A glimpse into a boat capable of true off-shore cruising, Blue Peter is offered in two versions that illustrate just how much variation can happen on the same footprint.
The rig change is most dramatic. From a profile sail plan view with one version showing bowsprit and a more open slot between staysail and jib to the other showing a stem headed sail plan. Moving inside, the stem-headed version shows the interior that is my personal favorite. Stepping into the companionway, one can see clearly to the bow of the boat. By keeping the head aft and to starboard, it doesn’t cut up the interior into two separate cabins. The galley is to port with enough space to get the job done and with close proximity to the cockpit, a quick duck below for a cup of tea during a long night watch is possible.
Large port and starboard settees with a dinette table amidships allows comfortable seating and the chance to sit and tell stories with friends. Relaxing after a long day’s sail seems more important with the older I get. The port and starboard settees and double berth forward accommodate a crew of four.
The bowsprit version shows a much different interior with port and starboard quarter berths and a fixed chart table to starboard used by sitting on the end of the starboard berth. The galley is to port with a peninsula into the cabin to allow a close-to-centerline sink location, good for draining on either tack. The port and starboard settees, somewhat offset, don’t allow for as easy a conversation area as the other interior but should work well at sea with berths on either tack.
The head with shower is on the starboard side and a single forward berth is to the opposite. This interior would probably cruise off-shore more efficiently than the other with more possible sea berths but in my view, it isn’t quite as comfortable for on shore cruising where most evenings, the Blue Peter would be anchored in a quiet cove.
Inboard diesel power of up to 18 hp is a must on a boat like Blue Peter. Being as fine a mate as most, she’s a good looking boat with an agreeable profile. — Sam Devlin
The Blue Peter is available as a custom build from Sam and his team.
She is a very traditional looking yacht with a plumb bow and a fantail stern forming the ends of an easily driven hull. Her forward pilothouse meshes nicely with a large beamy main salon aft of the helm/galley area. Comfort underway is of main importance here with 6’4″ head room in the main salon. Four large opening windows in the salon area are set to perfect viewing height while seated in the salon. There is also a large 24″ x 36″ hatch/skylight on the salon cabin top which hinges upward for ventilation.
The head is on the starboard side, at the aft end of the main salon. With the water closet and a remarkable Pullman-style sink/wash basin that folds onto the bulkhead, this head compartment can convert into a shower stall for longer cruises.
A solid-fuel heater is mounted on the forward bulkhead of the head. In winter, the boat is warm and dry without the sweating and mildew problems normally associated with most boats in today’s market. In the summer, the feeling in the main salon is like sitting in a large screened porch. Both settees are 68″ long and double as berths. There is a folding leaf table which can accommodate anything from casual drinks to formal dining for four.
Forward of the main salon is the raised pilothouse with port and starboard helm seats and galley space aft on both sides. Refrigeration tucks neatly below the companion helm seat and there is stowage on both sides under the counters. A propane stove allows the cook to enjoy the ride in the pilothouse with excellent visibility and full 72″ headroom. Forward in the fo’c’sle, accessible through a hinged hatch, is a large berth and storage area. This can be a private suite or out-of-the-way storage.
The twin 18 hp YANMAR diesels will cruise Czarinna at 7 knots at 1900 RPM. The noise, vibration and smell normally associated with high speed boats just doesn’t develop on Czarinna. Each engine is tucked out of the way, under the settees, port and starboard, in a sound insulated seat compartment. Fuel consumption is very economical, two-thirds of a gallon of diesel per hour, at her cruising speed of 7 knots. It’s hard to imagine cruising more economically than this these days.
We have over the past 20 years built our Black Crown design in many, many flavors, from 25ft. to 32ft in lengths and now offer the full building plans for home construction the distillation of all our experience with the design and what she has to offer.
This new 30ft. version offers a commodious and comfortable cockpit with space for the engine box (we recommend a diesel Sterndrive in 160-250hp range) and seating for crew when the hook is down and you just want to enjoy the evening breeze. Going into the cabin there is a full enclosed and private head to starboard and a full headroom shower just opposite on the port side. Forward of the shower is a fore and aft facing dinette with room to seat 4 for cocktails or an intimate dinner. Galley is to starboard and forward of the head and aft of the helm seat. Space for a below counter refrigerator/freezer unit, sink, and range oven cook top. Helm seat is to starboard and forward of the galley as mentioned above and has excellent visibility and comfortable seating, room for electronics instruments etc.
On the port side of the boat and opposite the helm is a side facing co-helm seat that works well for keeping an extra pair of eyes scanning forward while the boat is running but also allowing good conversation with the skipper. Forward of the main salon area is a large double berth that can be built with either a queen sized double slightly to starboard side or a port and starboard single berth that with a filler can be converted to a huge double berth running the full length of the bow and full width of the forward cabin (this is my own personal favorite arrangement). There is 6-5 headroom in the main salon cabin and good seating and sleeping headroom forward in the bow area.
Performance is good with a 200hp. Diesel Sterndrive giving her top speed of 25knots and a cruise speed of 18knots with a fuel burn of just under 5 gallons of fuel per hour. That gives you a fuel burn of 4.17 miles for each gallon of fuel used and that my friends is just about a good mileage as can be managed with a boat!
She can be loaded to a trailer for winter storage and these hulls are more than capable of traveling some very long cruises whether you are on the East Coast or the West Coast the Black Crown 30 can handle the seas and the waters that you will encounter and handle them with aplomb!
Our friends, Randy and Becky, along with their dog, Kahlua, have now trailered their Black Crown from Lake Powell up to the Puget Sound and back again with fine adventures and nothing more than a good 3/4 ton pickup with a diesel engine to tow it with fine living for those of us that keep perspective on the play vs. work balancing game. — Sam Devlin
The Black Crown is available in study and construction plans, as a custom build from Devlin Boats, and currently as a pre-loved Devlin Boat.
Many of you faithful readers might remember the “Storm Petrel”, a 33ft. Lobster-type boat that we built several years ago, and the “Pyladian” is an evolution and direct sister to that design. With the perspective of about 5 years between the two building projects and with a chance to spend many happy hours bugging about in the Salish Sea in the Storm Petrel, I found her to be, in my opinion, one of the best performing sea-boats that I have ever had the pleasure of running. I remember heading north with my good friend George Gray (currently living with his wife on their sailboat and cruising the lovely waters of Mexico) to the Anacortes Trawler Fest show several years ago. It was a boisterous day with brisk winds of 25-30 knots coming out of the Southwest. With the fetch of Puget Sound and the short steep chop that can develop in those waters, it was a good test of what the Storm Petrel could do. With the following seas and our trying to maintain a pace of 16 plus knots of speed, the Storm Petrel would bound over the top of the crest of one wave and then pitch downward into the trough between the seas burying her bow into the wave just ahead of us till we could see water squirting up thru the anchor roller forward. Without slowing or slewing around in any way, she would then climb at the same speed up the face of the next wave reaching the top before pitching down again into the trough of the next. After about 30 minutes of this exhilarating ride, I remarked to George something about my amazement of such a remarkable ride to which he replied that he was impressed also. We chatted for a few more minutes about her amazing performance and no sooner had the words come out of my mouth, “we should turn around and try her head into the wind”, when I started turning the wheel. We did a good 15 minutes in reverse direction straight into the eye of the wind and those cresting waves with essentially the same results. The boat didn’t slow down and certainly didn’t broach or slew at the bottom of the troughs even when burying her nose deeply into the waves. Really, all in all, she showed remarkable capability for those seas, an incredibly pleasant boat to run on a day when I would normally wish I was home reading a good book by a warm fire. This combination of fine bow lines and entry with her broad and flat exit of run of the hull was literally the perfect example of what one would wish for in this type of boat.
So after some years, along came a new candidate for a boat, this time a couple that was looking for a commuter boat to run from Vancouver Island, specifically Sydney, British Columbia, to their island home located about 34 miles north in the Canadian Gulf Islands. They needed her to be able to make good and economical speed so that they could spend their time on the island not just going back and forth to it. The boat needed to be able to handle anything from a few groceries to large units of wood, fuel, and all the myriad of items necessary for comfortable island life. The weather would not always be compatible to this lifestyle and so the vessel would need to be able to handle the weather in whatever form that would be presented to it.
With those requirements set down, I had no hesitation in recommending the Storm Petrel type hull as a good model to choose from. But the customers wanted a single diesel (not the twin diesels that the Storm Petrel had) and needed the potential for more speed than the Storm Petrel boat had so the Yanmar 6LPA was chosen. With 300 horses under her engine box, the hull should top speed out at about 26-28 knots and cruise at 20 knots without difficulty. With the single diesel layout, the cabin changes considerably in its layout and in the potential layout options for the customers. De-emphasized was the need for berthing and a galley with those being way down on the list of priorities and moving up on the list was the need for handling tough waters at all times of the year and keeping a load of people warm and dry while being transported to the island for a visit.
Her overall size was limited to 30ft-6in on deck in order to fit her slip where she will be kept in Sydney and a bow thruster was added to couple with the single engine and give the owner greater control in a tight docking situation. A single seat was added across the stern of the boat for passengers on those nice sunny days but the rest of the cockpit was kept as open as possible to carry gear and stores. The final change was to slightly contemporize her appearance with a three pane forward windshield and twin sliding windows on each of her cabin sides. She is certainly no traditional appearing lobsterboat like the Storm Petrel was but I really have to say that I like the profile of this new “Pyladian” very much and look forward to seeing how her presence manifests itself on the water. Launching is expected in the late fall of 2013. – Sam Devlin
The Pyladian 31 is available as a custom build from Sam Devlin and his team.
Means of Grace was designed for a friend that has owned one of our Surf Scoters for the last 5 years. He has found himself at a career crossroad that allows him to contemplate extensive cruising. Originally I thought that a 38′ ketch would handle his needs most efficiently. After months of sketches and discussions, he became concerned that 38′ would be too large for him to handle alone and that an interim design would be appropriate. The smaller boat, Means of Grace, would be more manageable short-handed which reminds me that the most important function of a boat is its usability. If a boat is not usable from both a physical and mental point of view, then it is not successful.
“Cush” was quite taken with the Lyle Hess-designed, Bristol Channel Cutter, and so Means of Grace shares several similar concepts. The footprint is that of a small, heavy displacement boat with a true cutter rig. The interior is similar, and from an inspirational point of view, the Bristol Channel Cutter served as a nice starting place for the design.
I consulted in depth with Carol Hasse of Port Townsend Sails on the sail plan. Carol has extensive off-shore sailing experience and she and her partner manufacture a most lovely sail.
As a result of Carol’s suggestions, we have an inventory of 7 sails. This covers every wind speed in approximately 10 knot increments from 0 to 80 knots. The final sail plan is a main tri-sail, either alone, or with a heavy storm stay’-sail. With this much possibility in sail combination, Cush can sail on his own beloved Maine coast, or off-shore on long ocean passages. — Sam Devlin
Most of our work with stitch-and-glue composite construction has been with single-chine, vee-bottom vessels. As inevitably happens, either a customer comes along in need of a little more shape in the hull or because of our own growth process, we decide it’s time to test our wings a bit and try some new ground. The Onyx is a true multi-chine design.
As you look at the sections, it’s not hard to imagine her as a round bottomed hull with some defining laps. The laps are, of course, plywood panels, and she is indeed a stitch-and-glue composite construction boat. We have taken the dimensions of a small but capable off-shore vessel, with an outboard rudder and inboard rig contributing to her simplicity and seaworthiness. She has what I consider to be my favorite type of interior, with the galley to port, head to starboard and a graceful trunk cabin providing 6’3″ headroom. Forward are the port and starboard settees with comfortable seating for all my guests. A cabin table can be fitted that’s attached to the mast, an option available to the user. Forward is a large double berth and a chain locker in the bow. A foredeck hatch can provide ventilation and some handy sail-handling access.
All in all, she is simple, looks efficient and I believe would be a capable vessel compared to most available. — Sam Devlin
Sometimes I get asked what boat I would be if I really had to grow up. But the better question would be what boat I would be if my own ship came in and I could really afford to build the dream boat to take me on the journey that eventually ends up in Valhalla – presuming, of course, that I die in battle with my weapons (Scotch and cigar) in hand. As for me, I would settle for just pitching off the deck someday and hopefully from the deck of one of my own designs. Yes, all this is a little morbid and only points out that as I age, the ever-present gargoyle looming over my head is the limited number of days that we have on this Earth and the strengthening reminder that each day is precious and needs to be lived without remorse or regret. Now, back to what I would build if my own ship comes in. Hmm, let’s see, would it be power or sail? Would it be small or large? All good questions to ponder…
I think it would be this Sockeye 62, a real “man’s boat” if I can say that in this day of pussy footing around social correctness in our speech and writings. In fact, it would take a real man to tackle the tricky job of handling her with a giant propeller and while I might succumb to the temptation to add a big hydraulic bow thruster, with this hull shape, it’s tough to add a stern thruster to her as she is pretty much a double ended hull. So the Skipper will be forced to actually learn to run her, learn to walk the prop into the dock, and learn to become the master of the machinery around him.
Think of the pack of friends that could be invited to come along for the day — lots of tending lines to do and the Skipper needs to focus on keeping the boat in the channel. These drawings are pretty much self-explanatory and worth a walk thru the boat from stem to stern. A hull laminate of fully 2.25 inches of sandwiched marine plywood with a layer of Kevlar cloth embedded between each layer, this puppy will stop any bullet shot at it or blunt off any deadhead she encounters. Range would be something north of 3,500 nautical miles and the comfort level would be very high.
As for me, part of the dream is sitting around that stern with a pack of friends. The spirits are going to be high with the excitement of just starting a long cruise North into the Inside Passage. The boat’s loaded with good food, good friends, and the only option we have is to have a great time, in fact the time of our lives. The only hard part of this decision is whether or not to build the Flying Bridge model or the Bald headed version. This, my friends, is what I would wish given my own ship comes in. It’s not just about dreaming, it’s also a lot about taking action. Enjoy the viewing! — Sam Devlin
The Sockeye 62 is available as study plans, and as a custom build from the Devlin crew. Contact Sam to develop your own unique nautical path to paradise.
What can I say? I am smitten by the profile and use of these aft house cruisers, evoking for me the same emotion as looking at the Halibut Schooners that have fished the North Pacific for more than 100 years. These are very seaworthy boats capable of holding their own in just about any conditions the sea can dish out. The Oysta 62/Annie was designed in 2001 for the customer of the first of our Sockeye series powerboats. His family was expanding with a new marriage and he started down the path of dreaming about a boat that could handle this pack. Part of his dream was the lifelong goal to cruise to high-latitudes places with comfort and safety.
Let’s take a good look over the interior of this design. Starting from aft, you’ll find a giant aft-owners cabin complete with desk, full head/shower, an island queen sized bed, and enough room around the bed to be able to make it up in the morning without being a gymnast. Going up the staircase into the pilothouse, there is room for a proper charting area, separate double watch chairs, a dinette seating area, etc. Double doors on both sides of the pilothouse give access to the deck and the working area of the boat.
From the pilothouse going down a staircase on the port side, the galley, a true dinette area, and laundry are accessed. Lots of room to do all the chores that keep a boat and crew clean and well fed can happen here. Access to the engine room is done thru a large door at the aft end of this compartment. There is stand up room around the large single screw diesel engine, the fuel tanks are port and starboard in the shoulders of the engine room, and fuel management is easy and organized. Double generators round out the engine room with a 6kw providing backup to the 20kw main.
From the Galley/Dinette cabin, access to the Focsle is done up a few steps and there are two primary staterooms accessed in the bow. The Skipper’s cabin is to starboard with a double berth and a desk and locker area. Clear up in the bows of the boat are stacked double berths, port and starboard, and a diesel bulkhead heater keeps this whole area warm and dry. There is a very large head to port with full shower for keeping the crew clean and neat. Up a winding staircase is access to the foredeck of the boat allowing crew to exit both up directly to the deck or aft thru the galley/dinette cabin.
The rig, if set up on the Oysta 62, would be a large ketch rig set on aluminum spars. For my money, I would put a gaff on the mainsail keeping the mast lower and the whole center of gravity of the rig as low as possible. This is a true motorsailor with the rig only providing assistance to the engine and it is good to keep the sail areas down small enough that they will get set quickly and easily. Once one gets into the Tradewinds, the engine can just purr along with the assistance of the sails and the motion of the boat is easy and nice with the range being something North of 3,000 nautical miles.
Imagine an evening, with the anchor set hours ago, in some very secluded holding ground very far away from the maddening rest of the world. The crew has all gathered down in the galley/dinette. It’s shirt sleeves now with a bit of residual heat emanating from the nearby engine room and the huge diesel range/oven in the galley. There is a bottle of good rum on the table and glasses are being emptied to the accompaniment of lots of laughter mixed with good stories, music, and a brisk game of Mexican Train dominos spread out on the huge dinette table. With good friends at your elbow, mix in a bit of smoke from fragrant Cuban cigars broke out for the occasion and realize that life does not get any better than this! – Sam Devlin
The Oysta 62 is available as study plans, but this one really begs for a call to Sam, just in case you want to land a helicopter on it.
A design that we are working on this spring of 2008 and I have great hopes of this being the next large boat for us to build in our shop. The customer came to me with a rather unusual request of a long-distance trawler capable of passages in any waters at any time of the year, especially hi-latitude type conditions. For those of you not versed in the disciplines of geography, the definition of hi-latitude is cruising in the far north Arctic and the far south Antarctic regions. A crew of two would be all that is required to handle her in those conditions but she needed to be able to carry several passengers with comfort to those remote waters.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how this design evolves. The customer has a background of working in Alaska on tug and fishing boats in the early 1970s, experience very similar to mine, and our evolved boating “eyes” are very much alike.
She is very much a blown-up and enlarged Sockeye 45 type of hull, much deeper and heavier of course, but with the same fantail stern that I am so fond of. Her pilothouse is medium-sized and placed further aft and it has a great flying bridge for piloting the boat when visibility is of the greatest importance. The galley is below down in the fo’c’sle area and there is room in the pilothouse for the entire crew to sit in warm, protected comfort. Keep an eye out for updates to this design as I work on it… — Sam Devlin
I am happy to report the launching and sea-trials are completed on the newest of the Devlin fleet — the “Moon River 48” and she is living up to all our expectations and dreams. She runs thru the water with an amazing grace, cutting thru the waves like there is nothing in her way. She is smooth and powerful on the water and with her twin John Deere engines purring away quietly in the cockpit, there is an almost dreamlike quality to her motion thru the water.
Top speed with the twin John Deere 315 hp Diesel engines is 23 knots at 80% of the power curve. That means she has a bit more speed potential in her but she would need to be operated above the 80% line and most boats don’t get run that hard. Cruising speed of 18 knots is easy, smooth, and quiet with the engines just sipping at fuel and you really think you’re moving at a slow pace but if you look aft, you can see she is marching along at a much faster rate.
She is also very docile around the docks and in tight quarters as she has the maneuvering ability of her twin screws to help the skipper out and with proportional bow and stern thrusters, you can really make her do virtually anything that you need. The 360 visibility from the helm is extraordinary and with tiny little adjustments to either the props or thrusters, it really is a low stress way to be on the water. One of the great virtues of a sedan type cruiser like the Moon River 48 is that the windage is low — there is plenty of boat in the water and not so much area above the water that the wind can push on. Really, she is a very pleasant boat to use.
So let’s take a written tour through her and see what she has for space and accommodations. There is a floatational swim step on her rear with the level being just perfect for stepping onto the boat from a dock or from a dingy. There is mid-calf height 2” diameter stainless steel railings (staples) on the back of the swim step to help keep you centered but this is a 36” wide step and there is no lack of room or any feeling of insecurity when you step aboard. The cockpit is entered thru a door that hinges on the back of the transom and stepping up into the self-bailing cockpit is easy and secure. Stepping up into the cockpit you will notice the large cockpit area is half covered with a roof extension of the house with a couple of wide seats in the immediate back of the cockpit that allow the sun worshipers to stay happy and two almost 7ft. long seats port and starboard under cover of the roof extension for those passengers preferring shade. These covered seats are really the tops of the two engine boxes and with electric motors to raise them it is just the matter of pressing a couple of rocker switches and the engines are exposed. Between the engine box seats on the centerline cockpit sole is a flush hatch that if opened exposes a larger area between the engines. All access for checking oil, checking the water strainers, changing oil, and shifting fuel from one tank to another is done from this area. There is a ladder leading into it and everything is here from tool box stowage to spare oil soak rags, right at hand and well lit from a total of 8 lights — easy to get into and back out.
Moving forward is the centerline door to the main cabin with the galley immediately to the starboard side of the boat and on the port side is a large bureau top cabinet with hatch and door in it. This is the access to the second stateroom and by opening the hatch and swinging open the door, a ladder can access this area. There is a generous berth outboard in the space, locker room for duffels and hanging clothes and just below the cabin sole on the centerline of the boat is another single berth. This aft stateroom has a generous almost 7ft. headroom and is painted in white paint with mahogany wood trim and it looks clean and comfortable. Ventilation is provided by a larger hatch that opens into the cockpit of the boat just above the top of the engine box. There is also access to the main systems area of the boat either from the single berth under the centerline or thru another flush hatch in the main sole of the salon. Located in this space are the pumps for potable water, blackwater pumps, centerline water tank, inverter, Glendinning shore power cord basket, battery charger and more. This space is well lighted and completely finished with our traditional Devlin finishes. In fact, one of the things that we are most known for is our finishes with every part of the boat being an example of our simple but elegant finishes with all construction done to the highest level of quality and finish.
Back up in the main salon, the galley is to the starboard side and has the shape of a large “U” — the freezer and refrigerator are below counter, drawer type units and a trash compactor, sink, and a 4 burner range with oven complete the suit plus there are gobs of drawers for dish, silverware, pots, pans and all the other items a modern boat need to stow away. All drawers have sea-locks on them — simple swiveling tabs that lock the drawer into closed position and hold tight even in a tough sea-way. Opposite the galley is a “U” shaped dinette that can seat up to six with comfort with a varnished table of Bubinga wood that finishes out the dining area. Forward of the settee is the co/helm seat with the back being convertible from either the use for the settee or the use for the co/helm. Electronic instruments are on both the helm and the co/helm sides with the co/helm person able to help monitor the progress of the vessel or scout ahead for safe anchorages or obstacles. Lots of counter space behind the front windows allows the spreading out of charts or tide tables while underway. On the starboard side is a large helm area with full instrumentation and a helm seat that can actually seat two side by side if desired. More drawers and stowage spaces are festooned around the helm and co/helm area providing organized stowage of all items.
On the subject of ventilation, there are all-together 11 opening windows and hatches in the main salon/pilothouse of the Moon River not counting the main companionway door itself so it’s very easy to be comfortable and cool in this vessel either underway or at anchor or tied up to a dock.
Going down 4 steps into the focsle of the Moon River, you see the master head to starboard with full shower stall and on the port side an almost mirror image of the master head except for the shower stall for the crew. The doors to the two heads are arranged to be convenient to either using from the main salon for the crew and for using from the master stateroom up in the bows of the boat for the master head. A large door leads into the master stateroom forward with full island style queen sized berth forward and hanging lockers port and starboard for both the skipper and for the first mate. This is a spacious and light and airy feeling cabin with beautiful Alaska Yellow Cedar tongue and groove overhead and Yellow Cedar and Mahogany trim for all doors, drawers, fiddle, deck beams etc. The forward stateroom also has a large 28”x28” hatch in the ceiling with screen system on it for privacy.
Clear up forward ahead of the queen sized berth is the chain locker — it’s divided into two sides and the Moon River can carry 150 ft. of chain and 250 ft. of line anchor rode. Immediately above is a Lofrans anchor windlass and deck wash system.
This finishes our tour of the boat except to mention that there are strong welded type 316 stainless steel railings protecting the crew moving forward onto the foredeck and handrails and ladder to get to the roof top. Clear up on top of the Moon River is a Nick Jackson electric davit that has capacity to lift a 1,200 lb. tender onboard. Stainless steel dingy feet complete the vessel and with good access to the roof-top, the Moon River completes the test for a fine cruising vessel.
Build time on the first of these was just over 19,000 hours, an almost staggering figure in this mass-produced world that we live in these days. But it is a testament to the trust that our customers have in our craft that allows us to build a vessel like the Moon River. When you work on a project like this, it is quickly realized that there is something special about working with your hands, and your brain and building, indeed breathing life, into a vessel like her. Thanks to all for the effort and the chance to bring Moon River to the water. – Sam Devlin
The Moon River is available as study plans and as a custom build from Sam and his team.