Sockeye 62

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.

 

 

Sockeye 62 Specifications

Length 62 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 17 ft. – 6 in.
Draft 79 in.
Power Inboard diesel 285-425hp
Displacement 86000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement

 

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Oysta 62

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.

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Oysta 62 Specifications

Length 60 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 16 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 81 in.
Power Inboard diesel 285-425hp
Displacement 78000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Oysta 52

Oysta52PlanBothA 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

 

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Blue Fin 48

Lately I have noticed that two themes have become more constant in my life, one being that I have way less spare time than I used to (and I never had much to start with) and the other being that when my wife and I have the time to go cruising, we enjoy more a cruise “in company” with friends than a cruise where our friends are literally cruising onboard with us. So let me explain the concept to you. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have amazing cruising grounds literally at our doorstep with smooth, and for the most part, protected waters stretching almost 1,100 miles from our home in Olympia, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. About 900 of those miles are in wonderful wilderness with solitude and beauty surrounding every day spent on the water and every anchorage at night. We have done that cruise several times over the past 20 years, sometimes with guests traveling in the boat with us and sometimes with friends taking their own boats and traveling alongside us. And in retrospect, our favorite trips were the ones with friends traveling alongside doing what I refer to as cruising “in company”. This type of cruising affords all participants a bit more privacy and intimacy than one with a pack of people all on the same boat. There is also a very significant safety factor involved with cruising “in company” because if there is an emergency or the need for a repair, there is a vessel nearby piloted by friends that can help reduce the extra tension involved in an emergency far from help. This safety factor is one that I usually refer to as being a “good boy scout” as you hope that you never need the assistance but it’s there when you need it. It is simply the best preparation for a journey and the best reduction of all the possible fate based factors that may thrust their ugly heads into the realm of a calm and relaxing vacation.

Forgive me for this dialogue but it’s only included to give you a little bit of the mindset for this new design that we are offering up for review. Considering that cruising in company is our preferred way to cruise and that my wife and I don’t really need that much space inside the boat, I started down the path of musing on what would be the most ideal boat for the time and space that my life might allow for cruising in these busy and active times. And so out of that inspiration came the Blue Fin 48, fueled by a very slight influx of dollars from a preliminary design commission by Bill and Meri Roberts, a couple with mostly parallel daydreams as to the perfect cruising boat. Out the door went any consideration about the economics of owning and operating a vessel of a length and breadth that would normally have multiple staterooms and a cost to construct somewhat north of a million dollars and into consideration came what could and would handle a couple for cruising, do it as efficiently as possible at speeds that would cover lots of ground when needed and yet allow unbelievably quiet, smooth and comfortable cruising in anything from 8-16 knots of speed. The only thing that is really extreme about this vessel is that she is basically the layout and the accommodations that you would normally have in a 30-34 ft. boat but is set in a boat that is 48 ft. long. In other words, she will cost certainly more than the typical mid-thirty foot boat, but not as much as her over-muscled brother, and will cruise faster, smoother, and have more space for all the functions of cruising. The downsides to this design are only one; dockage and moorage fees will be the same as the 48-50 ft. skyscraper of a floating condo moored next to you. For my book, I will pay the extra expense for the moorage in exchange of being able to move thru the water at the speed and ease that this vessel would be capable of.

BlueFin48BowSo let’s talk about the design a bit with the first topic being the powering options for her. My first inclination for powering her was a twin diesel arrangement with the engine boxes being set just on the aft side of the rear bulkhead to the cabin. That would allow us to use the top of the engine boxes as seats or tables in the cockpit when entertaining and believe me this cockpit would be a fine entertainment gathering spot for the group of cruisers once the anchors were set firmly and everyone had a quick freshen up after a long day on the water. Picture a pitcher of some refreshing drinks, some background music (not so loud as to drown out conversation) and perhaps some aromatic cigars being lit and puffed on with your friends around you and a whole hectic world left behind. In the twin screw version you will note that I show a couple of really comfortable arm chairs in the cockpit. I really like these folding chairs with their capability of being positioned where I want either out in the sun taking in the last rays of the day’s warmth or under the other half of the covered cockpit out of perhaps a sun too bright or some left over drizzle (remember it rains quite a bit here in the Northwest). It’s always good to have the chance to change one’s seating position and get some fresh air after a long day’s journey and comfortable chairs help with that equation. The other advantage of the twin installation is twofold, the first being the redundancy of power so that if something conspires to leave us with a powering issue, we still have a standby engine that will enable us to continue our journey until we get a chance to fix whatever went haywire on us. The second advantage of a twin installation is the maneuvering advantage that a twin has and with such a long and narrow boat, she will want to go forward far more easily than sideways and the ability of a twin installation to spin the boat either to port or to starboard is rather amazing. Coupled with the bow thruster way up in the nose of the boat, this would be a very easy boat to move about in the close confined waters of a marina or during a docking maneuver. So the twin screw/engine option is a good one and with the main door to the cabin opening into the pilothouse being on the centerline, we can have a nice balanced interior arrangement with the galley on the starboard side, the helm seat just at the forward edge of that space and a “L” shaped dinette on the port side with co/helm on its forward edge.

BlueFin48SternBut it wasn’t long before economy and ease of operation cropped up in my thoughts and I started musing about a single screw version of the same boat. Could it be done on this narrow of a boat without feeling like we are missing or eliminating too much of the useful function of the twin screw configuration? After many hours of cogitating on the problem and trying out the spatial use of the areas that would result, I came across what might really be an even better option to my original twin screw configuration. Looking at the single screw layout, we see the companionway skewed off to the port side of the boat allowing enough room on the centerline for the larger and longer engine box that would be necessary. The galley is set on the port side just forward of that companionway and has a built in co/helm seat at its forward edge, an arrangement we have used successfully in our Surf Scoter and Black Crown designs many times. This may not be quite as compatible for the co/helm but look at the larger “L” shaped dinette area in the pilothouse and as a bonus, aft under the covered part of the cockpit, a mirror image of that dinette aft in the stern area of the boat. Now I can see this version would be an even better socializing cockpit or cabin area with good space to spread out a feast of eats and drinks. For the single screw I would pick the John Deere 4045 diesel which is available in anything from 150-225hp versions and would give us a top speed in the 18 knot range and a cruise speed of 14 knots with 4.4 gallons per hour fuel burn. With about 350 gallons of fuel, that would give this version a range of over 1,000 nautical miles. But slow her down to 8-9 knots and the burn rate lowers to well below 2 gph and the range would improve to well over 1,500 nautical miles. What an efficient and beautiful boat this would be to cruise in!

Soon after working on the single screw version, I started fooling around with a flying bridge version of her. Not being an immediate fan of flying bridges, I changed my tune after assisting in bringing a converted Seine fishing boat back from Alaska to the Puget Sound area many years ago. That boat had a large flying bridge with an unlimited vista and it really was surprisingly warm and dry (even in the wind and rain) with a rain shadow developed by the vertical walls of the flying bridge walls. Trying to steer on that vessel was virtually impossible from the lower helm station with its very small windows and lack of visibility. So after that trip and being “flying bridge enlightened”, this version of the Blue Fin really appeals to me. We can either steer from the lower helm on those heavy weather days or using the flying bridge upper helm in less extreme weather when really wanting maximum visibility.

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I have a couple of thoughts about the focsle sleeping cabin to make, the first being having enough space to have a proper head and separate shower being one of the advantages of the longer platform of this stretched boat, and the second being the chance of either having single queen sized island berth up forward or with port and starboard single berths with the option to put in a filler between the bunks to make an even larger queen sized berth for when you are cruising with your best first mate. This latter arrangement with its dual function really appeals to me. When going out with some guy friends, we can have port and starboard berths that allow proper separation for personal space and when cruising with my wife, I can put in the filler and sleep with my sweetie with tons of extra room.

The final feature that I want to talk about is the lack of a swim step at the stern of the boat. But you should also notice that her transom folds outward and makes into an integral swim step allowing easy and safe boarding from a dingy or from a stern tie at the dock. But while running at sea, the transom is hinged up to a safe and confining normal configuration. The primary reason why I like this folding transom arrangement is the capability of sliding easily onto and into the cockpit of my 13ft Candlefish skiff. This is a large skiff for this size of mothership but capable of taking us on outings that a normal shorter dingy could not handle. It also allows us to do our cruises with the dingy in the cockpit, keeping the center of gravity and weight low and our flexibility with this design at a real maximum. For those of you that need a conventional transom, this will accomplish that function but for those of you that want a really versatile arrangement in the cockpit, then this configuration will be a real asset.

That’s enough for a really long winded write-up but I am very hopeful to get this design off the drafting table and into the water. Feel free to call me to discuss her merits in detail…. So long for now (till my next design voyage). — Sam Devlin

The Blue Fin 48 is available as study plans and as a custom build by Sam Devlin and his team.

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Blue Fin 48 Specifications

Length 48 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 11 ft. – 0 in.
Draft 36 in.
Power Inboard diesel, 150hp – 225hp
Displacement 14800 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Speed 14 knots cruise @4.4gph/18 knots max
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Josephine 47

A recent visit by friends, Vicky and Craig Johnsen, was highlighted by some elegant drawings that Craig had been working on for a proper power cruiser proposed to be built around a Gardner 6L3 engine he owned. This reminded me of a preliminary design I had worked on some years ago but I must have gotten distracted and had never finished it. Several months later, I dusted off the drawings, wrapped them up and I now present the new version to you here — its resemblance to Craig’s drawing is striking.

I don’t own a Gardner 6L3 (though I certainly wish I did), a 6,700 lb. chunk of sweet sounding metal with a top RPM of 1,000 and generating 150 real horses (not those little ponies so common these days with higher speed and much lighter diesel engines). These horses could swing a 50 inch propeller with ease and make for the maneuvering of the boat armed with such gear a real exhibit of skill and mastery.

But back to the Josephine 47….without owning the Gardner, the next best option is to choose a John Deere 6068 engine with horsepower of 236 medium sized ponies.  This is a reasonable option with a top RPM of 2,400 turns and it should run very smooth at something like a speed of 1,800 revs. That should give us a cruising speed of 8.5 knots over the bottom. The engine is below the pilothouse and very well insulated with Aquadrive isolation of the shaft, soft engine mounts, and lots of sound insulation.

I think the two features that I most like about this design are the extension of the same arrangement that we use on our 81 year old Salmon Troller “Josephine” — the covered afterdeck and the completely separate cabin configuration of the accommodations. With the covered deck aft, the dingy can stow above on the solid roof and canvas drop curtains can be set on the sides of the aft roof enclosing off the entire stern for use when the weather is inclement. You would be surprised at how much you use the ‘covered porch’. Even simple little tasks can be done using the aft cabin housetop as a working and cooking area. When cruising in our own boat, I often wake up early and take a single burner butane stove to the aft deck to brew up my morning coffee without bothering Soitza sleeping below. A pleasant, quiet and peaceful start to the morning is a really great way to cruise. We often don’t do breakfast until we have run for the first hour or two, taking advantage of the typical flat water of the calm summer mornings, and a nice plate of scrambled eggs, salsa, and toast and another cup of coffee seems really civilized while underway. The smell of bacon from the galley in the pilothouse is visceral in its connection with the idea of a pleasant cruise on the water.

If you choose the centerline wheel pilothouse arrangement, there are doors both to port and starboard. The off center helm option shows a different arrangement for the seating in the pilothouse and eliminates the portside door — choose the layout that suits you best.

The fo’c’sle is a separate cabin from the large aft cabin with its own head and shower units. You can condemn the guests you drag along to this cabin where they can stack like cordwood in the staggered over/under port and starboard berths.

So let’s talk briefly about how you might proceed with this design as this drawing is really just a line and lure lowered into the water in an attempt to catch one of you readers. If you find this design tickling your fancy and you would like to talk more about fleshing it out into your own dreams, please give me a call. I look forward to that conversation — it will gives me a feel for what your own ideas are for the perfect boat, enable me to share my own motives and dreams for such a boat, and we’ll both learn a lot in the process. Together, the two of us can come up with a really amazing boat and project! – Sam Devlin

The Josephine 47 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

 

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Josephine 47 Specifications

Length 46 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 13 ft. – 11 in.
Draft 60 in.
Power Inboard diesel, 150hp
Displacement 38900 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Shearwater 38

This design was done for my co-worker, Lee Sandifur, who has steadfastly stood by my side for decades now and was the result of a coffee break conversation as to what his true dreamboat might flush out as. Believe it or not, we started by thinking about a version of our Czarinna 35 with twin outboards in wells for power and many hours later, the Shearwater 38 is where we finally landed.

I think the first idea put forward that tended to de-rail that Czarinna 35 train was Lee’s desire to do some high-latitudes cruising with the boat. I just couldn’t see a cruiser like the Czarinna 35 with outboard power really working for that type of cruising and I soon laid a fresh sheet of paper on the “ol drafting table” and we finally ended up with what you see enclosed.

So let’s take a look at the Shearwater 38 and see if we might strike a pang of desire in your own heart. As for me, I was smitten as soon as she fleshed out, easily seeing myself cruising about in her visiting many secluded and remote spots. She shares the aft house configuration of the Oysta / “Annie” types that have been dealt with in other designs with doors on both sides of the pilothouse that give access to the main cabin. There is a good helm area with space to share at the centerline wheel for the first mate (or other chums). A dinette with table on the port side and another settee to starboard allow good conversation and refreshment once you get the anchor down. Going down a couple of steps from the pilothouse, there is a galley to starboard and another seating area but I didn’t put a table in this space as the one in the pilothouse will serve that function but one could be fitted if desired. The single head is also accessed in this space with water closet up in the port edge, a sink fitted literally under the settee/dinette seat in the pilothouse above, and a shower fitted just outboard of the sink. A door at the front of this head compartment opens up a passageway that moves forward below the seats in the pilothouse, under the raised portion of the mid/waist deck and then into the forward sleeping cabin. In the pilothouse where the port side seat burns out, I show a hinged flap that either gives headroom to the passageway or allows the pilothouse door on the port side to be accessed and exit of the pilothouse can be done on either side.

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Once you’re in the fo’c’sle/sleeping cabin, there is literally not much to say except that there are two very comfortable and very accessible berths and plenty of lockers for gear. There is also another companionway that exits to the waist deck area and back on the deck. Access to the front of the engine room is accomplished from the fo’c’sle/sleeping cabin or from the port passageway that connects the stern to the forward cabin, via sliding doors on the side of the engine room.

There an anchor well deck up in the bows of the boat and here I would lodge a hydraulic anchor windlass with reel. These are great windlasses to choose from that hold plenty of rode and lots of chain connected to the anchor. They are run with a “b” series hydraulic pump off the engine and are about as trouble free as one can get anchoring. Another advantage of this type of anchoring gear is to keep the chain and rode out of the interior of the boat. If they come up off the bottom dirty and smelly, the rain will wash them off and it really helps to keep the interior of the boat in clean, dry shape.

As for the deck and working the boat, there is the mast forward with boom that could accommodate a simple sail, the forestay could be fitted with a roller furling jib, and the mizzen shows a small area steadying sail. For trade winds work, this rig could add considerably to the thrust of the engine and extend her range to oceanic levels if desired. The boom, in a lowered position, can fit up a good cockpit boom tent to provide shade outside when the sun is out. I also show stabilizer poles that hinge from the deck edge and are guyed to the mizzen mast for running in really rough waters. With small area and simple to set sails, poles guyed out and paravanes working away, this boat could run in just about any waters, safely and comfortably.

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Lee’s idea is to group fund the rest of the design and I know that he is hoping against hope that his own ship might come in and fund the actual build of her. I hope you all enjoyed the Shearwater and if you’re interested in helping with the funding of the final design, please feel free to contact either myself or Lee. – Sam Devlin

The Shearwater 38 is available as study plans. Please contact Sam if you would like to join in the development of a great traveling boat.

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Shearwater 38 Specifications

Length 37 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 48 in.
Power Inboard diesel 74-150hp
Displacement 28000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Dynamo Too 38

DynamoToo38FAThis is a design commissioned by William Turner of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) region modeled after one of my favorite William Garden designs, the “Dynamo”. Bill was interested in having me do the design work necessary to convert the original Garden design over to the Stitch and Glue building method so that he might have us potentially build her in the style and fashion of our larger builds. Bill was not interested in changing the interior arrangements or configurations but thought the original Garden design was genius in its intent. The only thing that he wanted different was the construction medium, not the traditional plank on frame construction that William Garden designed her for. What Bill was interested in was having a boat built that would allow him the luxury of using the boat more than working on keeping the boat in shape. By this I mean that Bill had already had a long affair with an older conventional plank on frame vessel, one that needed almost constant attention to stay only slightly ahead of the maintenance gremlins. This is a scenario that I know very well as my own Josephine built in 1934 and her traditional construction demands constant attention and energy with only small dollops of actual cruising use to help keep me energized. I fantasize constantly about what life might be like without the continual chasing of one maintenance gremlin or another, many of which could hold me hostage to the tune of hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to attend to. So when Bill approached me about doing a conversion to Stitch and Glue, I knew right away just what he was thinking, he wanted to go cruising and not just work on the boat.

I, too, knew Bill Garden and had visited him many times before he died in 2011 at the age of 93. In my opinion, Bill was an absolute genius with the drafting pencil and I have spent many hours carefully looking at his drawings, trying to take in the artistic expression that his drafting hand lent to each of his drawings. About 15 years ago, my son and I had the pleasure of buying a little 20 ft. sailboat that Bill had built himself complete with a tiny cabin and a 4 cylinder Gray Marine inboard engine. That project and the simple experience of helping Bill finish it up, launching her and then towing her down from Sydney British Columbia, to our shop in Olympia is one of my fondest memories.

So let’s get back to the design of the ‘Dynamo Too”. This is the type that Bill Garden called a “Halibut Cruiser” which is loosely modeled after the Halibut Schooners that have been fished for more than 100 years in the North Pacific. The pilothouse was always set more in the stern of the boat than up in the eyes or the forward parts of the boat, helping I would guess to keep the salt spray off the house. But this was also the best way for the skipper to be able to see the crew pulling in large Halibut over the starboard side forward without having to continually look back behind himself to the stern as he would if the pilothouse were more forward. These were long line boats setting out sometimes literal miles of gangline (mainline) with smaller ganglions of line and a hook and bait set on the end, each set sometimes amounting to thousands of hooks and with an anchor at either end to fasten to the bottom, patiently soaking away under the water waiting for an Halibut to swim by and close his mouth over the bait, literally hooking himself. After letting the longline soak for a period of time, the Schooner would return and start picking up one end of the line and if the fishing was good, gaffing the captured Halibut up and into the deck checkers (boxes or bins on the deck that allowed sorting of the fish before being cleaned) and then a gutting and stowing in layers of ice in the hold, waiting until the schooner returned to port to offload its catch. These Schooners were multiple masted and typically 65-95 ft. in length and they evolved near the end of the use of sail in the fisheries at a time when engines weren’t the most reliable in the running department. With their stout short masts, they could be sailed if the engine took a dislike to its primary job. The sails were also used to help to steady the boat in the confused seas that are so common in the North Pacific by resisting some of the rocking back and forth in the swells.

Our own Dynamo Too is a much smaller version of the type and doesn’t have room enough for the original Schooner rig so we retained the original foremast from the rig but the mainmast (the aftermost and tallest spar) was deleted. The pilothouse has enough glass to allow good visibility in all directions and with the crew up near the helm helping to keep an eye on the water, a really fine experience for all the ship’s crew can be had. One of the nicest features of this design is the covered house and after deck giving shade in the middle of the cruising season and a respite from the rain and drizzle that can be so common in the Northwest at the ends of the season, both the early spring and the late fall. With the large “U” shaped seat in the stern of the boat, the “after the hook is set” hours can be spent either dry (out of the rain) or cooler (out of the sun) and with a lovely vista of the anchorage as the backdrop to an evening’s libations. There are twin doors going forward into the pilothouse with an “L” shaped dinette to starboard and a long strip galley to port. This is what we call a “Galley Up” arrangement and while the sacrifice in space is considerable in the pilothouse, the advantage to the cook to see out while working on a meal preparation and the advantage to the skipper to grab quick snacks and have easy access to the coffee pot for those long watches at the wheel. I have put a diesel range in the galley for both the heating and the cooking chores and to provide a “haven of warmth” in the pilothouse thus keeping it always warm and inviting which is always appreciated while cruising when the cold crew comes in from chores. If you are reading this from Florida then you may not get the thrust of my intent in keeping the boat warm and comforting but if you’ve experienced cruising along the Northwest Coast, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska where you might go the whole summer and never roll up the sleeves of your wool shirt, the warmth and comfort of a diesel range is not to be discounted.

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After drinks on the rear deck and some stories woven and re-counted between friends and perhaps even the fragrance of a fine cigar to spice the early evening hours, it’s finally time to retreat below. We go forward to the dash of the wheelhouse and then down a series of steps into the focsle of the vessel with another heater down here to help keep this deeper and typically cooler area of the boat warm and comfortable. The head is off to the port side in a space large enough for all the functions of a head. There is no separate shower stall but a circular curtain can be pulled out away from the wall keeping the water centralized into the center drain and a gray-water sump. Forward of the head area is a hanging locker and a large “U” shaped lounging area with a skylight hatch overhead and a wooden table to receive the inevitable drinks that will be consumed while visiting with your cruising pals. When all the crew is tuckered out and it’s finally time to go to sleep there is a double berth forward and the “U” shaped seating area can easily be pressed into use allowing another couple of sleepers. On the rare occasion when a pack is aboard, then the dinette up in the pilothouse can be converted into another double berth.

Back up on deck before all these events of the evening commenced, there was the anchoring up of the Dynamo Too in some quiet cove and with the reel type anchor windlass in the well deck up forward, this is an easy operation. A simple “B” style hydraulic pump is switched on and the crew can go forward and release the hold back on the rode with a simple nudge and the anchor is over the side and very quickly is on the bottom. The skipper then backs the Dynamo Too up to set the hook and a simple press down on the all chain rode with the foot confirms the anchor is tight and set. Shutdown of the engine can now be done noting the engine hours in the ships logbook and then the drinking lamp is lit. This is living at its most enjoyable level — simple, basic, warm, and intellectually entertaining! — Sam Devlin

The Dynamo Too is available as a custom build from Devlin Designing Boatbuilders. Contact Sam if this is the boat for you.

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Dynamo Too 38 Specifications

Length 38 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 52 in.
Power Inboard diesel 125hp
Displacement 28000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Devlin Cruiser 37

A design that started life as an mid-winter Sunday afternoon’s romp thru the waters of my mind, with the intention of serving as a dream platform to replace my venerable 83 year old salmon troller “Josephine”. My experience of living and cruising with Josephine over many years has been enlightening as to just what is necessary and what is not necessary in a simple motor cruiser. Limiting the bending and gymnastics of living with an old work boat are high on that list (on Josephine one can only go forward by turning around facing backwards and going down a steep ladder into her deep focsle, not exactly what one does good either while in a hurry or early in the morning without some stretches to limber up). Good sleeping area forward with lots of bed space (approximating the home bedding as much as can happen on a boat). Privacy head areas forward and well away from guests when entertaining inside the main cabin on a cool evening. Engine room accessible and spacious with plenty of light, space and organized for tools etc. Access in this case is thru the cabin sole of the pilothouse thru large floor hatches.

Moving up in the main cabin, a helm seat that can seat two if necessary or one with many options of position, dinette area that can seat a proper crowd of friends and guests, and galley up with all the nice qualities of being able to stand at the sink or cooking and seeing out into the great landscape.

A partial covered cockpit (I would now cover the whole thing) and U-shaped seating around the stern of the boat and twin boarding doors port and starboard to get onto her. For my money and pleasure I would opt for the flying bridge opening up another zone of use and allowing me to run the boat with unlimited visibility when desired, but with the option of going down below to the main pilot station when the weather is inclement.

So here she is, a simple and usable cruiser with many options of configuration but all based on an easy to run and sea-kindly hull. I hope you share my enthusiasm for her.

The Devlin Cruiser 37 is available as a custom build from Devlin Boats. Contact Sam if she appeals to you.

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Devlin Cruiser 37 Specifications

Length 37 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 50 in.
Power Inboard diesel
Displacement 23000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Kokanee 36

Kokanee36FAThis was a letter written to the Customer that commissioned this little Sailing Fishing Boat design. It’s a beguiling type for any of us lucky enough to have worked in the far north fishing or tugging in our youth, and it answers well to the “Siren call of the North” when in the early Spring my heart wants nothing more than to follow the vees of Geese winging their way North. Keep in mind that as of the writing of this, a fresh Chinook Salmon, troll caught, sells off the boat for more than $5 dollars a pound. That means a 30lb. fish would fetch the ship and crew more than $150 dollars in revenue and the prospect that a middle aged person or two might fish/adventure their way to a $50,000 dollar summer.

Sean: Enclosed are the preliminary drawings for the Sailing Fishing/boat that we have been talking about. I am really pleased with how this design has worked out so far and look forward to doing more work with this concept. I have spliced a pretty livable cabin arrangement onto the 36ft. hull as we had talked about. She has enough room to be a comfortable cruiser, carry the loads associated with cruising for extended periods, and taking care of the fishing request with this design. The cockpit area is spacious enough for her purpose but has no wasted or extra space. A raised Fish/hold placed in the middle of the cockpit being the main feature, but while this space allocation might seem to be wasteful, in truth the table top area and work space is ideal for the cruiser. A small 24″ x 24″ hatch provides access into the compartment when just checking on the fish or ice conditions and the whole top is removable for unloading fish or loading the space. A small trolling cockpit is located in the stern of the boat and needs to have steering and helm controls for single-handed work. It might even be a good idea these days to have a repeater for the GPS and an Autopilot control to help keep you on course while working at fishing back in that cockpit.Kokanee36Top

The pilothouse is entered thru a sliding door in the rear bulkhead, with galley on the portside and settee/dinette and helm on the starboard side. There is enough space to drink or eat 4 and plenty of room for the designed ship’s crew of two. A Stainless steel pipe compression post for the deck stepped mast gives a good handhold in the pilothouse when in rough weather and the seatback on the helm can be canted back and forth to function as a back in helm or in dinette mode. The table can be lowered to provide a second double berth for guests that might come along for the trip. The fo’c’sle is accessed by going down 4 steps with a large enclosed head to port with shower in the front section. To starboard are a couple of hanging lockers, the one just below the helm being the mechanicals locker with all electrical and breaker functions easily accessible and spare parts organized in shelves. Another hanging locker is located forward of the mechanicals locker and a bureau with storage below is forward of that. A double queen sized berth is to port in the cabin with the heads forward arrangement, good reading lights and a good view looking aft up thru the boat. It’s a berth arrangement that we have worked and cruised many times in the past with good success.

Now back on deck, let’s discuss how she runs and works. I’ve kept the sailing rig as small as I could and still have enough drive to function well. The total sail area is 348 and with a roller furling system on the jib, it should work well. Fishing with the sails up needs to be controlled with the trolling poles functioning best if kept fairly level and upright. With this much sail area and while trolling, the engine is barely running. It’s just keeping up with the hydraulic system demands and providing a little bit of additional steerage-way while the wind provides the rest of the propulsion when it’s blowing enough. With the jib rolled up, the main can be left standing as a working steady sail and should help keep her from lurching side to side when in confused seas. Trolling poles and all sails are set from the aft cockpit and cleat to the end of the pilothouse with turning blocks forward to keep you off the pilothouse roof. I would rig a crab and shrimp pot puller as shown for either augmenting the ship’s provisions or perhaps for a little extra cash commercially. Side decks are suitable for walking up forward to the bow and anchoring duty. By the way, a hydraulic anchor windlass is chucked up on the bow with a 300 ft. chain rode backed by an additional 150 ft. of nylon rode so there shouldn’t be any loss of sleep at night due to dragging anchor gear. I showed a bow thruster forward if for no other reason than to just stimulate conversation about it for the future. I always maintain that the more control one has over their environment, the better off the success of the venture. Avoiding sticky situations is always the best survival mode.

I think that about wraps it up; a good and stable boat, with enough room to carry some fish or stores and enough space to be comfortable for our great waters out here. Let’s hope that in time we see lots of these types of vessels start up again. — Sam Devlin

The Kokanee 36 is available as study plans, and as a custom build from Devlin Boats. Contact Sam if you would like to see this design developed.

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Kokanee 36 Specifications

Length 36 ft. – 0 in.
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Kingfisher 36

This design follows on the heels of the Kingfisher 32 design and just expands the capability and range that her smaller sister would have. There is something magical about 36 feet for cruising on the Northwest Coast — they get the job done, have the range, provide comfort in a seaway, and have enough space for a really great cruising platform. If you look at history, most of the small Salmon Trollers that were used on the Inland Passage were all in this size range and my own beloved Josephine is just about the same length.  Where the Salmon boats favor depth and narrow beam for their seaworthiness requirements, this design has a shallower draft and enough beam to increase the initial stability and trade off a bit of the final stability of its narrower sisters for the comfort and room of another couple feet in width.

I think this design is rather unique in the way that she carries off the second stateroom and head, both them being accessed from aft the pilothouse. This arrangement keeps the housetop of this second stateroom on the aft deck just about perfect counter height and makes for a really usable aft deck. My own converted Salmon Troller Josephine has the same arrangement and we love it for using the house top for sitting on, or as a counter or buffet. With the walk up in deep bulwarks on the starboard side, you don’t feel unsafe at any time while on the stern deck. A rigid roof over the aft deck allows the maximum of use in our occasional inclement weather and with some simple canvas curtains rolled up on the sides, you can create another room when the weather is really uncooperative.

Going forward into the pilothouse, the head is to port with a small ‘L’ shaped dinette at the front edge of it. The galley is to starboard and the helm area in front of that. If you take my advice, you will mount a diesel heating/cooking range in the galley for keeping a pot always warm on the edge and with plenty of room to fit a skillet of scrambled eggs on for breakfast.

I love getting up early in the morning and while the coffee is heating, I take a turn thru the engine room and then with a mug of steaming coffee, I’ll take a few minutes on the aft deck under cover to enjoy all the smells and moist cleanness of the early morning hours.  I typically start the engine before my second cup, pull up the anchor, and get underway before the dew is completely dried on the pilothouse windows.  Soitza, my wife, will be up just about the time I get a hankering for my second cup of coffee and we typically share the last of the pot together with the boat gathering way and getting up to speed.  After an hour or two of running with another pot of coffee boiling on the stove and some eggs being forked into my mouth, there is little wonder why I like cruising so very much! – Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 36 is available as study plans and as a complete custom build from Devlin.

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Kingfisher 36 Specifications

Length 36 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 42 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-300hp
Ballast 19700 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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