Chip Hanauer on the Flipside of Boating

It’s safe to say that Chip Hanauer is one of THE names in unlimited hydroplane racing, which my father called the most dangerous sport on Earth. Bear in mind my dad once owned a Bumblebee Bass boat capable of 110 mph, so what would he know? Chip is an inductee of the International Motorsports Racing Hall of Fame, he has won the APBA Gold Cup 11 times, and he drove the Miss Budweiser in the 1990’s, for goodness sake! In fact, his accolades as a boat pilot are too many to mention. Why would a man who spent his career at the ragged edge of boat performance choose a Devlin Candlefish 16 as a recreational boat?

One could imagine that a man who spent his life on the water, testing the boundaries, would eventually decide that the water itself was enough of an answer, and when it comes to a purist vision of getting out on the waters of the Puget Sound, the Candlefish 16 ‘Stanley’ is a good answer.

I’ve got about 15 hours on Stanley and I absolutely love it!

The Candlefish 16 can carry a heavy load in comfort and stability. In the case of Chip’s boat, she is a simple tiller driven skiff design that carries Chip, his friends, and everyone’s gear in relative performance and safety, all of which is built into a design which takes in to account the safety off all, including the gear. Sam Devlin doesn’t design a boat without considering all the use cases of the design. In the Candlefish 16, as well as most of the rest of Sam’s design catalog, it safe to think of the boat as a platform that can be built in a number of ways, with a vast number of final details. Here’s an example from Chip:

We ran into another Candlefish 16 on Lake Washington. It was a kids sailing school on the east side and it was used as the, committee, safety boat. The young guy waved us over and excitedly asked, “Is that a Devlin Candlefish?” He said he loved theirs as well, but that was envious of our 60 HP engine. Theirs had a center steering station. I’m glad I have just the tiller, as I’m really enjoying the spaciousness and openness of the boat. It makes it very flexible as far as where to put things and where people like to hang out.

One of those details on Stanley is the vertical bar, perfectly positioned for Chip to operate the motor while standing. Here’s what he has to say about it:

The, “stripper bars” are so useful! They are positioned perfectly for stepping up into the boat from the fender step on the trailer. Great for stepping down, into the boat from the dock. Both of us just found ourselves with a hand on it all the time at the tiller. It’s super sweet when you are standing up while operating the boat. I only got about three hours on it today, but I’m telling you, I’m already very much in love with it.

Apparently Chip didn’t completely abandon performance when he stepped down from turbine powered racing boats.

As far as speed goes, faster is right! I’d guess over 40! A friend has a gps app. that should let us know for sure. I can’t leave the throttle open until I get the motor more broken in. But bottom line it’s fast! You were certainly right about going with the 60HP, engine as opposed to something smaller. I had two people in the boat, totaling about 325lbs total and having the horsepower was really nice.

Chip’s own video of his break-in hours on ‘Stanley’ gives a sense of what he is saying.

A lot of thought, discussion, and consideration go into every Devlin-built boat. The result is an elegant balance in a rugged, lifelong boat. You can fish from it, you can hunt from it, and you can simply escape to your yacht or a weekend getaway in a package that melds classic, proven design with the need to ‘just get out there’. A Candlefish 16 will just handle the work you need to do, without fuss, in a smooth-riding platform that allows you to go where you want to go, do what you want to do, and come up smiling at the end of the trip. For a boat company, a smiling Chip Hanauer is a great reward.

But then, Chip says it best.

Sam, in a word, ‘Stanley’ is perfect!” I know there is no boat which is actually perfect, but for my intended use, ‘Stanley’ couldn’t be better! It rides solid and smooth. Both of us could stand at the rail on one side and the boat barely heeled over at all. That’s great for crabbing out of a small boat. It quiet and has a solid sound and feel to it. I couldn’t open the engine up beyond half way, as it’s still in break in mode. But half throttle was plenty and perfect for fast cruising.

Chip’s site is currently down for maintenance, but his Facebook feed is chock full of goodies.

You can find more Chip Hanauer videos on the Youtube Channel.

You can read more about the Candlefish 16 on this page, which links to plans, kits, and Sam’s notes on the design.

 

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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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Kingfisher 30

Kingfisher30FAcropA fellow dropped into my office a couple of months ago with a novel idea. He is the owner of a Power Scow which is a type of boat I would expect only a few readers of my design write-ups to be familiar with. A power scow is pretty much what the name says; it is a powered barge on the water long used in the Southeast Alaska fisheries as buy boats which are boats that goes out to the fishing grounds, buys fish from the fishing boats and sells ice and other limited supplies to the fishermen. After filling their own holds with fresh caught fish, the buy boat heads off to the nearest town or cannery to offload. This chap has a particularly nice power scow built in the 1940s and he has done a yeoman’s job of keeping her in good shape and running condition. She has the latest fillet machines, flash freezing capabilities and vacuum packing on board and for these premium line caught salmon and halibut, she does an extraordinary job of keeping the fish fresh, clean, and ready for the freezer or the skillet.

But back to our visit — you see he is a visionary type of guy always thinking out into the future with a keen eye on the prize of keeping his power scow working hard and efficiently and also keeping several fish markets and a growing internet market supplied with his amazing product. These Alaskan fish are of such quality that anyone could provide them a place in their diet without fear or regret. But he had a new vision one that was just at the wee starting place of forming shape and that is where his visit with me came into the picture. He was thinking that there might be a small number of individuals who are in their late middle years, perhaps even retired from their first careers, but not yet ready to hang it all up. These individuals might also want a bit of adventure in their lives, ready to see waters and areas that they hadn’t the time to do earlier in their lives and careers. And so he was thinking that these hardy souls might be interested in setting up small fishing businesses built around the design that I am outlining here and built around his power scow.

With the power scow, he would have the facilities for the fishermen to drop off their catch on a daily basis, take a shower and have a hot meal each day, and maybe even a hand or two of cards before crawling into the sack. Up at dawn, or just a bit before dawn, to drop in on the morning bite and they are back to work. If a longer trip is desired to explore a little, the accommodations on the Kingfisher are compatible to the skipper and crew and anything from a couple of days to a longer trip might be possible, springing them only slightly loose from the friends and convenience of the power scow each night.

So let’s take a closer look at the Kingfisher design that I came up with. She is not a huge boat at just over 30 feet in length but with that utility of staying close to the mothership, she really doesn’t need to be much longer and therefore have good fuel economy and seaworthy comfort for the crew. She can be rigged for either hand trolling (non-powered gurdies which control the lines for bringing the fish into the boat) or she can be powered with a small hydraulic pump that would run off the engine and can be rigged as a power troller. There are twin 18 foot long trolling poles on either side of the single mast and these are lowered to about a 45 degree angle off the port and starboard sides of the boats helping to keep the fishing lines out of each other’s way. They can also be used to set small paravanes for running when the weather is really snotty and these simple gear additions can really make the difference between just a crappy day and one that could provide you with real story fodder. If you are anything like me, even though I like a good story, the older I get, the less I desire to experience those “really good” story days if you follow my drift. Anyway, the paravanes work very well at allowing the boat to continue into waters that might really blunt the progress of an unstabilized hull.

There is good deck space and instead of a fixed cargo hold (which could be done but a simpler solution is available), we are using large poly plastic totes that are chucked on the deck and when offloading fish, a bag that is held in the tub can be hoisted to the buy boat and a simple cleaning of the deck and totes is all that is necessary to keep the boat clean and organized. Moving forward into the pilothouse, the cabin follows a couple of ideas that I might have tried to hit you over the head with in the past but without hearing much of a thud, I want to try them again and they involve two subjects that need addressing. The first is the head and how to keep the crew and the skipper happy and comfortable. While the Kingfisher concept is one that might involve a single fisherman on board, (and my first inclination was to reduce the need or desire to have anything like a private head compartment on board), upon presenting the preliminary sketches to my co-workers, I was told rather bluntly that the boat would need a head to have any chance at seeing the light of day as a concept. So let’s address the idea of how to deal with a head in a boat and have it be really be functional enough to allow some privacy when being used. One of the features I noticed on lots of working boats, fishing and tug, is that the head compartment is very often not common or connected to the interior of the boat. That is to say they are accessed from the stern or side decks of the boat with an entirely separate door to the deck. And with no common door to the interior of the boat, you have a chance to actually use the head with some semblance of privacy. Once a common door to the inside of the boat gets put in the design, those privacy features go literally out the door. If you use the head for a shower, then you have the additional problem of what to do after adding considerable moisture into the interior of a boat that might be operating in a high humidity environment and the problem of how to truly and easily dry out the boat, which leads nicely into the second thought of mine.

Kingfisher30FAHeat is a problem in most boats that run in the Northwest coastal waters of North America (my favorite and most often frequented waters), and it’s not called the rainy northwest for nothing! It’s not unusual for a typical cruiser or boater to do a long trip up to Alaska and back and never once put on a short sleeved shirt in the whole summer. In fact, we occasionally have summers where wool shirts and jackets are worn every day as a hedge against the cool and moist climate. On virtually all Northwest Coast working boats they fix this problem with a simple and ingenious solution, one that anything from a 20 feet cruiser up to a boat well over a hundred feet in length can use. The solution is an oil cooking range. Some of the best of these and the ones most common in the Northwest are made by the Dickinson company of British Columbia just to the north of my own Washington State. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations and the idea is that they are lit early in the trip, even sometimes before the engine is started, the thermostat and heat control has simple settings and burning diesel or even a cleaner burn with kerosene fuel, they just sit there and heat away, letting the whole interior of the boat stay warm and dry. The cast iron top of the stove radiates the heat very well and a pot can be kept on one of the corners instantly providing you with warm beverage capability whenever desired. If you come into the interior of the boat with wet rain gear, the boat doesn’t instantly fog up with the added moisture and you keep your windows clear and warm your bones up very quickly. I call this the ‘haven of warmth’ theory, and if you ever try it, you too will realize that when you wrap your head around the idea that the boat is always warm and dry no matter what the conditions are outside, you will quickly think of your boat as being protective and a haven of warmth and comfort. So even if we are foolish enough to have the door to the head opening into the interior of the boat, we can still dry her out quickly after taking a hot shower and everything will stay smelling nice and sweet.

I say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to my eye, this design looks just about right with good utility and function and she is trailerable to boot. With her inboard diesel engine, the fuel economy is good and depending on how much horsepower you give her, the speed can be adjusted from anything in the full displacement range up to semi-displacements speeds. – Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 30 is available as study plans and as a custom build from Devlin Boats.

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Kingfisher 30 Specifications

Length on Deck 30 ft. – 2 in.
Beam 10 ft. – 1 in.
Draft 38 in.
Power Inboard diesel 110-160hp
Hull Type Semi-Displacement
Displacement 10700 lbs.

 

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Sockeye 45

Sockeye45CoverThe Sockeye 45 is a full displacement type boat with an almost workboat type appearance. It has enough room inside to be comfortable with two couples. Its draft is modest enough to allow it to cruise in almost any waters you might encounter on the West or the East Coasts.

The profile is straight West Coast Tug type yacht with a heavy portion of fishboat thrown in. With twin masts in a Ketch configuration, this boat would allow a variety of deck boats to be handled on and off the deck.

Sockeye45SamThe Sockeye 45 is powered by a single 145 HP John Deere marine engine is recommended. This engine weighs in at 1,500 pounds and runs at a top speed of 2,400 rpm. The hull itself features a fantail configuration and is very seakindly in the full displacement range of performance. Top speed is 9 knots and cruising speed of 8 knots at about 3 – 4 gallons of fuel per hour. The engine is below the pilothouse and is sound insulated. — Sam Devlin

The Sockeye 45 is available in study and full construction plans, as well as a custom build from Sam Devlin.

 

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Sockeye 45 Specifications

Length 45 ft. – 10 in.
Beam 13 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 55 in.
Power Inboard diesel, 145hp
Displacement 38000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
Speed 8.5 knots cruise/9.7 knots max
Range 1500 miles @ 8.5 knots
Fuel Capacity 580 gallons
Water Capacity 80 gallons

 

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Kingfisher 26

The smallest in our fleet of heavy “Workboat Type” designs, this double-ended full displacement power cruiser can hold her own in most any weather one can encounter. Her heavy hull takes the waves like a duck, and with a small economical diesel she can cruise for miles and miles. This would be a wonderful cruiser for a couple that just wants to step on board and set off for months at a time. Whether its cruising the Labrador coast or the Inland Passage to Alaska this little boat can handle just about anything Mother Nature can dish out. Range is more than 800 nautical miles and comfort level is high if you just don’t confuse things with too many passengers. She has berthage for three, an enclosed head, and enough deck room to carry one of our 9 foot 6 inch Guppy sailing dinghies. I can just see her waiting on a mooring loaded and ready to set off for the summer’s adventures. — Sam Devlin

The Kingfisher 26 is available as study plans. Contact Sam if you would like to see the design developed.

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Kingfisher 26 Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 3 in.
Draft 3 ft. 6 in.
Power Inboard diesel
Displacement 8000 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Godzilla 25

Godzilla25SideWith the success of the smaller Godzilla 22, Sam immediately started thinking about that universal law of nature that applies to everything except cooking. If a _____ (boat) is good, then a bigger one must be better. In the case of the Godzilla 25, a Yanmar 75 horse diesel delivers an overabundance of power that happens to throttle back nicely to smooth and efficient operation while delivering free heat to the cabin. More importantly, the 25 foot version provides more space. More space equals more comfort and easier access to the internals of the boat. Easier maintenance is always a good thing. It’s a working boat that would happily carry to away to distant ports. To learn more of the thinking that went into the Godzilla 25, please read Sam’s design notes.

The Godzilla 25 is available in study and construction plans.

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Godzilla 25 Specifications

Length 24 ft. – 8 in.
Beam 9 ft. – 0 in.
Draft 33 in.
Power Inboard 75hp diesel
Displacement 5800 lbs.
Hull Type Displacement
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Dunlin 22

The Devlin Dunlin 22 began as a larger version of the pocket workhorse Godzilli 16. After Sam was finished, he expanded the boat into two configurations, both of which can provide you with all the work and play you could want in a boat this size. With a 60hp high thrust outboard and a very strong structure, the Dunlin can be used for a wide range of pursuits. With a cabin designed for plenty of headroom, a heating stove, a double berth, stowaway space for a port-potti, and a galley counter, it can also serve as a comfortable place to relax after the work is done. For the details and thought that went into this versatile workhorse, check out Sam’s design notes.

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The Dunlin 22 Cruiser version is available in study and construction plans.

The Dunlin 22 Pilothouse version is also available in study and full construction plans.

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Dunlin 22 Specifications

Length 21 ft. – 7 7/16 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 10 in.
Draft 17 in,
Power Outboard 65hp high thrust
Displacement 3290 lbs.
Hull Type Semi- Displacement
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Candlefish 18

The Candlefish 18 is largest boat in the Candlefish lineup. Her hallmark is simplicity and utility, with a dash of performance from the incorporation of the Pelicano 18 hull. This a hull that works very well as the foundation of a number of Devlin designs. In this application it combines the flexibility of an open boat with the seaworthiness of a relatively tall hull. Sam has worked in large and flexible seating over the top of a huge amount of dry storage with even more storage in the bow. There is plenty of room for reserve buoyancy that, even in an unsinkable design, adds the peace of mind that comes from knowing the boat will float, level and stable, even when full of water. If the smaller Candlefish boats are waterborne pickup trucks, the Candlefish 18 is the moving van.

For the story behind the Candlefish 18, read Sam’s design notes.

The Candlefish 18 is available in study and full construction plans.

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Candlefish 18 Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 5 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 5.375 in.
Draft 10 5/8 in.
Power Outboard 40hp – 70hp
Displacement 2275 lbs.
Hull Dry Weight 1325 lbs.
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Godzilli 16

godzilli166The Godzilli is a unique critter in the Devlin catalog. Designed as a rugged and capable little work boat, she also manages to turn heads with her almost toy-like proportions. Don’t be fooled though. Like all Devlin designs, she has all the thought-out details to make her into a machine with purpose. Essentially a mini tug, she can be used to push and tow, fish and cruise, ride out the low tide with ease, or just look charming at the waterfront. She has a small pilothouse for shelter from the weather, yet maintains easy access to the work at hand. She uses an outboard for power, protected against the potential for workboat damage inside a motor well. The outboard configuration allows her to sit flat and stable when the tide goes out. All in all, there are a lot of good reasons to spend some time in the Godzilli 16.

godzilli-16-002For a better glimpse of the thought behind the Godzilli, check out Sam’s design notes.

The Devlin Godzilli is available in study and full construction plans.

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Godzilli 16 Specifications

Length 16 ft. – 7 in.
Beam 6 ft. – 2 in.
Draft 14 in. w/ outboard retracted
Power Outboard 20hp
Displacement 1200 lbs.

 

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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.

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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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