Honker Design Notes

Let’s start out with the description of the Honker design by describing a typical cruise that one might anticipate going on with this boat.

My own two sons are now ages 14 and 10. We all like to fish and explore some of the more out of the way areas in the Northwest where we live and for years, I have been aware of a place on the West Coast of Vancouver Island called Barkley Sound. This year we decided to have a go at exploring this area by boat. My choices were to take one of our larger boats and spend 3 days travel time (dependent on good weather) just to get up to Barkley Sound. Or we could trailer our Honker up behind the family pickup on gravel roads and launch in the sound itself at a place called Alberni Inlet and motor around the Sound beach cruising.

This trailering trip would take only one day to get there and allowed us more exploring time in the Sound itself. Also with our weather being as fickle as it is up here, the chances of being able to pick a window of 3 to 4 days of good weather was far more likely than if we had taken the larger boat and we could do the whole trip in 4 or 5 days instead of just traveling up and back in the larger boat in the same period of time. We could spend nights on the shore camped in a backpacking tent and each day could be spent fishing and exploring our two favorite things to do.

For our purposes, the Honker is ideally suited, being a light weight shallow draft vessel that with a 60 horse outboard, can race along at 30 knots or can idle for hours while trolling for salmon or bottom fish. We can cook the fresh caught fish each night for our meal and all that cooking could be done safely on a small propane barbecue carried on board the boat. Each night the Honker could be beached and the anchor rode carried up the beach and tied off to an accommodating tree or large rock. The split cockpit of our own Honker allows us to carry all camping gear and clothing in a waterproof, lockable, separate compartment. Room for the three of us and our fishing gear would be easily accommodated in the aft cockpit.

Carrying 24 gallons of fuel in four 6 gallon tanks gives enough range and fuel to keep us going for the time spent on the Sound. And just for my own peace of mind, a Jerry jug of 5 gallons capacity was carried just for emergency use. This 5 gallons alone would provide us with an additional 70 miles of running time, enough spare fuel to get back to civilization without worrying about picking up more fuel along the way.

A small vacation done in a vessel like this Honker is inexpensive and easy to do at thelast minute without a lot of preparation or planning. In fact, most of the gear we took was carried as survival packs and loaded into the boat in a matter of minutes. Two medium sized coolers filled by a stop at a grocery store along the way kept us in cold beer, pop and snacks for the trip and doubled in utility by allowing us to put fresh fish caught in the Sound and made Mom just a bit the happier for allowing her troop to go up into the wild and spend some quality time together.

Using a boat this way points quickly to the strengths and weaknesses of a design, and I’m happy to report that the Honker passed with flying colors. Her beachability was the most important quality, and the capability of carrying all gear in a separate storage area and not being underfoot during the day worked to perfection. The fuel and water situation worked out well also and the 5 gallon Jerry jug of extra fuel was not tapped into.

This little Honker has allowed us more useful boat for the dollar and hour of labor to construct than just about any other boat I can think of. I’m looking forward to this years adventures with her and my boys. We are all thinking about a longer even more ambitious trip this year, perhaps we might tackle the Queen Charlotte Islands. Now that would be a real trip!

I’ve even been thinking about building the small pilothouse/cabin that is shown here for the Honker giving us some foul weather capability in case the local weatherman screws up and really runs us afoul of a good mid summer storm for this year’s exploring. Take a look and you will see a real versatile boat that can provide you with a fine platform for playing on the water in your own areas.

— Sam Devlin

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Pelicano 23

Like the Pelicano 18, the larger Pelicano 23 comes in three distinct configurations. Bassboat, Center Console, and Shrimper.

Pelicano23-3way

In every case, the Pelicano 23 offers the unique combination of real world durability mixed with the classic Devlin style. Every configuration presents a very practical boat for a wide range of needs. The Bassboat and Shrimper both feature good berth space for overnight adventures; the shrimper adds a sheltered helm for operating in harsher conditions. There is ample dry storage below the deck. The Center Console version provides open space for wrestling those big fish and hauling bulky gear.

No matter your needs in a mid-sized speedboat, the Pelicano 23 delivers a strong, durable, and versatile answer.

For more information, read Sam’s design notes.

The Pelicano 23 is available in study and construction plans for all configurations,

and as a CNC cut kit for the Shrimper.

Pelicano 23 Specifications

Length 22 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 5 in.
Draft 12.625 in. at full displacement
Power Outboard 150hp
Dry Weight w/engine & battery 2300 lbs.
Weight at Load Waterline 3300 lbs.
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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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Duckling 17

Duckling17Sleek lines and a beautiful sheer make the Duckling a delight to row and own. She is light and responsive and easily handled, providing great exercise for the single oarsman. As a three-panel per side design, she’ll glide through the water nearly effortlessly.

At 95 lbs. the Duckling 17 is a very car-toppable boat, easy for one person to handle. Folding pattern oarlocks and eight foot spoon blade oars give her a lot of power.

A flotation seat compartment and the natural buoyancy of her wood make her unsinkable. For leisure rowing, or as an exercise machine, a more graceful and beautiful rowing boat would be hard to find.

The Duckling 17 is available in study and construction plans, and a precision CNC cut kit.

Duckling17Top

Duckling 17 Specifications

Length 17 ft. – 3 5/8 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 5.75 in.
Draft 5.25 in.
Displacement with Rower 346 lbs.
Hull Weight 95 lbs.

Duckling17Front

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Cackler 14

The Cackler is a new generation hunting skiff designed for hunting in areas where seaworthiness is essential and at a time of year when great distances may need to be covered in a hurry to avoid cold nasty weather. The Cackler will carry a load in those conditions of two to three men and gear. I have been hunting in 40 plus knots of wind with four hunters, three dogs, and six dozen decoys. She performed admirably and still got up on plane. The Cackler has an ingenious outboard well that accommodates up to a 35 hp outboard. Six-gallon fuel tanks fit under the rear deck on both sides of the well. The Cackler can be enlarged to 16 or 18 easily and is an outstanding performer.

The Cackler 14 is available as study and full construction plans, as well as a CNC cut kit.

Cackler 14 Specifications

Length 14 ft. – 3.5 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 9.25 in.
Draft 7.75 in.
Displacement 775 lbs.
Max Load 805 lbs.
Dry Weight w/ Outboard 165 lbs.
Power Outboard 30hp

Cackler14Build

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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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Lit’l Petrel

LitlPetrelMidBuildThe Devlin Lit’l Petrel is the big sister to the Micro Petrel. She has the same ease of use, the same easy build, and the same utility. While both Petrels are exceptional small tenders and load carriers, the Lit’l Petrel adds a great deal of useful load without adding much to the hull weight. She’s easy to handle, easy to store, and easy to transport. She’s rugged enough to spend her life on the back of a larger boat and small enough to hang on a wall of your garage. Maximum usefulness in a minimal package!

 

Read Sam’s design notes for the Lit’l Petrel.

Check out these Micro Petrel build photos. The build techniques are identical.

The Lit’l Petrel is available in study and full construction plans, and as a CNC cut kit.

6-Presentation

Lit’l Petrel Specifications

Length 8 ft. – 11.25 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 2.375 in.
Draft 5 in.
Useful Load 340 lbs.
Dry Weight Hull 63 lbs.
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Lit’l Petrel Design Notes

Here is a simple little Pram style dinghy that can be built from a few sheets of 1/4 inch marine plywood using the Stitch and Glue method of construction and weighs not much more than a feather. She will fit on the deck or the back stern of a larger vessel and is designed and built strongly to hold up to the strains of the life of a proper tender to a large mothership while being a blast to row and use thus allowing exploration of many waters.

This whole idea of using a pram style dinghy is really a sound one with remarkable stability for the users in any area of the boat. Imagine rowing with your first mate to the shore of some strange shoreline to spend the afternoon walking around looking for evidence of old civilizations or some strange animal you are stalking. Once you beach one of these simple boats, you can walk off the bow without the instability of a pointed bow skiff that would need to be beached by the stern to give the same sort of stability. She can carry all the needs for the afternoon, a picnic lunch, or perhaps something cool to drink after a brisk walk and nothing beats a beachside picnic after a nice morning of exploring — it is truly one of our favorite activities while cruising. I am reminded of my old friend, Heine Dole, who cruised the Northwest Coast in his beloved Evening Star clear up into his mid 90s with his wife as his only crew. He showed me a collection of pictures of him sitting for a series of years next to the same river on the same overhanging log, with a Kermode Bear (one of the rare white colored Spirit Bears of northern British Columbia) sitting next to him intently looking into the water for a spawning salmon with Heine sitting closer to the bear each year and in the final year, the bear and Heine literally an arms length apart from each other. I must say that inspired me to the thought that our lovely wilderness here in the Northwest could keep me happy for my entire life just as it had done for Heine for all those years. It takes a skiff or a dinghy such as this Litl Petrel to allow us to work our way into the mouth of a river or onto the shore for exploring sessions.

One of the finest features of the pram style vessel is its capability of taking on additional weight beyond what it might have optimally been originally designed for without adversely affecting the performance of the boat. For instance with another 110 lbs of load, the Litl Petrel design only sits an additional inch deeper into the water and still rows very well. Sink her an additional 4 inches and she can carry a total load of almost 700 lbs — this is a very versatile design.

This design does need to have a couple of sheets of marine plywood to be joined end to end to give us long enough panels to build her but this is an easy task and if you have the luxury of buying one of our new kits for her, we have the scarfs already precut and ready for you to glue them together and then assemble the boat. A great little boat — very easy to build, good capacity and very useable in real life use. Strongly built, she is a great option as the tender to a larger mothership or you can use her on her own.

Plans cost $65 dollars and with a few sheets of 1/4 inch marine plywood, a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of 3/4 inch hardwood, you can build your own version. Her weight of 63 lbs. will allow you to handle her without straining your back and she is a great project boat, perfect for teaching your kids or grandkids how to build something in a world where most of us have completely detached from building anything with our own hands..What a fine way to spend a few hours, both building and using her!

— Sam Devlin

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