Candlefish 16

The Candlefish 16 is a burdensome fishing skiff. Deep and seaworthy, it is wonderfully suited to life in our changeable weather and strong tides. Deep enough to keep her occupants dry and light enough to launch off the beach, she’s perfect with 10 to 30 hp.

Lockable storage and enclosed flotation augment the factor of safety and add a great deal of rigidity to her 16-foot length. She’s the boating version of a pickup truck. Strong, rugged, and versatile.

Easy to build to a workboat fit and finish, or take as much time as you want to showcase your craftsmanship. The choice is yours, but either way she makes a wonderful utility skiff.

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For the detailed thinking behind the Candlefish 16, read Sam’s design notes.

The Candlefish 16 is available as plans or a CNC cut kit.

 

Candlefish 16 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 10 7/16 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 9 13/16 in.
Draft 6 in.
Displacement 714 lbs.
Dry Weight 325 lbs.
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Candlefish 16 Design Notes

I am guessing that most designers spend a great deal of time musing about the use of these little boats that we design, and as we mature and our lives change, there seems to be a never-ending string of little boats to dream after, create (first on paper), and then, if we are lucky enough, to build and have the enjoyment of using them in real life and see how our ideas worked.  But they always start out as a simple daydream, done most effectively during some armchair time spent with a beverage and perhaps an aromatic pipe or cigar adding a bit of spice to the scene. The little Candlefish 16 was the by-product of one of those daydreams, the seed no doubt planted on some cold, winter day with a vision of some beach cruising in some warm place, perhaps Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, with the sky an azure blue, the water crystalline clear and clean, and a warm beach waiting to be explored – remote, uninhabited and with treasures galore to be discovered.

Enter the Candlefish 16, an almost perfect size for such explorations with a good, light dry weight, easy to launch by hand off the beach and with performance enough to satisfy the tyro in me.  This is really just a pointed bow open skiff with an outboard on the stern but with some very interesting twists to it.  For power, I picked an outboard motor, tiller steered from 10 to 30 hp., depending on how fast one wants to run and how much load is expected to be carried.  The parallel to the Candlefish 16 in the automotive world is a Toyota Tacoma Pickup and this is really just a marine version of a small truck of a boat with the capability of carrying a good load, some lockable stowage, foam flotation in the ends and deep enough to be seaworthy in just about any sea condition.

Let’s start on this inspection of the boat with a profile (sideways for you landlubbers) look at her – a strong sheered multi-chined hull that looks just about right to my eye.  She is plenty deep, in fact, perhaps just a little bit too deep but that will pay dividends the first time I linger a bit too long beachcombing when the afternoon trades kick in.  That’s the time when I will be happy to have the extra freeboard and it should help greatly to get me off the beach and to keep me dry and safe in all sorts of sea-conditions.  Looking from the plan view (that is the overhead, or top view) at the boat, adjacent to the stern there are two longitudinal seats on each side of the rear of the boat.   I always intended to tiller steer the Candlefish and so with those seats, I can steer left handed or right depending on my daily preference.  There is plenty of leg room in front of the seats for those stiff arthritic knees of mine and forward of the seats is an interesting mid-deck area, a sort of cargo hold.  This is lockable and holds a lot of gear, including a battery box if the electric start outboard I was drooling over was sprung for.  The mid-deck keeps passengers forward and out of my way and is a handy height for re-baiting crab or shrimp traps or to remove our catch if successful. Passengers can sit on the forward edge of the mid-deck and if they have bad backs, I can reach into the cargo hatch and pull out simple, but very efficient, folding padded seats for them to lean back on.  They will have their own leg space forward and a small forward deck (bulwarked by the hull sides and bulkhead #1) to allow the anchor to be chocked down on top of and with the rode stowed in the stowage and flotation space below.  This forward work deck really functions well with my dog occasionally perched on the bowdeck in figurehead position, ears all a-flappin in the wind.

The Candlefish’s hull is planked up from good 5ply,  9mm mahogany marine plywood.   She is built Stitch and Glue style over 4 full bulkheads and is strong and stiff.   With a hull sheathing of Dynel cloth set in epoxy and with her purpleheart keel and bilge keels, she keeps her hull off the bottom when beaching and is strong and easy to maintain.  For my own boat, I am going to shoot a tinted colored truck bed liner on the inside of her in a soft grey and paint the outside topsides of the hull a creamy white with green bottom paint on her to set off her nice lines.  On the gunwales, I will screw on Dacron Gunwale guard all around the perimeter to help keep me off all the lovely boats at anchor that I might visit and it saves carrying around a boatload of fenders to fend me off docks and pilings.

If you are so inclined, with about $1,500 dollars in materials and 200 hours labor, you can dream up your own adventures.  The shop must be warmed up by now with a charge of the scrap wood of yesterday’s efforts already burned down low in the stove and I am off to whittle away on her…

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Bella 10 Skiff

Bell10Stripe

The Bella 10, formerly known as the 5×10 skiff, is probably the easiest way to get started in boatbuilding in the entire Devlin catalog, if not the entire world.  Originally designed to teach boatbuilding technique, the Bella is an easy building, elegant design that comes together in a fast rowing, lightweight skiff. She’s a great family project. At 52 pounds, she is easy to handle and launch. She will fit easily into a pickup truck bed; no special requirements to transport or store the Bella 10. Finally, she is our least expensive kit. Building your own boat doesn’t get any easier. Available as plans or low-cost CNC cut kits.

Read Sam’s design notes on the Bella 10.

Bella 10 Specifications

Length 9 ft. – 8.5 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8.75 in.
Draft 6.125 in.
Displacement 305 lbs.
Dry Weight 52 lbs.
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Bella 10 Skiff Design notes

In my explanation for the 5 x 10 Skiff (see below), I left room for a better name recommendation. Thus, the Bella 10 was born. A customer came in with a requirement for a 12 foot version of our successful 5 x 10 Skiff. Being the prolific, talented, and handsome designers we are at Devlin Boats, a decision was made to round out this little corner of our Design Catalog with three models. The 5 x 10 remains the same, albeit with a different name. This series has come to be named after my faithful black lab, Bella. For more than a decade she has accompanied me on all manner of nautical adventures and something about a little skiff just looks more “right” with a dog involved. It’s a perfect name. I even showed her the completed plans. She was not impressed but later that same day, I noticed a distant look in her eyes which I can only surmise is born of her mid-winter dreams of spending a little time on her namesake, fooling about the bay with her best friend!

These little boats are certain to prove just as faithful as ‘ol Bella. We’d love to put a bunch of pictures of these finished little skiffs up on the website. Don’t forget the dog!

This is a funny name for a boat design and I have received no lack of advice on changes or improvements to it that might fit into our normal bird and fish boat name themes. But the more observant of you might notice that there are plenty of examples where in the past, I have named a design outside of those themes. A look at the Nancy’s China design as an example of this fact would show this as there is no known bird or fish (to my knowledge) that carries that particular name although, I would be greatly honored if some scientist would choose to name a new discovery after our venerable small sloop design. So my friends, the name 5X10 will stick, at least until someone recommends a really proper substitution, as it is simply too descriptive of this little boat to be replaced.

The origin of the design wasn’t a design commission from some yachtsman looking for a small skiff to row about as his lovely mothership gently rotates on the hook in some picturesque anchorage. Nor some explorer looking for a skiff to row ashore in the Broughton group of islands in British Columbia to view an old, abandoned First Nations village or campsite looking for shards of flint or jade from some ancient tool making pit, even though either of these purposes might be more than perfect for this little skiff. It was designed to fill the simple need of a proper teaching tool at the Woodenboat School in Brooklin, Maine for my Stitch and Glue boatbuilding class.

In the past, my usual subject boat to build at the Woodenboat School was our Peeper skiff, an 11 foot 8 inch long, simple and nice rowing skiff that (2) 4 foot x 8 foot sheets of ¼ inch plywood joined end to end could build. But I kept being confronted with a problem. The Woodenboat School kicks off each week of its classes on Sunday evening with a group orientation and introduction. At the conclusion of this session, each class and its students separate to their respective classrooms for an hour or two of further introductions while each instructor gives a review of what the coming week will be comprised of. In my youth, this schedule worked fine with part of my own time that evening spent doing the simple scarf cuts in the plywood that would be used for the week’s projects and gluing them up that same night, ready to rock the next day. But as I age, I don’t seem to have the piss and vinegar that I once had. I prefer a more casual evening with more of a meet-the-students session and less of a watch-Sam-work-hard for a couple of hours. With the Peeper design, that meant that if I didn’t scarf the two sheets of plywood together that Sunday evening with the cutting and gluing all happening at a time when I would rather be meeting my students, then we would be a day behind schedule to complete the project boats. This would be difficult in a compressed schedule of 4 ½ working days in which even in the best of situations, building several small boats in a classroom is challenging.

So what I needed was a good rowing skiff that could be built without the scarfing part of the building process, thus leaving Sunday evening to getting acquainted with my students and not having the pressure of doing a fast scarf job to get in the way. With a little scratching of my head (in this case just a couple of weeks before the class was to be held), I thought of using some of the good and increasingly available 5 foot x 10 foot marine plywood that is around these days. If I kept the design narrower than the normal fat dingy type, it might be able to be built with the 5 x 10 marine plywood and still produce a proper rowing skiff that could carry its rower comfortably with a much more thoroughbred performance in its movement through the water. The goal was that that whole boat had to be able to be built from the one sheet of plywood with just a little dimensional lumber added for the seat-top, gunwales, stem and skeg, which was a good challenge.

The result is this lovely little design and I am proud to report that the first three models were built at the 2009 Woodenboat School and on Saturday morning, we launched the first of the completed (but not final painted) prototypes. She floated on her lines properly, a designer’s biggest potential nightmare, and even more importantly, she rowed like a proper little skiff, moving thru the water with ease and provided the oarsman with a rewarding rowing performance. Best of all, it only required one sheet of plywood to build her, a fine design accomplishment!

The current price of a sheet of 5 foot x 10 foot 6mm (1/4) BS 1088 Marine Plywood is $135 dollars. With a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of 3/4 inch hardwood, you can build your own version. By the way, she is narrow enough to fit into the bed of any pickup and only weighs a scant 52 pounds dripping wet. What a fine way to spend a few hours, both building and using her! – Sam Devlin

Original 5×10 Notes:

This is a funny name for a boat design and I have received no lack of advice on changes or improvements to it that might fit into our normal bird and fish theme series of boat names. But the more observant of you might notice that there are plenty of examples where in the past, I have named a design outside of those themes. A look at the “Nancy’s China” design as an example of this fact would show this as there is no known bird or fish (to my knowledge) that carries that particular name (although I would be greatly honored if some scientist would choose to name a new discovery after our venerable small sloop design). So my friends, the name “5X10” will stick (at least until someone recommends a really proper substitution) as it is simply too descriptive to this little boat to be replaced.

The origin of the design wasn’t a design commission from some yachtsman looking for a small skiff to row about as his lovely mothership gently rotates on the hook in some picturesque anchorage. Nor some explorer looking for a skiff to row ashore in the Broughton group of islands in British Columbia to view an old, abandoned First Nations village or campsite looking for shards of flint or jade from some ancient tool making pit, even though either of these purposes might be more than perfect for this little skiff. It was designed to fill the simple need of a proper teaching tool at the Woodenboat School in Brooklin, Maine for the 2009 semester.

In the past, my usual subject boat to build at Woodenboat School was the “Peeper” skiff, an 11ft 8in long, simple and nice rowing skiff that (2) 4ft x 8ft sheets of plywood joined end to end could build. But I kept being confronted with a problem and that was the Woodenboat School kicks off each week of its classes on the starting Sunday evening of the respective week of the school with a group orientation and introduction.   At the conclusion of this session, each class and its students separate to their respective classrooms for an hour or two of further introductions and theoretically, each instructor will give a review of what the coming week will be comprised of. Now I am getting a bit older (each day older if I remember correctly) and I don’t quite have the piss and vinegar that I once had. I prefer to talk a bit and listen to my students stories of why they have traveled all the way to Maine just to spend a week with me to actually working, if for only that first evening. With the “Peeper” design that meant that if I didn’t scarf the two sheets of plywood together that Sunday evening with the cutting and gluing all happening at a time when I would rather be meeting my students, then we would be a day behind schedule to complete the project boats. This would be difficult in a compressed schedule in which even in the best of situations, building several small boats in a classroom in what amounts to 4 1/2 working days.

So what I needed was a good rowing skiff that could be built without the scarfing part of the building process, thus leaving the Sunday evening to getting acquainted with my students, and not having the pressure of doing a fast scarf job to hold our schedule to get in the way. With a little scratching of my head (in this case just a couple of weeks before the class was to be held), I thought of using some of the good and increasingly available 5ft. X 10ft. marine plywood that is around these days. If I kept the design narrower than the normal fat dingy type, it might be able to be built with the 5 x 10 marine plywood and still produce a proper rowing skiff that could carry its rower comfortably with a much more thoroughbred performance with its movement through the water. The goal was that that whole boat had to be able to be built from the one sheet of plywood with just a little dimensional lumber added for the seat-top, gunwales, stem and skeg, which was a good challenge.

The result is this lovely little design and I am proud to report that the first three models were built at the 2009 Woodenboat School and on Saturday morning, we launched the first of the completed (but not final painted) prototypes. She floated on her lines properly, the designer’s biggest potential nightmare, and even more important, she rowed like a proper little skiff, moving thru the water with ease and provided a rewarding rowing performance. But even more importantly, it only required one sheet of plywood to build her – a fine design accomplishment!

I am currently building one to accompany my “Josephine” and think that she is going to see a lot of duty on our adventures between Olympia and Alaska in the coming years.

The current price of a sheet of 5ft. X 10ft. 6mm (1/4”) BS 1088 Marine Plywood is $135 dollars. With a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of 3/4” hardwood, you can build your own version. By the way, she is narrow enough to fit into the bed of any pickup and only weighed a scant 52 lbs dripping wet.

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Lit’l Coot Design Notes

Recently I was working on the plans for a small under 20ft. Pocket Sailor design but found during the process I couldn’t help but think about another design, one roughly the same size and in many respects similar in use, but the type I zeroed in on was a small Motorsailer.  This “Litl Coot” design is the result of my musings and dreams.  Now in this case, despite being my own design customer, I still needed to stay focused and set up a list of design parameters that the new design would accommodate.  First of all she needed to be very trailerable with the capability of sitting on a powerboat type trailer low and compact enough to be able to be backed into a garage or storage shed without any special needs.  So right away that got rid of any notion that I would need to design a deep keel for her.  I flirted with the idea of leeboards but quickly realized that a couple of hardwood Bilge Keels,  along with a centerline small shoe keel and aft skeg, would be just the ticket. The bilge keels also had the additional benefit that they would allow her to beach out level and upright if I got caught by a quickly receding tide in some of the shallow and very tidal bays that I was dreaming of using her on.  If you are a fan of classic literature, there is an excellent novel written just before World War One titled “Riddle of the Sands”.  The story is based near the Friesian Islands located off the N.W. shore of Holland and Germany.  These waters are a very tidal area and the descriptions of the main character straying off the dredged and poorly marked channels and getting caught on the sands in his shoal draft boat with all the extra adventures that one would have with that scenario, has always been appealing to me.  Anyway, it’s a great read. As I recollect, this is either one of the first or the very first Mystery Adventure novels written by Erskine Childers and it has had a prominent position in my library for many years.

But back to the “Litl Coot” design – once I had made the decision to give her bilge keels, that meant all her ballast needed to be in the bilge and my plan is to use recycled lead shot (I buy mine from one of the local trap and skeet shooting ranges) which is very nice to work with, all cleaned, in small canvas bags weighing 30 lbs. each and ready to be mixed with epoxy and set into her bilge.  I usually plan on casting about 75-85% of the anticipated ballast (in this case 600 lbs) before launching and then finish off the final ballasting after checking her trim in the water and re-assuring myself that the weight is located where it is most needed to keep her floating level and on her lines.  That reminds me of a story, several years ago my long-term landlord at my main shop (which I have rented for 28 years now) told me one day just after we had launched a new boat, that one of the things that amazed him most of all about my designing and building boats was how accurately I could predict the floating of the boat level and on her lines.  Well that was quite a compliment and I think that if I remember properly that I tried to pass it off as not being that hard to do! Within just a couple of weeks we had occasion to launch another new build (different design, one that we hadn’t built before) and the new vessel floated down on her lines by the stern. We had to add some (actually read quite a lot of) extra chain in her anchor locker to get her settled down on her lines (as designed). I often wondered if my landlord had somehow jinxed me by saying that they all floated on their lines so nicely, and having missed the mark on the very next boat project, the whole experience sobered me considerably.   It should go without saying that on the next design I spent almost twice as much time as I usually did on the weight study trying to not make the same mistake twice.

But back to our musings about the “Litl Coot” – now that we’ve got the keels on her and the ballast settled, it’s time to think about that engine package.  This is a pure 50/50 Motorsailer and on this size boat, I think the little 9.9 horsepower Yamaha 4 cycle engine in hi-thrust configuration is just about ideal.  It’s a great little engine, barely sips fuel, is almost soundless at idle and will work on this design very well.  But here I was confronted with a problem. With many small sailboats, if we make a centerline rudder and hang the outboard on some sort of scissoring bracket to one side of the stern, when sailing on the tack where the outboard is to the lee side, you will find the end of the lower unit of the outboard dragging in the water.  There might be a couple of solutions to this problem, we could move the outboard closer to the centerline, but if we are not really careful then there is a really good chance that sooner or later you will hit the prop with the rudder while doing some short maneuvering in a docking or mooring situation.  If you place the engine further away from the rudder you’ve exaggerated the problem of the drag of the lower unit and prop of the outboard (and I hate dragging something like that when trying to sail).  So my solution for the “Litl Coot” was to place the motor on the centerline of the transom, and by using a long shaft outboard we will be able to keep the lower unit from dragging on the lee side tack (as there is no lee side to a centerline mounted engine) and both the motoring and the sailing will be without compromise.  Now with the engine on the centerline that meant in order to be able to steer her under sail, I needed to find a way to either mount a rudder off the centerline or an even better solution was to use twin rudders that have tillers that tie together into a common link arm. The additional benefit of the twin rudders allowed them to not extend into the water quite as deeply as if I had used just a single rudder and conforms rather nicely with our requirement of being able to sit level and upright in grounding situations without any necessity to lift the rudders up or have some sort of swing blades on them.  Once we joined the two tillers together into a single link arm then my next problem of how to allow an inside steering station to be rigged was easily assisted by having one common link with simple shackles made up to fixed lines (when desiring the inside steering station) and led through turning blocks to a fore and aft pivoting vertical tiller that will be fixed in the pilothouse on the starboard side. If I desire to steer from this inside station, I can sit in a comfortable seat on the starboard side facing forward and steer her by either pushing or pulling on the tiller. There is enough drag in this type of steering system to keep the helm steady for short periods of time if I needed to have her self steering while fixing a spot of tea or perhaps making a snack.

One of the main ideas with this design is that all functions could be done while sailing, or motoring, solo. There is room to take a buddy along but you don’t necessarily have to, in fact there might be a lot of days when just my dog “Bella” might be the perfect crew for an adventure on the “Litl Coot”.  So all the halyards, topping lifts, etc. are lead aft to the sides of the pilothouse. With her little mizzen sail set up and left rigged most of the time either under sail or under power, she will have the wonderful capability to have a balanced helm under different wind and tacking conditions, and the mizzen would help to keep her steady on a mooring, or at anchor when holed up for a rest.

For easy and quick set up when launching from trailer I designed a tabernacle hinged Mainmast setting a rig that I would call a Cat Yawl (although under some definitions this might also be described as a Cat Ketch, the mizzen being stepped ahead of the rudders) configuration.  This style of rig keeps the sail area where it is needed for balance under sail and is a very simple to use, with literally no re-sheeting necessary as one tacks from board to board.  With the process of rigging the Mainmast simply being a matter of rotating up the mast in its tabernacle, set up the forestay on the bail above the Stainless Steel anchor roller up on the bow, and insert a pin into the bottom of the tabernacle and you are ready to launch.  Keeping the mast up in the eyes of the boat also allowed me to have a top hinged window on the front of the pilothouse for sailing or motoring on warm days.  This allows lots of wind in the face but reduces the chance of getting too much sun on my already overly exposed face, if I choose to be inside in the shade of the pilothouse.

So we now have a boat that can sit on a trailer, fit in a normal sized garage for berthage when we aren’t using her, an inside and outside steering arrangement, a couple of berths for doing some simple cruise/camping, and one that will sail or motor at a fairly efficient level whether the wind is blowing or not.  And did I add that she is towable behind most of the small-to-mid sized SUVss or Pickups? She also is a boat that will allow me to explore the really shallow and fringe cruising areas that more conventional sailboats with their deep keels can’t even think about sailing in.  I can sail her either on my own or with crew, but again all systems and setup can be done on my own if that is the way I choose to use her.  In final expression I have found the “Litl Coot” to be absolutely beguiling during her design stages and my armchair cruises have been wonderful, built around her platform.  My best guess is that her real life adventures might be just as good or better, and that adds a lot of spice to my life, just the ticket for a modern, busy world!

Amateur plans are $195 and consist of 16 drawings printed on 24X36 inch paper and a simple building booklet. You can either buy printed sets of plans directly from us or buy a download version and print on your own. We are now producing basic hull kits for her or we could build you the whole boat if you would like, and very soon I look forward to seeing many of these little Cat Yawls on the water.

Sam Devlin

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Lit’l Coot

LitlCootSide

The Lit’l Coot is a wonderful little pocket cruiser, ideally suited to the waters of Puget Sound or the inside passage.

She is trailerable on a small powerboat style trailer, and compact enough to store in the average residential garage. The bilge keels allow her to beach out level and upright if caught by the tide.

A 9.9 4 cycle outboard is about ideal, economical and quiet. Unlike most small sailboats of this size, the outboard is offset to clear the rudder. The result is that on either tack, the motor is not in an ideal position. Sam has solved that problem by fitting dual rudders. Superior.

The tabernacle hinged mast makes rigging at the boat launch a breeze. Simply raise the mast, attach the forestay to the anchor roller and pin the tabernacle. Easy.

For the details, check out Sam’s design notes for the Lit’l Coot.

Lit’l Coot 18 study and construction plans available. It’s also available as  a CNC cut kit.

LitlCootTop

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Pelicano 18 Shrimper

The Shrimper version of the Pelicano 18 has the heart of a workboat in a modern, fast planing hull.

Sam Devlin has a reputation for designing really eye-catching “character” boats. Perish the thought, but I’ve even heard them described as “cute”. Because of that, they are often underrated for their utility, sensibility, durability and performance. The Pelicano is a really excellent example of a comfortable, practical medium-sized skiff that really looks spectacular. The Devlin Pelicano is a versatile and useful real-world design because Sam has designed three separate “flavors” on the basic fast, comfortable and rugged Pelicano hullform.

The Pelicano Shrimper is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to maximize practicality in an 18′ 4″ package. The design has a small cabin forward, with enough space for a v-berth for the occasional overnight.  The design has ample dry storage below.

The Pelicano Hull is a very fast planing design, with a rugged purpleheart keel capped with a stainless rubrail to avoid damage if you want to poke ashore. That keel also accounts for her comfortable ride, because it helps to cut the water, thus minimizing pounding.

The Pelicano has a six panel hull with two bottoms and two side panels to each side, giving an attractive hull that can be built “Devlin Tough” with her cold molded bottom, and modern Stitch and Glue construction. There is plenty of structure in her to keep this hull stiff, stable, and strong and she assembles over a mandrel of 5 athwart ships bulkheads and two longitudinals. This construction method is really quite amazing and results in a very strong and tough hull.

Like all Pelicanos, the maximum HP is 90, and you can realistically expect over 40mph with that kind of power.

And finally, the Pelicano is an easily trailerable design, adding to its basic versatility, and helping you to find your own boating adventures.

The Pelicano 18 is available in study and full construction plans. The Shrimper version is available as a CNC cut kit.



 

 

Pelicano 18 Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 6 in.
Draft at full displacement 12 in.
Dry weight with engine and battery 1490 lbs.
Weight at load waterline 2130 lbs.
Trailering weight 2300 lbs.
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Pelicano 18 Center Console

The center console version of the Pelicano is a nimble, versatile, and seaworthy open fisherman.

Sam Devlin has a reputation for designing really eye-catching “character” boats. Perish the thought, but I’ve even heard them described as “cute”. Because of that, they are often underrated for their utility, sensibility, durability and performance. The Pelicano is a really excellent example of a comfortable, practical medium-sized skiff that really looks spectacular. The Devlin Pelicano is a versatile and useful real-world design because Sam has designed three separate “flavors” on the basic fast, comfortable and rugged Pelicano hullform.

The drawing board of Sam Devlin has created another winner. The Pelicano CC is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to maximize practicality in an 18′ 4″ package. The design features ample open spaces, storage under the hinged center console, and the usual Devlin attention to detail.

The Pelicano Hull is a very fast planing design, with a rugged purpleheart keel capped with a stainless rubrail to avoid damage if you want to poke ashore. That keel also accounts for her comfortable ride, because it helps to cut the water, thus minimizing pounding.

The Pelicano has a six panel hull with two bottoms and two side panels to each side, giving an attractive hull that can be built “Devlin Tough” with her cold molded bottom, and modern Stitch and Glue construction. There is plenty of structure in her to keep this hull stiff, stable, and strong and she assembles over a mandrel of 5 athwart ships bulkheads and two longitudinals. This construction method is really quite amazing and results in a very strong and tough hull.

Like all Pelicanos, the maximum HP is 90, and you can realistically expect over 40mph with that kind of power.

And finally, the Pelicano is an easily trailerable design, adding to its basic versatility, and helping you to find your own boating adventures.

The Pelicano 18 is available in study and full construction plans.

 

Pelicano 18 Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 6 in.
Draft at full displacement 12 in.
Dry weight with engine and battery 1490 lbs.
Weight at load waterline 2130 lbs.
Trailering weight 2300 lbs.
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Pelicano Design Notes

Well my friends I have another fine little design to tell you about and I’ll have no more input about design names as a very few of you have very strong opinions on the subject.  Once again I find I will  have to exercise my artistic right to brand another poor undeserving design with a name that is totally un-appropriate for it and one that will weight around its design neck (metaphorically speaking) for the rest of its life.

As a few of you know a few years ago I re-married and my wife is from Mexico. In recent years I have been spending a fair amount of time in that fine country taking in the culture and cuisine to my delight.  But I also have done a bit of poking around about boating and have some very definite ideas on what might work in those fine, warm waters.  The sailing can be good, but I am continually surprised at how very hot and muggy even a breezy day can be in the warm sun especially on tacks where the wind is from abeam or abaft.  So much of my musing about the ideal boat for Mexican waters and my lifestyle revolve around a power skiff, in this case a pretty large one that can really handle a load, handle the afternoon trades that often kick up and take me to remote beaches for a little warm sand on my poor untanned Boatbuilders feet.  I love to snorkel and cavort about in shallow water and this little boat can easily be my spaceship for journeys to those waters.  There are a lot of Outboard powered Skiff, called Panga’s in Mexico and they seem very well re-fined for the waters running with a tiller steered outboard, they are by nature simple and effective boats, much longer and narrower than our water-skiing cousins in North America.  The Pelicano is simply a translation of the Pango type, in this case perhaps a bit shorter because I will have to trailer her down behind my Toyota on my next trip south and I don’t need a package that is too long or unwieldy to trailer.  But once the early version of the drawings were done it wasn’t long before my imagination really went wild and I found myself dreaming of using her in many other waters than just Mexican ones.  So before long there were 5 flavors to the design all based on the same hull and bulkheads placement, and I would not be surprised that there might be a couple more types potential in her before I fully move onto another dream.

I really think the best tack with this design is to allow you to paint your own dreams about which version might be the best for you, and believe me I can see all of them having some significant uses in my own mind.  But the hull is the essence of the type and here we have a very nice one for the purpose with the capability to power with a smallish outboard without much problem and also the potential to power up for the tyro’s of you that need something above 40mph on the water to feed your soles.  In fact with the maximum engine of 90 hp. You would be doing something like 50plus mph over the water without barely realizing that you were going much over 25mph. she goes thru or maybe I should say over the water so easily that these speeds can really surprise you.  I remember once running in a close design similar to the “Pelicano” 18 with a 100 hp. Outboard on the stern of her, and according to the GPS traveling at 56 mph. if I didn’t have the GPS staring at me with its impartial data I would never have believed it.

But enough of that speed talk lets discuss a boat that is truly designed to be used in the real life conditions that a boat of this type is going to encounter.  You will note that she has a keel that runs from the stem head of the boat and just about the entire length of the bottom and if you saw the building plans you would see that it is comprised of the very tough and resilient wood called Purpleheart and that in addition to that feature she also has a ¾” wide Stainless Steel half oval let onto the very bottom of the keel that will help her to keep her lovely and fair bottom off the rough beach when you poke her nose ashore.  I have railed on this fact before in some writings but it galls me to go to a boat show and see all the lovely, shiny production fiberglass boats of a similar type with their bottoms that can’t poke ashore on a rocky or barnacle encrusted beach even one time without serious damage to their bottoms.  How can a boat designer spend their time on a design and not consider the real life of the boat and how it might be used.  And tell me my friends how many times with a trailerable boat would you wish to poke the bow into the shore to offload yourself for exploring or picking up passengers for a bit of a boat ride?

So with “Pelicano’s “ keel she can take the bottom without damage, but that keel also is what helps to give her that soft ride without the pounding that most boats of this type like to subject their owners to when the wind and waves act up.  The keel cuts the water and starts the movement of the water before the hull itself actually meets the full force of the water and this is just about like comparing riding in a car without springs and shocks and riding in one that has the gear dampening the motion and translating into a ride that feels safer and more comfortable.

The “Pelicano” has a six panel hull with two bottoms and two side panels to each side, giving an attractive hull that can be built “Devlin Tough” with her cold molded bottom, and modern Stitch and Glue construction.  There is plenty of structure in her to keep this hull stiff, stable, and strong and she assembles over a mandrel of 5 athwart ships bulkheads and two longitudinals.  This construction method is really quite amazing and results in a very strong and tough hull.

So my friends I leave you with a variety of types all based on the same hull, the only shame is that I am not clever enough to incorporate all the types at once.  Come to think of it, that would be a good way to spend a cold spell this winter scheming on how to make drop on decks, houses, and center consoles, who knows you might see me do it yet?  Enjoy the design and the plans allow you to make up your own mind on which version you want.  Plans are $125 dollars and it’s just a few days from getting that pile of lumber and plywood together to get started on your own version of her…

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Pelicano 18 Bassboat

Sam Devlin has a reputation for designing really eye-catching “character” boats. Perish the thought, but I’ve even heard them described as “cute”. Because of that, they are often underrated for their utility, sensibility, durability and performance. The Pelicano is a really excellent example of a comfortable, practical medium-sized skiff that really looks spectacular. The Devlin Pelicano is a versatile and useful real-world design because Sam has designed three separate “flavors” on the basic fast, comfortable and rugged Pelicano hullform.

The Pelicano Bassboat is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to maximize “livability” in a 18′-4″ speedboat. The design has a spacious cabin forward, with enough space for a v-berth for the occasional camping weekend.  The design has ample dry storage below.

The Pelicano Hull is a very fast planing design, with a rugged purpleheart keel capped with a stainless rubrail to avoid damage if you want to poke ashore. That keel also accounts for her comfortable ride, because it helps to cut the water, thus minimizing pounding.

The Pelicano has a six panel hull with two bottoms and two side panels to each side, giving an attractive hull that can be built “Devlin Tough” with her cold molded bottom, and modern Stitch and Glue construction. There is plenty of structure in her to keep this hull stiff, stable, and strong and she assembles over a mandrel of 5 athwart ships bulkheads and two longitudinals. This construction method is really quite amazing and results in a very strong and tough hull.

Like all Pelicanos, the maximum HP is 90, and you can realistically expect over 40mph with that kind of power.

And finally, the Pelicano is an easily trailerable design, adding to its basic versatility, and helping you to find your own boating adventures.

The Pelicano 18 is available in study and full construction plans.

 

 

Pelicano 18 Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 6 in.
Draft at full displacement 12 in.
Dry weight with engine and battery 1490 lbs.
Weight at load waterline 2130 lbs.
Trailering weight 2300 lbs.

 

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