After a successful launch of our Godzilla 22 and having some sea-time on her, I became inspired to build a bigger Godzilla-type tug, one that would have more interior room and that was large enough to allow cruising on the waters of Puget Sound or even potentially up to Southeast Alaska. And as it quite often works out around the boatshop, not much time passed before a prospective customer came out of the woodwork with similar musings. A short couple of months later, we had a hull being planked up in the shop for the new, larger Godzilla 25 design.
Russ’s requirements for the “Donna B” were for a boat that had day cruising aspirations along with the necessity of allowing a built-in double berth forward so that when needed, Russ or his wife could take a comfortable nap up forward. We needed more room in the fo’c’sle cabin and so I tried an idea that I had proposed originally on the 22 foot Godzilla prototype (but was not opted for by the owner) of a flush deck design from the front corner of the pilothouse to the stem of the boat. The flush deck design is remarkable for adding room to the fo’c’sle and results in a cabin that appears larger and spacious with more comfort and a less claustrophobic feeling. For ventilation during the warm summer months of the Wisconsin waters where the boat will homeport, we added a couple of 8 inch bronze portlights in the hull sides and a large opening fore deck hatch of 27 inch x 24 inch size. Russ has a woodworking company and planned on building the fore deck hatch, two side sliding pilothouse doors, pilothouse windows (which are all opening), and the pilothouse rooftop hatch, all constructed of teak. Russ also wanted the capability of doing some of the interior cabinetry himself and to respect his wishes, I let him turn his mind loose and was looking forward to his ideas and craftsmanship. All of the exterior of the Godzilla 25 would be finished and fully functional before shipping out to Wisconsin.
For the power in this boat, I suggested to Russ that we use a four-cylinder Yanmar engine of 75 hp. That of course was over-powered for this type of hull but it had the advantage of smooth, quiet power at about half throttle and with the heat exchanger, a truck or bus type heater could be installed for free cabin heat anytime the engine was running. The engine was housed in its own small trunk type cabin aft of the pilothouse and the main cabin seat (which Russ is building) covered the front of the engine. With some planning, the helm seat could be hinged or dislodged and excellent full headroom access to the engine would be possible making maintenance much more pleasant than most small boats can offer.
I tried unsuccessfully to talk Russ into raising the lazarette of the boat (stern deck) from bulkhead #5 to the stern up to deck level allowing better access to the steering gear compartment and with the bonus of functioning as a bit of a seat flat that you could perch on. But Russ felt that he preferred a couple of deck chairs to be used for seats and favored a completely single level self-bailing deck from the pilothouse to the stern. So to allow access to the steering gear, I installed a metal flush deck hatch just over the rudderpost.
Construction started in September 2003 and Russ launched his Godzilla 25 in Wisconsin in the Spring of 2004. — Sam Devlin