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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Micro Petrel

Micro Petrel CartopThe Micro Petrel is a great 8′ yacht tender. As the name implies, it is the little sister to the Lit’l Petrel. She is the design response to the need for a small, rugged, lightweight yacht tender, but she can be used in any situation that needs a small boat with the ability to carry a variety of loads while maintaining its balance and performance. She is another Devlin easy-to-build option, in terms of both space and cost. Her size makes her easy to handle, store, and transport. She makes a great cartopper.

Read the story of the Micro Petrel in Sam’s design notes.

Julian Swindell sent us a great set of build photos.

The Micro Petrel is available in study and full construction plans and as CNC cut kit.

MicroPetrel4view

 

Micro Petrel Specifications

Length 7 ft. – 11.5 in.
Beam 4 ft. – 2.25 in.
Draft 4.5 in.
Useful Load 270 lbs.
Dry Weight Hull 57 lbs.
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Micro Petrel Design Notes

Here is a simple little Pram-style dinghy that can be built from a few sheets of ¼” marine plywood using the Stitch and Glue method of construction and weighs not much more than a feather. She will fit into the back of a small pickup or could be car-topped if you prefer to drive something that isn’t of the easy carrying mode.  If you would indulge me with a read of the description of her larger sister, the Lit’l Petrel design, you could follow the concept of how a small boat like this can respond to real life needs of carrying a wide variety of weight and keep herself still in a stable and well performing mode.  But what follows is the real story of why we took the time and energy to do another design and why that exercise was necessary.

I have a very good customer who I am quite fond of named Cyndie and she owns one of our larger Devlin’s that we designed and built for her several years ago.  Cyndie loves her Devlin and uses it often either by herself or with a phalange of friends and our story follows one of these Saturday outings on Puget Sound.

Cyndie and two companions were out on the water, buzzing about doing a bit of training and in general just enjoying the water and the company of each other.  Just ahead was a sailboat that was in distress and  so she and her crew stood by to render assistance.  The weather was stormy and the boat in stress was having issues getting a line passed across so that they could be towed to safety and before anyone could react, the large skiff that was on the stern of Cyndie’s boat got swamped by a large wave and took enough wave force to literally tear it off the swim step of her boat.  It was only with quick action that the broken hull could be saved.  Cyndie and I had talked previously about using this skiff (not a Devlin skiff) on her boat as the tender, and I had aired my concerns of it as the hull was lightly built and not up to the rigors of a life tipped up vertically mounted on the swimstep of a larger boat.  So I hate to say, that it wasn’t a surprise to me to later hear the story of how the skiff was torn off and damaged greatly.  So without a proper shore boat it wasn’t long before Cyndie and I had a conversation about  having us put a proper dinghy on the stern of her lovely boat, a dinghy that was purpose designed for the stress and rigors that she would subject it to.  That was the catalyst for the Lit’l Petrel design and now this sistership the Micro Petrel.

The smaller design was done in quick succession to her larger sister as our answer to the need for a smaller pram styled dinghy that would allow the maximum boat to be built without scarfing being necessary on the 4ft.X 8ft. sheets of plywood.  This boat is just about as large of a skiff or dinghy as one can build from full sized sheets of plywood.  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 couple sheets of marine plywood, a few gallons of epoxy and a couple of planks of ¾” hardwood you can build your own version.  Her weight of 57 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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Oarling II

OarlingVertSleek lines and a beautiful sheer make the Oarling a delight to row and own. She is light, responsive and easily maneuvered, providing great transportation for the single oarsman or with passengers and cargo. Dory hulls with their characteristic flare pick up displacement very fast and lose little performance when loaded or in rough sea conditions.

At 95 lbs. the Oarling is a very car-toppable boat, easy for one person to handle. She is a little longer and much faster than the Gloucester Gull-type dory and the extra length seems to pay dividends in versatility. Folding pattern oarlocks and eight foot spoon blade oars give her a lot of power. In the Northwest, Oarling has made some respectable showings in rowing regattas and meets.

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 Oarling is available in plans and CNC precision cut kit.

 

Oarling II Specifications

Length 17 ft. – 3 13/16 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 10.5 in.
Draft 6 in.
Displacement 331 lbs.
Dry Weight 85 lbs.
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Bella 10 Skiff

Bell10Stripe

The Bella 10, formerly known as the 5×10 skiff, is probably the easiest way to get started in boatbuilding in the entire Devlin catalog, if not the entire world.  Originally designed to teach boatbuilding technique, the Bella is an easy building, elegant design that comes together in a fast rowing, lightweight skiff. She’s a great family project. At 52 pounds, she is easy to handle and launch. She will fit easily into a pickup truck bed; no special requirements to transport or store the Bella 10. Finally, she is our least expensive kit. Building your own boat doesn’t get any easier. Available as plans or low-cost CNC cut kits.

Read Sam’s design notes on the Bella 10.

Bella 10 Specifications

Length 9 ft. – 8.5 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8.75 in.
Draft 6.125 in.
Displacement 305 lbs.
Dry Weight 52 lbs.
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