Wompus Cat Design Notes

Wompus Cat is a very tidy and cruisable conventional “Cape Cod type” catboat, with single large mast forward and a single mainsail. She only needs the tiller put down and maybe a hand for adjusting the mainsheet for each tack. This is probably the simplest of boats to enjoy the afternoon sailing either alone or with a few friends along. The hallmark of an traditional catboat is that they are easy to sail, have a huge cockpit for good company to go along with you, and at the end of the day a large and comfortable cabin to rest up for the next days adventure.

“Wompus Cat” is trailerable so that you can bring her home at the end of the season and go through your annual maintenance at your leisure in a covered work area. She is trailerable enough to allow some exploring of local waters that might be more accessible from the trailer than by water alone. Her draft allows the additional exploration of shallow waters and with the optional inboard diesel engine she can travel longer distances on those days that don’t have much wind. Entering the cabin you will immediately notice that there is no centerboard trunk in the way of the living space in the cabin.

With an inboard small diesel engine of 10 hp. the draft of the boat is barely deeper than a centerboard boat and the small fin keep is hydrodynamically superior to the typical centerboard and large wetted surface of a more conventional catboat. With the fin keel the boat tacks well and points to windward like a racer and the Wompus Cat has all her 800 lbs. of ballast deep in the keel for stability and ability to hold up to windward work. Without having a centerboard trunk in the middle of the cabin the settees feel larger and certainly the leg room is more comfortable. A porta-potti or watercloset is set at the head of the settee and really is quite usable (a real trick in a boat of this size) and the two berths are commodious and comfortable for overnight cruising or just a quick nap on a quiet day, there is a filler cushion to convert the twin settee’s to one large double berth for those of you that have a cruising companion worth sleeping with. To the starboard side just forward of the rear bulkhead is a raised galley flat with room for a sink and stowage below for cooking utensils and galley stores. On the portside we put one of the excellent “Sardine” wood/stoves that Marine Stoves is building from cast iron. With a few small pieces of wood thrown in on top of a handful of fragrant cedar shavings, a match applied to the bottom of the stack and in a few minutes the cabin is warm, your coffee or tea is brewing and life feels good.

Sailing a boat like the Wompus Cat is simplicity itself, untying the sail-gaskets and pulling on the two halyards being the only effort required to raising the sail. Once the sail is properly set and the mooring is cast off the days sail begins with just the single mainsheet to tend and a long tiller to manage the semi-balanced rudder. This is really where a catboat shines and these boats can be fast sailors, particularly off the wind. You can be joined by quite a group in the cockpit without getting in each other’s way and with her large beam she sails flat and fast. The first boat of the fleet is near completion now and I look forward to showing her stern to the locals.

–Sam Devlin

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Bay Skipper Design Notes

This is a very interesting design I did originally for Chris Kemp who had the desire for a vessel that could be convertible between being used for one or two paddlers using kayak paddles on the skinny waters of Florida or one that could also be fitted with a removable sliding seat and used for sculling over the same waters. Chris had stated early in our conversations about her concept that he had approached more than a couple of designers with a request for the same and had been turned bluntly away. But I saw the utility of her uses right off the bat as there have been more than a few times when I might have wished for the same type of boat, convertible depending on my mood and the waters to be explored between sculling and paddling. I would love to tell you that we had the design done just a couple of days later but reality has a sting about it that never quite goes away and these small boat designs take almost as much thinking and stewing over as a design of one of the larger boats. So it was few weeks or perhaps even months, I cant remember now, before we finally printed out the full plans for her.

And what a delight she is with an elegant transition from the paddling to the sculling. I was able to talk Chris out of the angled forward transom that he had originally called for in favor of an upright and fairly plumb stem and also a fairly vertical transom on her with just enough rake aft to make her look good to my eye. She also has a deck on her with an oval cockpit coaming with a small hardwood edge that wont dig into your side uncomfortably while bracing for a wake from some inconsiderate power boater that just zoomed past. This decking provides a lot of reserve freeboard to the design and that translates to increased seaworthiness.

The sliding seat mechanism can be just set into place and two small bolts made up, one on each side, to fasten in her for rowing and while the sweeps are long, they couple nicely with this boat and its performance. With her long waterline, she really carries way quite nicely and will work very well for both propulsion purposes. With a couple of paddlers aboard and some well balanced kayak paddles, you can face forward and explore your local waters for evening paddles that do much to calm the soul and sooth the spirits after busy days.

I think Chris was right on with the concept and I’m pleased to offer it to the rest of you who might be able to find her useful. — Sam Devlin

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Candlefish 18 Design Notes

With the success of our little Candlefish 13 and her slightly larger sister, the Candlefish 16, I felt the need to be able to offer another larger version based on the hull of our Pelicano 18 but with the simple features and usability of the Candlefish design. If you are unfamiliar with the Candlefish type, I would like to run thru a quick description of the features of her and why she might work well into your own boating dreams.

All the Candlefish designs are tiller steered outboard boats that are built with the Stitch and Glue Construction method, a building method that I have been a staunch proponent of for all my 37 plus years of designing and building boats.  These boats are open gunwale boats and by that I mean that the sheer rails of the boat are the sole extent of the protection from getting water into the boat itself so there are no side decks or other structures that might help to eliminate waves from slopping into the boat itself.  So to help counter that small deficiency, I designed a relatively high freeboard into her hull or to put this more simply, the sides of the boat are high enough to help keep the occupants inside the boat and to help keep the water out of the boat.

For seating back in the stern, there are port and starboard side seats. These are both over 7 feet long and almost 22 inches wide each.  When tiller steering her, you can choose either side to sit on and reaching over to the tiller of the outboard, it’s easy to face forward at an angle and keep your eye out for obstructions in the water. This type of side seating also helps to keep other passengers from impeding the skipper’s ability to operate the boat.

You will see from the drawings that forward of the long side seats in the stern of the cockpit, there is a seat or structure that extends from one side of the boat to the other at the same height as the stern seats and extends forward over almost 44 inches. Potted in the middle of the aft side of this deck structure (let’s call this the bridgedeck) is a hinged hatch that measures 24 inches fore and aft and 34 inches wide. If you unlatch and hinge up this hatch, it opens up the whole underside of the bridgedeck structure and exposes a neat cargo hold that can gobble up whole loads of fuel tanks, safety equipment, dry camping or survival gear and anything else you can dream up.  All this is kept organized and out of the way of the occupants of the boat and most importantly, this gear storage area is all dry without rain or anything else getting into its stowed items.  The other advantage of the bridgedeck is that passengers can sit at its forward edge with their feet on the forward cockpit floorboard and with some simple folding padded seat cushions, they have dry, comfortable, forward facing seats and they stay out of the helmsman’s way while working the tiller outboard at the stern of the boat.

Up forward in the bow of the boat is a stowage locker that comes almost up to the deck edge of the Candlefish 18. This bow deck extends aft from the stem of the boat almost 44 inches and is the full width of the bow.  The height at the aft end is 4 ½ inches below the sheer of the boat, but up forward up against the stem, it is almost 12 inches deep.  This deck has scuppers in the two aft edges of it that drain any water overboard and an anchor, anchor rode, spare dock lines, fenders or a cornucopia of other items can be stowed on this deck area safe and secure.  Below that bow deck is a stowage locker that holds amongst other items, one of the neatest features of the Candlefish 18, the forward-most floatation component for her.

Under the bow deck area and in the stern of the boat on both sides of the cockpit below the stern seats are housed a total additional buoyancy of 480 lbs.  Keep in mind our hull is built of epoxy sealed wood and by itself would not sink in any circumstance, but that outboard on the stern and some other heavy non-floating type gear that might be aboard dictate the inclusion of enough added floatation to keep the boat upright and level floating even if completely full of water.  One of my favorite methods of providing this additional buoyancy is to use the simple and inexpensive type II life jackets. To make up that buoyancy requirement, we would need 24 individual life jackets.  You can easily buy these on sale at your local marine supplier and even with a list price of $47.77 per (4) pack, you would have a total expenditure of $286.62 for all the additional floatation necessary to keep your boat positively buoyant in any weather conditions you might encounter.  If you buy them on sale, you might get by with only spending just around $200 dollars for all the safety factor and peace of mind that an unsinkable boat provides.

The two ¾ inch marine plywood cockpit decks are set at a level of 2 inches above the loaded waterline of the boat. This allows you to keep the cockpit drain plug out of the boat if she is set up on a mooring in addition to keeping any rain water that might come aboard to be flushed out just about as quickly as it comes aboard. There are two drain pipes that connect up the bow cockpit deck to the stern cockpit deck so any bilge water can easily flush from forward to aft and overboard.  When you reach the mooring, the drain plug can be replaced to its position in the stern of the boat and you can load her to your heart’s content, confident in the fact that any bilge water will be able to be flushed back while under power.

The Candlefish 18 is an almost perfect size for explorations with a good, light dry weight, she’s easy to launch by hand off the beach and she has performance enough to satisfy the tyro in all of us. 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, using anything from 40-70 hp depending on how fast one wants to run and how much load is expected to be carried.  Just like her smaller sisters, the Candlefish 18 is the sea-going equivalent of a pickup truck, capable of carrying a decent load and handling many of the chores you might encounter in your life on the water.

The Candlefish’s hull is planked up from good marine plywood 7ply, 12mm mahogany of the BS-1088 grade. She is built Stitch and Glue style over 4 full bulkheads and her transom and she 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.

If you are so inclined, the plans for home construction are offered for $125 dollars a package and with about $3,500 dollars in materials (not counting the outboard engine) and 400 hours labor, you can dream up your own adventures while building her. – Sam Devlin

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Lit’l Coot Full Keel Design Notes

After doing the twin bilge keel version of the “Litl Coot” design, we had a flurry of letters from potential builders around the world with their own flavor of what would make the perfect pocket type sail design and it was finally Guillermo Martinez from Spain that ponied up and really convinced me to do some changes to the design. I present Guillermo’s dream here as a completely separate version of the same hull — the intent is quite different but the expression is the same, a small pocket cruiser that would be capable of taking its skipper to places that can only be imagined in a creative mind. She is seaworthy and capable with enough space on board for the organized sailer and enough potential to keep most of us water-tyros satisfied.

The biggest change to the original design was the addition of a fixed keel with draft of 30”, a radical departure from the twin bilge keel model that I had originally designed. This would allow her to stand up to weather that the shoal draft model could only aspire to and would keep the cabin freed up of any trunk or other structure. The rig was moved aft, the mizzen was thrown away and a sloop rig was designed for her. Guillermo wanted a bowsprit but I convinced him that she (the boat) would be much safer without the extension forward of the bow and would keep the sailor safely on deck by not working in front of the boat. With a club fitted jib, she will be self tending during tacking and I feel this sloop rig fits very nicely within the motorsailer genre that the original design was fit for.

A cockpit coaming was designed that would allow better support to the back for long watches under sail and provides a bit of increased freeboard in case some really rough waters are encountered. The twin rudders and centerline mounted outboard were retained and after just coming back from a recent trip sailing a 37ft. boat (or more accurately, I should say motor sailing) down the Pacific coast from Washington to California, I am more than happy with this design feature. This will allow us to keep that motor running when she might lift her heels up and rotate the prop out of the water as might happen with a conventional mounting of the outboard to one side or the other of the transom. All other features stay the same with the exception of the pilothouse where I put in a double faceted front window instead of the single pane unit on the original design. This will keep the window sizes smaller and it looks very nice on the profile drawing of the boat.

With the fixed keel, I was able to place another 50 lbs of lead in the keel and lower than if it were in the bilge of the boat with the result of the design being able to carry sail much deeper into an increase in the wind. I usually plan on casting about 75-85% of the anticipated ballast (in this case 650 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.

This is a pure 50/50 motor sailer and on this size boat, I think the little 9.9 horsepower Yamaha or Honda 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 very well on this design. 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 and led thru 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.

So we now have a boat that can sit on a trailer (mind you a bit higher on a trailer than the shoal draft twin keel model), 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 SUVs or pickups? She is a vessel that can take on some coastal waters without compromise and still be manageable size and expense-wise. 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-Full Keel” to be absolutely beguiling during her design stages and my armchair cruises built around her platform have been wonderful. 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 consist of 16 drawings printed on 24×36 inch paper and a simple building booklet. You can either buy printed sets of plans directly from us or buy a downloadable 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. I look forward to seeing many of these capable little sloops on the water very soon.

–Sam Devlin

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Godzilli 16 Design Notes

Godzilli16LogoWith the good fortune of having built the Godzilla 22 tug and seeing how she moved through the water and experiencing just how damn much fun a small cruiser/workboat like her can be, I was inspired one afternoon to start working on drawings for a small workboat/launch that could be serviceable for our boatshop.

What was needed was a boat small enough to not be a hassle to maintain and keep up properly and yet be stable enough to do all the myriad of jobs such a vessel is required to do with stability and style. We needed a launch to do jobs that could be as simple as ferrying us out to the moorings in deep water of our bigger boats, setting crab pots, or when needed, to tug larger vessels into the Marine Railway for bottom painting or servicing. That is a lot to expect of a small boat and a couple of extra requirements were necessary that really could put a crimp into the design of a boat. Our shop inlet is very tidal with a daily average of a 12 – 14 foot range from high to low water. At low tide, there virtually isn’t any water in the immediate small cove that the shop sits beside and the docks sit on soft deep mud with clams and barnacle covered oysters strewn about on its surface. Thus any small workboat that is going to be really serviceable should have the capability of sitting out the tide on its mud berth day after day without damage or excess wear.

An inboard diesel engine would be nice for the “tug” purpose of this small design but I discarded the option of the inboard due to the deeper keel necessary to protect the propeller and rudder. When the “Godzilli” sits out the tide, I wanted her as level and well supported as possible and so chose a 20 hp. high thrust Yamaha four/cycle outboard in an outboard motor well. That would allow the motor to be retracted up into the outboard well and the boat could sit on a shallower keel without heeling over in her mud berth. A couple of old worn out tires on each side of the keel with holes drilled in them to allow them to stay anchored into position, aid the upright sitting of “Godzilli” on the hard and when the tide comes back in, she floats free of her mud/tire cradle without damage. I also specified a self draining and bailing work deck for the “Godzilli” knowing that she would not have the luxury of being pumped out daily but instead needed to sit quietly at her berth, ready and patiently waiting her next duty without much care at all. With all the mud around during work performed at low tide, the decks would need to be sloshed down without fuss and in order to be kept looking somewhat neat and clean.

I put a small pilothouse on her knowing that most of the time when towing something large, I would need to stand at the wheel with one hand steering and the other free to gather in lines and make up to the tow bitt. That necessitated a pilothouse that could be used easily when needed for a weather break and to keep me dry but had to have instant and excellent entrance/exit capability for working her. I finally settled on this design with a hinged hatch on top that allows me to walk straight upright into the pilothouse but if needed could stand upright behind the clear lexan screen of the hatch and see forward. If time and towing duty allowed, I could then sit down at the wheel with full protection from the forward and sides of the boat from spray or weather.

A right proper tow bitt would be needed for the tug duties of “Godzilli” and I had in the woodloft a grown Hackmatack Knee that would fit right in. This was a mighty balk of wood a full 6 inches thick with legs 36 inches long and when properly fastened into the “Godzilli”, would not pale at the job of towing our 45 foot, 38,000 lb. Sockeye design into the dock from her deepwater mooring. “Godzilli” will have a purple-heart stem and keel on her, rounding out the substantial and very strong hull. With some hand knotted Bow Puddin and fenders, she’ll fit right into the shop’s gear, as serviceable as a huge large wheeled bandsaw and a bit more fun to use. If you are as taken with her as I am, the plans for home construction are now available and include a good boatbuilding manual that helps you though the process. I think that the bang-for-the-buck with “Godzilli” is very high and I can’t imagine a waterfront that wouldn’t look just a bit better with one of her hanging about, patiently waiting for her skipper to take her out for a jaunt. — Sam Devlin

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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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Honker Design Notes

Let’s start out with the description of the Honker design by describing a typical cruise that one might anticipate going on with this boat.

My own two sons are now ages 14 and 10. We all like to fish and explore some of the more out of the way areas in the Northwest where we live and for years, I have been aware of a place on the West Coast of Vancouver Island called Barkley Sound. This year we decided to have a go at exploring this area by boat. My choices were to take one of our larger boats and spend 3 days travel time (dependent on good weather) just to get up to Barkley Sound. Or we could trailer our Honker up behind the family pickup on gravel roads and launch in the sound itself at a place called Alberni Inlet and motor around the Sound beach cruising.

This trailering trip would take only one day to get there and allowed us more exploring time in the Sound itself. Also with our weather being as fickle as it is up here, the chances of being able to pick a window of 3 to 4 days of good weather was far more likely than if we had taken the larger boat and we could do the whole trip in 4 or 5 days instead of just traveling up and back in the larger boat in the same period of time. We could spend nights on the shore camped in a backpacking tent and each day could be spent fishing and exploring our two favorite things to do.

For our purposes, the Honker is ideally suited, being a light weight shallow draft vessel that with a 60 horse outboard, can race along at 30 knots or can idle for hours while trolling for salmon or bottom fish. We can cook the fresh caught fish each night for our meal and all that cooking could be done safely on a small propane barbecue carried on board the boat. Each night the Honker could be beached and the anchor rode carried up the beach and tied off to an accommodating tree or large rock. The split cockpit of our own Honker allows us to carry all camping gear and clothing in a waterproof, lockable, separate compartment. Room for the three of us and our fishing gear would be easily accommodated in the aft cockpit.

Carrying 24 gallons of fuel in four 6 gallon tanks gives enough range and fuel to keep us going for the time spent on the Sound. And just for my own peace of mind, a Jerry jug of 5 gallons capacity was carried just for emergency use. This 5 gallons alone would provide us with an additional 70 miles of running time, enough spare fuel to get back to civilization without worrying about picking up more fuel along the way.

A small vacation done in a vessel like this Honker is inexpensive and easy to do at thelast minute without a lot of preparation or planning. In fact, most of the gear we took was carried as survival packs and loaded into the boat in a matter of minutes. Two medium sized coolers filled by a stop at a grocery store along the way kept us in cold beer, pop and snacks for the trip and doubled in utility by allowing us to put fresh fish caught in the Sound and made Mom just a bit the happier for allowing her troop to go up into the wild and spend some quality time together.

Using a boat this way points quickly to the strengths and weaknesses of a design, and I’m happy to report that the Honker passed with flying colors. Her beachability was the most important quality, and the capability of carrying all gear in a separate storage area and not being underfoot during the day worked to perfection. The fuel and water situation worked out well also and the 5 gallon Jerry jug of extra fuel was not tapped into.

This little Honker has allowed us more useful boat for the dollar and hour of labor to construct than just about any other boat I can think of. I’m looking forward to this years adventures with her and my boys. We are all thinking about a longer even more ambitious trip this year, perhaps we might tackle the Queen Charlotte Islands. Now that would be a real trip!

I’ve even been thinking about building the small pilothouse/cabin that is shown here for the Honker giving us some foul weather capability in case the local weatherman screws up and really runs us afoul of a good mid summer storm for this year’s exploring. Take a look and you will see a real versatile boat that can provide you with a fine platform for playing on the water in your own areas.

— Sam Devlin

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Pelicano 23 Design Notes

Here we have a 23 ft. outboard powered boat with three distinct different configurations to choose from and great capability of running in a broad variety of waters. She stays conveniently trailerable, runs at good speeds (dependent on horsepower chosen), and even has the option of providing cabin warmth and comfort for cruising in two of the versions.  All this describes the new Candlefish 23 model and she offers much utility and usability to the boater.

She is built with our Stitch and Glue method of construction and sets up 8 athwart ships bulkheads interconnecting with two longitudinal bulkheads for the basic framework.  Hull panels are scarfed to length from 8ft. long panels cut to each of their specific shapes and are stitched over the mandrel of the bulkheads into final hull shape.  Her bottom has the strength addition of another layer of ¼” marine plywood laminated onto her ½” or 12mm initial bottom skin and the resulting laminate of ¾” or 18mm thickness is strong and light.  The hull is then sheathed with two layers of cloth set in epoxy resin and after painting the hull and mounting the hardware, you are ready for the water.  Of the three models we are offering, you can choose from an “Center Console” version with totally open cockpit, or the lovely “Bassboat” with good seating in the cockpit and a cabin for sleeping overnight and staying comfortable on longer trips, or our “Shrimper” model with covered helm area and large cockpit for fishing fun!

If you are so inclined, the plans for home construction are offered for $225 dollars a package for each of the models individually or if you want all three versions of the plans, that’s over 32 individual sheets of drawings for the price of $399.  The choice is yours, either our venerable old feet and inches ‘Imperial’ measurement plans or choose in ‘Metric’ measurement.  Basic hull kits will be offered for any of these models also, CNC cut and including a building jig to assemble her on, and shipped on 4×8 pallets regular truck freight to just about any place in North America – just call us for pricing.

So here she is, the newest to our lineup, the Pelicano 23, and with about $5,500 dollars in materials (not counting the outboard engine) and 700-900 hours labor, you can dream up your own adventures while building her.  – Sam Devlin

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Surf Scoter 22 Design Notes

It has been over 20 years now that we first conceived of and built the first of our venerable Surf Scoter 22 vessels and it was high time that we sat down to the drafting table, put the thinking cap on, and re-think and re-conceive the design.  Many things have changed over the years and in today’s world its almost impossible to buy a 2 stroke outboard engine, the 4 cycle outboards have taken over the market, and brief forays into small diesel inboard land and larger diesel Stern drives have all come and gone.  What makes the most sense in today’s market with the cost of everything boat related in the far stratosphere price wise, is to use the wonderfully quiet, smooth running, and efficient 4 cycle outboards that are so available these days.  Mounting them on the transom makes the most sense and gives a cockpit that has the space to accommodate everything in use from the fisherman, to the long distance cruiser.  In this new model we stretched the Pilothouse and added a neat enclosed head, so that those skippers amongst us that desire our first mates to come along on our cruising adventures will be comfortable and agreeable!  There is still plenty of room for a galley, helm and co-helm seats in the pilothouse with 6’-4” headroom.  Under the foredeck sitting headroom in the port and starboard berths and with a filler plugged into the middle a huge double berth can be made up.

This new model is quite a bit wider than the older version and the resulting stability will be appreciated by all.  With a 90 hp. Outboard on the stern the top speed is 26mph. and cruising speed of 18 mph is quiet and economical with a fuel burn of less than 4 gph. At speed.

The plans are complete for both professional and home builders and we offer them in both measurement formats our venerable feet and inches and Metric for those of you that can’t do mental math.   Plans cost is $225 dollars and we are very pleased to have had the chance to revisit this old concept, throw a couple of new ideas at it and hope that you will love the result as much as we do!    –Sam Devlin

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Dipper 19 Design Notes

This is an all new version of our old classic the “Dipper 16” with several extra spices thrown into the mix, and the resulting dish is a completely different plate.

She is of course three feet longer than the original Dipper and almost a foot increase in beam.  A little extra length and width in this size of boat translates to a completely different feel and changes the use and scope of use considerably.  But here is the main difference in her, she is designed to be capable of being stored and transported in a 20ft. long container.  Her owner John Irving wanted a boat that could be packed tightly into a 20ft. container for shipment from the east coast of the United States to Europe.  John’s idea is that shipping costs for a 20ft. container are dirt cheap something in the range of under $2000 dollars to cross the Atlantic and if the boat was fitted well into its little traveling garage then he could afford to take her on many adventures that in other times might only be thought of and not acted upon.  In the winter in Maine (John’s home)  where literally no one keeps a boat in the water the container could be relied upon to keep its contents warm, dry, and out of the elements and when the calmer spring weather breaks then out she comes and into the drink for a seasons cruising and playing on the water.

Besides the increase in interior room in the design there are a couple of other features that are of note.  The first is her use of twin 4 cycle outboards on the stern.  There is no burying of the outboards in a well or trying to disguise them, they are mounted proudly on the stern.  Part of this plan is to allow them to be de-mounted for the container stowage, but the other part is to allow them to be as efficient as possible and allows for the increased maneuverability of the twin engines.  By placing one engine in the forward and the other in reverse the boat can be turned neatly in a tight circle and if you need the other direction to come into play then reverse the process and she will turn about the other way.  With twin 10hp outboards the fuel burn at 6 knots speed will be something less than 1 gallon of fuel per hour for an efficiency of 1 gallon of fuel burned for 7 miles of travel.  At top speed the twin 10’s will offer 10knots speed and twin 15’s would offer 12 knots of speed.

The cockpit is left open and unencumbered by seats or other appendages, the whole idea is to have a couple of comfortable folding chairs that have the space of being used in the cockpit well without restricting one into one position or another.  Flexibility is really the key! With this arrangement and leaves enough open space for the two outboards to be laid on there sides for transport.

In the cabin there is a standup galley that has all the ingredients necessary to function and forward under the trunk cabin there is space for a porta-potti and twin berths on both sides.  Really a remarkable amount of room inside and out for a boat under 20ft. in length.  In the evening the port-potti could be placed in the pilothouse or cockpit and the filler used in the berth area makes a large almost queen sized bed.

Plans are just completed and we offer them for $225 per boat built.  Someday in the near future I am looking forward to seeing many of these boats tooling about in waters near and far away.  A good looking boat is always worth a smile to me, and the Dipper 19 is to my eye a very good looking boat!

— Sam Devlin

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