The highest bidder will get an extremely well specified Secret 20 – a 20ft gaff cutter – with free 2019-20 winter storage and options for personalised finishing

The PBO Project Boat will be sold to the highest bidder in a charity auction to be run online during Southampton Boat Show.

Register to bid on the Secret 20 wood-epoxy gaff cutter (and a host of other lots) at and see the finished kit boat for yourself at Southampton Boat Show (13-22 September) on Stand E030A.

What is the PBO Project Boat?

Work started on the Secret 20 kit boat back in 2016 when Practical Boat Owner magazine was situated in Poole. A relocation and some changes in personnel the following year stopped construction until October 2018 when the completed hull was donated to Oarsome Chance, an educational charity in Gosport.

Oarsome Chance works with young people excluded (or at risk of exclusion) from mainstream education. The charity engages the students, often one-to-one, teaching practical skills, such as woodwork to get them back into education or improve their prospects of future employment.

Get your bid in…

The Secret 20 is a kit built by enthusiasts all over the world. It is a unique, classic-style performance weekender described as a racing gaff cutter. Designed by Derek Ellard, who grew up on the east coast of the UK (but is now based in Australia), the Secret 20 has a straight stem, graceful counter stern and rakish rig, as a homage to the 19th Century archetypal English gaff cutter – what Ellard describes as ‘a near perfect expression of hull and rig’.

PBO has published more than 20 Project Boat articles documenting the entire build, all of which can be read for free online.

Pictured: Secret 20 Whisper which was the first to be built in the UK


The boat will be fitted with the following brand new equipment:

  • A Torqeedo Travel 1103 C electric outboard motor
  • 68Ah Lithium-ion phosphate battery from Lifos
  • B&G wind and depth instruments

Bespoke finishing

Harvey will be returned to the Oarsome Chance workshop after the Boat Show and the end of the auction, where the buyer can advise some finishing detail by the charity’s fully trained boatbuilders. The new owner will be able to choose the colour scheme for the interior and cockpit cushions, which will be made in Oarsome Chance’s Canvas Works social enterprise on site. Harvey will be equipped with a full inventory to go to sea.

Click here to read the full spec from the boat’s designer.

PBO Secret 20 – Project Boat full specifications

Timetable for Harvey’s completion:

  • Hull, deck, interior and spars and paint system will be completed September 2019
  • CE inspection, tests and certification will be carried out in October 2019
  • Sails completed December 2019
  • Official launch date April 2020
  • Harvey will receive free winter storage Sept 2019 – April 2020

Harvey will be on display at the Southampton Boat Show, 13 – 22 Sept, along with members of the Oarsome Chance team. If you are interested in bidding on Harvey and would like to view the boat in the Gosport workshop in the meantime, get in touch to arrange a visit.

Tel: 02392 504492