Fairhaven Flyer 20

FairhavenSeatsThe Fairhaven Flyer is a 20 foot expedition rowing dory, designed with the signature Devlin strength, durability, and flexibility. She can be rowed either solo or double and converts from one one configuration to another quickly and easily. She can be rowed solo with passengers or a massive load of gear. The dory hull style excels at rowing performance and seaworthiness under a variety of load conditions. With a bit of customization, she can be set up for rugged expedition work, and in fact has carried Dale McKinnon on her solo run of the Northwest Passage. It’s a fine accomplishment for the woman – and the boat.

Read Sam’s design notes for the details.

The Fairhaven Flyer is available in study and full construction plans.


Fairhaven Flyer Specifications

Length 20 ft. – 3.75 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 1.75 in.
Draft 7 in. @ 795 lbs. total weight
Power Oars
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Bay Skipper

BaySkipperFrontYou like to paddle with a friend? You like to scull in a performance design? This is your boat. The Bay Skipper does both. She can can easily handle two paddlers in her large cockpit. You might even be able to bring a kid and a dog. This is great for quite explorations in peaceful waters. With a few minutes and a couple of boats, you can add a full sliding rowing seat and find yourself gliding along in this efficient hull. She’s light enough to manage single handed and using the Devlin stitch and glue method, she’s fast and easy to build. Plus, after using this boat for a year, think about those upper body muscles. Awesome!

Read about the inspiration for the Bay Skipper in Sam’s design notes.

The Bay Skipper is available in study and full construction plans.


Bay Skipper Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 1.375 in.
Beam 2 ft. – 11.25 in.
Draft 6-5/16 in.
Power Oars or Kayak Paddles
Displacement 530 lbs.
Hull Dry Weight 76 lbs.
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Bella 16

Bella16FrontBackThe Bella 16 rounds out our three-strong series of pulling/motoring skiffs. This largest version could easily carry three passengers, or even more if motoring instead of rowing. With only four 4 x 8 sheets of ¼ inch plywood and a few other odds and ends, the boatbuilder can have an attractive, easily driven, light craft. This boat is built upright without a jig, saving on time and materials. As with the Bella 10 and Bella 12, this boat is primarily a rowing skiff and her shape suits that purpose nicely. Whether fishing a pond in Wisconsin, rowing for recreation on the Puget Sound, or pulling her up on a Florida beach for some camping, the Bella 16 is a handy skiff. In a world that needs more boats, I’m happy to offer plans for the boater whose needs are balanced equally by aesthetics and utility. — Sam Devlin

The Bella 16 is available in study and construction plans.



Bella 16 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 8.125 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 9.75 in.
Draft 6.5 in.
Power Oars, Outboard 2.5hp
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We have over the years designed and built 4 different models of scull boats and the Sculldugery is the latest in our offerings. For those of you who don’t know the idic scull boat for the waterfowler is a boat that generally fits a single hunter (usually without dog) and is not hunted in the idic sense over a clutch of decoys. This is a boat that is moved slowly and smoothly through the water towards raft of waterfowl with the hunter lying in prone position in the bottom of the boat. Propulsion is a single oar that extends out through the stern (transom) of the boat and thru a waggling motion the boat moves silently and smoothly forward. When the raft of ducks is closed to a shooting distance, the hunter then sits upright in the boat, ostensibly at this time the ducks take off in flight and with some fine shooting a limit of ducks can be paddled or sculled out to and picked up.

If you haven’t limited out with the first batch of shooting then the whole process starts all over, first the sneak-up, then the shooting. It is a slow and methodical process, and I must state here that it is not the kind of hunting for everybody, you must be patient and careful, but when the success ratio is good this is the closest thing to market shooting that exists in today’s hunting world. The market shooters did the same process the only difference being that they used an extremely large-bore shotgun loaded with just about anything that was on the workbench that was metal. The kill ratios were high and the bird populations suffered enough that the Feds got into the act and put a stop to the fun. The Sculldugery is a true scull boat that must be operated properly by a hunter interested in a type of hunting that few do these days. I hope that you will like the boat, but most of all when you lay down that first double without even setting one decoy and without having to sit for hours in a cold blind I am betting that you too will like this type of hunting. — Sam Devlin

The Sculldugery is available in study and construction plans.


Sculldugery Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 6 in.
Power Scull
Max Load 850 lbs.
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Drifter 15

I grew up in Eugene, Oregon which is considered the center of the universe for drift boats, the famed Mackenzie and Willamette Rivers providing plenty of action for these types of boats.  In fact, the Mackenzie River Drift Boat really evolved on these rivers and over a period of more than 50 years, it has undergone a lot of exacting refinement. In the early phase of my career, I built almost a dozen of these drifters with my Stitch and Glue process and would have kept building them had I stayed in Eugene but the salt water beckoned and in 1982, we moved our shop and workers to the shores of Puget Sound where we have kept pretty busy building salt water type boats and cruisers.

But as it happens over time, customers have been asking about a drift boat design and amateur construction plans from Devlin Boats. We’ve finally had the time to put together plans for a nice little 15 footer and the object of this write-up. The Drifter is a McKenzie-styled boat constructed from 3/8″ (10mm) BS 1088 plywood with our Stitch and Glue method. The bottom of the boat is additionally reinforced with an additional cold-molded layer of 1/4″ (6mm) plywood and there is an option of fastening a layer of UHMW board to the bottom, in addition to that layer, to help this little boat really slide over the rocks. She’s equipped with fully adjustable seats which allow the solo fisherman to take the bow seat out entirely to clear up the cockpit for fishing. An ample forward deck keeps non-spooled line neatly in one place while fly fishing. Foam-filled floatation compartments port and starboard do double duty as convenient storage shelves. This is a sturdy craft wanting to be rowed and fished hard. Simply and durably built, she will provide a lot of great memories to the builder and the fisherman. – Sam Devlin

The Drifter 15 is available in study and construction plans.


Drifter 15 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 13/16 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 11 3/16 in.
Draft 7.5 in.
Power Oars


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Duckling 14 Rower

Duckling14PassengerDesigned for one of my Sockeye 45 hulls owned by Henry and Holly Wendt of Friday Harbor, WA, the idea was for a proper rowing boat that could be carried on the aft house-top of the Widgeon (their aforementioned Sockeye 45). It was designed and built to receive a Piantedose sliding seat unit and with proper sweeps could provide the two of them exercise and joy while cruising the larger boat. We built her just in time for the launching of the Widgeon and she has lived happily on deck for the past several years.

She can carry the weight of a passenger lounging in the stern sheets and rows well either solo or with crew. I gave her a rather shapely hull 6 panels of plywood and it amazes me how nice a looking boat can be built with such a few number of parts. Later when I worked up the plans for home building, I was working on the design one fine Spring day with a nice breeze setting in and in a moment of inspiration, designed a neat sailing rig that could be fitted to her also with a daggerboard and sprit sail setting on a stayless mast. All the gear could be stowed in the hull and with just a few minutes of set up time, one could take advantage of those days much like the one that I experienced while working on the plans.

– Sam Devlin

The Devlin Duckling 14 Rower is available in study and construction plans.


Duckling 14 Rower Specifications

Length 14 ft. – 4.5 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 5 in.
Draft 5 in.
Power Oars
Displacement 268 lbs.
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Pond Skipper

A small and easily launched kayak gives me an outing and lets me explore in a way that the skiff wouldn’t accommodate. Quite often really all I am interested in is to get a little exercise for my upper body and some vigorous paddling with the Pond Skipper allows me to look around in very shallow waters if I choose and explore to my heart’s content. She is light weight, can carry paddlers up to 250 lbs. without a problem, and is more exciting to use than her plastic roto-molded sisters. The building is easy and uses 4mm marine plywood and our venerable Stitch and Glue building method. She is a proper project for those long winter evenings when warm water and warm days are nothing more than dim memories.

For my own boat, I keep two of them on board, one for me and one for my wife, easily launched over the side and just waiting us to start poking around. I take my binoculars with me now as I have found my interest flows to birding, a pursuit that I had years ago but have recently been enjoying again.

She is a great little boat, an easy paddler, lightweight and really does her job very, very well! We arent pretending that she is the type of boat to paddle to Alaska and back in, but for a cartoppable boat, or if you want to add a couple like me to your mothership, these little Pond Skipper kayaks are a real joy! Plans are $65 dollars and call us to request prices for a simple plywood kit.

— Sam Devlin

The Pond Skipper is available in study and construction plans.



Pond Skipper Specifications

Length 13 ft. – 9.5 in.
Beam 2 ft. – 6.25 in.
Draft 4.75 in.
Power Paddle
Displacement 282 lbs.
Dry Weight 36 lbs.
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On some days when I have pulled on the starter rope until my arm is aching and the (S.O.B.) engine is still not wanting to start, my thoughts and fantasies go to a simpler time when such smelly things weren’t considered a regular part of the hunting boats necessary equipment. On one of those days, the seeds were planted for the simple Poleboat. This is a proper boat that can haul and hunt up to two hunters and one that can be properly rowed and or poled out to the hunting grounds. Back in the days when you didn’t have to run out 5 – 10 miles to get to the hunting area and back in the days when there weren’t established launch ramps all over the place, these types of boats abounded. In fact, what you would have seen is many flavors of these types of boats with a compact and stowable sailing rig hunting all over marshes (where birds can be found). Rowing out in the morning before first light and before the wind built for the day, and at the end of the hunt as soon as your limit was reached, stepping the mast and sailing back as quickly as possible. This is a real hunting experience and one that few of us hunters these days can and will experience.

The Poleboat is light enough in weight that you could car-top it (if the bed of your truck is filled with something else) and you can launch it without much fuss in an area that doesn’t have formal launch ramps. I often find that it is easier to unload from the truck at marsh’s edge and simply grab onto the bow and slide it over the grass and cattails until I reach deep enough water to float her. If I wear hip-waders then I can flip over the side into the cockpit, reaching down to grab the push-pole and force her the rest of the way through the cattails to deep water. Some of this hunting with only a dozen high-quality hand made decoys at most is really productive and enjoyable. Think about it, there might be a better way to hunt than with all the junk that has to go along with a motored boat. Sometimes simpler is indeed better, and in that case, the Poleboat shines. — Sam Devlin

The Devlin Poleboat is available in study and construction plans.


Poleboat Specifications

Length 13 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8.5 in.
Draft 5.5 in. Loaded
Power Oars, Pole
Displacement 98 lbs.
Max Load 360 lbs.
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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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