The PBO Project Boat story

Practical Boat Owner magazine (PBO) has covered a series of boat building projects over the years, under the Project Boat name, but the latest build of a Secret 20 had stalled.  Oarsome Chance came to the rescue and took on the project, re-homing the Secret 20 in our workshop in Gosport.

Oarsome Chance began working on the Secret 20, Harvey (named in honour of one of Oarsome’s valued volunteers) in October 2018. The build has been completed to an exceptional standard led by Oarsome's own professional boat builders, Jon Carver and Jesse Doyle.

The readers of PBO magazine have been following Harvey’s progress with interest, in detailed articles over four issues of the magazine, with PBO’s writers describing every step along the way – you can read the articles here:

July issue

August issue

Summer issue

September issue

With thanks

The Project Boat build has been made possible by generous in-kind donations from the following partners: B&G, Contender Sails, Solar Technology International, Robbins Timber, Harken, EP Barrus, Racetec, MAA, ATR Systems and Tecsew.

See below for some examples of other Secret 20 boats and pictures taken during Harvey's constrction at our Gosport workshop:

All about Harvey

The Secret 20 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’.

Harvey's spec

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

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 our workshop after the Boat Show and the end of the auction, where the buyer can advise some finishing detail by our 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 our Canvas Works social enterprise onsite. Harvey will be equipped with a full inventory to go to sea.

Timetable for Harvey's completion:

  • Hull, deck, interior and sparrs 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 recieve 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 with us to arrange a visit.

Tel: 02392 504492

Email: [email protected]

PBO Project Boat auction


The PBO Project Boat auction is due to open in early September.

You can visit the online auction page to see the current status here: