The project

The IDEA 21 is one of my new generation projects published in 2015. Basically the goal was to have a pocket trailer-able cruiser/racer with sparkling performances and interiors suited for short range cruising and which can be easily built by home builders. The project has been developed in two versions enlarging the cabin in the "cruising" version to gain a separate toilet and a larger cabin, while the short cabin version has a larger cockpit. First boat is in the building stage now (January 2016) in Argentina, you can follow the enterprise on facebook "Idea 21 velero Libertas" .

The Hull

The hull is made of plywood and epoxy, with a building system called "radius chine", which basically allows to build a round hull with plywood planking, a very fast and clever system perfectly suited for home builders (I adopted the same system on bigger boats like the Petrel 28 and Hirundo 750); deck, cabin and cockpit are made with plywood panels glued on the structural grid made by plywood bulkheads and keel backbone, and solid wood stringers. The result is a light and stiff monocoque structure.

Rig and Sail-plan

IDEA 21 is definitely a pocket rocket, her smaller sister IDEA 19 has gained a good pedigree while racing in the ORC class in Italy, I simply upgraded and enhanced the sail-plan with a square top mainsail, a small olympic jib and a huge gennaker fitted on a pivoting bowsprit. The mast is a single spreader alloy one, stepped on deck, with no back-stays nor runners needed since the spreaders are swept afterward.


The keel is a NACA wing profile in solid wood reinforced with several layers of unidirectional glass epoxy laminate; a 300 kg lead bulb provides huge stability. The keel can be raised, in order to trailer the boat, using a top purchase and the cabin top winches

Plans and study plans

The plans are made up of 21 extra detailed drawings and a dedicated booklet of instructions, study plans are available for free on my website, so that anyone can have a clear idea of the building system and materials involved in the enterprise. CNC files to cut all the parts from panels are available also.


Overall length (retracted bowsprit) 6,70 m
Hull length 6,47 m
Waterline length 5,93 m
Maximum beam 2,50 m
Keel down draft 1,65 m
Keel up draft 60,52 m
Design displacement 1200 kg
Light displacement 920 kg
Ballast 270 kg
Height from DWL 9,52 m
Upwind sail area 26,90 m2
CE design category Cat. B4-C6

Find more details about Idea 21 at the website

Cristian Pilo was born in 1971 in Sardinia, Italy. He has been professionally involved in boat design for home builders since 2005, when Nautikit (Italian dealer for Dudley Dix’s plans), asked him to modify the TLC 19 design that some months later, under Dix’s supervision, became the IDEA 19.
January, 2016

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