Lit’l Petrel

LitlPetrelMidBuildThe Devlin Lit’l Petrel is the big sister to the Micro Petrel. She has the same ease of use, the same easy build, and the same utility. While both Petrels are exceptional small tenders and load carriers, the Lit’l Petrel adds a great deal of useful load without adding much to the hull weight. She’s easy to handle, easy to store, and easy to transport. She’s rugged enough to spend her life on the back of a larger boat and small enough to hang on a wall of your garage. Maximum usefulness in a minimal package!

 

Read Sam’s design notes for the Lit’l Petrel.

Check out these Micro Petrel build photos. The build techniques are identical.

The Lit’l Petrel is available in study and full construction plans, and as a CNC cut kit.

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Lit’l Petrel Specifications

Length 8 ft. – 11.25 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 2.375 in.
Draft 5 in.
Useful Load 340 lbs.
Dry Weight Hull 63 lbs.
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Lit’l Petrel Design Notes

Here is a simple little Pram style dinghy that can be built from a few sheets of 1/4 inch marine plywood using the Stitch and Glue method of construction and weighs not much more than a feather. She will fit on the deck or the back stern of a larger vessel and is designed and built strongly to hold up to the strains of the life of a proper tender to a large mothership while being a blast to row and use thus allowing exploration of many waters.

This whole idea of using a pram style dinghy is really a sound one with remarkable stability for the users in any area of the boat. Imagine rowing with your first mate to the shore of some strange shoreline to spend the afternoon walking around looking for evidence of old civilizations or some strange animal you are stalking. Once you beach one of these simple boats, you can walk off the bow without the instability of a pointed bow skiff that would need to be beached by the stern to give the same sort of stability. She can carry all the needs for the afternoon, a picnic lunch, or perhaps something cool to drink after a brisk walk and nothing beats a beachside picnic after a nice morning of exploring — it is truly one of our favorite activities while cruising. I am reminded of my old friend, Heine Dole, who cruised the Northwest Coast in his beloved Evening Star clear up into his mid 90s with his wife as his only crew. He showed me a collection of pictures of him sitting for a series of years next to the same river on the same overhanging log, with a Kermode Bear (one of the rare white colored Spirit Bears of northern British Columbia) sitting next to him intently looking into the water for a spawning salmon with Heine sitting closer to the bear each year and in the final year, the bear and Heine literally an arms length apart from each other. I must say that inspired me to the thought that our lovely wilderness here in the Northwest could keep me happy for my entire life just as it had done for Heine for all those years. It takes a skiff or a dinghy such as this Litl Petrel to allow us to work our way into the mouth of a river or onto the shore for exploring sessions.

One of the finest features of the pram style vessel is its capability of taking on additional weight beyond what it might have optimally been originally designed for without adversely affecting the performance of the boat. For instance with another 110 lbs of load, the Litl Petrel design only sits an additional inch deeper into the water and still rows very well. Sink her an additional 4 inches and she can carry a total load of almost 700 lbs — this is a very versatile design.

This design does need to have a couple of sheets of marine plywood to be joined end to end to give us long enough panels to build her but this is an easy task and if you have the luxury of buying one of our new kits for her, we have the scarfs already precut and ready for you to glue them together and then assemble the boat. A great little boat — very easy to build, good capacity and very useable in real life use. Strongly built, she is a great option as the tender to a larger mothership or you can use her on her own.

Plans cost $65 dollars and with a few sheets of 1/4 inch marine plywood, a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of 3/4 inch hardwood, you can build your own version. Her weight of 63 lbs. will allow you to handle her without straining your back and she is a great project boat, perfect for teaching your kids or grandkids how to build something in a world where most of us have completely detached from building anything with our own hands..What a fine way to spend a few hours, both building and using her!

— Sam Devlin

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Micro Petrel

Micro Petrel CartopThe Micro Petrel is a great 8′ yacht tender. As the name implies, it is the little sister to the Lit’l Petrel. She is the design response to the need for a small, rugged, lightweight yacht tender, but she can be used in any situation that needs a small boat with the ability to carry a variety of loads while maintaining its balance and performance. She is another Devlin easy-to-build option, in terms of both space and cost. Her size makes her easy to handle, store, and transport. She makes a great cartopper.

Read the story of the Micro Petrel in Sam’s design notes.

Julian Swindell sent us a great set of build photos.

The Micro Petrel is available in study and full construction plans and as CNC cut kit.

MicroPetrel4view

 

Micro Petrel Specifications

Length 7 ft. – 11.5 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 2.25 in.
Draft 4.5 in.
Useful Load 270 lbs.
Dry Weight Hull 57 lbs.
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Micro Petrel Design Notes

Here is a simple little Pram-style dinghy that can be built from a few sheets of ¼” marine plywood using the Stitch and Glue method of construction and weighs not much more than a feather. She will fit into the back of a small pickup or could be car-topped if you prefer to drive something that isn’t of the easy carrying mode.  If you would indulge me with a read of the description of her larger sister, the Lit’l Petrel design, you could follow the concept of how a small boat like this can respond to real life needs of carrying a wide variety of weight and keep herself still in a stable and well performing mode.  But what follows is the real story of why we took the time and energy to do another design and why that exercise was necessary.

I have a very good customer who I am quite fond of named Cyndie and she owns one of our larger Devlin’s that we designed and built for her several years ago.  Cyndie loves her Devlin and uses it often either by herself or with a phalange of friends and our story follows one of these Saturday outings on Puget Sound.

Cyndie and two companions were out on the water, buzzing about doing a bit of training and in general just enjoying the water and the company of each other.  Just ahead was a sailboat that was in distress and  so she and her crew stood by to render assistance.  The weather was stormy and the boat in stress was having issues getting a line passed across so that they could be towed to safety and before anyone could react, the large skiff that was on the stern of Cyndie’s boat got swamped by a large wave and took enough wave force to literally tear it off the swim step of her boat.  It was only with quick action that the broken hull could be saved.  Cyndie and I had talked previously about using this skiff (not a Devlin skiff) on her boat as the tender, and I had aired my concerns of it as the hull was lightly built and not up to the rigors of a life tipped up vertically mounted on the swimstep of a larger boat.  So I hate to say, that it wasn’t a surprise to me to later hear the story of how the skiff was torn off and damaged greatly.  So without a proper shore boat it wasn’t long before Cyndie and I had a conversation about  having us put a proper dinghy on the stern of her lovely boat, a dinghy that was purpose designed for the stress and rigors that she would subject it to.  That was the catalyst for the Lit’l Petrel design and now this sistership the Micro Petrel.

The smaller design was done in quick succession to her larger sister as our answer to the need for a smaller pram styled dinghy that would allow the maximum boat to be built without scarfing being necessary on the 4ft.X 8ft. sheets of plywood.  This boat is just about as large of a skiff or dinghy as one can build from full sized sheets of plywood.  A great little boat, very easy to build, good capacity and very useable in real life use.  Strongly built she is a great option as the tender to a larger mothership or you can use her on her own…

Plans cost $65 dollars and with a couple sheets of marine plywood, a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of ¾” hardwood you can build your own version.  Her weight of 57 lbs. will allow you to handle her without straining your back and she is a great project boat, perfect for teaching your kids or grandkids how to build something in a world where most of us have completely detached from building anything with our own hands… What a fine way to spend a few hours, both building and using her!

– Sam Devlin

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Egret

The first Devlin design, the Egret is a proven 15′ 3″ open sail-and-oar adventurer. Easily singlehanded, she is stiff, stable, and comfortable in a breeze. A little too much breeze? She’s also easily rowed, or for those of us who dislike excessively mixing labor and leisure, she can be built with a motor well.

EgrePres

 

Read Sam’s design notes about his original design.

The Egret is available as a DIY set of study or construction plans, or a precision CNC cut kit.

Egret Specifications
Length 15 ft. – 3 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 11 in.
Draft   Up/Down 9.5 in. / 32 in.
Displacement 850 lbs.
Dry Weight Hull 280 lbs.

 

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Egret Design Notes

Scene 1            Its 1978 location Eugene, Oregon at a small shop that my Dad and I shared.  It’s a fine Saturday with no clouds in the sky but a pall of smoke in the air (a by-product of the grass seed industry in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the burning of the grass-seed fields just after harvest)  and with a bit of a bite to the air with all the smoke.  Dad and I are working on the cutout pieces of my first boat, one of my Egret designs, and we still have a few kinks to work out in the system that I had cooked up in my head over the past winter while working on a Commercial Construction job in Sacramento California.  Quite of few of you might not know that the first design that I did in my boatbuilding/designing career was the Egret.  And what started out fairly simple (read somewhat crude) but efficient has now grown up and matured.  My Dad penned the name of the first boat and what became hull number one of the Egret class the first boat that I built to my own design and to the hull shape of the Egret “Zero”.  His rational was that you didn’t start the name and numbering of the first boat of what would become a long career, number “One” but started at “Zero” and worked your way up.  Now why I never questioned Dad’s sense of humor and his foresight into my 30 plus year career in designing and building wooden boats was accurate that Zero boat always slightly haunted me.  Dad only kept her for a couple of years before he sold her to another of my customers who promptly did massive modifications to her with a pilothouse, small outboard motor in a well and other changes that made her almost un-recognizable.   She had a long career with Tom Paddock and then finally ended her days at a daycare establishment with little crumb crushers climbing in and out of her hull.  Imagine all the sea-going careers that were started with “Zero” putting in her imagination contribution with full gusto.

Scene Two      My good friend and co-worker Lee Sandifur was building a boat and chose the “Egret” design as making the most sense for his lifestyle.  But with some artistic flair he modified the design by adding some decking on her, a bow and stern stowage area, and a small but efficient centerboard coupled to a Sprit rig with about 75 square feet of sail area.  His boat was a fine expression of the boatbuilding art and has been his companion for a good many years.  Now time was ripe for me to take a look at this old design of mine and modify it and I am pleased to present this new version for you.  She has all those features that Lee did to his boat and with a new set of faired up hull lines we offer her for $65 dollars.  Don’t forget to buy a “Devlin’s Boatbuilding book and DVD to help you along the building process but this is a fine little boat and won’t let you down no matter where you go in your own life.. As for me, the memory of that little “Zero” boat never fades and I can just imagine being a kid in that daycare in Eugene and playing on her myself…

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Nancy’s China

Nancy’s China is probably the most popular design in the Devlin Catalog. The name is a tongue-in-cheek observation that the finished boat should cost about as much as one new place setting of the then-new White House China. Bear in mind this design dates back to 1980.

The original design had a stayless spirit sail sloop sail plan and a dagger board type hull. The result was easy to handle, easy to set up from trailer, and an enjoyable boat that was an instant success for Devlin Designing Boatbuilders. Recently, Sam dusted off the old drawings and reviewed the design to add a couple of different sailing rigs for her.

NancysChinaRigs

The idea here is an economical day sailor with enough cabin to provide some shelter if the weather turns. It’s small enough to store in the garage, light enough to tow with almost any vehicle, and easy enough for anyone to sail.

Nancy’s China is a true classic in the Devlin catalog. Read his design notes from the early days to learn the details.

Nancy’s China is available in study and construction plans, and as a CNC precision cut kit.

 

Nancy’s China Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 3 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 2 in.
Draft   Up/Down 16.75 in. / 34.5 in.
Dry Weight 850 lbs.
Ballast 300 lbs.
Sail Area Varies by rig
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Nancy’s China Design Notes

Back in 1980, we decided to design a small trailerable boat sailboat with a large cockpit for day sailing and a cozy cabin for two, complete with sails and trailer and perhaps one of those stinky outboards on a tilting bracket on the transom. The result was an economic solution to that period’s recreational sailing dilemma, which coincidentally, cost about the same as a one place setting of the then-new Reagan White House china service.  Excuse my small bit of political humor with her name, but the resulting boat has provided at least as many happy faces and good experiences as the original china service did (or at least that is what I wished).

The original design had a stay less sprit sail sloop sail plan and a dagger board type hull, an easy to handle, easy to set up from trailer and enjoyable boat was an instant success for my fledgling company, sparing us some of the grief and anguish of the Reagan recession.  Strangely enough some of those same conditions economically exist today and so I decided to dust off the old drawings and go back thru the design, add a couple of different sailing rigs for her and am very pleased to introduce this new version of the “Nancy’s China”.

She can handle comfortably a couple for sailing and in a pinch more of a crowd, her tiller control is fingertip and she is very stable and comfortable to sail.  A large slide out hatch gives access to the cabin and if cushions (or a backpackers sleeping pad) are fitted she will sleep two in remarkable space and comfort.  You can also stand in the hatchway and raise and lower the sails making her very easy to live with.  I chose a Daggerboard for her to keep her simple, clean and hydrodynamically efficient, and I still think that is a fine conclusion – time worn but still credible.  At 6ft.-2inches of beam and 300 lbs. of ballast she is a stable and comfortable sailor, in fact I very often find myself sitting on the lee side sailing her with my ear close to the water and her so very light helm being almost sports car like in touch and feel.  At a total trailering weight including her ballast of 850lbs. virtually any car can tow her and she sits like a small duck on a good galvanized powerboat type trailer.  She sits so low on her trailer (about 70inches tall) that she will fit in virtually any standard garage opening and with set up for sailing in the under 20 minute range there is lots of reason to just trailer sail her, but she can sit on a mooring in front of your house just as handily.

I designed a new Gaff rig version for her and a smart looking Knockabout sloop rig also in addition to the original Sprit rig, all of them can be good companions, my wife and I sail one of these little boats and I love the Gaff rig, looks good, sails very well and suits my needs.
There are a lot of pluses on this little vessel besides charm and convenience, and after 30 years of life I find she is still an effective solution for the sailor on a tight budget.

Amateur plans are still $85 dollars for her (same price as 1980) and look for us to produce kits in the very near future.*

– Sam Devlin

* The kit is available here.

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Eider

The Eider is a wonderful 17′ 3″ cabin sailboat. It is a great step up in size and function from the 15′ Nancy’s China, yet is still compact and trailerable.

Her small cabin has good room to sleep two with a bit of extra space for gear to be stowed out of the way of your unrolled sleeping bags.

The self-bailing cockpit allows her to live on her mooring throughout our rainy spring and fall (and all-to-often our summers as well).

For deeper insights on the Eider, check out Sam’s design notes.

Eider study and construction plans. Eider CNC cut kit.

 

Eider Specifications

Length 17 ft. – 3.75 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 11.5 in.
Draft   Up/Down 1 ft. – 7 7/8 in. / 2ft. – 11.5 in.
Displacement 1636 lbs.
Ballast 630 lbs.
Sail Area 169 sq. ft.
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