Candlefish 13 – 2014

The Candlefish 13 is a versatile small fishing boat. Originally designed to be a cartoppable fishing skiff for high latitude rivers and lakes, she has also proven to be an excellent yacht tender.

With one person aboard, she only draws about 4.5 inches. On an ultimate hunting trip, loaded with gear, she could carry 1323 pounds, draw 10.5 inches  and still have over 13 inches of freeboard at the lowest point of the sheer.

Under normal loading, she planes at 20+mph with an 8hp outboard. Sam recently built one of these as a tender for his beloved Josephine, and reports that he loves it.

Overall, the Candlefish is the ultimate in small, simple boats with serious ruggedness in any environment.

For the full story, read Sam’s design notes on the Candlefish 13.

This Candlefish was built by the crack team at Devlin Boats in 2014. This is a boat that with minimum upkeep will last for generations. The asking price is $14,500, complete with 20hp Yamaha outboard and galvanized trailer. Contact Sam for more information or to arrange a showing.

Contact information is at the bottom of every page.

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Lingcod Series

Freeboard Variations
Freeboard Variations


Any Lingcod series boat is, at its core, a large and fast skiff. It maximizes volume in a rugged hull design that balances performance and ride comfort with versatility. It’s also a larger extension of a venerable line of the Cackler boats. Most importantly, every one of the Lingcod designs is a platform for whole range of uses. In their standard center console form, the Lingcods are workhorses, just as useful as a pickup truck when it comes to hauling loads, going fishing and hunting, or taking supplies out to remote locations. But that’s just the beginning. Start with a dependable high volume hull, and make it whatever you want. Change the seating layout, put a pilothouse on it, or at the extreme, turn it into a compact houseboat, a tiny house on the water, a mobile vacation getaway. The study plans include well designed houseboat conversion concepts just to get you started. Although the Lingcods are rooted in proven Devlin designs, they are a blank canvas waiting for you to paint your perfect boat.

The Lingcod is available in study and full construction plans in 3 sizes:

Lingcod 21 ( aka Little Cod)

Lingcod 24

Lingcod 27

The are also study plans for the Lingcod 32. Contact Lee to purchase a set.

Lingcod 21


Lingcod 24
Lingcod 24

Lingcod 24 Specifications

Length on Deck 24 ft. – 1.125 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 9 in.
Draft 11 in.
Power Outboard
Displacement 3200 lbs.
Hull Type Planing


27 Housboat Plan
27 Housboat Plan

Lingcod 27 Specifications

Length on Deck 27 ft. – 1 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 9 in.
Draft 12 in.
Power Outboard
Displacement 3300 lbs.
Hull Type Planing


Lingcod 32 Houseboat Plan
Lingcod 32 Houseboat Plan
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Little Cod 21

The Little Cod 21 is a larger version of our popular Cackler line of boats that we already have in 14, 16, 18 ft. versions. This is not just simply a blown-up larger boat though it was born of original thought on what would work as a large and fast skiff, one that could be beached if needed and one that could be trailered to the head of its many adventures.

These Garvey type boats (bow transom, Vee bottomed) make for a really good and rugged skiff. With so much volume forward, the boat can be nosed into the shoreline and the skipper and friends can safely and securely walk off the bow. There are good and sturdy centerline keel and bilge keels that keep the boat off the bottom in a beaching or grounding situation and with a 100-150hp outboard, the Little Cod will run at over 40 mph, depending on the load, with good safety and fuel economy.

A center console rounds out this design but you could work out many different arrangements for passenger seating or even fit a removable small cabin on her like the Honker design. A concept drawing for a Little Cod 21 houseboat is included in the study plans. With enough interest or a build commission, we could definitely flesh out the remainder of the houseboat’s plans. – Sam Devlin

The Little Cod 21 is available as study and construction plans.


Little Cod 21 Specifications

Length 21 ft. – 5 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 7 in.
Draft 9.5 in.
Power Outboard, 100-150hp
Displacement 2600 lbs.
Hull Type Planing
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Bella 16

Bella16FrontBackThe Bella 16 rounds out our three-strong series of pulling/motoring skiffs. This largest version could easily carry three passengers, or even more if motoring instead of rowing. With only four 4 x 8 sheets of ¼ inch plywood and a few other odds and ends, the boatbuilder can have an attractive, easily driven, light craft. This boat is built upright without a jig, saving on time and materials. As with the Bella 10 and Bella 12, this boat is primarily a rowing skiff and her shape suits that purpose nicely. Whether fishing a pond in Wisconsin, rowing for recreation on the Puget Sound, or pulling her up on a Florida beach for some camping, the Bella 16 is a handy skiff. In a world that needs more boats, I’m happy to offer plans for the boater whose needs are balanced equally by aesthetics and utility. — Sam Devlin

The Bella 16 is available in study and construction plans.



Bella 16 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 8.125 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 9.75 in.
Draft 6.5 in.
Power Oars, Outboard 2.5hp
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Bella 12

Boat classification is a daunting area of study. Just ask L. Francis about the proper definition for a yawl boat or a cutter. In differentiating between a dinghy, a tender, and a skiff, it’s incredibly easy to get turned around a couple times. To compound this, the definitions are sometimes regional! I’ve distilled my own interpretation and then drank to it with a nice cigar, thank you very much. This boat is a skiff, and to Davy Jones and the Kraken for those who would argue with the designer!

What matters more than the type of vessel this handy little craft is called, are what she is intended for and how efficiently she does her job. So many ponds and quays these days are rife with oar-powered craft that are no more suitable for a person to row than for a person to try and sail a 30 foot cigarette boat. These Jon boats and aluminum skiffs are an offense to the art of rowing and to those captaining them even more so. What I have strived for in the Bella 12 is a boat that will row nicely with one or two aboard, yet be able to accept a very small outboard for those longer trips. Instead of a dead flat run aft, the buttocks sweep up gracefully into a shape that is far more easily driven by oars. I recommend going no larger than a 2.5hp outboard – she’ll simply squat with more – and an even better option would be for a small electric motor on her stern.

Many would likely be surprised at the smart clip she will show with even so small a motor; this is where the shape of this boat shines. No, she won’t jump onto a plane – we have other boats for that. If one is looking for a little skiff that’s a true pleasure to row, as well as the versatility afforded by the option of an outboard, the Bella 12 is the sensible choice. — Sam Devlin


The Devlin Bella 12 is available in study and construction plans. Also as a CNC cut kit.

Bella 12 Specifications

Length 11 ft. – 7.25 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 9.75 in.
Draft 6.5 in.
Power Oars, Outboard, 2.5 hp max
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PeepersDesigned along the lines of an old duck-hunting skiff, with few modifications, the Peeper has become a very tidy little vessel. Her size is alluring, just under 12 feet in length and almost 4 feet wide. Her generous sheer creates a delightful profile on the water. Grace and motion says it all when describing the Peeper. She is a pleasure to row, light, responsive, and fast enough for good transportation. The unique wooden oarlock bracket has two rowing positions so the boat can be trimmed for different loads.

The Peeper is a terrific skiff or yacht tender,  easy to build, easy to row, maneuver, and a pleasure to own. — Sam Devlin

The Devlin Peeper is available in study and construction plans.


Peeper Specifications

Length 11 ft. – 11 in.
Beam 3 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 4 in.
Power Oars
Displacement 83 lbs.
Max Load 425 lbs.


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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


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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


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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Candlefish 16

The Candlefish 16 is a burdensome fishing skiff. Deep and seaworthy, it is wonderfully suited to life in our changeable weather and strong tides. Deep enough to keep her occupants dry and light enough to launch off the beach, she’s perfect with 10 to 30 hp.

Lockable storage and enclosed flotation augment the factor of safety and add a great deal of rigidity to her 16-foot length. She’s the boating version of a pickup truck. Strong, rugged, and versatile.

Easy to build to a workboat fit and finish, or take as much time as you want to showcase your craftsmanship. The choice is yours, but either way she makes a wonderful utility skiff.


For the detailed thinking behind the Candlefish 16, read Sam’s design notes.

The Candlefish 16 is available as plans or a CNC cut kit.


Candlefish 16 Specifications

Length 15 ft. – 10 7/16 in.
Beam 5 ft. – 9 13/16 in.
Draft 6 in.
Displacement 714 lbs.
Dry Weight 325 lbs.
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Bella 10 Skiff


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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