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.

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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.

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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.

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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.