Pelicano 23 Design Notes

Here we have a 23 ft. outboard powered boat with three distinct different configurations to choose from and great capability of running in a broad variety of waters. She stays conveniently trailerable, runs at good speeds (dependent on horsepower chosen), and even has the option of providing cabin warmth and comfort for cruising in two of the versions.  All this describes the new Candlefish 23 model and she offers much utility and usability to the boater.

She is built with our Stitch and Glue method of construction and sets up 8 athwart ships bulkheads interconnecting with two longitudinal bulkheads for the basic framework.  Hull panels are scarfed to length from 8ft. long panels cut to each of their specific shapes and are stitched over the mandrel of the bulkheads into final hull shape.  Her bottom has the strength addition of another layer of ¼” marine plywood laminated onto her ½” or 12mm initial bottom skin and the resulting laminate of ¾” or 18mm thickness is strong and light.  The hull is then sheathed with two layers of cloth set in epoxy resin and after painting the hull and mounting the hardware, you are ready for the water.  Of the three models we are offering, you can choose from an “Center Console” version with totally open cockpit, or the lovely “Bassboat” with good seating in the cockpit and a cabin for sleeping overnight and staying comfortable on longer trips, or our “Shrimper” model with covered helm area and large cockpit for fishing fun!

If you are so inclined, the plans for home construction are offered for $225 dollars a package for each of the models individually or if you want all three versions of the plans, that’s over 32 individual sheets of drawings for the price of $399.  The choice is yours, either our venerable old feet and inches ‘Imperial’ measurement plans or choose in ‘Metric’ measurement.  Basic hull kits will be offered for any of these models also, CNC cut and including a building jig to assemble her on, and shipped on 4×8 pallets regular truck freight to just about any place in North America – just call us for pricing.

So here she is, the newest to our lineup, the Pelicano 23, and with about $5,500 dollars in materials (not counting the outboard engine) and 700-900 hours labor, you can dream up your own adventures while building her.  – Sam Devlin

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Surf Scoter 22 Design Notes

It has been over 20 years now that we first conceived of and built the first of our venerable Surf Scoter 22 vessels and it was high time that we sat down to the drafting table, put the thinking cap on, and re-think and re-conceive the design.  Many things have changed over the years and in today’s world its almost impossible to buy a 2 stroke outboard engine, the 4 cycle outboards have taken over the market, and brief forays into small diesel inboard land and larger diesel Stern drives have all come and gone.  What makes the most sense in today’s market with the cost of everything boat related in the far stratosphere price wise, is to use the wonderfully quiet, smooth running, and efficient 4 cycle outboards that are so available these days.  Mounting them on the transom makes the most sense and gives a cockpit that has the space to accommodate everything in use from the fisherman, to the long distance cruiser.  In this new model we stretched the Pilothouse and added a neat enclosed head, so that those skippers amongst us that desire our first mates to come along on our cruising adventures will be comfortable and agreeable!  There is still plenty of room for a galley, helm and co-helm seats in the pilothouse with 6’-4” headroom.  Under the foredeck sitting headroom in the port and starboard berths and with a filler plugged into the middle a huge double berth can be made up.

This new model is quite a bit wider than the older version and the resulting stability will be appreciated by all.  With a 90 hp. Outboard on the stern the top speed is 26mph. and cruising speed of 18 mph is quiet and economical with a fuel burn of less than 4 gph. At speed.

The plans are complete for both professional and home builders and we offer them in both measurement formats our venerable feet and inches and Metric for those of you that can’t do mental math.   Plans cost is $225 dollars and we are very pleased to have had the chance to revisit this old concept, throw a couple of new ideas at it and hope that you will love the result as much as we do!    –Sam Devlin

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Dipper 19

Dipper19ForeAft

Above, Nick Lee rests in his Dipper 19, after a lengthy build in a commercial parking garage.

Originally designed to fit in a 20′ shipping container, the Dipper 19 is roomy inside, with a couple of other noteworthy features. The first is her use of twin 4 cycle outboards on the stern. There is no burying of the outboards in a well or trying to disguise them they are mounted proudly on the stern. Part of this plan is to allow them to be de-mounted for the container stowage, but the other part is to allow them to be as efficient as possible and allows for the increased maneuverability of the twin engines. By placing one engine in the forward and the other in reverse the boat can be turned neatly in a tight circle and if you need the other direction to come into play, then reverse the process and she will turn about the other way. With twin 10hp outboards, the fuel burn at 6 knots speed will be something less than 1 gallon of fuel per hour for an efficiency of 1 gallon of fuel burned for 7 miles of travel. At top speed, the twin 10s will offer 10 knots of speed and twin 15s would offer 12 knots of speed.

The cockpit is left open and unencumbered by seats or other appendages. The whole idea is to have a couple of comfortable folding chairs that have the space of being used in the cockpit well without restricting one into one position or another. Flexibility is really the key! With this arrangement, it leaves enough open space for the two outboards to be laid on their sides for transport.

In the cabin, there is a standup galley that has all the ingredients necessary to function and forward under the trunk cabin, there is space for a porta-potti and twin berths on both sides really a remarkable amount of room inside and out for a boat under 20ft. in length. In the evening, the port-potti could be placed in the pilothouse or cockpit and the filler used in the berth area makes a large almost queen sized bed.

Read about the inspiration for the Dipper 19 in Sam’s design notes.

The Dipper 19 is available as study and full construction plans, and as a precision CNC cut kit.

Dipper19Side

Dipper 19 Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 2 11/16 in.
Draft 15 in.
Displacement 2545 lbs.
Power Dual Outboards 10 – 20hp
Max Speed 10 – 12 knots @ 10hp

Dipper19Top

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Dipper 19 Design Notes

This is an all new version of our old classic the “Dipper 16” with several extra spices thrown into the mix, and the resulting dish is a completely different plate.

She is of course three feet longer than the original Dipper and almost a foot increase in beam.  A little extra length and width in this size of boat translates to a completely different feel and changes the use and scope of use considerably.  But here is the main difference in her, she is designed to be capable of being stored and transported in a 20ft. long container.  Her owner John Irving wanted a boat that could be packed tightly into a 20ft. container for shipment from the east coast of the United States to Europe.  John’s idea is that shipping costs for a 20ft. container are dirt cheap something in the range of under $2000 dollars to cross the Atlantic and if the boat was fitted well into its little traveling garage then he could afford to take her on many adventures that in other times might only be thought of and not acted upon.  In the winter in Maine (John’s home)  where literally no one keeps a boat in the water the container could be relied upon to keep its contents warm, dry, and out of the elements and when the calmer spring weather breaks then out she comes and into the drink for a seasons cruising and playing on the water.

Besides the increase in interior room in the design there are a couple of other features that are of note.  The first is her use of twin 4 cycle outboards on the stern.  There is no burying of the outboards in a well or trying to disguise them, they are mounted proudly on the stern.  Part of this plan is to allow them to be de-mounted for the container stowage, but the other part is to allow them to be as efficient as possible and allows for the increased maneuverability of the twin engines.  By placing one engine in the forward and the other in reverse the boat can be turned neatly in a tight circle and if you need the other direction to come into play then reverse the process and she will turn about the other way.  With twin 10hp outboards the fuel burn at 6 knots speed will be something less than 1 gallon of fuel per hour for an efficiency of 1 gallon of fuel burned for 7 miles of travel.  At top speed the twin 10’s will offer 10knots speed and twin 15’s would offer 12 knots of speed.

The cockpit is left open and unencumbered by seats or other appendages, the whole idea is to have a couple of comfortable folding chairs that have the space of being used in the cockpit well without restricting one into one position or another.  Flexibility is really the key! With this arrangement and leaves enough open space for the two outboards to be laid on there sides for transport.

In the cabin there is a standup galley that has all the ingredients necessary to function and forward under the trunk cabin there is space for a porta-potti and twin berths on both sides.  Really a remarkable amount of room inside and out for a boat under 20ft. in length.  In the evening the port-potti could be placed in the pilothouse or cockpit and the filler used in the berth area makes a large almost queen sized bed.

Plans are just completed and we offer them for $225 per boat built.  Someday in the near future I am looking forward to seeing many of these boats tooling about in waters near and far away.  A good looking boat is always worth a smile to me, and the Dipper 19 is to my eye a very good looking boat!

— Sam Devlin

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Candlefish 13 Design Notes

Did the horse come before the cart or the cart before the Horse? A dumb question but in the case of the Candlefish 13 and the Candlefish 16 which came first is a legitimate question? The answer is that the Candlefish 13 was the first of these two designs and while the Candlefish 16 was built before the 13 by no means does this diminish the importance of the design.

The Candlefish 13 was originally designed for Tom McLain of Fairbanks, Alaska and I include the original copy of the design commission listing the requirements for the boat and parameters

January 30, 2006

Custom Design for Tom McLain

Email XXXXXXXXXXXXX

X.X.XXX XXXX Fairbanks, Alaska XXXXX

XXX-XXX-XXXX Work Number

XXX-XXX-XXXX   Home Number

Charge for Preliminary Design XXX with rights for first boat only

Paid by check #XXXX

50% down to start design and 50% on delivery of plans

Total cost of the design XXX

14’ ft. Cartoppable outboard skiff

Length 14ft

48”? or slightly more Beam

Needs to be less than 150-180 lbs for the basic boat, has to be lifted overhead to a rack on a 5th wheel towing Dodge one ton truck

For use in the Hi-Latitudes on far Northern lakes or non-whitewater bodies of water

Wants to use a 6-10hp. Outboard engine on the stern for power.

As Stable and Deep a boat as what Tom and Friends or Wife can manage to lift onto rack

Floorboards could be removable or even not necessary and seat thwarts also

Will be carried upside down on the truck rack

Gregor Boats H 42 model is an alum. This is a similar boat design that Tom likes (good research)

Coming down on June 30th to visit… Likes idea of cargo hatch in middle of the boat… 6/22/06

To respect Tom’s privacy I have X’d out the vital money details and address of this agreement but you can plainly see a small, Cartoppable, very seaworthy skiff was desired. Did Tom ever build the first boat to the design, I can’t answer that for sure as he has not sent me construction or action photos of her yet, but I still think that she would fit the bill for cruising, hunting, exploring far northern waters or freshwater lakes very well.

During the design phase of the project I always find myself using these boats in my mind, in some cases for the same use and waters as the customer is planning on, but sometimes my own mental voyages are even more exacting than the original design commission. For this design I could easily see myself planning to do a couple of weeks of Moose hunting on a far northern lake with my friends Sven and Ollie, using the Candlefish to transport all the gear necessary from our launch site to the hunting campsite. Each day would involve using the boat to travel to a different part of Lake for the days hunting and if we were really lucky and good shots after getting a Moose down, using her to transport the meat back to camp, and then finally back to the launching area and road. A big Moose can weigh over 1500 lbs. and this would be a lot of meat, more than most boats could handle with one load. So I did a bit of calculation on how efficient the Candlefish 13 would be as a meat freighter. At her normal lines she displaces 441 lbs. just enough for an adult and the weight of the boat and motor and at this weight only drafts or draws 4.5” skinny inches of water. If I figure that the boat weights in at 150lbs. and she uses a 100 lb. motor we can come up with some interesting figures of weight and loading. By increasing the draft 2” to a still skinny 6.5” total draft now she displaces 538 lbs, by increasing it again 2” to 8.5” total draft she weights or displaces 918 lbs. And on the ultimate hunting trip or in this example ferrying out a Moose carcass she could draft 10.5”, carry 1323 lbs. of weight total and still have over 13” of freeboard at the lowest spot of the sheer. This little “Candlefish 13’ was designed to do just that job and with her cargo hold in the middle and forward bow stowage areas, a really great, seaworthy little boat resulted. But how about those of you that want to use her on a lake in Minnesota, or maybe even trailer her down to Sea of Cortez for a camp cruising adventure, truth is she is up for all of that or even the more mundane crabbing expedition on Puget Sound or a fishing trip to a high mountain lake.

How is her performance? Well with an 8hp. outboard even with some good loading she will still go well over the 20 miles per hour mark and with a boat like this you can go as fast as you have horsepower to apply to her. Her transom could take anything from a modest 6hp, up to a 25 horse outboard motor and you’ll just have to make those decisions on your own, how fast you want to go, how much money you want to spend on the outboard, and how portable (how heavy an outboard ) do you want to keep on her?

I think she accomplishes Tom’s goals with “panache” in fact maybe I should have named her just that, but in any case a simple, seaworthy, trailerable or even car-toppable skiff can be a real joy to build, own, and play with.

Plans are $65 dollars and with about $850 dollars worth of materials you can build your own.

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