Kingfisher 30

Kingfisher30FAcropA fellow dropped into my office a couple of months ago with a novel idea. He is the owner of a Power Scow which is a type of boat I would expect only a few readers of my design write-ups to be familiar with. A power scow is pretty much what the name says; it is a powered barge on the water long used in the Southeast Alaska fisheries as buy boats which are boats that goes out to the fishing grounds, buys fish from the fishing boats and sells ice and other limited supplies to the fishermen. After filling their own holds with fresh caught fish, the buy boat heads off to the nearest town or cannery to offload. This chap has a particularly nice power scow built in the 1940s and he has done a yeoman’s job of keeping her in good shape and running condition. She has the latest fillet machines, flash freezing capabilities and vacuum packing on board and for these premium line caught salmon and halibut, she does an extraordinary job of keeping the fish fresh, clean, and ready for the freezer or the skillet.

But back to our visit — you see he is a visionary type of guy always thinking out into the future with a keen eye on the prize of keeping his power scow working hard and efficiently and also keeping several fish markets and a growing internet market supplied with his amazing product. These Alaskan fish are of such quality that anyone could provide them a place in their diet without fear or regret. But he had a new vision one that was just at the wee starting place of forming shape and that is where his visit with me came into the picture. He was thinking that there might be a small number of individuals who are in their late middle years, perhaps even retired from their first careers, but not yet ready to hang it all up. These individuals might also want a bit of adventure in their lives, ready to see waters and areas that they hadn’t the time to do earlier in their lives and careers. And so he was thinking that these hardy souls might be interested in setting up small fishing businesses built around the design that I am outlining here and built around his power scow.

With the power scow, he would have the facilities for the fishermen to drop off their catch on a daily basis, take a shower and have a hot meal each day, and maybe even a hand or two of cards before crawling into the sack. Up at dawn, or just a bit before dawn, to drop in on the morning bite and they are back to work. If a longer trip is desired to explore a little, the accommodations on the Kingfisher are compatible to the skipper and crew and anything from a couple of days to a longer trip might be possible, springing them only slightly loose from the friends and convenience of the power scow each night.

So let’s take a closer look at the Kingfisher design that I came up with. She is not a huge boat at just over 30 feet in length but with that utility of staying close to the mothership, she really doesn’t need to be much longer and therefore have good fuel economy and seaworthy comfort for the crew. She can be rigged for either hand trolling (non-powered gurdies which control the lines for bringing the fish into the boat) or she can be powered with a small hydraulic pump that would run off the engine and can be rigged as a power troller. There are twin 18 foot long trolling poles on either side of the single mast and these are lowered to about a 45 degree angle off the port and starboard sides of the boats helping to keep the fishing lines out of each other’s way. They can also be used to set small paravanes for running when the weather is really snotty and these simple gear additions can really make the difference between just a crappy day and one that could provide you with real story fodder. If you are anything like me, even though I like a good story, the older I get, the less I desire to experience those “really good” story days if you follow my drift. Anyway, the paravanes work very well at allowing the boat to continue into waters that might really blunt the progress of an unstabilized hull.

There is good deck space and instead of a fixed cargo hold (which could be done but a simpler solution is available), we are using large poly plastic totes that are chucked on the deck and when offloading fish, a bag that is held in the tub can be hoisted to the buy boat and a simple cleaning of the deck and totes is all that is necessary to keep the boat clean and organized. Moving forward into the pilothouse, the cabin follows a couple of ideas that I might have tried to hit you over the head with in the past but without hearing much of a thud, I want to try them again and they involve two subjects that need addressing. The first is the head and how to keep the crew and the skipper happy and comfortable. While the Kingfisher concept is one that might involve a single fisherman on board, (and my first inclination was to reduce the need or desire to have anything like a private head compartment on board), upon presenting the preliminary sketches to my co-workers, I was told rather bluntly that the boat would need a head to have any chance at seeing the light of day as a concept. So let’s address the idea of how to deal with a head in a boat and have it be really be functional enough to allow some privacy when being used. One of the features I noticed on lots of working boats, fishing and tug, is that the head compartment is very often not common or connected to the interior of the boat. That is to say they are accessed from the stern or side decks of the boat with an entirely separate door to the deck. And with no common door to the interior of the boat, you have a chance to actually use the head with some semblance of privacy. Once a common door to the inside of the boat gets put in the design, those privacy features go literally out the door. If you use the head for a shower, then you have the additional problem of what to do after adding considerable moisture into the interior of a boat that might be operating in a high humidity environment and the problem of how to truly and easily dry out the boat, which leads nicely into the second thought of mine.

Kingfisher30FAHeat is a problem in most boats that run in the Northwest coastal waters of North America (my favorite and most often frequented waters), and it’s not called the rainy northwest for nothing! It’s not unusual for a typical cruiser or boater to do a long trip up to Alaska and back and never once put on a short sleeved shirt in the whole summer. In fact, we occasionally have summers where wool shirts and jackets are worn every day as a hedge against the cool and moist climate. On virtually all Northwest Coast working boats they fix this problem with a simple and ingenious solution, one that anything from a 20 feet cruiser up to a boat well over a hundred feet in length can use. The solution is an oil cooking range. Some of the best of these and the ones most common in the Northwest are made by the Dickinson company of British Columbia just to the north of my own Washington State. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations and the idea is that they are lit early in the trip, even sometimes before the engine is started, the thermostat and heat control has simple settings and burning diesel or even a cleaner burn with kerosene fuel, they just sit there and heat away, letting the whole interior of the boat stay warm and dry. The cast iron top of the stove radiates the heat very well and a pot can be kept on one of the corners instantly providing you with warm beverage capability whenever desired. If you come into the interior of the boat with wet rain gear, the boat doesn’t instantly fog up with the added moisture and you keep your windows clear and warm your bones up very quickly. I call this the ‘haven of warmth’ theory, and if you ever try it, you too will realize that when you wrap your head around the idea that the boat is always warm and dry no matter what the conditions are outside, you will quickly think of your boat as being protective and a haven of warmth and comfort. So even if we are foolish enough to have the door to the head opening into the interior of the boat, we can still dry her out quickly after taking a hot shower and everything will stay smelling nice and sweet.

I say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to my eye, this design looks just about right with good utility and function and she is trailerable to boot. With her inboard diesel engine, the fuel economy is good and depending on how much horsepower you give her, the speed can be adjusted from anything in the full displacement range up to semi-displacements speeds. – Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 30 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

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Kingfisher 30 Specifications

Length on Deck 30 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-160hp
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Displacement 10700 lbs.

 

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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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Kingfisher 32 Troller

Kingfisher32TrollerFAcropThis design uses the same semi-displacement hull that the Kingfisher 32 Cruiser has but it also has a longer working deck and an innovative outside head. Let’s start at the stern — the typical trolling cockpit aft with engine controls and steering enables the fisherman to work from side to side with safety. There are checker boxes in front of the trolling cockpit and lots of good space on the deck. Up against the pilothouse, there is an outside accessed head compartment with a shower included in the space, and doors, fore and aft, for access to either the engine room or the salmon hold. This outside head really allows it to be used for its primary purpose and provides some privacy without taking too much space from the rest of the boat.

Going forward into the pilothouse, you encounter a galley to starboard and a nice dinette/settee to port.  Helm and co/helm seats are also included and windows on all sides give good visibility and a feeling of spaciousness.  Forward are the typical vee berths with port and starboard berths and plenty of length and width to give a good night’s sleep.

Note the drum windlass on the bow, avoiding the taking of dirty, smelly chain below decks and with a simple hydraulic pump off the engine, this is the simplest and most functional approach.

The rest of the boat you can follow from the drawings and I look forward in working with you on your own version of her. – Sam Devlin (July 2015)

The Kingfisher 32 Troller is available in study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to develop her into your perfect custom boat.

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Kingfisher 32 Troller Specifications

Length 32 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-300hp
Ballast 12700 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
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Kingfisher 32 Cruiser

Kingfisher32cruiseFAcropI have become intrigued with the smallest passagemaker type vessel that could really tackle some passages on the West Coast, even with the possibility of going up or down the coast from the Northwest to Alaska in the Spring and Mexico in the Fall. This design is my interpretation of the type and she provides all those capabilities. She has two staterooms, a covered afterdeck, dingy stowage above, drum windlass on the bow (so you don’t have to bring that dirty chain below decks), stabilizer poles using paravanes (the simplest and best form of stabilization), two head arrangement, and good room for use. Power can be anything from 110hp for an 8 knot cruiser to a 300hp diesel for a semi-displacement cruiser. Speeds will be matched to the power available and depend on how much gear you drag aboard. Range will vary from something in excess of 700 miles in the slow version to around 300 miles in the faster version. Take a look — she draws heavily from the Northwest Salmon fishing boats that used to populate our coast and I hope you agree that she looks like she wants to have the lines tossed off and head off on an adventure. – Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 32 Cruiser is available as study plans. Contact Sam is you would like to see the boat developed.

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Kingfisher 32 Cruiser Specifications

Length 32 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-300hp
Ballast 12700 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-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.

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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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