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.



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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Storm Petrel 34

StormPetrel34TravelA very interesting proposition came about this winter just after a dismal, late January “Boats Afloat” boat show in Seattle, one that had very few spectators and terrible weather. A phone call started off the project with a simple question. “Do you know the lobster boat “Diana” that is in Friday Harbor?” I did know her very well as she belongs to one of my customers living in the San Juan Islands of Washington. The year before, we had built the Sockeye 45 “Widgeon” for Henry Wendt and his wife, Holly, and I remember very well their little 28ft. lobster boat that they kept at their dock for daily jaunts out to check the crab potsStormPetrel34Quater and weekly trips to the west side of the island to view the sunsets. Truth is, I had first looked and admired “Diana” out on the East Coast in Maine at the shop of my fellow designer and builder friend, Doug Hyland. I always keep my boat eyes open and occasionally, I see an example of a really beautiful and interesting boat. “Diana” was one of those boats and my memory of her was very keen.

The fellow on the phone, as it turned out, was looking for a boat design that might be appropriate for his StormPetrel34Buildex-wife to use to commute out to her summer home in the San Juan Islands. As she lived on a small island that had no ferry service, she needed a boat to take her back and forth.

So the next week, Rick picked up Cyndie and me from a small local airport and we flew in his Cessna 180 up to Friday Harbor for a closer look at the “Diana”. Henry and Holly showed us the boat and after a short sea-trial and a lovely lunch, we flew home on one of those February days that shouldn’t happen in the Northwest. It was sunny and almost warm, and Rick made the best of a bright, clear day with a ground and water skimming flight that would excite any of us.

StormPetrel34Beauty3After more negotiations, I started work on the preliminary design that you see here and I can now report that the “Diana Too” will be our next boatbuilding project in the shop.

The parameters for the design are very simple and uncomplicated with performance expected in the 24 – 28 knot range for top speed and 18 knots for cruising speed with good fuel economy of about a 5 gallon per hour burn. A diesel stern drive will keep the engine space and noise aft and maneuvering has to be excellent as she will be single-handed most of the time. Accommodations are simple and neat — an enclosed head forward and double berth with the galley out in the pilot area. Seating is back up against the engine box for passengers or just lounging about swinging on an anchor. Cyndie and Rick’s son is 6-5″ tall so the headroom is generous in the helm area, but the proportions seem to be fine even with a rather tall house. Keep watch as this fine, little boat develops… — Sam Devlin

The Storm Petrel 34 is available as a custom build from Devlin.


Storm Petrel 34 Specifications

Length 33 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 2 ft. 2 in.
Power Diesel/Stern drive
Ballast 10500 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
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Camarone 34

Camarone34RenderSomewhere in 2005 I was contacted by a customer about the idea of designing a motorsailer suitable for some extended passagemaking. She had to be stable and a decent boat both under power and sail. Unfortunately, he was caught in Hurricane Katrina and his boating plans changed abruptly, but I thought you might like to take a look at what I came up with to address his needs.  I don’t need to remind anyone that most trips in a sailboat that are longer in duration than a brief afternoon wandering about on the water involve some sort of an engine, and that engine most likely spends more time in action than the sails on the boat.  Thus it has puzzled me for many years why don’t we see more boats on the water that resemble this Camarone 34 with her pilothouse, enclosed steering, decent and low center of effort sailplan appropriately split up into small enough panels to actually get used, not just sleep under sail covers. When using her for cruising, the inboard steering allows warm, quiet, and comfortable cruising under power and if you are so lucky to have favorable breezes in the afternoon, you can transition to the cockpit and run her very nicely either sailing or motorsailing.

Camarone34TopNotice the interior on her – a great arrangement if you ask me. Entering the pilothouse from the spacious cockpit, there is an ‘L’ shaped dinette area with helm forward, allowing the skipper to either stand at the helm for high-attention time or put her in autopilot and lounge back on the settee with legs out in front and reclining up against the rear bulkhead of the house. A nice counter height chart table is to starboard with lots of space for the charts and tide tables necessary for keeping a boat navigating safely. There is a wet gear locker at the aft end of the chart table so wet rain gear can be hung to dry, draining into the cockpit anything that wants to drip off them.Go down a few steps forward into the foc’sle of the boat and we find a nice and very spacious head compartment to starboard under that chart table. There is a nice standing headroom shower at the aft end which is a very nice feature in keeping the cruise comfortable.  The galley is to port from the centerline and has a deep sink, a nice below counter fridge, or dry stowage locker, and a full range.  Camarone34PlanFor our Northwest cruising with our capability of boating well into the Winter season, I would opt for a diesel range with oven built-in and a full hot burner top, allowing us to always keep a coffee or teapot ready to use.  Up forward in the bows of the boat is a very interesting arrangement with a port and starboard berth seating area and table in the middle.  With the table folded down, the area turns into a swell full double berth with enough swinging room to keep any cruising couple in good shape.  When in passage, you could leave the table in the up position and have a nice separate port and starboard berth.  One really cool idea with this design is that once you are down below, you are looking clear up into the bows of the boat. When so many other boats keep the main cabin cut up with separate cabins, this one feels bright, airy, and large.  The flush deck also adds to the look and feel of this forward cabin with 4” x 4” beams being the only thing breaking up a tongue and groove, yellow cedar fore and aft planking. This gives a warm and textured feeling to the spacious cabin.  We put plenty of draft and plenty of keel under her to allow good sailing and a very balanced helm with any of the sail/power combinations that might be possible with her.

This Camarone (Spanish for Shrimp) design follows close to my heart as the most perfect boat I can imagine. Suitable for cruising either north to Alaska or south to Mexico, she is a boat that has spent many fine hours in my dreams. – Sam Devlin

The Camerone 34 is available as study plans.


Camerone 34 Specifications

Length on Deck 33 ft. – 5 in.
Beam 11 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 5 ft. – 3 in.
Power Inboard diesel 30-50hp/sail
Displacement 17000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
Sail Area Total 839 sq.ft.
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Scarlet Macaw 33

It is frequently asked of me fairly how a new boat design comes to life and what were the steps involved in the evolution of each design and the answer is never a simple one.  The “Onamuni” project came up originally as an email inquiry from a Mr. Al Hatfield.  Al was looking for a launch to service his lodge on Lake Vermillion in Northern Minnesota. The boat would be used to run his friends and family the 26 odd miles up lake to the nearest watering hole and back again.  Lake Vermillion is a fairly large lake with lots of islands and hundreds of miles of waterfront, all of it interesting and sight worthy, but Al had it in his mind that the trip would be even more enjoyable if it were done with a ‘really classy launch’ as the hub of the whole experience.  So Al’s simple question of “Do I have a launch in my quiver of designs and what would I recommend?” morphed after a couple of weeks to the early preliminary drawing of the Onamuni.  We called that early design the “Scarlett Macaw” but soon after the building project commenced, the name morphed into the “Onamuni” which is the Indian name for Lake Vermillion.

Al had strong ideas of what he wanted and one day he made a statement. He said “Sam, some people have Ferraris as one of their cars and barely drive them. I have a Ferrari and I drive mine everyday.” He was trying to tell me that performance was really important and that he intended to extract as much performance as he could on a daily basis while using the new boat. I probably muttered something about why build a boat that can go 40 miles per hour and then run around at 15 mph every day babying the engines. But Al emphasized to me that he fully intended to drive the boat fast and enjoy that aspect of it.  I can report that the Onamuni can run really fast. In fact, for a boat of 33 ft. of length, she can really spit about on the water, and during the sea trials, I had enough time running her that I must report that I, too, enjoyed running her fast.  Her performance was so good that I couldn’t find a photo chase boat that could keep up with her and I had to hire a helicopter to accomplish the photography.

With her twin Yanmar 260 hp diesel engines, here’s how she performed during sea trials:

MPH Gallons per hour Miles per gallon
40 22 1.8
30 16 1.9
23 10 2.3
18 6.2 3.0


Diesel power was chosen for its fuel economy and with the maneuvering of the twin engines backed up by a bow and stern thruster, she can be put in and out of just about any area the owner wants to take her to.  There is seating for 8 either inside or outside and with inside and outside steering controls, she can accommodate just about anything the “ol’ weather gods” want to throw at her.  That is pretty good fuel economy for a boat that can haul 8 passengers safely and enjoyably across the lake.

As for the aesthetics of the Onamuni, I viewed and described her during the building process as a “Chopped Devlin”. She most certainly has our look about her but it’s all done in a slightly rakish manner with the scale of the Onamuni pegged for looking “just about right”!  When we did our photo shoot, Neil Rabinowitz reported her as “very good looking” and he has certainly seen a lot of boats in his lifetime of doing marine photography. Once I saw the galley of proofs on the photos, I was stunned. She is really a good looking boat, if I say so myself, and I am typically pretty hard on myself about looks and styling.  Onamuni looks like a boat that has a job to do and that she can do it without compromise.   Take a look at these fine photos Neil has produced and tell me if you agree that she looks just right!

Highlights of the build were the chance to work with an owner that knew just about almost smack dab on point what he wanted and what he expected of us to deliver on that vision.  While it has been several years since the last time we were tasked with this type of job, Al gave us a budget to put Northwest Indian art in her. It was a blast to ferret out proper art for display in the Onamuni and the extra touch of class it lent greatly added to the whole effect!  I hope you agree.   – Sam Devlin

The Scarlett Macaw 33 is available in study plans.


Scarlett Macaw 33 Specifications

Length 32 ft. – 10.75 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 0 in.
Draft 20.5 in.
Power Twin inboard diesels 260hp
Displacement 11500 lbs.


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Whimbrel 32

WhimbrelBeauty2A couple from Olympia came to us looking for a boat to cruise in the Northwest. The cruising would consist of voyages of three months in the Summer and week-long jaunts in the Winter. A cabin would be needed to accommodate two comfortably in the Summer and four for shorter trips. Being fans of the schooner rig and wanting an inside steering station, this pilot house schooner was the result.

The sail plan is well divided with no sail being larger that 185 sq. ft. All the sails are self tending for effortless tacking. The boomkin allows a permanent backstay and a good place to store or tow the dinghy. The cockpit is tee-shaped and self-bailing.

Inside the pilot house there is a settee to port and a hanging locker and space for electronics to the starboard. Stepping down into the main salon, the galley and head are to port. On the starboard side is a large settee that converts to a double berth with a fold-down dinette table and wine rack placed on the central bulkhead. The double berth forward is roomy and comfortable. There is full standing head room throughout the pilothouse and main salon.

Auxiliary power is a 27 hp diesel set in the centerline. The long keel with the cut-away forefoot allows good tracking and makes for quick tacks. With her well-proportioned rig and good lines, Whimbrel cuts a clean wake and turns heads whenever she sails. — Sam Devlin

The Whimbrel is available as a custom build from Devlin Designing Boat Builders, and currently as a a pre-loved boat.



Pamlico 32 Specifications

Length on Deck 31 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 4 ft. – 10 in.
Power Inboard diesel 27hp
Ballast 15000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
Sail Area 481 sq. ft.
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The Kestrel design resulted from having owned and sailed “MALISH”, an Arctic Tern sloop, for the past five years.

While actually using MALISH, I didn’t think much of modifications or redesigns because she sailed so very well, but during her time at the dock and during my reflective visions of what her replacement would be, I often considered the same Arctic Tern-type boat with the ends elongated. The freeboard and headroom would be only slightly increased. The cockpit would be tightened up and the mid-boom sheeting for the mainsail would make her easier to sail short-handed.

An enclosed head in the interior would allow for a modicum of privacy. The galley would be mid-ships in the cabin with sink and stowage to starboard. Just to port of the main companionway is a quarter berth, the engine box for a 10 hp. diesel in the bridge deck and a small box seat extension forward.

Forward are port-and-starboard settees turning into a double berth. This type of arrangement would allow seating for drinks after a brisk sail, or dinner guests.

The changes are not so great from the Arctic Tern, just more tailored to my needs.

“Malish” now has a new home with a couple from Marblehead, Mass. With time allowing, “Kestrel” will move from paper to shop floor and some day I expect my two boys and I will have some fine adventures on her. — Sam Devlin

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

Kestrel Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 8ft. – 1 in.
Draft 3 ft. 10 in.
Power Inboard diesel 10-20hp
Ballast 2500 lbs.
Sail Area 346 sq. ft. sloop
Hull Type Displacement
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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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