Kestrel

The Kestrel design resulted from having owned and sailed “MALISH”, an Arctic Tern sloop, for the past five years.

While actually using MALISH, I didn’t think much of modifications or redesigns because she sailed so very well, but during her time at the dock and during my reflective visions of what her replacement would be, I often considered the same Arctic Tern-type boat with the ends elongated. The freeboard and headroom would be only slightly increased. The cockpit would be tightened up and the mid-boom sheeting for the mainsail would make her easier to sail short-handed.

An enclosed head in the interior would allow for a modicum of privacy. The galley would be mid-ships in the cabin with sink and stowage to starboard. Just to port of the main companionway is a quarter berth, the engine box for a 10 hp. diesel in the bridge deck and a small box seat extension forward.

Forward are port-and-starboard settees turning into a double berth. This type of arrangement would allow seating for drinks after a brisk sail, or dinner guests.

The changes are not so great from the Arctic Tern, just more tailored to my needs.

“Malish” now has a new home with a couple from Marblehead, Mass. With time allowing, “Kestrel” will move from paper to shop floor and some day I expect my two boys and I will have some fine adventures on her. — Sam Devlin

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

Kestrel Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 4 in.
Beam 8ft. – 1 in.
Draft 3 ft. 10 in.
Power Inboard diesel 10-20hp
Ballast 2500 lbs.
Sail Area 346 sq. ft. sloop
Hull Type Displacement
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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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Surf Scoter 26

SurfScoter26Beauty1 The Surf Scoter has been produced in 22, 25 and 26 foot versions.

The latest in our offerings in the Pilothouse cruiser series is the Surf Scoter. Although sharing a heritage with her smaller pilothouse sisters, this boat has a lot of features that should make sense for cruisers all around the country.

This is a full-sized boat with full-sized features, and a pilothouse with 6′ 4″ headroom. The pilothouse area has a fully enclosed head, galley with sink, cook top range and cabin heater. The helm area has plenty of room for electronics above the dash and opposite the port side is the co-helm and passenger seats.

Forward under the raised flush deck is a U-shaped berthing area with good sitting headroom and a table. The table can be lowered to convert this area into a very large double berth area or it can be used as port and starboard single births.

SurfScoter26TrailerOut in the cockpit and through the sliding companion door is a large area for fishing and other activities. There are seats on each side of the engine box and a self-bailing floor.

For power, we’ve used the Volvo Penta 22 series diesel stern drives. With the 105-hp model, the Surf Scoter will top speed out at 24 knots and, throttling back a bit, she will cruise economically at 18 knots.

The Surf Scoter 26 is available as study and construction plans.

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Surf Scoter 26 Specifications

Length 26 ft. – 8 3/8 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 6 9/16 in.
Draft 21 in.
Power Sterndrive diesel
Displacement 5425 lbs.
Hull Type Semi-displacement

 

 

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Blue Blazer 25

The Blue Blazer was a design wrestling match for Sam. I recommend that you check out his design notes. I’ll let him describe the happy result below. — Jim

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BlueBlazer25BeautyStarting at the stern is a teak swim platform to help board the boat from a harbor taxi and just forward of the transom is a large daybed with foam fabric covered cushions for crews that like to sunbathe to have a place to enjoy the day. Forward of the daybed, which covers the engine box, is a bench seat settee that is the full width of the cockpit and at the center of that seat is a console type helm area. The Captain can either sit at the bench and steer or can stand and operate the boat. Engine controls are electronic and there is an interesting false top to the console that can be hinged back to expose other fancy electronics, GPS, VHF, Depth, and Speed instruments. The engine gauges are easy to read and accessible for controlling the boat. The steering wheel itself is a custom Italian thing that would not look out of place on a mid-sixties classic Ferrari. Forward of the center console are port and starboard upholstered seats that allow guests good side to side visibility out of the boat. There is a small windscreen with a convertible rigid top section and canvas top section that allows two people to sit out in the sun when folded forward aBlueBlazer25InSidend four people to sit under cover when folded aft and the weather is not cooperating. Under the forward deck area are two bunks long enough for a couple of tall people to comfortably stretch out on and up in the bow, a marine water closet can be fitted giving the whole forward cabin the capability of providing a degree of seclusion for head type activities. On deck, the bow has a hatch over the main part of the sleeping/head cabin and an electric anchor windlass powers up a polished stainless steel anchor on a bow roller. All cleats are of the stainless steel pop-up variety and deck trim is also polished stainless steel. The decks themselves are laid teak finished raw and when scrubbed a couple of times a year with bleach and water, they are the best non-skid material that exists and they lend a look of fine craftsmanship to the boat. There is a low bow pulpit to help keep your crew on deck and a low aft railing around the cockpit. The neatest feature of the exterior is the gracefully curved, varnished mast with some signal flags displayed and with a proper large ensign on the stern, the “Blue Blazer” looks dressed up for the occasion and ready to transport her crew around for the day. — Sam Devlin

The Blue Blazer 25 is available in study and construction plans. For the level of finish detail, this is the kind of boat that you may want to let Sam’s team build for you.

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Blue Blazer 25 Specifications

Length 25 ft. – 3 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 18 in. (drive up)
Power sterndrive 155hp diesel
Displacement 4500 lbs.
Hull Type Planing
Speed 26 knots max, 20 knot cruise
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Blue Blazer 25 Design Notes

The Blue Blazer 25 was an unusual design request by one of my favorite customers. Jack had just purchased a weekend abode in Newport Rhode Island and needed a boat to use on his trips up there. He called me on a wet and cold winter day with the following requirements for his new boat. He didn’t need a boat that had lavish accommodations and he really didn’t need a lot of the gear that might go on a boat that had more serious cruising aspirations. This was intended to be a simple boat that he could travel around the harbor looking at other boats and seascapes, alone or with a pack of friends. The major use of the boat was to be in the summer months during the short New England boating season. The days would inevitably be warm and fair as he could afford the time to pick his boating days for ideal conditions and so outside standup steering was selected as the best option for control of the boat.

With my own weather being raw, wet, and cold at times, it’s difficult to be empathetic with the concept of the fair-weather use of such a boat but I was committed to doing my best interpretation. So armed with Jack’s list of parameters of boat use and gear, I retreated to the back of the design office where most of the serious boat drawing takes place. The hull wasn’t that hard to work up a concept for since we already knew roughly how big she needed to be but I kept getting gummed up on Jack’s requirement that there be under cover sitting spots for at least two people. Every time I tried to sketch in a covered roof area, the whole thing started to look like a small pilothouse. Now most of you that have looked at my designs know that I tend to be a pilothouse aficionado for both large and small boats because to my eye, they look well-proportioned and purposeful. So it would be safe to say that among the early preliminaries of this design, there were several boats that looked somewhat like stretched out low profileSurf Scoters with an amidships pilothouse and big cockpit.

Jack didn’t bite on these drawings at all. With his characteristic method of letting me down gently by never openly telling me that he didn’t like the drawings but just not exhibiting any great enthusiasm about the drawings, I clearly got the message. So back to the drawing board again, I returned only to confront the same problem — the minute I tried to put a covered house on the boat, she again started to look like a pilothouse boat that would be suitable in Alaskan waters. With each new version of the design I set down on paper, ultimately be rejected by Jack, my frustration level increased.

There is an old, old saying that all boat designers only have one good design in them and upon discovering that design, they spend the rest of their working life only drawing bigger and smaller versions of the same boat. While I hope this isn’t true that in my case, there certainly is some credence to the saying. I think it has a lot more to do with the designer’s eye and perhaps their mind taking a roughly similar slant on things with the result being that what looks right to the designer, most likely resembles other work they have done in the past.

So in my struggles with what felt like the tenth version of the preliminary design, I had an epiphany. It finally occurred to me that I could think of a boat as nothing more than a coat. In Jack’s case, he simply couldn’t picture himself in the coat that I was attempting to design for him. If you are familiar with Northwest area of the United States, there is a company in Seattle called “Filson” that is a mainstay in the outdoor clothing community. Filson has been in business over 100 years and was originally started to provide rugged outdoor clothing to the Gold Miners in the Alaskan Gold rush in the 1890s. Filson makes the heaviest and warmest coats imaginable and in most cases, out of virgin wool. My thought process went further with this analogy and I came up with the idea that what I kept trying to draw for Jack was a Filson Wool Double Mackinaw Cruiser Coat and that Jack just couldn’t picture himself in that coat motoring around swanky Newport Harbor. What Jack really wanted wasn’t a rugged wool, go-to-Alaska coat but a sharply tailored ‘Blue Blazer’. The wind is light, the day warm, and at most, a blazer is enough coat to suffice for the landscape and the company. In other words, Jack was looking for something a bit more formal, not enough to be stuffy, but still enough to be comfortable in.

The minute that thought process completed itself, I think the rest of the design process happened in less than an hour. I called the design “Blue Blazer” just to remind myself of her origins and she would be a dark navy blue color with tan trim and teak natural finished decks. She would have enough class to suit the owner and would be an eye-sweet addition to any harbor she runs in. She is, in other words, a “fast day-launch”, suitable to carry a pack of people about the bay in comfort.

Starting at the stern is a teak swim platform to help board the boat from a harbor taxi and just forward of the transom is a large daybed with foam fabric covered cushions for crews that like to sunbathe to have a place to enjoy the day. Forward of the daybed, which covers the engine box, is a bench seat settee that is the full width of the cockpit and at the center of that seat is a console type helm area. The Captain can either sit at the bench and steer or can stand and operate the boat. Engine controls are electronic and there is an interesting false top to the console that can be hinged back to expose other fancy electronics, GPS, VHF, Depth, and Speed instruments. The engine gauges are easy to read and accessible for controlling the boat. The steering wheel itself is a custom Italian thing that would not look out of place on a mid-sixties classic Ferrari. Forward of the center console are port and starboard upholstered seats that allow guests good side to side visibility out of the boat. There is a small windscreen with a convertible rigid top section and canvas top section that allows two people to sit out in the sun when folded forward and four people to sit under cover when folded aft and the weather is not cooperating. Under the forward deck area are two bunks long enough for a couple of tall people to comfortably stretch out on and up in the bow, a marine water closet can be fitted giving the whole forward cabin the capability of providing a degree of seclusion for head type activities. On deck, the bow has a hatch over the main part of the sleeping/head cabin and an electric anchor windlass powers up a polished stainless steel anchor on a bow roller. All cleats are of the stainless steel pop-up variety and deck trim is also polished stainless steel. The decks themselves are laid teak finished raw and when scrubbed a couple of times a year with bleach and water, they are the best non-skid material that exists and they lend a look of fine craftsmanship to the boat. There is a low bow pulpit to help keep your crew on deck and a low aft railing around the cockpit. The neatest feature of the exterior is the gracefully curved, varnished mast with some signal flags displayed and with a proper large ensign on the stern, the “Blue Blazer” looks dressed up for the occasion and ready to transport her crew around for the day.

I hope you like this little cruiser and as happens with most designs, it didn’t take very long before I started coming up with reasons and circumstances where she would work in very nicely with a little boating that I am planning in the future. So if she works for Jack, and I’m thinking that she works for me, maybe you, too, will find a little daydreaming potential in this little launch.

– Sam Devlin

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Surf Runner 25

SurfRunner25Beauty2Inspired by customers Larry and Wendy Brown, the Surf Runner 25 combines the classic looks from another time with modern performance and reliability. She looks like an open runabout from the outside, but manages to sneak some very usable cabin space into the bow area. A bespoke bimini top also provides shelter to the skipper and crew when the weather is less than perfect, as is often the case here in the Puget Sound. A Volvo-Penta sterndrive diesel provides plenty of thrust to run at 25 knots with a good economical cruise at 20 knots. The speed envelope is part of the design. Slow enough to avoid typical Puget Sound flotsam and fast enough to devour the miles. The responsive hull is designed to cut through the waves, keeping the pounding to a minimum and the comfort levels to the max. A plethora of smart storage and configurable seating rounds out a boat that is easy to bring into your life.

The Surf Runner 25 is available in study and construction plans.

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Surf Runner 25 Specifications

Length 25 ft. – 3 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 6 in.
Draft 18.5 in. (drive up)
Power sterndrive 105hp diesel
Displacement 4500 lbs.
Hull Type Planing
Speed 25 knots max, 20 knot cruise
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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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Godzilla 25 Design Notes

After a successful launch of our Godzilla 22 and having some sea-time on her, I became inspired to build a bigger Godzilla-type tug, one that would have more interior room and that was large enough to allow cruising on the waters of Puget Sound or even potentially up to Southeast Alaska. And as it quite often works out around the boatshop, not much time passed before a prospective customer came out of the woodwork with similar musings. A short couple of months later, we had a hull being planked up in the shop for the new, larger Godzilla 25 design.

Russ’s requirements for the “Donna B” were for a boat that had day cruising aspirations along with the necessity of allowing a built-in double berth forward so that when needed, Russ or his wife could take a comfortable nap up forward. We needed more room in the fo’c’sle cabin and so I tried an idea that I had proposed originally on the 22 foot Godzilla prototype (but was not opted for by the owner) of a flush deck design from the front corner of the pilothouse to the stem of the boat. The flush deck design is remarkable for adding room to the fo’c’sle and results in a cabin that appears larger and spacious with more comfort and a less claustrophobic feeling. For ventilation during the warm summer months of the Wisconsin waters where the boat will homeport, we added a couple of 8 inch bronze portlights in the hull sides and a large opening fore deck hatch of 27 inch x 24 inch size. Russ has a woodworking company and planned on building the fore deck hatch, two side sliding pilothouse doors, pilothouse windows (which are all opening), and the pilothouse rooftop hatch, all constructed of teak. Russ also wanted the capability of doing some of the interior cabinetry himself and to respect his wishes, I let him turn his mind loose and was looking forward to his ideas and craftsmanship. All of the exterior of the Godzilla 25 would be finished and fully functional before shipping out to Wisconsin.

For the power in this boat, I suggested to Russ that we use a four-cylinder Yanmar engine of 75 hp. That of course was over-powered for this type of hull but it had the advantage of smooth, quiet power at about half throttle and with the heat exchanger, a truck or bus type heater could be installed for free cabin heat anytime the engine was running. The engine was housed in its own small trunk type cabin aft of the pilothouse and the main cabin seat (which Russ is building) covered the front of the engine. With some planning, the helm seat could be hinged or dislodged and excellent full headroom access to the engine would be possible making maintenance much more pleasant than most small boats can offer.

I tried unsuccessfully to talk Russ into raising the lazarette of the boat (stern deck) from bulkhead #5 to the stern up to deck level allowing better access to the steering gear compartment and with the bonus of functioning as a bit of a seat flat that you could perch on. But Russ felt that he preferred a couple of deck chairs to be used for seats and favored a completely single level self-bailing deck from the pilothouse to the stern. So to allow access to the steering gear, I installed a metal flush deck hatch just over the rudderpost.

Construction started in September 2003 and Russ launched his Godzilla 25 in Wisconsin in the Spring of 2004. — Sam Devlin

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Gannet 25

Gannet25SternWhat I can say definitively about the Gannet 25 is that she is totally done around the theme of having outboard power and the customer is musing about using either twin 90 or 125 horsepower outboards for the power package which should result respectively in speeds in the mid-30s and 40 knots at the top end of the power spectrum. That would give him a boat that can dash about the waterways with great control and be capable of breathtaking sprints across the waterways that would thrill even the teenagers in the family. Of course she will still be able to be slowed down to something more appropriate for a mellower middle aged crew if needed, but even I can remember days of taking my two teenage boys out tubing and wake boarding for the afternoon and all of us having a great time.

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This can all be done with the Gannet 25 design by having seating for a crowd when needed but I can easily picture myself on a clean and warm summer day carving long sweeping turns on a calm lake doing nothing but appreciating the moment in time and space. And that my friends is worth plenty in this busy and hectic role that we all play in a thing called ‘life’. My hat is off to the inspiration of the Gannet 25 and to the people that might realize her construction and ultimately experience her moving through the water with such ease and grace. Then add the capability of setting the hook in some secluded and private cove, bedding down in the evening for a fine sleep and then setting out the next day for more fun. At the end of our cruise, place her on the trailer, take her home for a cleaning and then patiently wait for our next adventure. — Sam Devlin

The Gannet 25 is available in study and full construction plans.

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Gannet 25 Specifications

Length 24 ft. – 9 in.
Beam 8 ft. – 6 in.
Draft 11 in.
Power Twin outboard 90-125hp
Displacement 4350 lbs.
Hull Type Planing
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Sooty Tern

Drawing on the experience with our 23 Arctic Tern Sailboat the Sooty Tern design was an extension of a similar concept with the biggest change being the Gaff Rig design and a 2 foot longer boat. SootyTernSide

A diesel engine was planned for in the design and a 3/4 length full keel allows shoal draft capability with the easy balanced helm of a fully separate rudder system. This Keel/ rudder combination allows a very sensitive helm that tracks extremely well and has a bit more efficiency than a normal full keel/transom hung rudder arrangement. And with the transom hung rudder a very strong rudder connection is possible and servicing and maintenance is easy and quick. A large cockpit was planned to accommodate up to four adults for sailing with comfort, and single winches for headsails are right at hand and convenient to use.

All sail raising and lowering is done from the mast base with a bronze belaying pin type gooseneck allowing organizing of the halyards and easy non fouling access to raising and lowering of the sails. With her traditional rig, and idic lines but yet very simple and easy to set up and take down sails the Sooty Tern should be a breeze to go out for a quick daysail or if time allows you can go out for a more extended cruise. The Gaff rigged sloop sailplan is remarkably easy to use and sail and the Gaff rigged mainsail can be boomed out for downwind sailing almost obviating the need for expensive hard to handle down wind headsails. With her traditional appearance but yet crisp, pure performance the Sooty Tern harkens back to a time when sailing meant personal enjoyment and intimacy with the boat and the water.

Going below there is a very small head to starboard, double berth forward and quarter berth to port extending slightly under the cockpit seats. The small galley is more than adequate for a boat of this size where food preparation is simple and basic. Good space, comfortable berths, and a warm dry cabin can make a good days sailing complete, and with the company of a couple of good friends what more could one ask for.

One feature of the Sooty Tern that has been dealt with straightforward is auxiliary power. Instead of fooling with outboard brackets on the stern or a even less desirable a compromise outboard motor/well with its drag and loss of performance, the Sooty Tern has its own 10 hp. diesel engine in a proper engine box with sound insulation and room enough to keep the engine clean and well oiled. These small diesels can be one of the best shipmates imaginable, converting dying breezes or a short sail that needs to be terminated to get back to our busy normal schedules. With the engine always at hand and the turn of a key the only move necessary to get one out of an embarrassing moment this little diesel can be an important feature in a small personal cruiser such as the Sooty Tern.

The Sooty Tern is available either as a custom built boat from Devlin Designing Boatbuilders of Olympia, Washington or as full amateur building plans for the home builder using the Stitch and Glue boatbuilding method. — Sam Devlin

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Sooty Tern Specifications

Length LOD 24 ft. – 7 in.
Beam 7 ft. – 8 in.
Draft 42 in.
Power Inboard diesel 10hp
Displacement 2850 lbs.
Sail Area 328sf Gaff Rig
Hull Type Displacement
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