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.