Moon River 48

MoonRiver48RunningBowI am happy to report the launching and sea-trials are completed on the newest of the Devlin fleet — the “Moon River 48” and she is living up to all our expectations and dreams. She runs thru the water with an amazing grace, cutting thru the waves like there is nothing in her way. She is smooth and powerful on the water and with her twin John Deere engines purring away quietly in the cockpit, there is an almost dreamlike quality to her motion thru the water.

Top speed with the twin John Deere 315 hp Diesel engines is 23 knots at 80% of the power curve. That means she has a bit more speed potential in her but she would need to be operated above the 80% line and most boats don’t get run that hard. Cruising speed of 18 knots is easy, smooth, and quiet with the engines just sipping at fuel and you really think you’re moving at a slow pace but if you look aft, you can see she is marching along at a much faster rate.

She is also very docile around the docks and in tight quarters as she has the maneuvering ability of her twin screws to help the skipper out and with proportional bow and stern thrusters, you can really make her do virtually anything that you need. The 360 visibility from the helm is extraordinary and with tiny little adjustments to either the props or thrusters, it really is a low stress way to be on the water. One of the great virtues of a sedan type cruiser like the Moon River 48 is that the windage is low — there is plenty of boat in the water and not so much area above the water that the wind can push on. Really, she is a very pleasant boat to use.

MoonRiver48ParkSo let’s take a written tour through her and see what she has for space and accommodations. There is a floatational swim step on her rear with the level being just perfect for stepping onto the boat from a dock or from a dingy. There is mid-calf height 2” diameter stainless steel railings (staples) on the back of the swim step to help keep you centered but this is a 36” wide step and there is no lack of room or any feeling of insecurity when you step aboard. The cockpit is entered thru a door that hinges on the back of the transom and stepping up into the self-bailing cockpit is easy and secure. Stepping up into the cockpit you will notice the large cockpit area is half covered with a roof extension of the house with a couple of wide seats in the immediate back of the cockpit that allow the sun worshipers to stay happy and two almost 7ft. long seats port and starboard under cover of the roof extension for those passengers preferring shade. These covered seats are really the tops of the two engine boxes and with electric motors to raise them it is just the matter of pressing a couple of rocker switches and the engines are exposed. Between the engine box seats on the centerline cockpit sole is a flush hatch that if opened exposes a larger area between the engines. All access for checking oil, checking the water strainers, changing oil, and shifting fuel from one tank to another is done from this area. There is a ladder leading into it and everything is here from tool box stowage to spare oil soak rags, right at hand and well lit from a total of 8 lights — easy to get into and back out.

Moving forward is the centerline door to the main cabin with the galley immediately to the starboard side of the boat and on the port side is a large bureau top cabinet with hatch and door in it. This is the access to the second stateroom and by opening the hatch and swinging open the door, a ladder can access this area. There is a generous berth outboard in the space, locker room for duffels and hanging clothes and just below the cabin sole on the centerline of the boat is another single berth. This aft stateroom has a generous almost 7ft. headroom and is painted in white paint with mahogany wood trim and it looks clean and comfortable. Ventilation is provided by a larger hatch that opens into the cockpit of the boat just above the top of the engine box. There is also access to the main systems area of the boat either from the single berth under the centerline or thru another flush hatch in the main sole of the salon. Located in this space are the pumps for potable water, blackwater pumps, centerline water tank, inverter, Glendinning shore power cord basket, battery charger and more. This space is well lighted and completely finished with our traditional Devlin finishes. In fact, one of the things that we are most known for is our finishes with every part of the boat being an example of our simple but elegant finishes with all construction done to the highest level of quality and finish.

Back up in the main salon, the galley is to the starboard side and has the shape of a large “U” — the freezer and refrigerator are below counter, drawer type units and a trash compactor, sink, and a 4 burner range with oven complete the suit plus there are gobs of drawers for dish, silverware, pots, pans and all the other items a modern boat need to stow away. All drawers have sea-locks on them — simple swiveling tabs that lock the drawer into closed position and hold tight even in a tough sea-way. Opposite the galley is a “U” shaped dinette that can seat up to six with comfort with a varnished table of Bubinga wood that finishes out the dining area. Forward of the settee is the co/helm seat with the back being convertible from either the use for the settee or the use for the co/helm. Electronic instruments are on both the helm and the co/helm sides with the co/helm person able to help monitor the progress of the vessel or scout ahead for safe anchorages or obstacles. Lots of counter space behind the front windows allows the spreading out of charts or tide tables while underway. On the starboard side is a large helm area with full instrumentation and a helm seat that can actually seat two side by side if desired. More drawers and stowage spaces are festooned around the helm and co/helm area providing organized stowage of all items.

On the subject of ventilation, there are all-together 11 opening windows and hatches in the main salon/pilothouse of the Moon River not counting the main companionway door itself so it’s very easy to be comfortable and cool in this vessel either underway or at anchor or tied up to a dock.

Going down 4 steps into the focsle of the Moon River, you see the master head to starboard with full shower stall and on the port side an almost mirror image of the master head except for the shower stall for the crew. The doors to the two heads are arranged to be convenient to either using from the main salon for the crew and for using from the master stateroom up in the bows of the boat for the master head. A large door leads into the master stateroom forward with full island style queen sized berth forward and hanging lockers port and starboard for both the skipper and for the first mate. This is a spacious and light and airy feeling cabin with beautiful Alaska Yellow Cedar tongue and groove overhead and Yellow Cedar and Mahogany trim for all doors, drawers, fiddle, deck beams etc. The forward stateroom also has a large 28”x28” hatch in the ceiling with screen system on it for privacy.

Clear up forward ahead of the queen sized berth is the chain locker — it’s divided into two sides and the Moon River can carry 150 ft. of chain and 250 ft. of line anchor rode. Immediately above is a Lofrans anchor windlass and deck wash system.

This finishes our tour of the boat except to mention that there are strong welded type 316 stainless steel railings protecting the crew moving forward onto the foredeck and handrails and ladder to get to the roof top. Clear up on top of the Moon River is a Nick Jackson electric davit that has capacity to lift a 1,200 lb. tender onboard. Stainless steel dingy feet complete the vessel and with good access to the roof-top, the Moon River completes the test for a fine cruising vessel.

Build time on the first of these was just over 19,000 hours, an almost staggering figure in this mass-produced world that we live in these days. But it is a testament to the trust that our customers have in our craft that allows us to build a vessel like the Moon River. When you work on a project like this, it is quickly realized that there is something special about working with your hands, and your brain and building, indeed breathing life, into a vessel like her. Thanks to all for the effort and the chance to bring Moon River to the water. – Sam Devlin

The Moon River is available as study plans and as a custom build from Sam and his team.

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Moon River 48 Specifications

Length 47 ft. – 10 in.
Beam 13 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 40 in.
Power Inboard diesel, twin 315hp
Displacement 32000 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Speed 18 knots cruise @4.4gph/23 knots max
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Kokanee 43

For the past 80 years, there has been a type of boat developed in the Northwest called a Halibut Schooner. These boats are evolved from the time when sailing schooners used to be common for commercial cod and Halibut fishing in the waters between Alaska and the mainland US. Those waters were renown for being rough and treacherous and the type of boat that evolved was tough, heavily constructed and extraordinarily seaworthy. The Kokanee is a small, but very able, version of this type and the result is a comfortable boat with good living room in her and a double cabin configuration for cruising with friends when that occasion rises. The main features that I like about this boat are the dinette and galley up in the pilothouse configuration. This allows a fo’c’sle that is very private and with enough space enough to allow the character of the live aboard configuration of this boat to actually be realized. The fo’c’sle has an island double berth, fireplace, lots of locker/stowage room and a dressing vanity. In the evening, this will be a very romantic and cozy cabin to retreat to after the day’s activities, and with its proper lighting and fine woodwork, the cabin will be a favorite retreat. The head is large and has plenty of room for keeping clean and comfortable.

Going up a few steps into the pilothouse, the helm is on the centerline and has a real ship’s wheel. With the dinette and settee to the port side and galley to starboard, everything is right at hand and it will be easy to communicate with crew. At the aft portside corner of the pilothouse, the aft/guest cabin can be accessed and with folding sink and porta-potti, the crew can be comfortable and not have to go forward in the evening to use the fo’c’sle head.

You should note that the cabin roof extends clear to the edge of the boat in the pilothouse area, and with port and starboard sliding doors and with an aft hinged door, all deck areas of the boat can be accessed with ease. The Kokanee is dry stacked for its exhaust and with a slow turning and heavy John Deere diesel engine of 145 horses, it will be quiet and comfortable. I would suggest using a bow thruster on this boat to aid in dockside maneuvering and with a balanced rudder and single screw, the Kokanee will put lots of sea miles below her keel, smoothly and comfortably.

There is plenty of deck space for carrying small rowing skiffs and a proper hard bottomed dingy for exploring an anchorage. This boat will have the capability to cruise to just about any waters that your imagination can take you and will do so with enough crew to be comfortable, safe and handy. I can just see her pulling into some quiet cove in Southeast Alaska, dropping the hook for the evening and after a brisk pull to the shore in the skiff. you can stretch your legs for a few minutes before settling back in for dinner and the evening. Can you imagine a nicer boat to be spending quality time on? Life is indeed too short….Sam Devlin

The Kokanee 43 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

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Kokanee 43 Specifications

Length 43 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 12 ft. – 4 in.
Draft 58 in.
Power Inboard diesel, 145hp
Displacement 28000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement

 

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Kokanee 36

Kokanee36FAThis was a letter written to the Customer that commissioned this little Sailing Fishing Boat design. It’s a beguiling type for any of us lucky enough to have worked in the far north fishing or tugging in our youth, and it answers well to the “Siren call of the North” when in the early Spring my heart wants nothing more than to follow the vees of Geese winging their way North. Keep in mind that as of the writing of this, a fresh Chinook Salmon, troll caught, sells off the boat for more than $5 dollars a pound. That means a 30lb. fish would fetch the ship and crew more than $150 dollars in revenue and the prospect that a middle aged person or two might fish/adventure their way to a $50,000 dollar summer.

Sean: Enclosed are the preliminary drawings for the Sailing Fishing/boat that we have been talking about. I am really pleased with how this design has worked out so far and look forward to doing more work with this concept. I have spliced a pretty livable cabin arrangement onto the 36ft. hull as we had talked about. She has enough room to be a comfortable cruiser, carry the loads associated with cruising for extended periods, and taking care of the fishing request with this design. The cockpit area is spacious enough for her purpose but has no wasted or extra space. A raised Fish/hold placed in the middle of the cockpit being the main feature, but while this space allocation might seem to be wasteful, in truth the table top area and work space is ideal for the cruiser. A small 24″ x 24″ hatch provides access into the compartment when just checking on the fish or ice conditions and the whole top is removable for unloading fish or loading the space. A small trolling cockpit is located in the stern of the boat and needs to have steering and helm controls for single-handed work. It might even be a good idea these days to have a repeater for the GPS and an Autopilot control to help keep you on course while working at fishing back in that cockpit.Kokanee36Top

The pilothouse is entered thru a sliding door in the rear bulkhead, with galley on the portside and settee/dinette and helm on the starboard side. There is enough space to drink or eat 4 and plenty of room for the designed ship’s crew of two. A Stainless steel pipe compression post for the deck stepped mast gives a good handhold in the pilothouse when in rough weather and the seatback on the helm can be canted back and forth to function as a back in helm or in dinette mode. The table can be lowered to provide a second double berth for guests that might come along for the trip. The fo’c’sle is accessed by going down 4 steps with a large enclosed head to port with shower in the front section. To starboard are a couple of hanging lockers, the one just below the helm being the mechanicals locker with all electrical and breaker functions easily accessible and spare parts organized in shelves. Another hanging locker is located forward of the mechanicals locker and a bureau with storage below is forward of that. A double queen sized berth is to port in the cabin with the heads forward arrangement, good reading lights and a good view looking aft up thru the boat. It’s a berth arrangement that we have worked and cruised many times in the past with good success.

Now back on deck, let’s discuss how she runs and works. I’ve kept the sailing rig as small as I could and still have enough drive to function well. The total sail area is 348 and with a roller furling system on the jib, it should work well. Fishing with the sails up needs to be controlled with the trolling poles functioning best if kept fairly level and upright. With this much sail area and while trolling, the engine is barely running. It’s just keeping up with the hydraulic system demands and providing a little bit of additional steerage-way while the wind provides the rest of the propulsion when it’s blowing enough. With the jib rolled up, the main can be left standing as a working steady sail and should help keep her from lurching side to side when in confused seas. Trolling poles and all sails are set from the aft cockpit and cleat to the end of the pilothouse with turning blocks forward to keep you off the pilothouse roof. I would rig a crab and shrimp pot puller as shown for either augmenting the ship’s provisions or perhaps for a little extra cash commercially. Side decks are suitable for walking up forward to the bow and anchoring duty. By the way, a hydraulic anchor windlass is chucked up on the bow with a 300 ft. chain rode backed by an additional 150 ft. of nylon rode so there shouldn’t be any loss of sleep at night due to dragging anchor gear. I showed a bow thruster forward if for no other reason than to just stimulate conversation about it for the future. I always maintain that the more control one has over their environment, the better off the success of the venture. Avoiding sticky situations is always the best survival mode.

I think that about wraps it up; a good and stable boat, with enough room to carry some fish or stores and enough space to be comfortable for our great waters out here. Let’s hope that in time we see lots of these types of vessels start up again. — Sam Devlin

The Kokanee 36 is available as study plans, and as a custom build from Devlin Boats. Contact Sam if you would like to see this design developed.

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Kokanee 36 Specifications

Length 36 ft. – 0 in.
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Scarlet Macaw 33

It is frequently asked of me fairly how a new boat design comes to life and what were the steps involved in the evolution of each design and the answer is never a simple one.  The “Onamuni” project came up originally as an email inquiry from a Mr. Al Hatfield.  Al was looking for a launch to service his lodge on Lake Vermillion in Northern Minnesota. The boat would be used to run his friends and family the 26 odd miles up lake to the nearest watering hole and back again.  Lake Vermillion is a fairly large lake with lots of islands and hundreds of miles of waterfront, all of it interesting and sight worthy, but Al had it in his mind that the trip would be even more enjoyable if it were done with a ‘really classy launch’ as the hub of the whole experience.  So Al’s simple question of “Do I have a launch in my quiver of designs and what would I recommend?” morphed after a couple of weeks to the early preliminary drawing of the Onamuni.  We called that early design the “Scarlett Macaw” but soon after the building project commenced, the name morphed into the “Onamuni” which is the Indian name for Lake Vermillion.

Al had strong ideas of what he wanted and one day he made a statement. He said “Sam, some people have Ferraris as one of their cars and barely drive them. I have a Ferrari and I drive mine everyday.” He was trying to tell me that performance was really important and that he intended to extract as much performance as he could on a daily basis while using the new boat. I probably muttered something about why build a boat that can go 40 miles per hour and then run around at 15 mph every day babying the engines. But Al emphasized to me that he fully intended to drive the boat fast and enjoy that aspect of it.  I can report that the Onamuni can run really fast. In fact, for a boat of 33 ft. of length, she can really spit about on the water, and during the sea trials, I had enough time running her that I must report that I, too, enjoyed running her fast.  Her performance was so good that I couldn’t find a photo chase boat that could keep up with her and I had to hire a helicopter to accomplish the photography.

With her twin Yanmar 260 hp diesel engines, here’s how she performed during sea trials:

MPH Gallons per hour Miles per gallon
40 22 1.8
30 16 1.9
23 10 2.3
18 6.2 3.0

 

Diesel power was chosen for its fuel economy and with the maneuvering of the twin engines backed up by a bow and stern thruster, she can be put in and out of just about any area the owner wants to take her to.  There is seating for 8 either inside or outside and with inside and outside steering controls, she can accommodate just about anything the “ol’ weather gods” want to throw at her.  That is pretty good fuel economy for a boat that can haul 8 passengers safely and enjoyably across the lake.

As for the aesthetics of the Onamuni, I viewed and described her during the building process as a “Chopped Devlin”. She most certainly has our look about her but it’s all done in a slightly rakish manner with the scale of the Onamuni pegged for looking “just about right”!  When we did our photo shoot, Neil Rabinowitz reported her as “very good looking” and he has certainly seen a lot of boats in his lifetime of doing marine photography. Once I saw the galley of proofs on the photos, I was stunned. She is really a good looking boat, if I say so myself, and I am typically pretty hard on myself about looks and styling.  Onamuni looks like a boat that has a job to do and that she can do it without compromise.   Take a look at these fine photos Neil has produced and tell me if you agree that she looks just right!

Highlights of the build were the chance to work with an owner that knew just about almost smack dab on point what he wanted and what he expected of us to deliver on that vision.  While it has been several years since the last time we were tasked with this type of job, Al gave us a budget to put Northwest Indian art in her. It was a blast to ferret out proper art for display in the Onamuni and the extra touch of class it lent greatly added to the whole effect!  I hope you agree.   – Sam Devlin

The Scarlett Macaw 33 is available in study plans.

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Scarlett Macaw 33 Specifications

Length 32 ft. – 10.75 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 0 in.
Draft 20.5 in.
Power Twin inboard diesels 260hp
Displacement 11500 lbs.

 

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