Pogo’s third generation Mini Transat design

Think Mini Transat and the words modest, docile and manageable don’t spring to mind. Instead, these 20ft offshore pocket rockets have a reputation for being lightweight, over canvassed, over powered high performance shoe boxes. Just taming one and keeping it the right way up is a big enough task, getting such a small lightweight boat across the Atlantic Ocean single handed is simply an anathema to most of us.

So why would anyone choose to make one even more powerful?
Because they can, claims the most successful producer of production mini transat boats.

The eagerly awaited Pogo 3 was designed by Guillaume Verdier is 70kg lighter and has 25 per cent more power generated largely through a more voluminous hull shape, particularly in her forward sections.

While such bulbous sections forward rarely look pretty, there is little doubting their effectiveness, particularly on a breezy reach as I discovered when I took the new Pogo 3 for a spin just a few days after she had been launched.

I have no desire to cross the Atlantic alone, at least not in one of these. Convincing me to cross the Channel would be a big enough task. But, with the big masthead kite up and the canting bowsprit hauled back as we brought her up onto a broad reach in the 12-14 knot breeze, it was impossible not to be impressed by this new design. She is quite simply, superb. Quick to plane and silky smooth when she does, her downwind performance is dangerously addictive. I was hooked within seconds as we worked our way effortlessly over and around each of the waves that we caught up and overtook on our downwind slither.

But lose your concentration and she’ll bite as happened when I looked over my shoulder for the next gust and inadvertently let her come up just a few degrees too far. Having said that, the threat of a wipe out just increases the buzz and incentive to keep her on the straight and narrow with a razor straight wake astern. At least it does when you’re coastal sailing, in daylight, with a crew aboard. At night, alone and offshore I’m sure it’s a very different experience.

You can read about the new design in more detail as well as how her builders Pogo Structures have rocketed to success with their range of bigger boats to become the current ‘must have’ performance cruisers in the Jan 2015 issue of YW

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