiet ambience for sleeping off watch.

Having chosen a well offshore route, our company was made mostly of cetaceans, dolphins and humpback whales alike.

A good change this trip was that Marli started using a new seasickness medicine, Bonine, and with it she could function normally, cooking and even baking awsome wholemeal rye bread. In previous trips it took much longer for her to attain this comfortable state.

High Seas Bakery

Green Nomad´s Rye Bread

We intend to keep going, but the pace will be dictated by the places we visit. If we like it we stay!
We met several other sailors from overseas, and most of them complained that they only had 3 or 6 months visas, and with that they could not spend a fraction of the time they really wanted to explore this coast. We even kept an SSB radio schedule with our friends from the Yacht Muneera, from Melbourne, Australia.

Here in Camamu we found that quiet life pace that we seek, with very nice and authentic people on the villages. In order to send this article we had to take our dinghy to the edge of a mangrove, from where we could get a sight of Camamu town and access the cellular network, emailing the files to Roberto Barros and Luis Gouveia.

Internet only in the mangroves!

Normally we use our SSB radio with a Pactor III modem and a sailmail membership, but to send these pictures that would not do. But for daily communications and weather information the system is all we need and we are very happy with it.

Soon we intend to edit a video with the highlights of the trip.

We will keep sending updates from the hidden corners of the world!

Click here to learn more about the Kiribati 36


Kiribati 36 Green Nomad is in its way to the Caribbean

It’s being clear sailing. Green Nomad, the Kiribati 36 built by our partner Luis Manuel Pinho and his wife Marli Werner in Porto Alegre, South Brazil is already in the northeast of the country, sailing far from shore, bound for Camamu, a popular tropical paradise among the international cruising community. The couple left Porto Alegre a couple of years ago, and after expending two seasons in the region of Ilha Grande, the South American equivalent to the South Seas Islands for its lush and green scenery, now are leaving behind the calm life they spent there for more exciting new times in the Caribbean and beyond...

The swing keel Kiribati 36 is the sailboat designed for being an easy rider, come hell or high water.

The September, 25 we received an e-mail sent by means of the HF SSB modem informing Green Nomad’s position:

“At 15:45 local time we are sailing at 35NM southeast of the Abrolhos Archipelago. We spent a good time of the afternoon watching whales playing around the boat. Next call will be Camamu”

Our mates took full advantage of a cold front which helped them to reach the NE of Brazil, departing from Buzios, the last port of call.

The September 27 the news was better yet:

Hello there...

Now, the September, 7 at 15:00 we are 70 miles offshore Porto Seguro, sailing in a dead run in 12 knots ESE winds, keeping 4.5/5.5 knots speed, since not having a whisker pole yet, we can’t balance the boat more adequately obliging to reduce the mainsail more than the necessary. It’s missing 190 miles to reach Camamu. Everything is ok on board. Easy sailing this night, since we are sufficiently offshore to avoid fishing trawlers.
A big hug for you all.

Luis and Marli

The Kiribati 36 is a boat for any kind of weather, besides having variable draught. Luis and Marli, after spending ten years sailing in the Pacific aboard their former fixed keel cruising sailboat, they opted for a swing keel yacht which would allow them reaching the best havens when threatened by a hurricane during the cyclone season. Luis became partner of our yacht design office and he was the Kiribati 36 project manager, perhaps one of his greatest contributions in our partnership up to now, this boat being the life dream of many potential cruising sailors.

Marli and Luis are living aboard for more then three years by now.

We Will keep reporting the Voyage of the Green Nomad until they settle down somewhere closer to the Office in Australia, since they will never give up theyr gipsy way of being and intend to keep working on-line from board, as they are doing since they set shop aboard Green Nomad. You can also follow their voyage and know about their other adventures entering their blog with link from our home page, top left corner.

Click here to learn more about the Kiribati 36

MC 26C Furabolo

In September 2013 another boat of the MC 26C class was launched. The boat in question is Furabolo (means pricking the cake in Portuguese). The inauguration took place at the City of Vitoria, Espirito Santo, in the east of Brazil. The boat was very well built by her owner, Hilton Monteiro, an amateur who found no difficulty in constructing it.

Furabolo arrival at the launching yard. Courtesy: Hilton Monteiro

Moment of truth: the crane lifts the boat for taking it from the lorry into the sea. Hilton was a bit over-cautious when defining the boot-line height. Courtesy: Hilton Monteiro

The champagne was spared for being toasted in honour to Neptune. Courtesy: Hilton Monteiro

Furabolo already floating on its element. A great day for an amateur builder. Courtesy: Hilton Monteiro.

This design is surprising everyone for its internal layout. It is hard to understand how a twenty-six foot sailboat can be so comfortable for its size. In the words of Furabolo’s builder, the MC 26C is the most pretentious twenty-six foot sailboat he knows. Now that the class is becoming to show its face in different places, people are beginning to discover this. Each boat being launched becomes source of wonder among the local sailors.

Why going for a larger boat if the MC 26C can give all you need? That’s what MC 26C owners are discovering in different places where there is already one of them sailing.

Xango is a MC 26C built by an amateur. The construction took place in a hub of amateur construction in the city of Rio de Janeiro, where most of the models being built there are from our yacht design office. Photo: Roberto Barros

Evrensel (Universal in Turkish), built in Istanbul by Ömer Kirkal, was the first MC 26C to get finished. The boat is extremely well finished and his owner is very proud of her performance. Courtesy: Ömer Kirkal

Click here to know more about the MC 26C


Pop 25 - Horus is the first boat of the class to be finished

Now it’s for real. We received an e-mail from our Argetinean friend Daniel D’Angelo, from City Bell, Buenos Aires, telling us that the Pop 25 Horus he is bulding with the assistance of his partner Alejandro is nearly completed and is scheduled to be sailing during the first days of October. It’s only missing to install keels and rudders which are already made, awaiting the arrival of the boat at the club to be installed, using the club’s crane for that. Daniel is going to be the first person to conclude the first unit of one of our designs for the second time. The first occasion was when he launched the Samoa 28 Sirius, a few monthes before the second boat of the class went into the water. This time, however, it is a tighter race, other boats being in Horus wake, as is the case of Solaris, being built in Rio de Janeiro, Rancho Alegre, being made by Francisco Aydos, from Porto Alegre, Brazil, Konquest, a joint construction by the brothers Marcelo and Vandeli Schurhaus, under construction in Santa Catarina, Brazil and Hayal, being built in Turkey.

Horus was in this state of construction in August 2013. By now she must be practically concluded, ready to be launched. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo.

The day Horus will go for its first sail will be a landmark for us. The reason for that resides in the fact that the Pop 25 was designed having in mind opening the doors for the less well off to have a truly offshore cruising sailboat, capable of enterprising any sort of cruising in safety and comfort. The design intention of contemplating a simplified construction of an unsinkable boat with efficient thermal insulation is reason for optimism from our part, that of affording the freedom that only the endless sea can provide. You can follow Horus construction accessing its blog which is joined to Daniel’s previous constructions blogs: www.velerosirius.com.ar, or clicking in Pop 25 Horus in our page of links, left column.

Since other constructions will not take long to be finished, we hope soon the class will be firmly established. What’s cool among our clients is the great enthusiasm in building their boats. From October on we will know how far we have attained the features we intended to provide the boat with: an offshore cruising sailboat within the scope of the amateur builder capable of democratizing the sport of cruising under sail.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25.


Inside a Pop Alu 32

Just recently my wife Marli visited Ilha Sul Construções Náuticas boatyard in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, and had the opportunity to see personally the first hull built to the new Pop Alu 32 design.

Modern lines and the potential of speed and strength combined

On top of confirming the notions we had that the design is very pleasant to the eye and of the usual superb workmanship of this boatyard, she was able to go inside and be awed by the incredible amount of internal volume.

The builder, Jairo Oliveira and his wife Claudia

As she lives aboard a Kiribati 36, the comparison was a very meaningful one. The 36 of course has more storage and payload capability, but the living space is very good on the 32.

Images will show more than 1000 words, so we show several in this article.

Marli inside de the Pop Alu 32

Room to spare and a well ventilated and bright interior

Another feature that she remarked was the impressive strength conveyed by the hull and structure, with its 8mm plate and well positioned reinforcements. The boat is designed to rest on the twin bulb keels, offering the possibility of easy beaching for maintenance on a low tide.

Very strong bottom panels

The details, sturdiness and cleanliness of the work are all impressive.

The large stern platform and the easy access to the rudders

We believe that the lucky buyer of this hull will achieve in record time a fast and strong cruising boat, as in addition to having a CNC cutting kit for the aluminum structure, this design also offers the builder a cutting file set for the interior furniture plywood sheets.

Using these pre-cut parts the interior should come together very fast and at great cost savings.

The pre-cut plywood parts kit for the interior

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32


A Charter in Phuket

By the time we were finishing the work in South Korea and were preparing our return to Australia we thought we deserved a holiday to recharge batteries after two years of hard work building the drill-ships. We thought we could not leave Asia without visiting Thailand, so we decided to visit Phuket, but also that part of the time would be spent on board a sailboat. We contacted a charter company and booked a boat for one week, the story of this trip we tell below:

Day one:

We arrived in the Yacht Heaven Marina at 11:00 am were the charter company agents were awaiting us. We left our belongings and the shopping bags onboard and went back to the office to fill the forms. There we received information about the best places to visit, where the anchorages were good to spend the night and the weather forecast for the next week. We would probably have good weather with 15 to 20 knots winds during the first 3 or 4 days and lots of rain and 20 to 25 knots gusty winds for the rest of our stay. We decided to visit first the south part of the bay which is more open to sea and wind, and leave the more protected northern part for the last days.

We set our first stop to the Ko Yau Yai Island, the largest in the bay and approximately 18 miles away from the Marina. More or less in the middle of the west side of the Ko Yau Yai there is a resort where we could use the swimming pool and have our meals in the restaurant instead of cooking on board.

After finishing with the papers we went to the boat to receive the instructions about the boat’s systems and equipments. Our boat was a 36 foot yacht with 3 cabins and one heads. We left at 2:30 pm. The space between piers was so tight that it was necessary to call the Marina's rescue boat to tow the boat by the bow and put it in the right direction to avoid collision. There is a big sand bank at the entrance of the Marina with an old sailboat left stranded in the middle, not a good sight for those who are leaving for a week on board. To avoid the sandbank it is necessary to turn 90 degrees as soon as the last pier is left behind and have a close shave from the luxury yachts moored outside the pier.

Motoring to leave the Yacht Heaven Marina.

We kept motoring for about 30 minutes until reaching the channel entrance, when we raised sails for a good downwind afternoon sailing. We arrived in Ko Yau Yai in the evening but the crew were too tired to go ashore, so we had a quick meal on board and went to bed.

Enjoyng the sailing to Kho Yau Yai.


Arriving at Ko Yau Yai.

 

 

Day two:

The wind blew all night until almost dawn, the boat jerking a lot, but the anchor held well. We woke up early, had a quick breakfast and got ready to leave. When we were about to raise the anchor a small fishing boat came close and offered us the catch of that early morning, some fish and four tiger prawns. Our lunch was guaranteed.

We left Ko Yau Yai to Phi Phi. We motored for one and a half hour in very light winds until we saw a small island in our way. We checked the pilot book and found it was Koh Khai Nai Island, and that the anchorage was ok in good weather, and since the wind had not showed up yet, we decided to stopover there. When getting closer we noticed that quite a few power boats were anchored in the surroundings and that there were some huts ashore, the island not being so empty as we were thinking, but decided to stop there anyway. Later we would discover that it was a popular place used as a tourist boats stopover, taking hundreds of visitors there daily. We went for a stroll on the beach, drank some coconut water, and went back to the boat to resume the trip.

Kho Khai Nai looked as an empty place from the distance...

… but when we arrived we saw that the place was a busy tourist spot.

When reaching the south tip of Kho Yau Yai we changed course to south-east, pointing towards Phi Phi. The wind started blowing and soon we were sailing in a fifteen knots broad reach with some dark clouds approaching. In short time the wind increased to twenty knots with twenty-five knots gusts, and then came heavy rain. It lasted for half an hour, the wind resuming to fifteen knots again.

Heading to Phi Phi.

Phi Phi actually is a group of islands, the main island being Phi Phi Don where there is a village with hotels for the tourists. We arrived late in the afternoon still with enough sunlight to find a good place to drop the hook. The anchorage point is close to the channel where traffic is intense for most of the time with crafts coming to and fro.
After having a shower we put the dinghy in the water and went to visit the town, where we would dine.

Looking for a place to drop the anchor.

Day Three:

We left the boat in the anchorage and bought a day trip to Phi Phi Lay. This is a beautiful island with many secluded bays and lagoons, pristine waters crowded with colourful fish, a perfect place for snorkelling.

Loh Samah Bay at Phi Phi Lay.

Pileh Cove at Phi Phi Lay.

Maya Bay at Phi Phi Lay.

We landed late in the afternoon but still in time to have a walk across the main island and to visit the bay on the other side. After having dinner, we took the dinghy and went back to the boat.

Back to Phi Phi in time for a stroll to the other side of the island.

Day Four:

We left Phi Phi early in the e morning. Our destination for that day was the Koh Doeng Islands, near Krabi, but with a stopover at Koh Yung, or Bamboo Island. We read in the pilot book that there was a restaurant in the island and that it was a good spot for snorkelling.

Bamboo Island is a national park and to disembark there is necessary to pay 200 Brath per person (about AU$7.00), however the park official charged 500 Brath for the family. The restaurant there is very simple and only served fried rice, but the snorkelling on the corals not far from a white sand beach was worth the stop.

The white sand beach and the snorkelling in the corals were worth the stop at Bamboo Island.

We returned to the boat after lunch to resume the trip, leaving for Krabi, the next call. We sailed most the afternoon in perfect conditions, 10 to 15 knots broad reach, but we knew that the weather forecast was not promising, a cold front approaching and heavy clouds coming ahead. Our plan was to anchor for the night at Koh Doeng, but when we were approaching the island a thunderstorm brought 30 knots winds. We realized that the anchorage near the islands would not be safe in that condition, so we decided to go further, to Ao Nang beach on the continent, a haven that offered better shelter.

Our plan was to stop at the Koh Doeng, but there we would not have a good shelter in nasty weather.

We were not the only ones searching shelter at Ao Nang.

Day Five:

The storms kept coming and going during all night and although the anchorage was protected from the wind, the waves were catching us by the side and we rolled all night. We waited for a break between two rains to put the dinghy in the water to visit the village. There are many resorts crowded with tourists in that region, people that go there looking for an "empty and calm" secluded place to relax.

The village at the Ao Nang beach.

Relaxing time before continuing the trip.

Despite being in the continent, the roads to Ao Nang are very bad and the best way for the tourist to arrive and leave is by sea on small local fishing boats that come close to the beach until getting stuck in the mud. At low tide people had to walk about 50 metres on the mud carrying their luggage on their backs to get on and off the boats. We arrived in high tide, so we motored the dinghy up to the beach, but nevertheless we had to carry it stepping in the mud until we went into the water to go back to the boat.

Tourists boarding the boats to leave Ao Nang.

We left just after lunch. Our plan was to sail about eighteen miles towards the east side of Koh Yau Noi and stop close to another resort that also welcomes boaters to use the pool and the restaurant. As soon we left the area protected from the wind we realized that it would not be an easy task sailing against waves, current and the strong winds that still prevailed. The storms kept coming periodically, bringing stronger winds and heavy showers, lasting between 30 minutes to one hour, and to get things worse we discovered that the engine's cooling water was not circulating properly, and every time we put more than 1200 RPM the alarm beeped.

Leaving Ao Nang behind.

We would like to cross through a group of island called Koh Hong Krabi but on those conditions and not having confidence on the engine we decided to leave the islands by the side. By 6:00 pm the normal wind dropped completely leaving only the occasional storms, and we were only half way from our waypoint. We turned the engine on at low RPM and continued going, doing one to two knots on the GPS. We arrived late at the resort bay, gave up the swimming pool and restaurant dreams and went straight to bed.

Some islands of the Koh Hong Krabi archipelago.

Day Six:

We woke up early to try to unblock the cooling water intake. The current was strong, more than one knot, and I had to be tied to the boat with a rope to not be carried away. I couldn't fix the problem, so we decided to leave the place since we would have a long way to go that day.

We left with no wind against the current doing 1.5 knots with crippled engine. By the middle of the morning came a light breeze that didn't changed our speed, but at least allowed us to turn the engine off and start sailing. By lunch time we were at the northern tip of Koh Yau Noi, when the wind changed direction and increased in intensity. We would have more wind again but this time the current were helping us. We sailed on these conditions for two hours until dark heavy clouds started coming over us and the wind got stronger. Our plan was to visit Khao Phing Kan island, better known as James Bond Island because it was a scenery for one of the 007 movies. Being famous and easily accessible by the tourist boats, the island is crowded during the day. We would rather just pass by, take some photos and go to any other island nearby, probably as beautiful as Khao Phing Kan but less popular.

By mid-afternoon the thunderstorms came back bringing 25-30 knots winds and heavy rain that lasted about half an hour, only to begin a few minutes later. We gave up James Bond Island and set our heading to Koh Hong. This area receives lots of sediments that came from many rivers, the draught decreasing suddenly from six meters to two meters, while the tide current might be over 3 knots. We were sailing again against a strong ebbing tide and the wind on the nose. In one tack we were doing two knots on the GPS, but on the other tack the current took the boat drifted sideways and we sailed backwards at the same two knots.

We spent most of the sixtieth day fighting against thunderstorms and tides.

After sunset the thunderstorms got worse, or they seemed so in the dark. We were twelve miles from the Marina and five from the place we intended to stop. The next day we had to return the boat at noon, so we decided to turn on the crippled engine and settled our waypoint direct to the marina, this way we could at least sail in the lee of the island and avoid the stronger currents. Motoring at 1.5 to 2 knots, we entered the canal that leads to the Marina at 10 pm, arriving there after 1:00 am. We anchored outside the marina since at that time we would have no assistance to manoeuvre between the piers and to park the boat on the finger.

Day Seven:

We woke up late and had a relaxed breakfast talking and remembering the past week experiences. About 10am we called the marina service by the VHF to inform that we were coming in and asking for the support of the marina boat to guide us between the sand banks. Again we passed very close to a mega-yacht moored outside the pier and had a sharp 90 degrees turn to enter the marina. We caught our things and left the boat, still in time to eat a delicious pad thai in a local restaurant nearby before going to the hotel where we would stay for the next few days.

This was our first experience chartering a boat and we really enjoyed it. It is an interesting option to someone who doesn’t have time to do a long cruising but want to visit different places during a short holiday, but it is definitely not the same as cruising in your own boat. It is more like as staying in a hotel, it is good for a short time but you do not feel as comfortable as in your own house.

About the boat, it was just right fo


r a short cruising in protected waters, for gunk-holing during the day and anchoring for the night. The interior space is compromised by the three cabin layout and the option for having more comfort in the external areas. The galley and heads are tighter than in some smaller cruising boats like the Multichine 28, and our personal clothes and food for one week filled all lockers and shelves. We only sailed in relatively protected waters with no significant waves and maximum wind around 30 knots, and on those conditions she performed well, but if I went for a long offshore passage I would definitely feel safer and happier if I was onboard a Samoa 34, Samoa 36, Multichine 36 or Kiribati 36.

Pop 25 - The shortcut in obtaining a cruising sailboat

There is nothing more frustrating than having a dream that can’t be achieved. Cruising under sail is an activity that can bring endless pleasure, however it might be a distant dream for many.

Owning a proper offshore cruising sailboat is not an easy endeavour for those with a short budget. Working in yacht design teaches us that heaps of cruising lovers of all ages just dream with owning a proper cruising sailboat, having no idea on how to make their dream come true.

Since we love cruising as much as we love designing, it is fantastic trying to democratize cruising under sail. The shortcut we can conceive is designing for amateur construction. It was with this idea in mind that we designed the Pop 25, a cheap, easy to build project, specified with a unique building technique that allows seeing the result of the work in very short time.

Our purpose was to design a twenty-five footer fit for ocean passages. However some sort of compromise had to be achieved, since there is no miracle. Being small means being cheap and simpler to make. It is like owing a compact car. You haven’t much room to spare, but you are free to go anywhere. The tricks we had to overcome to provide the proper craft for the job was to ensure seaworthiness, acceptable headroom in the saloon, above average fresh water tank capacity, excellent sleeping accommodation, natural ventilation and adequate thermal insulation. Add to these features auxiliary electric propulsion and the ability to accomplish hull maintenance for free in any place where tide range surpasses 1.10m, and we had reasons to believe we had achieved our goal.

Being able to accomplish hull under-body maintenance without having to pay for that is priceless. If this boat is capable of crossing oceans in safety and comfort, besides being cheap and easy to build, then it may represent a benchmark in cruising sailboat design.

Our message was captured by many cruising enthusiasts in different countries. The Pop 25 class is becoming the present blockbuster stock plan of the office. No matter where you are from, the appeal of the design for its offshore capability at an affordable cost is there to bewitch you. Why going nowhere if you can go wherever you fancy in an easy to build, low cost twenty-five footer.

A good example of the enthusiasm for the design is the construction of Konquest by the Shurhaus brothers, in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. They are having great fun in building their boat. When constructing the navigation table they took the care to put an inlaid compass rose in the centre of the table’s lid, a gesture representing the ultimate enjoyment they are profiting from their work.

A proper offshore cruising sailboat deserves having a proper navigation table. The Pop 25 is particularly well served in this respect. The navigator seats facing forward, there is a bulkhead where radar monitor and chart plotter can be installed, besides possessing a large locker to store paper charts. The inlaid compass rose decorating the table’s lid shows well how the Shurhaus brothers are enjoying their construction. Courtesy: Marcelo Schurhaus.

How many sailboats of this size have quarter berths as large as the Pop 25 ones? Courtesy: Marcelo Schurhaus.

Another example of dedication is the construction of Hayal, being built by Selim Karahan and his father in Turkey. Being totally inexperienced in boat building, they are now concluding their construction, a challenge they are overcoming with great excitement. The local interest for the launching must be great, since there are various other builders of Pop 25 in that country.

Hayal must be concluded by now. This photo is about two months old. The Karahans are installing a Yanmar 2YM sail-drive diesel engine instead of the electric motor specified in the plans. On their request we made the plan for the installation of this auxiliary diesel which we delivered to them as courtesy. Photo: Selim Karahan.

We follow with regularity the progress of our builders who edit blogs to show their work. One of them is Rancho Alegre, being built by Francisco Aydos in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brasil. This Pop 25 is also in the final stage of construction and soon will be sailing.

Rancho Alegre is in the last stages of construction, having its interior already concluded and all custom fittings, including the keels, ready to be installed. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos.

Francisco opted for the Volvo D1-13 sail-drive diesel engine instead of electric auxiliary propulsion. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos.

Rancho Alegre is missing very little work to be completed. The two steel keels had been protected against corrosion by hot-deep galvanization, a guaranty of dozens of years of rust-free life. The possibility to build the bulbs in a lathe is another advantage of the Pop 25 specifications. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25


Cruising in Paradise

Eileen & Roberto Barros

It is as if we had climbed into the cockpit, and in a flash could see all the scenery that was left behind.
Imprinted in our memories like an unforgettable movie, it would flourish the remembrances of all the good and bad moments shared together, the many mysteries unveiled, and the sensation of overtaking important stages in our lives.
Those were the days when rebellious youth wished to be rid of a Vietnam on each corner of the world. We were a generation of easy riders and weren’t even conscious of that. Financed by the cold war, dictatorships were imposing their standards of behaviour and submission, and, on the other hand, the youths were contradicting with an anti-culture, preaching peace, love and freedom.

It was a time when the problems on Earth were not as serious as they are now, and if the powerful were not so paltry, they could easily be diminished, since there were even resources to travel to the moon.
Many Indians from the Amazon could still dodge their white brothers, who coveted their lands. They had not yet completely succumbed to the white man's authority and weren't dependent on pop-stars charity shows to support their claims.

Disillusioned Europeans found islands in the Pacific where they could resort to a simple existence, undisturbed by the outside world. The Brazilian coast was visited by so few cruising boats that local and foreign yachtsmen arriving in any of its harbours were considered heroes.

The two of us, young and restless, could not accept the impositions of the establishment. We didn't want to take sides. And how we were right! It was as if we were by ourselves in believing that both sides of the apple were rotten.

“Brazil, love it or leave it,” was the military dictatorship propaganda motto.

“We will leave, of course! What would our family think of us?” They will think we are mad. “Who knows if some of them will envy us?”

“What did we expect from the future?” It could only get worse. “Why not go then? Wait for what? To become wealthy and only then search for a simple life?” It didn’t make sense.

Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso's hit tune of that time “Alegria, Alegria”, calling people to discard oppression had a devastating effect on us. “I'm off with nothing in my pockets or in my hands”…were the lyrics of the song.

We were advised to write a letter to the Head of the Income Tax Department, informing him that we would be travelling taking with us just a few miserable dollars, and that we intended to earn a living working along the way. A friend of ours, who was an important person in the Ministry of Finances, delivered in hands this ridiculous statement.

The Bossa Nova was then becoming popular all over the world. We would hear it frequently, in night- clubs, on the radio, anywhere we went.

In Ipanema “village” we were acquainted with almost everyone. The icons of Bossa Nova, Tom Jobin, Vinícius de Morais, Carlos Lira, Menescal, were nearly our neighbours. But what really touched us was hearing their music being played on the drums of the Calypso steel bands at the furthermost of places.

Preparing the boat for departure at times seemed an interminable task. When starting to doubt if we were ever going to sever the navel cord, we suddenly found ourselves sailing on the high seas, hearing the slapping of waves against the topsides of our hull and seeing the bows forging ahead towards our dreamed endeavours.

And we almost found what we were looking for. It's true that at each place where we arrived there were the local owners. The Canal Zone, Mururoa... But there was still plenty of space. It seemed as though nobody minded if you were there, as long as you weren't particularly noticed. People were helpful and kind to us. Wherever we arrived we made good friends.

We never felt lonely, even when sailing in the great vastness of the Pacific. We shared the place with many friends of different species. Sometimes we ate them, but on the other hand, it wasn’t once or twice that we noticed looks of bad intention directed at us from their part. That was the rule of the game, and we accepted it with fair play. That world belonged to them and we were the strangers there.

Being in the South Pacific was a dream come true. Languid south-seas songs, turquoise coloured waters, palm fringed white beaches, bathing in the nude in pristine waterfalls, everything made sense. That was the paradise we were looking for.

But it didn't take long to find new troubles to torment our minds. A permit required to stay; another to work. The proverbial “jeitinho”, the Brazilian way of solving problems, suddenly became an urgent plea. Then our daughter was born, her existence bringing new responsibilities. At the other side of the world our parents were calling us back. The dreams were vanishing. Finally the Head of the Income Tax Department was the winner. There were no more Beatles, no more hippies, not even the moon was spared for poets and lovers.

Other Brazilian yachts would follow our path, like the Samba, Vagau, and quite a few others. For Willis, the discoverer of Tahiti, even captain Cook, who arrived there just a few years later, already found a lesser Eden.

All we can do now is to open the fore hatch and look forwards. The boat is no longer new, but she still sails. What changed was the equipment. In place of the old sextant with its vernier, it's the GPS instead. The old zinc bucket was substituted for a proper toilet. But the content remains the same.

“About the friends we made then?” Next time they will certainly be others. Madeleine, the Tahitian dancer, we rather should not try to look for her. We would be deeply disappointed. At that time there was no video camera to document her charms. Nobody would believe if we say it now.

But there are still the islands we haven’t visited. There are more than three hundred thousand of them just in the South Pacific. If there were only seven or eight, it would suffice.

What is missing then? To get ready for a return trip while is still time.

***

These are the forewords of the book “Rio to Polynesia” published in our site and available for free with link from our home-page, left lower corner. Since the beginning of this story is completing half a century this year, and it has so much to do with the story of B & G Yacht Design, it is with a feeling of nostalgia that we remind the facts that made us taking such radical steps in our lives. If you feel like reading the book and want to learn more about whom we are, you are welcome to contact us by e-mail: robertobarros@hotmail.com.


The boat designed and built for the day after

Roberto Barros

It was revealed a few days ago the speech the Queen had ready to be pronounced about the third world war. This speech was written exactly thirty years ago, the time for state documents considered of strategic importance to turn public. The cold war at that moment was attaining its climax and the planet was within the reach of a finger-tip to be inexorably destroyed by human stupidity. This is history, and fortunately there was a light at the end of the tunnel and the catastrophe didn’t materialize.

Of course such sombre state of spirit had some degree of influence in the life of every citizen of that time. Some built nuclear shelters where they planned to spend extra days after the worst had happened, taking to that place the beloved ones and the things they praised most. Others, on the other hand, preferred to spend all their possessions while there was still time.

My own story, however, had a different focus. I built an offshore cruising sailboat that could sail for months on end without needing to be supplied with fresh provisions, so my family and I could enjoy a few more weeks doing the thing we liked most, sailing in the immensity of the ocean. We lived at the city of Rio de Janeiro, a place that being distant from the hub of the political dispute would probably have a couple of days more of survival. I kept the boat permanently provisioned for six months at sea, and my plan was to sail bound for the Southern Ocean, keeping contact with the rest of the world by means of a short wave receiver and the boat’s SSB. What a terrific plan! We would be enjoying life intensely, when perhaps billions would be dying. When our time would come, if it came by then, we had a sneer in our face, being among the last ones who knew how the story of a blue planet plagued by the prevalence of an arrogant species that put selfish interests above anything else did end. Then why not playing according to the book, if those were the rules of the game?

Somehow we were sort of pioneers in world globalization. I am Brazilian, my wife Eileen is British and my daughter Astrid is Tahitian. She was born there when we were crossing the Pacific aboard a twenty-five foot cruising sailboat with no inboard engine (you can read, or download, this story for free entering our front page, left-side lower corner: Rio to Polynesia. An adventure in the South Pacific). We had tasted the society’s forbidden apple, the feeling of freedom proportioned by our life-style. Being a Carioca (as are called the Rio de Janeiro inhabitants) was already a privilege, I believed. Rio is a place where mountain and sea almost touch each other, forming gorgeous beaches in between, among them Copacabana and Ipanema, renowned for being where the “Bossa Nova” was born and the dental floss bikini was introduced. We didn’t really want to leave, but just imagining such beautiful place being charred by radiation would be unbearable to us.

Maitairoa, the boat designed and built to survive come rain or shine as she looks today, thirty years after her launching. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu

In June, 1983, Maitairoa, the cruising boat built for the day after, was launched in Marina da Gloria, the municipal marina close to Rio’s downtown. My dream had become reality. We wished our concerns about the apocalypse were simply a fantasy, and that the nuclear war would never happen, but we felt we were prepared for the worst. Since the worst didn’t happen, the prize for that effort was to own a doomsday-proof sailboat ready to go anywhere. And Maitairoa never disappoint us.

In February, 1985, when the cold war was not that cold anymore, the family decided to take advantage of such effort in building a sailboat above suspicion. We decided to cross the South Atlantic from Rio to Cape Town and back, this time in much higher spirit. Maitairoa means “things are cool” in Polynesian, a word we learned when we lived there, and she deserved her name. On this crossing we sailed 360° around Inaccessible Island, passed so close to Tristan Island settlement that we could wave to the folks that watched our progress from shore, not stopping there because the boat was doing seven knots bare pole, and after spending two months at Cape Town, returned to Rio, calling at Santa Helena where we spent a whole week, and in the last stretch of the trip, sailing at a stone’s throw from Martin Vaz, a few rocks in the middle of nowhere, and Trinidad Island, such an exotic place, that even though we didn’t stop at that occasion, we promised we would return soon.

Back in Rio, we couldn’t forget the fantastic times we had at sea, and our next vacation was a trip to Trinidad Island, Salvador, in the Northeast of Brazil, and Abrolhos, a marine sanctuary, now a national park. The next adventure was bound for the Southern Ocean, when Maitairoa suffered grounding in a remote corner of the Falkland Islands, surviving unscathed after a salvage operation worth a Jack London novel. (If you would like to know details of this story, you can click in articles in our site, and scrolling the page, you will find at the end: “Maitairoa in the Falklands. An adventure with a happy ending”)

Back to routine, I realized that somebody had to work to bring home de bacon, and it was then that our office was founded, at that time Roberto Barros Yacht Desing. In 2007, when the firm was transferred to Perth, Western Australia was that the name had been changed to B & G Yacht Design.

Calypso, Sandra’s daughter, was conceived in the Greek Island where Ulysses started the Odyssey. Maitairoa is the place she can call her home. Courtesy: Sandra Sautu

The need to be always trying new ideas made me sell Maitairoa to try our luck with a new design, the MC28, which I also intended to build one for the family’s usage, incorporating all the lessons the good old Maitairoa had taught us. Maitairoa was sold to a good friend of ours, the Argentinean physicist Sandra Sautu, who sailed her from Rio de Janeiro to the Mediterranean. Sandra lives aboard since the acquisition, now with her couple of sons, lulled to sleep by the rocking of the waves. The new boat, Fiu, was also a great success, but Maitairoa will be engraved forever in our memorys as the boat for the day after.


Samoa 34 description updated

The Samoa 34 is one of our most important offshore cruising sailboats. However we must admit that its description in our site was less than the design deserved. Now we made a revision in the text that we believe will do more justice to the merits of the project. We hope you enjoy reading it.

Introduction: The Samoa 34 was designed to be a blue water sailboat capable of accomplishing the most demanding cruising adventures while being fast enough for participating in ocean racing with good chances in the cruising class. Classified as Cat. A, according to the European Union norms, she is the boat to be trusted when sailing under the harshest of sea conditions, while affording the necessary comfort aboard for the well being of the crew.

Samoa 34 is the right size of boat for overseas passages. Having the necessary power to beat to windward when sailing close-hauled in heavy weather, it is a boat to be trusted in the worse conditions, while being cosy and functional for living aboard for long stretches.

Since the introduction of the design the Samoa 34 has been doing an amazing career. With dozens of boats built from the plans, the design becomes a local reference wherever one of these boats is sailing.

Luthier is a home built Samoa 34 that crossed the Atlantic in a round trip having their builders, Dorival and Catarina Gimenes as crew.

The model has already been submitted to extensive testing by our builders, including a round trip Atlantic crossing, which served to prove unquestionably the seaworthiness of the design.

Interior layout: The Samoa 34 was intended to provide sleeping accommodations for six persons, four of them in private cabins, with the possibility for two extra crewmembers to sleep in the saloon’s dinette.

The fore cabin is the perfect guest room. Having an almost rectangular double berth, a large counter, a sofa, and a hanging locker, this cabin is as complete as a fore cabin can be, offering all it is necessary for the crew to feel comfortable when being in use.

Samoa 34 Luthier fore-cabin. Their owners are live-aboard sailors with dozens of thousands miles of offshore passages experience.

The fore-cabin is the guest room of the boat. Provided with a double berth to starboard, sided by a cosy sofa, and having a hanging locker at the entrance hall, it gives privacy and comfort to a couple. There is no restriction in changing the layout for two single bunks if this is preferred. A bulkhead with a double leaf folding door separates this cabin from the main saloon, ensuring privacy to its occupants.

Abaft this bulkhead is placed the most comfortable main saloon it can be conceived for a boat this size. With two symmetrical sofa/berths and a jumbo sized table fixed to the mast pillar, it has room to spare for a meal to be served for six persons, or else for two adults to sleep there. Behind the backrests there is a profusion of lockers and a large book-shelf at each side, with enough room for a flat screen TV set to be installed in one of the sides.

The small and elegant cabin trunk placed behind the mast, is surrounded by windows and opening port-lights, a design feature that allows broad visibility to the outside, good natural illumination and plenty of ventilation. It`s possible to monitor mainsail and genoa from the aft seats of the two sofas without the need of even standing up, bliss for shorthanded cruising sailors.

The social area of Samoa 34 is roomy enough to shelter six adults for a meal on its large table, or eight persons to be entertained without giving the impression of being crowded.

Still under the cabin trunk, abaft the two aft seats of the saloon`s sofas, are placed the galley at portside and the navigation table at starboard. The galley is fitted with a counter having two sinks and a refrigerator on its furniture. The space under the counter-top where the sinks are installed is used to store pots, pans and other cooking utensils, besides being fitted with a generous sized dustbin installed on its front face. The gimballed gas stove with oven is fitted abaft the counter.

The gimballed two burners stove is fitted between the galley counter and the bulkhead that separates the saloon from the aft cabin.

The navigation table and its seat are turned forwards. The seat’s backrest is the heads fore-wall bulkhead.

A large navigation table with its own cushioned stool to starboard completes the saloon’s layout. The longitudinal panel to the right of the navigator is where the electrical switch-panel and most navigation instruments are fixed, except for the radar screen and chart plotter or multifunction monitor, which should be installed in the fore and aft direction facing the navigator’s stool.

The Samoa 34 saloon is roomy and complete. The galley quarters are the most spacious and functional to be found in sailboats this size.

Going aft, placed to starboard, is the heads with vanity unit and shower. A grated floorboard drains the water into a shower sump fitted with automatic pump. There is a huge compartment abaft with access from the heads where bulky equipments can be installed, as genset and water maker, for instance. Shelves close to the topsides provide room for storage of all sorts of boat gear. Abaft this compartment, accessed from the cockpit, there is a large lazzarette where the inflatable and spare sails can be stored.

On the opposite side there is a very spacious aft cabin with a huge double berth, a sofa, and plenty of stowage space for the personal belongings of its users. The 2.0m (6’7”) headroom entrance hall, the same headroom as the whole saloon, is provided with an opening port, which together with a second port installed at the cockpit wall, and yet a third one fitted at the transom bulkhead, provide excellent natural ventilation and illumination to the ambience.

The aft cabin consists of an entrance hall, a counter, a sofa and a royal sized double berth. To port there is a sequence of bins and shelves, besides a hanging locker at the cabin entrance.

Deck layout arrangement: The deck layout is quite simple and functional. The mast is stepped on deck, the best solution in cruising boats minimising the possibility of inconvenient leaks in the saloon. A deep anchor well brings the weight of the chain to a lower level, but still leaves ample space to store fenders in its upper part without interfering with the anchoring procedure.

An almost flush fore-deck is a welcome safety factor when foresail changes are performed. It also makes this area of the boat useful for sunbathing or entertaining. It`s also the best place to store a solid dinghy, if this type of tender is preferred.

The traveller placed on top of the companionway hatch protecting box, is the preference of most cruising sailors, since the cockpit stays free from the clumsy main sheet system. A canvas dodger installed abaft the mainsail sheet traveller is highly recommended. The spacious transom platform is quite low, making boarding safe and easy.

Sail plan and rigging: The fractional rigged sail plan is of moderate size, a feature that is highly appreciated for the comfort and safety of cruising families. The mast rigged with swept-back spreaders, is very simple and strong, the best solution for peace of mind when sailing in very bad weather. The fore triangle is quite large what makes the Samoa 34 a very good boat when sailed with main and jib, a great virtue when shorthanded.

Fin keel and rudder: A bulbous keel of relatively shallow draught and low centre of gravity, combined with a well balanced rudder and smooth water lines, make the Samoa 34 a joy to be sailed in light or heavy winds.

The Samoa 34 bulbous fin-keel and rudder have a lot to do with the successful career of the design. The boat had been tested in the harshest conditions never loosing steering control or missing the necessary stability for the safety of the crew.

Construction specification: The construction is specified for cold moulded, strip-planking or fibreglass reinforced plastic. This last option is ideal when more than one boat is intended to be constructed. Composite sandwich construction is a valid option when only one boat is intended to be built. We provide plans for this method of construction in a custom basis under special order.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 34


Pop 25 Konquest - Building the family boat

We think it is sweet when a family joins efforts for the accomplishment of a dream. This is what is happening with the construction of the Pop 25 Konquest, which is being built by the brothers Marcelo and Vandeli Schurhaus, in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. Their challenge is not an easy ride without hurdles in their way. They chose a location to make the construction that for some reason became unavailable, and not to lose their endeavour, had to be substituted by the slab of their house garage, a place three meters above ground level, not provided with guardrails around the brink of the slab, or shelter of any sort, except a tarpaulin to cover the work when the day’s task is concluded.

The boat seen from abaft having Marcelo’s toddler already getting acquainted with her future berth...under the close surveillance of her attentive mother. Photo: Marcelo Schurhaus

Having only the weekends for dedicating to the work, and needing to count on the good will of Saint Peter for having settled weather during the weekends, in spite of such limitation, their work progresses at a fast pace, having the interior almost concluded after a bit more than one year since the construction started. We published an article with video a fortnight ago reporting the turning over of the hull, an operation typical of German precision and good planning. We also have a link from our site to the blog they edit, “Pop 25 Konquest”, so if you would like to know more about the whole story, you will find it there. However the scope of this article complies the building of the interior of the boat, an operation that took only a few sunny weekends to be accomplished.

It is clear sailing that building the interior of a Pop 25 is quick to be made. The transverse bulkheads represent more than half the whole work, while the longitudinal plywood panels are rectangular-shaped in practically all cases. The few doors can be built separately at the workbench, while trims and rails are straight cleats butt-jointed at their ends. With such simple approach builders find special pleasure in completing the interior as quick as a wink, craving for starting to build the superstructure. That has been the case with all Pop 25 builders up to now, Konquest being no exception. The Schurhaus intend to be sailing before the end of the year.

The galley furniture carpentry already concluded, missing the finishing details. The toilet is also already installed on its place in the heads compartment. Photo: Marcelo Shurhaus

We at B & G Yacht Design wished that the Pop 25 became renowned as an easy to be constructed offshore cruising sailboat. This is being proven to be true by our builders. Now we are discovering that the design may also be considered one of the most affordable sailboats for family’s usage.

That is the right age to get proper sea legs. Marcelo’s baby seems to be having a great time being acquainted with her future cabin. Photo: Marcelo Schurhaus

Click here to know more about the Pop 25


A New Collaboration Deal in Australia

We are beginning a collaboration agreement with Plate Alloy, a company specialised in producing aluminium kits for pleasure crafts intended for amateur construction. The plant, established in Melbourne, is especially renowned for its easy to build boat kits ant its welding school. We are confident that the inclusion of some of our sailboat designs in their stock plans list may represent a great lift in the construction of our aluminium designs in Australia, New Zealand, Oceania and South East Asia, while, on the other hand increasing the company’s scope of customers, since they are working exclusively with motor boats.

Plate Alloy, from Melbourne, will produce sailboat kits for amateur construction from some of our designs.

Plate Alloy is specialized on numerical cutting of aluminium sheets, providing several pre-cut kits of small powerboats for amateur construction.

The owner, John Pontifex, commented with a common friend that he have been thinking about offering yacht kits since a long time. This common friend introduced our website to John and when he saw our designs he felt he had found what he was looking for, and shortly after contact us.

All kits offered by Plate Alloy come with an illustrated building manual showing details of the assembly of each piece, besides providing lots of important information for the amateur builders. Since B & G Yacht Design believes this is the right way to go when working for the amateur builder, our joined efforts have every chance to obtain excellent results.

Two powerboat models built from the Plate Alloy kits.

We will start our partnership with three designs, the already acclaimed Kiribati 36, the new model Pop Alu 32, our bet in offshore cruising sailboat design of affordable cost, and finally our next design to be launched, the daysailer Pop Star 21, also to be included in the packet. The Kiribati 36 has already shown its market potential, with two serious customers interested in the kits even before the announcement of the partnership. Plate Alloy can also provide CNC cutting of aluminium for other designs from our list of stock plans, like the Multichine 41SK and the Polar 50, for instance. We are so confident on this type of construction that we may convert other designs initiallyspecified for building in steel, like the Multichine 45 and Curruira 42, to include the aluminium version of these boats.

Luis Gouveia, the B & G Yacht Design director, and John Pontifex at the Plate Alloy facility in Melbourne.

Other interesting services Plate Alloy has to offer are courses of boat building and aluminium welding. The courses start with basic notions of welding, welding machine operation, welding equipments, materials and other important information, essential for those who have the intention of building their own boats. Since the students begin to have real welding practice working on simple joints from the first day on, as their skills improve they go through more complex joints and techniques. When the practice time is over and the students have confidence on their welding skills, they move on to the next part, to assemble and weld the pieces of one of the kits produced by Plate Alloy. By the end of the course all the welding is accomplished and the boat is ready for completion. Usually the courses last for five days and the students leave with all the knowledge they need to finish the construction of their own aluminium boats.

A boat built by the students during the aluminium welding and boatbuilding course at Plate Alloy.

Three different welding and boat building classes set for the classic graduation photo after the conclusion of the construction. Photo: John Pontifex.

For those who are interested in having more information about Plate Alloy and the services they have to offer, their website is: www.plate alloy.com.au

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32


Multichine 36 Smoko turning over operation and more

And so our praised builders Howard and Noelle Bennet returned from their planned trip to England, and setting up shop again, turned over Smoko, the home-made MC36 being built in their farm in Dunedin, South Island, N.Z., providing a show of good planning and competence seldom seen among our amateur clients.

Project MC36 - Part 3

 

Following on from my disappointment with the "fibre-glass professionals" and my winter doing the insulated lining, I endured an extremely tedious four or five months applying the rest of the fibre-glass layers. Each of these layers was either two or three ply. In between each application I needed to sand, and in the later stages, fair the hull surface. A very uncomfortable period ensued, plagued with swollen eyes and itchy underpants! Fortunately, I avoided the temptation of taking photos of each completed layer otherwise I would have had a collection of pictures that looked exactly the same as each other.
The final fairing was a very long job, using 90 cm sanding boards to smooth the surface and bridge small irregularities. When sanded with the board any low spots show up as un-sanded areas which are then filled with fairing compound and sanded again. This process is repeated again and again for ever and ever - or at least that's how it felt.
After all that preparation I actually found applying the four or five coats of paint that would form the basis of the finishing coats at a much later stage, quite a pleasant task. The area close to the gunnels were left un-painted (see photo above) to allow the deck glassing to be carried over and joined on to the hull glass.

 

One of my other tasks at this time was to fit the rudder stock to the laminated rudder blade that I had made before we moved onto this site.

We had brought the stock down from Marlborough after our last fishing trip. The acid test was going to be would the stock actually fit. Oh happy days, with just a skim over the rudder blade with the plane, it fitted like a glove - albeit an exceedingly expensive glove! All that remained to complete it was to pull the tangs together and epoxy around the metalwork. However, the rudder would have to wait as a momentous event was about to take place.

The long awaited turning over ceremony was fast approaching. Before it could happen though I had to construct the turning frames that were required to facilitate the operation. There are various ways to turn a boat of this size, most calling for the boat to be suspended from the workshop ceiling before turning it and then lowering it into prepared cradles. Being suspended from the roof of a tent was obviously not going to work! The method I decided upon entailed removing the front of the tent, dragging the yacht (with frames attached) out of the tent on the skis that I had fortuitously fixed under the frames and then persuading a passing excavator driver that he would quite like to do the donkey work.

The faithful old farm truck and its 12 volt winch (with a bit of assistance from a fairly substantial tree stump) managed the job of dragging the boat out of the tent quite admirably. Once in a position that was well clear of the tent, the man with hydraulic muscles took over.

Although the frame was strongly constructed, the lifting beam bent alarmingly and had to be reinforced with a spare fence post (many of these indispensable items can be found lying around most farms).

 

Apart from the occasional creaking and groaning the half-way point was reached without further incident. At this juncture the boat was dragged sideways to make room for its next quarter-turn that would leave it positioned ready for pulling back into the shelter. The skis from the deck side section of the frame were removed in order to fix them onto the bottom side of the frame ready for that return journey.

After the excavator was moved to the other side of the boat, all that remained was to complete the final ninety degrees and gently lower the boat to the ground hopefully (very hopefully) never to be upside-down again. A friend of ours kindly recorded the boat turning process, a shortened version of which we uploaded to You Tube. Click on the image below to see for yourself what happened.

This entire operation was completed without a single heart-attack although it has to be said that my lovely wife was safely ensconced in her office at work throughout the entire process claiming she would find it far too stressful to be present.

Rather cleverly, I had incorporated padded cradles into the turning frame and so after pulling the boat back into the tent I just needed to strip off the box frame and she was ready to be dragged back out again. Yes, I'm sorry to say that the poor girls travels were not over yet.

Although the design allows for the engine to be fitted through the main hatch - something that would also be required for removal if major repairs were needed - I had decided that this would actually be the ideal time to drop the engine in. Not only would I be able to work out the exhaust run but I would also be able to check that there were enough access points around the engine for routine maintenance.
The engine was delivered a few day after the turn so out she went again, although this time just far enough to allow the hoist and truck to get close enough to do the deed.

After the engine installation was complete all that remained was to drag her back inside before levelling the cradle and adding the final support sited under the rudder tube. Voila. Solid as a rock! Hopefully.

At present - June 2013 - I have been working on the inside of the boat for a month or so, which is a much more interesting process. I have also reached the time of year when the diesel heater is needed for epoxy work. So my current routine sees me cutting and fitting various internal structures and then periodically I have a "gluing day" when the tent is heated and I glue the previous few days' work. I generally leave the heater on for an additional five or six hours once I've finished. A good thermometer and humidity gauge are both pretty much essential and very useful.

We like to say that for our amateur builders the real adventure begins when they unpack the project’s plotted sheets, and that every phase of the building process is a new chapter of the story still to be written, the decision of jumping head-first in such challenge becoming a hallmark in their lives.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 36


Curruira 33 Milestone is already in the water

Good news came from Turkey. The news came from this amazing country, which is thriving in prosperity while its neighbours from the European Union are enduring difficult times with their sluggish economies. It was there that the first Curruira 33 was launched.

The Curruira 33 is a round bilge displacement trawler yacht designed for offshore navigation. The design favours long range capacity while proportioning a low resistance hull with plenty of reserve buoyancy. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

Our client, Emre Yilmaz, informed us that the first sea trial, a 250 miles crossing departing from Gemlik, in the Marmara Sea, where she was built, bound for Ayvalic, in the Aegean Sea, where she will be stationed, was a success and that he is delighted with the general behaviour of his yacht. The e-mail he sent us tells how pleased he is with his choice:

“Dear Roberto and Luis from B & G Yacht Design;

We launched the Curruira 33 (MILESTONE) in May, 26, 2013 at Gemlik, on the Sea of Marmara east cost.

After making a couple of tests and ballast arrangements, we left Gemlik in May, 29 at 05:30 a.m., intending to cross the whole Sea of Marmara. We reached Avsa Island at 15:00, after nearly 10 hours of continuous cruise at steady 7 knots. After a short break, we reached Aksaz, a village located at the entrance of Canakkale Passage (Hellespont) at 10:00 pm.

We planned to stop there overnight to make day cruises only, but we learned the weather would deteriorate in the next days, so we decided to go through Hellespont at night.

We left Aksaz at 22:00 and passed the Hellespont to reach the Seddulbahir end of Hellespont, the entrance to Aegean Sea, at 05:00 am

Then we continued to cruise the Babakale (In front of Lesvos) to reach Ayvalik, entering the Ayvalik Setur Marina at 11:00 am

Now, after nearly 36 hours of continuous cruise, Milestone is in its home port Ayvalik, having averaged 7 knots speed along the passage. Wind average was 4-6 Beaufort for the whole trip. We spent nearly 200 litres of fuel, I guessing Yanmar 75 HP engine burns 7 litres per hour at 2400 rpm
I felt some difficulty when manoeuvring in reverse gear, having to rely on the bow-thruster for better control.

Sharing with you my experiences about the boat, my conclusion is that she is fantastic, with lots of pros, and very few cons.

The boat's wave resistance is awesome. Thanks to her round bilge and swift lines she climbs over waves and slips like a surf board. The bilge has no water, there is no leakage or sweat.

I love the boat's side view too much. She looks like a strong trawler with good design lines. I agree with what Luis said, she is the prettiest boat in the marina :). If I did not build this boat I planned to buy a Benetau Swift Trawler 34, but now I can say I am very lucky to have chosen the Curruira 33.

Thanks for everything
Best Regards
Emre YILMAZ”

Milestone maiden trip from Gemlik, the locality where she was built on the Marmara Sea to Ayvalik, the marina where she will be stationed in the Aegean Sea.

Our response was quite eloquent:

“Hi Mr Yilmaz

We watched your photos carefully and we must admit we were stunned. The quality of workmanship and competence in dealing with boat building issues are superb in your country. We send our compliments to your builder, Mr Saban. You found a first class custom boatyard.
We were also glad to see that our design is quite appealing. She looks exactly like the small tramp ship we intended she resembled to.
We are suspect to say, but in our opinion Milestone outstands in charm the boats next to her in the marina where she stays?

Curruira 33 Milestone properly docked in Mediterranean style, using a gang-plank for access to the aft deck. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

About the seaworthiness of the Curruira 33, this type of hull shape is our bet. We are willing that the sea-kindliness of our displacement motor yachts becomes the trade mark of our motor yacht designs. I noticed in one of the photos you sent us, you were having a snack in your dinette, and we could see across the window glass that the sea was quite choppy outside. However your tableware on top of the table seemed to be stick to the table top as if it had been fastened to it. This is a point for greetings!

Can you believe that Milestone is thirty-three foot long only? A boat of this size sporting two suites, a huge saloon, a veranda in the aft deck and a spacious sunbathing area at the fly-bridge is capable of proportioning high level of comfort for the most demanding of the crews. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

In our opinion wood/epoxy construction is superb. We would be terribly disappointed if you told us you had leaks anywhere in your boat.
You did the correct job when trimming the boat with the distribution of ballast.
About the manoeuvrability when using reverse gear, you must remember that in boats with a single engine, only after the boat is halted she will respond to rudder control according to your command, and even so, not so well, since the part that works as rudder when in reverse is the part of the rudder-blade in balance.

It is no point in using the reverse gear as brake, like if she was a car. While the boat isn’t totally halted, she will go exactly to the opposite direction of your command. This is due to the fact that the flux of water generated by the propeller is flowing away from the rudder-blade, instead of being thrown on it. The bow thruster is of great help then.

About the hull speed, it is an illusion to believe if you have a more powerful engine your top speed will increase. Milestone has a displacement hull, and her hull speed is less than eight knots. A larger engine would drag the whole sea abaft you with insignificant, or no increase in speed.

Our way of thinking is: if you are a speedster addict, you should choose motor racing as your sport and opt for a planing hull. If you like long distance cruising with plenty of range, the logical option is choosing a low resistance displacement hull. For us semi- planing trawlers are neither fish nor fowls. They are crafts that no matter how powerfully are propelled, they can never raise their hulls for surfing above the waves’ crests.
Best regards
Roberto and Luis from B & G Yacht Design”

Despite the choppy seas seen across the window, the tableware seemed to be stick to the table-top as if it was bonded to it. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

Emre told us he is going to send a video relating his passage across the Marmara Sea. Since the Curruira 33 is presently the apple of our eyes, we will be grateful for the data he can pass to us about this new project.

The Curruira 33 layout includes two private double berth cabins in suite, both of them with shower facility. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

Milestone’s foredeck is equipped with a well dimensioned horizontal windlass. A teak planked deck gives a touch of class to the yacht. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

Click here to know more about the Curruira 33


Kiribati 36 - The Marine SSB in the cruising life aboard Green Nomad

I have been asked to provide a description of how SSB played an important and enjoyable part in our 10 years of cruising in the Pacific Ocean, period in which we have even spent 3 cyclone seasons out of the main centres of Australia and New Zealand, usually the refuge for cruising sailors during the Southern hemisphere summer.

We cruised on our first boat, a 36ft steel cutter named Green Nomad, from 1996 to 2006, leaving from Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil and cruising along the Brazilian coast to the Caribbean, where we visited Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, the Grenadines and then Venezuela, Curacao and the San Blas Islands, before crossing the Panama Canal and starting our unforgettable cruise of that ocean that for us embodies all the dreams of freedom and cruising.

The First Green Nomad sailing in New Caledonia

We then made the more or less usual route from Las Perlas in Panama to the Galapagos, then Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas, Manihi in the Tuamotus, Tahiti and the other Society Islands of Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea and Bora Bora, before crossing to the Vavau group in Tonga. Then to Suva in Fiji and a straight dash to Brisbane, Australia. In this last one we got hit by 3 strong depressions, and had to endure a 24 day trip for the 1600 mile stretch. We hit it in part because we did not have weather fax ( this was a time prior to grib files and pactor, at least for us ).

After some time we left Australia and sailed back East to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and back down to Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. This second part of the cruise lasted 3 years, during which we never went out of the tropical areas, and good weather information was vital for the 3 cyclone seasons we spent there.

When leaving Rio in 1997 we did not have a computer on board, and SSB voice broadcasts were our main tool for weather information and communication. We had regular contact with the radio station at the Rio Yacht Club, and the operator there, Flavio, would call my mother and she would relay our whereabouts to other family members.

These contacts lasted almost all the way to the Marquesas, when big differences in time zone did not allow us to reach them due to propagation.

All the while we used the SSB to keep in touch with other cruisers, and when crossing the Pacific from Galapagos to Marquesas there were regular contacts every 6 hours, but we only used to come twice a day.

Our Furuno SSB tuned to talk to Rio Yacht Club

Getting closer to French Polynesia we could get voice weather broadcasts from Mahina Radio in Tahiti, and from there on we started tuning in to Australian and New Zealand weather services.

I got word of an excellent book, the Metservice Yacht Pack from Bob Mcdavitt, and made a copy ( later on in Australia I made a point of buying it and having the original ). In the back of this book was a reticulated map of the whole Pacific, which enabled one to listen to the voice broadcasts and then plot one's own weather map from them. I made many photocopies of that page and used colour pencils to draw the systems, and comparing them from day to day knew what was happening.

This book also has lots of information on how to get the broadcasts, weather fax etc. I recommend it strongly, because it teaches how to read the weather maps properly, and gives you a very comprehensive knowledge of Pacific weather.

After arriving in Australia we moved into the world of computers, and with that we could receive weather fax and after some time we bought an old Pactor I modem, which we used in conjunction with our Furuno FS 1502 radio to keep in touch via email. But Pactor I was too slow for Grib File reception, so our main tool was then weather fax broadcasts from Honolulu, Australia and New Zealand. We also used a lot Taupo Maritime Radio ( ZLM) voice broadcasts.

With weather fax we practically became self-sufficient for weather, but before that we used some weather nets, like Southbound II in the Caribbean and Russel Radio from New Zealand. It was from Des in Russel Radio that we received support and information during the 1998 storms, when we had to heave to waiting for depressions to pass our path before resuming our way from Fiji to Australia. It was very good to have that person to talk to every day, know if things were going to improve or not. Herb let us know of the abandoning of the Yacht Freya, with a family of 3 airlifted into safety close to North Cape in New Zealand. The events of this storm were the basis for a book by Steve and Linda Dashew, “Surviving the Storm”.

We can say that SSB radio was our main safety link at that time.

And after as well, with the Pacific Streamline Analysis transmitted by Honolulu weather fax letting us know more than 10 days in advance if conditions looked ripe for a cyclone or not. You just had to know the look and feel of a safe or dangerous looking weather map to take action and seek shelter in time.

Then our Pactor I stopped working and we thought our modem was broken, but in fact it was the computer serial port, but we got a new Pactor III modem, and from then on Grib files came to make things even easier. The constant switching from RX to TX that Pactor I made caused our Furuno FS 1502 to burn the output transistors, and we got a new Icom IC-M802, but the Furuno was later fixed and sold.

Now on the second Green Nomad, an aluminum 36 ft swing keel design, we still have the same Pactor III modem and an old Icom IC-M710 RT, which was a gift from my brother Nuno, who had removed it from a boat he sold.

As for the question of satellite comms, Inmarsat or Iridium, they are in a different cost league from what we want. And you don't wake up in the morning and phone your cruising buddies at 0900, one at a time, to find out what they are up to, or email them all and expect answers that same day. It is just not the same thing, you lose a lot of touch with your friends that are cruising in the same area. You may know all your hometown neighbours are doing via their emails or social media, but that is not so relevant to your cruising life and friends.

Of course SSB reception and communication is a bit like wind vane self steering. It is not for everybody, you have to be committed and like to use it to get good results. But when you get it, if feels very good, the use is free and you are making the most of your cruising budget.

We had a good installation and so we had many opportunities to contact marine oriented ham radio operators from places as distant as from New Caledonia to Brazil and the Canary Islands. We even used to help a radio net from Gran Canaria to reach its members when they were in the Pacific area, relaying messages from there to boats sailing on the roaring forties south of New Zealand. We also used our weather fax capability to relay weather information via SSB to other boats, some fitted only with receivers, which would tune in at some times and frequencies and hear our broadcasts.

My brother who is an electronics dealer many times tried to get me started in satellite communications, but I hold on to what is right for our budget and style, and that is SSB.

I do not deny that accessing the net and getting the weather maps directly online is better, but in order to do that you have to increase your fixed costs, and doing that we may not be able to cruise at all. I sell boat designs and my main means of communication is and will be SSB. If someone clicks in contact on our website, the message goes to our sailmail address, so our intention is to be in some remote Pacific Island and be able to check our possible costumers via SSB. And it works. And if it does not work today, it will work tomorrow, and being patient is part of the cruising life, as we all know.

The new Green Nomad in Ilha Grande, Brazil

If you are interested to read more about our time in the Pacific, you can visit our website.

Below are some links links:

South Pacific Cyclone Seasons aboard Green Nomad

Weather Fax Honolulu schedule

Metservice Yacht Pack from Bob Mcdavitt

New Zealand Weather Service

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Below I paste a compilation I made when cruising the area from 1998 to 2006. Some of the information may be out-dated, so please check for yourself.

Summary of Weather Broadcasts and Weather Fax Transmissions of Interest for the Pacific Ocean, Mainly for the South West Area.

Frequencies

(In Khz , USB - Weather Fax frequencies are already decreased by 1.9 Khz )

Australian Voice Broadcasts

2201, 6507, 8176, 12365, 16546

Australian Weather Fax

5098.1, 11028.1, 13918.1, 20467.1, 5763.1, 7533.1, 10553.1, 15613.1, 18078.1

New Zealand Weather Fax

5085.1, 9457.1, 13548.6, 16338.2

Honolulu Weather Fax

9980.6, 11088.1, 16133.1, 23329.6

GMT time Local Time ( GMT +11) Chart Source
  Australian Voice    
1430 0130 Voice Broadcast Aust
2030 0530 Voice Broadcast Aust
2230 0930 Voice Broadcast Aust
0230 1330 Voice Broadcast Aust
0630 1730 Voice Broadcast Aust
1030 2130 Voice Broadcast Aust
  Weatherfax    
1745 0445 Significant Cloud Features Hon
1804 0504 Pacific Streamline Analysis Hon
2030 0730 MSLP Analysis Aust
0007 1107 Pacific Streamline Analysis Hon
0030
0045
1130 (13Mhz)
1145 (16Mhz)
MSLP 30 Hour Forecast NZ
0130
0145
1230 (13Mhz)
1245 (16Mhz)
MSLP 48 Hour Forecast NZ
0200 1300 MSLP 24 Hour Forecast Aust
0209 1309 24 Hour wind Forecast Hon
0230 1330 Warnings Aust
0234 1334 48 Hour Wind Forecast Hon
0230
0245
1330 (13Mhz)
1345 (16Mhz)
MSLP 72 Hour Forecast NZ
0245 1345 MSLP Analysis Aust
0430
0445
1530 (13Mhz)
1545 (16Mhz)
MSLP Analysis NZ
0545 1645 Significant Cloud Features Hon
0605 1705 Pacific Streamline Analysis Hon
0645 1745 MSLP Analysis, Equatorial Aust
0815 1915 Warnings Aust
0845 1945 MSLP Analysis Aust
1015
1030
2115 (9Mhz)
2130 (13Mhz)
MSLP Analysis NZ
1147 2247 Pacific Streamline Analysis Hon

Luis Manuel Pinho is a metallurgic engineer and a talented yacht designer. He belongs to the B & G team of designers, being the office's adviser for issues related to metallic building. Luis lives with his wife Marli aboard the Kiribati 36 Green Nomad.

Being connected on-line, either by means of his SSB, or by wi-fi, he lives one of the most interesting types of life we can imagine to exist. The office is proud of having a mate that joins the pleasures of the cruising life with the challenges of yacht design.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36


MC 36 Cabin Boy is getting dressed

The lights of Dunedin

And so we took our leave from Picton and headed south. It was dark by the time we reached Dunedin but the journey back was spectacularly uneventful with no sign of the threatened storm force winds for which I was immensely grateful. In fact the weather had been so benign that we actually managed the entire journey in one go - a far cry from the insanely slow trips which had been the norm on previous occasions.

Our return to reality came complete with the realisation that we only had about five weeks before we were due to fly out to the UK.

"OK, so over the next couple of weeks I'm just going to have to spend as much time as possible working on the boat so that I can make sure all the glassing is done before we leave," Howard announced. "That way it will have the couple of weeks we're away to cure properly."

"Are you absolutely certain those guys will be able to get the glassing done in four days?" I queried. I hated to sound pessimistic but somehow it seemed so improbable but then again, what did I know.
"Well that's what they said," Howard pointed out. Did he sound just a wee tad uncertain too? I suspected he might! So over the next couple of weeks Howard's days seemed to consist of planing, sanding, more sanding, yet more sanding, applying fairing compound, sanding, more sanding...it was as if it was never going to finish.

Applying the fairing compound before doing yet more sanding!

Then one day I came home from work and asked my usual 'So what have you been doing today?' question and was blown away to hear Howard say:

"I've finished! It's all done and I'm ready for the glassing to start."
Now this I had to see. I raced into the shed. The boat was looking great.
"So when can those guys come?" I asked
"Hopefully in a day or so. With a bit of luck we should be able to start earlier than I'd planned."
"Hey, that's great." It was good to see Howard looking so happy especially after he had been working so hard.

A couple of days later all the gear for the glassing started to arrive. The huge drum of epoxy was even wrapped in our electric blanket so that it didn't get too cold - ah bless (and yes, I know, what about poor old me?)! And then the day dawned when everything was ready to start. When I left for work in the morning the excitement was almost palpable.
"Just think," I said, "by the time I come home tonight she'll have her first layer of glass complete!"
"I know. It's going to be so good getting this done before we go." Howard was beaming at the thought.

So I waited for what I thought would be a reasonable amount of time and then phoned Howard to find out how things were going. I didn't have to be psychic to work out that things were not going well - in fact they were going very badly! I decided it would be politic not to ask too many questions at this point in time so muttered something about hoping things got better as the day went on. I got a cursory 'Hmmm' in reply which didn't exactly sound imbued with optimism!

Four days plus a considerable amount of angst and grumpiness later there was one complete layer of glassing on the boat. So only another four to go - woohoo (note to reader: that was an ironic 'woohoo')! No chance then that it would be done before we left for the UK. That was a huge disappointment. Howard, needless to say, was gutted.

One layer of glassing done - only four to go!

And setting aside the disappointment of the glassing not being completed before we left for the UK, it was also beginning to look as though having these guys in to do it for us was not going to make economic sense. They'd made a good job of what they'd done so far but the cost of continuing at that application rate would be prohibitive. On the other hand, not having them do it would slow everything down. It reminded me a bit of those maths problems we used to have to do at junior school - you know the sort: 'If it takes three men four days to do one layer of glassing, how long will it take one man to do five?' Answers on a postcard please!

All-in-all I believed it was probably a good job that our UK trip was coming up.
"It'll give us space and time to think." I tried to make this statement sound quite philosophical but I'm not sure Howard was convinced.

"It doesn't alter the fact that it's really going to delay things." Howard was despondent. "And if the drum of epoxy is still not going to be warm enough even with the electric blanket wrapped around it and the shed is too cold to use the epoxy in spite of the diesel heater being on, what on earth am I going to do all winter?"

Now he had a point there. I felt I needed to keep being upbeat though.

"Remember that the winters in New Zealand are fairly short so by the time we're back from the UK we should only have a few weeks before the weather starts to warm up." Howard looked at me - I could see he was unconvinced. I decided to try a different tack.

"Maybe you'll just have to have a rest for a few weeks until spring arrives," I continued. "Remember you're always telling me that your hobby is sleeping? Well, here's your perfect excuse!" Howard scowled and looked at me over the top of his glasses. Oops, maybe I'd judged this all wrong and really hosed him off with my slightly flippant comments. Suddenly the corners of his mouth twitched and then turned into a huge grin.

"I guess you're right," he said.

"What do you mean 'you guess I'm right'?" I countered. "I thought you knew that I'm always right!"
"Whatever!" We both burst into fits of laughter. It was all going to be just fine.

Cabin Boy is a Multichine 36 being built by Howard Bennet in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand, with the assistance of his wife. The Bennets intend to retire and live aboard, this endeavour being the main goal in their lives, for that matter choosing the home-building way of having a safe and sound yacht, capable of inspiring confidence on their dwellers. To follow the story of Cabin Boy you can enter their blog: http:www.nz.blogspot.com.br, or by our link page: Multichine 34/36 Cabin Boy.

Click here to know more about the MC36


Pop 25 - Building the interior season

Designing a new project is a wonderful amusement. When producing the drawings one of our greatest pleasures is searching new ideas which could help people, be it in port or offshore, feeling safe and comfortable while staying inside the cabin. Following the construction of the first units of the new design and finding out if these ideas really work in practice is quite exciting too. This happens again when the first boats of the class are launched, when a pioneer leaves for an extended cruise, and when we learn about the first offshore accomplishments reported by our builders.

***

One of the boats that is be quite exciting to follow its construction is Solaris, which is being built in an amateur construction hub in Rio de Janeiro. His owner, Fernando Santos, started its construction in August 2012, and now is beginning to build the superstructure, so it is already possible to visualize the internal volume of the boat.

Solaris interior is almost concluded. The fore cabin is surprisingly spacious for a twenty-five foot cruising sailboat. However the Pop 25 has two other double berths, these ones with more room yet to spare. Courtesy: Fernando Santos

In the case of the Pop 25, when following the construction of Solaris and other pioneers of the class, we can say we reaped what we sow, and we are confirming our prevision that the boat is second to none in interior space for a cruising sailboat of this size.

The heads compartment extending from port to starboard is ample enough to allow having a shower in there. A curtain installed on the bulkhead that separates the saloon from the fore compartments gives privacy, while preventing water wetting the saloon’s corridor. Courtesy: Fernando Santos

Fernando opted for a stainless steel oval-shaped commercial basin instead of duplicating the galley’s sink. From the standpoint of elegance he is absolutely correct. It happens that the reason we specified using the same rectangular sink in both compartments has a point in doing so. Where it is not allowed to discharge grey waters directly overboard, the heads sink can drain the waste to the holding tank, which is not the case with the galley’s sink that drains directly overboard. Courtesy: Fernando Santos

Fernando accepted our suggestion and installed the Origo ethanol non-pressurized cooker, a choice which has everything to do with the philosophy of the project, that of being an ecologically friendly sailboat, with zero consumption of fossil fuels. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

We believe Fernando is going to install artificial teak or any other appealing finishing material on the central corridor floor. All it is possible to say by now is that it is a long corridor. Solaris is already having its superstructure under construction and the owner is willing to be sailing in a couple of months from now. Courtesy: Fernando Santos

***

There are other boats of the class involved with the construction of the interior. One of them is Hayal, being built in Turkey by Selim Karahan with the assistance of his father. This Pop 25 is closer to being finished than Solaris. We wouldn’t be surprised if Selim told us his boat is finished, ready to go sailing. What we know it is missing is the installation of a diesel engine, his preference. Since it is not the first option in the project, we promised to give him complementary information about the installation. He chose the 14hp S-drive version from Yanmar, and to give him a hand our office is fitting the engine in the project.

Hayal has its interior already concluded. Selim opted for installing a S-drive 14hp diesel engine, an acceptable alternative for auxiliary propulsion. Since this photo isn’t recent, it is possible that Hayal is finished by now. Courtesy: Selim Karahan

***

While Hayal is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, another Pop 25 is just crossing the tunnel’s entrance threshold. This boat is Konquest, being built by Marcelo Schurhaus and his brother Vandeli, in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, on the slab of Marcelo’s house garage, a place that requires guts to be used for the purpose, since it doesn’t possess safety rails around the working area. But there is no hurdle that German determination cannot overcome. Next you can watch the You Tube video of Konquest’s turning over operation:

***

Other Pop 25 are advancing their constructions in various places of the world; however we can only report news when the builders inform us how their works are progressing. Those who published blogs relating their sagas are easier for us to follow, and that is why we are concentrating our articles on these boats.

In this workshop, INA, meaning Itajai Nautical Association, located in Itajaí, State of Santa Catarina. South Brazil, will be built a Pop 25 which trasverse structure is being constructed as a CNC kit. Courtesy: Joao Marcos Pereira

Click here to know more about the Pop 25


Multichine 28 Atairu. Rally in an inland sea

Author: Josê Campello
Photos: Antônio Piqueres/Ari Valter

It’s already a tradition the Porto Alegre to Rio Grande rally that takes place during summer along the inland sea called Lagoa dos Patos. This year we hoped to join five sailboats but in the end only three confirmed their participation. This year’s fleet comprised the MC28 Atairu, crewed by the couple Antonio and Ivana Piqueres; Val-halla, sailed by Fabio, either single-handed or having Silvia or Jorge eventually; and finally Galantte, sailed by Ari Valter with the assistance of either José Campello or Fernando Campello. We intended to leave in February, 2, and be back in February 23. In the scheduled departure day it happened an unexpected event obliging us to delay the start of the trip. That delay ended up being a blessing, allowing us to make the final adjustments in port.

We left port with the first lights of dawn intending to reach Porto Barquinho, the first port of call sixty-eight miles distant during the evening of this same day. This intention came out being a difficult proposition, since we had the wind blowing on the nose for a good part of the distance. But the early birds catch the best worms and at 06:30pm we reached our destination

It was raining when we left the club’s píer, this being the case for the most part of the trip.

Itapoã lighthouse, the boundary between the Guaiba River estuary and Lagoa dos Patos, the inland lake we were to cross from end to end.

We had to keep five knots average speed to reach port before twilight. We passed by Itapoã lighthouse, twenty-five miles from the starting point, at 10:30, what gave us the assurance that we would reach Porto Barquinho that same day. Porto Barquinho was built to allow the rice production in the flooded areas to the east of the lake to reach the consumer’s markets being transported by barges. The artificial port was built with stones brought from Tapes, forming a polygonal shaped breakwater of huge dimensions. Requiring periodical dredging and permanent upkeep of the harbour’s metallic structure, the enterprise became a complete failure for lack of maintenance, not having even being inaugurated.

The shallow depth at the location was a hurdle to be overcome considering Galantte and Atairu 1.60m draught. We wished to make a raft with the three sailboats and when trying to do so we ended up being grounded in a mud bank, fortunately with no harm consequences for the boats. The U-shaped basin where it’s possible to be anchored is placed just in the centre of the sheltered harbour, meaning that we were obstructing the access to the pier for whoever arrived after us. Val-halla was the raft leader, having the two other boats alongside. That evening, after being indulged in a fresh water hose bath at the pier, we went aboard Atairu, where Ivana and Antonio prepared a gourmet meal for the whole group, including appetizers, a rice dish as main staple, washed down with a special harvest Argentinean wine, crowning the gastronomic orgy with a box of chocolate for desert to compensate for the cold sandwiches we have eaten for the whole day. .

Ivana preparing supper on the jumbo-sized Atairu’s galley.

The skippers joined for a gastronomic orgy.

Next morning the wind had shifted 180° making havoc with our anchor rode. The mess we had to deal with had no logic explanation, being left to us disentangling the conundrum of twisted cabled without understanding what went on.

Warps and chains resembling spaghetti.. only God knowing how it happened. We inflated our smaller tender and made a survey of the depths in the surroundings with the assistance of a lead-line.

Sounding depths with the lead-line in Porto Barquinho.

While our depth sounders informed we had three metres of water under the hull, the actual depth was scants 0,80m, allowing us to walk in the sea bed with water up to the hips.

Once cleared the spaghetti jig-saw, we lost no time and left for the next leg of the trip, taking the utmost of the favourable conditions. At 11:00 am, under a light breeze from the west we were on the course to Cristovao Pereira lighthouse, where we arrived at 13:30. This time the lunch was just lasagna and pizza, and after that, tired and sleepy, we felt we deserved a siesta, leaving for later to explore the basin with the inflatable. After that we went for an exploration trip upstream the rivulet that drains into our haven.

Galantte, Val Halla and Atairu anchored in raft style.

This local fishing trawler was tied to stumps ashore.

The adventure wasn’t properly a success. When Ari jumped ashore to lash the inflatable to a stump, the dinghy reared up like a wild stallion, pitch-poling in the wrong direction, giving a thorough wash to the outboard, which miraculously didn’t choke, and throwing the crew into the drink, my camera included, a scene worth a blockbuster blooper.

Cristovao Pereira lighthouse, a historic landmark in Lagoa dos Patos.

This natural pool is a nursery sanctuary for marine life.

However that wasn’t to be the only mishap of the day. Just in case, we took the precaution to bring a hand-hold VHF with us. After some 200m of easy running, when we were getting ready to land, a call from Galantte informed that the boat had drifted from the raft and was linked to the other two boats by a thin cable not suitable for the purpose.

Galantte can be seen separated from the other two boats

In 10 minutes we were back on board finding the situation already under control. Fabio, who stayed on the raft taking care of our belongings, had managed to clear the mess giving more scope to the joining warp.

Brave little dinghy. Even though being half flooded she brought us back unscathed.

In the second evening supper was served again in Atairu’s cabin, this time the grub being pizza served with a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. That night was hard to sleep. The wind had shifted during the night blowing against a swell which didn’t allow us to rest properly. Atairu’s echo-sounder alarm had triggered a couple of times transmitting a sensation of imminent trouble.

Speak of the devil and he appears. The next trouble had a different cause. Atairu’s raw water pump impeller had stopped functioning when Antonio turned on the engine to charge batteries before breakfast, sounding the panel’s temperature alarm and obliging him to accomplish this maintenance task before he could open his eyes properly.

A pleasant task to start the day after a night of poor sleep: substituting the engine’s raw water pump impeller…

The scheduled 06:00 am departure ended up being just wishful thinking, since we only managed to leave at 09:00, bound for the city of Sao Lourenço.

Clear sailing. Ivana steers Atairu bound for Sao Lourenço.

The sailing was a sixty miles close reach taking us eleven hours to reach port most of the time under sail. Af first Galantte surprised the other two boats taking the lead by short-cutting a sand bank, but eventually Val-halla and Atairu catched up the leader, surpassing her by far. Fortunately that day we escaped quite a few thunderstorms which happened at our lee, with heavy downpours, lightning and gusts of wind. It was dark already when we arrived. For our luck our friend Paulo Angonese, a local resident, gave us a hand showing the way to the pier of that lovely town settled by Pomeran German immigrants.

We spent two lovely days there, this including an invitation for a visit to the farm of a couple of friends, Fabio and Silvia, in the outskirts of the city.

Country life for a change in our friends’ farm. From left to right: Ivana, Fabio and Silvia.

Farewell supper in São Lourenço – Campello, Fábio, Sílvia, Ivana, Antônio and Ari.

Our departure had to be postponed from 07:00am to 11:00am due to an unexpected bad weather. No sooner we left and Atairu got involved in another incident. She went aground in a sand bank at the mouth of the dredged channel that gives access to the lake. Antonio called for assistance by the VHF promptly answered by fishing trawlers passing by.

Raining cats and dogs in São Lourenço. Even under that deluge Atairu doesn’t loose her majestic looks.

In this leg of the trip we had the company of our couple of friends, Flavio and Silvia, who so gently sheltered us in their farm in Sao Lourenço. Now our next port of call would be Rio Grande, our final destination..

Bound for Rio Grande. Galantte is the boat ahead…

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28


Pop Alu 32 in Porto Alegre: First hull is finished

It has been finalized in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, the first hull of our new aluminum design in kit form Pop Alu 32. Our friend and boat builder Jairo Luis de Oliveira has sent some recent pictures taken at his boatyard Ilha Sul Construções Náuticas.

For someone aspiring to sail with the inherent safety of a well built aluminum hull, this is an excellent opportunity to get there without much to wait. This very hull is available for sale by the boatyard.

The Pop Alu 32 has many recent trends incorporated in the design, and with the twin bulb keels can be easily dried on a tide of one meter or more, and even in the hard stand áreas of boatyards it will be an economical boat to accomodate, as it does not require special craddles or supports since it can sit level on the keels.

With the increased costs of dry docking a boat on the rise almost everywhere due to real state developments on the wáter front, the ability to dry a boat to do regular maintenance without requiring a special yard will play an important role in reducing the overall costs of keeping a yacht.

In conjunction with the also new Pop 25 this design brings many improvements to the builder in the form of pre-cut kits for all the aluminum parts and interior plywood furniture, and we are sure that many crusing sailors will find in these new designs the platform they have been hoping for to live their cruising and sailing dreams.

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32


Pop 25 - Kit maker Bonilla meets Roberto Barros in Rio

A group of persons involved with the Pop 25 class keeps narrowing its laces of friendship. It’s as if the class were a large family with its members participating of mutual achievements.

In April, 2013, the Pop 25 Mandala builder, now a kit maker of the boat, Marcelo Bonilla, from Palhoça, Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil, HTTP://construindoseuveleiro.com.br, in a trip to Rio de Janeiro in the company of his wife Cíntia, Murillo Almeida and me, two of the participants in the creation of the project, met in a fellowship lunch scheduled to take place in a local restaurant. Marcelo Bonilla wrote a note in his blog about this meeting:

“The highlight of the trip was meeting Roberto Barros and Murilo Almeida. We were very welcome by them. They are special indeed! It was a pleasure to know them personally. Murilo is a very talented designer!”

Roberto Barros, Cíntia, Marcelo and Murilo in the classic photo taken by the waiter, having the Pop 25 kit as the “personality” of the day. This kit was confectioned by Marcelo just before the trip and was a big surprise for us.

It was a very agreeable occasion that afternoon, a great opportunity to learn what others think about the project. Marcelo, honouring his model-making trade, brought us a gift that was much appreciated: a miniature of the Pop 25 made by his CNC tooling with Swiss precision. Next day we sent an acknowledgment e-mail to Marcelo and his wife with the following words:

Hi Cíntia and Marcelo
What a pleasure to meet you in Rio!
In spite of having seen the rendered figures of the Pop 25 thousands of times, having the sight of it in solid state was amazing. We didn’t realize how cute she is when seen in 3D. The freeboard height and the cabin trunk design seem to be in perfect harmony. The vertical topsides are much nicer than we thought. She is decorating the desk top, just in front of the computer; a sight for sore eyes!
My wife Eileen loved the little model and is also thanking you for the gift…

The model will serve as inspiration for the articles about the class, while there is no Pop 25 sailing, and we are sure it will contribute in boosting the enthusiasm of those who chose this project as the boat of their dreams.

Roberto Barros and Murilo can hardly believe they are seeing a perfect miniature of the boat they worked for so many hours to define its shape. It was only missing the presence of Luis Gouveia, who is running B & G Yacht Design office from Perth, W. A., for the Pop 25 design team of authors to be complete. What impressed us most was the ability of the model, and consequently the boat, to stand on its two fin-keels without requiring a cradle. In times when prices of services are becoming prohibitive it is blessing to be possible to make your own maintenance with no cost taking advantage of the difference in tide range to let the hull stay on dry.

Bringing the model home aroused vivid remembrances. My wife and adventures companion Eileen reminded me that if the 25 foot cruising sailboat in which we sailed from Rio de Janeiro to the South Pacific (you can read this story accessing the free book published in our site in PDF, left lower corner of our home-page, “Rio to Polynesia, an adventure in the South Pacific) inspired us the same confidence transmitted by the Pop 25 design, our daughter wouldn’t be born in Tahiti, but instead would be a New Zealander, since we were sailing bound for that country, when halting our trip not to risk the safety of mother and offspring.

The Pop 25 is fit to accomplish any cruising dreams. Eileen was delighted with our friends’ gift. Compared to our tipsy sailboat Sea Bird the full scale Pop 25 will resemble a cruising ship.

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Changing subjects from fantasy to reality, the boats under construction whose owners published blogs with links from our site are showing stunning advances in the progress of their constructions. One of them, Hayal, being built in Turkey by Muntaz Karahn, and having started the construction in August, 2012, has its interior already completed and now is concluding the deck construction. The building is being done by Muntaz and his father, and they told us to be having great fun with the challenge, since they are totally rookies in yacht building. They informed us they are experiencing an incredible feeling of accomplishment with the building.

Hayal is being built at a fast pace by Muntaz Karahn in Turkey. In less than six months of weekend work the hull was already turned over. Courtesy: Muntaz Karahn

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Another Pop 25 which construction is advancing steadily towards conclusion is Rancho Alegre, being built by Francisco Aydos, from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil. Francisco is building the boat with his own hands and is showing a great deal of competence in overcoming the hurdles in his way towards the final goal of having an offshore cruising sailboat.

Making the interior of the Pop 25 is a quick task to be accomplished. Just a fortnight after turning the boat upside the furniture carpentry was practically concluded. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos

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Konquest, the Pop 25 being built on top of the house’s garage slab were her builder, Marcelo Schürhauss lives is a good example of Pop 25 owners commitment. Courtesy: Marcelo Schürhaus

Marcelo is a good example of the state of mind of the Pop 25 builders. As an amateur, he has the weekends only to work in his boat. Even though he counts with the only assistance of his brother Vandeli, the work progresses in a steady rhythm. The hull is scheduled to be turned over in the first week of May and for the degree of commitment the bothers are dedicating to the construction, it is expected that Konquest will be sailing in 2013.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Kiribati 36M K2: design has been upgraded

After 5 years we decided to revise and upgrade the Kiribati 36 design, incorporate some ideas that came after the prolongued use of Green Nomad and add design details that were once doubts and questions forwarded by the first builders of the design.

So it was how the Kiribati 36 MK2 was born, which is nothing more than the same design with some differences in aesthetics and improvements in deck layout, results from practical experience with the Kiribati 36 Green Nomad. The arrangement plan was also changed to become more like Green Nomad, with the same kind of navigation table.

The cabin is now lower and more streamlined, that being achieved by using narrower hatches and replacing the two most forward hatches on the sides of the cabin by fixed windows. We noticed that on Green Nomad we very seldom opened those two hatches, and by doing this change we managed to lower the cabin roof a little and make it more appealing visually.

The plans now also incorporate a new optional deck plan version with a hard dodger with the mainsail sheet traveller on top of its roof, and now the CNC files have the parts for fabricating this dodger included.

All improvements we made or would like to make on Green Nomad are addressed in this design revision, and we hope that in this way we can offer future builders the benefit of experience and solutions that work and have been tested.

The plans and CNC files have all parts to produce the boat, making this a very fast and economic project for boatyards and amateur builders alike.

This design has been received with great interest internationally, and this encourages us to always keep it updated and to introduce improvements. We believe that this good acceptance is in part due to the size, big enough to carry all supplies and spares for big expeditions and still small enough to be easily handled by a single person or a couple and also to keep the running and maintenance costs at attractive levels.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36 MK2


Return to Australia

After a sojourn in Asia our yacht design Office is back to Australia. This overseas stay was a rewarding experience, as much from a personal standpoint, as professionally.

Perth Downtown seen from Matilda’s Bay.

During the early months of 2009, when we were absolutely acclimatized with our new country, my wife Astrid received an invitation to be the project engineer for a Brazilian company which was building two deep water drilling rigs in Singapore.
It was not a cool decision. B & G Yacht Design, the naval architecture firm we registered in Australia to develop nautical projects was getting close to be one year old and we were sorry to weaken our plans of expanding our presence in this new market.

We learned that it would be possible to operate the office from abroad, as long as our book-keeper kept up-dated our fiscal obligations with the Australian authorities. So we decided to leave for a new overseas adventure.
Singapore is quite interesting. Being a young city/state placed in a small island in the southern part of the Malaysian peninsula, it is possible to round the whole country along the borders by car in less than two hours. It is an industrial and commercial hub, besides being one of the most important ports in Asia. It is a country of hard workers, but, on the other hand, the standard of living is very high, being a good example for other developing countries on how a good administration and a community of hard workers can make the difference.

Singapore is a small island/state placed in the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, where in fifty years of independence was built one of the most solid economies in the whole world.

We stayed in Singapore for one and a half years. The construction of the first drilling rig was already half-completed when of our arrival and the second one was still to be started.
In mid-2010, when the first rig was almost completed, the same company started a negotiation of two drill ships with Samsung Shipyards, in South Korea, and once again Astrid was invited to be the site engineer manager.
This time the decision to go for the new challenge was simpler, since we had been operating B & G yacht Design from the distance without great difficulty, and we were becoming to be known for our lack of permanence in the same place for too long, and the name of our company was becoming better known. It was also a good chance to experiment the culture of a new country and its people. In September, 2010, we left Singapore to live in another island, Geoge, in South Korea.

Samsung Shipyard in Geoje Island, South Korea.

My routine changed somehow in South Korea. Besides working in our yacht design office, I also participated as a marine engineering adviser in the construction of the two drill ships to be built in Samsung Shipyards.
The shipyard is the third largest in Korea, with the potential of producing eighty-five ships per year when operating at its upper limit. It was a challenging experience for me to be involved from the very beginning with a type of work that has little to do with yacht designing.

The time it took to build the two ships was amazingly short, taking into account the complexity of the ships’ project: eighteen months from the phase of cutting the plates to launching, all that being done at the highest level of quality, as it was later confirmed by the contracting party, and the authorities from the contracting country, for the approval of the two ships, so they could start to operate with no delay.

Departure of the vessel Amaralina Star filmed by the crew of the sister ship Laguna Star at Samsung Shipyard.

Amaralina Star, one of the ships in which I participated in the construction when staying in Korea.

I received an invitation to accomplish an unusual and challenging task. By indication of our team mate Luis Manuel Pinho, who also belongs to the NGO Sea Shepherd’s Foundation, I had been asked if I could survey a ship which they were considering purchasing to be incorporated to their fleet. So far so good, the only detail being that the ship was in Japan and had belonged to the Japanese government, the very adversaries of the ONG, and if it was the slightest suspicion that I had any involvement with the Sea Shepherd Organization, any possibility of deal would be frozen in a blink. They instructed me to tell I had been hired by a broker who had been commissioned by a wealthy American who intended to buy the ship for adapting it into a leisure yacht. In the end everything worked out fine, the ship was in good conditions and I gave them the green light to proceed in the negotiations. The acquisition was accomplished and the ship is already operating for the cause of saving the whales from the Japanese whale-hunters. The cherry in the pie was that our collaborator Luis Manuel Pinho was appointed as captain of the ship. (The whole story of this deal will be told in another article)

Seifu Maru docked in Shimonoseki, Japan.

Once concluded the construction of the two drill ships, we once again were invited to stay in Korea for the construction of another ship, one more time commissioned by the same company that hired us. However we decided that the escape from our original plan had gone too far and that the time had come to return to Australia. We packed our stuffs in September 2012 and left Geoje Island bound for Perth, the place we had chosen to stay. In our way home we decided to spend a fortnight in Thailand, chartering a sailboat in Phucket. (This is going to be another article we will be publishing soon)

Sailing in the outskirts of Phucket Marina.

Arriving in Australia now it is time to set up shop again. It takes time but it is part of the fun.

New B & G Yacht Design Office in Perth, Western Australia.

Back to work, for sure we will have some time ahead with plenty of hurdles to overcome. But we have good news.
One of our most recent designs, the Kiribati 36, has already its second unit constructed, ready to be launched.
Another innovative project just introduced, the Pop Alu 32, has already two units under construction in two different countries.
The Pop 25, a recent introduction in the market, is already our blockbuster, most probably in function of its amazing easiness of construction. The class has already two boats close to be launched and several others advancing in their construction in a fast pace.

Another of our recent works, the Curruira 33, has already one boat close to be launched in Turkey.
It is also very rewarding to learn that our line of stock plans keep expanding staidly. It is routine to receive reports of boats from our design being launched in the most different places.

Pop 25, Curruíra 33 and Pop Alu 32, new designs we had introduced recently

About our new projects, we have two new designs in our agenda. The first one is a 21foot day-sailer, having its introduction scheduled for this April. The other is a 34 foot catamaran to be introduced in the first half of 2013.
If you follow our site regularly, you will probably find more action from now on, since we are totally focused in the yacht design branch of our activities.
If you want any special information, please contact me by the e-mail: info@yachtdesign.com.au. I will promptly reply you.

Pop Daysailer 21, the next B & G Yacht Design to be launched


A different job in Japan

When I was living in South Korea I received a proposal to take part in a different job. By indication from Luis Manuel the people from the Sea Shepherd Organization contacted me asking if I was interested in surveying a ship that they were interested to buy to increase their anti-whalers fleet. The problem was that the vessel was in Japan and if the Japanese government suspected that it would be used by the Sea Shepherd, the negotiation would be suspended immediately. The story that was told to the Japanese broker was that I was contracted by an American agent representing a millionaire who was interested to transform the ship in a luxury yacht.

I am not sure if the broker believed in the story, or if he was more interested in selling the vessel, but the date of the inspection was set. I took a plane from Busan to Fukuoka and then a train to Shimonoseki where the ship was docked. I didn't have any idea of the condition of the vessel and I was worried that it was not good. A few years ago Roberto Barros and I surveyed a sailing boat that had some problems and made a report to our client indicating what we had found. In the end both the client and the broker were unhappy, the first because he liked the boat and was disappointed that we had spoiled his dream, and the second because he lost the deal and thought we could be less rigorous about the report.

The Seifu Maru, later to be rebaptised Sam Simon, at the dock in Shimonoseki.

In the end the survey was very good. The ship was in good shape and my feedback was positive. The negotiation went through and the purchase was finalized. The vessel was renamed and now is helping the NGO fight against the Japanese whalers fleet. Best even is that out team mate Luis Manuel Pinho was appointed the captain of the vessel in its first season.


Kiribati 36 - Back to Green Nomad

After 6 months with NGO Sea Shepherd now it is time to get back to Green Nomad. Our trip with the new boat is progressing slowly, but we believe that standing up and fighting for the preservation of the life in the oceans is vital, and no life no ocean to go sailing in.

I was honoured to be captain of the Sea Shepherd ship Sam Simon in this year’s Antarctic whale defence campaign. But B&G Yacht Design’s involvement with the Sam Simon started way back, when Luis Gouveia went to Japan to survey the ship and gave Sea Shepherd the thumbs up to buy her.

The Sam Simon in Hobart, Tasmania.

And he was not wrong: the Sam Simon proved to be in excellent shape, and extremely reliable, safe and strong. We faced extreme weather in the Southern Ocean this year, then had to move through dense ice pack and the strong hull was a guarantee to our safety.

The Bob Barker East of the Ross Sea, Antarctica.

Now, coming back to Green Nomad, I am more than ever motivated to develop our range of polar and high latitude aluminium cruising and expedition sailboats, all the way from the Kiribati 36 to the bigger models like the Polar 50 and Polar 65, not forgetting the Multichine 41 SK.

Green Nomad now sails through tropical seas, as we still lack some of the gear needed for high latitude sailing. But we have a good base to start from and are very happy by our choice of design and material.

Sam Simon sails off Heard Island, Indian Ocean.

An idea I had when coming back from Antarctica and passing next to Heard Island, an Australian sub-antarctic island., was of a very viable polar cruise for smaller boats: Leave from Cape Town by mid November and sail to the Cooperation Sea, where we were recently with the Sea Shepherd ships ( roughly 68 degrees South latitude and 075 degrees East longitude.), taking advantage of the prevailing Westerly winds, then stay for a month in the area, using the best month of the Austral summer, and follow on with the Westerlies to Australia or New Zealand. A 36ft sailboat like Green Nomad could do this journey with no big problems, respecting the weather conditions that are usually mild at this time of the year in Antarctica.

An Antarctic cruise viable for small sized sailboats.

Inspiring image from the Cooperation Sea, Antarctica.

One of the best aspects of owning a capable cruising sailboat is the possibility to look at a world chart and decide that you want to go to some specific spot, taking your home with you and staying as long as you want and nature lets you, with no big costs involved once you provision and take good care of your equipment.

A capable high latitude cruising boat , the Kiribati 36 Green Nomad.

It must be observed that to do a trip like the one shown on the map above, the applicable permits must be sought from the competent authorities.

If you want to learn more about out capable high latitude and polar cruising sailboats click here.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36.


Samoa 28 - Sail plan for club racing now available

Cruising sail plan:

As it is supposed to happen in any yacht design studio, we are constantly developing new products, be them new projects or up-grades for already existing projects. When designing a cruising sailboat stock plan we invariably specify sail plans for maximum efficiency when sailing offshore. The original cruising rig we design in all projects has a moderate sail area and a relatively short rig, so to afford users’ friendly manoeuvrability, especially when jibing, and plenty of stiffness when sailing close-hauled in fresher breezes. This rig is also bullet proof, and is recommended for those who intend to sail bound for offshore passages, or don’t intend to go that far, but will elect the boat for gunk-holing, many times with non-skilled crews.

Samoa 28 Sirius sailing in the River Plate. This was the first Samoa 28 to be launched. Being rigged with the cruising version sail area, Sirius shows superior performance in heavy winds. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo.

The Samoa 28 rigged with its cruising sail plan is a boat fitted to cross oceans as if it was a promenade. Its hull is stiff as a rock, while its high stability affords a sensation of safety typical of much larger boats. These are the features which are pushing the Samoa 28 career upwards.

The sail plan in its cruising version is always the first choice we offer in our line of cruiser-racer stock plans. This rig favours manoeuvring when short-handed and enhances stability, two features highly praised by cruising enthusiasts.

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Performance oriented sail plan:

Even though we gave preference for the reduced sail area of the cruising version sail plan, since the Samoa 28 was designed for crossing oceans in any sort of weather, an expressive number of our clients have different purposes in mind for enjoying their boats. Be it for lack of time, be it for lack of will, the truth is that blue water passages are issues out of the question in the minds of many of them. However club racing is a challenging sport in their minds, being a good chance of practicing a physical activity in company of team mates, while socializing in the club veranda at the end of the day, making a big fuss about the incidents of the regatta. For this group of sailors we developed the performance oriented sail plan with a taller rig and larger sail area, which besides being faster in any wind condition, is especially more pleasant to be sailed where the winds are weaker and flicker in direction. This new sail plan is now part of the Samoa 28 package, being a personal decision which sail plan to choose.

The new performance oriented sail plan, which we called club-racing sail plan, is intended for those interested in participating in regattas in their regions, being highly recommended where light winds prevail.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 28.


Samoa 28 - The ultimate cruising sailboat

B & G Yacht Design is traditionally known for its involvement with cruising sailboat projects. Since the beginning of the company, in the late eighties, our team had the desire to help dreamers of all ages to be able of going offshore in crafts that could be trusted of coping with whatever surprise the weather had to offer.

Being seasoned long distance cruising sailors with several offshore passages in our curriculum, we had a good idea of what really matters when you are accomplishing an overseas passage, or when having to endure extremely harsh weather conditions.

The Samoa 28 is simple to be sailed. Its 110% overlap n° 1 Genoa fitted with furling gear in a 7/8 fractional rig is extremely easy to be tacked by a short-handed crew. Courtesy: Bernardo Sampaio

This article intends to highlight some of the aspects of the boat that might interest cruising sailors who want to live aboard and accomplish offshore passages. Building a yacht is an amusing challenge, but nothing like sailing in a boat that you saw her to be born to give you a unique sensation of achievement. If this boat is up to your expectations, then all the efforts were worthwhile.

Terrius was one of the firsts Samoa 28 to sail. The information her owner, Bernardo Sampaio, passed us about the general behaviour of the boat were the best possible. Nothing like the word of a happy owner to confirm that the studio produced a successful design. Courtesy: Bernardo Sampaio.

Recently we received an e-mail from Bernardo Sampaio with the following words:

We are using our boat almost all weekends. It is our beach house.
We can point some of the advantages of the project when comparing to other boats of the same size. Superior headroom, the space inside the heads being second to none, the comfort in the aft cabin, the wide stern scoop, never mentioning the profusion of lockers and storing space, having in mind the boat is only a twenty-eight footer. Our fresh water capacity has no comparison with other boats we find in anchorages…

The interior of Terrius is as snug as a bug in a rug. Courtesy: Bernardo Sampaio

The Samoa 28 is an authentic battleship. The most important decision we had to take when programming the type of boat we wanted to design was about the building method we would adopt. We wanted the boat to be easy to be constructed, while being strong and seaworthy. We chose the “sandwich of strip-planking building method” for constructing the hull and the “plywood/epoxy construction technique” for the superstructure.

This was a fortunate choice. The boat proved to be easy to be built; the strip allowed designing a round-bilge hull, the preference of many, while the sandwich combination provided immense rigidity to the hull. The plywood/epoxy interior and superstructure was found to be within the reach of even an inexperienced amateur to make it, and the final result was that of obtaining a good-looking, long lasting, seaworthy and comfortable sailboat.

The “sandwich of strip-planking building method” is the first reason for the Samoa 28 class success. The hull is relatively light, very strong, and is within the reach of the amateur to build it. Courtesy: Bernardo Sampaio

Strip-planking hull construction is an acclaimed building method, while sandwich lamination offers unequalled rigidity. Even though the boat had been specified for using wooden strips as core material, there is no restriction in employing PVC foam planks in the place of the wooden strips. Another advantage of the system is the fact that the specifications don’t require internal framing.

It didn’t take long for the project to attract the attention of sailors from different places who wished to build a boat in that range of size. The boat is making an impressive career since its introduction, now having builders in five continents.

The interior layout of the Samoa 28 is what can be considered the most functional for this size of sailboat to live aboard for long periods. The boat being very stable enhances the comfort below decks when sailing in bad weather.

Some of our clients edited blogs to report the progress of their constructions, these blogs being a good incentive to other builders. They are listed in our page of links, first column from the left: Sirius, Caprichoso, Furioso, Baleia and Paloma. Sirius is sailing since a long time, while Caprichoso, Furioso and Baleia are in the last stages of construction. Paloma started the construction more recently and is still building the hull. We intend to write articles about the launching of each one of these boats, as we already had the pleasure of doing when Sirius, the first Samoa 28 to be finished, was inaugurated. Other builders who wish to make blogs about their constructions can count on us to include them in our list of links.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 28.


Pop 25 - class hull turning over season - Part II

Good news for the Pop 25 class. Those builders who turned their hulls recently are progressing at full throttle in the construction of the interior, while those who have their hulls almost finished are getting ready for the turning over operation. One example is Konquest, being built in Santa Catarina, Brazil, by Marcelo Schürhaus.

Konquest after receiving the first coach of epoxy primer. Marcelo Schurhaus is craving for turning over his boat to start a new phase in the construction. Courtesy: Marcelo Schürhaus.

Marcelo is the brave builder who is making his boat on the slab of his house garage. The minimum forgetfulness and he will have to face a three meters fall. Now that his boat is technically ready to be turned over, we are going to follow with curiosity how the turning over manoeuvre will be carried on. Marcelo and his family have ambitious plans for Konquest. It is their intention to have the boat launched before the end of this year, with plans for offshore sailing soon after. We keep close contact with him and can only congratulate his family for the beautiful work they are accomplishing.

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Rancho Alegre is a Pop 25 being built with maximum commitment in Porto Alegre, South Brazil. It seems that her owner, Francisco Aydos, is building her as if the great pleasure were the construction in itself. The result, as it couldn’t be different, is a sight for sore eyes.

Rancho Alegre is a Pop 25 that had its hull turned over very recently. Our client Francisco Aydos must love the smell of wood in everything he does. He is building his boat inside such a cosy wooden ranch that the name he chose for the boat has everything to do with the atmosphere of the place. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos

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Another Pop 25 that is showing impressive progress in its construction is Solaris. This boat had its hull turned over in December 2012. In the beginning of March the interior is practically concluded, missing the last touches of finishing, like installing trims and rails and completing painting and bright-work. Another benchmark in the history of the class is the Electroprop 5.5k/w electric motor our client, Fernando Santos, has already installed. Since this is one of the highlights of the project, it is a blessing that soon we will have consistent data about the performance of the boat when being propelled by this motor, All other Pop 25 fans are watching with curiosity to see how Solaris will do with its new toy.

Solaris has its interior being built in a fast pace. The person in the photo is the designer Murilo Almeida, one of the authors of the project. Photo: Murilo Almeida

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Hayal is being built in Turkey. His owner Selim Karahan turned the hull over in the beginning of March. There are several other Pop 25 builders in Turkey, but up to now only Selim reported about how his work is progressing. Courtesy: Selim Karahan

One of the advantages of the Pop 25 hull is the easiness to plaster the topsides for painting. Selim preferred to take care of the bottom of the hull only, since the upside-down position is incomparably easier to sand the bottom, leaving the fairing of the topsides for further ahead, and this way opening a new front of work in the interior of the boat. He edited a blog with link from our site where you can follow all the steps of his construction.

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Mandala is a Pop 25 being constructed in Santa Catarina, Southern Brazil. Her owner, Marcelo Bonilla, started a new business intending to produce complete kits of the project for the local market and overseas. He already obtained the first two orders and the interest for his service is widespread. Courtesy: Marcelo Bonilla.

One of the most determined Pop 25 builders is Marcelo Bonilla, from Santa Catarina, Brazil. Besides building Mandala for his family leisure, he started a kit producing business so successful that no sooner the service was put available he already got two orders, the first one already being delivered.

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There is one Pop 25 which is almost concluded. This boat is Horus, being built in City Bell, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her builder, Daniel D’Angelo must be planning to launch his boat by now. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

If the Pope is Argentinean and the best football player is Leonel Messi, for us Daniel D’Angelo looks like to be the champion of the world in the task of completing the construction of the first Pop 25 to go sailing.

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We are grateful to our builders who are publishing blogs about their constructions. We have been informed about the interest of other Pop 25 enthusiasts who follow regularly the progress of each boat in the blog’s list. Many of them contact us just to comment about the latest news of the class. It is to those supporters that we dedicate our efforts.

The Pop 25 was the boat we designed with the intention of providing a bridge between the dreams of those who wish to sail to distant places and the difficulty of owning a proper yacht capable of sailing to anywhere. The work of our builders complements ours.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Pop 25 - class hull turning over season

It looked as if it was intentional. Three Pop 25 hulls were turned upside in a row. They were Solaris, being built in Rio de Janeiro since August 2012, having the hull turned over in December 2012, Rancho Alegre, from Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, whose hull was turned upside this February, and Hayal, being built in Turkey, this one being turned over in March.

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Rancho Alegre’s turning over was toasted in good style. After the well-succeeded operation, our client Francisco Aydos threw a party not to be forgotten. Besides counting with an impressive team of buddies to give him a hand, he was especially grateful to his wife Iara and his daughter Marcia for having produced the videos of the whole event.

Now it starts the best part for him, building the interior. From now on every single day of work will be worth commemorating for having a new aspect of his future yacht revealed.

Francisco’s friends assuming their positions in Rancho Alegre’s turning over. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos

The point of no return is reached. At this point Francisco must have been feeling he already owns a yacht. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos

From now on, come hell or high water, Francisco is the happy owner of the sailboat he dreamed with. Courtesy: Francico Ayudos

After such an outstanding event there is nothing like a barbecue to replenish the energies. Francisco is the fourth from the right. Courtesy: Francico Aydos


Even though the boat was still on the dry, on the other hand the whole crew jumped into the drink, literally. Courtesy: Francico Aydos

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We were surprised to learn that a Pop 25 whose owner acquired the plans in July 2012 had its hull already turned upside. This boat is Hayal (means dream in Turkish), being built by the amateur Selim Karahan with the assistance of his father.

It is amazing the speed our builders are building their hulls. The first news we received from Selim was to inform his boat was already turned over. Courtesy: Selim Karahan.

Selim published a blog,  http://pop25hayal.blogspot.com/ , which we will include in our page of links, left column, with the intention of helping other builders who are constructing the Pop 25 without previous experience. It is wonderful he did it, since we are informed that most our builders follow with great interest the progress of other members of the club. The history of the Pop 25 class is becoming a case of interactivity, having plenty of information exchanged among builders. Of course Selim’s contribution will be more effective in his country, where there are several other Pop 25 builders, but that is good enough. We have already, including Hayal, six blogs in four different languages reporting the construction of boats of the class. For those who can’t read Turkish, as it is our case, it is already rewarding to look at the photos.

If there is a point that will help the class to spread rapidly, this is the easiness of building the hull. Our builders are finding no difficulty in going ahead with their constructions. Selim is receiving some advice from another client of ours, Ömer Kirkal, who built the MC 26C Evrensel. Courtesy: Selim Karahan.

Selim sent us an e-mail we transcribe below:

Dear Luis,

Greetings. As you know we are building a Pop 25. You can follow our construction on http://pop25hayal.blogspot.com/ . 
It's really a challenging experience for amateurs like us, but very enjoyable, of course. 

By the way, we are building this sailboat my father and I. Her name is Hayal, meaning dream, because this is our dream. 
My father and I always wanted a boat like that. We work making ship’s parts (doors, portholes, hatches, etc), for tankers and other big ships. My father wanted to have a sailboat, but in Turkey sailboats are too expensive.

One day a friend talked about amateur boat building with us. You must remember him. He is Ömer Kirkal, who built the MC26C Evrensel. He showed us your web-site and we reasoned that if we think too much we will arrive to the conclusion that we don’t have enough money or the necessary experience. However we needed a sailboat.

This gave us courage and we purchased the plans, a stock of marine plywood and started the construction. Ömer was very helpful. He is helping us on any time we find any difficulty. But we search and we learn again and again. Our feelings must be different, since you created the plans, it is your trade. Our feeling of confidence is priceless. The design is so powerful!  Thank you for giving us this chance and for your assistance.

Best regards

Selim Karahan

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The Pop 25 Solaris had the hull turned upside last December. We had been invited to the barbecue her builder Fernando Santos offered in the occasion, when we had the chance to see a boat of the class standing on its twin keels for the first time. That day was quite reassuring for us, since we consider the most desired feature of the design being its independence from cradles, travel lifts and launching ramps.

Fernando Santos discarded building the holding tanks specified in the plans. In that place he built water-tight compartments, filling the empty spaces with pet bottles. Substituting Styrofoam for pet bottles is a nice idea, since they cost nothing, besides being an environmentally friendly attitude. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

Solaris already has its internal carpentry concluded and now is having the superstructure being built. The visible part of the plywood panels had been covered with white Formica™, what gave an appearance of spaciousness to the interior. Since applying the ceiling is a matter of one day or two days work, soon Solaris interior will be looking like it will be when she will be sailing.

Solaris fore-cabin double berth carpentry already concluded. It is a luxury having three double berths inside a twenty-five foot sailboat. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

The Pop 25 class being so recent turns every new event in the construction of these boats reason for huge curiosity. This is the case of the electric motor Fernando already installed in Solaris motor compartment. He acquired the Electroprop 5.5kW made by Propulsion Marine, from Santa Barbara, California. The cost of the whole package is much smaller than that of a diesel engine with the same power, and its installation is incomparably simpler. If we consider all the other advantages, we have all reasons to believe that electric auxiliary propulsion in cruising sailboats will be the rule in the near future.

Solaris is the first Pop 25 yet to have electric auxiliary motor installed. The shaft tunnel is made of PVC tube having fibreglass cloth wrapped around it up to its end, where the shaft seal will be fixed. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

***

Being a recent project, the Pop 25 still is rehearsing its first steps. However the enthusiasm of the members of the class is so contagious that we are expecting the class pretty soon to be a blockbuster. The comments our bloggers express in their texts make us believe on this.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


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.


Curruira 33 - The first boat of the class is almost concluded

It comes from Turkey the first Curruira 33 to get close to its launching day. Our client Emre Yilmaz, is doing an awesome nice job with its construction, this being done in record time.

It is hard to believe this trawler is only 33 foot long. Emre intends to be navigating before the next northern hemisphere summer. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

The Curruira 33 is a trawler we designed based on our understanding that if one wants to travel long distances in the open sea in a motor yacht, a seaworthy hull shape is the first priority to be granted. The lines plan adopted in the design was used in an earlier model, the Southern Voyager 28, which design have been tested by several of our clients, for our delight, confirming that our goal had been achieved. It is the difference of behaviour in tougher conditions; compared to the more usual semi-planing hulls available in the market what pleased our builders most.

Now with the scaled-up model we are pretty confident that this feeling of power and safety when encountering harsh conditions is what’s going to conquer the hearths of our new builders. For our client Emre it might remain a certain dose of suspense about the performance of his yacht, while for us this anxiety happened some time ago when the first Southern Voyager 28 went for her maiden sea trial. With the passing of time, the confidence the SV 28 owners acquired on their boats made us feel like providing a bigger sister for the former model, and that is what we did. Now when Emre’s yacht will go for her first sea trial we are going to learn if our bet was a full-hand succes.

During the construction, along an intensive exchange of e-mails, we had the chance to build a good friendship with our client. As a reward, in a nice gesture from his part, Emre is intending to edit a You Tube channel called Curruira 33 for us to promote in our site.

Emre decided to build a staircase to access the fly-bridge instead of using the vertical ladder specified in the plans. His idea was very welcome, since there is room to spare in the saloon to cope with the small interference in the galley layout. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz.

For us who dedicate good part of our time to designing crafts for amateur or custom building, what counts most is that our work outstands, at least in any fundamental aspect, other similar yachts. What pleases us most is when our clients recognize this. That is the case with the SV 28 owners. Now we are expecting that the same will happen with this new design. There are already SV 28 owners dreaming with an up-grade.

The aft deck of the Curruira 33 is large enough to throw a party there. The flat surface abaft the transom gunwhale is the boarding platform. Courtesy: Emre Yilmaz

We sent Emre an e-mail complimenting him for the beautiful work Mr. Saban, his boat builder, had accomplished, which he promptly answered with these words:

Dear Roberto and Luis;
Thanks to both of you about your precious compliments about my boat, I am very impressed about the construction too. Mr. Saban and his team are doing a good job.
I made mini meetings with electrician and upholsterer, the boat will look fantastic when finished.
I will supply lots of data like photos and videos to you for your article. I am planning to write all these photos etc. to a DVD and send it to you.
Again thanks both of you for your help and good wishes
Best regards

Emre YILMAZ

Now we are willing that pretty soon the exchange of e-mails will deal with the launching of the first Curruira 33.

Click here to know more about the Curruira 33.


Pop 25 - A boat called Splash

Roberto Barros

James Gyore, is constructing a Pop 25, Splash in Melbourne, Australia. He is one of the staunchest Pop 25 supporters among our amateur builders. Recently he promoted the plans in the Cruising Helmsman Magazine, writing a note in his by line we are publishing below:

James intends blending long distance cruising and first class cuisine, two activities that have everything to do with the philosophy of the project: that of an affordable cruising sailboat designed to provide comfort and well being. Courtesy: James Gyore

We are pretty sure that doing two very pleasurable things altogether: offshore sailing and smart cooking, will bring rewarding dividends. We remember reading with pleasure the section in Cruising World Magazine referring to the old adage: It's the appetite that makes eating a delight!

The Pop 25 galley, even though being compact, is well thought and functional. Render: Murilo Almeida

Even though the Pop 25 is incredibly spacious for a twenty-five foot sailboat, size imposes some limitations. The boat’s stove misses the resources James would for sure love to have, as for instance, two more hobs, a good sized oven, and refrigerator/freezer. But there resides the cherry in the pie that contributes to James’ challenge. We are suggesting him to install a barbecue grill on the push-pit, as well as acquiring a special pot with cover that is a makeshift oven. These two accessories will allow him to create the culinary delights he is becoming known and admired for.

This pot performs the role of an oven and is very handy to bake cakes and pies onboard boats with one burner stoves. The four holes in the pot allow hot air to escape, preventing the dough to burn. Photo: Roberto Barros

We say this from our own experience, since my wife Eileen and I sailed half way around the world in a twenty-five foot sailboat, having a one burner Primus paraffin cooker as the only means to produce hot meals, my wife managing to prepare exquisite meals, sometimes for five persons. (You can read the story of this voyage in the book, Rio to Polynesia, available for free in PDF, accessing our site’s home page, left side lower corner).

James agrees wholeheartedly. A spacious galley with the very best of appliances will not make you a great chief, any more than a very expensive tool box would make you a good tradesman. The clever use of the resources you have, rather than lamenting the ones you don’t, makes you a better chef. Practice makes perfect.

James has even managed to bake the perfect chocolate soufflé in his BBQ. Courtesy: James Gyore

When not working at the café, James is at home perfecting the use of his BBQ as an oven, and reinventing recipes to make them workable on his single burner non-pressurized cook-top. His magazine column proves his experiments and techniques.

Eileen performed authentic miracles with this single burner gimbaled Primus aboard our twenty-five foot engineless cruising sailboat Sea Bird. The Pop 25 may be regarded as a cruising ship in comparison to Sea Bird’s internal volume. Photo: Roberto Barros

Another design that gave us large experience when developing compact cruising sailboats is our classic MC23. Being much smaller than the Pop 25 and possessing approximately the same interior layout, the MC23 is doing a roaring trade as an offshore cruising sailboat, with hundreds of boats built, or being built from the plans in five continents.

Even though the MC23 layout resembles the one we adopted for the Pop 25, the galley in the new project is much larger, having a much better arrangement.

Installing a barbecue grill on the push-pit will be an invaluable help in assisting James providing cordon bleu meals on board Splash.

If we can say we have contributed somehow to help James dreams as a sailor/chef come true, it was for designing a functional galley layout, the largest possible for a boat of that size. Even a removable table providing room for four adults to have a comfortable meal aboard is possible to be installed.

The first bulkhead plywood panel you construct is unforgettable. It is this sort of emotion that drives the Pop 25 builders to proceed with the work until the launching day. Courtesy: James Gyore

Click here to know more about the Pop 25.


Multichine 28 Marimbondo. Thank you for the design

It is extremely rewarding for us from B & G yacht Design when an amateur builder who constructed one of our boats writes us informing that he became totally satisfied with his choice and that after a pleasant construction, discovered that the boat surpassed his expectations. This was the case with the young professor André Luis Ferraz, who built the MC28 Marimbondo (means wasp in Portuguese) at his home backyard during his spare time. The e-mail he sent us sounds as music in our ears:

Dear friends from B & G Yacht Design

We had a rushed new year, so it was difficult for me to send you news about Marimbondo. However I managed to get one month vacation this January, which was spent on board in the company of my wife Elaine. The boat surpassed by far my expectations. She is extremely comfortable. We owned an O’day 23 for fifteen years, a very comfortable boat for her size, but being aboard the MC28 makes us feel as if we were in a palace.

André Ferraz alongside his just concluded sailboat. We can guess how proud he must be when realizing that all that work was accomplished with his own hands. Courtesy: André Ferraz

We went for a one week cruise along the Parati, Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande shores, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, and our first great surprise was to learn how huge the fresh water tanks are. We didn’t need to refill the tanks for all the time we spent on board, and when we returned to our home port, we still had plenty of water to be used. The first sea trials were made in Ubatuba, State of Sao Paulo; our backyard cruising ground. The boat sailed like a dream in light winds. When sailing with 6 to 10 knots winds, she reached 3 to 4 knots effortlessly. In fresher breezes she was sensational. Sailing in a running reach in 20 to 28 knots her speed jumped to 7.5/8 knots, this happening with the utmost tranquillity. The title of the e-mail is not fortuitous. Thank you very mucho for the project and for the assistance you provided during the construction

André and Elaine

Marimbondo at anchor in the Ilha Grande region. Courtesy: Andre Ferraz

As it was supposed to be, we answered with an eloquent e-mail too:

Dear André and Elaine.
What a gentle e-mail you sent us! There is nothing that pleases us more than knowing that somebody who trusted us became pleased with his choice. Our family owned a MC28 for eight wonderful years and it is common sense among us that it was the best boat we ever had. We sailed more than six thousand miles with her and lived aboard for two years. For that matter we understand very well what you told in your e-mail. But your words, if being told by us, wouldn’t have the same value. However you have a lot to do with the success of your boat. Marimbondo is simply fantastic!

Times have changed and each time more people will become to realize that you don’t need to own a mega yacht to be happy. Actually it is the other way around. The owner of a MC28 might feel a bigger sense of freedom than the CEO who has a yacht stationed in a marina in the French Riviera. And this will become each day more evident. For us it is bliss to receive e-mails like yours. We work with this goal in mind.

We wish you and Elaine have a very good time with the new boat.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28.


Pop 25 Horus - Launching of the first boat of the class coming soon

Now it is clear sailing. The Pop 25 Horus is almost ready to be launched. We received an e-mail from Daniel D’Angelo, our Argentinean friend who is building Horus in City Bell, Province of Buenos Aires, when he told us being anxious to see the boat in the water. It is missing practically nothing to complete the construction, and things like mast, rigging, sails, keels and rudders, all these stuffs he already purchased. The painting job is also done and all fittings are installed. He opted having an outboard for auxiliary propulsion, so all he needed to do regarding the construction was to acquire a bracket to be fixed on the stern scoop transom.

That’s how Horus will look like when in the water. Photoshop: Murilo Almeida.

We are excited about learning how the Pop 25 behaves on the sea. It is always a thrilling experience to see how a new design performs, especially when its characteristics are so unique, as is the case of the Pop 25.

One of Horus fin-keels ready to be painted. What is more outstanding is the fact that the fin-keels were made in the neighbourhood metal workshop. Those who had to look for a sailboat fin-keel to be installed in an amateur construction know how to appreciate this facility. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo.

Keels already painted and ready to be installed.

Since Daniel is an experienced amateur boat builder, having already built two boats from our design, we are pretty sure that we couldn’t be more fortunate in having him as our test pilot.

Daniel used fine grain sand as anti-skidding, then painted on top. This is a cheap and easy way to accomplish this task. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo.

Horus is being built with the assistance of Alejandro, a friend of his who will be the ultimate owner of the boat. Since Daniel is presently working as geologist aboard an oil rig prospecting the waters of the Magellan Strait Chilean side, he can’t afford investing full time in the final stages of the construction. That’s when the assistance of his friend had been invaluable. Being a neighbour and not having to travel, he always finds a coffee break hour (or would it be a happy hour?) to work onboard Horus. Now the two friends can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This photo is not recent. It shows the saloon furniture before having its trims installed. The simplicity of construction of the interior joinery is outstanding. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo.

We are confident that the Pop 25 will be a good boat to be used in the River Plate. Since estuaries the world over are losing depth due to sedimentation, a shallow draught craft capable of being supported by its keels when grounded is quite a desirable feature. However the real trick Horus has to show is the fact that she can go to the open sea with plenty of safety, whenever his owner wishes.

***

While Horus is not sailing yet, there are other boats of the class whose owners created blogs to report their constructions which are progressing at fast pace. One of them is Rancho Alegre, being built in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, by Francisco Aydos, an amateur builder without any previous experience. Francisco is finding the construction to be quite easy to be done, and is managing to produce an amazingly well built craft.

At present his hull is already painted, ready for being turned over. Francisco made reference in his blog that he is in love with the shape of his creation, produced with his own hands, while the followers of his blog are impressed with the competence and care he invested in the construction.

Rancho Alegre hull ready to be turned over.

Another Pop 25 showing impressive progress in its construction is Mandala, which is being built by Marcelo Bonilla in Santa Catarina, a southern Brazilian state. This boat is the state of the art in plywood/epoxy boatbuilding. All its transverse bulkheads were made with astounding precision using numeric controlled laser cutting, much above the project allowed tolerance. Marcelo owns a company that produces miniatures of civil architecture constructions, possessing for that reason this sort of equipment. Incentivized by the construction of his boat, he decided to expand his business and to produce kits of the Pop 25 constructive bulkheads for sale. For that matter he opened a site in the internet to promote this new branch of his company’s activities: www.construindoseuveleiro.com.br. He received the first order sooner than expected. His first order came from Dieter Schröder, a client of ours from Curitiba, State of Parana, Brazil, who had already acquired the plans of the boat and was craving for starting the construction. Dieter visited Marcelo to have a close look at Mandala’s construction. He got so excited with the perspective of saving so much time that he informed Marcelo of his intention of having his boat in the water this November.

Mandala’s construction bulkheads were fabricated with laser cutting precision.

Another client of ours, this one from the U.S., is also interested in acquiring the kit from Marcelo. He already agreed with the cost of the kit; however he wishes to know the cost of the freight before making the deal. Marcelo is taking care of this issue with priority, since he is convinced that his real market is from overseas. We suggested to Marcelo that he should promote the sale of kits for group construction. A gathering of friends with the same endeavours is a great idea. The savings may be expressive and the construction becomes much more pleasant. In most cases friendships are built to last for the whole life.

The construction of Mandala is developing at a fast pace.

***

Southern Brazil is the region where the Pop 25 project received the largest number of orders up to now. One of our clients from there is Marcelo Schürhaus, from Santa Catarina, who is building the Pop 25 Konquest. Marcelo is one of the builders who made blogs to report the story of the construction. He was the one we informed in a previous article who had to find a new location to continue his work, choosing the slab of his home garage to resume the construction. Since there is no shed to protect the boat when the weather isn’t settled, the work doesn’t proceed smoothly as he would like. Nevertheless, the quality of Konquest construction is second to none up to now. The endeavour of the Schürhaus family is having the boat ready to receive the Vandée Globe fleet during their call at the city of Itajai, Santa Catarina, later this year.

Marcelo and his wife intend to be sailing with Konquest during this year of 2013.

Now the work proceeds at a very fast pace at the new location, and Marcelo is getting ready to sheath his boat’s hull with fibreglass. This means that soon we will be seeing another Pop 25 turned upside. From reading the blogs of our builders we can conclude that the construction of the hull can be accomplished in record time for an offshore sailboat of its size.

Konquest. Detail of one of the two keel flange recesses already sheathed with fibreglass. Courtesy: Marcelo Schürhaus.

***

Another construction advancing at the speed of lightning is that of Solaris, being built in Rio de Janeiro by John Matheson for a client of ours called Fernando Santos. This boat had its construction started in August 2012, and in the December 21 had its hull turned over, when a barbecue was scheduled to commemorate the achievement.

An unpredicted test of sturdiness took place during the turning over of Solaris hull. The boat was totally lifted from the ground by a tackle attached to a pair of 30mm x 40mm wooden beams. The boat didn’t budge one millimetre. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

Fernando has a good notion on how to manage a construction. Instead of following a linear path, solving each contingency of the work at its time, he preferred to anticipate every requirement, acquiring the parts needed in time to be employed with no loss of time. Even the pre-fabricated structural transverse bulkheads went to the building grid already protected with epoxy and coated with primer where they will be apparent. With this reasoning in mind he already acquired the twin keels, the electric inboard auxiliary motor, spars, rigging, deck fittings, even the Origo™ alcohol stove recommend in the plans had been acquired. In short, everything required to conclude the construction is already purchased. This approach gives him hope to be sailing in the first half of 2013, what we believe to be totally feasible. Our contribution for that goal is the high level of detailing we included in the project. In this respect we are feeling rewarded for our work, since nobody is finding difficulties in accomplishing the construction.

Fernando had also a brilliant idea, which fitted as a glove with the spirit of the class, that of being an ecologically correct sailboat. He substituted the foam specified to fill the water-tight compartments that ensure positive flotation to the boat, by P.E.T. bottles, which, besides costing nothing, they don’t absorb one drop of water. The idea is so good that we will include this option in the boat’s specifications.

Solaris already resting in the ground without requiring a cradle. Perhaps this is one of the most prized features of the design. The photo shows Roberto Barros, from B & G Yacht Design, and Fernando Santos (with white T-shirt), the owner of the boat. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

What we learned from our visit to Solaris during the barbecue to toast the turning over of the hull is that the boat rests in total balance on its twin keels and that its interior is amazingly spacious for a twenty-five footer. From now on at each new day we will have new lessons about this unique offshore sailing boat, the most awaited of them being the launching of the first boat of the class, what seems an easy bet to be Horus.

Click here to know more about the POP 25.


Maitairoa - A boat and a friendship

Roberto e Eileen Barros
Thirty years ago the double-ender Maitairoa left her building shed placed in a country seat located in the one thousand meters high hills north of Rio de Janeiro to start an adventurous career. After passing through various thrilling experiences during the ten years of intensive usage, in the South Atlantic and the Austral Ocean, when she belonged to the Barros family, the boat change hands, and changed hands again, ending up with the Argentinean Sandra Sauto, a good friend of ours who always nurtured an interest in owning her. Soon after the acquisition Sandra sailed to the Caribbean with her newly acquired cruising machine, and from there sailed bound for the Mediterranean, where she lives aboard with her family, having the boat stationed in a marina in the French Riviera.

Sandra and her two kids, Calypso and Sanson (left in the photo), enjoying a holiday in Paris. Photo: Sandra Sautu

Even being far distant from each other, we keep in regular contact, especially at season’s greetings time, when we update our stories. This year she told us she spent a fortnight in Paris, as host of a friend she met in Stockholm, who also has children of about the age of Sandra’s sons.

Notwithstanding, the spirit of Christmas aboard Maitairoa was as alive as ever, with Christmas tree decorating the cabin, while a harness of coloured led lights hoisted in the rigging completed the atmosphere of season’s greetings.

Sandra’s kids were raised aboard Maitairoa, what enhances the history of the boat as a sheltering floating home. Thirty years earlier our daughter Astrid enjoyed living aboard too. Photo: Sandra Sautu

Maitairoa looks as good as when she was launched, probably even better with the supper-care received from Sandra, while the two families’ friendship is also as good as ever. The lesson we take from this experience is that a boat and a friendship can last for a lifetime.


Cabo Horn 35 Kalloni

We received this e-mail sent by Roberto Cruz, the latest owner of a Cabo Horn 35. He tells having lived a long saga, but now he is happy with his accomplishment:

Dear friends from B & G Yacht Design

I visited your office in Rio de Janeiro during the year of 1996 with the intention of acquiring the Multichine 37 project, when Astrid asked who would go sailing with me? I retorted – my family! And she asked again: how many of you know how to sail?...And I said I was the only one who had an idea of what sailing means.
In this case don’t you think it would be better to build a smaller boat more compatible with single-handed sailing?... and then she introduced me to the Cabo Horn 35 plans.

It was love at first sight. Many things changed from then on, however I never forgot what you told me, that the adventure starts at the very moment you start building the boat.
During this time things enough happened to justify writing a book. I divorced from my first wife, got married again, went bust and with no spare time to build the boat. My friends nicknamed the boat Fairy Tale, Ghost…, since I never finished the construction. However nothing shattered my determination and what prevailed during this time was my commitment in fulfilling my dream. This became a reality in December 2012, when the Cabo Horn Kallony was launched in Ubatuba, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Cabo Horn 35 class gets a new member absolutely faithful to the design details, like the rounded transom, cutter rig, original interior layout, etc, only missing the hull topside portholes, even though the transom ones were installed.
It will take about thirty days more finish the last tasks internally, and to try the sails, that considering the season’s events didn’t allow me to do. However what thirty days represent for someone who waited for so long?
I wish you a happy 2013 and that you keep producing dreams.

Roberto Cruz and family

It is missing very little for the Cabo Horn 35 Kalloni to be sailing. Photo: Roberto Cruz

Click here to know more about the Cabo Horn 35


Pop Alu 32, Kiribati 36and Multichine 41 SK: Pre-cut kits available for the amateur builder

Our cliente Jean Abreu Machado is making available through his boatyard North Metalúrgica (http://www.northmetalurgica.com) pre-cut kits that can make may amateur boat builder's dreams come. Complete pre-cut kits for the Pop Alu 32, Kiribati 36 and Multichine 41 SK can be ordered and shipped from his facilities in the Southern Brazilian City of Tubarao.

Watch the vídeo below and see how today's aluminum boat building can be much more a reality than a dream:

Jean equipped his boatyard with a Plasma CNC cutting machine, and besides building his own Pop Alu 32, will offer boats to his clients in several stages of completion, from kits to a finished sail away boat.

The cutting table at North Metalúrgica is sized to allow for economical usage of the aluminum plates

With a pre-cut kit the time between deciding to buy a set of plans and having a complete hull and deck ready to start the interior fit-out can be greatly reduced. The building process is also a very clean one, generating very little waste and dust, a must to keep the neighbors happy.

The new technology in welding machines is also another factor helping the amateur or beginner's in aluminum boatbuilding. We often hear the phrase - "but aluminum welding is difficult", but in fact this affirmation has been true only in the past. Today we have welding machines that control the parameters in order to correct unsteady movements from the welding torch, have programed parameters specific for aluminum and so on.

A plate showing the parts already cut

Another option is to pre-assemble the boat with tack welds and then hire a specialized welder for the most demanding and critical welds, as in fact happens with a lot of amateur boat builders that use other materials, something similar to bringing in a professional fiberglass layer on a plywood coated with epoxy and glass fiber hull.

A transverse structure section for the Pop Alu 32

We expect to see the fleet of aluminum boats from our design range to grow considerably with so many exciting possibilities being offered to the builders. We can use our own experience to back the fact that aluminum hulls are very easy to keep and offer peace of mind. Our Kiribati 36 Green Nomad has been in the water without hauling out since February 2010, and as we have unpainted underwater patches, where the anodes are mounted, we can see that the material is completely unchanged, attesting out confidence in the material used.

A Pop Alu 32 takes shape at North Metalurgica

Click here to see more about the Pop Alu 32, the boat shown in the videos and pictures.


Caravela 1.7 - Beware of the Yellow Peril!

This warning has nothing to do with Mr Bonnie statement made two hundred years ago about the geopolitical potential of the Empire of the Centre. It is true that two centuries later his foresight couldn’t be more accurate, but in this case we are referring to another menace, incomparably more insignificant: the dinghy Caravela 1.7.

The Caravela 1.7 might be a good tender for the Flying Dutchman tall ship

Ask any owner of a Caravela 1.7 and much probably he will have an odd tale to report about his dinghy. A 1.7m long unsinkable offshore sailboat definitively is hard to be taken seriously. However the philosophy behind the project is that having a Caravela 1.7 to give you shelter in the case the mother ship sinks is infinitely better than having nothing at all to jump into.

The real Yellow Peril is this dinghy that served as tender aboard Sea Bird, seen in the background. This one, besides being much smaller, it wasn’t unsinkable. To learn more about this dangerous 1.50m x 0.90m dinghy you have to read “Rio to Polynesia, an adventure in the South Pacific”, a free book that can be downloaded from the home page of B & G Yacht Design

The mother of the brood of Yellow Perils is the dinghy stowed on top of the Sea Bird cabin trunk coach-roof. In some occasions she had to face long distance crossings carrying Roberto and Eileen Barros, besides being loaded with provisions.

“Yellow Peril” was a nickname given to the dinghy Caravela 1.7 by their builders. Actually this was the name of the dinghy Roberto Barros built to be tender aboard the engineless 25 foot Sea Bird, the boat he and his wife Eileen travelled from Brazil to the South Pacific, an adventure related in the book “Rio to Polynesia” available for free in the B & G Yacht Design web-site, which can be downloaded from the home page.

Three years old Christian, Roberto Barros’ grandson having a good time paddling in Ilha Grande, west of Rio de Janeiro. At this age the Caravela 1.7 must look like a cruising ship

What triggered the wish for writing this story about the dinghy Caravela 1.7 was an e-mail we received from Beto Roque, the yachtsman who bought the Multichine 28 Fiu from Roberto Barros, which he re-baptized Stella del Fioravante. Beto told in the e-mail that Lorena, the three years old daughter of his friend Rubens, after paddling the dinghy for a while, fell in love with it, affectionately calling her Yellow Peril. It was then that we realized that a 1.70mm dinghy is huge for a three years old toddler. Then we remembered when Christian, the three years old Roberto Barros grandson also went paddling all by himself aboard the very same Caravela 1.7.

Juliana, Roberto Barros’ granddaughter, sailing with her father Luis Gouveia in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, aboard Pinta, the Caravela 1.7 built to be the tender of MC 28 Fiu.

Roberto Barros, together with two friends who also owned two MC 28, Roberto Ceppas and José Manuel Gonzales Fernandes, respectively the owners of Makai and Sabadear, decided to build together three dinghies Caravela 1.7, custom designed to fit the flush fore-deck of the MC 28. These dinghies were built together, and in reference to the name of the project, were called Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña. By then the nickname Yelow Peril simply didn’t exist.

In honour of his Nordic heritage, Roberto Ceppas is evoking the Viking gods asking protection for his creation. He felt the horns were an extravagance and dispensed wearing them. A second Caravela 1.7 is seen in the background


Those were glorious weekends, when after long hours of hard work the three friends went to a nearby bar where they toasted the progress in the construction with a couple of ice-cold beers.

Pinta was intensively used along the eight years it belonged to Roberto Barros, having travelled more than six thousand miles lashed to Fiu’s foredeck, and also being used as a leisure sailboat. The Barros family opinion about its behaviour is that of a dinghy you can count on it in any circumstance. However, other owners might have different opinions, having extensive folklore to tell about their dinghies.

We had seen a video produced by Jarle Andhoy, a Norwegian sailor who was travelling to Antarctica aboard a 27 foot cruising sailboat. When arriving at a British base in that continent, he had to deploy the Caravela 1.7 he was carrying on deck and tow his boat to the local pier, since there was no wind and his auxiliary engine was out of order.

Another unconventional incident was the case of the Caravela 1.7 that in a short-lasting thunderstorm made an unexpected flight, taking off from the deck where it was stowed in the vertical position, supported laterally by the mast, and having the dinghy’s bow fitting shackled to a halyard.

Can you believe? This Caravela 1.7 took off from the deck of the boat at the other side of pier to land on the spreader of the boat in front, staying tucked there until somebody went there to bring it down. Only the protection of Christ the Redeemer (in the centre of the photo) prevented an accident of dire consequences

Another story about dinghys Caravela 1.7 worth mentioning was the contest for the wackiest floating craft, capable of sailing for a certain distance, that took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Adrian Callejón, a MC 28 amateur builder won the contest with a Caravela made from cardboard, newspaper, masking tape and ordinary plastic sails found in a dust-bin. Like in a rodeo, after sailing a pre-established distance, Adrian was acclaimed the winner.

This builder from Buenos Aires, Argentina, made a Caravela 1.7 with cardboard and newspaper, to participate in a tournament to see who had the wackiest idea in dinghy’s amateur construction. Courtesy: Adrian Callejon

And then went sailing aboard his creation, the $1,99 sailboat, to win the contest. Courtesy: Adrian Callejon.

Aristides, the owner of a Cabo Horn 35, built this Caravela 1.7 to be his boat’s tender. Here he is sailing in Bracuhy, State of Rio de Janeiro. He praises his dinghy as being fantastic.

Marcos Veras made this Caravela 1.7 to be the tender for his Multichine 28 Bacanga, stationed in Marina da Glória, where he lives aboard.

The Caravela 1.7 can be rowed, can be propelled by a small outboard and can sail.

The Caravela 1.7 plans can be downloaded for free entering in the dinghy’s page. The purpose of offering the plans for free is allowing our potential builders to try their skills while proportioning the opportunity of owning a multi-purpose dinghy.

Click here to know more about the dinghy Caravela 1.7


Multichine 28 Marimbondo and Ipê - Two new members of the class

The MC 28 class is one of our most acclaimed designs. During the years since the class was introduced, every new builder that concludes the work becomes an enthusiastic supporter of the project, this being a boosting factor for the design prestige.

Luciana Alt checking the precision of her boat’s rudder hydrofoil. Being architect by trade, together with her husband, Vitor Moura, they are building their MC28 as if she was a work of art. Photo: Vitor Moura

The rudder ready to be sheathed with fibreglass. Their work is so good that one will get sorry to put paint over such a nice sculpture. One of the strong points of the project is its hinged rudder. Besides being hurricane-proof, it can be removed by one person alone; provided the boat has a gantry and the mainsheet tackle is used to hoist it. Photo: Vitor Moura

Luciana and Vitor are very active amateur spelunkers, having explored caves in the four corners of the world. Now they want to add a new sport in their lives, becoming cruising offshore-bound sailors, and trying the taste of a new scope of adventure that also fascinates them. Since during the time they are building the boat we had the chance to nurture a prolific friendship, it will be with great pleasure that we will report their adventures from now on, beginning with the launching story, scheduled for the first months of 2013.

Ipê’s interior is nearly completed. The couple managed to obtain a finishing standard comparable to that of a professional boatyard. Photo: Vitor Moura

When the young couple was searching for the design they would choose, they paid a visit to B & G Yacht Design office (then Roberto Barros Yacht Design), at that time established in Rio de Janeiro downtown. Roberto and Eileen Barros were the owners of the MC28 Fiu, where they were living aboard by then. After spending an afternoon in the office talking about details of the project, Eileen invited the couple to visit Fiu, so they could see by themselves what it had been talked about. While Vitor and Roberto kept chatting in the saloon’s dinette , Luciana offered to give Eileen a hand to prepare supper at the jumbo-sized Fiu’s galley. The group kept chewing the fat until late in the evening, when once more Eileen invited the guests to sleep aboard. After being served a five stars breakfast the next morning, the coupled thanked for the hospitality, leaving for the airport, to go back to their home town, Belo Horizonte, one hour away by flight. That same day they made their decision and informed us that they would build the boat. Now, after a demonstration of commitment and competence, soon it will be their turn to be hosts on board their Multichine 28 Ipê.

The superstructure is covered with the anti-skidding material Treadmaster., a product made in the UK, one of the favourites among cruising sailors for its non-skidding properties, long-lasting and good thermal insulation. Photo: Vitor Moura

***

The other new member of the Multichine 28 brotherhood is Marimbondo (means wasp in Portuguese). Being a college professor, her builder, André Luis Ferraz, had little spare time available to dedicate to the construction. On the other hand his commitment with quality was absolute. As result there is another MC28 of the highest quality already floating. André Luis sent us an email telling how happy he was with his achievement:

“The MC28 Marimbondo floated exactly in its LWL the last November 15. She is quite anxious to break loose, in her mooring at Marina Kauai, Ubatuba, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The sails, ordered to North Sails, are already concluded, but weren’t delivered yet. For the time being we are making the last adjustments, a list that seems interminable…

It’s hard to tell what do you feel at the moment of truth; however a bottle of Spanish champagne was emptied at once, shared with Marimbondo, my wife Elaine and me. My son Marcelo arrived later.

Last weekend I couldn’t resist and went sailing with my brother’s Multichine 26 genoa he lent me for the occasion. For my delight the boat moved at constant five knots in a beam reach in 10-15 knots winds.”

Multichine 28 Marimbondo almost ready for launching. Now the boat is already in the water waiting for the sails to be delivered. Photo: André Luis Ferraz

***

We designed the Multichine 28 to be a true offshore cruising yacht. We specified its Stability Index to be cat. A, according to the stability index (STIX) established by the European Union for offshore mono-hulls. Now it is very rewarding to know that the boat is already recognized by many as one of the best offshore sailboats of its size.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28.

Multichine 41SK Bepaluhe sailing from Ilha Grande to Paraty

Sailing with your family in a cruising yacht is very good. Sailing with your family in Angra dos Reis Bay between Ilha Grande and Paraty is much better yet. Our friend Paulo Ayroso published a new video in his blog (see in our link’s page – Multichine 41SK Bepaluhe) to leave anyone with the mouth watering. The happiness producing machine called Bepaluhê, a cruising sailboat built by Ilha Sul Boatyards, from Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, is looking nicer and better kept at every new season, and she sails like a dream. If you want to check out what we are saying, it is worth you see the video below, the latest in the series he published in his blog:

Since Bepaluhê’s cruising ground, the region of Ilha Grande, sixty miles west of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the most beautiful tropical sceneries the world over, following Paulo’s You Tube videos is bliss…

Bepaluhê’s flush fore-deck is one of the best features of the MC41SK project. Courtesy: Paulo Ayrosa

Right age to start sailing. Courtesy: Paulo Ayrosa

When you sail bound for a place like this, pleasure is doubled. Courtesy: Paulo Ayrosa

Click here to know more about the Multichine 41SK.


Cabo Horn 40 - Latest news about the class

The Cabo Horn 40, one of our most important expedition boats, is constantly generating news about the class. Being one of our designs that keeps expanding in number of boats already completed and in geographic scope, this yacht is becoming an icon as being the right size of boat for a family to live aboard.

Aya, Tadeu Corseuil’s Cabo Horn 40, is a boat of many miles sailed in offshore passages. This year, after being placed second in her class in the three hundred miles Recife to Fernando de Noronha Offshore Race, she is sailing north, bound for the Caribbean, where Tadeu intends to spend the next six months.

Aya, the Cabo Horn 40 built by the renowned “Estrutural Boatyard”, from Cabo Frio, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the first boat of the class to be launched. After a very active life participating in several offshore races in the east coast of South America, now she is expanding her horizons, and after taking part in the 2012 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race, a three hundred miles offshore event, she is sailing to the West Indies, where her owner intends to spend the next six months.

It is left to be decided later if Aya will sail far into the middle of the North Atlantic and make a non-stop trip to her home-port Rio de Janeiro, or if she will keep sailing east, doing the traditional circuit of the Atlantic, calling at Azores, next cruising in Western Europe, and then returning by way of Canary Islands, Cape Verde and back to her home port.

***

Another Cabo Horn 40 which could easily obtain a Loyds 100 A1 certificate is the one being built in the State of Paraná by her owner Sergio Danillas. Sergio, a chemical engineer by trade, decided by his own volition to substitute the wooden strips specified for the hull construction for PVC foam sandwich. The result was a lighter hull with the same strength as the original project.

Photos of the turning over of Sergios’s hull. The internal lamination was applied next, and now the boat is almost concluded.

***

Another Cabo Horn 40 that begins to open its path in the water is Al Sharif, belonging to the lawyer Joao Fragoso, from Angra dos Reis, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Al Shariff was built by Fragoso, an absolute layman in boat-building. Despite being a rookie, the quality of work he has managed to accomplish is comparable to that of a skilled shipwright. The boat was launched this October, and Fragoso has plans to be leaving soon for a long distance cruise, bound for the Côte D’Azur, his dreamed address for stationing Al Shariff as her home port.

 

Al Sharif, launched this October 2012, is the most recent Cabo Horn 40 to be inaugurated. Her owner Joao Fragoso considers he is a blessed person for having built such a nice yacht.

***

The Cabo Horn 40 is quite different from series produced sailboats. Its specifications are not intended to produce a disposable boat made to last just a dozen years, or so, before requiring important overall maintenance. The Cabo Horn 40 is specified to last for decades requiring minimum maintenance. All its systems, like plumbing, electrical and propulsion have easy access for being serviced; having no black-box to be done by factory authorized staff. The strip-planking wood/epoxy building method adopted in its construction is much more durable than the single skin construction employed in the majority of series boats. Being a mid-displacement boat, it stands heavy weather with the wind blowing on the nose with much more alacrity than the lighter displacement yachts with less ballast that prevail in the market. It is perhaps for these reasons that the Cabo Horn 40 owners are our best marketers in praising the virtues of the project.

The internal layout of the Cabo Horn 40 is equivalent to that of a comfortable apartment.

Click here to know more about the Cabo Horn 40.


Kiribati 36 sails against wind and current

Luis Manuel Pinho

Recently I was in Ilha Grande, SE Brazil, waiting for my wife Marli to come back from a trip to visit her family in Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil, and knowing that she was to come back by ferry to a bay a few miles upwind, I decided to take advantage of a few unusualy windy days in this área to test the boat in this type of conditions, which we did not have during our trip North last year. You can see the outcome in this video:

The tide was ripping through the narrow passage between mainland and Ilha Grande, as it was New Moon, and to overcome it and also the 20 knot headwind, I had to make several tacks, as you can see on the screen clip below.

The way from Sitio Forte to Abraão, in Ilha Grande. 20 Nautical Miles with the tacks.

I took a few hours to cover the distance and the trip looked more like a fun dinghy daysail than a small passage on an offshore yacht. The tiller steering proved itself, both in dimensioning and responsiveness, and nothing like a tiller to make the most of these sailing conditions. Offshore we seldom hand steer the boat, and so this day I had a lot of unusual fun.

Spacious and unimpeded cockpit adds to the sailing comfort

The boat performed as expected, with a good turn of speed in spite of the 20 year old mainsail given to us by a friend from Rio Grande, which had to be cut and adapted. The rudders were efficient and in some cases I could let the tiller go and she would take care of herself.

At the end I even got some reaching conditions that allowed us to move at 7.5 knots even with the reefed sails. The autopilot had no trouble steering the boat in all of the conditions experienced.

We believe that it is very important even for a cruising boat to have a good upwind performance, as the ability to clear a lee shore can represent the difference between a successful cruise and a disaster.

With the capacity to look for shelter in shallow waters, as well as her good sailing abilities, Green Nomad provides us with a good platform to explore the remote places that populate our imagination. That and the ruggedness and easy maintenance of her aluminium hull allow us to live the simple cruising lifestyle with the minimum expenditure.

Luis Manuel Pinho is a partner of B&G Yacht design, a lifelong sailor and a Metallurgist Engineer by formation. He lives aboard his Kiribati 36 with his wife Marli Werner since 2008. Luis is co-author of the Kiribati 36 design.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36


Multichine 26C Xangô is already sailing

Our intention of designing affordable offshore cruising sailboats within the scope of amateurs to build them keeps showing positive results. This time the plan in evidence is the offshore cruising sailboat Multichine 26C, a boat hard to believe she measures only twenty-six feet from forepeak to transom. With 1.85m headroom below the coach-roof, two double berths, a private cabin with entrance hall, galley with two burners stove and oven and a spacious heads, the MC 26C has everything of jumbo size inside its interior. Now that the first boats of the class start being inaugurated, the boat is becoming better known for its features, and cruising sailors begin to learn how different its concept is.

It is a joy when our clients inform us about the conclusion of their constructions. This was the case of Xangô, the MC 26C built by our friends Rui Jorge and Fatima, in Club Sao Cristovao, an amateur yacht building hub in Rio de Janeiro, and of Anauê, being built in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, by Amauri Ferraz.

MC26C Xangô in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, one day after launching. The pleasure of seeing the boat built with one’s own hands floating in its correct L.W.L can only be fully appreciated by those who lived the same experience. It is a moment of glory in the life of a home-builder!

On the first Sunday of September I visited the just-launched Xangô in Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro. I was received by our friends Rui and Fátima, who, as I expected, were brimming over in happiness.

The MC26C galley with two burners stove with oven, fridge, sink and a profusion of lockers, is hard to be found in other sailboats of about the same size. The black granite finishing of the counter, even though we consider a bit heavy to be installed in sailboats, is the choice of most of our builders. Anyway, this is presently the style in vogue and nobody wants to swim against the tide.

My visit to the just-launched Xangô was quite rewarding. I haven’t seen a MC26C in the water yet, and as a participant in the development of the project, my curiosity was quite acute. My impression was awesome. I felt like having one for myself. The boat is huge indeed for twenty-six foot. And how comfortable she is internally! As it couldn’t be different, the chat that day was turned towards future adventures, with cruising plans of taking part in the annual flotilla sailing called Friendship Cruising, a rally where Argentineans, Uruguayans, Brazilian, and cruising sailors from other countries sail north along the eastern coast of South America and then join the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race. Extending the cruise to the Caribbean was also in the couple’s plans. That is the sort of dream a home- builder is entitled to nurture after completing the construction of his cruising machine. I felt quite happy for the fact that, even though modestly, our office having contributed with a small part in our friends’ achievement.

Notwithstanding the boat not being completely finished yet, my impression was extremely favourable. To start with the headroom under the coach-roof is already a feature to be highly praised. That very first night in the water, Hugo, the couple’s elder son, came straight from the university to the boat to sleep aboard, and inaugurated the aft cabin. When his parents arrived aboard early in the morning he was still sleeping. He told them that he never slept so well rocked by the gentle swaying of the hull in the placid waters of the marina. For us who worked in the development of the plans it is always pleasant to participate in those moments of happiness during the inauguration of an amateur construction, especially when our builder had no previous experience in the matter. According to Fatima, not even a house for the dog her husband was able to build before.

CSince Xangô had been just launched, the cabin wasn’t tidy yet and the interior was still missing a few details. However the feeling of cosiness of the internal layout was already evident.

For a home-builder to reach this stage of setting up shop inside the boat he built with his own hands is not a minor accomplishment. Reminding the various stages he had to overcome, from receiving a set of prints to the day he sees his yacht floating, is a long story. The first step is the pre-fabrication of the bulkheads at the workbench. This phase is a novelty and it is when the builder gets acquainted with the skills required for wood-working. Then the hull is built upside-down and seeing that big piece of shipwright work taking shape is an unforgettable experience. And then it arrives the great day when the hull is turned upside. This step is only comparable to the inauguration in emotion and fulfilment. The tradition is that a barbecue is served on this occasion for friends and collaborators who had any involvement with the enterprise. .

The day the hull is turned over is the other occasion to be effusively commemorated. From this point of the construction onwards the progress of the construction is impelled by the positive feeling of seeing the boat being finished.

Then it is like reading a good book, the curiosity of knowing how the story will end being the spring that keeps the work flowing. The difference is that the builder is not a mere reader, but the very character in the text. Further away in time he will become author of another story, the one where he is the captain of his own ship, sailing with his creation bound for the places he fancied so much visiting. Since every builder shares these same feelings, we will love having other launching reports to publish in our site, probably the next one being Anauê, which has its construction already concluded.

The MC26C Anauê is already concluded. It is bliss for us to see such a nicely finished boat built from our plans. Courtesy: Amauri Ferraz.

Now that the class is becoming more widespread, with units being built in different places, we intend to promote the project more regularly in our site. So, if you are one of the MC26C builders, we would be very glad to know about the latest news about your construction.

Multichine 26C Gëko buit in Istambul, Turquia, by Ömer Kirkal. This was the first boat of the class to sail and we were told she is performing extremely well in local club racing. Courtesy: Ömer Kirkal.

The class has all the ingredients to prosper from now on. Boats of the class sailing in different regions with satisfied owners praising the qualities of their boats are the best publicity we might have dreamed with. We intend to be publishing soon a report about the sailing aptitudes of the boats already in the water.

Click here to learn more about the Multichine26C


Pop 25 Mandala - A new boat being built in Southern Brazil

Talking about the potential of a promising class called Pop 25 one year ago could be considered at best a case of wishful thinking. However, at the moment this is no more just a speculation. The class having already boats being built in nine different countries, and increasing in number of builders at a fast pace, is showing signs that it is coming to stay. In spite of our long term experience, even we at the office were a bit surprised by such interest for the plans, but this shouldn’t be so, since when we developed the project we had the intention of changing the way amateur plywood/epoxy boats are constructed. We are quite sure that the main reason for such success is the fact that in no time flat after starting the construction the builder already sees the hull looking like a real sailboat. The psychological effect of seeing one’s work taking shape so quickly boosts the morale of any builder, and this feeling spreads to others, generating a virtuous spiral with its own inertia.

Pop 25 Mandala’s bulkhead 4 almost finished. Marcelo Bonilla is doing a fantastic job at an astonishing pace. Thanks to his laser cutting machine he had the bulkheads plywood panels cut with absolute precision.

Perhaps the best thing that could have happened for the class might have been the interest of a new client in producing kits of the bulkheads plywood panels for sale. This new client, Marcelo Bonilla, owns a modeling factory for civil architecture, producing miniatures of the highest quality. For him to produce kits for the Pop 25 using his cad-cam facilities is duck soup. We are showing below the promotional video of his company for you to have a good idea of the quality of his work:

We only regret that the subtitles are in Portuguese, but they aren’t really important. What counts is the quality of the work. He also sent us a demo of the laser cutting from the CNC file for the production of the bulkhead panels. The price is very competitive: he is intending to sell the panels for R$1100 (about U$500) f.o.b., what we believe to be a bargain. He also produced this demo video of the cutting procedure:

Marcelo has a blog where he intends to show the progress of the construction. Mandala, the name he will give to his Pop 25, is being built for the leisure of his family (see in our links page: Pop 25 Mandala).

Other Pop 25 builders have created blogs to relate their constructions. They are listed together with Mandala, and are: Horus, Konquest, Rancho Alegre and Splash. We wish others follow the steps of these first ones, since the blogs are very useful to help the builders who are beginning their constructions,

The boosting factor in the Pop 25 construction is seeing the hull taking shape so quickly. This Pop 25 is Konquest, and it is being built by Marcelo Schurhaus on the roof of a garage under construction.

Pop 25 being built in Rio de Janeiro by John Matheson. John is an experienced boat builder who already made a couple of sailboats from our design.

James Gyore is starting the construction of the Pop 25 Splash, in Melbourne, Victoria, with the assistance of Kyle McCullock. The boat is being built with the intention of being used to run a documentary about offshore cruising in a home-built sailboat. Courtesy: James Gyore

The most advanced construction of a Pop 25 is Horus, which is being built by Daniel D’Angelo in City Bell, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Daniel has become a renowned amateur boat builder. He already built two boats designed by us: the Samoa 28 Sirius and the Pantanal 25 Vega.

Pop 25 Rancho Alegre is being built in Porto Alegre, the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The hull is ready to be sheathed with fiberglass. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos.

Besides easiness of construction, the Pop 25 has another feature that might weigh in the decision of building one of these boats. She was designed to rest on its twin keels without requiring a cradle for that purpose. Let’s face it; a boat that can be serviced for anti-fouling maintenance without requiring to pay one cent for hauling out, or yard fees, wherever there is a calm beach in a place where tides surpass 1,10m (3’ 7”) range is a dream come true. The fact that she is an unsinkable offshore sailboat with built in thermal insulation is a bonus.

Not requiring cradle, travel lift, hauling ramp or boatyard area for bottom maintenance is the dream of cruising sailors. Wherever there is a calm beach where tide range surpasses 1.10m (3’7”), bottom maintenance and anti-fouling application can be done at cost zero by the owner alone. Photoshops: Murilo Almeida

During the first days of October the office will be re-established at Perth, Western Australia, since it was temporarily operating from Geoge Island, South Korea, where our engineer Astrid Barros was site manager in the construction of two deep water drill-ships built by Samsung Shipyards. With the delivery of the two rigs absolutely on schedule, our family office was free to return to its burrow from where the office was established to stay. We will not have fixed telephone connected for a fortnight, however, as soon as it is functioning we will inform the number in our home page. However we will be connected by internet full time, so there will be no interruption in the normal functioning of the office. From September 20 to October 2 we will make a pit stop at Pucket, Thailand, to recharge batteries, spending a few days sailing along those gorgeous shores. During these twelve days the e-mails will be forwarded and promptly answered by our branch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25.


Pop Alu 32 aluminum boatbuilding in progress: 3 units now being built

Coinciding with the latest pictures we got from Ilha Sul boatyard from Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, we also just got news from two other builders, who sent us pictures of the beginning of their own projects, one in the Argentinian city of Córdoba and the other in the city of Tubarão, in Brazil´s Southern state of Santa Catarina.

Pop Alu 32 at Ilha Sul, Southern Brazil

The Argentinian project is in fact the first unit we sold from this new design, when our client Walter Baitella drove all the way from Córdoba to the city of Rio Grande in Brazil to see the also aluminium design prototype Green Nomad and ordered the new design even before it was ready for delivery.

Starting the craddle in Córdoba, Argentina

The unit from Tubarão, Santa Catarina state in Southern Brazil, is the most recently sold, and our client Jean Abreu Machado intends to start series production of the model, having acquired his own CNC cutting machine.

Jean also intends to sell the boat in pre-cut kit from, where the complete set of cut aluminium parts will be delivered for assembly and finishing by amateur boat builders.

Cradle for another Pop Alu 32 in Tubarão, Santa Catarina

The Pop Alu 32 is built using a quick assembly method, in which the hull is built already facing up and with the use of the CNC kit containing all the aluminium parts pre-cut the whole process is very fast and economical.

With so many building options we expect to see a considerable amount of boats from this class enjoying the coastline of the Americas quite soon, and probably even more distant shores.

Click here to learn more about the Pop Alu 32.


Kiribati 36 - A video tour of the boat

Below there is a video that was put together by me and my wife Marli Werner. If you are arriving now, we built the prototype of the Kiribati 36 design, our aluminium swing keel yacht Green Nomad.

After sailing many years aboard our first boat, including almost a year in the Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati, thence the name of the design, we decided to build a new boat featuring a lot of ideas that occurred to us during the almost 16 years of cruising and life afloat. We found in the Multichine 36 SK design the perfect platform to build our dream boat on, and the result is what you can see in the video.

The voyages of the Green Nomads, in red, green and blue the first one, and in yellow the new phase on the Kiribati 36

We sailed from Rio de Janeiro in 1996 on our firs boat and after visiting some islands in the Southern Caribbean we headed to Panama, where we spent some time in the San Blas Islands, before crossing the Panama Canal and visiting the Galapagos islands and making the big jump across the Pacific Ocean.

That is where we found our place on Earth, and it is to the Pacific islands that we are again heading on the new Green Nomad.
Some areas there that we loved are prone to cyclones, so the Kiribati 36 now has a swing keel for shallow draft, making it easier for us to find the best cyclone protection possible.

Some other areas are pretty deep for anchoring, so we now have 80 meters of 10mm chain on our main anchor rode, and the proper setup to handle that.

Tropical sailing asks for lots of ventilation, and the beauty around us can be an ever present sight because of the panoramic views we now have.

Please bear in mind that some features in our boat differ a little from the Kiribati 36 stock plan, the main reason being that we had to live aboard while building the interior, so some more time consuming details like doors and different floor levels were aborted.

Green Nomad sailing in Ilha Grande, Brazil…

...and in Saco do Mamanguá, near Parati, Southeastern Brazil

To know more about our voyages and see lots of pictures visit Green Nomad's.

Luis Manuel Pinho is a partner of B&G Yacht design, a lifelong sailor and a Metallurgist Engineer by formation. He lives aboard his Kiribati 36 with his wife Marli Wener since 2008. Luis is co-author of the Kiribati 36 design.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36


Pop 25 - Rancho Alegre and Konquest building news

Our community of Pop 25 builders must be happy with the progress in the constructions of boats of the class. Our clients who made blogs to inform about their constructions are showing impressive updates of their work. Even though the most advanced construction still is the Pop 25 being built by Daniel D’Angelo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, two other boats in particular are being detached in the class launching race: Francisco Aydos’ Rancho Alegre and Marcelo Schurhaus’ Konquest, both yachts being built in Southern Brazil

Horus tiller-bar fitting already installed. It is missing very little work for her launching. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

Francisco Aydos’ Rancho Alegre has its hull ready to be sheathed with fibreglass, a task that in the case of the Pop 25 can be accomplished in a couple of days. Francisco wrote in his blog that the simplicity of the construction was a big surprise for him. He couldn’t believe he was able to build a sailboat until visiting Horus blog. It was then that he took courage to try doing himself the task that he thought was beyond his capacity. And now seeing the hull totally sheathed we can say that he passed the test with awards.

Rancho Alegre has already her hull totally planked. Her builder is amazed with the easiness he found in fitting the panels into place. Courtesy: Francisco Aydos

Konquest, the third boat in the list of the most advanced constructions (as far as we know), had to interrupt the work to find a new place where to assemble the hull, but now in a new location, Marcelo resumed the building at full throttle, having already the bulkheads assembled on the building grid.

Konquest already with the pre-fabricated bulkheads assembled on the building grid. This is another Pop 25 we expect to be built in Bristol fashion. The class is being born with the highest spirits possible, with each builder trying to do the utmost to build a first class sailboat. Courtesy: Marcelo Schurhaus.

Pop 25 being built by John Mathesson in Rio de Janeiro. John opted for taking the bulkheads to the building grid in the most advanced stage of finishing possible. Courtesy: Fernando Santos.

The internal layout of the Pop 25 is one of the decisive factors for our clients choosing the project.

While our builders are progressing with their work, they never stop dreaming in setting up shop aboard their boats. According to them it is the spaciousness of the interior for a 25-foot sailboat one of the decisive factors for choosing the project.

One of the few questions we are sometimes asked about the Pop 25 features is if the bulbous twin keels don’t represent a threat of being entangled with fishing nets. We agree with this possibility, however we point out that contrarily to what uses to happen with a non-bulbous fin keel, when after the net passes under the keel tip, it will most probably get trapped by the propeller, in the case of the Pop 25, all it will be required to do is to put a reverse gear in and leave the hurdle unscathed. On the other hand the owner of a mono-keel sailboat will feel a deep sense of envy in seeing a Pop 25 on dry in upright position during ebb-tide in a calm waters beach, doing bottom maintenance without having to pay one cent for that.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25.


Pop 20 - To sail is necessary, to live is not

Roberto Barros

I have a friend whose friendship I deeply praise. His name is Webb Chiles, and I’m quite sure that there is no need to introduce him for most of you, our cruising fellows, since the feats he already accomplished in the nautical world made of him one of most renowned American cruising sailors. Webb is in the last stages of preparation for his sixth round the world voyage on board his present sailboat, Gannet, a 24 foot midget ocean racer of a few decades ago. It may look small the boat he chose for this single-handed circum-navigation. However this is not the smallest boat in which he adventured alone around the world, having earlier used a smaller one, the 18 foot Drascombe Lugger daysailer, Chiddiok Titchborne, for doing so.

Webb and I got acquainted in 2002, during his fifth round the world trip, when, in the company of his wife Carol; he called at Marina da Glória, Rio de Janeiro, where I lived with my wife Eileen aboard the Multichine 28 Fiu. It seems that powerful affinities instantly approached the two couples, generating a pleasant friendship since then, perhaps the main reason for this mutual empathy residing in our common passion for small sailboats. Learning that he will soon be departing for a long passage aboard such a compact craft brought me good memories of the times when Eileen and I were also travelling in a small boat, the 25 foot Sea Bird, bound for the South Pacific Islands (the story of this voyage is published in our site with link from our home-page: “Rio to Polynesia, an adventure in the South Pacific”). In our return to Rio, Eileen and I were so enthralled with the life of cruising sailors living aboard pocket cruisers that we decided to dedicate a good part our time in helping others doing what we have done with so much pleasure. That was why our yacht design office developed a range of small sailboat projects, most of them intended for amateur construction.

Since Webb and I are regularly in contact, in a recent e-mail, willing to bring an atmosphere of great adventure to our conversation, I mentioned about a Brazilian pop singer who composed a tune about Prince Henry, the Portuguese navigator who had an important role in opening the sailing route from Europe to the East. Webb, a writer by trade, and a talented poet, must have enjoyed my recommendation, since he answered me telling that he published an article in his journal, In the Present Sea (with link from our web-site), telling about this issue. His text follows below:

You are a good group and you do me honour by reading this journal. Often you bring to my attention something I did not know. So it was with the Portuguese words above which came to me Sunday in an email from the Brazilian sailor and yacht designer, Roberto Barros.
I’ve seen more of the sea and the world than most. I’ve been reading seriously and listening to music for more than a half a century. Yet still I am often startled by my ignorance.
Carol and I met Roberto and his wife Eileen at Rio de Janeiro’s Marina da Gloria in 2002.
In the 1960s, Roberto and Eileen sailed from Brazil in a 25’ engineless vessel to the South Pacific where they cruised for three years. Although such voyages have never been common in small boats, in the 1960s they were not common in any size boat.
Roberto shares my particular affection for small craft. He once designed a boat that he describes as a near sistership to GANNET; and while he followed my voyages in THE HAWKE OF TUONELA, he is more interested in what I do with the less predatory bird.
The Portuguese words, which are attributed to Don Henrique, the prince who in English is known as Henry the Navigator, founder of the first school of navigation and prime mover in the Portuguese voyages of discovery, can be translated as “To sail is necessary; to live is not.”
For the Portuguese this was literally true.
In the north they grow grapes and make good wine, but the sea is--or was--the nation’s life.

I found an English translation of the lyrics:

The Argonauts

The ship, my heart cannot handle it
Such torment, happiness
My heart is discontent
The day, the limit, my heart, the port, no
Navigating is necessary, living is not
The ship, night in the beautiful sky
The free smile, lost Horizon, morning dawn
The laugh, the arc, of morning
The port, nothing
Navigating is necessary, living is not
The ship, the brilliant automobile
The free track, the noise
Of my tooth in your vein
The blood, the swamp, slow soft noise
The port - silence
Navigating is necessary, living is not

Gannet is a midget ocean racer designed during the seventies, the times when navigating was necessary, living was not. Then came the years of prosperity and sailboats became floating palaces. Courtesy: Webb Chiles

I sent Webb two photos of the compact pocket cruiser we have in our list of stock plans for him to see that our shared passion for small crafts really exists. The design we called Pop 20 has dozens of boats built in different countries and we consider the plans to be a contribution for the ones that wish to own a self-righting sailboat, and that for them the shortest path towards fulfilling this dream is by means of amateur construction.

Pop 20 is the sailboat we designed for the simple-minded sailors. She is easy to be sailed and cheap to be built. The feeling of freedom proportioned by a small sailboat can only be fully appreciated by those who own one of them.

The internal layout of the Pop 20 is quite ample for a twenty-foot sailboat. With berths for four adults, galley with sink and chemical toilet under the fore-cabin double-berth, it is amazing how cosy its interior is for a boat of this size.

Besides the Pop 20 we have other small sailboat designs, like the Multichine 23, and the recently introduced Pop 25, both these boats being within the reach of the amateur builder. However the Pop 20 is yet the easiest to be built of all our fin-keel stock plans. The trade mark we chose for the project has everything to do with the taste Webb and I share in common.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 20.


Pop 25 - Horus almost ready for launching

Good news for the Pop 25 class. We received a few days ago a phone call from Daniel D’Angelo, the amateur builder who is probably going to be the first person to conclude the construction of a Pop 25, when he told us that after three months without having fresh reports about his construction (see his blog in our link’s page: Pop 25 Horus), finally things began to happen again, now at a fast pace. Daniel told us that he intends to take the boat to his club in La Plata, Argentina, where the two other boats he built, the Samoa 28 Sirius and the Pantanal 25 Vega, are stationed. Early this year we informed that Horus would soon be launched. However for personal reasons Daniel interrupted his work, resuming it just a few weeks ago. He is craving for seeing Horus in the water, willing to launch her even if there are small touches still missing to be done.

Pop 25 dream: other Pop 25 builders who are some steps behind Horus can hardly wait to see the first boat of the class sailing. Photoshop: Murilo Almeida.

The race for the first boat in the water is practically won by Horus. However what seemed a landslide win, now it became a much closer match between Horus and at least two other boats that are also being constructed by amateurs: Konquest, belonging to Marcelo Schurhauss, from Florianópolis, and Francisco Aydos’ Rancho Alegre (meaning merry ranch in Portuguese and Spanish), whose construction is taking place at Porto Alegre, both cities placed in the south of Brazil. We know what is going on with these two constructions because the builders have blogs with links from our site.

Rancho Alegre, a Pop 25 that is being built in the south of Brazil. It is amazing how neat is the shed where he is doing his construction. Courtesy: Franciso Aydos

The reason behind the development of the Pop 25 plans is consequence of our own experience. We wished to own an offshore cruising sailboat, however the road to reach this goal by the conventional means of ordering it to a custom boatyard was so difficult to run through, having a hard time in finding a builder with a price tag within our disponibilities, that, seeing our own problems, we decided to build our own boat, and from then on dedicated an important part of our work as yacht designers to amateur construction. It was then that we concluded that what really matters is assisting the amateurs providing clear and precise information on how to do it. Now we are heaping what we sowed. The Pop 25 is doing the role of being that shortcut we dreamed with.

Konquest transom ready to go to the building grid. Photo: Marcelo Schurhauss

We are discovering that our strategy of supplying complete information about on how to construct the transverse bulkheads, which are, to start with, very easy to be made, since they are almost rectangular in shape, is being the secret for everyone feeling confident.

The Pop 25 performance-oriented T-shaped cockpit is one of the strong points of the design. Photo: Daniel D’Angelo

Daniel reported us having no problem in constructing the boat. He is a geologist by trade, spending one month working in the field and one month off. If you visit his blog you will see that the actual time dedicated in building the boat was very short. Now he is willing to see the light at the end of the tunnel and for that matter he is going to transport the boat to the club with no delay. When the basic shell is concluded nobody minds in spending a little more time installing hardware and equipments, not minding if the boat is already on the water. Installing electronic equipments and glittering fittings is like opening Christmas gifts in Boxing Day.

Horus already faired and painted with two coats of epoxy-primer. Rudders and keels are already made, so there is not much to be done for the boat being ready for launching. Photo: Daniel D’Angelo

Now what is missing in Horus construction is to apply the finishing coats of painting and installing the hardware. Mast, rigging, sails, keels, rudders and fittings are already made. Daniel informed us that the next upgrade in his blog will be to show the boat sailing.

Envisaging the day when the boat can be used as a floating home is the fuel that impels our builders to conclude their work. Photoshop: www.ideebr.com

The Pop 25 design was developed with social intentions in mind, that of bringing the dream of owning an authentic offshore cruising sailboat a reality, so that a much larger number of cruising sailors of all ages can profit of this incredible sport of cruising under sail.

Click here to learn more about the Pop 25.


Multichine 31 - The power of fate

When we developed the MC 31 cruising sailboat stock plan, we could never dream that so many cruising sailors would elect this boat as the yacht of their lives. Every time we decide to produce a new design we inevitably have to face the same challenge: having to provide maximum comfort and performance for a minimum cost. As the old saying assures, " there is no free lunch" . To obtain a comfortable, seaworthy, cruising yacht, one must be either well-off, or be willing to eke out his own boat, building it himself. None of these two options is necessarily a bed of roses; however, our long experience tells us that, in average, the happiest group among our clients is that of the amateur builders.

The impressive interior volume of the MC31 is, perhaps, the decisive factor for so many of our clients choosing this design as the yacht of their lives. Render: www.ideebr.com

Last week we received this nice e-mail from Luca Di Agostino, a client of ours who is building a MC 31 in Italy. He wanted a 3D drawing of the fin-keel for the production of the mould using CNC technology. Since this is the trend anywhere, we were pleased to make the plans for him at no cost, enhancing the standard of our design, and doing so making a new friend in Italy, while upgrading the stock plans. Read the e-mail he sent us:

Dear Sirs,

I bought your "Multichine 31" plans about three years ago, and together with my father we've almost completed the main part of the work (maybe in autumn our boat will be ready). A photo reportage will be online soon.

Now we've contacted several "foundry companies" for the realization of the cast iron fin keel with the drawings included with the plans, but all of them kept asking us for the "3D model" of the keel, since they don't understand some parts of the sections (as we do) and the cost for the achievement of the male model without a 3D file is very high. So I ask you, if possible, to provide us the three-dimensional model of the fin-keel to make the work well-done. Thank you in advance.

Luca

The rendered figure of the MC31 fin-keel produced from the project' s 3D drawings. Photoshop: Murilo Almeida

The MC31 builders' community is spread in many countries. However we keep a closer contact mainly with the ones who produced blogs to relate their own construction sagas. We are so certain that they are allured with their enterprises that we feel quite rewarded for having contributed for their achievements, no matter how small our contribution might have been. We like learning from them the hurdles they had to overcome during the construction, and to know if they became pleased with the result of their work. For our good luck we only have reports of happy builders up to now.

The MC31 is a boat basically designed for amateur or custom construction. Since the difference of cost between a thirty-five foot sailboat and a thirty-one foot is so huge, why not designing a thirty-one footer with the volume of thirty-five one? Photoshop: www.ideebr.com.

We are always willing to know about the feats accomplished by our builders. Every so often we are publishing an article written by one of our clients, be it of a short weekend cruise, or a voyage around the world. However Lady Luck didn' t present us with a special cruise accomplished by any MC31 owner yet. Nevertheless, considering the temptation these boats produce in one' s mind, we are pretty confident it is only a matter of time for an outstanding sailing adventure being accomplished by a MC 31.

Can you believe this boat is only thirty-one footer? It has an interior volume comparable to boats three or four feet longer. Rendered figure: www.ideebr.com

We produced a list of cruising sailboat stock plans employing various choices of building materials and heaps of different sizes for the cruising community to choose, be it according to personal preference or cash availability. However what is common to all our projects is an almost fanatical concern about seaworthiness and sturdiness, and in this respect we are adamant in designing scantlings for those who prefer to be on the safe side, even though we may assume the risk of being considered a bit too conservative by some outsiders. Notwithstanding, if we are challenged about this issue, we take remarks like this as compliments, since there is no better feeling when being at sea, alone, or with your family and friends, than trusting in your boat absolutely, come hell or high water.

Clich here to know more about the Multichine 31


Kiribati 36 Green Nomad encounters two other boats designed by us in Parati

A not so rare encounter of boats built to our plans happened this last month in Parati, south-eastern Brazil, where the Multichine 28 Kyriri Ete, the Samoa 34 Luthier and the Kiribati 36 Green Nomad shared a beautiful anchorage for some days. We say not so rare because this area displays an impressive concentration of boats from our office´s designs.

Kiribati 36 Green Nomad, Samoa 34 Luthier and Multichine 28 Kyriri Ete in Parati.

These 3 boats illustrate very well the reward to be had at the end of some hard work hours, work that often is remembered with special good memories by our clients.

The Multichine 28 Kyriri Ete was built in Florianopolis, southern Brazil, by our especially skilled client Giovanni, who built the boat all by himself, and today lives aboard wandering the Brazilian coast.

Luthier was built by Dorival and Catarina Gimenes, who also made an incredibly good job that owes nothing to professionally built boats. They have just returned from two transatlantic crossings, having sailed north along the South American coast, cruised the Caribbean and then the Azores, Portugal, Spain, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and back to Brazil, in Salvador, Bahia.

Green Nomad is getting ready to sail North this season, towards the Caribbean and later the Pacific Ocean, but all at a slow pace, as before their owners Luis Manuel and Marli have sailed a previous boat with the same name from Rio to Australia in less than two years, which for their style of cruising is considered an endurance expedition. They work from the boat in partnership with our office, as Luis has participation in some of our designs, with special focus on aluminium boat designs.

Luis Manuel, Murilo Almeida and Roberto Barros on board Green Nomad, the design office boat!

The option to build a boat and live aboard was common to the three crews, an option that none of them regrets. And they achieved this in one of the most pleasant and economical ways, staying at anchor in some picture perfect spots.

Fetching water from a stream using the dinghy.

All agree that having built boats from plans that were tailored to their needs and expectations was a wise decision, which allowed them to acquire boats with a quality of build far better than they could afford to buy, new or used.

Luthier, a fine example of amateur boat building, with very good performance, having won her class in some quite famous races.

Multichine 28 Kyriri Ete in Florianópolis

Luis Manuel and Dorival aboard Green Nomad

Marli and Catarina have afternoon coffee in Parati.

Kiribati 36 Green Nomad, a boat to sail the globe in safety and comfort

Clich here to know more about the Kiribati 36.


Multichine 41SK Bepaluhê. Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán.

This note is to congratulate Paulo Ayrosa, the owner of the fantastic Bepaluhê, for his achievement in obtaining the coveted International Captain’s license, a reason for pride that can only be appraised by those who already overcame this same hurdle, the feeling that, after building his dream boat, now the world is within the reach of his finger-tips.

Paulo Ayrosa produced a charming blog: http://bepaluhe.blogspot..com.br, where you can see photos of a gorgeous region, now becoming one of the most popular cruising grounds in the world, the Ilha Grande Bay, a practically unspoiled sanctuary of tropical rainforest, surrounded by high mountains, west of Rio de Janeiro. You can also access his blog by means of our link: Multichine 41SK Bepaluhê.

If you search Wikipedia using these words: forty-one foot swing-keel aluminium sailboat stationed in Parati, the paradise on earth, you will most probably find this answer: Bepaluhê, the boat belonging to a happy family

Bepaluhê is the universal sailboat. She is as much capable of reaching a secluded cove accessible only by small crafts of shallow draught, as she can cross oceans in any latitude squandering comfort and safety. This versatility afforded by the swing-keel is being fully appreciated by Ayrosa’s family, during the frequent incursions to the very end of Mamangua Cove, in the west side of Ilha Grande Bay, a fiord-like haven of unspoiled beauty, but of very shallow depth.

Bepaluhê can anchor much closer to beaches like this than the fixed keel yachts of her size. This feature enlarges the scope of usage considerably, and is reason for jealousy from other boat owners. Courtesy: Paulo Ayrosa

When sailing in tropical waters, as it is presently the case, besides the thermal insulation common to all aluminium cruising yachts, Bepaluhê is benefited by an excellent natural ventilation provided by hatches and opening ports, besides having air-conditioning, to be used in sweltering summer nights. When cruising in cold climates, the thermal insulation works equally well, and having private cabins with doors, the indoors ambience is as cosy as a Swiss chalet.

Bepaluhê is in her first season in Parati. She still smells brand new. For the time being Paulo is enjoying the lush and green Ilha Grande Bay paradise in company of his family. However this Captain’s license is reason to suspect that more ambitious dreams will soon be coming to the fore.

Clich here to know more about the Multichine 41SK.


Multichine 28. Twenty years of history

Roberto Barros

It seems it was yesterday that the first MC 28 went sailing! However, lots of water passed under the keel of the class already. It is making twenty years since Sabadear, the first boat of the class to be completed, had been launched in Cabo Frio, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We informed in an article published in our news recently that the conceptual sketch of this design was the result of long cockpit chats during a trip to the Austral Ocean aboard the thirty-foot double-ender Maitairoa, that having happened in the distant year of 1989. There is a link in the MC28 home-page – History – where we tell the main events of the class in its first ten years of existence, but from then on little was said about the events of the class in our site. Notwithstanding, as it uses to be the case of special harvest wines, every new year the project became more renowned as an outstanding cruising boat of its size

MC 28 Sabadear, belonging to Manolo Fernandes, was the first boat of the class to sail. Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, 1992.

It took some time for the stock plan to be introduced, but even before the plans were totally completed there was a considerable interest in the project from the cruising community. So, it took only a short span after the plans were available for the first unit to be launched. This boat was Sabadear, belonging to the Spaniard Jose Manuel Gonzales Fernandes. This event is referred in the link History, as we mentioned above, as well as are mentioned the other MC 28 that were concluded soon after, like Tatuamunha, owned by the lawyer Fabio Orsini, and Utopya, belonging to the air force pilot Breno Lima, both these yachts being built in Recife, Brazil. Soon after launching these two yachts joined the three hundred miles Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island Offshore Race, and in spite of being the smallest boats in the fleet, they were placed first and second in their class, obtaining daily runs above 150 miles, leaving behind them two thirds of the more than one hundred boats fleet. This feat was a great incentive for the class, boosting its prestige to an unexpected highlight.

Being invited to take part in Tatuamunha’s crew was a golden opportunity for me to learn more about the project that I helped to develop just a short time earlier. Even though we had run the stability curve of the project in our naval architecture software, as it is routine for us, in practice it was amazing to confirm that the boat was indeed an authentic lead mine regarding stability. While most of the fleet had to hoist heavy weather fore-sails to stand the fresh winds that prevailed during most part of the race, our boat romped the seas effortlessly sporting the number one genoa for the whole race. During the prize-winning party, other skippers came to talk to us, asking how we could endure the storm without reducing sails. Our answer reflected with accuracy our state of mind: “Which storm, are we talking about the same race?”

However that race was just an anticipation of what I still was going to learn about the project. Together with a friend, Roberto Ceppas, we started building two MC28 which were going to become hallmarks in the now fast expanding class. The place where the two MC 28, Makai and Fiu, were built, a suburb close to the Maracanã Stadium (the stadium where the 2014 world cup final match will be played), became a hub where other potential amateur constructors used to visit on weekends, and on many occasions, after long days of hard work, the chat ended up in a nearby bar, lasting until late evenings. It seemed that our guests weren’t willing to miss that thrilling atmosphere of preparation for further adventures that we were living. And it was this way that these two boats became popular much before they were launched.

There is no better way to know how a sailboat is than working in the development of the project, building a boat from this plan, living aboard her for a long time and cruise intensely with her in offshore passages. That was exactly what my wife Eileen and I had done with total involvement. Each improvement obtained during the construction, every new detail incorporated to the boat to improve her functionality, any new equipment installed, resulted in upgrading the plans and improving the building manual written for the project. However there was no better apprenticeship than the many thousands of miles sailed in offshore passages with our boat. Among the many hard situations we had to cope with, perhaps the ultimate experience was facing a depression in the Brazilian East Coast, when Fiu was obliged to heave to for forty-eight hours, with waves continuously breaking against the cabin trunk front windows; On the other hand life inside the cabin remained as snug as a bug in a rug as ever.

Multichine 28 Fiu sailing with the wind on her nose almost without heeling, as it is her characteristic. These photos were taken during the one thousand miles non-stop single-handed crossing from Recife, in the northeast of Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro.

Two projects that made successful careers among the B & G series of cruising sailboats stock plans: the Cabo Horn 35 and the MC 28. On these photos taken in Ilha Grande, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the MC 28 Fiu and the Cabo Horn 35 Tauá are lashed alongside in raft style.

Since the class is continuously spreading its horizons, every so often we are receiving information about new achievements by part of our builders. Among the latest ones is that the MC 28 Access, belonging to the amateur builder and adventurer Flavio Bezerra is already sailing in Pacific waters, ready for departing bound for the South Seas Islands (you can read a recent article we published in our news reporting this achievement).

The Multichine 28 Access is the member of the class with the largest number of miles sailed. The last news we have about her informed that she is in Panama, after staying for a long time in the West Indies

During the last few years we have received many photos of boats of the class being launched, or that are in the last stages of construction. Here are some of them:

Multichine 28 Ayty, belonging to the electronic engineer Arapoan Fernandes. This boat was magnificently built and is a good example of the high standard of the absolute majority of the MC28 boats built to date. Arapoan nurtures a dream of sailing with her from Rio de Janeiro to New Zealand in the near future. Presently the boat is stationed in Angra dos Reis, in the Brazilian east coast.

Kiriri ete, belonging to the restaurateur Giovani Dal Grande, being launched in Florianópolis, South Brazil. The upper photo shows the saloon, where he matched bright-work with white upholstery, producing a classic touch to the interior decoration. This is another example of competence in amateur building.

Multichine 28 being built by David Cross, in Seattle, State of Washington, U.S.A. Since we received these photos some time ago, we believe that most probably the boat is sailing by now. The last contact we had with Dave he informed us he was ordering the fin-keel to the most renowned foundry in the U.S. specialized in casting keels for racing machines. Dave intends take part in club racing with his boat in the Puget Sound region, and to assist him with his endeavour we designed a more racing-oriented fin, to be built in lead instead of cast iron and slightly deeper than the standard one.

Multichine 28 Marauder, from Sao Sebastiao, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. This boat, as far as we have been informed, is the only one that chose wheel steering up to now. We have no restrictions for the option for wheel steering, but our personal preference is for tiller installation. It saves room and is much cheaper, besides being more bullet-proof.

Riccardo Guardalben

Multichine 28 Safo. Claudine, his owner and builder, is in the last stage of preparation for taking his boat from Paraty, Eastern Brazil, to Capri, in the Mediterranean. Here he is sitting in the saloon of his brand new Safo in company of his family. In the upper photo it can be noticed that Safo is already “gift-wrapped for delivery”. Claudine has a blog with link from our site: Multichine 28 Safo.

In July, 2012 the class had builders in ten different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, England, Greece, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey and U.S.A.), some of them having blogs or sites with links from our site. Besides, we keep in contact with many of them, some of them already using their boats, others still working in the construction. However what all of them have in common is a great enthusiasm for their boats. As example just read the e-mail we just received from Vitor Moura and Luciana Alt, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, who are almost there, regarding the conclusion of their work

Dear friends!

We are very glad to know that the MC 28 is doing a roaring trade as a cruising design. For us it was love at first sight! When we visited you and Eileen in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro, it was love at first sight, and we got totally bewitched by the plans and it became our pipe dream to build one of these boats. Now we are almost there! You can count on us to promote the strong points of the project wherever we go!
A big hug for you and Eileen
Luciana and Vitor

This year we have the intention of making a series of articles about the MC 28 just to toast the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of this design. Since there are plenty of owners adjusting the last details for ambitious passages, it will be no problem for us to find new stories to be told in our news. If you are planning any adventure with one of these boats, you are very welcome to contact us to tell about your plans. For those who are just dreaming yet, we are pretty sure that you will find new topics in our news to entertain you. Since I participated in the developing of the project and lived with my wife aboard the boat I built with my own hands from the plans that I helped to produce, it is a pleasure for me to pass any information about the MC 28 to others who would like to know more about the boat, with tips from the point of view e of a supporter of the class. My e-mail is robertobarros@hotmail.com and I’m glad to pass the experience that my wife Eileen and I gathered along all those years.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28.


Multichine 28. A sailboat designed around a galley

It was in the year of 1989 that in a trip to the Southern Ocean aboard the thirty-foot double-ender Maitairoa, during chilly night watches, that along interminable cockpit chats, the sketchy layout for a new B & G Yacht Design stock plan had been defined.

Roberto barros Yachtdesign

The MC 28 galley counter is large enough to leave owners of much larger boats with their mouths watering.

The crew on that occasion consisted of Roberto and Eileen Barros, their daughter Astrid and a family’s friend, Roberto Allan Fuchs. The whole crew was unanimous in considering Maitairoa’s saloon as cosy as a London pub, however its one burner stove left a strange feeling that something was missing aboard that otherwise outstanding cruising sailboat to give her the status of an authentic floating home. It was then, with the enthusiastic collaboration of Eileen Barros, the wizard capable of preparing three or more hot dishes every meal on that small stove, including baking delicious cakes in a special pot with a lid that fitted on the pot like a shoe-box cover, having holes that coincided with others on the pot wall, allowing them to be opened or shut by just turning the lid in one direction, a clever way for substituting a proper oven, that the concept of the interior layout of the Multichine 28 was born.

Roberto barros Yachtdesign

Roberto barros Yachtdesign

Two galleys, one stock plan. The first one is that of Fiu, the galley that Eileen Barros helped to create and that she organized according to her long time experience in cooking in compact sailboats. The other is more casual. It is the one that globe-girdler Flavio Bezerra built in his MC 28 Access, and is using intensively for the last ten years. This is the perfect example on how men, especially single-handed sailors, use to deal with this issue.

Roberto barros Yachtdesign

One of the most interesting aspects of home building is the opportunity of choosing the finishing to fit one’s taste. These MC 28 owners went for an exquisite cuisine sophistication. Courtesy: Antonio and Ivana Piqueres.

However calling the MC 28 a galley surrounded by a boat is quite a crude simplification. The boat is much more than that. The solutions developed in the design were intended to provide a degree of comfort to allow a family to live aboard without losing in quality of life, if compared with when living ashore. The galley is just one example of the model functionality. The 120 litres fridge is huge for a twenty-eight footer, and is large enough to store supplies for the duration of long passages. The 420 litres fresh water tanks capacity is a reason for pride of any MC 28 owner. The trash bin installed in the front wall of the galley’s counter is big enough to allow the usage of commercial garbage plastic bags sold in supermarkets. But these are only a few points in the design detailing. Each compartment of the boat rivals with the galley in spaciousness and functionality, and it is not by chance that the design is one of our most successful ones.

But, unquestionably, if there is a hallmark in comparing the MC 28 with the good old Maitairoa is its two burners stove with oven.

Roberto barros Yachtdesign

This will be the galley of the MC 28 that is being built in Seattle, State of Washington, by the amateur builder Dave Cross. Since he intends to participate in club racing, he opted for a single sink in order to save some weight. Courtesy: David Cross

If you would like to contact Eileen and Roberto Barros to learn more about the features of the Multichine 28, you are welcome to contact them by the e-mail: robertobarros@hotmail.com. Since they built one of these boats for their own use and lived aboard her for a long time, they have a special affection for the design and are glad to exchange experiences on how it is to live aboard a MC 28 with others interested in doing the same.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28


Pop Alu 32 Hull no 1: news

It is amazing the pace of the building of hull number one of our new design Pop Alu 32 at Ilha Sul Boatyard, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Just two weeks ago we posted the first pictures, and now we can already show the following images of a finished hull.

A practically finished hull and deck in 3 weeks!

The quick assembly method coupled with the CNC cut of all aluminium parts is allowing a lightning fast construction.
Normally we do not repeat news for a same design this fast, but the building pace itself is making it obvious that we need more frequent updates.

The Pop Alu 32 design has a very simple yet robust structure, and the quick assembly method allows for the boat to be built upright, as can be seen below.

So fast and clean is this process that it even inspired a remarkable entry in one of our clients´ blog. We were happy to read a blog entry from Dr. Paulo Ayrosa, one of our first aluminium boat builders after the previous generation of designs like Amyr Klink´s Parati.

Paulo had a Multichine 41 SK professionaly built by the same boatyard now building the Pop Alu 32 in semi-production terms, and now hapilly sails the coast of Brazil in his well appointed Bepaluhê. Here are his words:

"Dear Friends,

Today is a happy day for all those who appreciate custom boat building and even more so for the ones that have chosen aluminum as a hull material for their dream boat.

The building material of my dream boat is aluminium, and it is called Bepaluhê, and in her we have enjoyed great and delightful family moments and the beginning of a stream of nautical adventures.

But it is not about my dream that today I want to talk about. Today I am allowing myself to talk about YOUR dream, that still nameless dream, buried deep inside all seamen, which is the dream boat!!

I am positive that this new sailboat design launched by B & G Yacht Design, the Pop Alu 32, can become the dream boat of many friends, and that is why I decided to open this space to the dreams of my current and future friends and let them know that the first unit of this beautiful design is already being built at Ilha Sul boatyard."

To know more about the Pop Alu 32 click here.


Dinghy Andorinha. The pleasure of building with one’s own hands

The dinghy Andorinha plans for amateur construction has prepared good surprises for us. Besides being one of our most successful stock plans, being only surpassed by the MC23 and MC28 classes in number of builders, it is also one of our designs that our clients feel more fulfilled when building one of these boats. It is difficult for an outsider to realize the magic meaning of receiving a set of plans and sometime later going to sail in a centre-boarder made with one’s own hands. This day uses to be a landmark in the lives of the families involved with the effort.

Astrid Barros and Luis Gouveia, the naval architects that produced the plans, built this Andorinha just to test if the project corresponded to their expectations. They liked so much the boat that when some time after the launching the office had been transferred to Australia, they didn’t have the courage to sell her, keeping her in the Rio Sailing Yacht Club, waiting for an opportunity to send her to Perth in a container for their leisure in the Swan River.

The Andorinha is the typical family centre-boarder. She is so stable and balanced that even rookies feel safe sailing her with children aboard.

The good acceptance of the plans didn’t happen by chance. The formula for the success resided in the building method adopted for the construction, the so called stitch and glue construction technique.

Flattened panels of the Andorinha hull. Having the drawings of the expanded panels gives plenty of confidence to go ahead with the work.

Since the shape of the panels are easily obtained from the plans, be it by traditional plotting using a spline to obtain the curves, or by means of a CNC file, the result is that all builders obtain the hull panels without difficulty, and as soon as these panels are stitched together, the hull assumes its final shape. Then it is a matter of sheathing the outside of the hull with fibreglass and filleting the joints internally with epoxy putty, and then applying a cloth tape over the epoxy fillet along the joints. In short, reaching this stage of the construction is a piece of cake, and the rest of the job to build the boat is no more difficult than it was to build the hull.

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When the panels are stitched together the final shape of the hull is already obtained. From then on the outside of the hull is sheathed with fibreglass and the joints are filled internally with epoxy putty, and finally a fibreglass tape is applied over the filleting.

The “stitch and glue” process is an old acquaintance of the Barros family. During the sixties the couple Roberto and Eileen Barros built a “stitch and glue” dinghy they called Yellow Peril to be the tender carried on the coach-roof of the twenty five foot sailboat Sea Bird, with which they sailed from Rio de Janeiro to French Polynesia. This dinghy was built in the living room of their apartment in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, and was taken to the boat using the building elevator to transport it to the underground garage. Weighting less than 10kg and having the chines covered with fibreglass, it suffered the most merciless punishments, having arrived at the other side of the world unscathed, never requiring any sort of maintenance. This demanding test brought a tremendous confidence in the process, and it is no wonder that we were willing to introduce a stock plan designed for “stitch and glue” construction.

The “stitch and glue” building technique was first tried by the office when the Barros family built this 1.50m x 0.90m dinghy, weighting less than 10kg. This photo was taken in 1968, in Caracas Bay, Curaçao, Dutch West Indies. Eileen is doing the ferry between Sea Bird, in the background, and the pier in the marina.

It is amazing how quickly boats of the class started being launched in the most different places soon after its introduction. No sooner the plans were available and an amateur builder sent us photos of his home-built Andorinha sailing in the protected waters of the Parnaíba River, in the northeast of Brazil.

Li-Si-Ri, the first Andorinha to sail.

Then other clients began informing us about their launchings. The two most recent ones came from Argentina and Brazil. From Argentina we received the following e-mail:

Luis:
Dear Luis Gouveia:
Here is the photo of the sea trial of my Andorinha that took place in Puerto Mar del Plata. I’m very impressed how nicely she sails. We tested her with a crew of four and she still sailed beautifully.
Regards
Roberto Mahmoud
Mar del Plata, Argentina

This Andorinha was built by Roberto Mahmoud, from Mar del Plata, Argentina. How rewarding is for us to know that our clients build their boats without stumbling upon plain ground. How wonderful it is to know that our builders manage to construct their boats as if it were a walk over.

The latest Andorinha launching is Russão. This boat is a good example of what our amateur builders manage to produce. Our client sent us a kind e-mail with a slide show that we reproduce next:

Dear Roberto Barros and Luis Gouveia
Another Andorinha is sailing. The launching happened this June, 2, 2012. The boat is simply fantastic. Now we are going to try her in fresher winds to measure her top speed by GPS. Then I’ll send you more photos.
Regards

Leonardo Oliveira
Itatiba, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Itatiba, SP, Brasil

As it can be seen, the Andorinha is fulfilling its social purpose, that of bringing young families to the sport of sailing, and the project seems to be doing this role with plenty of success.

Click here to know more about the Dinghy Andorinha.


Multichine 28 Access sailing in the Pacific

Finally a MC 28 crossed the Panamá Canal bound for the South Pacific islands. This pioneer is Access, belonging to Flavio Bezerra, the member of the MC 28 club who went farther away from its origins until now. Even though we have other MC28 navigating or being built in countries washed by this ocean, from the west coast of the US to New Zealand, this was the first time, as far as we know, that a boat of the class crossed the Panama Canal.

The Multichine 28 Fiu was being prepared to sail to the Pacific when it happened a change of plans and the boat was sold to the Canadian/Brazilian Roberto Roque. This photo was taken by a friend from the distant Azores, Pedro Pinto, when he paid us a visit in Rio de Janeiro. The photo shows Pedro Pinto (left), his wife, a couple of friends, and Roberto Barros (right) inside Fiu’s cabin. Courtesy: Pedro Pinto.

Flavio spent the last few years living aboard Access staying for most of the time in Antigua and Saint Martin, making a living doing delivery trips, mainly to Europe, this being the perfect way for him to replenish his kitty, since he is a licensed captain and an experienced sailor. During the time he spent in the Caribbean he made sufficient cash for the acquisition of a diesel engine, since he left Rio without having auxiliary propulsion, sailing around for all this time counting on the wind only. He knew that to go ahead with his trip, auxiliary propulsion would represent a substantial increase in reliability, and now he feels safer to go to wherever he wants. So it is no big surprise to know that Access is already in the Pacific, ready to sail to the other side of the world. Access’s trip is a great incentive for other owners of boats of the class who are willing to do extended voyages. Since we developed the project of the MC 28 to be the ultimate cruising sailboat of its size, getting to know about Access achievements is quite rewarding for us.

Forty-four years ago the 25 foot Sea Bird was the first sailboat with the Brazilian flag to cross the Pacific and reach French Polynesia. (You can read this story in the free book “Rio to Polynesia” published in our site with link from our front page, lower left corner). From then on many other boats from our design have done this passage, most of them accomplishing round the world trips, however it was still missing a member of the MC 28 class, the boat we designed and built having in mind to return to the place where we had been so happy, to do that crossing. In this photo Eileen Barros is bathing in this placid stream of pristine waters in the interior of Hiva-Oa, Marquises Islands. Photo: Roberto Barros.

Flavio posted some photos of himself surfing the waves of St Catalina, Panama West Coast, in Face Book, and that way we learned that our friend is quite active. We sent him an e-mail asking him to tell us the latest news, however the way he is “busy”, it will be difficult that he answers us.

Flavio Araujo Bezerra surfing at St. Catalina, Panama West Coast. From now on it will be difficult for Flavio to control his itchy feet. Courtesy: Flavio Bezerra.

There are so many MC 28 being built, or already sailing, that we are pretty confident to be informing about other adventures with boats of the class in the near future. Our clients are unanimous in assuring that the MC 28 is a very comfortable and easy to be sailed offshore sailboat, a good example being Fiu, now Stella del Fioravante. Beto Roque, the new owner, went sailing single-handed a few months after acquiring the boat in a one thousand miles trip, from Florianópolis to Rio de Janeiro, and back. Other MC28, like Utopia, Vagamundo and Atairu, also made long distance trips, but up to now nobody went so far as Flavio did.

Flavio lived the beachcomber life he nurtured for so long, having English Harbour, Antigua, as the place he chose to be his base during the stay in the Caribbean. He made many friends among the international cruising community and became a very well known cruising sailor. Courtesy: Flavio Bezerra.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 28.


Samoa 34. "Summit" meeting of amateur builders

We had observed since a long time that Santa Catarina, a state in South Brazil, is a centre of excellence in amateur yacht building. Perhaps for the influence of the large proportion of its inhabitants who are of German origin, with their unequivocal talent for building things, or for any other reason, the fact is that some of our best amateur constructed boats were built there.

Four amateur builders had a meeting in Joinville, Santa Catarina. From left to right: Sergio Danilas, builder of a Cape Horn 40, Joao and Maria Scuro, who constructed this wonderful Samoa 34 hull all by themselves, Joao de Deus Assis, builder of a composite racing machine from our design, the Green Flash 33 Bicho Grilo, and Jorge Dias, who is building a Samoa 28 in his backyard that will be called Furioso (Furious). Courtesy: Joao Scuro

One of these centres of excellence in amateur boat building is Joinville, a town in the north of the state, where we had several boats from our design built there in the past, all of them within the highest standards of quality.

Observing the care the Scuros dedicated to building the bulkheads, it becomes evident that their commitment is totally turned to high quality construction.

Joao Scuro and his wife are the type of couple that rewards our work as yacht designers. Joao is a lawyer by trade and his wife is a retired civil servant. After long careers with lots of work and little adrenalin, they retired, sold their house at the city of Sao Paulo and bought a plot in Joinville where they built the shed shown in the photos, adding an extension where they made a room to sleep at night during the construction. Next they acquired the Samoa 34 plans and even though they hadn' t any previous experience with boat building, they dedicated their full time in the challenge of building their future floating home.

Can you believe that a couple of office rats with no experience in boat building could make such a perfect hull without assistance from anybody? Courtesy: Joao Scuro

So they planned, so they did! For the typical landlubber questions they made during the first stages of the construction, we imagined they would find some hard times in keeping going with their endeavour. How wrong we were! Interiorly they dissipated pure energy and commitment with perfectionism. And this is the way the boat is being built since the first day. The couple' s routine is one of early birds that endure long working days, with no concessions to leisure of any sort but the building of their boat.

The Samoa 34 interior layout transmits the feeling that it is the ideal boat for living aboard and sailing to distant places in comfort and safety.

With such radical approach, it' s no wonder that the work is progressing in a fast pace. The prize for having reached the present stage in the construction is being able to go for the coffee breaks inside the cabin, as an  avant prémière of glorious days that will come soon.

The day that the Samoa 34 Brasas woke up in upside down position and in the afternoon was already a floating hull. Courtesy: Joao Scuro

When home building reaches this stage, fantasy and reality are hard to be distinguished from each other, and imagination go beyond limits, loaded with adventure dreams in the most remote corners of the planet.

Now the Scuros can already use the interior of their Samoa 34 as a dwelling, even though not as tidy as it will be in the near future. Courtesy: Joao Scuro.

The Samoa 34 class is perhaps one of our most popular ones. The boat is sufficiently ample and seaworthy to live aboard when sailing offshore while it is of an affordable price and within the reach of the amateur builder. The Scuros are not alone in their pursuit for the sailboat to live aboard. We have dozens of other clients who did the same thing, some of them already living aboard or accomplishing long passages with their yachts. One of them is the couple Dorival and Catarina Gimenes, who just completed the so-called Atlantic Ocean circum-navigation, having sailed from South America to the Caribbean, then to Europe and back to South America. Now, in the first days of June, they will give a lecture about their unforgettable trip, the highlight of their lives.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 34


Pop Alu 32: Hull number 1 takes shape at Ilha Sul

From virtual to real boat in record time

The new hull takes shape at Ilha Sul boatyard

We were extremely pleased when Ilha Sul Construções Náuticas boatyard, from Porto Alegre, Brazil, www.ilhasulnauticas.com.br, decided to start building production units of our new aluminium 32 ft sailboat design.

Now the lead time to buy one of these boats in Brazil will be greatly reduced.

And judging by the progress shown on the pictures, this time will be very short indeed.

A week´s progress is fabulous

In Europe aluminium production boat building is a long established practice, and boatyards like Alubat and Garcia compete with success in the series sailboat market, offering unique products for a public that seeks boats with the level of customization and strength that only metallic boat construction can offer at competitive prices

The extra strong 8mm thick aluminium hull can be adapted to several navigation programs and should deliver many years of trouble free sailing.

Hull number 1 can be the dream boat of any of those who are reading this article, and the same will be true with a number of future units to come.

Soon we can have a real boat in the picture

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32 design.


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


Multichine 34/36 Cabin Boy. Made in New Zealand

It is very rewarding for us when we see one of our boats being built with a high degree of quality. This is the case with the MC34/36 being built by Howard and Noelle Bennet, from Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand. The determination of this couple in building their definitive boat where they intend to live must be the secret for such commitment. Our long time involvement with amateur construction has proven that this is the best road to success. A new trend, however, is the fact that those who create blogs to relate their constructions are the ones whose commitments use to go beyond limits.

This is the case of the Cabin Boy. The Bennets made a blog that is a pleasure to follow. Starting from the temporary shed they built, it becomes evident that they want to do a first class job. Watching carefully the details of the joinery employed in the fabrication of the bulkheads at the workbench it can be seen that they are made with the utmost care. They are also boosted by the privilege of living in such beautiful surroundings, a place that only for its sceneries compels people to adopt an adventurous life. The region where they are building the boat is of staggering beauty, and the photos they show are breathtaking. Their blog is: www.nzcabinboy.blogspot.com. They are also linked from our page of links: Multichine34/36 Cabin Boy. We are transcribing their most recent entry below

Now, what do you think that bit does?

And so the boat building began. Enthusiasm was brimming over - in fact Sam (the cat) was so overwhelmed by all the activity that he was forced to lie down and have a little sleep as the construction carried on around him! This apparent overwhelming desire to sleep on whatever happened to be being constructed meant great care had to be taken not to inadvertently epoxy him to any of the bits of boat that were starting to appear.

On a daily basis, sheets of marine grade plywood would disappear into the boat shed to be re-invented as - well generally I didn't have a clue what!

"How's your day been?" I'd ask when I arrived home from work.

"Great thanks," would come the reply. "How was yours?"

"Good thanks. So what have you been doing with yourself?" I know that must seem a bit like asking the bleedin' obvious but it was actually intended to elicit some sort of specific descriptor, if only to help me try to work out precisely what I was looking at. But no.

"I've been building a boat!" would come the answer. Yeah, thanks Howard, that was really helpful!

"Now what do you think that bit is?" Howard's finger would guide my gaze in the general direction of the latest strangely shaped assemblage.

So I'd study this lovingly constructed object that had been presented to me with such a sense of eager anticipation, hoping that just what it was would suddenly become blindingly obvious to me. However, after several minutes of intense study I'd invariably have to admit defeat.

"Well, I'm sure I should recognise it but I can't quite seem to work it out."

And so this continued until one evening I arrived home and wandered into the boat shed, pondering what shape would great me this time. 'How long should I pretend to be on the verge of working out what it is before admitting I don't know?' I thought to myself. I glanced up and stopped dead in my tracks. There in front of me was something that was undeniably the hull of a boat. It was upside-down, I grant you, but that shape was unmistakable.

I walked around it, studying it from every angle and wherever it was viewed from it still looked like a boat. I was gobsmacked and extraordinarily excited. All those weird and wonderful shapes had come together into a cohesive whole. The really weird thing was that I had absolutely understood that it would happen, I just couldn't see how when all I had to look at was the individual elements.

"Hey, that's brilliant," I enthused when I finally found Howard. "Bet you're pleased with it aren't you?"

"Yup, it's quite good I suppose," came Howard's response, ever the master of the understatement.

Now before I continue with what's happening with our build I'll do a bit of a blokey-type explanation about the design as well as the more technical aspects of the boat, just in case anyone out there is thinking 'Why on earth isn't she telling us what they're building?' And I'll include the odd explanatory bit in brackets for those people who may need some translation of the boat-speak!


So, she is a fibreglass over plywood Multichine 36 from Roberto Barras yacht design. Her overall length will be 11.16m, her beam will be 3.82m and she will have 2.00m standing headroom. She will have two cabins (bedrooms), a large head aft (bathroom at the back), a main saloon (lounge area) plus a spacious galley (kitchen) and a navigation table (that's so we know where we're going).

Work on the boat continued apace. Howard would work on it all day, stopping only for the odd cup of coffee and some lunch. I'd return home from work to find him happily sitting astride the upturned hull, carefully and lovingly crafting what would eventually become our home.

"What do you fancy for tea?" I'd question, prompting a momentary pause in his activities as he realised that he'd forgotten to take anything out of the freezer...again!

"Oooops, I'd forgotten all about tea," would come the response."What do you fancy?"

I'd wander off and throw something fairly basic together and then summons him in so we could enjoy the meal together. Suitably replete, Howard would then disappear back into the boat shed.

"I'll just tidy up a bit and put my tools away," he'd say as he wandered out of the caravan. "I'll be back in very shortly." Invariably the 'very shortly' was actually quite a long time - in fact more often than not it was running out of daylight that was the prompt to stop work.

Howard was as happy as a pig in muck, but he was becoming a very tired pig in muck! I had my concerns that he was pushing himself too hard, but he insisted he was fine.

"I just want to take advantage of the warmer weather and get as much of this done as I can," he explained.

"Well, just be careful that you don't push yourself too hard." I tried hard not to be bossy but sometimes  - OK, fairly often - I failed miserably. It was apparent though that my comments were falling on deaf ears. Men can be sooooo stubborn!!

A few days later I returned home after a pretty tough day at work, relieved to be back in my little cocoon that was the caravan. It had been raining most of the day which had meant that Howard had been unable to do much on the boat because the humidity affected the epoxy's ability to 'go off' so he had a cup of tea ready and waiting for me. He studied me carefully for a moment and then said, "Looks as though you've had a bit of a tough day to me. You're looking really tired."

"You're not far wrong there," I agreed.

"Well, I reckon you need a break so how about we take the tinnie and go up to the Marlborough Sounds for a couple of weeks." He didn't need to work on persuading me.

"That's the best idea I've heard in ages," I replied. "Reckon it will do us both good. Marlborough Sounds, here we come!"

Click here to know more about the MC 34/36


Samoa 28. Group of amateur builders concluding their constructions

We consider the Samoa 28 to be a special design. Even though it requires an expressive amount of men/hours commitment to be fabricated, its constructive principle is quite easy to be grabbed by the most inexperienced of the amateur builders. Presently a significant number of amateurs are facing the challenge of building these boats, for our delight, as far as we know, all of them managing to progress with their work without difficulties, simply being oriented by the building manual provided with the plans.

Samoa 28 Terrius. This boat is magnificently well built. Her owner, Bernardo Sampaio, is very happy with his choice. He knows that he wouldn’t find another boat of the same size that could transmit such confidence as the Samoa 28. This photo was taken in the launching day at Ubatuba, State of Sao Paulo Brazil

The Samoa 28 is an extremely safe and comfortable offshore cruising sailboat. When people learn that owning a Samoa 28 is a passport for any sort of cruising adventure, it becomes clear why this design so easily bewitches them. The evidence of this is the impressive number of blogs in the web relating the construction of Samoas 28. There are six blogs of the class with links from our website. They are: Everest, Sirius, Caprichoso, Furioso, Baleia and Paloma.

Samoa 28 Sirius in Punta del Leste. To build a boat in your home lawn alongside your swimming pool and then sailing to another country with her is priceless. Photo: Daniel D’Angelo

There are already forty-eight builders of Samoas 28 in four different continents. However we only know something about their constructions when our clients create a blog, or send us e-mails telling how their works are progressing.

Daniel D’Angelo’s Samoa 28 Sirius sailing in the River Plate, Argentina. This boat took part in the Buenos Aires to Punta del Leste offshore race soon after her launching, when she confirmed her seaworthiness and good performance. Courtesy: Daniel D’Angelo

Something important for the class is happening at the moment. Several Samoas 28 whose builders edited blogs relating their buildings are in their last stages of constructions. We are pretty sure that in the heads of our clients there must be ambitious dreams of long distance passages and other cruising endeavours. The boats that they are building are becoming works of art and we can’t imagine a different happy ending for them than weighing anchors and sailing away.

Luis Gouveia (the one on the left of the photo) flew in a vacation trip from Perth, Austrália, to Rio de Janeiro, and on that occasion paid a visit to Ubiraci Jardim, who is building Baleia in the town of Macaé, State of Rio de Janeiro. At that time the strip-planked hull was just concluded. Now Baleia is almost finished and Ubiraci is already planning ambitious long distance passages, like sailing to the Caribbean and beyond.

Click here to know more about the Samoa 28


Explorer 39 Caroll. Lecture in Rio de Janeiro Boat Show

On the April, 15, 2012, Raimundo Nascimento, our latest client to accomplish a round the world voyage aboard a B & G designed cruising sailboat, the Explorer 39 Caroll, gave a sensational lecture to the visitors of the Rio Boat Show, telling the adventures of his astonishing fast round the world trip, accomplished in ten months and five days.

Raimundo testing the sound before the lecture. A few moments later the auditorium was crowded. It is amazing how he managed to transmit to the audience the feeling that his circum-navigation in solitary was a walk-over, and that even when he had been chased by pirates in the Indian Ocean, he managed to get rid of them, thanks to the ten knots top speed of his vessel.

I went to the boat show with a curiosity in mind: how would be the new site chosen for the event, the old buildings of the Rio de Janeiro docks, the place intended to become the hub of Rio entertainment during the 2016 Olympic Games. In my opinion the choice was a failure. The impression I had was that the old port installations isn’t suitable for this kind of event. There was a heavy swell that day; the floating pier built along the docks, so the yachts could station in Mediterranean style with their sterns accessed by gang-planks, budged so much that visitors had to hold the grab-rails not to fall in the drink. The situation was so awkward that those with light stomachs had to be careful not to get queasy.

The Explorer 39 project manager Luis Gouveia, in a vacation trip with the family, flew from Perth, Australia, to Rio, when he visited Estaleiro Estrutural, the boatyard where Caroll was being built. On that occasion the construction was almost concluded. In this photo he is inspecting the pivoting keel mechanism, with the swinging keel already installed, tucked in its case.

The tycoons of the nautical world, the multinationals of the business, blocked their booths to anyone who didn’t posses an account in a fiscal paradise, or belonged to a royal family, so not even the floating pier had free access along its whole length. The true lover of the cruising life the most he could do was visiting a few series production sailboats, those that hardly anyone in good mental health would choose to go to Cape Horn, the vast majority of crafts exposed being high speed yachts. Definitively the new address missed the nautical atmosphere of the former place, the municipal Marina da Gloria, a place with tradition in nautical events.

Luis Gouveia took his sons with him when he visited Caroll. Here they are trying the dinette’s u-shaped sofa. The saloon placed abaft the companionway ladder is a trade mark of the project. The engine case is the base for the social table, a solution we had successfully used in another of our projects, the Cape Horn 35.

Back to the lecture subject, it was there where those who dream with long distance cruising found any return for the entrance ticket. At least in that room there was somebody to tell how it is to break loose and do what your soul is calling for.

The Explorer 39 interior layout is intended for living aboard in offshore passages with plenty of comfort even when sailing in tough conditions.

It was a pleasure seeing common people, some of them being young couples, others being middle aged sailors dreaming with their retirement, making questions on how it is to sail around the world, how much it costs monthly, how difficult is the Panama Canal transit, which boat is more adequate for a long range trip, and so on...From my part I was very grateful to Raimundo, who only had nice words about the Explorer 39 project. For a sixty-two years old person who had just completed a cancer treatment before departure, circling the globe in ten months and five days in a flawless trip is quite a feat. Good for us that the boat was up to his expectations, allowing him to make his dream come true.

You will find more details about Caroll’s round the world voyage in a report published in our news: Explorer 39 Caroll completes a round the world trip.

Click here to know more about the Explorer 39


Pop Alu 32 Virtual Assembly Slide Show

An image is worth a thousand words, and so as part of the ongoing development of a construction manual for the Pop Alu 32 (initially only for the metal work phase), our new aluminium sailboat design that may be considered a bigger cousin of the already international best seller Pop 25, we have elaborated a slide show that depicts the metal work steps involved.

The Pop Alu 32 is a very roomy boat for its size. The hull form and modern design features herald good average speed, and its vocation is performance cruising with comfort and the peace of mind associated with the safety of a metallic hull.
As can be seen on the slide show, the Pop Alu 32 structure is simple, yet very robust. The boat is assembled on the upright position, saving costs.

Click here to know more about the Pop Alu 32


Kayak Brasileirinho BloodRowing being built in Canada

Inside a plastic shed in the cold province of Quebec the sailor and adventurer Eric the Rower is building the open sea kayak Brasileirinho BloodRowing. The boat will be used as means to denounce an ecological crime perpetrated by some of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands: the slaughtering of hundreds of pilot whales in a macabre festival of insanity. Eric intends to complete the construction of his boat in one year, having in mind crossing the North Atlantic from Newfoundland to the Faroe Islands single-handed, timing his arrival to coincide with the climax of the bloodshed.

BloodRowing intended route is a straight line between Saint John, Newfoundland, and the Faroes.

We were contacted by his gentle daughter, Florentine Leloup, a person whose involvement with the preservation of these harmless and adorable mammals has no limits, asking us if we would like to sponsor her courageous project of trying to stop that absurd ritual, contributing with the design of our offshore kayak Brasileirinho. Without a blink we joined her cause and now our open sea rowing boat is beginning to take shape in the temporary shed built in Eric’s residence. From then on we became enthusiastic supporters of their project intending to report news about the progress of the work regularly. To learn more about them see: www.bloodrowing.com.

Can you believe that twenty-first century Europeans can slaughter those harmless and friendly animals?

Eric built this shed next to his house where he is starting the construction of the kayak Brasileirinho BloodRowing. He intends to conclude the work in one year time and depart bound for the Faroe Islands soon after.

Eric will build BloodRowing with assistance from nobody, and next he will cross the North Atlantic on her, single-handed.

"Bulkhead n° 8 represents the room I’ll have to cope with as accommodation and sleeping quarters during my passage. After rowing for fourteen hours daily, it will probably be easy to get a nap for a few hours". Eric

Brasileirinho is an offshore kayak designed to be built in plywood/epoxy, being its construction within the reach of the amateur builder. The design had been already tested, and the offshore capabilities of the project are already proven. However BloodRowing voyage will undoubtedly be the design most important test yet.

The first kayak Brasileirinho to be launched is this one. The owner intends to cross the Atlantic from Europe to South America with her.

Click here to know more about the blue water kayak Brasileirinho.


A Cruise in Lagoa dos Patos - Part I
From Porto Alegre to Porto do Barquinho - Antonio Piqueres

“If you are out and about looking for a comfortable and reliable cruising sailboat for you and your family, the B & G Yacht Design plans should be your first choice.” Next we will tell how the MC28 Atairu bravely endured the challenging situations she had to cope with when crossing the inland sea called Lagoa dos Patos, a 280km long lake, with widths varying from 20 to 60km, with 6,5m depth in average, linked to the South Atlantic by a narrow pass called Barra de Rio Grande. Its waters are muddy for more than half its length, until reaching Sao Louranço do Sul, where it begins to become pristine by the influence of the sea waters that flood this part of the lake.


Saturday, febuary, 11, 2012 - We were caught as if we were fish (Atairu was entangled in a fish net)

Saturday morning I was busy installing mast steps in Atairu, one of the last tasks missing to be done in our check-list for the scheduled trip along Lagoa dos Patos. Two weeks ago we had been invited by a group of cruising sailors belonging to the same club as us, to accomplish a sailing trip along this lagoon. In the beginning it was supposed to be four sailboats, departing from Porto Alegre, bound for Pelotas in a round trip. However, for personal problems and lack of time to prepare their boats adequately, the fleet was reduced to two boats, the MC28 Atairu, crewed by me and my wife Ivana, and another boat, the Spring 25 (a Tony Castro design) Val Halla, crewed by Commander Fabio Beck, her owner, and José Campello, an old salt who had large experience in sailing these waters. While our cruising buddies tried my inflatable with outboard motor, I finished the installation of the mast steps.

Our departure was scheduled for two o’clock p.m., however we just managed to finish the last preparations, like lashing the inflatable to the fore-deck, with some delay, departing one hour later then scheduled, bound for Sitio Forte beach, still in the Guaiba River waters, the main stream that crosses the city of Porto Alegre and feeds the lake, extending for 25 nautical miles from Porto Alegre to the lagoon. This river has a minimum width of 2.5 nautical miles, and maximum of 13 miles near its estuary, having depths varying from four metres to one metre.

It was a twenty-two nautical miles stretch, with the prevision of five and a half hours trip. The wind was blowing from NW at about five knots, making things easy for us to reach our destination. Val Halla left first with us in her wake. Sunny day, light wind, we sailed in these perfect conditions for most part of the day until the light wind abated and we had to start the engine. For the first time we employed the auto-pilot (the Tuzinho as we nicknamed it). What bliss was its help!

At six p.m. Ivana and I were chewing the rag in the cockpit about how would be our long time nurtured adventures along the lake, since this was the maiden long distance trip of the boat, when Ivana saw a warning flag twarthships, signalling a fishing net, when Atairu was stopped almost instantly. One of the things we most feared had just happened: we had been caught by a fishing net. In a jiffy I turned the engine on in idle and called Val Halla by VHF, asking them to assist us. We turned the engine off and using the boat hook started pulling the net and cutting it with a sharp knife, since there was no other alternative. I cut the thick nylon rope that makes the net’s hem, but Atairu was still entangled. Val Halla approached us and Campello, the crew member, jumped aboard to give us a hand, while Val Halla gained some distance again not to risk getting trapped also.

In no time flat Fabio, the skipper, swore a bad word and all of a sudden his boat was also halted, obliging him to stop the engine. He had been also caught by the fishing net. Holding a knife, Fabio jumped into the water trying to free the propeller, which by now was fouled by the net. (His boat uses a strut to bear the propeller shaft). Meanwhile Ivana, using the boat hook, brought aboard another thick nylon rope which was also cut off. At this very moment Atairu started to drift and Campello advised us to run the engine in idle, just in case. Slowly Atairu was getting free, but Val Halla hadn’t been that lucky. Only at eight p.m. we managed to tow Val Halla to safe waters.

We left that trap sailing in the direction of the navigation channel, since the last thing we wanted at that point was another mishap like that, and with utmost care we pointed to our intended first stop-over, the so called Praia do Sitio (Site’s Beach). Campello stayed on the foredeck checking the channel buoys in the darkness of the night. At ten p.m. we anchored at Praia do Sitio, having towed Val Halla for all that time. We had a quick supper and collapsed into our bunks. Before breakfast next morning I snorkelled with a knife in hand, intending to remove any net still attached to Atairu’s under-body. For my surprise there was no vestige of any piece of net around the propeller.

Campello admitted that the bulbous keel configuration, and having a propeller shaft skeg instead of strut, prevented the net from fouling the propeller. (If so, it is a point in favour for the project). Aboard Atairu we were ready to depart once more. However Val Halla was still requiring to get rid of the net fouling her propeller. We had to lash our 70m long spare anchor rode to the towing line to bring Val Halla close to the beach, where thanks to her extremely shallow draught (slightly more than one metre), it was very easy for the crew to remove the remains of the net. The task took some time to be done, and at nine a.m. we were ready to depart again.


Sunday, february, 12, 2012 – Establishing a restaurant (grounding in Porto do Barquinho)

We had our breakfast underway, being already sailing in the lagoon waters. Sunny day! We were sailing in light winds, 6 to 9 knots, from the N/NW quadrant. Our course was straight to Porto do Barquinho, our next stop-over, on the east side of the Lagoa dos Patos, being one of the most secluded places on the lake shores, about 12km distant from the local hub, the town of Mostardas. Porto do Barquinho was built with the intention of providing an outlet for the rice and onion crops that prevail on the east side of the lagoon. The port building project was started in 1924, and revised in 1977, being almost concluded in 1979. Like so many other governmental projects in this country, it was neglected and abandoned without finishing the project, never mentioning that the linking roads to the production sites were never built.

The harbour comprises two piers measuring 837m and 762m, however presently missing being dredged, have uncharted mud and sand banks blocking its access. Nevertheless, the harbour is excellent shelter for cruising sailboats. We motor-sailed for most of the way, trying to reach our destination still with daylight. The crossing had no incidents, since we were sailing in charted waters and could follow our progress in the chart-plotter. When we got closer to our destination, Ivana took the binoculars so she could spot the harbour entrance, since the piers are practically flush we the sea level. We reached the piers’ entrance sailing in a light northeast breeze. We arranged for Val Halla to sail ahead of us, since she had the shallower draught, serving as a depth sounder for us. When we were in the open we had about three metres depths in average along the buoyed channel. Val Halla kept advancing, while we stayed in her wake, making turns and waiting for precise information. We noticed that when approaching the piers a little further the depth decreased dramatically. From where we were we could observe people camping to the east of the harbour.

Val Halla contacted us by VHF giving us the instructions on how to enter, but with the warning that we couldn’t go much further, since there was not enough depth for our boat’s draught. We passed at an arm’s length from a stick marking the channel, however to no avail, since seconds later we were grounded. We were in mid-channel so we couldn’t throw the hook there, leaving us no other alternative then to retreat. The sunset was simply gorgeous. Rounding the signalling stick I could see a heavenly nook densely covered by bush. My intention was anchoring were we were and let the wind make us drift towards that haven. However Lady Luck wasn’t at our side that evening. Atairu had just grounded. It was approximately 6 p.m. I asked assistance from Val Halla straightaway.

Unfortunately they couldn’t come in a hurry, since the crew was ashore. When they finally managed to come along in our assistance, Campello suggested taking our hook to a deeper place, making a 90° angle with our bearing, and use the windlass to try to free the boat. It was already dark. In a slow pace Val Halla took our anchor to the limit of our rode scope. After throwing it they signalled us to start the engine and turn on the windlass. The chain made a hell of a noise on the anchor roller, having to pull the boat thwartships, and Atairu pivoted over her keel. It looked like we were going to get free, but that was simply a wishful thinking. In a heavier pitch Atairu lowered her bow and the windlass gave us a warning that it reached its limit, soon desaccelerating as if it was to blow its fuse. By then the anchor was firmly held to the bottom. Just in case I turned off engine and windlass.

Atairu was more than ever stuck in the mud. Not even the rudder was moving anymore. Literally we were ready to open a restaurant on that spot in Porto Barquinho. It was 9p.m. when we gave up freeing Atairu, making a raft with Vall Halla to spend the night together. There was nothing more we could do by then. Mañana! Ivana prepared a fancy sauce recipe, which she added to a pastry prepared onboard Val Halla, and we enjoyed a delicious supper.

We all ate aboard Atairu, which saloon was much more comfortable than that of the other boat, sipping a fine crop wine accompanied by a colonial cheese. That night I hardly managed to sleep, trying to find a formula to take us out of that rat trap, who knows, using the spinnaker halyard to heel the boat.

Early in the morning we were considering the various options we had, when Adriana, the swing keel boat skippered by Emílio Oppitz, a kin sailor with lots of experience in Lagoa dos Patos waters, approached our haven. They were sent to us by a heavenly angel. Showing the solidarity common to all true cruising sailors, Emilio offered us assistance, suggesting to make the rescue in tandem: Val Halla towing Atairu, and Adriana pulling Atairu’s spinnaker halyard thwartships, decreasing Atairu’s 1,55m draught, while being propelled by her engine. I gave full throttle to the engine at maximum revs and in a touch of wand we were free again. Everything worked according to the book; a good project, a reliable construction, and Atairu suffered no damage during the operation. After thanking Captain Oppitz for his assistance, I concentrated in bringing the anchor up, a hard task, as Campello had already warned us.

We were slowly bringing the chain aboard until the remaining chain was vertical, when Atairu kept advancing forward pushed by her inertia. In the nick of time, in an involuntary reflex, my right hand little finger had been squeezed between chain and windlass. After a loud scream I managed to free my finger, but too late not to have consequences. A deep cut in the middle of my fingernail was bleeding in profusion. I tried to restore the loose part of the nail in its place, and in sequence wrapped a towel around the injured finger, trying to stop the bleeding. Ivana came to the deck with the boat’s first aid kit box, something indispensable in any cruising expedition, while Val Halla went alongside us and with plenty of skill, passed me a glass of water. Ivana made a thorough cleansing of the damaged finger and applied an antiseptic powder in the wound. Then I went forward once more to try to bring home the stubborn anchor, which this time came up without any hassle.

The pain in my little finger was almost unbearable, and the nearest adequate place for a good medical care was Sao Lourenço do Sul, two days away. I had learned a good lesson in the worst way possible: before trying to save the boat you must take care of yourself. About 8.40 a.m. we left Porto do Barquinho towards Barra Falsa, still in the east side of the lake. By then we couldn’t even dream with what we still had to endure. (The second part of the story is going to be published soon)

Click here to know more about the MC28


Explorer 39 Caroll completes a round the world trip

On the twenty-seventh, February, 2012 the Explorer 39 Caroll completed a round the world voyage. Her skipper, Raimundo Nascimento, or sailor Raimundo, as he prefers to be called, is unquestionably a Sailor with capital letter. For us from B & G Yacht Design, this is reason for a deep feeling of pride, since this is the sixth boat from our design to accomplish a circum-navigation, the third to do it single-handed. (See our section – Hall of Fame.)

The last few metres to be run before arrival. Caroll approaching the Yacht Club Rio de Janeiro pier, after completing the last leg of the voyage.

It was very amusing to follow the trip on SPOT and watch the videos Raimundo edited in his blog. What pleased us most was seeing Caroll leaving the miles behind, keeping its course almost as straight as an arrow, sailing at an astonishing speed for a cruising sailboat. One of these videos was taken between Durban and Port Elizabeth, when they were caught by the worse storm in the whole trip. Watching the video carefully we noticed how Caroll was steady on those conditions. In a point on the footage Caroll heels to leeward to the point of washing the decks for a few seconds, soon coming back to the upright position, without ever missing her course. Raimundo told us that during this depression Caroll reached amazing 17.5 knots when surfing a freak wave without losing steering control. As he was getting acquainted with his boat he admitted he became excessively self-confident, sometimes neglecting being more cautious, carrying more canvas than it would be wise to keep on. The project had been developed with this intention in mind, however there is no better way to test a new design than to take the boat for a round the world trip.

We already had reported the first part of Caroll’s voyage in a previous article published in our news. We had the article ready to be published when we received the news of Raimundo being chased by Indonesian pirates in the Timor sea. So we included his account as the highlight of the story. Reminding the incident we are copying what Raimundo wrote in his blog:

Today at 3 p.m. I was approached by a fishing trawler with a crew of four, three of them wearing hoods, looking like being Indonesians, ordering me with signals to stop the boat. I was in the way of hoisting a smaller jib when I heard the noise of their engine, and at first glance I imagined they were there by chance, but when watching more carefully and seeing they were hiding their faces with hoods, my legs trembled uncontrollably They were at no more than 300m from us. After thirty seconds of no action, I finally ran aft as fast as I could, started the engine, disconnected the wind vane, turned on the automatic pilot, and in full throttle and the assistance of the sails, changed course and ran away like a bat out of hell. It seems they didn’t expect this reaction, since they probably believed I was going to stop. Notwithstanding, they also changed course trying to catch me. However sailing at ten knots Caroll was no easy prey for them, and the distance between us kept increasing. After fifteen minutes of fierce pursuit they gave up chasing us, while I kept the engine at its maximum revs for a whole hour until they disappeared on the horizon.

I believe they were professional fishermen and amateur pirates, since they didn’t posses long range weapons. However if it wasn’t for the superb speed of my boat I would be most probably lying deep in the Indian Ocean together with my beloved Caroll. Tomorrow I’ll probably be out of the range of Indonesian fishermen and this night I’ll sail with navigation lights off, counting on radar, AIS and my watches, to avoid a collision. I thanked the Almighty to have allowed me to keep going on my trip...

Caroll in Keeling Cocos. This atoll in the Indian Ocean was the first stop after being chased by pirates.

After the pirates chasing nightmare any other event should be anti-climax. Nonetheless Raimundo never relented in pushing his luck, proving in many other occasions that he is unquestionably a good seaman.

One of the stop-overs Raimund praised was Reunion Island, a place where he was very welcome.

After calling at Mauritius and Reunion, Raimundo departed bound for Durban leaving Madagascar to the North. During this stretch he had to endure a couple of depressions, the infamous southerly busters, when Caroll proved again how seaworthy she is. But the worse was still to come; the ultimate storm he had to endure between Durban and Port Elisabeth we referred above.

The Explorer 39 is a two rudders, swing-keel cruising sailboat. After the design had been tested in all sailing conditions during Caroll’s round the world trip, we can be relaxed in the sense that the model behaved accordingly with the predicted performance. However it was the outstanding competence of her sixty-two years old skipper that allowed her to return sound and safe to her port or register

The remaining trip was accomplished in admiral seas, with only one stop over in Cape Town before the triumphal arrival at Rio de Janeiro, where the adventure started, where he was received as a celebrity by heaps of friends, relatives and journalists

Click here to know more about the Explorer 39.


Multichine 41 SK design has news

The home page of the Multichine 41 SK design has been upgraded.

This design has been upgraded, now being totally modelled in 3D with the option for the builder to buy a set of CNC cutting files that include the whole structure, hull plating, deck, cabin, cockpit, rudder and swing- keel, including keel bearings and pulley bases. This can make the building very fast and economical.

Multichine 41 SK Bepaluhê in front of Parati. Brazil.

The first unit of this new phase, named Bepaluhê, has been sailing now for nearly one year, and can be seen with his happy owner, our friend Paulo Ayrosa, sailing and cruising the bays of Parati and Ilha Grande, in South-eastern Brazil. This boat will for sure take Paulo to many of his dream places, as it has the safety and performance features he so much desired when he first ordered the plans.

Launch day, in Porto Alegre, March 2011.

This boat can be a good option when compared to the more common series produced boats available in the market today, as it allows a level of customization and ends up as a much stronger and durable option.

The large saloon with its table mounted on the side of the keel trunk.

In Europe, especially in France, boats of the same conception as the Multichine 41SK are the dream of blue water cruisers, being the series produced boats more sought by coastal and weekend sailors and charter companies.

The MC 41SK interior layout is thought to be used by a family for long stretches.

We are also producing a set of CNC cutting files for the fixed keel version of this design, the Multichine 41.

A very strong structure allows the Multichine 41 SK to endeavour great variety of adventures.

This design has a very comfortable layout, which allows it to be used as a most capable weekend home away from home for those less inclined to far away adventures, but at the same time it is designed with unrestricted sailing in mind, with a very tough hull structure, and shallow draft for easy access to remote coves and shelters.

The Multichine 41 SK can explore shallow spots like these...

... or extreme like this

To opt for building a boat that is tailored to your navigation program can look at first the longest and more difficult way, but as attested to by the so many stories of success and happiness that we learn from our customers, it may well be the one that brings the biggest rewards and satisfaction.

Click here to know more about the Multichine 41SK.


Curruira is the trawler! Thus spoke Zarathustra

The design Curruira 42 is a case of success among our stock plans. When we decided to design a mid-sized displacement trawler within the reach of the home builder to accomplish its construction, we couldn’t imagine we had hit the nail on the head in touching the heart of so many yachties.

Now that we have many clients building Curruiras in different countries, it becomes evident that the formula of success resided in the premise that the design is classified as a long range, low consumption, displacement trawler, having nothing to do with semi-planing hulls, which are neither fish nor fowls. Sucking the seas around the hull seeking a couple of extra knots, forget it! It is not even ecologically correct to do that.

Owner’s cabin of a Curruira already concluded. The interior layout of the Curruira is one of the main reasons for the success of the model. Photo: Flavio Rodrigues

For those who chose the Curruira, what counts most are the pleasure to be aboard and the rewarding self-confidence of being able to go to distant places in comfort and safety.

Our best supporter regarding the design is our friend Flavio Rodrigues, owner of the renowned Flab Boatyards, www.flab.com.br, from Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who is constructing the second unit of this model, this time for a client of ours, Fernando Rodrigues, a Portuguese engineer involved in oil-rig projects, a fanatic blue water angler. Fernando wanted a little bit more space internally, and, for that matter, asked us to assist him in enlarging the design to forty-six feet, which we consented with no restriction and developed the required alteration.

The hull was turned upside this February and the video above shows the turning-over party, performed with the refinement of a symphonic orchestra, conducted by no other, but the “maestro” Flavio.

The Curruira is a displacement trawler specified for plywood/epoxy construction. This building technique favours its custom construction, or home building. Photo: Flavio Rodrigues

You will notice in the video that the sheer line chosen by Fernando has two discontinuities. This was an absolutely essential requirement of his, since fishing is his deepest passion, and low freeboard in the aft bridge is a must for him. Now we will be waiting for the launching of this new Curruira with great interest. Perhaps this new dimension might be appreciated by other potential builders.

Click here to know more about the Curruíra 42


Pop 25. Virtual construction in 3D

It was quite a meticulous work, but we finally have the digital mock-up of the Pop 25 concluded. Murilo Almeida, the designer who made the renders, created all the steps of the construction of the boat in 3D, producing the most accurate revision of a plan we ever made. Who will be pleased with this work are the builders already beginning their constructions, since we now can provide tri-dimensional images, in case anyone asks specific information. Take the bulkhead at Station 3 as example:

This render shows bulkhead at Station 3 exploded, with all the components that will be attached to its aft face.

Now the same face is shown ready to go to assemblage with all its components attached.

Station 3 fore face showing its parts exploded. Anyone will feel confident when building this bulkhead following this illustration.

The fore face already concluded. Now the bulkhead is ready to go to the building grid. The rest of the construction is consequence of this pre-fabrication, and it becomes so evident that it hardly requires any explanation.

We can show any other example of the digital construction, like, for instance, the companionway hatch cover assemblage.

The digital mock-up allows visualizing in perspective from any direction each step in the fabrication of the Pop 25.

The parts may be shown exploded, or already assembled. Tri-dimensional design is an invaluable tool to help amateur boat building.

Being involved with plans for amateur construction since a long time we discovered that the most important ingredient for a successful construction is that the prefabrication of the structural components in the workshop be quick and easy to build. If this is achieved the number of persons that will find the challenge of constructing their boats to be a rewarding accomplishment will increase significantly. Actually this is already happening with the Pop 25 in its short career, having already dozens of builders starting their constructions, up to the end of January in seven different countries, in alphabetic order: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal, Turkey and United States. Two things must be contributing for this good beginning. The design is seducing cruising sailors for its features, and people are seeing in the plans a quick and cheap way to own an offshore cruising boat, without assuming loans hard to be paid.

We have been helped by our client and friend, the Argentinean geologist, Daniel D’Angelo, who already accomplished two amateur constructions from our list of stock plans, the Samoa 28 Sirius, and the Pantanal 25 Vega. He enjoyed so much the hobby, that couldn’t resist trying his skills once more, this time with our latest design. Horus, the Pop 25 he built in his home garden, in City Bell, Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the assistance of his friend Alejandro, is practically completed, and will be taken to the nearby yacht club in the next few weeks. You can follow the construction entering his blog with link from our site: Pop 25 Horus. Other builders are planning to have their blogs too, like for instance, one of our latest clients, Vandeli Schürhaus, from Florianópolis, Brazil, who acquired the plans a fortnight ago, having already the bulkheads being assembled. He started a blog : www.pop25konquest.blogspot.com, with link from our site.

 

What is being most praised by the firs builders of Pop 25 is the speed to make the bulkheads at the workbench.

The Pop 25 class will for sure have lots of stories to be told from now on. From the part o B & G yacht Design, we will do our best to collaborate with our clients whenever they ask our assistance. Anyone who wants to start a blog may count on us to provide a link from our site, and we will be pleased to promote the achievements and keep contact with the bloggers.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25


Multichine 26C Geko takes a lift on a magic carpet

It was published last January in a Turk nautical forum this teasing photo of Geko, a MC26C built by Ömer Kirkal, in Istanbul, Turkey. No sooner had Geko been launched, and a club mate who had just acquired a series produced twenty-six footer made in a European country, challenged him for a match race. It was at stake the treat to the one for the road at the marina’s bar that same evening. Can you believe, the challenger is that hardly visible boat inside the red circle!

To crown it all Geko had some problem before the starting gun with her boom, and had to improvise a makeshift sheet system for the mainsail. Since the C in the class’s name means that the MC26C is a Cruising design, it is advisable that Ömer doesn’t give his challenger a second chance, since it’s possible that in another occasion the genius inside the bottle refuses to let him win hands down.

Geko taking a lift on the “magic carpet”. The challenger is the sailboat inside the red circle... Note how well finished is Ömer’s amateur construction!

That Geko was built in Bristol Fashion, this is easily observed. However she wasn’t built to be a racing machine. Actually she was built to be the perfect floating home, what can be confirmed in a gallery of photos published in the articles "MC26C Geko is shown in a Turk nautical program" and "Multichine 26C Class is spreading its horizons", both to be found in our section All News. The first article contains three videos produced by the local open TV which are very well made.

Ömer’s wife Firuzan plastering the gaps between tiles she installed in the heads wall. The photo is a good witness that Geko was built with cruising intentions in mind. Photo: Ömer Kirkal.

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We can only know what our builders are doing when they send us news about their constructions. Nevertheless we have regular contacts with some of them who have their boats practically completed, actually almost ready to be launched. We hope the magic carpet that assisted Geko in doing water skiing in Turkey may be a confidence-booster for them.

The MC26C is a typical cruising boat, having 1.85m headroom in the saloon, heads with shower, and an inside layout comparable to many thirty-footers. To know that it also sails fast is an extra bonus. Render: www.ideebr.com

2012 will probably be the year of the MC26C class, as a project for amateur construction that can solve the longings of so many who wish to have a blue water cruising yacht at an affordable cost. As far as we know, all our clients who are concluding their boats are amateur builders, and it has been a feeling of self accomplishment for them to have built their boats with their own hands.

Anauê, is a MC26C built by an amateur in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is technically concluded, missing installing keel, the transom hung rudder and auxiliary propulsion.

The MC26C was a design we developed with the intention to demonstrate that a twenty-six sailboat may be fit for any kind of cruising adventure. Now with the first boats of the class being launched it will be possible to confirm the rightness of our goals.

Click here to learn more about the Multichine 26C


Pop 25. It is missing very little for the launching of Horus

Favourable winds are blowing from Argentina regarding the new design Pop 25. Our friend Daniel D'Angelo, from City Bell, the amateur boat building hub for home construction in that country, is in the last stages of construction of the prototype of the class.

The transom scoop is wide enough to be used as a bunk on a starry summer night. Photo: Daniel D'Angelo

Since all custom fittings and equipments are already purchased, now all that is missing is to do the last touches of finishing and installing the deck hardware (the boat's construction is far more advanced than it is shown in the photo).

The cockpit impresses for its spaciousness and functionality. Fitting a dodger above the companionway hatch enhances considerably the protection of the crew. Photo Daniel D'Angelo

While the building was taking place Daniel ordered the two fin-keels. In his case he opted for cast iron bulbs, easier and cheaper to obtain in his neighbourhood, fixing them to the fin by means of 20mm ( ¾”) bolts welded to the fin's plate. Since cast iron is slightly less dense than steel, the bulbs became a little lighter, but still within the project's tolerance. Taking into account that the pieces aren't that bulky, we suggested him to hot-deep galvanize them for a long-lasting, maintenance free, results.

The keels ready for the anti-corrosion treatment. Note that the keel to hull attachment flanges weren't welded yet. Photo: Daniel D'Angelo

Daniel brought us precious information about the plans. He told us that if it wasn't for his formal work, Horus should have been concluded in four months, and that he was astonished with the easiness of its construction. He will resume the construction in February, expecting to conclude the boat a fortnight later. It is in his plans to join the La Plata ocean race championship, starting in February, already sailing with his new “machine”.

 It is a hard task for a new project to launch a meteoric career from the start, hitting the nail on the head. There are so many new designs with interesting ideas being constantly introduced in the market! The designer must be aware of fierce competition while the class merits aren't thoroughly established. However, the Pop 25 has two already proven factors that might help boosting its career, thanks to the hand Daniel gave us constructing the prototype: being a cheap and quick to build craft. He told us Horus cost him U$15000, only missing labour, at any rate it is an amateur construction, and the outboard motor, his option, all this without subsidies.

The cost of living in Argentina may be quite affordable, and he might have employed some shortcuts, like for instance, employing civil construction water-proof plywood instead of the recommended marine grade stuff, but in any circumstance this is peanuts for an open sea cruising sailboat. Other points about the project that deeply impressed him were the efficiency of the thermal insulation, this summer has been searing in Buenos Aires and no matter how hot it was outside, the cabin remained a few degrees cooler. He also is amazed by the spaciousness of its interior. (It is a pity he didn't attached some pictures of the interior yet).

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While our friend keeps progressing in his construction, we from B & G Yacht design didn't stop for a minute in thinking about the Pop 25, the apple of our eyes at the moment, Even though the plan is one of our most recent ones, taking advantage of Daniel's enthusiasm for the racing course, we decided to improve the mainsail design, making the top of the sail horizontal, this way improving the shape of its upper part. Not having a backstay, we were losing a golden chance of taking advantage of having a leach with no hurdles when changing tacks. Another point for doing so is the fact that this extra area doesn't harm the performance in heavier winds, since the edge between top and leach leans to leeward, working as a relief valve to decrease pressure in the canvas.

New renders will help to explain all steps of the construction. Here we show the water tank lid with the screws that attach it to the tank. This level of detailing is  confidence booster for first time builders.

We are also producing new renders to assist our builders during the construction. In the end it may become a book on how to build the Pop 25. For that matter the designer Murilo Almeida, our partner in the project, made the whole virtual construction of the boat, which ended up being a fantastic revision of the plans and will allow informing with precision on how to do any step of the construction. It is true that Daniel didn't require any of these fancy explanations; however we are pretty confident that those who will follow him will not mind if they receive plans with improved detailing.

The new sail plan is more performance oriented, having a better foil on its upper part.

If you wish to visit Daniel's site, you should click in Pop 25 Horus in our page of links. Sometimes he takes a little longer to update in the English language than in Spanish.

Click here to know more about the Pop 25


Roberto Barros Yacht Design