Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Quite incredibly, after the RM 970 having won the family cruiser title, it was another small shipyard, that won the prize for 2017 best performance cruiser, with the Pogo 36. Pogo, like RM, makes cruisers that a few years ago were niche boats, very marginal boats that were preferred by few sailors. But now the Structures Shipyard, that won this year the prize with the Pogo 36 and Fora Marine, with the RM 970 are doubling victories in recent years, with the RM 1260 in 2013, and with the Pogo 12.50, in 2012. This double victory in recent years is as significant as they having won again this year.

Cruising boats that  some years ago were very marginal, are being considered, in the last 5 years, repetitively, by a jury of 11 test sailors representing the best European sailing magazines, the best new boats on their class, 4 times in 5 years. This means these boats are not marginal anymore, not only because the ones that know more about the boats on the market, having test sailed most of them, are preferring them, as the best choice for a given market sector, but because they are among the boats with a bigger waiting list. About the Pogo I don't know the waiting time but with several dozens of Pogo 36 already on command I bet it will not be a short one and the RM has a waiting list of about 18 months, while most boats I visited have a waiting list of 3 to 6 months for delivery.

Let's give the word to the ones that tested the Pogo 36 - The jury:
"This is what the community of offshore fans have been waiting for: Pogo Structures brings a new mid-size yacht. The boat is suitable not only for having fun going fast, but also for voyaging."

Bert Bosman. Waterkampioen, Netherlands:
"This French sailing machine provides tons of sailing potential in a civilized manner. It offers the possibility to enjoy many miles with the family and a well thought out and practical interior."

Joakim Hermansson. Båtnytt, Sweden:
"It is impossible to sail a Pogo without a big grin and the new 36 has inherited the same sailing joy of their race brothers, built by the French shipyard. One feels safe and protected in the cockpit, with many intelligent solutions to make the maneuver easier. The interior defines a new standard in Pogo, in design as well as in finish and functionality, although they are still a bit minimalist."

Roland Duller. YachtRevue, Austria:
"A boat with a strong looking design and exciting performance both in light or stronger winds, upwind and downwind. We liked how it moves on the waves, the rigging and the ergonomics of the cockpit. In the interior there is more comfort than expected and it has some really nice details."

Pancho Pi-Suñer Oses. Nautica & Yachts Magazine, Spain:
"Impressive is the word that defines this high performance cruiser. The new Pogo36 has everything to excel in its category. With a spacious and comfortable cockpit, it allows calm and relaxed sailing in all conditions.  The interior is spacious and well thought out in every detail. It also stands out by the swing keel that provides a wide range of possibilities of use, especially when trying to reach the most remote Mediterranean coves."

Loïc Madeline. Voiles et Voiliers, France:
"The long  awaited Pogo 36 has not failed its objective. With more than 35 boats sold before being shown to the public, the shipyard can expect a bright future. The 36 is a real Pogo: really fast and different from all other production sailboats. The look is very particular, with a curious cabin and a larger stern than what you can imagine. Also the layout is unique, intelligent and very functional. And once more, some will love it, while others will not even think about sailing it."

Axel Nissen-Lie. Seilas, Norway:
"It is always a nice experience to sail a Pogo. The 36 has created many expectations. I was not disappointed. I was surprised by the size of the boat, possibly the biggest 36 feet on the market. Spacious under deck, plenty of cockpit space and plenty of power to sail."

Jochen Rieker. Yacht, Germany:
"The Pogo 36 behaved exceptionally well in water. Both downwind  and close upwind all the sail pressure is efficiently transformed into speed. Above 15 knots of true wind, downwind, the Pogo sails always over 10 knots of speed, easily reaching 12-14 in the gusts. But I also managed to get a high VMG going against the wind. To navigate alone you need an autopilot because all the winches are mounted around the cabin, from where you can work very safely. Where I was most surprised was inside and not only because of the amount of space it offers but on account of the details. Finally a Pogo with a suitable head and many more features to enjoy sailing and cruising with the family."

Alberto Mariotti. Vela e Motore, Italy:
"The Pogo 36, that replaced the 10,50, is an agile, fun, safe and easy to maneuver boat. The interior is simple and without decorative elements. It is however complete and spacious with everything you need to do long range cruising. The quality of construction is another of its strengths. In 12 to 18 knots of true wind sailed downwind at about 13 knots and close upwind to bout to 7,8K. Thanks to the two rudders the Pogo 36 transmits very precise sensations allowing the helmsman to always have a good control, even in high angles of heel. The space and comfort on the cockpit are also very good."

Troels Lykke, BadNyt, Denmark:
"The Pogo 36 is a breath of fresh air: very simple, light and fast, set to surf the Atlantic or to cruise anywhere in the world. If you like traditional boats with lots of wood, do not buy a Pogo."

 Lori Schüpbach, Marina.ch, Switzerland:
"With the new Pogo 36, Structures, the French shipyard, has taken a decisive leap forward in what regards interior functionality and comfort without sacrificing their identity. The impressive sailing performance  has always been the main characteristic of the shipyard that also builds racing yachts. The Little 36 combines speed potential with an adequate cruising interior with three cabins and a separated head. This makes the boat more "European" and will cause more than one to remain open-mouthed, not only in France."

Toby Hodges. Yachting World, Britain:
"Pogo Pogo Pogo. The one we always get excited about. The contemporary new shape of the 36 helped cause more of a stir than any of its predecessors. And boy does it not disappoint. Gone are any past notions of these beamy designs being sticky in the light breeze. The Pogo will match any ‘traditional’ narrow hull shape upwind – then smoke it offwind. A Pogo guarantees fast cruising fun – but the performance in light airs of the 36 was a pleasant surprise. The build quality throughout is also first class. Pogo have made a concerted effort to make their interiors more comfortable for cruising and it shows. For me it’s the most exciting monohull of 2016."

And that is why I have made so many posts about it LOL.
More posts about the Pogo 36:


  1. Hi Paulo,

    Really nice, the Pogo 36. Any comments on the design evolution going from the Pogo 12.50 up until the 36? Both kind of the same but surely some changes must have been done with the concept.

    The 36, as commented by testers, surely is large on the inside. But is there really any storage space in cockpit lockers for sail, fenders and all that necesarry stuff you want to bring? Provided of course the you don't want to use the forward cabin as sail locker! :) I would guess this concern would also be valid for the 12.50 if you were to choose the three cabin layout.

    Cheers! //Thomas

  2. The Pogos are not three cabin boats, since one has to be for storage. The Pogo 36 is a boat with only two cabins, at least while cruising and a bit oddly the two aft ones. The forward one will be for storage and that don't seem to me a good idea since it is not a good place to have weight.

    If that was the idea (as the layout below shows) it should have a bigger hatch, one that allow to go inside the boat that way, and let pass large objects, like a deflated dinghy and not the tine one it is.

    The Layout really does not make sense since for a sail locker it is not needed so much space so they could have brought all the interior forward creating a large cockpit floor locker. Has you can see on the picture below there is almost no space there, just enough for a life raft.

    The JPK 38 offers considerably more storage space on a kind of locker like the one I am talking about:

    On the Pogo 12.50 it is the same thing: no outside lockers and only space for the liferaft:
    Even if it is better because now the storage will be kept on one of the aft cabins of the boat, but not very practical since you have not an access from the outside.

    In what regards cruising the Django 12.70 is way better, offering a big storage locker under the cockpit with a reasonably big hatch entry.

  3. Thanks for commenting on this. What about hull shape then, what's your view on any differences/evolutions between the 12.50 and 36, and would the sailing characteristics differ between the two boats?

  4. Hi Thomas!

    Just details, mostly a more modern bow on the Pogo 36, one that adds floatability and probably will help regarding a less wet boat, the possibility to have a look outside from the interior, a real door on the head, the cabinets on the galley completely closed, this kind of stuff.

    Probably the interior will be modified soon on the Pogo 12.50 following the trend on the Pogo 36, kind of a MKII.

    The sailing characteristics are about the same with a big difference, that has almost nothing to do with the small differences between the hulls of the two boats, but with the size and weight of the boats: The overall stability of the Pogo 12.50 is much bigger, as well as the load ability without compromising performance and the feeling on the two boats will be different due to their very different mass.

    Of course, that bigger overall stability will make the 12.50 a better boat for long range cruising boat but if you or anybody is interesting mainly in coastal cruising and know that they will not carry a considerable load, than the Pogo 36 can be more interesting, even in what regards performance since it will be a much easier boat to sail near the limits and that can make it a more fun boat to sail.

    Even if easier to sail than IRC derived performance cruisers only, a extremely good sailor (one used to race those boats) can push the Pogo 12.50 near its limits while on the Pogo 36, that will be much easier due to the smaller size of sails, a "normal" good sailor can reach easily near boat limits and eventually go as fast or faster than on a Pogo 12.50 that would be much harder to sail near its limits.

  5. Paulo, Thank you for your insights on this blog! It has really given me insight to a lot of designs.
    I have sailed both Pogo boats, and the feel is very different. The 12.50 did not have much feel to the tiller. The 36 was incredible! I agree that since there was no load at all on the boat, that does factor in. It does not seem "sticky" in the light breeze. I believe what you posted form the designers site earlier is why.

  6. Hi US sailor! Other than the rudder feel, was there any notable difference in sailing the two? Light wind performance for example?