The Pop 20 is easy to be built and sails like a thoroughbred. Besides it has accommodations for up to four persons to sleep on board.
Knowing that there is a demand for a cheap and easy to build cruising sailboat capable of performing coastal sailing, we decided to develop a project which would open doors to a larger number of cruising sailors in attaining the dream of owning a pocket cruiser adequate for family leisure. A boat like this was a gap in our list of stock plans, and once we decided that the work would go ahead, our main goal was to make this design as if it was a kit on digital format, and for that matter, printable in A0 sheets, so that the amateur builder had no way to make measurement mistakes, a practical approach for a "do it yourself" boat. We did the utmost in every single detail of its construction to find the simplest solution imaginable for making the assemblage as easy as assembling a furniture acquired on an IKEA shop.
The resulting design, the Pop 20 is our easiest fin-keel sailboat to build. Its cost and number of men/hours for the construction are hard to be beaten by any other cabin cruiser sailboat of approximately the same size. To crown our effort, the resulting design is a fast, responsive and easy to be steered sailboat.
Internal layout: The internal layout is also reason for praise, taking into account the boat is only a twenty footer. There is a double berth forward, with a chemical toilet underneath, separated from the aft side of the interior by a structural bulkhead, which is also the mast support. Behind this bulkhead are placed two counters, the starboard one with an alcohol one burner stove and bins for galley utensils and provisions. At the other side`s counter is placed the galley`s sink. The sink flange is recessed in the counter flat top, allowing to be covered by a lid when not in use. The same applies to the water sprout, that also can be removed and covered by a disc lid. When doing this, the counter can be used as navigation table. Navigation instruments are attached to the structural bulkhead aft face.
Two very comfortable quarter berths, their fore half also performing the role of being the cabin settees, complete the basic inside layout.
The cosy little saloon has room for four persons to sit in comfort, the settees being the fore half of the quarter berths.
A portable cooler box placed just under the companionway hatch also serves as step for entering into the cabin.
Deck layout: The flush deck makes the Pop 20 extremely easy to be sheathed with plywood, besides giving the boat a very appealing streamlined racing-like silhouette.
The deck is cambered from the forepeak to the companionway hatch. From there aft, until reaching the transom, there are five flat plywood panels: the pair of cockpit seats, the cockpit vertical walls and the cockpit floor.
The Pop 20 is an easy to be built and fun to be sailed sailboat. This was the project we developed having in mind helping those who have limited funds and plenty of enthusiasm for owning a cabin cruiser.
General characteristics: Whilst sailing, this pocket cruiser shows many virtues. Its almost neutral helm, allied to good sailing lines, explain well the quick acceleration when the wind increases. The good responsiveness of the rudder and her relatively shallow draught are an invitation to explore gunk-holes. And if she ever gets aground, in most cases all it is required to do to get her back into deeper water is moving the crew weight to leeward using the boom as grab-rail, so to decrease draught.
The Pop 20 building plans have no secrets. Even the most inexperienced of the amateurs is able to construct it, if having enthusiasm and minimum skills with hand tools.
Although the Pop 20 has been designed to be a coastal cruiser, many owners use their boats as authentic offshore sailing crafts. This is only a source of concern from our part because of the boat`s size, the difficulty to keep the cabin dry in bad weather, and the risk of someone falling overboard, since the life-line stanchions are 0.45m high only. However we have no doubt that, structurally speaking, it is able to cope with whatever it will have to face.
The successful career of this project is due mainly to its performance. She is fun to be sailed because when she heels, instead of pointing into the wind and tending to broach, as most of the other boats of aproximately the same size use to do, she accelerates promptly, still keeping the rudder light to be steered. She is also a good performer when sailing in light winds, since she is a light-displacement hull with low wetted surface. She is also quite efficient when sailing close-hauled, her limitation being her modest water-line length.
Now in 2015 it is our intention to promote the Pop 20 as the boat for our times, when no one has much time to lose in working in enterprises which seem to never end. Presently all of us need to have the return for the time invested in the shortest span possible. Besides, it is a challenge that for its cost and for the time involved in the construction, many can go for it without a blink.