Bluebill4ViewsThe Devlin Bluebill is an evolution of his Broadbill sneakbox. First, it can carry two hunters and their gear, as opposed to the Broadbill’s single hunter plus dog design. This boat also incorporates the innovation of an outboard well and its multiple advantages. Sinking the 20hp outboard into the stern of the boat creates a better load and balance setup for this much power on a small boat. It creates ideal spaces for fuel tanks on either side of the well. And finally, Sam feels very strongly that not having an outboard hanging off the back of the boat helps you outsmart those wary late season birds. On top of that, it offers the usual Devlin advantages of ruggedness, versatility, and ease of construction.

Read how the Bluebill was born from tragedy in Sam’s design notes.

The Devlin Bluebill is available in study and construction plans.

Bluebill Specifications

Length 12 ft. – 1 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 11 in.
Draft 6.75 in.
Power 20 hp Outboard
Displacement 155 lbs.
Speed 28 mph (medium load)
Max Load 610 lbs.
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Bluebill Design Notes

One of my favorite customers is a fellow from Idaho that has had one of my Broadbill sneakboxes for many years. He called up one day and said that his Broadbill had met a unfortunate fate, falling off the top of his truck going down the freeway at better than 70 miles per hour. The Broadbill did a couple of cartwheels and ended up sliding to a stop on the asphalt upside down. Ron slammed on his brakes and ran back to the suffering boat and I believe (even though he won’t admit it) that there were tears running down his cheeks while looking down at his wounded little boat. I told Ron to bring the boat as quickly as possible to my shop so we could see if she could be saved and in just a couple of days, a truck drove into our driveway with the mangled boat.

Like a coroner, I dove into the post-mortem. There was a hole in the deck where the oarlock block had punched its way through the decking, the motor bracket was pretty much scrubbed off from abrasion where it had extended up beyond the stern decking, and there was one small crack and hole in the bottom of the boat (probably from the initial impact). Other than that damage, the boat looked remarkably intact and, in fact, you could have launched it and no water would have come into the boat itself. I immediately started working on an estimate sheet for the repair and after adding it all up, I told Ron that the truth was that it would almost be cheaper to build him a new boat than to fix up this one. Ron seized on the opportunity to have us build him boat that was just a bit bigger, one that could haul and hunt two hunters (instead of the Broadbill’s single hunter capacity) and one that had the latest evolution of our outboard well configuration. The major advantage of the outboard well is that it allows a proper horsepower outboard to be carried on the boat without it sticking out away from the stern outline of the boat. My theory is that late in the hunting season when the birds have been shot at a bit and carry the wealth (and perhaps sting) of experience that an older-wiser bird might have, the ducks actually start to look at the engines hanging off of boats as indicators of pain. In other words, if there is one common trait to all good hunting boats (except for some of my boats), it’s that damn outboard which is not very concealable and certainly not as hide-able as a boat without the outboard-wart hanging off the ass end of the boat.

The other advantage of the outboard well is that the operator of the outboard is further forward in the boat and if you are using the boat alone, the boat is more even on her keel in relationship to the water. The Bluebill is the result of that designing and building process and Ron is building on a relationship with this new boat. He reminded me of something he said the other day. “Some of us end up getting married twice (or more) in our lives and just because you might love the new wife, it doesn’t take away from the good memories of the old wife. Just don’t let the new one know that you have such thoughts!” — Sam Devin

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Bella 12

Boat classification is a daunting area of study. Just ask L. Francis about the proper definition for a yawl boat or a cutter. In differentiating between a dinghy, a tender, and a skiff, it’s incredibly easy to get turned around a couple times. To compound this, the definitions are sometimes regional! I’ve distilled my own interpretation and then drank to it with a nice cigar, thank you very much. This boat is a skiff, and to Davy Jones and the Kraken for those who would argue with the designer!

What matters more than the type of vessel this handy little craft is called, are what she is intended for and how efficiently she does her job. So many ponds and quays these days are rife with oar-powered craft that are no more suitable for a person to row than for a person to try and sail a 30 foot cigarette boat. These Jon boats and aluminum skiffs are an offense to the art of rowing and to those captaining them even more so. What I have strived for in the Bella 12 is a boat that will row nicely with one or two aboard, yet be able to accept a very small outboard for those longer trips. Instead of a dead flat run aft, the buttocks sweep up gracefully into a shape that is far more easily driven by oars. I recommend going no larger than a 2.5hp outboard – she’ll simply squat with more – and an even better option would be for a small electric motor on her stern.

Many would likely be surprised at the smart clip she will show with even so small a motor; this is where the shape of this boat shines. No, she won’t jump onto a plane – we have other boats for that. If one is looking for a little skiff that’s a true pleasure to row, as well as the versatility afforded by the option of an outboard, the Bella 12 is the sensible choice. — Sam Devlin


The Devlin Bella 12 is available in study and construction plans. Also as a CNC cut kit.

Bella 12 Specifications

Length 11 ft. – 7.25 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 9.75 in.
Draft 6.5 in.
Power Oars, Outboard, 2.5 hp max
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PeepersDesigned along the lines of an old duck-hunting skiff, with few modifications, the Peeper has become a very tidy little vessel. Her size is alluring, just under 12 feet in length and almost 4 feet wide. Her generous sheer creates a delightful profile on the water. Grace and motion says it all when describing the Peeper. She is a pleasure to row, light, responsive, and fast enough for good transportation. The unique wooden oarlock bracket has two rowing positions so the boat can be trimmed for different loads.

The Peeper is a terrific skiff or yacht tender,  easy to build, easy to row, maneuver, and a pleasure to own. — Sam Devlin

The Devlin Peeper is available in study and construction plans.


Peeper Specifications

Length 11 ft. – 11 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 4 in.
Power Oars
Displacement 83 lbs.
Max Load 425 lbs.


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Mud Peep

mudpeepSideDesigned along the lines of an old duck-hunting skiff with a few modifications, the Mud Peep has become a very tidy little vessel. Her size is alluring, just under 12 feet in length and 4 feet wide. Her generous sheer creates a delightful profile on the water. Grace and motion says it all when describing the Mud Peep under sail. She is a light, responsive, and fast enough for good transportation.

A decked design is rare in a boat this size but allows protected storage and reserve buoyancy for sailing. To this we add a sprit sail rig and leeboards for simplicity. — Sam Devlin

The Mud Peep is available in study and construction plans.



Mud Peep Specifications

Length 11 ft. – 11 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 4 in.
Power Oars, Sail
Displacement 83 lbs.
Max Load 425 lbs.
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BroadbillThis is the smallest of our offerings in the “SneakBox” type of hunting boats. The “Broadbill” is intended for the solo hunter, being small enough and light enough to fit into the back of a pickup or you might even consider cartopping. Its incredible low profile and small size make it an ideal candidate for hunting just offshore from the larger more established blinds in your hunting areas or you might use it as a layout type boat. In either case, a low blind setup is the best way to use her and with your favorite dog between your legs and up to a dozen high quality decoys set out, you will be amazed at how efficient she hunts. This little boat is the Holy Grail of hunting where your biggest problem will be how to raise up the ducks that sneaked up on you and are swimming in with your decoys. She accommodates up to 15 HP outboard on her stern and speeds under power can run up to 30 miles per hour. Many times I have hunted in areas where a lot of other hunters were having no luck and my biggest problem was in hitting the birds before they could land in the decoys. Ahhh…….life should be as simple as this! — Sam Devlin

The Broadbill is available as study and construction plans.

Broadbill Specifications

Length 10 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 6.5 in.
Draft 4.5 in.
Power Oars, or 15 hp outboard
Dry Weight 105 lbs.
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GuppyThe “Guppy” is a cousin to our Polliwog and has a similar look and appearance but with an overall length of 19 inches longer, it has a greatly increased capacity to carry weight as a dingy and sail area as a small sailboat. The Guppy is a fine candidate for the all around dingy/skiff/small sailboat, without vice, she does her job efficiently and smoothly. It’s always hard to find a boat that is this versatile but the Guppy seems to do it so handily that it makes the job look easy.

With a small outboard on her stern, she makes a fine dingy for exploring a quiet anchorage and for ferrying people and pets ashore. We’ve had 3 adults and gear on board and she seems to handle it all in style. The Guppy has been designed to be easily and quickly built by amateur boatbuilders with a minimum of tools and experience.

The Guppy is available as study and construction plans.

Guppy Specifications

Length 9 ft. – 1 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 4 in.
Draft   Board up/Down 6 in. / 32 in.
Power Sail, Oars, or 2 hp outboard
Useful Load 585 lbs.
Dry Weight 80 lbs.
Sail Area 54 sq. ft.
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SandpiperSideThis 8 foot rowing and sailing dingy was designed as a day sailer and yacht tender. The ease of handling, large carrying capacity, and its versatility for rowing and sailing are accentuated by the fact that Sandpiper weighs only 63 pounds.

As a sailing dingy, the Sandpiper is a nimble little soul, forgiving with the beginner yet exhilarating in the hands of an experienced sailor. A break apart sprit rig is offered and allows Sandpiper to be used as a dingy tender. Leeboards are used to avoid plugging a dagger board well when towing.

As a pulling boat, the Sandpiper rekindles the pleasures of rowing. The boat has good carrying capacity and rows quickly and easily with or without a load. The transom allows up to a 2 hp outboard to be mounted for auxiliary power.

For those who might be interested in building their own Sandpiper, we have plans available with explicit instructions. The amateur can build a Sandpiper in about 75 hours. — Sam Devlin

The Sandpiper is available as study and construction plans.

Sandpiper Specifications

Length 8 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 5 in.
Power Sail, Oars or 2 hp outboard
Useful Load 380 lbs.
Dry Weight 63 lbs.
Sail Area 49 sq. ft.
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With the Polliwog, it is our intention to offer the amateur builder the opportunity to build a lightweight and strong dinghy or tender. Polliwog’s performance is crisp, clean and efficient – you won’t be disappointed. Building the Polliwog can be a wonderful family project or build one with a friend. A minimum of tools are required; plywood scarfing and building molds are not required. Using the latest stitch-and-glue technology, when finished, you have a great boat in need of minimal annual maintenance.

Scan the enclosed materials list and you’ll see this is a quick and thrifty project you can complete in just a few hours with results you can be proud of.

— Sam Devlin

  • 2- 4 x 8 sheets of plywood, 1/4″ thick
  • 1/2 – 4 x 8 sheet of plywood, 1/2″ thick for longitudinals and stern knees, breast hook and rear bulkhead
  • 12- mahogany 1″ x 12″
  • 1- gallon epoxy resin
  • 1/2- gallon epoxy hardener
  • 1- 50 yd. roll 4″ x 8 oz. fiberglass cloth
  • 7- yard 38″ x 6 oz. fiberglass cloth
  • 2- pounds wood flour
  • 2- #4482 Wilcox-Crittenden oarlock sockets
  • 2- quarts primer
  • 1- pint varnish
  • 1- quart enamel

The Polliwog is available as study and construction plans.

***For those of you coming to the Polliwog from the construction video on YouTube, please be aware that the video refers to older version of the plans. The transition notch has been replaced by a different method of construction. It’s also worth noting that the video on YouTube is unofficial and not posted by Devlin Boats. We have no way to update it.

Polliwog Specifications

Length 7 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 7 in.
Power Oars or 2 hp outboard
Useful Load 450 lbs.
Dry Weight 58 lbs.
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Small Fry Dinghy

My oldest son, Cooper, has a 34ft sailboat and dreams of one day sailing off on the big blue Pacific. He needed a small dingy that would mount on the bow of his boat. So we one afternoon tackled the design of a dingy that would share his life aboard and allow him, his dog, and his gear to be floated to shore on the rare occasions that he hankered a good walk ashore. The ‘Small Fry’ is the result. It fits nicely on the bow of his boat, doesn’t get in the way, is light enough to the lowered over the side without lifting tackle, can be towed if needed, and most importantly, is a good safe boat that his ‘Daddy’ won’t worry about him using when he makes his journey. — Sam Devlin

The Small Fry is available as study and construction plans.

Small Fry Dinghy Specifications

Length 6 ft. – 11.75 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 6.75 in.
Power Oars
Useful Load 250 lbs.
Dry Weight 48 lbs.
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