Kingfisher 26

The smallest in our fleet of heavy “Workboat Type” designs, this double-ended full displacement power cruiser can hold her own in most any weather one can encounter. Her heavy hull takes the waves like a duck, and with a small economical diesel she can cruise for miles and miles. This would be a wonderful cruiser for a couple that just wants to step on board and set off for months at a time. Whether its cruising the Labrador coast or the Inland Passage to Alaska this little boat can handle just about anything Mother Nature can dish out. Range is more than 800 nautical miles and comfort level is high if you just don’t confuse things with too many passengers. She has berthage for three, an enclosed head, and enough deck room to carry one of our 9 foot 6 inch Guppy sailing dinghies. I can just see her waiting on a mooring loaded and ready to set off for the summer’s adventures. — Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 26 is available as study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to see the design developed.



Kingfisher 26 Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 3 in.
Draft 3 ft. 6 in.
Power Inboard diesel
Displacement 8000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Surf Scoter 26

News Flash!!!   We have just added study and construction plans for The Surf Scoter 26 Outboard Motor Version of the Surf Scoter 26.SurfScoter26Beauty1

The Surf Scoter has been produced in 22, 25 and 26 foot versions and now it is available in a 26 foot outboard motor version.  We received requests in the comment section to make this happen because of the tremendous progress made by the outboard industry.  The motors are now quieter, more fuel efficient, and environmentally vastly improved.

The latest in our offerings in the Pilothouse cruiser series is the Surf Scoter. Although sharing a heritage with her smaller pilothouse sisters, this boat has a lot of features that should make sense for cruisers all around the country.

This is a full-sized boat with full-sized features, and a pilothouse with 6′ 4″ headroom. The pilothouse area has a fully enclosed head, galley with sink, cook top range and cabin heater. The helm area has plenty of room for electronics above the dash and opposite the port side is the co-helm and passenger seats.

Forward under the raised flush deck is a U-shaped berthing area with good sitting headroom and a table. The table can be lowered to convert this area into a very large double berth area or it can be used as port and starboard single births.

SurfScoter26TrailerOut in the cockpit and through the sliding companion door is a large area for fishing and other activities. There are seats on each side of the engine box and a self-bailing floor.

For power, we’ve used the Volvo Penta 22 series diesel stern drives. With the 105-hp model, the Surf Scoter will top speed out at 24 knots and, throttling back a bit, she will cruise economically at 18 knots.

The Surf Scoter 26 is available as study and construction plans.



Surf Scoter 26 Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 8 3/8 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 6 9/16 in.
Draft 21 in.
Power Sterndrive diesel
Displacement 5425 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-displacement



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Godzilla 25

Godzilla25SideWith the success of the smaller Godzilla 22, Sam immediately started thinking about that universal law of nature that applies to everything except cooking. If a _____ (boat) is good, then a bigger one must be better. In the case of the Godzilla 25, a Yanmar 75 horse diesel delivers an overabundance of power that happens to throttle back nicely to smooth and efficient operation while delivering free heat to the cabin. More importantly, the 25 foot version provides more space. More space equals more comfort and easier access to the internals of the boat. Easier maintenance is always a good thing. It’s a working boat that would happily carry to away to distant ports. To learn more of the thinking that went into the Godzilla 25, please read Sam’s design notes.

The Godzilla 25 is available in study and construction plans.


Godzilla 25 Specifications

Length 24 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 0 in.
Draft 33 in.
Power Inboard 75hp diesel
Displacement 5800 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Sooty Tern

Drawing on the experience with our 23 Arctic Tern Sailboat the Sooty Tern design was an extension of a similar concept with the biggest change being the Gaff Rig design and a 2 foot longer boat. SootyTernSide

A diesel engine was planned for in the design and a 3/4 length full keel allows shoal draft capability with the easy balanced helm of a fully separate rudder system. This Keel/ rudder combination allows a very sensitive helm that tracks extremely well and has a bit more efficiency than a normal full keel/transom hung rudder arrangement. And with the transom hung rudder a very strong rudder connection is possible and servicing and maintenance is easy and quick. A large cockpit was planned to accommodate up to four adults for sailing with comfort, and single winches for headsails are right at hand and convenient to use.

All sail raising and lowering is done from the mast base with a bronze belaying pin type gooseneck allowing organizing of the halyards and easy non fouling access to raising and lowering of the sails. With her traditional rig, and idic lines but yet very simple and easy to set up and take down sails the Sooty Tern should be a breeze to go out for a quick daysail or if time allows you can go out for a more extended cruise. The Gaff rigged sloop sailplan is remarkably easy to use and sail and the Gaff rigged mainsail can be boomed out for downwind sailing almost obviating the need for expensive hard to handle down wind headsails. With her traditional appearance but yet crisp, pure performance the Sooty Tern harkens back to a time when sailing meant personal enjoyment and intimacy with the boat and the water.

Going below there is a very small head to starboard, double berth forward and quarter berth to port extending slightly under the cockpit seats. The small galley is more than adequate for a boat of this size where food preparation is simple and basic. Good space, comfortable berths, and a warm dry cabin can make a good days sailing complete, and with the company of a couple of good friends what more could one ask for.

One feature of the Sooty Tern that has been dealt with straightforward is auxiliary power. Instead of fooling with outboard brackets on the stern or a even less desirable a compromise outboard motor/well with its drag and loss of performance, the Sooty Tern has its own 10 hp. diesel engine in a proper engine box with sound insulation and room enough to keep the engine clean and well oiled. These small diesels can be one of the best shipmates imaginable, converting dying breezes or a short sail that needs to be terminated to get back to our busy normal schedules. With the engine always at hand and the turn of a key the only move necessary to get one out of an embarrassing moment this little diesel can be an important feature in a small personal cruiser such as the Sooty Tern.

The Sooty Tern is available either as a custom built boat from Devlin Designing Boatbuilders of Olympia, Washington or as full amateur building plans for the home builder using the Stitch and Glue boatbuilding method. — Sam Devlin


Sooty Tern Specifications

Length LOD 24 ft. – 7 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 42 in.
Power Inboard diesel 10hp
Displacement 2850 lbs.
Sail Area 328sf Gaff Rig
Hull Type Displacement
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Surf Scoter 22

It hSurfScoter22Harboras been over 20 years now since 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 todays world it’s almost impossible to buy a 2 stroke outboard engine. The 4 cycle outboards have taken over the market and brief forays into small diesel inboards and larger diesel Stern drives have all come and gone. SurfScoter22HelmWhat makes the most sense in todays 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 readily available these days. Mounting them on the transom makes the most sense and this gives a cockpit that has the space to accommodate everything in use from the fisherman to the long distance cruiser.

SurfScoter22ForeaftIn addition to updating our traditional Pilothouse model, we have produced a cruiser model with a stretched Pilothouse with a neat enclosed head so that those skippers amongst us that desire our first mates to come along on our cruising adventures will be equipped to keep them 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, you’ll find 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 a 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 – American and for our International customers, Metric. We are very pleased to have had the chance to revisit this old concept, throw a couple of new ideas at it and we hope that you will love the result as much as we do! — Sam Devlin

Sam’s complete design notes are here.


The Surf Scoter 22 version is available in study and construction plans. Also available as a CNC cut kit.




Surf Scoter 22 Specifications

Length 22 ft. – 8 5/8 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 1.5 in.
Draft 1 ft. – 6 in.
Power Outboard
Displacement 3940 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-displacement
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Dunlin 22

The Devlin Dunlin 22 began as a larger version of the pocket workhorse Godzilli 16. After Sam was finished, he expanded the boat into two configurations, both of which can provide you with all the work and play you could want in a boat this size. With a 60hp high thrust outboard and a very strong structure, the Dunlin can be used for a wide range of pursuits. With a cabin designed for plenty of headroom, a heating stove, a double berth, stowaway space for a port-potti, and a galley counter, it can also serve as a comfortable place to relax after the work is done. For the details and thought that went into this versatile workhorse, check out Sam’s design notes.


The Dunlin 22 Cruiser version is available in study and construction plans.

The Dunlin 22 Pilothouse version is also available in study and full construction plans.


Dunlin 22 Specifications

Length 21 ft. – 7 7/16 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 10 in.
Draft 17 in,
Power Outboard 65hp high thrust
Displacement 3290 lbs.
Hull Type Semi- Displacement
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River Crawler 22

A gentleman came into my shop a few years (Decades? Wow, time flies.) ago to discuss a small cruiser for protected waters. His requirements were fourfold: trailerability, shallow draft, a displacement hull, and a proper cruising cabin. Following the usual back and forth involved in a new boat design, we came up with the River Crawler.

This little cruising boat gives her skipper access to the little gems of anchorages that are off limits to larger boats. Drawing less than a foot, she would be equally comfortable in the Florida Keys or upper tributaries of the Columbia River. This shallow underbody is ideal for beaching and the keel protects the running gear. Generous access is given to the diesel sail drive via a large hinged hatch aft or this boat could conceivably be powered by an outboard in a well. An adequate self-draining cockpit leads to a cozy, yet comprehensive cabin. With a fully enclosed head to port and a galley to starboard, the skipper and mate have a lot of comfort for a boat only slightly over 22 feet. The helm and co-helm seats are afforded a great view through large windows. The bow has a large v berth, as indicated in the drawings. With an optional drop-in insert, the sleeping quarters can be made roomy enough for even the most acrobatic of sleepers. The River Crawler would be hard to beat for a couple who wanted to launch on a quiet creek on a Friday, explore for a couple days, then pull her out on the trailer ramp on Sunday. The humble River Crawler gives her skipper the full spectrum of gunkholing possibilities without the headaches that inevitably come with larger boats.

Unfortunately, the gentleman’s circumstances prevented the completion of this design. I’m hoping that somebody will come along and give the River Crawler the chance to come to life; she certainly deserves it. – Sam Devlin

The River Crawler is available as study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to see them developed into construction plans.


River Crawler 22 Specifications

Length 22 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 22 in.
Power Inboard diesel with sail drive or outboard
Hull Type Semi-Displacement


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Archimedes 22

The first seagoing steamboat that was designed and built for screw type propeller propulsion was the original S.S. Archimedes launched in 1839 and named in honor of the Greek scholar Archimedes. He is the man that is credited with the Archimedes principle which is used by boat designers almost daily to help measure the weight and mass of the boats we are creating. Perhaps a name with a provenance like this is a heavy burden to place on the stem of this little cruiser but then I rationalize, why not carry a decent name into battle? The enemy won’t always remember much about the battle but the name of a valiant foe always is.

Designed originally for a customer from Australia and intended to be used as the base of a steam engine and boiler for running about on Aussie waters, it wasn’t long into the design process that I started pondering what a wonderful platform she might be for electric power. Now mind you, I don’t really have an aversion to the idea of a steam boat in my boating dream life but when I start fitting the engine, the boiler, fuel and all into the boat, I quickly run out of space for myself and any crew that I might want to share the experience with. With our Archimedes 22, we have the space for all that and more, with room to either use a couple of repurposed antique wicker chairs for seating or if I am really slumming it, I will just sit on the side decks or the small stern transom seat at bulkhead #5 as shown in the construction view.


I truly do like the idea of the steam engine but I muse that many of you might not be so interested in firing the boiler, waiting for a head of steam to build, and the almost constant tweaking and oiling chores that a steamer involves. Imagine coming to the realization that you’ve been out in the boat with your sweetheart and nary given her a nod or a mention all day due to fooling with all the steam mechanisms. As many of you might conclude, that won’t be a proper way to spend a day for very long!

So let’s explore the idea of the electric drive. We looked at the options available to us and narrowed the list down to two options – either the Elco inboard electric engine, or the Torqueedo electric outboard. There is much more fooling around necessary for the Elco inboard as it is a conventional shaft type drive (very much like the steam engine) but makes for a neater and cleaner installation even with all the work spent on the installation. The Torqueedo drive is a no-brainer with the engine being mounted on the transom of the Archimedes, steering performed with the outboard and with a proper bank of deep cycle batteries in the belly of the little boat. But then the dilemma of why am I doing all this in the first place rears its ugly head. Yes, it is all about being on the water, but I keep thinking that the whimsy factor of boating is really almost as important to me as the water time. In fact, dreaming and scheming about being on the water is a truly fine thing to do with my short amount of idle time and that takes me full circle back to the steam engine. Even though it is complicated and involved, it easily takes the prize for the largest amount of dream whimsy factor and if I personally need to add another boat to my already bulging fleet, then I choose to live with the complication.

For you my friends, the plans of the boat can be used in any way you can rationalize your own dreaming and we offer them in all flavors with the tyro being able to build his or her steamboat or electric inboard launch, or as an electric or I suppose, even a gas outboard. The choice is yours. Construction is our normal Stitch-and-Glue method with hi-grade marine plywood used throughout along with epoxy resin and fiberglass and Dynel cloth sheathing for abrasion resistance. I am thinking of throwing away all logic and painting her a stunningly bright and shiny black and buff colored decks. Green bottom paint mixed custom for my color palette finishes her out. I am even thinking of hand carving the little scroll work shown on the bows, why not make her a proper launch! – Sam Devlin

The Archimedes 22 is available as study and full construction plans.



Archimedes 22 Specifications

Length 22 ft. – 10 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 22 in.
Power Outboard, Steam, Electric
Displacement 1600 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Chinook 21

ChinookRenderThe Devlin Chinook 21 is a wonderful little cruiser. Her power is a 18hp Yanmar fresh water cooled diesel engine located at the stern of the boat and cruises burning about 1/2 of a gallon of fuel per hour at 6 knots. She runs smooth and quiet. In fact, at lower than 5 knots speed, you are almost tricked into thinking that she has an electric engine. She has 5 ft 6 in headroom in the pilothouse and a double berth and a nice hidey space for a porta-potti. There is no inside steering station — the controls are on the exterior side of the house so you’ve room to sleep in comfort. Her cockpit is large enough to take along up to 5 or 6 of your friends if you desire and her built-in 20 gallon fuel tank will allow many hours of running.

ChinookSternShe also has a small mast that mounts a postage stamp of a steadying sail which helps stabilize her when running in big seas or high winds, but I like it for the capability of setting a cockpit awning that will shade the captain and crew when they need a respite from the sun. With her diesel engine, if desired, you can mount a bus type heater for a little extra comfort. She is very trailerable when you want to relocate her for new adventures.

I never worked up the home-builder plans for this design, but if enough coaxing is done, i.e. priming the old coffer pump, I might be persuaded.  – Sam Devlin

The Chinook 21 is available as study plans.



Chinook 21 Specifications

Length 20 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 1 ft. 10 in.
Power Inboard 18hp diesel
Displacement 2700 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Scout 20

Scout20Beauty1The Scout 20 was built over the stretch of a long year and was launched early fall of 2009 for John and Helen Carlson of Washington State. John had brought in the well thought out design to us from his own hand and we converted his basic hull shape to the Stitch and Glue boat building method. Once we agreed upon a price, we started in immediately by cutting out the bulkheads and other structural members and set them up on a simple building mold in the shop. A couple of days later, the plywood was scarfed for the hull panels and we had the bulkheads skinned over and were starting the cold molded layers (1/4, 6mm) on the bottom of the boat.

Many months later, both John and his wife were present for a quiet and solemn launch ceremony. Just moments after touching the water however, the engine was throttled up and she roared off over the bay. All of us were pleased with the speed and her presence on the water and it’s really quite hard to imagine a larger little boat design that might exist. She has an interior that has two bunks, the proverbial porta-potti, a galley complete with pressure water, wood stove for interior heat, hanging locker, and lots of sitting headspace. She is really quite the little cruiser and offers her owners the pleasure of getting somewhere in a short amount of time and once the hook is firmly set on the bottom, a calm and comfortable evening lounging in either the cockpit or in the cabin.

Her speed with a Yamaha 90hp outboard topped out at 27mph and cruising at a comfortable 18-20mph. For our South Puget Sound waters, she is ideal for poking in an out of all the small coves and sheltered anchorages.

With Johns permission, we are working on the full homebuilder plans for her. I hope that you will enjoy the pictures of her under construction and cruising in the Sound and think that you will agree with me that this little boat has a real presence on the water. — Sam Devlin

Scout 20 build photos.

Let Sam know if you would like to see plans developed for the Scout 20.


Scout 20 Specifications

Length 20 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 8 ft.
Draft 15 in.
Displacement 2985 lbs.
Power Outboard 90hp
Speed 27mph (Top) 18-20mph (cruise)
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