Pyladian 31

Many of you faithful readers might remember the “Storm Petrel”, a 33ft. Lobster-type boat that we built several years ago, and the “Pyladian” is an evolution and direct sister to that design. With the perspective of about 5 years between the two building projects and with a chance to spend many happy hours bugging about in the Salish Sea in the Storm Petrel, I found her to be, in my opinion, one of the best performing sea-boats that I have ever had the pleasure of running. I remember heading north with my good friend George Gray (currently living with his wife on their sailboat and cruising the lovely waters of Mexico) to the Anacortes Trawler Fest show several years ago. It was a boisterous day with brisk winds of 25-30 knots coming out of the Southwest. With the fetch of Puget Sound and the short steep chop that can develop in those waters, it was a good test of what the Storm Petrel could do. With the following seas and our trying to maintain a pace of 16 plus knots of speed, the Storm Petrel would bound over the top of the crest of one wave and then pitch downward into the trough between the seas burying her bow into the wave just ahead of us till we could see water squirting up thru the anchor roller forward. Without slowing or slewing around in any way, she would then climb at the same speed up the face of the next wave reaching the top before pitching down again into the trough of the next. After about 30 minutes of this exhilarating ride, I remarked to George something about my amazement of such a remarkable ride to which he replied that he was impressed also. We chatted for a few more minutes about her amazing performance and no sooner had the words come out of my mouth, “we should turn around and try her head into the wind”, when I started turning the wheel. We did a good 15 minutes in reverse direction straight into the eye of the wind and those cresting waves with essentially the same results. The boat didn’t slow down and certainly didn’t broach or slew at the bottom of the troughs even when burying her nose deeply into the waves. Really, all in all, she showed remarkable capability for those seas, an incredibly pleasant boat to run on a day when I would normally wish I was home reading a good book by a warm fire. This combination of fine bow lines and entry with her broad and flat exit of run of the hull was literally the perfect example of what one would wish for in this type of boat.

So after some years, along came a new candidate for a boat, this time a couple that was looking for a commuter boat to run from Vancouver Island, specifically Sydney, British Columbia, to their island home located about 34 miles north in the Canadian Gulf Islands. They needed her to be able to make good and economical speed so that they could spend their time on the island not just going back and forth to it. The boat needed to be able to handle anything from a few groceries to large units of wood, fuel, and all the myriad of items necessary for comfortable island life. The weather would not always be compatible to this lifestyle and so the vessel would need to be able to handle the weather in whatever form that would be presented to it.

With those requirements set down, I had no hesitation in recommending the Storm Petrel type hull as a good model to choose from. But the customers wanted a single diesel (not the twin diesels that the Storm Petrel had) and needed the potential for more speed than the Storm Petrel boat had so the Yanmar 6LPA was chosen. With 300 horses under her engine box, the hull should top speed out at about 26-28 knots and cruise at 20 knots without difficulty. With the single diesel layout, the cabin changes considerably in its layout and in the potential layout options for the customers. De-emphasized was the need for berthing and a galley with those being way down on the list of priorities and moving up on the list was the need for handling tough waters at all times of the year and keeping a load of people warm and dry while being transported to the island for a visit.

Her overall size was limited to 30ft-6in on deck in order to fit her slip where she will be kept in Sydney and a bow thruster was added to couple with the single engine and give the owner greater control in a tight docking situation. A single seat was added across the stern of the boat for passengers on those nice sunny days but the rest of the cockpit was kept as open as possible to carry gear and stores. The final change was to slightly contemporize her appearance with a three pane forward windshield and twin sliding windows on each of her cabin sides. She is certainly no traditional appearing lobsterboat like the Storm Petrel was but I really have to say that I like the profile of this new “Pyladian” very much and look forward to seeing how her presence manifests itself on the water. Launching is expected in the late fall of 2013. – Sam Devlin

The Pyladian 31 is available as a custom build from Sam Devlin and his team.

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Pyladian 31 Specifications

Length 30 ft. – 6 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 3 in.
Draft 31 in.
Power Inboard diesel 300hp
Displacement 9200 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Speed 20 knot cruise/28 knot max

 

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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.

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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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